MC350

In retrospect I had no idea what I was doing back in 1981 when I was looking for a new guitar.  I had been playing the Travis Bean for four years but Max Creek was getting ready to record “Drink The Stars” and the Bean had intonation issues because of the aluminum neck, so it was time.  I had been looking around and I read a bunch of things about a guitar that Ibanez had on the market, the Musician series, patterned somewhat after the Artist model that Bob Weir was using at the time.  There seemed to be a few models of Musicians, some with active EQ and some without; some with “dual sound” pickups and some with “tri sound” pickups.

Creek had a weekend playing at Jonathan Swift’s in Harvard Square so since we were hanging out in Boston on Saturday a few of us when to Wurlitzer Music in Boston to check out what they had.  It turns out that they had one model of Ibanez Musician, an MC350.  I played that thing for probably an hour in the store and every five minutes this very rude sales dude would come over asking if I was going to buy the thing.  At one point he asked, “Do you even have money?”  Yes, you dick, I have money.

Long story short, I did get the MC350.  And I still use it today.  It’s pretty much all original except for some brass knobs to replace the plastic ones, and a small wiring change I made in 1985.  But all the hardware, including the pickups, is original.

Well, relatively recently I found out some information about this particular model.  There were only 84 of them ever made, and mine is one of the earliest ones, and one of the few made in 1981.  Most of the rest were made in 1982.

A couple weekends ago I had the rare experience of seeing one of these other MC350s.  My friend John is a collector and brought his to a Creek show and we couldn’t help but take some photos of the twins:

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12 thoughts on “MC350

  1. Nice, I saw the photo but it was cool to hear the history…especially the “Yes I have money..Dick” part. Well that guitar has brought me many good times over the last 30 years hearing you play it…so thanks for that. It is amazing how you play it so effortlessly yet it’s impact on so many has been enormious it can’t be put in words…only music.

    ~Cheers
    Peter Benson(Wheels)

  2. Thanks for the lowdown on your guitar Scott. Just as Zeppelin fans hail Pages les paul, or Hendrix, Clapton,or Gilmour fans cherish their strats, I hold the Ibanez 350nt in parallel esteem. Your my favorite guitar player hands down, you and that guitar and the rest of Max Creek have brought me unmeasurable joy for many years. I definately have a thirst for knowledge of anything about your gear. I knew that you controlled your coils with your tone pots,but Ive always been curious as to when but was afraid to ask and now I know.Thank you for sharing.

  3. Awesome guitar. Musician series was developed with Weir’s input and Jeff Hasselberger from Ibanez who worked VERY closely with Weir in designing a few models (first the 2681 then the Cowboy Fancy Artists) The MC’s were originally designed with Jerry Garcia in mind. They already had Weir playing Ibanez and tried to get Jerry too. They have a similar shape to the Irwin Wolf and Ibanez made a few MC’s directly for Jerry with his effects loop already installed. Jerry used them on a handful of occasions but ended up going back to Wolf, and then Tiger a year later. They also employed the “hippie sandwich” + Neck Through construction method which Alembic was doing at the time (and still does). One Weir “idea” that made it to the MC and was also employed on his “Cowboy” artists was the oversize Headstock. Weir maintained that the additional mass up top helped with Sustain. Don’t know if it does or not. Anyway, the Ibanez MC’s are incredibly made guitars that still hold up today. Wish I could find an MC350!

  4. Oh man that was fun! A terrific night and one of the finest venues for a Creek Show.

    Those are two of the sweetest guitars ever created. Of the 84 that were originally made we have located 11 that still exist today. And… that has taken years and years of searching. Scott, yours is in fact the earliest/oldest that is known. If anybody knows of another we would love to hear from you!

    Next time the Alembic, I promise.

    Thanks!

    • Hello,

      I inherited an MC350 NT from my brother. I looked up the serial # and it’s an 82. The front pick up doesn’t work, going to get it fixed. I played it in college, and now I have it back.

      Contact me if you want more info. Leave a reply if you need my contact info. I’d like to learn more about these guitars too!

      Chris

  5. Pingback: Hidden Track » HT Interview: Scott Murawski Part One – Jungle Jam, Mike Gordon, BK3 and Languedoc vs. Ibanez
  6. Hi there! I found this page looking for “MC350NT”, because I have got one (my first real six string in 1982) fo 31 years now, and – have found another one, also from Dec. 1981, in absolutely mint and unplayed condition! So now the sisters are together again…

  7. Hey Scott- I really appreciated the story behind that guitar. I concur with what others here have said. To me that instrument (in your hands particularly–but I’ve never seen anyone one else playing that model or anything very similar to it) is as iconic as just about any other guitar out there. I actually stumbled on a used what I think must be an MC150, pearl colored, in Scituate, MA. This was in 1990 or so, and I bought it for $350–very much in homage to you and yours. I still have it and play it regularly. It’s pretty, but not like yours. Great pictures here of the “sisters!” Need to come see you play that thing again soon. I’m in Burlington, VT now and did see you at Radio Bean about a year ago. Anyway, cheers!

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