Rocket Roll Sr 2387CT review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.3 (41 votes)
Ibanez: Rocket Roll Sr 2387CT
1

Price paid: $ 1100

Purchased from: Private dealer

Sound — 9
The guitar is loaded with the stock super 70's pickups, which are very PAF'ish sounding, but a tiny bit more powerful, due to the stronger alnico 8 magnets. These pickups are becoming very sought after because Eddie Van Halen used them on half of the first Van Halen album. Their sounds reaches a lot further than the brown sound however. Being a classic humbucker, they nail blues and jazz tones as well, and anything in between. This makes the Rocket Roll a lot more versatile than the standard Gibson Flying V's, which are equipped with extremely HOT ceramic pickups, not suited for anything but hard rock...

Overall Impression — 10
The quality of these old Japanese copies is often measured by how well they compare to the originals. I have played many standard Gibson Flying V's and explorers, and this guitars beats them, hands down! Especially soundwise. The Ibanez sounds a lot warmer, and is more versatile. I don't know how it compares to a real 58 Flying V, or the reissue one, but it isn't that important to me. The 59 reissue costs about as much as a car, and the original as much as a house. The Ibanez Rocket Roll is an amazing guitar, still available for around a 1000 dollars, and no Gibson is able to compete against it at that price point. If it was stolen I would cry, because it is so rare, and might never have one after this one!

Reliability & Durability — 8
Now that it is repaired, the guitar seems to be rock solid, no flaws at all. Theoretically, I would play it without a backup, but because I play all kinds of music, I would take my Strat with me anyway. The only thing one must take in a count is that the neck doesn't stick very deep into the body, which makes it easy to break the neck joint. As long as you don't drop the guitar, you're fine.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I bought the guitar second hand from eBay. I received it in terrible condition. The finish was ok, but the frets were almost completely gone, and the neck was (badly) repaired. I had to take it to an expert luthier and spend about an extra 600 dollar to make it playable again. This is of course not Ibanez' fault. Now that it is repaired, it plays like a dream. The action is nice and low, intonation is precise, and it stays in tune wonderfully. Some bad points are the locations of the strap buttons and of the input jack. The strap buttons are placed on the heel and on the tip of the wing, which makes the guitar left leaning and neck heavy. The input jack is placed inside the wings, which makes it impossible to play it sitting down, and hard to stick your leg between it to strike a cool pose on stage.

Features — 9
The Ibanez Rocket Roll Sr. is a Japanese copy of a Gibson 58 Korina Flying V, that they made from 1975 to 1977. Ibanez had yet to put serial numbers on their guitars back then, but I know mine is from early 1975, because the back of the headstock isn't painted black. Being a copy of 58 Flying V, it pretty much has the same features: Rosewood fretboard, 22 frets, 24.3/4 inch scale length, 2 humbuckers, 2 volume - one tone knob, transparent yellow finish, and the gold plated hardware, including the Cadillac tailpiece. The wood differs from the original. It has an Ash body, and a maple neck, as opposed to a korina body and a mahogany (?) neck. Other differences are the headstock angle, which is a little to shallow, and the location of the input jack, in the lower wing.

