At a Glance:
Company Name: Ibanez
Web site: www.ibanez.com
Headquarters: Bensalem, Pennsylvania
Manufacturers Instruments In: Nagoya, Japan
A Quick History of Ibanez
Founded in Nagoya, Japan in 1957, Ibanez was initially known for creating unusual guitar designs similar to Hagstrom and EKO, while other Japanese guitar makers at the time were building guitars in the more traditional designs seen in the US and Europe. These unusual looking guitars eventually gained some ground with guitarists looking for something a little different and that design approach is true today evidenced by the their pointed headstock and V-shaped models.
In the late 1960s, after Teisco and FujiGen stop manufacturing their own guitars and their guitar factory closed down, Hoshino Gakki took the opportunity to make the FujiGen Gakki guitar factory the new home of Ibanez guitars and most models were created and built in that facility.
In the late 1980s, Ibanez courted a relationship with guitarist Steve Vai, and the results was the company's first custom guitar, the Ibanez JEM. Subsequently, Ibanez introduced the lower priced RG series. Vai's endorsement helped Ibanez gain a foothold and market share in the US and around the world. Never afraid to take chances, Ibanez was the first company to mass produce seven and eight string guitars.
Today, Ibanez carries a full line of guitars, basses, amps, pedals and accessories and recently introduced their "Jumpstart" guitar packages which are promoted as "everything you need to get out and gig." Add to that, a number of bass and guitar amplifiers, effects and accessories.
Ibanez guitars has a large customer support division where you can find parts, instructions manuals, how to articles, wiring diagrams, and information on how to tell a counterfeit guitar from a true Ibanez.
Most Notable Instruments:
An extensive line of Ibanez electrics include their hollow body line and signature instruments designed and played by John Scofield, George Benson and Pat Metheny. other models include the Artcore Custom, the AGR73T and AGR70 and the new AFJ85L which features Sure Grip III knobs favored by jazz players.
Heavy metal players love the Ibanez RGD and RGD Prestige which are specifically designed to handle tuning down without losing tone or responsiveness. The X series include seven models with ominous shapes and designs and easy access to the upper frets for those searing metal solos. For rock's deep sustain, power chords and homage to one of their original designs, Ibanez offers their Artist Series which includes the AR, ARZ, ART and ARX.
Basses offered by Ibanez include the unusual shaped Grooveline, the ATK line which includes a five string model and two acoustic bass models, the SGBE and AEB (both with on board electronics).
Ibanez has a long history of putting out a wide variety of rugged, great sounding pedals. Their famous Tube Screamer, the overdrive pedal that every guitarist seems to have owned at one time or another, is now built right into the circuitry of the TSA line of tube amplifiers.
Along with their popular and well respected electrics, Ibanez offers a number of reasonably priced and high quality acoustic guitars including the JSA, the Joe Satriani Signature Acoustic Guitar and the Talman double cutaway models. classical model, banjo, mandolin and ukulele.
Guitarists Playing Ibanez Instruments:
The list of pro guitarists that play Ibanez is a long one including Meshuggah, Andy Timmons, Paul Gilbert, Pat Metheny, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai. Hard Rock and Metal players include Dino Cazares (Fear Factory, Divine Heresy) Francesco Artusato (All Shall Perish) and John Kita of Diecast.