In September 1972, Hoshino began a partnership with Elger Guitars to import guitars from Japan. On June 28, 1977, in the Philadelphia Federal District Court, a lawsuit was filed by the Norlin Corporation, the parent company of Gibson Guitars, against Elger/Hoshino U. After the lawsuit, Hoshino Gakki abandoned the strategy of copying "classic" electric guitar designs, having already introduced a plethora of original designs.
Hoshino Gakki introduced Ibanez models that were definitely not copies of the Gibson or Fender designs, such as the Iceman and the Roadstar series.
The company has produced its own guitar designs ever since.
They are "Envisioned to be the finest Japanese-made guitar in history".
Built by some of the most skilled luthiers Ibanez has to offer, they "represent every advance in design and technology Ibanez has developed over the last 20 years".
Hoshino Gakki also had semi-acoustic, nylon- and steel-stringed acoustic guitars manufactured under the Ibanez name.
Most Ibanez guitars were made by the Fuji Gen guitar factory in Japan up until the mid- to late 1980s, and from then on Ibanez guitars have also been made in other Asian countries such as Korea, China, and Indonesia.
During the early 1980s, the Fuji Gen guitar factory also produced most of the Roland guitar synthesizers, including the Stratocaster-style Roland G-505, the twin-humbucker Roland G-202 (endorsed by Adrian Belew, Eric Clapton, Dean Brown, Jeff Baxter, Yannis Spathas, Christoforos Krokidis, Steve Howe, Mike Rutherford, Andy Summers, Neal Schon and Steve Hackett) and the Ibanez X-ING IMG-2010.
Cimar and Starfield were guitar and bass brands owned by Hoshino Gakki.
The Hoshino Gakki company began in 1908 as the musical instrument sales division of the Hoshino Shoten, a bookstore chain.
The Ibanez brand name dates back to 1929 when Hoshino Gakki began importing Salvador Ibáñez guitars from Spain.
Can someone explain to me how to understand an ibanez's manufacture location, guitar model, etc. I also have and RG550 with the number F9711931, and curious as to what it means last 4 numbers are the # it rolled off the line.