Beginning in the late 1960s, Hoshino began contracting with Fujigen to produce Ibanez-branded instruments.Through the 1970s and early/mid 1980s, Fujigen was the exclusive manufacturer of electric Ibanez guitars and basses.The reason I get asked it is because many people who are selling an old guitar without the Ibanez brand on it put something to this effect in their ad: So, if you have found this article because you are considering buying a cool old guitar, the information I have presented below should help you avoid paying more for a guitar than it is actually worth, or finding out later, when you go to sell it, that it really isn't an Ibanez at all.Let me get right to the point: If a guitar does not have a valid "Ibanez" logo on its headstock, then it's NOT an Ibanez guitar.Interesting because it as an indiviual slider volume for each pickup, so you can dial in an unlimited variety of tones. An early 1960’s Vivona which was made by EKO, and a wee Hi-Tone. It is from Italy, and looks, feels, smells, just like the JG Italians. Below: On the left is a RARE Wandre Doris from the mid 1960’s. Next is a nice ’67 Fender Jaguar and the ’67 Domino Spartan, costing about 7000% less. ) Though nothing really beats the mojo of owning a true, vintage instrument, at least Eastwood have, over the past decade, done a great job at bringing back some of those gems, as mentioned before.Lastly, an EKO Florentine Bass with it’s partner 6-string. Next to that is a nice Silvertone Mosrite with slider controls. Then two sweet GOYA Rangemasters and a wacky Galanti. Next is one of my current favorites, a 6-string Espana Viola shaped guitar. This guitar was also made at the VOX factory, and shares all the same parts and finish ast the 335 style Espana pictured way up above. Next, a MINT 60’s Airline Barney Kessel featuring the very cool “Kleenex Box” pickups, another current Custom Shop Reissue. This is exactly the same as the Univox, but was imported to Canada under the brand Raven.
Below: Perhaps my favorite 1960’s guitars, the Domino’s.Below: A mint early 1960’s Airline with original case. It is owned by a friend of mine that brought it over last week to tease me! Fortunately he agreed to let me share some pictures with you. I have been playing, collecting, repairing and analyzing vintage Ibanez (and other MIJ guitars) for over 30 years, and I am often asked this question.EKO was at the forefront, and within 2 years they were shipping over 10,000 electric guitars to USA per year.For most North American kids, including myself, their first guitar was an EKO or some Japanese import. these were all too expensive for our parents to buy for us.