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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought this Ibanez Semi Acoustic in 1985, from a friend, but neither of us knew the model number.

I paid £245 GBP for it at the time but, in 1986, I took it to a music store where I was offered £850 GBP for it on the spot, by the store owner. I only wanted to try my guitar with an amp I was thinking of buying, but as soon as I took it from the case, he made the offer.

Lastly, he explained that in a private sale, I could probably get over £1000 GBP, as he was taking into account shop and tax overheads in the price he was willing to pay.

I mention money only because it was 1986 and these sums were massive in those days. However, I kept the guitar, thank God!

Although I had no intention of selling, he still explained why he wanted it for shop stock. He said it was a 'George Benson Gold' model Ibanez, made prior to the GB10 & 20, and it was also made before Ibanez shifted production to Japan.

When I told him there was no serial number on it, figuring it was copy, (bearing in mind I wasn't selling...) he said that serial numbers were not used until the production of the Japan built Ibanez range.

So my questions for you, the fountains of Ibanez knowledge, are as follows:

1 - Has anyone heard of a 'George Benson Gold' model made prior to Japanese production?

2 - Is it true about the serial numbers not being used before Japanese production?

3 - If there was a 'George Benson Gold' model, is my guitar one of them?

4 - Does anyone think my guitar is a copy?

Click image link below:

http://img425.imageshack.us/img425/4408/ibanezsmall15ah.jpg

I hope you can help me on this one! Thanks, and a happy new year to you all!
 

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I would email Rich on the above swirly banner, at Ibanez Rules! Either that or give Jerry an email, he is always ready to help. And he will defenitely know the answer to those questions. Jerry is over at IbanezRegister.
 

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The George Benson model was introduced in 1978. I think yours was made before 1975, notice the headstock is the characteristic "Gibson Open Book" shape, making it a "Lawsuit" model.

They didnt have serial numbers prior to Japan.

Ive found some similar Ibanez guitars, with the same tailpiece if you notice:
Scroll down until you see No. 2461
http://www.noahjames.com/vintagepage/copies2.html

Thats the closest thing I can come up with so far. Only things that dont match are the headstock shape and the headstock inlay, both are direct Gibson ripoffs, which may indicate that they are older models than the one pictured there.
 

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YOU WONT BELIEVE what just rolled across the 'bay.

7377795748 <- Thats the auction number, just got to that e bay site and put it in for the search.

Here's the description:

Up for auction is an Ibanez Johnny Smith. This guitar is 100% original and in excellent condition. We can't find a serial or model number any where on this guitar, but are certain it is a Mid 70s model. Modeled after the Gibson Johnny Smith, this guitar is unique in many ways, compared to your average Jazz Box. A comfortable neck and low action makes this very easy to play. Currently setup with flatwounds, this baby is ready for your next Jazz gig. Some of the features include a floating pick-up design as well as a floating bridge. The volume and tone controls are located on the pick guard, as is the input jack. Like the Gibson Johnny Smiths this guitar requires an 1/8" jack, on one end of your guitar cord. In keeping with the original Gibson design, the floating pick up assembly and tone control circuit were implemented so that no holes would be drilled in the body, thus producing a better tone and structural integrity. Overall this guitar looks, plays and sounds great. There are a couple of small dings here and there, as can be seen in the photos, and there is what appears to be some lacquer build up or run at the heel joint (see photos). This "lacquer billed up", is not as visible in person as it is in the photos, and could easily be removed by an experienced finish person. Hardshell case included.


So there you go, you have a Mid 70's Johnny Smith signature Geetar, and not a George Benson Gold. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Gex,
Many many thanks! Your original reply with the link and model number set me out on a search for more information and here is what I found.

The original 'Johnny Smith' guitar was made by Gibson in 1962.

Ibanez copied it and my version was made in 1975, as can be seen by the link below which shows the 1975 catalogue. (The inlay is the same as mine too.)

This suggests the same model might have been available again in 1977, but with the different inlay.

Here's the catalogue link. (Click on the 4th page across, for model 2461)

http://www.break-even.org/ibzscans/index2.html

Thanks to 'Kamikaze_1' and 'the.godfather' for your suggestions also.

At last I know about the (lawsuit) origins of my Ibanez. Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No worries on that score Gex, as I have never sold any of my guitars. Too much sentimental value maybe, or perhaps I am just a horder.

Anyway, my next planned buys are at the cheaper end of the scale with a Mexico Fender Strat and a JHS 'Vintage' ES 335 copy, but guitars will be my downfall.

My wife keeps steering me away from my local music store, but she can't watch me all the time........................................
 
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