While the Ibanez brand may be known for their bass guitars, there are plenty of people who have learned to play using an Ibanez acoustic guitar. Their selection of inexpensive guitars makes them especially appealing to the beginning guitar student.
The Bookstore Branches Out
The beginnings of Ibanez are hard to believe. Ibanez is a brand of guitar owned by The Hoshino Gakki Company, the instrumental sales division of the Hoshino Shoten, a Japanese bookstore company. In 1929 Hoshino Gakki began importing guitars from Spain. These guitars had been created by one Salvador Ibanez, a renowned Spanish guitar maker.
The Ibanez workshop was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). With Ibanez guitars no longer able to be imported, Hoshino Gakki bought the Ibanez Salvador brand so that they could start making acoustic guitars themselves.
During the 1950's and 1960's, most of the Japanese guitars being produced were copies of European guitars. Ibanez guitars of this time frame followed the same pattern. Their early models were reminiscent of European guitar designs such as Hagstrom and EKO. Occasionally Ibanez would go on to copy American designers with Ibanez brand copies of guitars like Gibson, Rickenbacker and Fender.
This copy-cat period led to a number of drawn-out lawsuits, the end result of which was that the company began designing and producing its own models of acoustic and electric guitar models to avoid further legalities. Ibanez has since focused on its own designs and has developed a good reputation for quality bass guitars. Its acoustic guitar lines have also steadily increased in quality since the 1960's, and there are plenty of professional musicians who play an Ibanez acoustic guitar.
Although not as popular as, say, Fender or Gibson, an Ibanez acoustic guitar is still the instrument of choice for musicians such as Steve Vai of Euphoria; American Artist Edwin McCain; the Spanish guitar player Tontxu; as well as Caisa, Malin and Lisa, the Swedish guitar players that make up the band Calaisa.
Interestingly, Ibanez is more popular with European and Asian artists than with American artists. This is most likely due to the extreme popularity of brands such as Fender and Gibson in the US But one thing that Ibanez does better than most other company is their sheer artist of design. Many of their models use rare and unusual woods to create guitars that stand out for their pure beauty.
Ibanez Acoustic Guitar Models
The Ibanez Artwood . One of the better known Ibanez acoustic guitar models is that of the Ibanez Artwood. The Artwood series is highlighted by the use of unusual woods in its construction. Woods like walnut and bubinga, as well as both quilted and flamed maples are used to produce an astounding looking piece which price ranges from $ 200 – $ 500.
The Ibanez AE Series. Another popular series of Ibanez acoustic guitar models is the Ibanez AE. The AE comes in a wide variety of colors and textures that allow the player to pick an instrument to suit their personality. With a good tone and structure as well as a price tag between $ 250 – $ 350, it is easy to see why so many chose the AE for their beginning instrument.
The Ibanez EW Series . Known primarily for its unusual look, the Ibanez EW (Exotic Wood) series makes for a striking instrument. While the cost is higher, between $ 400 – $ 500 per instrument, the appeal of having a guitar made entirely out of quilted maple or spalted mango, helps rationalize the higher price.
Why an Ibanez?
Ibanez has enhanced its reputation challenges and now produces quality products at very competitive prices. This company targets players not willing to pay the price of a Gibson or Fender guitar, but who still wants a quality guitar.