If you wanted a total history of Ibanez you´d have go back to 1908 when a company named Hoshino began as a sheet music store and later music products distributor in Nagoya Japan.

If you wanted a little less completeness than that you´d go back about forty-five when Hoshino began distributing a Spanish guitar named Ibanez. Or perhaps you´d simply go to the Mid 60´s when Hoshino, who by that time had purchased the rights to the Ibanez name, began shipping incredibly funky looking guitars to the United States, many of which were actually sold in department stores.

But for most of us, Ibanez pretty much begins almost 30 years ago, when Hoshino opened an office near Philadelphia, PA for more efficiently distributing Ibanez guitars to the United States. Most of those guitars were Ibanez´ famous high quality (but very inexpensive) copies of just about everything–you name it, we probably made a version of it. At that time many American instruments were going through an unfortunate period of increasing prices with decreasing quality, and these copies hit a ready market.

But the people with Ibanez weren´t content with just copying and Ibanez began making their own designs: the solid body Artists (played by Bob Weir of the Dead) the Iceman (first made famous by Paul Stanley of KISS) and the George Benson guitars, the first jazz boxes designed for higher volume stage playing. Many of these “first” Ibanez guitars continue to increase in value and a good number are now highly prized collector´s items.By 1976, the Ibanez copy era officially came to an end when one of the major American guitar manufacturers–no longer amused by the copiers–successfully sued the highest profile copier, Ibanez. But by that time it didn´t matter–Ibanez had already left the copies behind and was fast becoming an innovative guitar company in its own right.

By the mid-80´s with the interest in instrumental rock guitar on the rise, Ibanez collaborated with players such as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Paul Gilbert and brought out the JEM, JS, RG and S models. Today, present day versions such as these models still considered the standard in hard rock and instrumental rock guitars.

As well known for its jazz guitars as it is for rock, Ibanez has an impressive line of jazz boxes including the aforementioned George Benson models, two Pat Metheny models, and most recently, the new John Scofield signature semi-acoustic.One final note…Ibanez is also one of the top selling bass companies in the world (in many places the top selling bass). Ibanez first drew attention in the 70´s and 80´s with its neck-thru Musician basses with active electronics. Today, Ibanez offers the huge number of 4, 5, and 6 basses in the Soundgear as well as the basses of the future, the luthite-bodied Ergodynes.

The Hoshino Gakki company began in 1900 as a musical instrument sales division of the Hoshino Shoten bookstore company. In 1935 they began manufacturing their own stringed instruments. The company had little presence in the Western world until the mid-1960s.

Harry Rosenbloom, of Medley Music, based in Ardmore, PA, 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. At the time, the phrase “made in Japan” was considered to have negative connotations of low quality, so Hoshino Gakki and Rosenbloom wanted to distribute the instruments under a “non-Japanese” name. Hoshino had recently acquired a small Spanish guitar company named Ibáñez, and it was decided to market the instruments under this brand name. In 1981 Hoshino purchased Elger Guitars, renaming the company “Hoshino U.S.A.” and retaining the company headquarters in Bensalem, Pennsylvania as a distribution and quality-control center.

In the early 1970s Ibanez began making guitars that were almost exact copies of popular models by Gibson, Fender and Rickenbacker. Using somewhat cheaper materials and greater automation in manufacturing, they were able to sell these guitars for a significantly lower price than the originals. The low price combined with the relatively high quality of the guitars made these models very popular. Many guitar aficionados feel that the early- and mid-70s mark a low point in the quality of guitars from the major manufacturers, which helped contribute to the popularity of the Ibanez copies. These guitars have become known as “lawsuit” guitars and have become highly collectible.

The actual lawsuit referred to was brought by the Norlin Corporation, the parent company of Gibson guitars, in 1977, and was based on an Ibanez headstock design that had been discontinued by 1976. Ibanez settled out of court, and by 1978 had begun making guitars from their own designs.

Abandoning the strategy of copying “classic” electric guitar designs, the newer models began incorporating more modern elements into their design, such as radical body shapes, slimmer necks and flatter fingerboards (which allowed for faster playing), higher-output electronics and colorful finishes. This led to an increasing popularity with heavy metal musicians. The company also began an extensive program of consulting with well-known guitar players, such as Kevin ‘Noodles’ Wasserman, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Andy Timmons, George Benson, and Sam Totman, creating signature models made to the players’ specifications.

Ibanez SGT120NT SAGE SERIES Acoustic Guitar Natural

Ibanez SGT120NT SAGE SERIES Acoustic Guitar Natural

Check out the Ibanez SGT120NT SAGE SERIES Acoustic Guitar and you'll be amazed at the retro look and feel, inspired by the 1st Golden Age of Ibanez acoustic guitars. The shape of the headstock, body, pickguard and bridge recall a time when things were just a bit more ornate, and pride in craftsmanship was much easier to find. The SGT120NT features a solid spruce top that not only sounds great now, but will continue to age and improve over time. The dreadnought body shape is particularly well-suited for making yourself heard in a group, but the tones are certainly sweet enough for it to stand on it's own.

Ibanez RG2610E Electric Guitar Black

Ibanez RG2610E Electric Guitar Black

The Ibanez RG2610E electric guitar features a single, Seymour Duncan TB-10 bridge pickup, and one volume control. When you've got blistering tone, there's no reason to clutter it up.Since 1987, many players have selected the Ibanez RG as their weapon of choice for visiting sonic mayhem on the metal masses. With the right choice of pickups and flat, fast necks, the RG has divebombed and crunched its way to classic status.The RG2610E guitar also features an extremely sharp looking Sharktooth position inlay.

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