|Industry||Musical instruments manufacturing|
|Products||Electric, acoustic, resonator & classical guitars|
Electric & acoustic basses
Ibanez (アイバニーズ, Aibanīzu) is a Japanese guitar brand owned by Hoshino Gakki. Based in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan, Hoshino Gakki were one of the first Japanese musical instrument companies to gain a significant foothold in import guitar sales in the United States and Europe, as well as the first brand of guitars to mass-produce the seven-string guitar and eight-string guitar. Ibanez manufactures effects, accessories, amps, and instruments in Japan, China, Indonesia and in the United States (at a Los Angeles-based custom shop). As of 2017[update] they marketed nearly 165 models of bass guitar, 130 acoustic guitars, and more than 300 electric guitars. After Gibson and Fender, Ibanez is considered the third biggest guitar brand.
The Hoshino Gakki company began in 1908 as the musical instrument sales division of the Hoshino Shoten, a bookstore chain. Hoshino Gakki decided in 1935 to make Spanish-style acoustic guitars, at first using the "Ibanez Salvador" brand name in honor of Spanish luthier Salvador Ibáñez, and later simply "Ibanez". Accordingly, the brand originally was spelled イバニェス in Japan, reflecting the Spanish pronunciation, before changing its spelling in 1986 to the current name, which represents an English pronunciation of Ibanez.
The modern era of Ibanez guitars began in 1957. The late 1950s and 1960s Ibanez catalogues show guitars with some wild-looking designs, manufactured by Kiso Suzuki Violin,[model 1] Guyatone,[model 2][model 3] and their own Tama factory established in 1962. After the Tama factory stopped manufacturing guitars in 1966, Hoshino Gakki used the Teisco and FujiGen Gakki guitar factories to make Ibanez guitars, and after the Teisco String Instrument factory closed in 1969/1970, Hoshino Gakki used the FujiGen Gakki guitar factory to make Ibanez guitars.
Hoshino Gakki introduced Ibanez models that were definitely not copies of the Gibson or Fender designs, such as the Iceman and the Roadstar series. The company has produced its own guitar designs ever since. The late 1980s and early 1990s were an important period for the Ibanez brand. Hoshino Gakki's relationship with guitarist Steve Vai resulted in the introduction of the Ibanez JEM and the Ibanez Universe models; after the earlier successes of the Roadstar and Iceman models in the late 1970s – early 1980s, Hoshino Gakki entered the superstrat market with the RG series, a lower-priced version of their JEM series.
Hoshino Gakki also had semi-acoustic, nylon- and steel-stringed acoustic guitars manufactured under the Ibanez name. Most Ibanez guitars were made by the FujiGen guitar factory in Japan up until the mid- to late 1980s, and from then on Ibanez guitars have also been made in other Asian countries such as Korea, China, and Indonesia. During the early 1980s, the FujiGen guitar factory also produced most of the Roland guitar synthesizers, including the Stratocaster-style Roland G-505, the twin-humbucker Roland G-202 (endorsed by Adrian Belew, Eric Clapton, Dean Brown, Jeff Baxter, Yannis Spathas, Christoforos Krokidis, Steve Howe, Mike Rutherford, Andy Summers, Neal Schon and Steve Hackett) and the Ibanez X-ING IMG-2010.
Cimar and Starfield were guitar and bass brands owned by Hoshino Gakki. In the 1970s, Hoshino Gakki and Kanda Shokai shared some guitar designs, and so some Ibanez and Greco guitars have the same features. The Greco versions were sold in Japan and the Ibanez versions were sold outside Japan. From 1982, Ibanez guitars have also been sold in Japan as well.
Guitar brands such as Antoria and Mann shared some Ibanez guitar designs. The Antoria guitar brand was managed by JT Coppock Leeds Ltd England. CSL was a brand name managed by Charles Summerfield Ltd England. Maurice Summerfield of the Charles Summerfield Ltd company contributed some design ideas to Hoshino Gakki and also imported Ibanez and CSL guitars into the UK from 1964 to 1987. The Maxxas brand name came about because Hoshino Gakki thought that the guitar did not fit in with the Ibanez model range and was therefore named Maxxas by Rich Lasner from Hoshino USA.