27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Silverpack
    EpiExplorer wrote: I love me a V, but a copy is not an original. But that doesn't exclude this guitars capabilities I'm sure, although this quote should be altered: no modern Gibson is able to compete against it at that price point
    These Ibanez copies had so much quality that Gibson considered them a real threat on their market. This is why they even filed a lawsuit against Ibanez, and won (thus, these guitars are out of production and expensive as can be). My father had a Les Paul copy like that in his teenagehood, but he sold it years ago. Who knows how much it would be worthy today ??
    Mouloudo
    T00DEEPBLUE wrote: I seriously doubt its better than a Standard Gibson Flying V. The only reasons that you state in the review are all personal preference stuff.
    another brainwashed kid... I'm sorry man, I dont know if you like GUns N roses for example, but Slash legendary les paul wasn't a Gibson but a replica because in the Norlin era, gibson was full of it... same thing for Metallica's James Hetfield, after killing his gibson explorers, he just went with ESP and is still with them to this day playing nothing more than japanese explorer copies
    Bram_Claes
    Hey Epiexplorer, I'm the one who wrote this, and you are right, what I ment was the modern Gibson flying V's and explorer, I am sure that custom shop Gibson compete very well against this model. That being said, this guitar is top notch
    Bram_Claes
    T00DEEPBLUE wrote: I seriously doubt its better than a Standard Gibson Flying V. The only reasons that you state in the review are all personal preference stuff.
    Then play one, and get rid of all your doubts son
    DoubleBassCrash
    Yep, lawsuit era Ibanez & their early to late Eighties Ibanez guitars are where it's at. Used to be that you could find guitars like this dirt cheap in the early 2000's on ebay or in pawn shops. Their AR models used to go for $400-500, these days they're going for $1,500 & upwards... for Japanese guitars that "weren't supposed to hold their value" , they sure did get pricey. The days of getting these instruments for a steal are long gone, you can find them here and there for steal on rare occasions, craiglist or ebay, that's the seller someone doesn't know what they have. But watch out for the people that do & take out the original electronics, those Flying Fingers, Super 70's & Super 58's are coveted pickups. Wish I had the money back then to scoop these up.
    Bram_Claes
    Mouloudo wrote: cool review man, I love these " outsider" guitars, as good or even better than the original ( in your case any japanese copy destroyed the Norlin " originals"... I possess a 80's ESP les paul replica and it's killer
    Thank you! I am pleasantly surprised that it got to the front page. I hope that I will be able to divert the attention from the Gibsons to these lost gems a little. They are insane for the price, a true bang for your buck.
    EpiExplorer
    Silverpack wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: I love me a V, but a copy is not an original. But that doesn't exclude this guitars capabilities I'm sure, although this quote should be altered: no modern Gibson is able to compete against it at that price point These Ibanez copies had so much quality that Gibson considered them a real threat on their market. This is why they even filed a lawsuit against Ibanez, and won (thus, these guitars are out of production and expensive as can be). My father had a Les Paul copy like that in his teenagehood, but he sold it years ago. Who knows how much it would be worthy today ??
    Well, ya learn stuff every day.
    SISO
    I played a 1982 Rocket roll II once and loved it. If I just have had the money...
    Bram_Claes
    Air_Stryker wrote: It's rare that a "copy" / replica can as good as or better then the guitar it's based on, but these Ibanezs are one of those few exceptions. The shop I frequent has a Les Paul one on display (not for sale). Luckily as I know the manager he let me have a brief go, and I have to say it's definitely the most superb guitar I have ever played, and that's going up against 4,000 signature models and a 5,500 PRS. It sounds and feels exquisite, and I'm not sure exactly what sum of money I'd be willing to part with to get one, but it'd be a hell of a lot.
    Yeah they are absolutely insane. I don't know how they compare to PRS, never played a PRS would love to, because I feel they still make'm great I think that the general public still isn't ready for the lawsuit guitars. The user rating is dropping quickly, although I never believe they all played one, because they are so rare. Must be the Gibson owners unable to face a bitter reality:p
    Bram_Claes
    fattychronic wrote: Because a cheap copy will always be of a high quality than the original artical.
    don't say stupid things if you haven't played one + this isn't a cheap copy, the list price of these things was 400 dollars back in 1975. which would be around 320 when you bought it from a dealer. That is 1300 in 2012 dollars
    Randomrings
