|Founded||1957; 62 years ago in Nagoya, Japan|
|Products||Electric, acoustic, resonator & classical guitars|
Electric & acoustic basses
- This nifty search tool looks up major brand guitars by serial number. This information was found on this page May 28th, 2013. Date/model/build Finder For Ibanez. The link still works, by the way. Here are the results by searching the serial number that you have in your question: Guitar Info. Your guitar was made in.
- HOW TO READ A IBANEZ SERIAL NUMBER Log Out Topics Search Moderators Edit Profile. Nounouk Username: Nounouk Registered: 04-2006 Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 4:06 pm: hi, my ATK305 has an unusual FC5100121 serial. I saw in another thread a guitar with a FC prefix too, and a 'MIJ' sticker.
I'm trying to determine which model I have but there is no model name on the head stock and only one serial number that I could find on the neck plate. Good quality manufacturing material is used to ensure high longevity. 24 Best Ibanez Guitar Reviews 2019 (Ibanez Acoustic and Electric Guitars). The process of the search is more.
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 they marketed nearly 165 models of bass guitar, 130 acoustic guitars, and more than 300 electric guitars.
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 luthierSalvador Ibáñez, and later simply '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.
In the 1960s, Japanese guitar makers mainly copied American guitar designs, and Ibanez-branded copies of Gibson, Fender, and Rickenbacker models 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.
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 Rolandguitar 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.
The 'lawsuit' guitars
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.
- 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.
Solid body electric guitars
Hollow body electric guitars
Production signature guitars
Ibanez Guitar Serial Number Search By Name
- JS – Joe Satriani Signature
- JEM and Universe – Steve Vai Signature
- PGM – Paul Gilbert Signature
- MTM – Mick Thomson Signature
- APEX – Munky Signature
- E-Gen – Herman Li Signature
- NDM4 – Noodles Signature
- PWM - Paul Waggoner Signature
- KIKO - Kiko Loureiro Signature
- STM2 – Sam Totman Signature
- ORM – Omar Rodriguez Signature
- MBM – Matt Bachand Signature
- HRG – H. R. Giger Signature
- GB – George Benson Signature
- K7 – Head and Munky Signature
- PM – Pat Metheny Signature
- PS10 – Paul Stanley Signature
- JSM – John Scofield Signature
- AT – Andy Timmons Signature
- TAM - Tosin Abasi Signature
- JBM - Jake Bowen Signature
- BBM - Ben Bruce Signature
- JIVA - Nita Strauss Signature
- Ibanez R series, also known as the Radius series, are famous for having lightweight aerofoil-profiled basswood bodies. The main endorser was Joe Satriani before he was given his own Signature JS series. The Radius series is now discontinued.
- RT series – Superstrat design with 24 frets. Discontinued in 1994.
- RX series – Superstrat design but with 22 frets instead. Discontinued in 1998, and currently only exists as GRX (budget model of RX series).
- AX series – Extreme version of the artist model, aimed towards metal players – currently only exist as GAX model and Guitar Center exclusive model.
- Axstar (a.k.a. Axstar by Ibanez) – discontinued
- EDR/EXR – Ergodyne series – discontinued
- MC – Musician series – Discontinued – Neck-through construction (except for MC-100, which has a bolt-on neck), with 24 frets (two octaves) – As with the Artist models of the late 1970s, some of these guitars were equipped with trisound switches, and some models (MC 400 and MC 500) were equipped with active electronics.
- ST – Studio series 1977–82 offset double cutaway ranging from bolt on to fixed and through necks with pairs of V2 distortion humbuckers. 24 frets and 25.5' scale.
- CN – Concert range 1977–79 like a bolt on neck Artist with slightly offset cutaways.
- IC – Iceman a radical shape endorsed and used by Paul Stanley, Various pickup combinations.
- BL – Blazer series 1980–82 – fixed bridge strat-like with maple necks and mahogany or ash bodies sporting 3 single coil pickups (Super 6 or BL) or 2 Super 70 humbuckers.
- ARC-100/300 (Retro Series)
- ARX-100/300 (Retro Series)
- AR-100/200 (black vintage top)
- V Series – Flying V's – discontinued
- Ibanez Artcore Series – Ibanez's full and semi-hollow guitar line, with some models discontinued since their debut in 2002.
