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Ibanez Guitars
Native name
Industry Musical instruments manufacturing
Founded 1957; 60 years ago (1957) in Nagoya, Japan
Headquarters Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
Area served
Products Electric, acoustic, resonator & classical guitars
Electric & acoustic basses
Effects units
Parent Hoshino Gakki
Website Ibanez.com

Ibanez (, Aiban?zu) is a Japanese guitar brand owned by Hoshino Gakki.[1] 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). Currently, there are nearly 165 models of bass guitar, 130 acoustic guitars, and more than 300 electric guitars.[2]


Ibanez in 1960s-1970s
Montclair (1960s)
Ibanez Artist
(mid 1970s)
Ibanez Iceman

The Hoshino Gakki company began in 1908 as the musical instrument sales division of the Hoshino Shoten, a bookstore chain. The Ibanez brand name dates back to 1929 when Hoshino Gakki began importing Salvador Ibáñez guitars from Spain. After Telésforo Julve bought the company in 1933, Hoshino Gakki decided in 1935 to make Spanish-style acoustic guitars, at first using the "Ibanez Salvador" brand name, and later simply "Ibanez."[3]

The modern era of Ibanez guitars began in 1957,[4] and the late 1950s and 1960s Ibanez catalogues show guitars with some wild looking designs,[5] manufactured by Kiso Suzuki Violin,[model 1]Guyatone,[model 2][model 3] and their own Tama factory established in 1962.[3][6] After Tama factory stopped guitar manufacturing in 1966, Hoshino Gakki used the Teisco[] and FujiGen Gakki guitar factories to manufacture Ibanez guitars, and after the Teisco guitar factory (Teisco String Instrument, Company) once closed down in 1969/1970, Hoshino Gakki used the FujiGen Gakki guitar factory to make most Ibanez guitars.

Ibanez in 1980s-2000s
Ibanez JEM7VWH
Ibanez RG
 Ibanez UV777

In the 1960s, Japanese guitar makers started to mainly copy American guitar designs, and Ibanez-branded copies of Gibson, Fender and Rickenbacker models started to appear. This resulted in the so-called lawsuit period. During this period, Ibanez produced guitars under the Mann name to avoid authorities in the United States and Canada.[]

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.

Ibanez Acoustic
Pat Metheny with his signature model
Ibanez AS200
Ibanez EW20ASE (Exotic Wood)

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.[7]

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.[4] 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.[8]

The "lawsuit" guitars

Mid-1970's "Lawsuit Era" solid body, Set neck, Mann/Ibanez electric guitar

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.[9][10]

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.



Ibanez J. Custom
The J. Custom series are the most exclusive and high-end custom shop guitars Ibanez offers. They are "Envisioned to be the finest Japanese-made guitar in history". Built by some of the most skilled luthiers Ibanez has to offer, they "represent every advance in design and technology Ibanez has developed over the last 20 years". They feature aftermarket pickups (Seymour Duncan Jazz & Custom 5 in the 6 string model and DiMarzio PAF-7 pickups in the 7 string model,) 5 piece maple/wenge necks with Titanium reinforcement rods, a rosewood fingerboard with a tree of life fret board inlay, and Edge Zero tremolo systems.
Ibanez Prestige
The Prestige guitars are Ibanez's top of the line models that are built in Japan. They feature higher quality materials, high craftsmanship, and higher quality bridges compared to other models.
Ibanez Premium
The Premium guitars are similar to other models but are built in Ibanez's Indonesian premium factory to premium quality standards.
Ibanez Gio
The Ibanez Gio are Ibanez' budget guitars, designed for high playability at low costs. Many high end Ibanez guitars are recreated in the more affordable Gio form, such as the RGA and ART models.
U.S.A. custom
USA custom range. Late 1980s to mid-1990s. Also known as Ibanez LACS (L.A. Custom Shop), services only their endorsed artists today.[11]

