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jimeina
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 11:03 am:   

I was wondering if anybody knows anything about connection between mid-70's Mann guitars and Ibanez guitars of the same period. I have not seen many Mann guitars from that time, but the three I have seen over the last six months have all been EXACTLY like Ibanez models available at the same time - specifically, a Les Paul copy (model 2351), a L6S copy (model 2451), and a Howard Roberts copy (model 2453, which I may be forced to purchase :-)† In every instance these three guitars had "Mann" inlaid on the headstock, but were otherwise identical to their Ibanez counterparts. All the hardware was the same,
including the "star" tuners, "Gibraltar" bridge, pots and knobs, etc. They have the same inlays, appointments, finishes, everything. In fact, the only difference appears to be the "Mann" name in place of "Ibanez". I just can't seem to find anything to "substantiate" my belief that these guitars are products of the same company at the same time! If anyone has any information in regard to "Mann" guitars from this period, please share it with me. Unsubstantiated rumors welcome :-)
JohnS
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 11:03 am:   

Jim:

I've never seen the Mann name. Are the guitars you've seen in Canada? Is the serial numbering similar to Ibanezes?

I looked up Mann in Guitar Stories, Vol. 1 and no mann is listed as a distributor or manufacturer.

Sorry, couldn't help more.
jimeina
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 11:03 am:   

Hi John,

Mann guitars are RARE! I've only seen a handful - in Canada, of course - and they've always been older (read: mid-70's) instruments. I wrote Michael Wright and Jim Donahue about them and though neither is familiar with the Mann name first-hand, they both point out that Hoshino was a marketing company, and distributed guitars under a variety of brand names. Michael suggests that Mann may be an Australian mark, and I suspect European or Canadian, but so far, I haven't got any hard info. I believe it's obvious that these guitars come from the Fuji Gen Gaki factory, but I would like to determine if Mann was another short-lived brand name used by Hoshino in the early-mid '70s, like Jason (Australia) and Antoria or CSL (UK), or if it represents another marketing company aquiring instruments from the same factory - perhaps guitars that Hoshino did not purchase - and distributing them independently. Either way, they are as fine as any Ibanez instrument from the time (they ARE the SAME THING! It's weird!!)

jim
JohnS
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 11:03 am:   

Jim:

Maybe Hoshino knows? Have you contacted them about it?
jimeina
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 11:03 am:   

You know John, I've emailed Ibanez through their USA web page atleast 10 times over the last couple of years asking this question and that (tho' never THIS specific question) and they have NEVER, EVER, NOT ONCE responded with so much as a "we're sorry but we have no idea"... So I don't email them, because it seems pointless.
spiro
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 11:03 am:   

I have also heard that ibanez in the sixties was also known as Goldentone is this true????
Shaun Polczer
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 11:03 am:   

I've seen quite a few Mann guitars, acoustics and electrics. A friend had a Mann LP, and it was quite a decent axe for the money. Another friend had a Mann 6-string/bass doubleneck. I have a 6/12 Ibanez from the same era, and I was also quite struck with the similarity. Yet another cousin had a Mann 12-string acoustic, so the idea that Mann was a Canadian distributor seems valid to me. (I'm from Calgary.) But I also think they were shittier than the real Ibanezes -- just a little. They don't sound the same either.
Diggs (Diggs)
Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2002 - 2:16 am:   

Jimeina.. well I hope I am not posting this message to late. I own a 1970 custom Mann Lp. It does'nt have the star tunners but its a Mann. and it is identical in everyway to that same generation of Gibson Les Pauls except
for the assembly line it was put together on I have been searching the web, asking every music store etc. and have come up short in finding anything out up untill late. which has brought me here. looking for answers to the Ibanez/Mann connection.

