This bass has a rock and roll soul! Epic 1977 Ibanez Challenger bass that has miraculously made it this far with it's original case! Super awesome guitar with tons of Detroit Rock City Vibes.

This is the bass that Lex would play in Detroit Rock City. I just checked and no it's not the exact one, but if I were in charge of set design for that triumphant film I would have put this one in the lineup of potentials. This bass was born to play Kiss covers in a Midwest basement in the late 70's. I didn't grow up in a part of the world that has basements, and the concept of a basement has long fascinated me. Playing this bass connects me to the great basements of 1970's America that I missed out on, I can feel the shag carpet gripped between my toes. 

Thanks for sticking with me through that. Seriously, this bass rocks. It's from the golden age of Japanese guitars, when Japan was swooping in and replacing the faltering American brands with equal and better versions of their own designs. Like it or not, it was true. American guitars that had paved the way and led the race for a long time up until the 70's were on the sidelines gasping for air while Japan was bolting by them with all the energy in the world. If you leave a vacuum, don't be surprised when it gets filled, because it just will be. Fender and Gibson guitars at this time were becoming boat-anchor heavy, with badly selected, dried, and cut pieces of wood. One of Japan's many rebuttals was to offer much lighter models that were slimmer and more nimble, and that you didn't have to be a literal giant like Gene Simmons to play. A lot of 70's Fenders are just unplayably heavy, the idea of playing them with a strap at a show is just so not realistic. This Ibanez is crazy light at just over 8lbs and super well balanced, it's awesome. 

As an instrument, I couldn't ask for a better bass. It sounds and feels awesome. There's full access across every position of the neck, every place feels really good and every fret and note has clarity and strength. The sunburst is killer, and it miraculously still has the original bridge cover. I'm including one of my foam bridge mutes, it's a small piece of foam that can be slid in and out. It was the signature sound of Carol Kaye, the great session bass player of the wrecking crew. According to her there were $10,000 compressors that were made that modeled the sound that she got with a tiny piece of foam that she ripped off a folding chair in the studio. It naturally compresses and perfectly subdues the attack of the tone, it's an awesome trick and a great little accessory that really makes any bass into two basses. Sometimes people see that mute and freak out for some reason. I have had this happen. They just can’t handle it. They respond like a flat-earther being shown pictures from the Hubble telescope. It’s like the ongoing discussion I’ve had with my dad about how your email is not in one individual computer like an actual mailbox. At a certain point I just have to let him believe what he wants to believe. People are like that with the bass mutes. The beauty of that bridge cover is that the mute can tuck discretely inside, and your secret of the amazing muted tone is safe and sound without catching anyone’s panicked gaze.

There's a bit of wear, but nothing unexpected with a bass of this type and age. It's an awesome player. the frets are in great shape, it's ready for the studio the day you get it. I believe it is all original right down to the red pearloid knobs that match the pickgaurd! That’s awesome. Comes with the original case that is complete with period-correct stickers. That KISS sticker is looking the part, if you buy this you must swear an oath to let that sticker remain there forever. Killer Bass!

Listed4 months ago
ConditionVery Good (Used)
Very Good items may show a few slight marks or scratches but are fully functional and in overall great shape.learn more
  • Challenger Bass
  • 1977
Made In
  • Japan

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Magnetic Heaven Music

San Diego, CA, United States
Joined Reverb:2014

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