The MC500 is a Musician series solid body electric guitar model introduced by Ibanez for 1978. It was made in Japan by FujiGen with production starting in late 1977.
Like most Musician models, the MC500 features neck through body construction. It has body wings made up of a maple core sandwiched between two layers of ash with a carved top on a seven-piece rock maple and black walnut neck with an oversized headstock to enhance sustain and a 24-fret ebony fingerboard with abalone dot position markers. Components include a pair of Ibanez Super 88 humbucking pickups mounted in integrated plastic covers, a Tune-o-matic style Gibraltar bridge mounted in a sustain block recessed into the neck, a Gibraltar slotted tailpiece with scalloped "cloud" ornament, a bone and brass nut, rubberized Sure Grip control knobs and VelveTune machine heads.
The MC500 has active electronics consisting of a master volume control, a 3-way pickup selector mounted on the upper horn, a preamp gain (boost/ cut) control, a 3-band EQ (bass, mid and treble), a pair of Tri-sound switches to allow each pickup to be coil split or reverse phase, and an EQ on/off toggle. Ibanez refers to this configuration as the EQ Tone System.
Several changes were made to the MC500 over its three-year production run. In mid 1978 the body shape was modified slightly with smaller horns and a symmetric waist and lower bout, mounting blocks were added under the pickups, holes for the pole pieces were added to the integrated pickup covers and the pickup switch tip was changed from cream to brown. Around August of 1979 a 9-piece rock maple and black walnut neck was introduced, a master tone control was added along with an LED indicator for the EQ Tone System, the output jack was moved from the front of the guitar to the side, the battery was moved from the control cavity to a separate battery box, the cavity cover was changed from gold to black and a new style of knob for the EQ pots was introduced. In mid-1980 a heelless neck joint was introduced, the neck was changed back to a 7-piece construction and the tailpiece was redesigned with angled slots.
The MC500L is a limited production left-handed version. The MC400 is a similar model with a mahogany core and a flat top.