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  luthiers and guitar makers



info    updated 25/7/2015





Ibanez custom

1932 to present

Founded in Nagoya, Japan by Matsujiro Hoshino as a book and stationery supply, retailing musical instruments from 1909.  Started importing musical instruments in 1921. Son, Yoshitaro became president and instrument export started in 1927. They imported Salvador Ibanez guitars from Spain and purchased the brand in 1930s. Factories destroyed during WWII but manufacture began again in 1950s.

Ibanez dating and serial numbers

Ibanez "Heart and Soul" USA made guitars (Bensalem, PA) were made from 1988 -1990. California guitars were 1990-1992. Others Coopersburg, PA 1993-94 [Source: Jemsite]


Ibanez Talman dating


Ibanez reference books at Amazon

New "Untold History" of Ibanez guitars. (PRODUCT NEWS): An article from: Music Trades



Mountain of Ibanez links


Watch out for fakes: http://www.ibanezrules.com/fakes.htm

Ibanez Talman Guide http://guitargeek.com/chat/showthread.php?s=&threadid=86420&goto=nextnewest

Ibanez guitar catalogs

Awesome set of Ibanez guitar catalog scans 1971 - 2005   http://s93105080.onlinehome.us/Ibanez-Catalogs/

1978 - 2002 http://www.ibanezrules.com/catalogs/index.htm

1982 - 1986 http://www.guitartechcraig.com/ibanez/catindx.html

1983-1985 Audiozone

Ibanez iceman catalogs http://vintageibanez.tripod.com/iceman.html

1985 , 1986 Axstar catalogs http://extinguishedscholar.com/axstar.html

1988, 1990 Ibanez Artfield catalog scans

Ibanez JEM catalog scans 1988-1998 http://www.jemsite.com/ibanez/catalogs/index.htm


2007 Ibanez acoustic guitar catalog

2008 Ibanez acoustic guitar catalog

2008 Ibanezelectric guitars, bass and effects catalog Warning large file 32MB pdf

Ibanez have now published all of their catalogs back to the 1950s

Ibanez forums


Ibanez Artwood label Ibanez serial number

Images acoustic courtesy of Spahghetti AAGH 2008, electric courtesy of nicovington 2008

Salvador Ibanez

1870s to 1930s

Salvador Ibanez (1854-1920) Valencia, Spain founder of the Ibanez Brand which was later purchased by Hoshino, Japan.

Salvador Ibanez at Wikipedia

Image Ballabio:

Salvador Ibane guitar label

Iceni 1994- At Iceni music, where we make the Zootbass, we have a staff of four individuals all specialised at what they're doing best. Mike Walsh Started this company 9 years ago.



Ideal brand guitars. Have seen this brand on GBase as a Rickenbacker copy. Apparently made in Japan 1970s. Thanks to Ben van Dyk for bringing to my attention.

Thanks to to Nate de Mont for passing on this Ideal branded guitar apparently was made by Fujigen Gakki found on ebay 9/4/2014.

Idol guitars

Idol catalogs



Idol guitar

iHush   iHush guitars are made in Japan. A number of instruments on reverb.com wre selling for $3,800 with a Zemaitis style aluminium top Les Paul copy going for $7,000 USD.

Illusion Guitars

1992 to present

Jeff Scott, electric guitars, Fallbrook, California, USA
2005 Illusion guitar catalog

Illusion at myspace

Yuichi Imai

1971 - present

Imai guitars are/were made in Tokyo at least in 1983. [Source: Tom Rutledge Oct 2009]

Image jsima:

Yuchi Imai guitar label




Imported to US by Imperial Accordion Company, Chicago, USA. Early guitars by Crucianelli, Italy then production switched to Japan.


Images of 1967 Imperial acoustic (with Crucianelli label)  Denmark Smugmug:

Imperial guitar label

Images ebay


Indiana Guitar Company

1990 to present

The Indiana Guitar Company is a division of SHS International a musical instrument manufacturer that focuses on a wide range of high quality musical products at affordable prices.

Since 1990 we have been supplying music retailers all over the world with new designs of guitars, amplifiers, banjos, mandolins, strings, cases and gig bags.


Indian Hill 2007-

Michael Kennedy, Indian Hill Guitars, Montreal, Quebec Canada

I started Indian Hill Guitars in 2007. Guitars are made in Montreal

Dating Indian Hill guitars

Year is written on the label and the date the top was glued on is written on the top (can be viewed with a mirror) [Source: Mike, Indian Hill Gutiars, email 28/12/2012]

Indie Guitar Company

2002 to present

"Indie Guitars began in the UK 2003We have private factories in South Korea.