- Ibanez Jet King 2 and Jet King 1 – A modern remake of the Ibanez Rhythm maker, vintage looking and sounding guitars.
- Radius series – discontinued, a modified version is now taken over by the Joe Satriani signature series which features a multi-radius neck.
- EX Series – Manufactured in Korea and Japan (rare).
- PL – Pro Line series
- RR – Rocket Roll
- DT – Destroyer
- IC – Iceman
- Talman Series – discontinued
- CN Concert Series – This was a short lived series produced in 1978 then discontinued soon afterwards. It features an asymmetric double cutaway body with two humbuckers, a hard tail bridge and a bolt on neck. The top end model (the CN250) was one of the earliest guitars to feature 'half vine' fingerboard inlays.
- Power II series (540PII) - extended length lower cutaway, wide (1 3/4')nut,available in H-H or H-S with edge trem. Often erroneously assumed to be an Alex Skolnick signature model due to his picture in the 88-89 catalogue with a 540PII. Primarily released for the Japanese market, although it has the Bensalem Penn. neck plate.
- AFD – Artfield
- GR – Ghostrider series, arched-top double cutaway design. 243⁄4' scale length. Most notably played by Shawn Lane.
- ICJ100WZ – Jay Yuenger Signature
- K7 – Korn Signature
- Stanley Jordan Signature
- AH10 – Allan Holdsworth Signature
- LR10 – Lee Ritenour Signature
- JP20 – Joe Pass Signature
- MFM – Marty Friedman Signature
- VM1 – Vinnie Moore Signature
- FGM – Frank Gambale Signature
- JPM – John Petrucci Signature
- RBM2NT – Reb Beach Signature
- DMM1 – Daron Malakian Signature
- MMM – Mike Mushok Signature
- RS1010SL – Steve Lukather Signature
- STM1 – Sam Totman Signature
- NDM1 and NDM2 – Noodles Signature
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
- 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 - Bodies made from Luthite polymer.
- 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
- S series
- TR Series
- 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.
- SDB – Sharlee D'Angelo Signature bass
- PRB – Paul Romanko Signature bass
- GWB – Gary Willis Signature bass
- MDB – Mike D'Antonio Signature bass
- DTB – Dionald Tubang Signature bass
- GVB - Gerald Veasley Signature bass
- VWB1 – Verdine White Signature bass (discontinued)
- PGB - Paul Gray Signature and Tribute bass (discontinued)
- DWB - Doug Wimbish Series
Acoustic guitar models
- AE Series
- AEL Series
- AES 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
- SAGE Series
- A300AVV acoustic/electric single cutaway (Ambiance series)
- Sound Wave
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.*ToneLok Series
- AP7 Analog Phaser
- AW7 Autowah
- CF7 Stereo Chorus/Flanger
- DE7 Stereo Delay/Echo
- DS7 Distortion
- FZ7 Fuzz
- LF7 Lo-Fi
- PD7 Phat Hed Bass Overdrive
- SB7 Synthesizer Bass
- SH7 Seventh Heaven
- SM7 Smashbox
- TC7 Tri Mode Chorus
- TS7 Tube Screamer
- WD7 Weeping Demon
- WD7JR Weeping Demon Junior
- 9 series
- AD9 Analog Delay
- AF9 Auto Filter
- BB9 Bottom Booster
- BC9 Bi-Mode Chorus
- CP9 Compressor/Limiter
- CS9 Stereo Chorus
- FL9 Flanger
- GE9 Graphic EQ
- JD9 Jet Driver
- OD9 Overdrive
- PQ9 Parametric EQ
- PT9 Phaser
- SD9 Sonic Distortion
- SM9 Super Metal
- ST9 Super Tube Screamer
- TS9 Tube Screamer
- TS9B Bass Tube Screamer
- TS9DX Turbo Tube Screamer
- TS930TH 30th Anniversary Tube Screamer
- Wah Pedals
Ibanez endorsers: past and present
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
C = Cor-Tek (Cort), S = Samick(1990–1995), S/SQ = Saehan(Sunghan), P = Peerless (Iida), Y = Yoojin, A = Sae-In.
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
- ^LTD., HOSHINO GAKKI CO.,. 'Ibanez guitars'. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
- ^'Ibanez at AMS'. American Musical Supply. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
- ^ ab'Hoshino Gakki History'. HoshinoGakki.co.jp.
