Ibanez ‘Def Leppard’ Destroyer

Missed it by THAT much…

This Friday afternoon on my way home from work, I dropped into Tym Guitars as I usually do to say hi and see what’s in the shop. Whilst chatting to Tim and casually strolling through the guitars, I spotted the back of huge black guitar across the other side of the room. I stopped talking and RAN to it as I knew what it was… a rare Ibanez ‘Phil Collens’ Destroyer!

I got to the guitar and slipped between the strings was a small piece of paper with a word written on it that shattered my little guitarnerd heart into a million pieces… ‘HOLD’. I dropped to my knees, ripped my shirt open and screamed “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”

Then I saw what the price was…

By this point I was ripping chunks out of my hair.

Resigned to the fact that I’d missed out on one of the 3 vintage Ibanez’s that I would sell body parts (not mine) for, I decided to plug in and see what it played like. Man, oh man… what a sweet machine.

I’ve always been a fan of old Ibanez’s. Growing up in a country town, for some reason there was always heaps of them around. When I was 19 I bought a rare as hell 1977 Ibanez Iceman ‘Korina’ IC300 for $400 which I still own and is one of my best playing and sounding guitars. But this particular model Destroyer to me is the epitomy of a cool rock guitar. For one thing, it was the guitar of choice for Phil Collen of Def Leppard back when they didn’t suck.

It’s got TRIPLE Dimarzio’s, plus Ibanez’s version of a Floyd Rose with so much metal in it that the term ‘over engineered’ comes to mind.

Plugged into Tim’s Mesa Boogie MkIII, it sounded like a classic rock machine. The pickups aren’t too high output, so they still have a bit of that vintage character to them. I think the size of the body helps with that too.

I was a little surprised on how slim the neck was. My 70’s Iceman neck is pretty thin, sort of like a 60’s Les Paul… but this is an 80’s shred machine… which makes sense as this guitar is from the era of shred, 1985. It’s ridiculously easy to play. The frets are jumbo, which have been slightly flattened from years of hard playing. The inlays are the gorgeous abalony inserts found on Ibanez’s higher end Artist models, which this is. There were bolt on versions of this Destroer with a Strat style tremolo as well, but this guitar is the top of the line model. Here’s an ad showing the cheaper model, along with the matching bass.

The neck still has the volute which is a carry over from Ibanez’s 70’s Icemans and Destroyers, which is great. This thing is built like a proper guitar. The set neck is solid as a rock. Ibanez really knew how to make a good guitar.

So this guitar is filed in the ‘going to haunt me for the rest of my life that I missed out on it” file…. which is a big file. Oh well, I’ll find another one out there one day. *runs from room crying*

Here’s Def Leppard in action with Phil shredding his Ibanez Destroyer…