Harry Rosenbloom, founder of the (now-closed) Medley Music of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, was manufacturing handmade guitars under the name "Elger". By 1965, Rosenbloom had decided to stop manufacturing guitars and chose to become the exclusive North American distributor for Ibanez guitars. In September 1972, Hoshino began a partnership with Elger Guitars to import guitars from Japan. In September 1981, Elger was renamed "Hoshino U.S.A.", retaining the company headquarters in Bensalem, Pennsylvania as a distribution and quality-control center.
On June 28, 1977, in the Philadelphia Federal District Court, a lawsuit was filed by the Norlin Corporation, the parent company of Gibson Guitars, against Elger/Hoshino U.S.A.'s use of the Gibson headstock design and logo. Hoshino settled out of court in early 1978 and the case was officially closed on February 2, 1978.
After the lawsuit, Hoshino Gakki abandoned the strategy of copying "classic" electric guitar designs, having already introduced a plethora of original designs. Hoshino was producing their original Artist models from 1974, introducing a set-neck model in 1975. In 1977, they upgraded and extended their Artist range and introduced a number of other top-quality original designs made to match or surpass famous American brands: the Performer and short-lived Concert ranges, which competed with the Les Paul; through-neck Musicians; Studios in fixed- and through-neck construction; the radically shaped Iceman; and the Roadster which morphed into the Roadstar range, precursor to the popular superstrat era in the mid-1980s. The newer Ibanez models began incorporating more modern elements into their design such as radical body shapes, slimmer necks, 2-octave fingerboards, slim pointed headstocks, higher-output electronics, humbucker/single-coil/humbucker (H/S/H) pickup configurations, locking tremolo bridges and different finishes.
In the 1970s, the Nisshin Onpa company who owned the Maxon brand name, developed and began selling a series of effect pedals in Japan. Hoshino Gakki licensed these for sale using the name Ibanez outside Japan. These two companies eventually began doing less and less business together until Nisshin Onpa ceased manufacturing the TS-9 reissue for Hoshino Gakki in 2002.
Ibanez Serial Numbers (non Acoustic)
Japanese Ibanez Serial Numbers
1997 and after (CE logo designation)
Most Ibanez models with this serial number format were made by FujiGen Gakki. Exceptions are the Ibanez Blazer models which were made by Dyna Gakki and the Axstar by Ibanez models AX40, AX45, AX48, AXB50, AXB60, AXB65, AX70, AX75 which were made by Chushin Gakki. The Ibanez Axstar AXB1000 model was made by FujiGen Gakki.
Korean Ibanez Serial Numbers
E = Sung-Eum
W = World
Indonesian Ibanez Serial Numbers
I = Cor-Tek (Cort) Indonesia, K = KWO
Chinese Ibanez Serial Numbers
Z = Yeou Chern, J=Sejung
Odd Ibanez Serial Numbers
Silver Cadet model
IRON LABEL ... For the ultimate in playability we took our legendary super-thin, ultra-playable Wizard neck, and upped the ante to Nitro Wizard - as fast and comfortable but with added road-tested durability. ...
Add 3-D curves to the concept of the RG and you've got the RGA. ...those curves enhance playability. ...
The RGD is Ibanez's ultimate metal machine.
The 24 fret, two-octave fretboard of the ARZ surpasses the boundaries of traditional single-cutaway guitars. ... Scale: 638mm/25.1"
The AR is a classic among Ibanez guitars. It was one of the first original designs produced by Ibanez and continues to be a sought after guitar. The AR series continues that legacy with pride. ... Set-in neck: AR720FM features smooth heel for superb playability. ... Scale: 628mm/24.75"
FR Standard - With its simple, refined body shape, the FR is a chameleon when it comes to musical genres. The Ibanez CCR pickups bring more punch to the midrange tones while the Tight-End bridge provides maximum sustain and playing comfort.
GRG miKro puts out sound way beyond its size. Perfect for young rockers on the way up or seasoned road warriors on the tour bus. ... Scale : 564mm/22.2"
The Artcore Custom is the flagship of the Artcore series, featuring beautiful maple bodies and maple/walnut set-in neck construction, producing a warm yet punchy tone. Wood control knobs and matching pickguard enhance the exquisite appearance of the Artcore Custom. ... Hand-rolled frets for ultimate playablity
Jazz and blues history is filled with the warm tones of full-hollow body guitars. The AK is the answer to those who loves traditional sweet tones and easy accessibility to higher frets. ... Slim & comfortable 3-pc Artocre set-in neck
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