Ibanez Destroyer

The Destroyer is an Ibanez brand electric guitar model (originally) manufactured by the FujiGen guitar factory for Hoshino-Gakki. The Ibanez Destroyer was first introduced by Hoshino-Gakki in 1975 and was based on the Gibson Musical Instruments' Explorer™ design. The Destroyer has since undergone several design and line changes and has been available in both 6-string and bass versions.


In the mid 1970s, Hoshino-Gakki (Ibanez) and Kanda Shokai (Greco) cooperated to produce shared Ibanez and Greco guitar models. The guitar models chosen for this joint venture were the Ibanez Destroyer/Greco Destroyer and the Ibanez Iceman/Greco Mirage. Hoshino-Gakki held the distribution rights outside of Japan while Kanda Shokai held the distribution rights for the domestic Japanese market.

The main difference between the Ibanez and Greco Destroyer was the type of pickup used. The Ibanez Destroyer had Ibanez Super-70 pickups while the Greco Destroyer had Greco U-2000 pickups. The Ibanez and Greco Destroyers were both made by FujiGen Gakki in Japan and featured set necks and bolt-on necks.


The original Ibanez Destroyer (model #2459) was an exact copy of Gibson Musical Instruments' Korina Explorer™ 6-string model. The production runs of the Ibanez Model 2459 Destroyers lasted from 1975 through 1978, inclusive.

The first Destroyer bass (model #2459B) appeared in the 1976 Ibanez catalogs and was a scaled up version of the Ibanez 6-string Destroyer, not a copy of Gibson Musical Instruments' original Explorer™ bass. For reasons unknown, Gibson chose "not" to use their famous "scimitar" headstock on the original version of their Korina Explorer™ bass.

In 1979, no Destroyer models were produced for the USA market.

Hoshino-Gakki reintroduced the 6-string Ibanez Destroyer to the USA market in 1980 with the Destroyer II line. The Destroyer II line had a slightly modified Explorer™ body shape and a completely redesigned headstock.

In 1983, the X-Series line of Destroyers was launched and thus two separate lines of Destroyers were being marketed simultaneously.

Also in 1983, Hoshino-Gakki reintroduced the Destroyer bass as part of the X-Series lineup. This new bass design had the same body and headstock changes as did the 6-string Destroyers.

"Note: the X-Series line is not to be confused with the Ibanez EX-Series line of non-Destroyer guitars released in the 1990s."

During 1984-1986, several X-Series Destroyer models (both 6-string and bass) were introduced that had star-shaped bodies, departing from the traditional Destroyer body shape. Destroyer II and other "normally" shaped X-Series Destroyer models were also offered during those same years.

In 1986, Hoshino-Gakki released the DB-800, their final Destroyer bass offering to the USA market.

By the mid to late 1980s, both the Destroyer II and the X-Series lines were phased out of the USA market although many 6-string Destroyer II models were still being produced for the Japanese domestic market well into the 1990s.

In 1992-1993, there was a European (German?) only release of a new line of 6-string Destroyers called the "DT Series". In hindsight, this turned out to be a poorly chosen name for the line as it created massive confusion due to the majority of previous Destroyer models having names in the format DT-xxx. The actual model number of this DT Series Destroyer is unknown at this point in time.

In 2000, the Ibanez Destroyer was relaunched in the USA market with a short scale, 6-string model called the DTX-120 (aka the Millennium Destroyer).

In 2002, the 6-string DT-420 (a reissue of the DT-400) was released in the USA.

The DT-200, released in 2004, is the most recent offering of the 6-string Ibanez Destroyer to the USA market.

Unfortunately, manufacturing of the DT-200 ceased in October 2005 and the USA market is, once again, without a current production model of the Ibanez Destroyer.


A common misconception was that the early Destroyers were made from "African Korina" wood. This confusion arises due to the early Gibson Musical Instruments' Explorers™ being made from African Korina wood.

African Korina (Terminalia superba or White Limba) wood was never used for any Ibanez Destroyer although the original production models were listed as having an "(African) Korina finish" (finish code = KR).

Famous Destroyer Players

One of the first notable guitarists to play a Destroyer and endorse it in advertisements was Cub Koda, guitarist for Brownsville Station, who played a Model 2459 Korina Destroyer.

Eddie Van Halen used a Model 2459 Korina Destroyer on the Van Halen 1 album for a lot of the songs such as Runnin' With the Devil and You Really Got Me. He later modified it to become the (in)famous "Shark Destroyer".

Phil Collen, the lead guitarist for Def Leppard, started playing a Destroyer II while he was a member of the band Girl but the Destroyer II didn't gain widespread attention until Collen played a modfied DT-555 while in Def Leppard.

Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith and Dave Murray can be seen playing Destroyer II guitars on the DVD Iron Maiden 'The Early Days'.

Glenn Frey guest starred in the 1985 Miami Vice TV series episode "Smuggler's Blues" and is shown playing an X-Series Destroyer.

Paul Gilbert (Racer X, Mr. Big), Matt Bellamy (Muse), and Tommy Bolin (The James Gang, Deep Purple, et al) have also played various Destroyer models throughout their careers.

