Founded in 1908, Hoshino Gakki was the musical instrument arm of Hoshino Shoten a Japanese bookstore chain. Initial production of guitars began in 1935 with a range of Spanish style instruments under the Ibanez Salvador brand, the name being in honour of Spanish luthier Salvador Ibanez.
Shortening the name to Ibanez, electric guitar production began around 1957 and steadily grew through the 1960’s and 70’s.
In the late 70’s Ibanez had become firmly established in US market with their affordable and high quality instruments such as those featured in the, “Artist”, “Iceman” and “Roadstar” ranges, all of which were strong competition for the leading US based guitar brands.
While Ibanez had become a leading Japanese brand it was their involvement with the most innovative players in the field that brought Ibanez to the centre stage, their innovations and willingness to work with players to develop instruments that were truly custom built guitars, and not just signatures on existing models attracted a slew of talented and rising guitar stars .
The instruments created for these artists in turn became production models, not just copies, these instruments were the very same guitars that their heroes played on stage, and could be purchased from your local Ibanez dealer.
Artists such a George Benson and Pat Metheny had been long term supporters of Ibanez, however much can be attributed to guitar wizard, Steve Vai, his collaboration with Ibanez gave birth to the Jem series of guitars and also the RG range of instruments, this design is still the corner stone of many of the fantastic instruments Ibanez produce.
Through the last three decades Trev Wilkinson and the Wilkinson brand have worked with Hoshino on various projects including the Starfield range which launched in 1992 and featured the USA WK10 vibrato, and W5 Hardtail bridge.
Under the Ibanez brand the first instrument to feature the VSVG vibrato was the Blazer BL1025 in 1997, however it is most notably been used by long term Ibanez endorsee, Andy Timmons on his ATZ100 Signature guitar, with our Platinum Series WV6-SB being utilised on his lower priced ATZ10P. Most recently the Talman styled YY10, Yvette Young, Signature model also uses our Platinum Series WV6SB vibrato.