Solid body electric guitars

Ibanez RG
A 2012 Ibanez RG3250MZ
The main characteristics that are common among all Ibanez RG guitars (RG stands for Roadstar Guitar[model 4][verification needed]) are that they feature 24 frets and use thin necks, known as "Wizard", which allows for faster playing.[model 5] The RG features a line up of guitars with both floating tremolo systems and fixed bridge systems.
Ibanez RGA
The Ibanez RGA was introduced at a time when the Ibanez RG series only had tremolo bridges. Since then, the RG series has introduced fixed bridge models, but Ibanez still produces the RGA series with an arched top to differentiate from the RG series. The arched top allows for added comfort while playing the guitar.[model 6]
Ibanez RGD
The Ibanez RGD guitar was developed for heavy metal guitar players.[model 7] The RGD features a 26.5" scale which allows for lower than standard guitar tuning while retaining standard string tension without use of thicker gauge strings. It also features an extra deep scoop cut on the lower horn for easy high fret access. Ibanez currently makes two Ibanez RGD Prestige models.
Ibanez S
Custom modified 2005 S470
The Ibanez S (Saber[model 8][verification needed]) guitar has an extremely thin body made out of mahogany, and is available in 6, 7 and 8-string models. They may come with either 22 or 24 frets, depending on year of manufacture. The standard line currently have Wizard III necks that are slightly wider and thicker than the original Wizard. All S models have bodies that are thicker in the middle where the pickups are, and taper off towards the outer edges. The guitars use ZR (Zero Resistance), Lo-TRS, and variants of the Edge bridge system as well as fixed bridges.[model 8] Ibanez currently makes 8 Prestige S-Series guitars.
Ibanez DN
The Ibanez DN guitar (DN stands for Darkstone[]) was developed for heavy metal guitar players. The main features of the DN are that it has a set-in neck for speed and playing comfort, medium frets, and coil tapped pickups. This guitar is currently discontinued.
Ibanez X
The Ibanez X guitars are Ibanez guitars that feature unconventional and unique body designs. An example would be the Ibanez Xiphos, which is stylized to look like the letter X.[model 9] For all X guitars currently available and for more information, check the Ibanez Electric Guitar page in 2013. (as of 2013, variations may be: Halberd XH300 and Glaive XG300, Mick Thomson Signature MTM100, MTM10)[clarification needed]
Ibanez Artist (AR)
The Ibanez Artist guitars were designed for heavy playing such as for heavy metal or traditional rock. The Artist ARZ is a single cutaway, 24 fret, 25" scale guitar that features a wide variety of bridges and pickups depending on the specific models.[model 10] The Artist ART is a single cutaway, 22 fret, 24.75" scale guitar that features a hard tail bridge.[model 11][verification needed] The Ibanez AR is a reissued series originating from the 70s. The AR series features a set-in neck, double cutaway, with 22 frets on a 24.75" scale.[model 12]
Ibanez FR
The Ibanez FR is a simple body type guitar that is designed to be played in many genres.[model 13]
Ibanez Mikro
The Ibanez Mikro series are small form factor guitars designed for children, beginners, or guitar players looking for a guitar that is easy to transport.[model 14]

Hollow body electric guitars

Ibanez Artcore series
The first Ibanez Artcore models were released in mid-2002 whose goal was to offer an affordable range of full-hollow and semi-hollow body guitars that appealed to entry level guitarists who were unable or unwilling to pay big money on high-priced guitars.
Ibanez Artcore Custom
Headstock from an ARTCORE series guitar
The Artcore Custom is Ibanez's flagship model for the Artcore series. The bodies of the guitars are made of maple, the neck has a set-in construction type, and features wood control knobs and hand rolled frets.[model 15]
Ibanez AK
The Ibanez AK is a guitar designed for jazz and blues type playing. It features a slim set-in neck with a body designed to easily access the higher frets.[model 16] The AK is easily distinguishable by its sharper lower body horn (Florentine cutaway ?) that other Artcore guitars do not have.[clarification needed]