- ^ abcIbanez: The Untold Story 2005
- ^'Vintage Ibanez Guitar Site – 1960's Models, Early Imports'. VintageIbanez.tripod.com. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
- ^'富士弦楽器とIbanez' [FujiGen and Ibanez]. Matsumoto GUITARS [Guitar manufacturers in Matsumoto City] (in Japanese). Matsumoto: Junk Guitar Museum.
- ^Rainer Daeschler. 'Fujigen Gakki - From the Cowshed to the Top'. Daeschler.com. Retrieved 2012-01-12. (based on Germany version on stratomaniac.com); Originally published as 'Fujigen vom Kuhstall zur Weltspitze'. Fachblatt Musikmagazin. 1987 (2).
- ^'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 2012-01-12.
- ^Zachary R. Fjestad (2008). Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars. Alfred Music Publishing. p. 331. ISBN1-886768-74-9, ISBN978-1-886768-74-1.
- ^'A Brief History of Ibanez Guitars: From Importer to Industry Leader'. reverb.com. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
- ^'USA Custom Shop'. www.jemsite.com. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- ^'Paul Stanley Guitars'. Paul Stanley. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
- ^Star Musical Merchandise Catalog No.591, Nagoya, Japan: Hoshino Gakki Ten, Inc., 1950s.
Note: the wide variety of musical instruments in this catalog reflect their full-time export business during that era. The arched-top guitars and violin-family instruments suggest the involvement of Suzuki Violin in Nagoya and its brother factory, Kiso Suzuki Violin in Kiso. Their third brother in Matsumoto, Shin'ichi Suzuki was a founder of the Suzuki Method, and their cultural activities influenced the establishment of FujiGen in Matsumoto, according to a co-founder of FujiGen, Yuichiro Yokouchi.
- ^1960 Star Catalog, p. 4 (Models: EG 80, EG 80-B, EG 80-H, EG 90)
- ^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))
- ^'Ibanez RG3550MZ'. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-08-01.
- ^'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. ...
- ^'Ibanez RGA8'. 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. ...
- ^'Ibanez RGD2127Z Prestige'. 2015.
The RGD is Ibanez's ultimate metal machine.
- ^ ab'Ibanez S Series'. Ibanez.co.jp. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-08-12.
- ^'Ibanez Xiphos Series'. Ibanez.co.jp. 2015.
- ^'Ibanez ARZ6UC Prestige'. 2015.
The 24 fret, two-octave fretboard of the ARZ surpasses the boundaries of traditional single-cutaway guitars. ... Scale: 638mm/25.1'
- ^'Ibanez ART Series'. Ibanez.co.jp. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-07-04.
- ^'Ibanez AR720FM'. 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'
- ^'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.
- ^'Ibanez miKro GRGM21'.
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'
- ^'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
- ^'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
- Acoustic Guitars: The Illustrated Encyclopedia. New York: Chartwell Books. 2011. ISBN978-0-7858-3571-4.
- 'Ibanez Catalogs'. (catalog archive), Ibanez.co.jp. 2015.
Search Catalogs: 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
- Paul Specht; Michael Wright; Jim Donahue (2005). Ibanez: The Untold Story. Hoshino (U.S.A.) Inc. ISBN0-9764277-0-2.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ibanez.|
|Period||1975 — present|
|Neck joint||Bolt-on, Neck-thru, Set-in Neck|
The Ibanez Iceman is a guitar produced by Hoshino Gakki under Ibanez brand.
Hoshino Gakki exported copies of American electric and acoustic guitars in the 1950s, and by the mid-1970s the Ibanez guitars had reached a level of quality comparable to American guitars. Lower labor rates at the time, plus efficient manufacturing meant that Ibanez guitars could be sold for almost half (or less) of the cost of a Gibson Les Paul or Fender Stratocaster.
In the mid-1970s Hoshino Gakki wanted to make a distinctly Japanese guitar and to start breaking away from the Ibanez replicas of Fender and Gibson models. The idea was to build a guitar with an appealing original design, like a Les Paul or Stratocaster. A meeting between Hoshino (Ibanez), Kanda Shokai (Greco) and one of the main guitar factories in Japan (FujiGen) resulted in the Iceman/Mirage design. Each distribution company had distribution rights to it in different global markets. Hoshino Gakki (Ibanez) had the rights outside of Japan and Kanda Shokai (Greco) had the rights for Japan.