Jani Liimatainen (ex Sonata Arctica) had a customized Destroyer DT-200 which was sold on eBay after he left the band. Liimatainen's DT-200's most notable feature was an inlay of the Sonata Arctica logo on the first fret.

Serial Number Formats

The first Ibanez Destroyers produced in 1975 did not have serial numbers.

Serial number usage on the Ibanez Destroyer began with the 1976 production runs and continues to this day although the format used has changed over the years.

The original serial number format is MYYPPPP.
*M = production month (A = Jan, B = Feb, ... , K = Nov, L = Dec).
*YY = production year (79 = 1979).
*PPPP = production number.

FujiGen Gakki used this format for the Ibanez guitars they made from the mid 1970s to 1987.


DT-150 and DT-155

Most of the X-Series Destroyers' serial numbers follow the format shown above, however, the early 1983 production runs of the DT-150 and the DT-155 Destroyer models have serial numbers in the format K30PPPP.

Later production runs of both the DT-150 and the DT-155 Destroyer models from Nov/Dec 1983, all of 1984, and all of 1985 have serial numbers that conform to the MYYPPPP format shown above.

Since the DT-150s and DT-155s manufactured in Nov 1983 conform to the MYYPPPP format, we know the "K" in the K30PPPP format serial numbers cannot mean a November production month. The most information we can obtain from the K30PPPP format serial numbers are a manufacturing date sometime in 1983 prior to November and the stated production number of the individual guitar.

We are assuming at this point that the K30PPPP format serial number was a factory foul up.

DTX-120 (Millennium Destroyer) - first produced in 2000

The serial number format of the Destroyer model DTX-120 (Millennium Destroyer) is FMYPPPP.
*F = production factory (W = World factory in Korea).
*M = production month (1 = Jan, 2 = Feb, ... , 9 = Sept, X = Oct, Y = Nov, Z = Dec).
*Y = last digit of the production year (1 = 2001).
*PPPP = production number.

DT-420 (DT-400 reissue) - first produced in 2002

The serial number format of the Destroyer model DT-420 is FYYM(M)PPPP.
*F = production factory.
*YY = production year (03 = 2003).
*M(M) = production month (1 = Jan, 2 = Feb, ... , 11 = Nov, 12 = Dec).
*PPPP = production number.

DT-200 - first produced in 2004

The serial number format of the Destroyer model DT-200 is FYYMMPPPP.
*F = production factory.
*YY = production year (05 = 2005).
*MM = production month (01 = Jan, 02 = Feb, ... , 11 = Nov, 12 = Dec).
*PPPP = production number.


Ibanez Model 2459 Destroyer specifications from Ibanez catalogs:

*Body Material: Ash
*Body Finish: African Korina
*Neck Material: Laminated Maple
*Neck Scale/Type: 24 3/4", Set-In
*Number of Frets: 22
*Neck Pickup: Super-70
*Bridge Pickup: Super-70
*Controls: 2 volume, 1 tone

Ibanez DT-200 Destroyer specifications from Ibanez catalogs:

*Body Material: Mahogany
*Neck Material: Maple
*Neck Scale/Type: 24 3/4", Bolt-on
*Number of Frets/Type: 22 Medium
*Fingerboard: Rosewood
*Inlay: Pearl/Abalone Block
*Bridge: BR-EG
*Hardware Color: Chrome
*Neck Pickup: Powersound 1 PSND1
*Bridge Pickup: Powersound 2 PSND2
*Controls: 2 volume, 1 tone, 3-way toggle

The most common finish for the DT-200 is Vintage Amber (VA). The DT-200 is also available with Black or Candy Apple finishes:

*BK - Black (3/2004-10/2004)
*CA - Candy Apple (3/2004-10/2005)
*VA - Vintage Amber (11/2003-10/2005)

Known/Suspected Models

In the table below:

* models are arranged (more or less) alphabetically, not in order of release
* the term "Domestic" refers to the Japanese domestic market
* please note the difference between "V-1", "V-2" and "V1", "V2"
* "PSND" means Powersound
* "S-58" means Super-58
* "S-70" means Super-70

Assumed to be a dual V-5 configuration but this is unverified

In the table below:

* models are arranged (more or less) alphabetically, not in order of release
* the term "Domestic" refers to the Japanese domestic market
* "S-J5S" means Super-J5S
* "S-J6" means Super-J6
* "S-P4" means Super-P4
* "S-P5S" means Super-P5S


Ibanez, The Untold Story by Paul Specht (Michael Wright, Jim Donahue) ISBN 0-9764277-0-2

External links

* [https://cs.hoshinogakki.co.jp/i-public/faces/Login00.jsp Hoshino-Gakki Parts Web Catalog]
* [http://www.ibanez.co.jp/anniversary/index.html Ibanez Catalogs Online]
* [http://vintageibanez.tripod.com/destroyer.html Ibanez Destroyer History]
* [http://www.ibanezwiki.com/display/DESTROYER/Destroyer+Home Ibanez Wiki web site, Destroyer space]
* [http://www.vhlinks.com/pages/interviews/evh/gp122979.php Van Halen interview about his early model Destroyer]

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