Vintage Ibanez - Ibanez Style and Grace in Cyberspace! DestroyerRocketRoll

The early Destroyer, Rocket Roll and Futura Originally the Destroyer was an exact copy of the original korina Gibson Explorer. This first appeared in the mid seventies and the quality of this model helped fuel the lawsuit fire that burned in Gibsons belly. These early models are quite collectable and sell for approximately $600 - $1100. Also produced were equally quality copies of korina Flying V's and the Gibson Moderene from 1958. This Ibanez trio of Gibson korina copies are fairly sought after and the three together sell for anywhere from $2000 to $3500 (that's asking prices, anyway).

The Destroyer II is based on the classic shape of Gibson's Explorer model, and the Rocket Roll model was based on the Flying-V. Around 1981, after the lawsuit, Ibanez simply added a slight "over-hang" in a couple of spots and dubbed them the "Rocket Roll II" and "Destroyer II" models. These models proved fairly popular, especially amongst young guitar players, mostly due to the fact that they were a great quality guitar at a cheap price. And odd shaped guitars were in style in the early eighties.

pix of DT models

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

Finding a Destroyer or Destroyer II these days is not as hard as finding an Iceman model, but finding a Rocket Roll or Rocket Roll II 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 and Used Destroyers and Rocket Rolls are selling anywhere from $500 to $1000, and the Rocket Roll II and Destroyer II models about $250 to $600. These are the prices I've seen them sell for at the online auction sites. In the various guitar stores they are usually priced higher as the store has much more overhead than any individual seller does.

pix of  DT555, played by Phil CollenOne of the first notable celebrities to play the Destroyer II (and endorse it in advertisements) was Phil Collen, lead guitar player of the band Def Leppard. Although Phil started playing the Destroyer II 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 II model noticed by a legion of adolesecent teens. There was a Destroyer II made (DT555) that Phil Collen played around '83 or '84. I have a catalog page that features the DT555 and this guitar is NOT actually called a "Phil Collen Model". But this particular model is popularly refered to as such. Here's a scan 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 DT555 Destroyer II in this article.
If you have any more info, especially an old advertisement or photo or
something similar, please let me know so I can add it to this page. Incidently, Rick Nielson of Cheap Trick did appear in a very early Destroyer ad from about 1976, when the Destroyer was an exact copy of Gibson's Explorer.

There are a lot of Destroyer II and Rocket Roll II 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.

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 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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