Minggu, 19 Agustus 2007

History of Ibanez Guitar

The Hoshino Gakki company began in 1908 as a musical instrument sales division of the Hoshino Shoten bookstore company. In 1935 they began manufacturing their own stringed instruments. The company had little presence in the Western world until the mid-1960s.
They started on importing Spanish guitars from the famous Spanish luthier Salvador Ibáñez (1854 - 1920), but when the Spanish workshop was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War (1936 - 1939) and the original guitars became unavailable (and very much sought after because of their excellent quality), they bought the rights of the trademark Ibanez and started making Spanish and acoustic guitars on their own, first as "Ibanez Salvador", and later as "Ibanez".
Harry's Rosenbloom, of Medley Music, based in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, was manufacturing handmade guitars under the name "Elger." By 1965 Rosenbloom had decided to stop manufacturing guitars and chose to become the exclusive North American distributor for Ibanez guitars. At the time, the phrase "made in Japan" was considered to have negative connotations of low quality, so Hoshino Gakki and Rosenbloom wanted to distribute the instruments under a "non-Japanese" name, so it was decided to market all the instruments (and not only the acoustics) under the Ibanez brand name. In 1981 Hoshino purchased Elger Guitars, renaming the company "Hoshino U.S.A." and retaining the company headquarters in Bensalem, Pennsylvania as a distribution and quality-control center.
In the early 1970s Hoshino began making Ibanez guitars that were almost exact copies of popular models by Gibson, Fender and Rickenbacker. Using somewhat cheaper materials and greater automation in manufacturing, they were able to sell these guitars for a significantly lower price than the originals. The low price combined with the relatively high quality of the guitars made these models very popular. Many guitar aficionados feel that the early- and mid-70s mark a low point in the quality of guitars from the major manufacturers, which helped contribute to the popularity of the Ibanez copies. These guitars have become known as "lawsuit" guitars and have become highly collectible.
The actual lawsuit referred to was brought by the Norlin Corporation, the parent company of Gibson guitars, in 1977, and was based on an Ibanez headstock design that had been discontinued by 1976. Hoshino settled out of court, and by 1978 had begun making Ibanez guitars from their own designs.
Abandoning the strategy of copying "classic" electric guitar designs, the newer models began incorporating more modern elements into their design, such as radical body shapes, slimmer necks and flatter fingerboards (which allowed for faster playing), higher-output electronics and colourful finishes. This led to an increasing popularity with heavy metal musicians. The company also began an extensive program of consulting with well-known guitar players, such as Kevin 'Noodles' Wasserman, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Munky, Andy Timmons, George Benson, John Petrucci, Herman Li and Sam Totman, creating signature models made to the players' specifications.
Hoshino also manufactures Ibanez electro-acoustic and acoustic guitars, both nylon and steel-stringed. The logo used on the headstocks of the acoustic guitars is the original Spanish Ibanez logo. Most Ibanez guitars were made for Hoshino by the FujiGen guitar factory in Japan up until the mid to late 1980's and from then on Ibanez guitars have also been made in other Asian countries such as Korea and China.

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