Ibanez Guitars - History, Info & Where To Buy

Ibanez is a highly successful Japanese guitar brand that has found favour with a number of prominent guitarists. This article takes a look at the history of the Ibanez brand, as well as some of Ibanez's most successful guitar models.

Ibanez History

The Ibanez name originated with the Salvador Ibanez guitar workshop in Spain. This was destroyed during the Spanish civil war, and the rights to the name were bought by the Hoshino Gakki company of Japan.

Hoshino Gakki began life as part of a bookstore company, focusing on the sales of musical instruments. Hoshino Gakki originally imported Salvador Ibanez guitars, but once these were no longer available, they purchased the rights to the name and began manufacturing their own acoustic guitars in 1935, first under the Salvador Ibanez name, and later just as ‘Ibanez’.

During the late 50s and the 60s, Ibanez branched out into electric guitar manufacture, and their designs were basically copies of popular European and American guitars, such as those made by Gibson and Fender. As a result of this, Ibanez was on the receiving end of legal action, and the company began focusing on producing their own original guitar designs.

Ibanez's early successes with their own guitar designs included the Iceman and Roadstar models during the 70s and early 80s, and later on the Ibanez JEM and Universe models, which were the result of the company's collaboration with star guitarist Steve Vai. Other prominent guitarists who play or have played Ibanez guitars include Dave Navarro, Jennifer Batten and Joe Satriani, among many others.

As well as electric guitars, Ibanez manufactures semi-acoustic guitars and both nylon string and steel string acoustic models. The company also produces bass guitars, as well as various amplifiers, guitar effects and other accessories. Although many musical instruments that are built in the Far East have something of a mixed reputation among musicians, Ibanez guitars are generally considered to be on a par quality-wise with the best Western manufacturers.

You can find out more information about Ibanez and the complete range of Ibanez guitars that their website

Some Bestselling Ibanez Guitars

Ibanez RG Series

The Ibanez RG series consists of ‘superstrat’ guitars – that is, guitars which superficially resemble Fender’s famous Stratocaster models, but which have enough differences to make them unique. Since their introduction in 1987, these guitars have become extremely popular, and there is a very wide choice of different models available within the series, covering various price points.

They are typically made from alder, mahogany or basswood bodies, and feature a wide double octave fretboard and pronounced cutaways, which combine to make this guitar great choice for solo playing.

Related to the RG series is Ibanez’s ‘Gio’ series – known as GRG. This is a range of lower-priced guitars which is aimed at the beginner market, but which do not sacrifice Ibanez’s traditional quality standards.

Ibanez Acoustic-Electric Guitars

Ibanez also makes a wide range of acoustic-electric guitars. Many of these feature slender bodies with a single cutaway, which make the guitars comfortable to play and facilitate solo work. Popular series of acoustic electric Ibanez models include the AEG series, and the larger bodied AEL series.

There is also the visually stunning EW series – EW stands for exotic woods, and these guitars look just as good as they sound, thanks to the beautiful woods that are used in their manufacture. Both nylon string and steel string Ibanez electric- acoustic guitars are available.

Ibanez Nylon String & Steel String Acoustic Guitars

As with the other guitar types, Ibanez manufactures a range of both steel string and nylon string acoustic guitars to suit a variety of budgets. For those looking for a beginner acoustic guitar, Ibanez also do a choice of guitar starter packages, which include various essential accessories in addition to the guitar (such as a strap, picks, and a gig bag).

Buying An Ibanez Guitar

As a popular and respected brand, Ibanez guitars were widely available in guitar and music shops. Many people also choose to buy online, as online stores frequently offer lower prices and a wider choice.

Ibanez guitars can also be found at great prices on eBay, although if you decide to look on here, you should be wary of guitars that are being sold at extremely low prices (especially if the postage cost more than the guitar itself!), as these are likely to be counterfeits. As always, be sure to check seller feedback, and remember that if the deal looks too good to be true, chances are it is.

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Comments 3 comments

Arthur Fontes profile image

Arthur Fontes 6 years ago from Fall River,MA

I like Ibanez guitars I own two. One of them is the first triple humbucker guitar made famous by Def Leppard. the second is a Randy Rhodes V guitar with a Floyd Rose Tremolo on it. Great guitars.


GuitarLover profile image

GuitarLover 6 years ago from UK Author

They sound great!

Thanks for stopping by Arthur.


6 String Veteran profile image

6 String Veteran 5 years ago

Wow, didn't know Ibnz has been around for that long, nor that they were Japanese (so they are like the Honda or Toyota of guitardom: reliable + affordable).

I remember the Roadstar + PV amp combos. My best bud had an Ibnz Blazer that rocks by today's standards: durable with sweet neck + pick-ups. One of my students has a Blazer or similar...I told him never to get rid of it.

Vai + his Jem series redefined rock guitar...I will get my hand on a 'nez 7-string someday LOL. NEway I cd go on and on but won't...great Hub!

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