Ibanez 523 style F (made in Japan) mandolins from the 70s are well-respected and fairly affordable as far as vintage, fully-carved, F-style instruments go. This probably dates to just around 1976-78 but aside from the Ibanez headstock inlay there’s no other “data” to go on for verification. Thankfully, though, Ibanez provides scans of all their old catalogs for free (awesome).
The neck joint broke at a certain point in time and was badly repaired. Becasue of her great tone, we took her to Spruce Guitars for a proffesional repair as well as a necessary light fret dress. She now plays spot-on with hair-below 1.75mm action at the 12th fret and a choppy, barky tone.
This Ibanez 523 is fitted with nickel hardware. If you want 50 year old tone, you have to play a 50 year old instrument. The old lady looks great now and play very smooth now! Solid top, solid back and sides and new strings. No case, sorry.
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