Where Are Ibanez Guitars Made?

Ibanez guitars are the favorite option for musicians whether they are starting to play or already have years of experience. Some people may wonder where Ibanez guitars are actually made. Did you know that Ibanez guitars are made in different parts of the world? It can be a little tricky to determine where your specific guitar was made.

While Ibanez once produced all of their guitars in Japan, today they are made all over the world, including in China, Indonesia, and Korea. 

Whether you’re looking for a Japanese-made Ibanez or something from one of their other production lines, you can be sure that you’re getting a great guitar.

In this article, we are going to look at where Ibanez guitars are made and specific models to keep an eye on.

where are ibanez guitars made

Does It Matter Where Ibanez Guitars Are Made?

While some musicians believe that Japanese-made guitars are of higher quality, the truth is that the country responsible for making them doesn’t have as much of an impact as you might think.

Yes, things like the material used in the guitar-making process can significantly impact its final price and quality. But It’s more important to consider things like the woods used and the abilities and experience of the builder. 

Even if your guitar is made with some really nice tonewood in a well-equipped workshop, humidity levels can still have an effect on the outcome. Only an experienced brand will know how to deal with issues that can affect the quality of a guitar, no matter where they are made.

It’s true that Ibanez guitars are world-renowned and have been made in Japan since the early days. But many of the same workers who build Ibanez guitars in Japan also work at the company’s factories in China, educating the luthiers to ensure they produce quality products.

Popular Ibanez Series Guitars Manufactured in Japan

Many of the popular models are made in Japan, and they offer excellent quality and tone. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, there is sure to be an Ibanez guitar that suits your playing style.

Ibanez RG Series Guitars

The Ibanez RG series of guitars has been a favorite among hard rock and heavy metal players for decades. These superfast, ultra-playable instruments are designed for speed and precision, and they sound as good as they look.

The standard RG body is designed for greater comfort for the player’s forearm, like that found on a Strat, and has a lower bout that curves to fit the shape of your forearm.

The Ibanez RG series is offered in a wide range of configurations, from 6-string to 8-string models. The most common RG models have 24 frets, with a full 2-octave range per string. The necks are usually made from Rosewood, Ebony, and maple.

Ibanez Prestige Series Guitars

The Prestige Series Guitars are considered to be the most popular models in the Ibanez lineup because of the excellent craftsmanship, playability, and tone they offer.

The Ibanez Prestige Series Guitars are used by many professional players who appreciate the quality of these instruments. The experienced team of luthiers and technicians at Ibanez has set the standard for guitar craftsmanship.

In 2005, the Ibanez Prestige Series Guitars were introduced with new designs and colors. At first, they were only made in Korea’s FujiGen factory. Until 2008, the S series and derived models were produced solely in Korea.

However, in 2009, Ibanez stopped the production of guitars in Korea and started making the Prestige Series again, but this time in their FujiGen factory in Japan.

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J Custom Series Guitars

It’s easy to identify a J-Custom guitar by the “J-Custom” logo on the headstock. The J lettering symbolizes the fact these guitars are made in Japan. The J series was introduced in the early ’90s as a way for Ibanez to show its ability to create premium guitars.

These are the top-of-the-line, most intricate, and beautiful instruments that Fujigen Gakki produces in Japan. The J-Custom designation is given to instruments that are produced by only a single luthier at the Fujigen Gakki company. That’s why each J-Custom guitar is a true work of art, and why they are some of the most sought-after instruments in the world.

Also, the J-Custom series includes intricate fretboard inlay designs and exotic wood tops. They are usually produced in a smaller quantity than other models, due to the extra time and care that goes into making each one. That means that if you’re lucky enough to own a J-Custom guitar, you can be sure that it’s truly unique.

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Ibanez Guitars Made In China

There are quite a few Ibanez models that are made in China that are well known by guitarists.

Ibanez Gio Guitars

Ibanez GRG170DX

The Gio line of guitars are entry-level instruments first introduced in 1998 and manufactured by Hoshino Gakki in Japan. Since then, many of the different models in the Gio line have been moved to being made in China in order to keep the price very competitive.

On top of having these guitars made in China, the use of cheaper woods, hardware, and electronics make them very affordable.

Some Gio variants include the GRG models, which have been based on the Ibanez RG series, and the GSA version, which are based on the SA line of guitars. The GRG170DX, for example, is made in China and has been since 2005, one year after its launch.

Altstar Series Guitars

The Ibanez Altstar line is another example of great guitars made in China. These guitars are acoustic with an electric neck and components which make them unique. They were first introduced with the Alt20 model in 2019. Since then, they have released a few more versions, which are all made in China.

Ibanez Guitars Made In Indonesia

Another country Ibanez uses to make guitars is Indonesia. Just like in China, the cost of labor and materials helps Ibanez to produce quality guitars at affordable prices. Some of the following guitars are produced there.

AS73 Artcore Series Guitar

The AS73 Artcore series guitar is a hollow body electric produced by Ibanez in Indonesia. When introduced in 2002, the guitar was first produced in China. However, in 2016, Ibanez made the decision to move production of the AS73 to Indonesia.

This allows them to produce affordable hollow body guitars that are still of good quality.

AS153 Artstar Series Guitar

Another great guitar made in Indonesia is the AS153 semi-hollow body. Originally launched in 2013 and made in China, the production of this beautiful guitar was moved to Indonesia in 2018.

The Artstar series of guitars are made in many places, with Indonesia being the main producer of the line. You will also find some that are made in Korea and Japan, depending on the price and options.

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Conclusion

Ibanez guitars are made all over the world, including in Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and China. While some guitar enthusiasts may prefer instruments that are hand-crafted in a specific country, it ultimately doesn’t matter where your Ibanez guitar is made. The quality of the instrument is determined by the skill of the luthier and the materials used, not by its place of manufacture.

We have listed some popular series of Ibanez guitars made in the FujiGen Gakki factory, Japan. These include the RG series, the Prestige, and the J-Custom. So, if you are looking for an Ibanez guitar, there will definitely be one that suits your playing style at the right price.

FAQs

Why do metal guitarists use Ibanez?

Metal guitarists use Ibanez because they are built for speed and precision. The necks are thin and fast, making it easy to play complex chords and solos at high speeds. Second, Ibanez guitars are typically equipped with high-output pickups, which produce a thick, distorted sound that is perfect for metal.

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Can you play blues on an Ibanez?

Yes, you can play blues on an Ibanez. The company’s S series models have slightly wider string spacing that might be more suited toward blues and jazz-based sounds. Ibanez S series guitars are generally a good choice for blues players since they can be played at higher volumes without losing tone quality.

How can I tell what model my Ibanez is?

You can find the model number of your Ibanez by looking at the serial number at the back of the guitar’s headstock or neck plate. The serial number will start with a letter and end with numbers like RG550, and JEM7V.

What does the S stand for in Ibanez S series?

The S letter stands for “Saber”. It was so named because the guitars in this series have a “saber” sound effect. The S series was commenced in 1987 in the category of solid-body electric guitars.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!