Production signature guitars

PGM models
JS10th Chrome Boy

Discontinued guitars

Bass guitar models

SR (Soundgear) Series
Middle-class model range in the new millennium, though it included expensive high-end and top-of-the-line Japanese models in the late 1980s and 1990s. Later top offerings were branded as Signature and SR Prestige models for clearer segmentation, and all non-Prestige model production moved outside Japan. Current models from the SR250 and up feature soapbar-style humbuckers with active EQ.
SR Prestige
High-end versions of the Ibanez Soundgear (SR-5004/5/6 & SR-4004/5/6) Bass Guitars made in Japan using exotic woods and high-quality custom Bartolini pickups & new "PWC-III" Power Curve III 3-band EQ with EQ bypass switch to bypass the electronics and take the bass signal directly from the pickups to the output jack. All Japanese-built current production models are in the Prestige series.
SR Premium
Nordstrand pickups. Indonesian-built.
  • ARTCORE Series- Archtop Basses
    • AFB200 - Hollow-body bass guitar
    • AGB200 - Semihollow-body bass guitar
  • ATK Series
    • ATK 300 4 string model
    • ATK 305 5 string model
    • ATK 1200, the Prestige version of the standard ATK, has extra neck pickup
    • ATK 800E, to be released in 2012, a Premium version of the standard ATK. Has extra neck pickup
    • ATK 805E, to be released in 2012, a Premium version of the standard ATK. Has extra neck pickup, 5-string model
  • Blazer
  • BTB (Boutique Bass) Series
    • BTB 400QM (discontinued)
    • BTB 406QM (Special Edition 6 String Model)
    • BTB Prestige - High-end range which are made in Japan.
  • Ergodyne Series - Ergodyne stands for polymer (non-wood) body.
    • EDA Series
    • EDB Series
    • EDC Series
  • EWB Series
  • GARTB 20
  • GATK 20 - More affordable version of the ATK.
  • GAXB Series (discontinued)
  • GSR Series- A lower-cost version of the Soundgear Series
    • GSR 100 - The original GSR bass guitar (Discontinued)
    • GSR 100 EX
    • GSR 105 EX
    • GSR 180
    • GSRM 20
    • GSR 250 M
    • GSR 200
    • GSR 200 FM - The GSR but with different color designs such as sunburst.
    • GSR 205 - Nominated for Ibanez's "Best of Model" award
    • GSR 205 FM
  • ICB (Iceman) Series
  • JTK (Jet King) Series
  • JUMPSTART Series- Similar to the GSR Series, named for the Jumpstart Pack which comes with amp and other accessories.
  • Musician Series
  • ROADGEAR Series
  • SRX (Soundgear) Series
  • EX series
  • Roadstar Series
  • Roadster Series
  • S series
  • TR Series

Signature basses

K5 Fieldy
A custom 5-string Soundgear design w/ "K5" Inlay centered on 12th fret. It was based around a late-1990s then-top-of-the-line Soundgear SR885 owned by the artist, retaining the shape and electronics, but with different colour options and a change of woods to suit his preferences. Early models were Japanese-built, but production later moved to other Asian countries, around the same time Japanese models were rebranded with the Prestige moniker and positioned as the absolute top of the line.

Acoustic guitar models

  • AE Series
    • AE5LG
  • AEL Series
  • AES Series
  • AW Series
  • DT Series
  • EP9 Series
  • EW Series
  • GA Series
  • JAMPACK Series
  • MANDOLIN Series
  • MANN Series (Canadian distribution only)
  • MASA Series
  • PF Series
  • PC series
  • TALMAN Series
  • V Series
  • Concord
  • SAGE Series
  • A300AVV acoustic/electric single cutaway (Ambiance series)


Guitar Amplifiers

  • Tube Screamer
  • Iron Label
  • IBZ
    • IBZ15GR
    • IBZ10G

Bass Amplifiers

  • Promethean
  • IBZ
  • Sound Wave

Acoustic Amplifiers

  • Troubadour

Effect pedals

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
Ibanez DE7 Delay/Echo Pedal

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.

  • Tube Screamer
  • Tone-Lok
  • Airplane Flanger
  • Echo Shifter
  • 9 series
    • SD9M Distortion
    • JD9
    • BB9 Booster
  • Wah Pedals
    • WD7
    • WH10V2

