Skip to main content

Get a Sneak Peek at the Ibanez 50th Anniversary Custom Shop Collection

Ibanez guitars
(Image credit: Ibanez)

While the Ibanez guitar brand dates back to late 19th Century Spain with luthier Salvador Ibáñez (1854–1920) it was the Japanese Hoshino company that brought the name to the fore of the modern guitar world.  

Having imported Ibáñez acoustic guitars from Spain since the late 1920s, Hoshino started making Ibanez-labelled guitars themselves following the demise of the Valencian workshop in the late ‘30s.

Things really progressed after the rock ‘n’ roll years of the late ‘50s when Hoshino began exporting Ibanez electric guitars. Eventually, in 1972, the Ibanez brand was trademarked in the U.S. along with the formation of Hoshino U.S.A.

From this point onwards, Ibanez guitars began to develop an identity all their own.

George Benson with Ibanez hollowbody electric in 1977

The great jazz guitarist George Benson teamed up with Ibanez in 1976, culminating in the release of the GB10 and GB20 signature models. (Image credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images)

In celebration of this year’s 50th anniversary, Hoshino U.S.A. is releasing a collection comprising instruments crafted in the Los Angeles- and Aichi Prefecture-based Custom Shops.

Featuring guitars and basses – each with a unique design – the collection represents the most ambitious run of Ibanez Custom Shop guitars to date.

Celebrating half a century of success, these rare and collectible guitars are mere days away from seeing the light of day.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peak at just a few of the enticing axes that will be on offer via dealers.

LACS5 “Root Beer Float”

  • Neck: 3pc Maple / Korina
  • Neck Width: 43mm @ Nut, 57mm @ 22nd Fret
  • Neck Thickness: 20mm @ 1st Fret, 22mm @12th Fret
  • Grip Shape: Round 
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Fretboard Radius: 12”
  • Inlays: Block Pearloid / Abalone
  • Side Dots: Luminlay
  • Scale Length: 24.7”
  • Neck Joint: Set Neck
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Flamed Maple
  • Pickups: DiMarzio PAF 36th Anniversary
  • Controls: 2 Vol, 2 Tone, 3 Way Pickup Selector
  • Tuners: Gotoh Magnum Locking
  • Bridge: Gibraltar 1
  • Finish: Light Root Beer Burst

LACS18 “Hang 10”

The Talman is Ibanez’s answer to those classic offset electric solidbodies that hail from California. Similarly, this Los Angeles-built neck-thru rarity is constructed using alder, maple and rosewood.

Its quilted maple top and Turquoise Blue Stain finish are redolent of ocean waves while its Seymour Duncan Strat Lipstick pickups deliver that quintessential surf rock tone.

Specifications:

  • Neck: 3pc Maple/Purpleheart
  • Neck Width: 42mm @ Nut, 57mm @ 22nd Fret
  • Neck Thickness: 20mm @ 1st Fret, 22mm @ 12th Fret
  • Grip Shape: Half Round 
  • Fretboard: Rosewood 
  • Fretboard Radius: 16”
  • Inlays: Mother of Pearl Dots
  • Side Dots: Luminlay
  • Scale Length: 25.5”
  • Neck Joint: Neck-Thru 
  • Body: Alder
  • Top: Quilted Maple
  • Pickups: Seymour Duncan Strat Lipstick
  • Controls: Vol, Tone, 5-Way Pickup Selector Switch
  • Tuners:  Gotoh Magnum Locking
  • Bridge:  Gibraltar Std. II
  • Finish:  Turquoise Blue Stain Gloss

JPCS32 “Sakura”

Made in Japan, the JPCS32 is a remarkable work of art in itself. This electric bass is nicknamed Sakura (meaning ‘cherry blossom’ in Japanese) in reference to its intricate inlays of shell and wood.

Its 5-piece maple/Purpleheart neck features a Timeless Timber Maple center – a highly-coveted, centuries-old tonewood found preserved in lakes and rivers.

Specifications:

  • Neck: 5pc Maple/Purpleheart (Timeless Timber Maple core)
  • Neck Width: 38.0mm @ Nut, 60.0mm @ 24th Fret
  • Neck Thickness: 19.5mm @ 1st Fret, 22.5mm @ 12th Fret
  • Grip Shape: Atlas-4 HP
  • Fingerboard: Ebony 
  • Fingerboard Radius: 12”
  • String Spacing: 19mm  
  • Inlays: MOP & Abalone  
  • Side Dots: White
  • Scale Length: 34” 
  • Neck Joint: Bolt-On
  • Body: Alder
  • Top: Maple Burl
  • Pickups: Nordstrand Big Singles
  • Tuners: Gotoh RES-O-LITE
  • Bridge: MR5S
  • EQ: Ibanez Custom Electronics 3-Band EQ
  • Controls: Vol/Blend/Treble/Mid/Bass/EQ Bypass/Mid Selector 
  • Finish: Yozakura Blue

Visit the Ibanez website (opens in new tab) for more news.

Rod Brakes is a music writer with an expertise in all things guitar-related. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a journalist covering artists, industry pros and gear includes writing hundreds of articles and features for the likes of Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar, as well as contributions for specialist books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.