There are a lot of guitar stories in the BigCity. A lot of them come with names like Gibson and Fender and a lot of people follow them around like mindless lemmings, genuflecting at the sound of the names. And pay out lots of money. But luckily for you and me, there are a lot of other stories down obscure alleys and behind underpasses. Providing encounters where you come face to face and you say, “I gotta have that guitar.” And even luckier for you and me, there’s a guy on the other side saying to himself, “Oh boy, have I got a sucker on the line now!” Then for a couple hundred instead of a couple thousand clams you walk away with another cool – and usually very good – axe like no one else’s. The BigCity is full of these stories. This 1985 Ibanez XV500 is one of them.
It was a hot day in August and I was bored at work in Center City Philadelphia. Fortunately for me, no one paid attention to me at the office and that gig came with free parking. Parking with in and out privileges and no valet tips! Slip out a little before noon and you could be up I-95 in a flash, get off at Bridge Street, hang a right onto Torresdale just past the crab house and you were outside the fabled Torresdale Music where my friend Marvin held sway over piles of guitars and amps hanging and stacked everywhere in his little corner shop. It seems like a fantasy dream now.
I stepped out of the comfortable air conditioning of my car and entered the dusty tomb, like something out of Dickens. Marvin always had some sort of treasure hidden away in a stack of cases. You scan the tags and pulled out anything that caught your fancy. “What’s that?,” you ask coyly. That fateful day it was this Ibanez that greeted my gaze as I flipped open the case. Was it pink? Was it purple? Yes! One thing for sure, it sure the heck was pointy. I had no idea what it was, but I knew I had to have it. And, since I knew how Marvin coded his costs into his tags (backwards at the bottom), I walked out with my prize for two bucks.
But what did I have? As it turns out I had a relatively rare Ibanez, a relic from the hair band/pointy guitar era of the early 1980s. Fuji came up with this design toward the end of that craze and started production in January of 1985. Besides the nifty points everywhere (which are here miraculously intact), the basswood guitar features a two-tone metallic finish that splits the guitar diagonally between the pink and purple. How could you deny such a beauty? For two hundred.
Ok, but does it play? You bet. It’s well balanced and hot, with two V5 blade-pole humbuckers. Plus, Ibanez’ Pro Rock’r version of a locking top-mounted Kahler, my favorite setup. Not to mention other cool features like a slippery graphite nut and the ‘crystal cut’ edges. Oh, yeah.
In the BigCity, there’s a guitar for everyone and someone for every guitar. I guess like an eHarmony match I was one of the few for this baby. By the time this model bit the dust in November of 1985 only 626 had been made in this finish, with another 709 in I think it was a two-tone blue. I don’t know if this is a match forever like the folks think on the eHarmony commercials, but it’s the kind of guitar that’s my kind of guitar story from the BigCity.
19 thoughts on “Flip Flop Fantasy (1985 Ibanez XV500 Electric Guitar)”
I found this Ibanez XV500 today, its not the pink/purple but more of a turquoise color. Anyway, they’re asking 650 with case, has a little oxidation on the screw heads, and one very small nick on the neck, but otherwise, looks nice and well kept. Is it worth the 650?
I used to play acoustic 30 years ago with no skill, and now looking at this guitar. I bought an entry level Ibanez for my daughter, but then switched it up for a fender strat squire. Any idea or knowledge you care to pass on to me would be greatly appreciated.
My fiance has a two-toned blue of the Ibanez XV500. What is it worth? I can’t find any information and he is curious.
I have a turquoise to black with case and was told it is worth 600.00 at guitar centers. Love the action and I love the look and feel. I have several Ibenezes and this one is sturdy and take the daily use of being my road guitar. It travels everywhere with me.. it is well worth the price. I know Iwill not part with it.
I have the pink purple one xv 500. It’s in great condition. Looks new. How much is it worth?
I just bought myself the turquoise version, in Toronto. For $700 Cdn, along with a case specifically designed for it.
It plays beautifully
Looks pointy as a goddamn sharpened starfish.
I love it.
I´m from Mexico, i have found a blue Ibanez xv 500 for 450 US dollars. I heard the XV 500 is kind of good instrumet to play, i feel not sure about buying the guitar because it has some deep scars, no case included, the seller lost the tremolo bar. i love exotic shaped guitars and i know this is an ultra rare model and it could be my first and last chance to own an Ibanez xv 500. is it worth for the price?
i have a guitar Ibanez xv500 for sale, send me a e-mail (26/04/3014)
I have a Ibáñez guitar mod. XV500 for sale send me a e-mail (26/04/2015).
Hey Riceboy… I am from Toronto. I have a mint Blue Version of the XV500 I would like to offer you as trade for your purple. Cheers. Email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have this pink/purple Ibanez XV500 for sale! She’s in really good condition. Ask me : email@example.com (Hungary)
Been looking for one of these for awhile. Let me know if you wanna sell one. I’m in the US. S1268680@student.mcckc.edu
Had one for 20 years I bought new… loved the way it played, well until I’d go up the neck to play leads, got way cramped at the top, not to mention cussing every time I wanted to put it on a guitar stand. Dropped it like a hot potato when they came out with the S series and their Wizard necks.
Oh boy I love this guitar. Got a turquoise one a year ago for $430 including shipping from Guitar Center. Came with a nice case that was cut out for the body. Gave it a new set of strings and it sung like a bird.
Plan on replacine the tuners and the bridge because it started to rise up off the body though.
hi boys… i’m searching for this guitar… if some one want to sell me contact me by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Eddie from Italy
Hey Eddie I got one of these XV-500’s for ssle of you are interested, it is the blue/green model
I can be reached at email@example.com
Hi William.. i wrote you a mail the 3 november… did you reciverd it?
I am looking for one
Please send me offers
Getting ready to put one for sale on Facebook market place.It will be up by tommorow.
James if yours is still available would love to purchase from you.