Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 34

tion by Norlin/Gibson - source
of the term "lawsuit guitar."
By '71, Ibanez was already
offering an impressive line of
copy guitars; today, the brochure
looks like Gibson/Fender co-promo!
All except the acoustics had bolt-on
necks. Included in the line were the
Models 2355 (sunburst) and 2355M (flamed maple) versions of the
ES-175. These pretty much ruled
through '73.
That year, Hoshino decided to
move upscale, in several directions.
One was to set up acoustic-guitar
production at Fujigen, then introduce the Tama line - intended to
go head-to-head with American
makers such as Martin - in '74. The
other was to upgrade its electric
offerings with the Ibanez Artist
line. These included the company's
first set-neck models including the

double-cut solidbody that
would become known as
the Ibanez Artist model,
as well as the model 2616
(blond) and 2616CS jazz
boxes. Upgrades of the 2355, they had
a glued-in neck, sealed Smooth-Tuner
machines, real mother-of-pearl blockand-star inlays (versus pearloid), and
new humbuckers that would soon after
be renamed Super 70s.
As with other Japanese guitars of the
period, in a blindfold test, most would
know this isn't a Gibson. Nevertheless,
it marked a giant leap forward in quality
compared to the earlier bolt-neck models.
The pickups provide a nicely balanced,
The top, back, and sides of the 2616CS
were all made of laminated flamemaple. Because there is no serial
number stamped on the back of the
headstock, this one could date to 1974.

VINTAGE GUITAR

34

January 2018

warm output perfect for rendering jazz standards from
"Anything Goes" to "Zing!
Went the Strings of My Heart."
According to Jeff Hasselberger, who handled marketing
and other tasks for Elger at the time,
most Ibanez guitars of the '70s were
made in small lots - dozens, not
hundreds. The 2616 appeared in
catalogs from 1974 until '76. Serial
numbers were phased in beginning
in '75/'76, when enough were sold to
catalog them for the sake of tracking warranties. In '77, when the
classic double-cut solidbody Artist
debuted, this model was brief ly
replaced by the 2635. Though it was
inspired by the ES-175, this Artist is
its own animal, like a missing link
between early copy and the original
Japanese designs that predominated
from '78 on, after the "lawsuit!"


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 3
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 4
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 5
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 6
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 7
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 8
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 9
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - Contents
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 11
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Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - IBC
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