Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Unidentified Japanese semi-hollowbody
Hello Again!

Last night I walked past the local pawn shop in town, and saw this beautiful guitar in the window. I called them up this morning and they basically wanted to throw it away, so I walked down there and purchased it for basically nothing. It was in terrible shape, but there is nothing a little tweaking, polishing and some steel wool won't fix! Now it plays great!

What caught my eye was the control plate, which you normally wouldnt see on an electric acoustic. I've also always had a thing for Bigsbys, and especially the (at least what I think it is) aluminium bigsby bridge!

Another interesting feature is the neck joint. It looks just like it would be a glue-in neck, with a long neck tenon and fretboard overhang, but it's got a neck plate with four screws.

The fret markers are usually on the 3, 5, 7, 9th and so on. But on this piece, I don't know if sombody at the factory screwed up, or maybe it's just a design twist, but there instead of the 9th fret, the marker is on the 10th. It does mess with your mind a little, and makes it a bit harder to play.

So why do I want to post this guitar on the Guitarz blog?

I really don't have any idea who made this guitar. The only clue is that on the back of the head it's stamped "Japan", which I would imagine it would be anyway. Does anybody know what year, or at least decade it is made? I know the Bigsby is an early Ibanez, but nothing else about it screams Ibanez. I'm sorry about the somewhat bad pictures, but my good camera is gone.

Thank you again Gavin and Bertram!
Thanks Pelle for showing us this. Nice find! I'm afraid I don't know for definite what it is either, without throwing forward the names of the usual suspects of this era from Japan, namely Kawai and Teisco. The body does remind me of Seasick Steve's 3-stringed "trance wonder" - I believe that's a Japanese guitar too.

However, the chances are that if the trem is marked with the Ibanez "I", then the guitar itself is an Ibanez. The trem might be retro-fitted, but I feel it's unlikely. Don't be put off by the lack of resemblance to modern Ibanez guitar - early Ibanezes came in a wide variety of designs often copied or at least inspired by the ever popular models from Fender and Gibson.

Don't read too much into the 10th fret marker instead of the marker being at the 9th. This was standard practice on older guitars, and other fretted instruments (tenor guitars, banjos, mandolins) often continue this tradition to this day.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    I have the identical guitar. I thought it was a one off, as I never seen another like it. It is in fact a 1965 Ibanez Hollowbody. There was some information on the vintage Ibanez page but that site is no longer working. I would like to see the neck plate if you could send a picture.
    A. Rea



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