Multiple TC530 guitars


The TC530 debuted in 1994 as one of the Talman series launch models! It was the very first TC body shape (production model) Talman, and was offered in a wide array of colors/finishes. All TC530 models have faux birdseye gravure necks, lipstick pickups (designed by Kent Armstrong) and a Resoncast body that features a "sound cavity" route under the pickguard.

These guitars were made in Japan at the legendary Fujigen factory. The debut Talmans (TC530, TV650, TV750) were also the first Ibanez® guitars to feature Korean hardware. The pickups and entire pickguard assemblies were built in Korea, then shipped to Japan to be dropped into the guitar bodies.

Early serial numbers show that production of the TC530 started sometime in mid to late 1993 (same as the TV650 and TV750).

Ibanez's catalogs and marketing materials from this era compare the debut Talmans to Danelectro® guitars because of their similar composite bodies and unique funky tone. It's important to note, Ibanez made some of the design decisions (Resoncast bodies, gravure finishes, Korean hardware) to keep the prices of these Japanese made guitars competitive as the US dollar's value decreased rapidly against the Yen.

The TC530 was replaced after one model year by the TC630. They are nearly identical guitars, but there are differences. Most notable are the TC630's dramatic reduction in finish choices, Ibanez TT50 tremolo bridge, pearloid pickguard, metal knobs, and non-gravure neck.

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  • model years 1994, 1995
  • made in Japan (Fujigen)
  • sold in AA, EU, JP, NA, USA
  • finishes
    • Azure Blue Burst (ABB)
    • Black (BK)
    • Cedar Brown Sunburst (CBB)
    • Dark Green Burst (DGB)
    • Gravure Flame Amber (GFA)
    • Gravure Flame Green (GFG)
    • Gravure Flame Smoke Grey (GFS)
    • Ivory (IV)
    • Pale Blue (PB)
    • Pale White (PH)
    • Royal Orangeburst (ROB)
  • original list prices (USA)
    • $659.95 (GFA) ⇒ $1,332.24 (in 2023)
    • $599.95 (ABB, ROB) ⇒ $1,211.11 (in 2023)
    • $549.95 (BK, PB) ⇒ $1,110.18 (in 2023)
  • original list prices (JP)
    • ¥50,000 (GFA, GFG)
    • ¥45,000 (BK, CBB, PB)
Preview of Azure Blue Burst finish
selected finish Azure Blue Burst (ABB)
available years 1994
available regions AA, EU, USA
A TC530 Resoncast body (in ABB finish)

Resoncast body

All TC530 bodies are made of a composite wood material Ibanez marketed as "Resoncast". It's a compressed mixture of resin and alder sawdust, better known as MDF.

Sky lipstick pickups

Lipstick pickups

Designed by Kent Armstrong. "Sky" lipstick pickups are potted and sealed in epoxy. They avoid the problems of vintage lipsticks (microphonic, noisy and inconsistent) while beautifully recreating their unique voice.

Closeup detail of gravure birdseye maple finish

Gravure birdseye neck

The "Birdseye" neck and headstock is actually a printed finish applied over the real wood (non-birdseye maple). Ibanez did this to make the early Talman guitars look more upscale and remain affordable.

Gotoh branded tuners

Gotoh® tuners

A lot of Talman guitars likely have tuners made by Gotoh (for Ibanez, unbranded), but the TC530 actually came with tuners that have the Gotoh brand stamped into the back!

Ivory single ply pickguard

Single ply pickguard

The 1-ply, ivory pickguard is a unique feature only found on TC530 models (out of all electric Talmans made thus far). If you see it, that's a pretty good indication you've found a TC530!

Multiple TC530 guitars together (in different finishes)

Amazing finish options

One of the largest and best collections of available finishes for a Talman! Includes solid painted colors, bursts, and gravure finishes (printed, simulated high-end wood texture). Shown (left to right): ABB, ROB, IV.

Front of a TC530 Royal Orangeburst
TC530 in ROB finish. Note, the knobs have yellowed with age and look like a cream / off-white color now. I personally love the way they look with the ROB finish.
The back side of two TC530 guitars
The back side of two TC530 guitars
Closeup of TC530 guitar controls
Closeup of TC530 guitar controls. Note, the volume knob shows a little damage on the upper edge, the screws are tarnished, and the switch tip is cracking and showing rust stains. Combined it gives this guitar a nice patina and vintage vibe.
TC530 "sound cavity" body route (pickguard removed)
TC530 "sound cavity" body route (pickguard removed)
Closeup view of an Ivory (IV) TC530 fretboard and red pearloid pickguard
Closeup view of an Ivory (IV) TC530 fretboard and red pearloid pickguard
Front of TC530 headstock
Front of TC530 headstock with truss rod cover and strings removed.
Red ink stamp reading TV-650, on the back of a TC530 neck
Rear base of TC530 neck, showing TV-650 stamp in red ink
Rear of TC530 headstock
Early TC530 serial number (placement at top rear of headstock) showing this guitar was built in November 1993


  1. Source: Specht, Paul, et al. "The Third Decade." Ibanez - The Untold Story. Hoshino (U.S.A.) Inc., 2005, p. 193. 
  2. The US dollar had started declining (vs. the Yen) in 1990. Here's an article from '94 to give some context: Pollack, Andrew. NYTimes, 27 June 1994, Currency Turmoil Weighing on U.S. and Japan; Dollar Declines To a Record Low Against the Yen  
  3. Model year is not always the same as production year. For example, the earliest Talmans built will have a 1993 production year, serial number (F3xxxxx), but are considered 1994 model year guitars. The Talman was introduced and first sold in 1994. 
  4. The TC530 was only sold in Japan in 1995, and it was sold alongside the TC630 for the same price (¥45,000), in the same 2 finishes (BK, PB)! 
  5. Region info is based on catalogs listed on the current Ibanez website (which might not be totally reliable). AA = Asia & Africa. NA = North & South America and Oceania. USA region includes Canada (at least in modern times, it's not clear if that was true in 1994-1995). The EU catalog for 1994 is also listed in the AA region. A 1994 supplement catalog is listed in AA, EU, NA and USA regions, but this supplement was likely not truly released in the USA; there is no real world indication that the PH finish was ever sold in the USA. 
  6. Source: official Ibanez Dealer Price Lists from 1994 (via Ibanez Rules). Archive link (wayback machine): 1994 Ibanez Price lists 
  7. Sources: 1994 Talman catalog (Japan) [PDF], 1995 Ibanez catalog (Japan) [PDF] Archive links (wayback machine): 1994 Talman catalog (Japan), 1995 Ibanez catalog (Japan) 
Last updated: 2023-03-03