Ibanez endorsers: past and present

Serial numbers


  1. ^ LTD., HOSHINO GAKKI CO.,. "Ibanez guitars". Retrieved . 
  2. ^ "Ibanez at AMS". American Musical Supply. Retrieved . 
  3. ^ a b "Hoshino Gakki History". HoshinoGakki.co.jp. 
  4. ^ a b c Ibanez: The Untold Story 2005
  5. ^ "Vintage Ibanez Guitar Site - 1960's Models, Early Imports". VintageIbanez.tripod.com. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ "Ibanez" [FujiGen and Ibanez]. Matsumoto GUITARS [Guitar manufacturers in Matsumoto City] (in Japanese). Matsumoto: Junk Guitar Museum. 
  7. ^ Rainer Daeschler. "Fujigen Gakki - From the Cowshed to the Top". Daeschler.com. Retrieved .  (based on Germany version on stratomaniac.com); Originally published as "Fujigen vom Kuhstall zur Weltspitze". Fachblatt Musikmagazin. 1987 (2). 
  8. ^ "Rich Lasner, Designer & Artist Relations, USA 1984-1989". (interview), Nuno - The Ibanez Interviews, IbanezRegister.com (1984-12-04). Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved . 
  9. ^ Zachary R. Fjestad (2008). Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars. Alfred Music Publishing. p. 331. ISBN 1-886768-74-9, ISBN 978-1-886768-74-1. 
  10. ^ "A Brief History of Ibanez Guitars: From Importer to Industry Leader". reverb.com. Retrieved . 
  11. ^ http://www.jemsite.com/other-topics-a-fun-stuff/679-usa-custom-shop
  12. ^ "Paul Stanley Guitars". Paul Stanley. Retrieved . 
  1. ^ Star Musical Merchandise Catalog No.591, Nagoya, Japan: Hoshino Gakki Ten, Inc., 1950s .
    Note: the wide variety sorts of musical instruments seen on this catalog reflect their full-time exporter business at that era. Especially, the arched-top guitars and violin-family instruments suggest the involvements of Suzuki Violin in Nagoya and its brother factory, Kiso Suzuki Violin in Kiso. Additionally, their third brother in Matsumoto, Shin'ichi Suzuki is known as a founder of the Suzuki Method, and their cultural activities significantly influenced on the establishment of FujiGen in Matsumoto, according to a co-founder of FujiGen, Yuichiro Yokouchi.
  2. ^ 1960 Star Catalog, p. 4  (Models: EG 80, EG 80-B, EG 80-H, EG 90)
  3. ^ 1961 Ibanez Electric Guitars, p. 1, 2  (Models: No.1830 (2pu), No.1850 (3pu), No.1860 (2pu with tremolo), No.1880 (3pu with tremolo), No.1950 (bass))
  4. ^ "Ibanez RG3550MZ". RG Series, Ibanez.co.jp. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-08-01.  External link in |work= (help)
  5. ^ "Ibanez RG Series". Ibanez.co.jp. 2015. 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. ... 
  6. ^ "Ibanez RGA8". RGA Series, Ibanez.co.jp. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-06-03. Add 3-D curves to the concept of the RG and you've got the RGA. ...those curves enhance playability. ...  External link in |work= (help)
  7. ^ "Ibanez RGD2127Z Prestige". RGD Series - Prestige, Ibanez.co.jp. 2015. The RGD is Ibanez's ultimate metal machine.  External link in |work= (help)
  8. ^ a b "Ibanez S Series". Ibanez.co.jp. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-08-12. 
  9. ^ "Ibanez Xiphos Series". Ibanez.co.jp. 2015. 
  10. ^ "Ibanez ARZ6UC Prestige". ARZ Series, Ibanez.co.jp. 2015. The 24 fret, two-octave fretboard of the ARZ surpasses the boundaries of traditional single-cutaway guitars. ... Scale: 638mm/25.1"  horizontal tab character in |quote= at position 151 (help); External link in |work= (help)
  11. ^ "Ibanez ART Series". Ibanez.co.jp. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-07-04. 
  12. ^ "Ibanez AR720FM". AR Series, Ibanez.co.jp. 2015. 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"  horizontal tab character in |quote= at position 305 (help); External link in |work= (help)
  13. ^ "Ibanez FR Series". Ibanez.co.jp. 2015. 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. 
  14. ^ "Ibanez miKro GRGM21". miKro Series, Ibanez.co.jp. 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"  External link in |work= (help)
  15. ^ "Ibanez Artcore Custom". Ibanez.com. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. 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 
  16. ^ "Ibanez AK95". Ibanez.com. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. 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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