The early Ibanez models were originally named the Artist 2663 models, launched in 1975. The name 'Iceman' came later in 1978. The Greco model was named the Mirage and they are basically the same except for the pickup types that were used. Super 2000, Triple Coil and V2 pickups were used for the Ibanez Iceman, depending on the model number. Greco Dry and DiMarzio Super II pickups were used for the Greco Mirage. Body wood, pickups and neck joint construction varied with the Iceman/Mirage model price. The original Ibanez Artist/Iceman production was from 1975 to 1982/1983 with different models having set neck and bolt-on necks.
The Ibanez Iceman II that was released in 1982/1983 had a different headstock with 6 in line tuners instead of the 3 a side tuners the original Ibanez Iceman had.
Use and signature models by Paul Stanley
Paul Stanley of KISS favored the Iceman from the 1977 to 1980 and again used it primarily from 1992 to 1997 until he started endorsing his own model by Washburn guitars.
Probably the most sought after by collectors is the PS-10, or Paul Stanley model. This came out in 1977 as the popularity of the rock band KISS skyrocketed. Ibanez approached Paul while KISS was on tour in Japan in March, 1977. They offered him a chance to develop his own signature model. He liked the shape of the Artist 2663 model and made changes to that model as his ideas came to fruition in the PS10 model. The PS10 first appeared in the 1978 Ibanez catalog, although it may have been available for purchase prior to catalog printing. Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar, vocals) played an Iceman for the next 4 years. A live shot of him with the Iceman appears inside the album cover of KISS ALIVE II. This model retailed for about $695 in 1978, and was offered through 1981.
In 1995 the PS-10 was re-issued as the Korean-made PS10II. A deluxe version, the PS10LTD (or Limited) was also introduced in 1995. The PS10LTD was made in Japan and had gold hardware (which Stanley is said to have not liked) as well as an ebony fretboard and different pickups than the PS10II. Sales must have been good because in 1997 yet another PS was offered in the catalog - this was sold as the PS10-CL (or Classic). The biggest difference between them is that the PS10-II was made in Korean factories and the LTD and Classic were Japanese made and also had all the same features of the original 1978 model (like the Gibraltar bridge and Quick Change tailpiece). Although the catalog shows the PS10-II with 'Paul Stanley' inlaid at the 21 fret, most were not produced this way. Apparently there was a problem with the inserts at the Korean factory and it was decided not to use them.
Paul Stanley states;
'First of all, the Iceman and the PS10 have about as much in common as a Chevy and a Rolls Royce. The PS10 came about in the '70s, when we were on our first trip to Japan. Ibanez was interested in me doing a signature guitar with them. They wanted to me to design something new, and we did go through their catalog, I saw a picture of a guitar that was not terribly popular. I liked the asymmetrical shape to it; it reminded me of a Firebird or a Rickenbacker bass turned upside down. It had one pickup on it that looked like you took three bobbins from a humbucker and put them together somehow. It also had that wacky knob that looked like you were to change your television channels with it! I said, 'You've got something here, but you don't know what to do with it.' My feeling about Ibanez in the '70s, like many companies in Japan, was that they were excellent at copying but they didn't know why they were copying. We sat down, and by using that basic shape, I came up with a guitar: construction, frets, inlays, wiring, the type of tail block that has a sustain block built into it, the half-brass/half-bone nut, and so on. In other words, we took a shape and made a new guitar. Although there is still a guitar called an Iceman and some people use the name interchangeably with the PS10, they really have nothing in common except a silhouette'.
The Ibanez ICJ100WZ was an Iceman-shaped signature guitar for Jay Yuenger of White Zombie, introduced in 1996. It featured a mahogany body with maple top, painted in green with white stars all over the place, a set-in maple neck with bound ebony fingerboard. Hardware equipped on it was Lo Pro Edge tremolo, two humbucking pickups, 3 knob control and 3 way toggle with coil split.
