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

About six months ago, I purchased a Les Paul style Ibanez "half-vine". A brief description would be a "lawsuit" headstock with old-style Ibanez script and flower pot logo in mother-of pearl, "custom" truss rod cover, vine inlay on fretboard, and sunburst book-match tiger maple top. The guitar has no serial number and has a bolt-on neck. It is in 90-95% condition and plays and sounds much better than the real Les Paul I had at the time. My question is this, I bought it as a 1976 model (I am only the second owner). Some people have told me, however, that because of the "lawsuit" headstock and the lack of a serial number, it may be a 1975 model or older. I was under the assumption that these guitars were only produced from 1976-1978. I would appreciate any insight on this guitar.
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 11:03 am:   

Does this look like your guitar? This one was up for sale a few months ago.

According to Guitar Stories, Vol. 1, if it has the Gibson style headstock shape then it predates early-mid '76. The lack of serial numbers and the script logo on an Ibanez original design (Custom Agent, Professional, etc.) generally is an indication of '74 or '75 vintage. I don't know if this holds true for replicas.

I often wonder whether this model should be called a true replica because of the vine and the flower pot inlay. I'm pretty sure that Gibson never offered an LP that looked like this.

Maybe someone else will have more definitive info.
Eric Oswood
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 11:03 am:   


The guitar in the picture pretty much looks like mine with a few exceptions. The pickups on mine are different. My bridge pickup is a rail type design humbucker (one elongated pole piece on each pickup instead of six individual pole pieces). The neck pickup is a standard humbucker except both pickups are the same color. While the fretboard inlay looks identical to mine, the head piece on mine looks a little larger and the "flower pot" inlay is a little more vertical (like those on older Gibsons). Mine also has the original Kluson style tuners (large knobs). I had the opportunity to talk to the original owner and he said he had made no changes since he purchased the guitar new.

As far as calling this a replica, I agree with you because I have never seen a LP with these inlays. As a matter of fact, it appears that Ibanez copied the headstock of the older high-end Gibson hollow-body headstocks that did use the "flower pot". I used the fact that it was not a copy when I was negotiating price-saved me a couple hundred dollars. I was attracted to this guitar, however, because it was unique and not a copy. This was probably an early attempt by Ibanez to produce a different looking deluxe model while sticking with a proven design. I'm glad they did not copy the inaccurate fret-work normally associated with real LP's. According to the Electric Guitar Blue Book, Rev. 5, the old Ibanez guitars are gaining popularity as collector items because they were actually better than the original. As a former LP owner, I couldn't agree more. Thanks for getting back to me. Based on the headstock detail, I am starting to believe this is a pre-'76 model. I've got to get that book-Guitar Stories, Vol. 1.
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 11:03 am:   

I'm glad to hear that you like your Ibanez more than "the other brand". J BTW, the photo above was made from 2 different shots; a bottom and top. I had to do some retouching and squishing and that may have distorted the true proportions of the headstock, some.

Here's something interesting from the Copies page of Ibanez Vintage Site: "Notice the pictures below some models have no Ibanez logo. These are from 1973, by 1974 they put Ibanez on the headstock and in 1975 they added the serial numbers."

Never seen the "rail-type" hbs on anything other than X-Series Ibanezes. So, there's a first time for everything.

If you want a copy of of Guitar Stories, just use the link on the homepage to order it.
Username: Sibly

Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 3:21 am:   

Nice-looking LP! :-)
Sorry, i always find it amusing when we replace pics and old threads become more fascinating...i do it all the time (ok, so it's not really that amusing, but i'm having a bad week) LOL :-)

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