Serial Number on the Back of the headstock.. First number is Year and rest is production run. For instance I071684 = 2007 run number 1684." [Source and image courtesy of Keith Willis, Indie, email 29/9/2008 ]
About Indie - Article by Keith Willis August 2007

Indi Union Jack guitar

Reviews http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Guitar/brand/Indie+Guitar+Company


Current at 2012

Indy Custom Guitars



2003 to present

Guitars and basses by string maker Tomastik-Infeld of Vienna according to Vintage Guitar Price Guide


Guitars by JTG, Nashville 1980s. [Source: Vintage Guitar Price Guide]



Custom painted guitars. Wales

Made since "early 2008.

 I work mostly from home.

Dating Inkyhollow Guitars

Each guitar is very distinctive and photos of them all are on the website with at least the month in which it was finished in, so dating is very easy." [Source: Tom, Inkyhollow, email 1/6/2010]

Nigel Inman

  This logo is from a Les Paul copy - can't find any info on this brand.


Hand crafted guitars from USA by Mark Tatum

Dating Inspire guitars by serial number

"Inspire Guitars Serial Numbers Scheme:

Placement (Back of Head Stock)

All Inspire Serial Numbers Start with:

IG (Stands for Inspire Guitars)

08 (Year Manufactured. First Year for Inspire was 03) Number (1-4) This denotes model type:

(1 Sonic, 2 Sonic Classic, 3 Tonic, 4 Tonic Classic) then Number (###) Sequential number of the build of the that model for that year. So 02 would mean second guitar of that year for that model.


IG08202 (would mean Inspire Guitars, 2008, Sonic Classic, Second Build for the year.)

If PSM is on the neck.

IG08202PSM It means the guitar is a private stock model. (Private Order) Which is obviously more valuable.

All Sonic's have MT signature on back as well. Luthier's Initials." [Source: Inspire guitars, email 18/3/2008]

Instruments Lamour

see L for Lamour



Philip Interdonati worked in New York in the 1920s and '30s, building mostly flattop guitars.  the earliest modern scalloped fingerboard on a steel-string guitar appeared on a Philip Interdonati. [Source: AC Guitar]



Intermark guitars were made in Japan 1960s.

Intermark guitarIntermark Japan

Intermark guitar


1988 to present

Al Inteso, Mesa Arizona, USA

Intex   Intex Music - guitars, drums, mandolins, banjos, amps and pianos. Intex Musical Instrument Distributors began under the Intex banner in 1997 however had been distributing under other trade names and styles since 1965 .

Nicholas P. Ioannou

Image Danzeff

Nicholas P Ioannou guitar label


  Irin appear to be a low cost brand.
Robert Ironside 1990-

Bob Ironside has been carving guitars since 1990, Ontario, Canada,


Isana gutar headstock

Isana guitars made in Nauheim / Germany by Josef Sandner in the early 1950's



Elvis played an Isana http://www.scottymoore.net/ep58isana.html


Images 1950 Isana guitar ebay:

Isana gutar Isana guitar

Italia guitars

1998 to present

Designed by Trevor Wilkinson, Made in Korea

Ithaca Stringed Instruments

1995 to present

"I began manufacturing guitars, mandolins and violins at The Ithaca Guitar Works in 1989. D.S. Hoffman and I split off to form Ithaca Stringed Instruments in 1995. D.S. left in 2000 and now lives in Spain building violins .

With my son Jordan I still hand build approx 10 instruments per year.

Dating Ithaca Stringed Instruments

Earlier guitars are stamped with a model and date of manufacture on the faceplate just above the nut. After 2000, with a printed label with signature and date in the soundhole.
Earlier Violins are stamped with a model and date at the end of the fingerboard. After 2000, with a printed label with signature and date in the f hole." [Source" Eric Aceto, Ithaca Stringed instruments, email 23/3/2008]


Ivanova Tsvanovskaya Tsvanova Factory in Russia

Image of an Ivanova guitar with a Beatles stamp from 1983 eBay:


Risto Ivanovski, Skopje, Macedonia

As at 12 Feb the web site is down. If anyone knows of a new home page please let me know.


Iwama guitars by Kiso Suzuki -Source: [Kisosuzuki blog]

Electric and acoustic guitars

Image of Iwama headstock from a stratocaster copy - ebay May 2012