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By David Stanton: February 11, 2015

Ibanez have always prided themselves on producing quality playable guitars at affordable prices. Over many decades of design and developement the standard of workmanship and materials has always been high. Let’s explore a very brief history of Ibanez.

The Ibanez brand dates back to the early 1930s when Japanese music bookstore company Hoshino Gakki started importing Spanish luthier; Salvador Ibanez’s acoustic guitars.Salvador Ibanez died in 1920 at the early age of 66, leaving his workshop to his 2 sons who sold his workshop in 1933 to a man named Telesforo Juno. The Ibanez guitars become much sought after, prized possessions and Hoshino Gakki, who had grown very fond of Salvador’s guitars, decided Hoshino Gakki would start making Ibanez guitars of their own. Initially, the guitars were named in tribute to the luthier, “Ibanez Salvador” but this name was later shortened to “Ibanez” as is known today.

It wasn’t long before the semi-hollow, electric era started in the 1950’s and Ibanez started producing amazing, single-cutaway, arch-top jazz guitars. These came in a variety of finishes with a choice of single or double pick-up configurations and the volume/tone controls were mounted to the pickguards. Changes were happening and as musical styles were changing, the 1960’s called for more solid body electric guitars. Ibanez never disappoints so began to produce more retro-looking, solid body electric guitars/bass guitars with multiple switches and pick-up layouts.

The 1970’s was known as the lawsuit era as many brands at the time were producing their own interpretations of much-loved classics. Ibanez, like others, were a bit too-close-to-the-mark resulting in various lawsuits and settlements.

Moving on to the 1980’s and rock music was becoming popular and models like the Paul Stanley were appearing, although it wasn’t just about rock as George Benson had his own extremely popular signature jazz model too.

A personal favourite era for myself is the 1990’s. This was when I first picked up a guitar and fell in love with shred-worthy guitars (and big hair!). Due to the nature of 90’s genres; which boasted many styles of music, including Grunge, Metal, Pop and the very loosely termed “Alternative” section of music; the guitars came with flat fingerboard radiuses allowing for super low action without buzzes, a super slim taper neck profile for those wide stretches, and not forgetting the Floyd Rose Tremolo allowing players such as Steve Vai to perform terrorfiying dive bombs whilst keeping the guitar perfectly in tune!

So there you have a very brief background on Ibanez guitars. One of the things I personally admire about Ibanez as a brand is they move with the times constantly changing with musical styles responding to the players needs whatever it may be whilst still maintaining a high standard of product at an affordable price.

Hopefully you have learned something about Ibanez, a brand you no doubt already love dearly. Or you have learnt something new about a guitar brand you never considered trying out! Either way, I look forward to welcoming you to Guitar Village to try out a great selection of Ibanez guitars in store. Contact Guitar Village today on 01252 726821 if you have any questions or special requests. Alternatively. Email us at and we’ll see how we can help!

Guitar Village are a specialist guitar shop in Farnham, Surrey and are one of the largest Taylor Guitars dealers in Europe. Check out what’s we’ve got in stock at the moment, or contact us on 01252 726821 / to find out more.


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