Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Philadelphia, PA
The topic of Ibanez having (or not having) a custom shop has been beat to death over the past few years. As of now, it's not going to happen.
It wasn't that long ago that Ibanez did have a custom shop of sorts (I still have an order form). If the custom shop was as successful as many would lead you to believe, it would still be open! Fact of the matter is this: there wasn't enough support to keep it open.
Yes, other companies have custom shops, but I am sure that a custom shop is less than 10% of their business. The truth is, it's the strength of the production line guitars that makes people want more. It's the off the shelf guitars that are any companies' bread and butter. The custom shop is a novelty. Sure it brings in a little business, but not as much as a strong production line.
I look at Ibanez guitars much like the fascination with cars (like Hyundai). The Hyundai is a completely servicable car "out of the box", but 1/2 of the fun is in the customizing. Ibanez guitars are much the same way. Out of the box, they are good, but it is up to the individual to make it their own.
Sure, we all say, "I want a custom shop". Sure, it would be great, but if we were truly going to face facts, the ideas would far outweigh the orders.
That's just the way I see it. I could be wrong.