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greg eddins
Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 9:21 am:   

Here's my question. I've been seeing some posts on other sites lately, with claims that Ibanez, during the 70's-80's supposedly marketed some of their products under other names....Lyle, Mann, to name a couple I've encountered...Is there any way to confirm/deny? I don't know why, I just wanna know. It's a cool part of the history if it's true

Mark Munchenberg (Munch)
Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 8:57 pm:   


I am aware of Ibanez guitars marketed in England under the Antoria brand name. I have seen Ibanez guitars with no brand at all on them or with simply IBZ on the headstock.

Ibanez also sold guitars under the Greco, Maxxas, Cimar and Starfield brands. Other than this I believe that Ibanez shipped guitars to dealers and distributors with house brands on them. This is where the Mann brand comes into play I think.

I hope this helps in some way, and Jeff if you can confirm any of this that would be great.


PS10 (Spiro)
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2001 - 12:20 am:   

Jason Guitars are also Ibanez guitars....

I had seen once a custom agent with Jason on it.... Identical to the Ibanez custom agent
Jeff Hasselberger (Jhasselberger)
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2001 - 2:59 pm:   

The actual answer is – in typical Black Hole fashion -- both “yes and no.”

Very few companies in Japan have their “own” factory. For that matter, very few factories in Japan make all the components of the final product that they produce. Most Japanese export companies own shares of the factories that they do business with. Many of the factories also own shares of the export companies. It makes for a cozy relationship and fosters mutually assured success. To fully explain the ins and outs of these relationships would take up at least one graduate course.

Such is the case with Ibanez. The Ibanez brand has been made by several factories along the way and some of these factories have made instruments for other domestic and export companies. There have also been a couple of small factory-owned facilities that have built Ibanez guitars.

Back in the old days, we were very conscious of where we wanted our product to be and we worked very closely with our factory partners to make the quality and feature level that we wanted. The understanding was that certain of these instruments would be proprietary – in other words, they wouldn’t make them for just any old bunch of cowpokes.

This was far more confusing in the copy days. (Imagine us trying to police who made Les Paul copies.) To run down a few of the brands mentioned: Greco was sold by Kanda Shokai, a domestic distributor that was known as the “Ibanez of Japan” if you can believe that. Cimar made some of our less complicated Fender copies. We sold some lower-end instruments with their name on them for a while. Starfield was a new brand launched by Hoshino with slightly different specs that could be sold to non-Ibanez dealers. (Starfield is “Hoshino” roughly translated into English.)

The central point is that Ibanez was a specific and distinct brand with a certain personality and certain qualities that were all its own. To us that was far more important than from what factory individual models came. And even though Ibanez guitars were made in the same factory as another brand (or brands), it would be unlikely that the instruments would be identical, since we had our own specifications and quality control procedures.

That scratches the surface. Read Michael Wright’s new book ( out within the next year) for the whole inside scoop.

Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2001 - 9:23 am:   


Thanks for the great history lesson. It sounds like a complicated business structure.

Just a clarification, are you saying that Grecos are Ibanezes sold only in Japan?

Another question: It's been said that Ibanez imported replicas without any name on them for a period (I guess trying to defeat the lawsuit). Do you have any recollections on this?

Jeff Hasselberger (Jhasselberger)
Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2001 - 3:28 pm:   


Greco was one of the exceptions that made the rule. No, they didn’t sell everything we did, with the Greco name on the headstock. Yes, they sold some models that were virtually identical to Ibanez.

Greco guitars were sold primarily in the Japanese domestic market. They were the high-end of Japanese made electric guitars sold in Japan at the time. We were sort of “brothers in quality,” since our standards were higher than our respective competitors and roughly equal to each other. Many of the models were made in the same factory as the corresponding Ibanez models.

Since Ibanez guitars were not sold in Japan at that time, there was a sense of cooperation between us and our counterparts at Kanda Shokai (Greco marketer). They sold a lot of models – some original designs as well as copies – that we didn’t. And vice versa. Yes, we occasionally “borrowed” from each other.

Regarding the no-names, we might have gotten a sample or two without a logo, but not as a matter of course. There was no attempt to circumvent the lawsuit with no-name guitars.

A clarification on my previous post. Hoshino owned a couple of small guitar-making facilities. We made Tama and Ibanez Artwood acoustics in a small facility at the Tama drum factory. After I left the company, a number of models were made in the USA in Bensalem and at a custom shop in Southern California.

greg eddins
Posted on Friday, June 15, 2001 - 5:28 pm:   

Okay, now I'm cornfused!!....there's a site out there, with scanned pages from an Ibanez catalog, which shows some LP copies with no names...the 2351 comes to mind...but here's the link to that page...check it out and let me know the truth...haha

I learn more on this site than anywhere else...thanks for the info!!

just scroll down, and you'll see what I mean...
Posted on Saturday, July 07, 2001 - 7:33 am:   


Any ideas on the Memphis version of the Custom Agent? There's one posted in the Free Classifieds section, see "Custom Agent for sale".

Except for the lack of body inlay behind the tailpiece, it looks pretty much identical.
tim walker
Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 10:06 am:   

I bought an Antoria Les Paul custom which has the same MOP inlay as Ibanez Performers and some Les Pauls. It also had 3 super-70 pick-ups fitted, which I've since removed to restore an Artist. These copies are well worth looking out for even if it's just to steal the Ibanez parts!
Sixvsix (Sixvsix)
Posted on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 12:05 am:   

For those of you who may be interested. Here's a great example of an Antoria version of the 2355.


Sixvsix (Sixvsix)
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 2:15 pm:   

This has just gone under the hammer in the UK. I'm tempted.......


Johns (Johns)
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 9:21 am:   


Zero bids. What happened?
Sixvsix (Sixvsix)
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 2:26 pm:   

Don't know John. Looks like the seller pulled. I assume it was the bolt neck that was putting them off here. Nothing against the Ibanez/Antoria bolt neck Lesters myself but they are not that popular here in the UK.

Maybe because there were a lot of nasty bolt neck copies around in the 70's over here.........ouch, it pains me to recall them.


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