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Vintage Ibanez Guitar Site

Ibanez Destroyer and Rocket Roll

pix of DT modelsThe Destroyer is based on the classic shape of Gibson's Explorer model, and the Rocket Roll model was based on the Flying-V. Ibanez simply added a slight "over-hang" in a couple of spots and dubbed them the "Rocket Roll" and "Destroyer" models. First appearing as a Korina wood copy in 1974 (a copy of Gibson's "Moderne" was also produced in very small quantities) both guitars were discontinued due to a failed lawsuit (by Gibson) in 1976. Then, around 1980, the models were slightly reshapen and proved quite popular, especially amongst young guitar players, mostly due to the fact that they were a great guitar at a cheap price.

* NOTE: As of 1998, the Destroyer is still being sold by Ibanez in Japan. My 1996 Ibanez catalog show the "DT" series on page nine. The DT400 is the only model available and comes finished as either red or black. The DT400 has a bolt-on neck and fret markers like the PS model Iceman. They also have 2 humbuckers and no whammy bar is available.

Finding a Destroyer these days is not as hard as finding an Iceman model, but finding a Rocket Roll is a bit more difficult. Pawn shops and music stores are, of course, the most likely spots to check - along with online auction sites like ebay.com and yahoo.com. Used Destroyers are selling anywhere from $250 to $600, and Rocket Roll models about the same. There are several models out there and in 1984 they introduced a bass model, the DT-650. Most of the models I've seen are equiped with either two or three pickups, mostly bolt-on-neck types.

One of the first notable celebrities to play the Destroyer (and endorse it in advertisements) was Phil Collen, lead guitar player of the band Def Leppard. Although Phil started playing the Destroyer while still in the band Girl, it wasn't until he joined Def Leppard that he started getting international attention and that helped get the Destroyer model noticed by a legion of adolesecent teens.

pix of Phil Collen model There was a Phil Collen Model made around '83 or '84. I don't have much info on it except the scan on this page, from the cover of "Guitar for the Practicing Musician", December 1983.
Here's a quote from the article in the magazine where Phil mentions the Destroyer;

My amp setup is the same as Steve's. But while I was in Japan I designed an Ibanez guitar. It's basically a Destroyer model with two Ibanez pickups and one DiMarzio Super Distortion pickup, and a Kahler Tremelo arm. The Kahler is great, I can't get the guitar out of tune if I try."
This is the only mention of the Destroyer in this article.
If you have any info, especially an old advertisement or photo or
something similar, please let me know so I can add it to this page.

I ordered a new DT-400 from Sam Ash music (they're located in New York) in 1982. This was the top-of-the-line model at that time and only cost me about $350 with case! It had the beautiful, highly figured "tiger-maple" top on it. I ordered that guitar sight-unseen through the mail, because my local music store (I lived in Wyoming, remember) wouldn't carry that "radical" guitar. They figured it wouldn't sell. I knew it would sell, and since it was cheap to order through the mail, I gave it a shot. It was worth every cent. The truth is, I only bought it to resell it, figuring I could make some bucks on it. And I did. I sold it for $500 three months later. I wish now.....{sob,cry} that I still had it.

82 DT400

Update - Dec 1999 - I won an ebay auction for a 1982 DT400! So now I've got my old Destroyer back, with flamed-top, just like I sold years ago. And the kicker to this story? I only paid $250 for it! I swear to you - watching those auction sites can really pay off.


Guitar Gallery

New Images Added!
Destroyer models

Rocket Roll models

X-body DG & Rocket Roll & Bass

Close-up of the DG model

Destroyer Bass

Rob M.Woning's Destroyer & Iceman . Thanks for the scans, Rob! His Email; a.at.dawn.media@tip.nl

A couple of catalog images of the Destroyer, from Japan. Image #1 | Image #2

Photo of my DT-400 from 1982

Scan of DT-155 and DT-650 from an ad in a 1984 Guitar Player magazine

Custom finished Iceman & Destroyer models. Looks like a $1000 paint job! But it's really just a glossy notebook cover held on with double-sided tape!

Playing my DT-155 live - this one has a "fake" custom paint job. I recently had to sell it to finance a new PS10-II Iceman. I got $250 for it.

The Ibanez Iceman Model page




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