Ibanez Destroyer DT-380

Ibanez Destroyer DT-380

Year: 1985

Made In: Japan

Specs: Basswood body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard

Electronics: 2 x V-5 Humbuckers

Controls: Volume, Tone & three-way switch

I have a lot of time for Japanese guitars, particularly those from the 80’s and 90’s. This one became available not too long ago at a very keen price and I was in a position to do something about it. You don’t see many of these around so I was delighted to be able to add it to the family. I’ve a bit more work to do on this one to get it where I like it, but it’s cleaning up nicely and sets up well. As Explorer types go, the Destroyer has to be among the most interesting, aesthetically. This is a heavy guitar, not just in looks, but in terms of weight too. Sonically, the V-5 pickups pack a serious punch too. This guitar is many things, but subtle isn’t one of them.

I like what Ibanez do, overall, but I don’t really get on with their skinny necks. This Destroyer, however, predates the era of the Wizard and features a fairly rounded, comfortable neck with a traditional feel. The frets are on the smaller size too, it doesn’t follow the modern template of skinny neck, huge frets. The Pro-Rock’r bridge is a little chunky and clumsy feeling. It sweeps upwards dramatically behind the strings, making right-hand muting awkward, to put it politely. Locking the strings in place with a screwed-in version of an acoustic bridge pin is, again, a little clumsier than it needs to be. The locking nut was missing some parts when I got it, so I have this one set up as a hardtail currently, with the bridge firmly held back, creating a little more right-hand space. They’ve definitely come a long way with the current Edge bridges.

It’s well built, though, sounds great and makes a statement. This guitar encourages you to indulge your darker side. It’s got personality and, despite not being without flaws, is an enjoyable one to play.

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