    I have the Ibanez V-Blade and if memory serves me right I paid less than $600 for it, it was used from an out-of-town Guitar Center. It's like this but not necessarily a direct Gibson copy (because of the spokes at the bottom). From the comments I'm reading I suppose I just got lucky or not all law-suit guitars are generally that expensive
    flaphead325
    Bruce Franklin of Trouble owns one of these, he used it a lot, really good guitar and guitarist!
    Air_Stryker
    It's rare that a "copy" / replica can as good as or better then the guitar it's based on, but these Ibanezs are one of those few exceptions. The shop I frequent has a Les Paul one on display (not for sale). Luckily as I know the manager he let me have a brief go, and I have to say it's definitely the most superb guitar I have ever played, and that's going up against 4,000 signature models and a 5,500 PRS. It sounds and feels exquisite, and I'm not sure exactly what sum of money I'd be willing to part with to get one, but it'd be a hell of a lot.
    dennis.1960
    Ibanez also made a "Rocket Roll" bass. I bought mine in Dec 1977, it was the first high quality instrument I ever owned. I loved that bass, I have a pic of it on my website http://dennis.3owl.com/23.php Just click on the middle of the top row of pictures. I eventually replaced it years later with a Rick 2001...
    OldEscape
    Bram_Claes wrote: Air_Stryker wrote: It's rare that a "copy" / replica can as good as or better then the guitar it's based on, but these Ibanezs are one of those few exceptions. The shop I frequent has a Les Paul one on display (not for sale). Luckily as I know the manager he let me have a brief go, and I have to say it's definitely the most superb guitar I have ever played, and that's going up against 4,000 signature models and a 5,500 PRS. It sounds and feels exquisite, and I'm not sure exactly what sum of money I'd be willing to part with to get one, but it'd be a hell of a lot. Yeah they are absolutely insane. I don't know how they compare to PRS, never played a PRS would love to, because I feel they still make'm great I think that the general public still isn't ready for the lawsuit guitars. The user rating is dropping quickly, although I never believe they all played one, because they are so rare. Must be the Gibson owners unable to face a bitter reality:p
    You're right about that, Bram_Claes, they aren't ready for something like this at all, they definitely vote on something they've never played, they're the people that come to this site that don't care much for Ibanez, a bunch of numb nuts voting down something they don't understand. Let us leave 'em to their straight ten squires and their two hundred dollar straight ten junk guitars, hahahaha!
    EpiExplorer
    I love me a V, but a copy is not an original. But that doesn't exclude this guitars capabilities I'm sure, although this quote should be altered:
    no modern Gibson is able to compete against it at that price point
    jeff.curran.92
    I had a 1975 Rocket Roll, a 1977 Rocket Roll, and a 1977 Destroyer. They were all awesome guitars. The 75 was every bit as good as a 58 Gibson.
    turkeyjerky214
    My uncle has an Ibanez Les Paul copy from that era. Just sits in his studio never getting played. I've tried to buy it from him numerous times, but it was his first guitar, so he'll never part with it.
    LeakyFlask
    Randomrings wrote: I have the Ibanez V-Blade and if memory serves me right I paid less than $600 for it, it was used from an out-of-town Guitar Center. It's like this but not necessarily a direct Gibson copy (because of the spokes at the bottom). From the comments I'm reading I suppose I just got lucky or not all law-suit guitars are generally that expensive
    No, they're not really super expensive, but you still were quite lucky, I'd say. I'd really like a lawsuitie myself.
    its_minchew
    I didn't care too much for the Gibson V I had...ended up trading it for a quality 7 string. Which i ended up selling for cash...also the guy that has the V Blade. isnt that a modern ibanez V?
    Mouloudo
    cool review man, I love these " outsider" guitars, as good or even better than the original ( in your case any japanese copy destroyed the Norlin " originals"... I possess a 80's ESP les paul replica and it's killer
    EpsilonJSTC
    Didn't Bob Mould play one of these in his Husker Du days?
    bennyshambles78
    Yes, this is Bob Mould's iconic Hüsker Dü guitar. He played the Rocket Roll Sr. exclusively throughout their entire existence, which says a lot about the quality of this guitar. I'd take one over an OG Gibson Flying V based on that endorsement alone. Now if only this guitar by itself would allow you to achieve that insane Metal Circus / Zen Arcade tone.... MXR Distortion + and a compressor perhaps?
    T00DEEPBLUE
    I seriously doubt its better than a Standard Gibson Flying V. The only reasons that you state in the review are all personal preference stuff.
    jeff.curran.92
    I bought a Standard Gibson V in 1978. Not the 58 style with the inline knobs and string though, the Standard style with the triangle knobs and stop tail piece. It was a wretched piece of crap compared to my Rocket Roll.