The AR500 was released in 1979 and was the successor of the so called Steve Miller 2622 model. In contrast to the 2622, it had two Tri-Sound-Switches and a master tone control plus a status LED showing if the EQ is turned on.

First the AR500 was equipped with Super 80 pickups and had a thinner body like the 2622 or 2619. Somewhen in the end of 1979 to the mid of 1980, the pickups were changed to Super 58s and the body got the thicker and more heavy version like the AR300.
Also the Cherry Sunburst finish (CS) was introduced, what should become famous in the “Catch The Tiger” ads in the 80s.

The guitar shown here is a H80 model from August 1980 and has got all the new specs like the bookmatched maple top with the tiger stripes, also the Super 58 pickups and the thicker body.

According to Jim Donahue, these are the production numbers of the AR500 over the years:

AR500 production numbers / Jim Donahue

AR500AV 109
AR500BK 7

AR500AV 276
AR500BK 46
AR500CS 84

AR500AV 342
AR500CS 280

AR500AV 282
AR500CS 164

Total per finish

AR500AV – 1009
AR500CS – 528
AR500BK – 53

Total built
AR500 – 1590