Ibanez RB800 Roadstar II Bass: Identification

April 4th, 2011 by dontai


Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: body finishes were black, pearl, red, fountain blue[/caption]

Ibanez basses are difficult to identify. They often have no specific model numbers written on the bass. After heavy use these model markings can wear off, making identification of vintage models difficult. Many sellers using Craigslist and Kijiji will also post poor photos of basses, making ID very difficult. This post will positively identify the Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, as well as provide related internet links. There is actually very little information about this Made in Japan, Fugigen factory 1987 model on the internet, so every little bit helps.

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: Neck connects to body with 4 Philips head bolts and washers

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: Neck connects to body with 4 Philips head bolts and washers

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: body finishes were black, pearl, red, fountain blue

The Ibanez RB800 has the model label on the bass body to the left of the strings and just above the neck pickup. This area is prone to heavy use and scratching with the thumb and pick. Over time the label will wear off. On the black version, you can tilt the bass and in the right light, you will still be able to read the “Ibanez RB800″ label as well as “Ultimate Expression of Craftsmanship” byline. Reading this is very difficult.

Putting the model label in this location was a mistake. While it might be Ok for a guitar, it is terrible for a bass. Most other Ibanez bass models do not use this location, thankfully.

Another interesting feature of the RB800 is the triangular headstock. I read somewhere that they were then sued by Hamer for the triangular headstock design, and therefore were not used in subsequent versions. The triangle tilts more to the right than the left. There is no make nor model marking on the headstock itself. The truss bar cover is plastic and is marked “Roadstar”, but because it is a black cover on black varnish, this will not be easily seen in a photo.

The fretboard has a full 2 octaves, 24 frets. Double dots are used on the 12th and 24th fret. The neck is bolted on the back using 4 bolts. Between the end of the fretboard and the neck pickups is a sloped piece of plastic that transitions the fretboard to the level of the body in one smooth curved surface. This plasic piece is glued to the fretboard and is part of the neck.

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: Label to left of strings on body a bad design

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: Label to left of strings on body a bad design

The neck is lovely. The bass is a 34″ scale. The neck is very slim, only 3.9cm/1.5″ at the top of the neck, making playing very easy. The neck cross dimensional shape fits the hand very nicely. I find the bass very easy to play.

The RB800 uses active EMG pickups that use a 9v battery. There are two pickups at the neck and one very wide pickup at the bridge. All are marked EMG in white uppercase lettering. There are 4 knobs, but I find it difficult to understand them. They are supposed to be 1 volume (nearest to pickups), 2 EQ (one for each pickup, cuts treble) and one balancer (nearest headstock). While I can identify the balancer, the others are not so clear to me. Maybe when I play more it will be more clear.

The back cover is held closed using 4 Philips head screws. The cover needs to be removed to change the batter and to service the electronics. The cover is made of plastic.

I do not know much about bass bridges. There are adjustments for intonation and string height, all individual to each string. I have not messed with this. The bridge is marked with an embossed Ibanez label.

There are four Ibanez labeled tuners. They are marked “Smooth Tuner BII”. Each tuner is held to the headstock with two Philips head screws. The tuners work very well and the bass does not easily go out of tune. The plastic truss rod cover is labeled “Roadstar”.

The finish is a deep black laquer, which seems very hard wearing. It is also very difficult to keep clean. Black seems to attract a lot of dust and I can never seem to keep it clean. I use Lemon Pledge, which gives the bass a lovely shine.

Links:
-RB800 bass on Youtube. He is really good.
-Used on Ankorage Craiglist: most likely out of date or removed
-comments from Big Al on Guitarsite
-Two photos of a black RB800
-specs: Dated to 1987




BODY BASSWOOD
NECK 3Pc MAPLE
ALL ACCESS JOINT
SCALE 34"
FRETBOARD ROSEWOOD
INLAY DOT
BRIDGE
TAILPIECE / NUT
OMNI-ADJUST
HARDWARE COSMO BLACK
PICKUP
CONFIG
PICKUP’S LO-P
LO-J
CONTROL 1VOL 2EQ
1 BALANCER
FINISHES BK (BLACK)
PL (PEARL)
PR (PEARL RED)
FB (FOUNTAIN BLUE)
Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: 1987 Ibanez catalogue

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: 1987 Ibanez catalogue

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: tuner labeled Ibanez Smooth Tuner BII

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: tuner labeled Ibanez Smooth Tuner BII

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: Truss rod cover labeled Roadstar

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: Truss rod cover labeled Roadstar

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: Active EMG pickups powered by a 9v battery

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: Active EMG pickups powered by a 9v battery

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: bridge labeled Ibanez

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: bridge labeled Ibanez

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: rear cover used 4 Philips head screws

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: rear cover used 4 Philips head screws

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: electronics use a 9v battery and no ICs. Click for larger photo

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987: electronics use a 9v battery and no ICs. Click for larger photo

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987 in Fountain Blue

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987 in Fountain Blue

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987 in Fountain Blue: tuners

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987 in Fountain Blue: tuners

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987 in Fountain Blue: headstock

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987 in Fountain Blue: headstock

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987 in Fountain Blue: back

Ibanez Roadstar II RB800 electric bass, 1987 in Fountain Blue: back

Ibanez RB800 Roadstar II electric Bass, 1987 in black: front

Ibanez RB800 Roadstar II electric Bass, 1987 in black: front

Ibanez RB800 Roadstar II electric Bass, 1987 in black: front2

Ibanez RB800 Roadstar II electric Bass, 1987 in black: front2

4 Responses to “Ibanez RB800 Roadstar II Bass: Identification”

  1. Tony Says:

    Nice guitar, my friend has and loves it! beware of scatchs from clip on tuners on the headstock though. He uses the GoGo TT-1 and doesn’t scratch at all. Also Planet Waves ct-10 works.

  2. Mick Says:

    Hi,
    I don’t know where to ask this, so I’m asking here.
    Do you know where a replacement “Ibanez RB800. The Ultimate Expression Of Craftsmanship” decal can be found?
    Any help is appreciated.

    Thank you

    [Don: I don't know. Mine has also faded to near nothing.]

  3. Elaine Says:

    Love these basses. I’m trying to find one to buy in S. Ontario. I noticed this blog has “(Canada)” in the title… where are you located and if you’re in this area, do you have an Ibanez RB800 Roadstar II bass to sell, by any chance?

  4. Gahlord Says:

    Elaine, I have one in good shape (works great though I feel the same about the knobs, that they don’t really do much, cosmetically in good shape, a couple small dings, decal is perfect because I don’t play with a pick, had it since 1989). I live in Vermont.

Leave a Reply