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1981 MC550 WN.jpg
MC550 Walnut (1981) (more images) Red copyright sprite.png

The MC550 is a Musician series solid body electric guitar model introduced by Ibanez for 1981. It was made in Japan by FujiGen and replaced the MC500.

Like most Musician models, the MC550 features neck through body construction. It has body wings made up of an ash core sandwiched between two layers of koa on a seven-piece rock maple neck with a 24-fret ebony fingerboard with pearloid 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 and tailpiece with scalloped "cloud" ornament, a bone and brass nut, rubberized Sure Grip control knobs and VelveTune machine heads.

The MC550 has active electronics consisting of a master volume and tone control, a gain (EQ boost/ cut) control, a 3-band EQ (bass, mid and treble), a Tri-sound switch to allow each pickup to be coil split or reverse phase, and an EQ on/off toggle with an LED indicator. Ibanez refers to this configuration as the EQ Tone System.

For 1982, the pickups were replaced with Super 58s mounted in traditional plastic pickup rings and the shape of the body was changed subtly with a slightly more prominent upper horn and a bit more aggressive roundover on the body.

The MC350 is a related model with a mahogany top and back and with passive electronics.

The MC550 was discontinued after 1982 along with the entire Musician series. It is believed that 465 MC550s were produced over the model's two year run.[1]

Specifications

Specifications for MC550
Year(s) produced: 1981–1982
Sold in: Worldwide
Made in: Japan
Finish(es): Walnut (WN)
Body
Body type:
Solid body
Body material:
Koa/ ash/ koa wings
Neck joint:
Neck-thru heelless
Bridge:
Gibraltar
Tailpiece:
Gibraltar w/ "cloud" ornament
Knob style:
Sure Grip (gold)
Hardware color:
Gold
Neck
Neck type:
Musician
Neck material:
7-piece rock maple/ black walnut
Scale length:
628mm/ 24¾"
Fingerboard material:
Ebony
Fingerboard inlays:
Pearloid dot
Frets:
24
Nut:
Half bone/ half brass
Machine heads:
VelveTune
Electronics/ Strings
Pickup configuration:
HH
Bridge pickup:
1981: Ibanez Super 88 (H)
1982: Ibanez Super 58 (H)
Neck pickup:
1981: Ibanez Super 88 (H)
1982: Ibanez Super 58 (H)
Controls:
Master volume / master tone / 3-way toggle pickup selector / Gain (boost/cut) / 3-band EQ (bass/mid/treble) / 2 Tri-sound switches / EQ toggle
Output jack:
¼" mono
Factory tuning:
1E,2B,3G,4D,5A,6E (E Std.)

Images

Additional finishes/ details
1982 MC550 WN.jpg
Walnut (1982)
1982 MC550 end-view.jpg
End view
HH 3-way tri-sound.png
Pickup switching diagram
MC550 EQ-Tone-System.jpg
Controls layout
Musician EQ tone system.jpg
EQ Tone System
Musician Tri-sound switches.jpg
Tri-sound switches
Musician neck-through.jpg
Details of construction
Musician sandwich body.jpg
Sandwich body

Sources

  1. The Ibanez Musician MC500 in the course of time, thetom on Ibanez Collectors World (forum), accessed September 2020
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