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Dating ibanez acoustic guitars

On its neck plate (or stamped into the guitar, or on the truss rod cover) it will say, "STEEL REINFORCED NECK".That's a dead giveaway that you've got one of "Uncle Matt's" guitars.Loosely defined (and coming into more popular use on sites such as e Bay and Craigslist) a "lawsuit" guitar is ANY old guitar made outside of the USA that is a copy of a popular US-made guitar.In this sense, any MIJ (or made in Korea, China, wherever) guitar that looks like a Fender strat or tele; or a Gibson Les Paul, SG, ES-335; or a Martin acoustic; or a Guild or Rickenbakker; can be labeled as a "lawsuit" model.During the 1970s, Hoshino used a single Japanese manufacturer for its electric guitar production. Currently Fujigen makes its own line of self-branded instruments, but in the 1960s up through the present, it also contracts with a number of other companies to produce instruments with other brand names on them.Beginning in the late 1960s, Hoshino began contracting with Fujigen to produce Ibanez-branded instruments.What does exist is a Trading Company named Hoshino Gakki Group.That company owns the Ibanez and TAMA brands (as well as some other minor brands).

Hoshino owns no manufacturing facilities beyond a small custom shop in California.

The terms "pre-lawsuit" and "post-lawsuit" are just more confusion, since people will apply "post-lawsuit" to an even wider range of guitars that have been significantly changed from their "copy" forms.

Just to be double clear: No lawsuit was ever brought against Aria, Greco, Ventura, Lyle, Fernandes, Tokai, or anyone else during the 1970s (or even 1980s). Here's a copy of a letter sent to Gibson Dealers on June 9, 1977, announcing the lawsuit: It begins like this: June 9, 1977 Dear Gibson Dealer: Today, Gibson, Inc., started legal action in Federal Court to stop the Japanese exporter of Ibanez instru- ments and its distributor from importing and selling instruments similar in appearance to those manufactured by Gibson.

Through the 1970s and early/mid 1980s, Fujigen was the exclusive manufacturer of electric Ibanez guitars and basses.

It's this intricate relationship between distributor (Hoshino), brand (Ibanez) and factory (Fujigen) which makes for much of the initial confusion surrounding MIJ guitars and their origins.


  1. Aug 1, 2009. I posted that I am interested in purchasing a used s520ex, I thought it was the newest version but I was told the guy bought it about 3 years ago and.

  2. Can someone explain to me how to understand an ibanez's manufacture location, guitar model, etc. from the serial number. I also have and RG550 with.

  3. I have been playing, collecting, repairing and analyzing vintage Ibanez and other MIJ guitars for over 30 years, and I am often asked this question. In this sense, any MIJ or made in Korea, China, wherever guitar that looks like a Fender strat or tele; or a Gibson Les Paul, SG, ES-335; or a Martin acoustic; or a Guild or.

  4. During the 1970's and most of the 1980's, Ibanez guitars were made almost exclusively in Japan, and the majority of electric models were made at the Fujigen Gakki. old models, dating guitars by serial numbers, and generally watching the vintage guitar marketplace to understand how interest in Ibanez guitars is evolving.

  5. There are some models that have no serial number at all. Many American Masters will either have a paper serial sticker or nothing. Guitars with no serial can only be dated by spec to when that guitar is shown to be available.

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