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Username: Jnp

Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Saturday, June 25, 2005 - 8:31 pm:   

There appears to be a fair bit of information to be found and subsequently sifted through on the internet about the '70s models, so my next stop is over to the Ibanez Vintage page.

But if anyone could give me a general brush over of the history of when the "Lawsuit" happened and if the are any Copied models that fall outside the timeline of this period.

Generally what I'm lookin for is

"SG's after 197X are generally not considered Lawsuit models because the changes to the XXXXXXX..."
"LP's after 197X were modified in the XXXXXX after the court case....." you get the idea.

I'm attempting to find out as much as I can myslef so I dont have to harrass people around here too much. But a general lead in info about these models would be good. I'm about start opening my wallet and try and join this "club" and I really dont feel like being ripped off.

Thanks Guys and Gals
Username: Tim_gueguen

Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Saturday, June 25, 2005 - 11:31 pm:   

The "lawsuit" wasn't. In 1977 Norlin, the company that then owned Gibson, decided to consider action against Ibanez over the design of its headstocks. They contacted Ibanez and threatened legal action unless Ibanez stopped using Gibson style "open book" headstocks on their instruments. Ibanez readily agreed for the simple reason that they had already abandoned that style of headstock. The issue never even reached a court.
Username: Mr_roadstar

Registered: 06-2002
Posted on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 1:21 am:   

Bottom line: models with the Gibson "moustache" or "open book" headstock generally command a higher price than an otherwise similar model with the later "tulip" headstock.

This only applies to "copies". Ibanez original designs such as the Artist and Iceman have no context in the "lawsuit" era.

Username: Johns

Registered: 02-2001
Posted on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 8:27 am:   


According to Guitar Stories, Vol.I, page 110:

"Norlin finally filed suit in Federal District Court in Philadephia. On June 28, 1977, to be precise, Gibson Vs. Elger Co. was opened in Judge Ditter's court, with Gibson claiming trademark infringement based on the duplicate headstock design of the Ibanez copies."
Username: Padraic

Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 12:34 pm:   

Just to tie together what has already been said here; Tim is absolutely correct in what he says about the lawsuit being more of a whimper than an explosion, but the term 'lawsuit' has passed into common use (especially among eBay sellers where it can be used pretty indescriminately )The 'lawsuit' guitars have the 'open-book' or 'moustache' headstocks. There are other Ibanez copies that have 'non-moustache' headstocks, but these, strictly speaking, are not lawsuit copies. Values, but not quality, vary with the lawsuit headstocks. V's and Explorers, plus Strats are also lawsuit if the headstock is right.
Username: Padraic

Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 12:37 pm:   

Ooops! I think I'm wrong about the Strats; this term only applies to Gibson copies. Sorry about that!
Username: Spiro

Registered: 02-2001
Posted on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 5:15 pm:   

There is no such thing as a lawsuit guitar!!!

There is Pre- Lawsuit and Post Lawsuit guitars but no lawsuit guitar!! No specific guitar was responsible for the lawsuit. It was all of the the gibson style copies that influenced the lawsuit taken out on Ibanez. The oher thing people have to realise is that there is guitars with the open book headstock that were actually sold well after the lawsuit in other countries...

They had to get rid of what stock was left.. Greco guitars continued with the open book headstock into the mid eighties..
Username: Jnp

Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 6:16 am:   

Thanks guys, thats the sort of thing I was chasing.
Specifics I can learn as I go.

Another more general questions though...

Us new guys to this often here the rumour's of how these guitars were "often the same quality or even better than the originals"

As i'm finding out there was many different varations of these guitars offered by Ibanez
From what i've seen so far the "top of the line models" were typically the set neck types.

How comparable was the hardware of these sorts of guitars to the originals? Tuners, woods and so on.

Username: Lespaul

Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 7:25 am:   

Hi Jared,

I just love the kopies, although some of them are quite a good guitar and some of them are plain crap.
I honestly believe that none of the kopies even comes close to "the original". Even the good kopies I have cannot match the few originals I own. All hardware and method of construction is cheaper on the kopies, and so is the final product. These guitars are simply in different leagues.

Username: Padraic

Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 4:34 pm:   

I wouldn't take quite the same view as Lespaul. Copy pickups, if they are Super 70s, are pretty good, although not quite as good as Pat No. equivalents. They are similar in output to Gibson pickups, aren't microphonic at volume, and can create a wide variety of 'Gibsonesque' sounds (but not the full crunch or 'push' of a Les Paul. Tuners are not so good, unless they are the 'star' versions, in which case they are easily as good, or better than, their kluson equivalents (I think the Star tuners may be Gutoh?). Woods? ah, here we have it... Many copies tend to be ash or a curious 'mosaic' of 1 inch square planks bonded together. Some, such as the ES 175s, use decent flamed maple for the soundboard. Despite this, they still sound better than they should! I suspect that much of this was down to the care taken by Ibanez to supply well set-up guitars to keen teenage owners.

In fairness, there is probably quite a large 'nostalgia factor' for many copy owners (myself included) Lespaul is right in the end; the Gibsons often have the edge. But some of their construction and setup in the 70s wasn't that good either...
Username: Hans

Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 9:33 am:   

With Fender lookalike models it's probably somewhat different. The Fenders from the mid and late seventies were sometimes not so good, to put it mildly. Bad fitting neckpockets, bad spraywork, badly adjusted, very heavey weight etc. The Ibanez strats, teles and the many jazz and precision lookalikes were often very comparable to the original. The silver series were just plain better. I'd rather have an Ibanez silver series precision, than a Fender from the same era..
Username: Olafreijnders

Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 6:05 pm:   

I have a '76 Jazz Bass and it sounds just a Jazz Bass should. The ultimate slap machine! I think that this one (sunburst with an ash body) is so awesome because it's a '76. Anyway a real player! I will never sell it, just plain luck to cross the path of such a perfect lefty bass.
Username: Pitviper

Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2005 - 8:52 pm:   

Fact is, in the 70's to early 80's Ibanez had better luthiers, or ones who didn't smoke dope everyday. It's all about quality control..and Japan luthiers paid much more attention to in and day out. It's evidence with their products. It was a "Expression of Craftsmanship".

Their attention to detail was unrivaled compaired to the states, (except on some US custom models)and they took great pride in each and every guitar they made. While japan was gearing up to professional standards..the US was gearing down and producing slop by comparison.

In no small part this is one big reason why US companies had problems with them. Not just that they looked alike..but they were, most of the time, built better and cost less.

Old news to true Ibanez lovers.
Username: Ibanezfreak1960

Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 9:28 am:   

Why assume they were all dope heads? And are you talking about USA factory workers from Gibson and Fender? Most of them were not luthiers. They were assembly line workers trained to do specific jobs in the guitar mass production process.
Username: Pitviper

Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 10:54 am:   

I was being sarcastic. Just left out the
Username: Ibanezfreak1960

Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 4:23 pm:   

I hear you.
Username: Doc

Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - 2:14 am:   

My 1978 Callenger/Silver Series "mistake" hybrid is a carbon copy of an early (Pre CBS) L series stratocaster and is built way better than any Fender I ever played.

I have refused a swap for genuine Fender strats on 2 occassions after subbing it for a broken string strat when someone I was watching perform had no stand-in (back up guitar) and no time to restring on stage during the set. They both loved it. B]

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