Though the company had existed since 1908, Ibanez first gained widespread attention in the 1960s, when they blatantly copied the designs of Gibson, Fender, and Rickenbacker guitars. Thus began what’s known as the “Ibanez lawsuit period.” Once the dust settled, Ibanez parent company Hoshino Gakki found that they were capable of producing original designs that were able to compete with American brands, and they’ve been turning out top quality guitars ever since. Ibanez has become one of the first Japanese musical instrument manufacturers to gain any traction with guitar sales in the US and Europe. They are also the first guitar manufacturer to mass produce seven-string and eight-string guitars.
Certain characteristics are commonly found among all Ibanez RG (Roadstar Guitar) models. They are crafted with 24 frets and thin “Wizard” necks, intended to allow faster playing. Within the RG line, users can select from floating tremolo systems and fixed bridge systems. The RG Premium guitars are similar, but are produced in Ibanez’s premium factory to higher quality standards. The RG Prestige guitars are the company’s flagship product. These models are made in Japan using highest quality materials and craftsmanship as compared to other models. Other Ibanez lines offer similar options in terms of quality and expense. The Artcore line, one of Ibanez’ best products, gets a thumbs-up for its surprisingly low price.
A glance at any guitar review site will reveal many glowing comments from enthusiastic Ibanez fans. They appreciate not only the remarkable range of shapes and styles available, but the reasonable pricing, evenly spaced frets, thin neck, and of course–the great sound. Many users remark that they would prefer an Ibanez to a lower-level American guitar of comparable price. Famous guitarists who played and recommend the Ibanez brand include George Benson, Paul Stanley, Eddie Van Halen, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dean and Mick Thompson of Slipknot.
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