The Ibanez AR5000 was built from 1980 to 82, mainly for presentation purposes at shows like the NAMM or the Frankfurt Music Fair.
It is said that there were 56 pieces built then.
In 1994 Ibanez started to release reissues of its iconic models from the 70s and early 80s. The first run was called “’80 Custom Legends” and consisted of the 2681, MC300, AR300 and the MC924 bass.
In 2007 the AR5000 was chosen to be the next one in line.
Since the 80s models were really hard to get, I decided to hunt for an AR5000RE. One late evening in October 2010, I noticed an eBay ad from a US seller which ended VERY early the next morning (Middle European time) and there were only e few bids still at a decent price. So I also made a bid with my personal limit and went to bed. But I was 100 percent sure, that somebody would outbid me.
The bigger my amazement when the next morning I saw an E-mail from eBay: “Congratulations. Your bid was winning….” 🙂
Even when including shipment and German import taxes (19%) the guitar still was a good deal. Some weeks later, I hardly couldn’t wait for it, I got the letter, that the guitar had arrived and was ready to be picked up at the customs.
Without hesitating I jumped in my car and drove to the customs near Munich Airport. It was a feeling like Xmas and Easter at the same time 😉
At the customs they told me to open the packaging and the case, to be sure the parcel’s content really was the item declared – and not a 1959 Les Paul Custom 😉 Both the case and the guitar were in really pristine condition: Mint with no wear at all. A perfect guitar and a perfect deal.
Back to the facts:
The AR5000RE is very much like the AR500. Plus it has the Vines/Tree of Life and Gold plated control knobs. The neck is 3-piece rock maple. The body is Mahogany with a 2-piece bookmatched curly/flame maple top & ivoroid/abalone binding. The Super 58 pickups have a warm and full tone and sound great both with clean and distorted settings. The 3-band-EQ adds a huge versatiltiy to the sound options. Togehter with the Tri-Sounds there hardly is a sound you can’t achieve with this axe.