Daron Malakian of System of a Down favored the IC300 from the early days of System of a Down up to the Mezmerize/Hypnotize era (2004-2005), when he switched to using Gibson SGs, although he has been recently[when?] seen playing Iceman guitars again with System, making use of a custom-made model which is currently his main guitar. Daron had his own signature model, the Ibanez DMM1, released in 2004. It was a limited edition run based on the Ibanez Iceman ICX shape and features a special graphic design painted by Daron’s father, Vartan Malakian. Only 300 were made.
The STM is a special version of Iceman designed for Sam Totman of DragonForce, released from 2008 to 2010. Essentially it is an Iceman with a 24-fret neck-through neck and Edge III tremolo instead of a hardtail bridge. This is the first production Iceman since the 1990s to have a whammy bar.
In 2009, the Iceman was remodeled by Paul Gilbert using Photoshop, by flipping the body of the Iceman over. Since the cutout was on the other side, they added another cutout that was a bit smaller than the trademark Iceman stalk. There were two designs; both of a natural wood finish, one with mahogany with a cherry fret-board and another with korina wood.
Paul Gilbert's model was released at a 2009 Guitar show as the 'Ibanez Fireman', with a set 3-piece korina/bubinga neck, 22 frets, and a 24-3/4' scale length. It also contained a fixed Gibraltar II bridge, (with a Quick Charge tailpeice) and Dimarzio Area 67 hum-cancelling single coil pickups. It comes with a hard Ibanez case, (authenticated by Paul Gilbert) and additional accessories, limited edition. Paul Gilbert also notes in interviews that a fan submitted the idea for the name:
'At first, I called it the 'Reverse Iceman', but a fan wrote to me and suggested the 'Ibanez Fireman', and since fire is the opposite of ice, that’s what we ended up calling it.'
Ibanez FTM33 Stoneman
This 8-string signature model for Meshuggah guitarist Fredrik Thordendal is essentially a hybrid design blending the Iceman body shape with a reverse Gibson Firebird, featuring an ash wing body, 7-piece maple/walnutneck-through construction with KTS™ TITANIUM reinforcement rods, 27' scale length, jatoba fretboard (as of 2018), 24 jumbo frets, FX Edge III-8 locking fixed bridge and a pair of Lundgren M8P ceramichumbucking pickups. Introduced in 2017, this guitar is available in Weathered Black.
Other notable users
Steve Miller recorded his Fly like an Eagle album as well as parts of the Book of Dreams record with his Ibanez Iceman IC210.
Ginger of The Wildhearts was an Iceman player for several years, until he gifted the instrument to Cardiacs leader Tim Smith, who used it for the remainder of the band's active career.
Mitch Mitchell of Guided by Voices used an Iceman for the group's 'Classic Lineup' reunion tours.
Chris Catalyst has routinely played an Iceman onstage since joining The Sisters of Mercy.
Nash Kato of Urge Overkill has frequently played an Iceman since the inception of the group. Since Urge Overkill's reunion in 2004, Kato has played a special gold-finished model with a 'UO' insignia on the guitar's pickguard.
Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, formerly used an Ibanez Iceman in the early days of the Misfits before building his custom made guitar.
Pig Champion of Poison Idea used a modified Iceman for most of the bands existence.
Daron Malakian, of System of a Down used an Iceman their early albums up through Steal This Album! before switching to a Gibson SG. He has switched back to an Iceman in 2014.
Sam Totman of DragonForce has his own signature Iceman model, most notably in a light blue sparkle finish.
Thomas Gabriel Fischer of Celtic Frost and Triptykon uses Ibanez Icemans almost exclusively, most notably his own signature models customized with images done by artist H.R. Giger being used as the finishes.
