Ibanez

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Ibanez 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.

Contents

History

The Hoshino Gakki company began in 1908 as the musical instrument sales division of the Hoshino Shoten, a bookstore company. The Ibanez brand name dates back to 1929 when Hoshino Gakki began importing Salvador Ibáñez guitars from Spain. When the "Salvador Ibáñez" workshop was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, the "Ibanez Salvador" guitars were no longer available, so Hoshino Gakki bought the "Ibanez Salvador" brand name rights and started making Spanish acoustic guitars in 1935, at first using the "Ibanez Salvador" brand name, and then later using the "Ibanez" brand name.[1]

The modern era of Ibanez guitars began in 1957 [2] and the late 1950s and 1960s Ibanez catalogues [1] show guitars with some wild looking designs [2]. Japanese guitar makers in the 1960s were mostly copying European guitar designs and some of the late 1960s Ibanez designs were similar to Hagström and EKO guitar designs. Hoshino Gakki used the Teisco and FujiGen Gakki guitar factories to manufacture Ibanez guitars after they stopped manufacturing their own guitars in 1966 and after the Teisco guitar factory closed down in 1969/1970 Hoshino Gakki used the FujiGen Gakki guitar factory to make most Ibanez guitars.

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 Ibanez lawsuit period. After the lawsuit period Hoshino Gakki introduced Ibanez models that were not copies of the Gibson or Fender designs such as the Iceman and Ibanez Roadstar. 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 Frank Zappa's former guitarist Steve Vai resulted in the introduction of the Ibanez JEM and the Ibanez Universe models and 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 which were a lower priced version of the Ibanez JEM model.

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