This is what I have heard. ( Mann was the name that Ibanez started building under when they were being sued by gibson and fender for making replica's of the top guitars, The authorities were seizing the Japanese shipments and sawing the headstocks off of guitars by the boat load. I really don't know how much of this is true, my custom mann also says made in Japan on the necks bolt cover.. the serial # starts with a letter and then numbers just like vintage Ibanez from that era. It really does lead me to believe that this does have some truth to it. I have also heard that they produced under the mann name in north America and a different name in europe The Mann company seemed to just vanish in the 80's sometime. hope this helps. and if you find anything out post it here cause I would love to know more about it.
Teecal (Teecal)
Posted on Saturday, March 30, 2002 - 3:42 pm:   

I don't know anything about the MANN brand name being used on guitars, but I once owned a 5-String banjo with maple resonator that I bought used in Toronto, and which was a pretty good player for the dough, and I have a buddy who may still have a tenor banjo, also with the MANN name on the headstock. I sold my 5-string MANN to a fellow bluegrasser who still owns it. He used it to learn on, and now owns a Gibby Earl Scruggs Mastertone, but he still has the MANN and keeps it at his sign shop to play during lull periods. I can get a digital photo of the script that's on the headstock if it's of interest to anybody.
Keep On a-Pickin and a-Grinnin'
TeeCal
Iiszakszon (Iiszakszon)
Posted on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 2:10 pm:   

November 15, 2003 @ Jasper, AB, Canada

Dear fellow Mann guitar owners,

I have been reading, with great interest, the ongoing saga about what is what with Mann guitars. I own a mint Howard Roberts copy, (unfortunately sans pick guard). That is the reason for some personal investigation on the issue.

This is what I have thus far:

Mann guitars were made in the Fuji Gen Gaki factory, along side of the better known Ibanez versions. I believe that "DEGAS" versions were also made there at that time. I have yet to discover the intricacies of the convoluted corporate structure but it seems as though Hoshino was the umbrella under which these items were made.

My guitar is IDENTICAL to the Ibanez version, excepting of course the head stock name. I have seen them side-by-each and they are the same. I think that the major difference between the two is documentation. Ibanez has traceable model & serial numbers, where Mann does not. I have no factory markings on my unit whatsoever.

The DEGAS - Les Paul copies were also identical to the Ibanez versions. Once again, no traceable markings.

I have contacted the Canadian Ibanez distributor and while courteous enough, offer no assistance regarding origin of my guitar.

My goal is to find that pick guard and hardware, and restore the unit to original condition. I have several Asian conections that I am following. Also, I am investigating import "stuff" through Canadian customs.

Ibanez copies seem to be quite rare here in Canada. While many are available through E-bay, very few find their way to vintage stores - particularly in the middle of the Canadian Rockies!

Thanks for letting me be a part of this. This site is by far the best organized and documented for "users" like us.

Now, if only I could find a .............

Best regards ........... Jim
Mannaxes (Mannaxes)
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 2:16 pm:   

Hello MANN Guitar Owners,

I am a collector of MANN guitars and can provide some additional information. Here is a picture of my collection:

MANN Guitars
Left to Right: 2375N (Strat), 2352CS (Tele Custom), 2350 (Les Paul Custom), 2344 (Melody Maker), 2354 (SG Custom), 2151NT (L6-S), 2350CS (Les Paul Custom), 2372 (Les Paul Pro)

These guitars are pre-lawsuit (pre-1977) with the correct headstock and were made in the Fuji Gen Gakki factory and are identical to Ibanez except for the name. I live in the U.S. but these guitars came from Canada where guitars with the Ibanez name were sold at the same time. I donít know if Ibanez rebranded these guitars for the Canadian market or whether there was a Canadian distributor that sold under the MANN brand. I suspect the latter because there is another strain of the MANN brand in Canada that are not made by Fuji Gen Gakki and are inferior in quality to these. The MANN script for the Fuji Gen Gakki is usually inlaid MOP (all but the Strat) and looks like this:

MANN Yes

The MANN script for the other strain is a decal and looks like this:

MANN No

My assumption is that a Canadian distributor contracted with Fuji Gen Gakki, as did Ibanez, and had their own brand put on the headstock. Sometime in the late 70s, the contract ended and this distributor purchased their guitars elsewhere, possibly in Korea. I would be very interested in any clarification or additional information that anyone has.
Mr_Roadstar (Mr_Roadstar)
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 9:20 pm:   

Facinating! Helluva nice bunch of geetars too. Looks like you got the Fender and Gibson copies pretty well covered. I'm curious if the line was as extensive as the Ibanez offerings. Such as Firebirds, Explorers and Vee's for example.

Were there any Rickenbacker copies built with the MANN logo?

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