Paul Stanley of Kiss uses Ibanez Icemans and also has his own signature edition with a cracked mirror finish, he also sells stage-played Icemans after his shows
Bob Mothersbaugh of DEVO used a blue Ibanez Iceman
(From Ibanez catalog)
|Ibanez Iceman IC100||1978||Solid Mahogany||Laminated rock maple, detachable||Ebonized rosewood, pearloid dot inlays, 22 large frets||Super 80||2 Volume & 2 Tone, 3-position pickup selector||Velve-Tune II||Gibraltar & Quik-Change (r)||Chrome||Black (IC100BK) and white (IC100WH)|
|Ibanez Iceman IC200||1978||Solid Mahogany||Laminated rock maple (built-in)||Ebonized rosewood, pearloid parallelogram inlays, 22 VelveTouch frets, Half & Half nut||Super 80 (Flying Finger)||2 Volume & 2 Tone, 3-position pickup selector||Velve-Tune II||Gibraltar & Quik-Change (r)||Chrome||Brown Sunburst|
|Ibanez Iceman IC210||1978||Solid Mahogany||Laminated rock maple (built-in)||Ebonized rosewood, pearloid parallelogram inlays, 22 VelveTouch frets, Half & Half nut||Ibanez Special Design Triple Coil||Volume & Tone, rotary 4-position coil splitter||Velve-Tune II||Gibraltar & Quik-Change (r)||Chrome||Brown Sunburst|
|Greco Mirage M900||1978||Mahogany||3 piece Maple (Set Neck)||Rosewood||DiMarzio Super II||2 Volume & 2 Tone, 3 way switch||Greco MH-900C||Greco BR-GO & TP-GO||Chrome|
|Ibanez Iceman IC300||1978||Solid Ash||Laminated rock maple (built-in)||Ebonized rosewood, pearloid dot inlays, 22 VelveTouch frets, Half & Half nut||Super 80||2 Volume & 2 Tone, 3-position pickup selector||Velve-Tune||Gibraltar (with inlaid sustain block) & Quik-Change (r)||Chrome||Korina, Also had optional cream colored pickguard (similar in shape to the one on the PS10), pickup rings, control cavity covers and truss rod cover.|
|Ibanez Iceman IC400||1978||Mahogany with maple top||Laminated rock maple (built-in) with smooth heel||Ebonized rosewood, pearloid parallelogram inlays, 22 VelveTouch frets, Half & Half nut||Super 80||2 Volume & 2 Tone, 3-position pickup selector||Velve-Tune||Gibraltar (with inlaid sustain block) & Quik-Change (r)||Gold-plated||Antique Violin & Midnight Olive|
|Ibanez Iceman IC500||Mahogany||Iceman 3pc Mahogany/Maple set-in neck||Bound rosewood fretboard w/Pearl block inlay, FRET: Medium frets||DiMarzio® D Activator™ (H) neck, DiMarzio® D Activator™ (H) bridge||Gibraltar Standard bridge||Black|
|Ibanez Iceman ICT700||Mahogany wing body||5pc Wizard III Maple/Walnut neck-thru w/KTS™ TITANIUM Reinforcement, FRET: Jumbo frets||DiMarzio® D Activator™ (H) neck and DiMarzio® D Activator™ (H) bridge||1 volume, 1 tone, 3 way switch||Gibraltar custom bridge||Black|
|Ibanez Iceman PS10 (Paul Stanley Model)||1978||Mahogany with solid maple top, black finish with deluxe binding||Maple (built-in) with smooth heel||Polished rosewood, pearl-abalone-pearl rectangular inlays, 22 VelveTouch frets, Half & Half nut||Special design Ibanez V-2 open coil||Individual Volume & Master Tone||Velve-Tune||Gibraltar (with sustain block) & modified Gibraltar slotted||Chrome (including pickguard and truss rod cover)||Black|
The serial number format is MYYPPPP.
- M = production month (A=January B=February ... K=November L=December).
- YY = year (79=1979).
- PPPP = production number.
FujiGen Gakki used this format for the Ibanez guitars they made from the mid-1970s to 1987.
- ^Bacon, Tony (2013) 'The Ibanez Electric Guitar Book: A Complete History of Ibanez Electric Guitars'ISBN978-1617134531p.43
- ^Specht, Paul; Wright, Michael; Donahue, Jim (2005). Ibanez : the Untold Story. Bensalem, Penn.: Hoshino (U.S.A.). p. 199. ISBN0976427702.
- ^'Electric Guitar FTM - FTM33 Fredrik Thordendal'. Ibanez Guitars. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
- ^Ginger Wildheart [@GingerWildheart] (18 September 2012). '@SavageSaints Yes, I gave Tim my Ibanez Iceman because he liked it, and I like him' (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- ^from Greco catalogues
- Ibanez, The Untold Story by Paul Specht (Michael Wright, Jim Donahue) ISBN0-9764277-0-2
- Ibanez Catalogues