Dating ibanez bass
All of its guitars are built by various manufacturers around the world.Currently, Ibanez brand guitars are sourced from factories in China, Indonesia, Korea, and Japan (and possibly other countries I don't know about).During the 1970s, Hoshino used a single Japanese manufacturer for its electric guitar production. Currently Fujigen makes its own line of self-branded instruments, but in the 1960s up through the present, it also contracts with a number of other companies to produce instruments with other brand names on them.Beginning in the late 1960s, Hoshino began contracting with Fujigen to produce Ibanez-branded instruments.I can't confirm this, but Fujigen may have gone as far as to produce the majority of the catalog, and Hoshino would put its "Ibanez" brand on the front and back covers.Some people have found online copies of these older catalogs (a good source for these can be found at Vintage Ibanez Guitar Catalogs - 1971 through 2007) and point to the pictures without logos as evidence that "Ibanez" made unbranded guitars. Some unbranded guitar pictures from a 1973 Ibanez catalog: The answer to this depends on what your definition of "lawsuit" (as it relates to MIJ guitars) is.Loosely defined (and coming into more popular use on sites such as e Bay and Craigslist) a "lawsuit" guitar is ANY old guitar made outside of the USA that is a copy of a popular US-made guitar.In this sense, any MIJ (or made in Korea, China, wherever) guitar that looks like a Fender strat or tele; or a Gibson Les Paul, SG, ES-335; or a Martin acoustic; or a Guild or Rickenbakker; can be labeled as a "lawsuit" model.
Hoshino owns no manufacturing facilities beyond a small custom shop in California.What does exist is a Trading Company named Hoshino Gakki Group.That company owns the Ibanez and TAMA brands (as well as some other minor brands).On its neck plate (or stamped into the guitar, or on the truss rod cover) it will say, "STEEL REINFORCED NECK".That's a dead giveaway that you've got one of "Uncle Matt's" guitars.
That in itself shouldn't cause much confusion, because we know (from Hoshino) that "if it doesn't say Ibanez" it's not an Ibanez.