Re: ibanez guitars,a design team only?
Honestly speaking....I don't think it's going to matter whether Ibanez is a design team or not. I've known this for a really long time. But it's kind of taboo to mention this on a community with so much love for their instruments. Look at it this way. As of today I believe it's very hard to find a popular instrument maker that charges the prices we pay for jems/UVs/RGs/PGMs/Whatever without going through an "automated" factory/assembly line type of setup.
The fact remains that Ibanez, or more rather Hoshino Gakki (which also makes tonnes of other instruments, and then some), makes instruments that we love. Not only for their design, but their playability and quality. Quality with the exception of a few.
The fact that the are "merely" a design team should not bother anyone. I think we should focus our comments to the company itself confined on aspects that can and will actually improve the build quality, features and general design of the instruments themselves.
I've been playing Ibanez for the past 8 years, as far as I can see it, nothings gonna change that. And neither is my love for Jems/UVs.