Shimamura exhibited a bunch of Ibanez "prototypes" at this show. Including a pair of Premium RGs: RG1270FM (flamed maple top) and RG1270K (koa top) and some SA models like the SA460SM (spalted maple top) and several SA460QMs in never seen before finishes. Serial numbers on some of these SAs date back to 2018 & 2019 and the RG1270 pair were made in early 2021, but are apparently one-offs that haven't been seen until now.
Anyone know what's going on with all of these? I've never known Ibanez to sell anything labeled as a "prototype" before, at least not through an established retailer. It's like someone at Hoshino let a Shimamura rep clear out their warehouse.
Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if most of all of these are from 2018-2019. I was thinking about this for some time, and I remember Rich and I talking about a blue Sugi just like the one pictured, and that was last year (and the pic dated a few years prior to that). Considering I own at least one prototype, it's not unprecedented but yeah, definite
the Proto 2 looks exactly like the 2018 R7131E22J4,
if someone’s bummed they missed out you can look one of these beauties up
Ibanez RG J Custom R7131E22J4, JCRG Sugi
Yeah, the more I dig into this, the more it appears that these were some sort of leftover prototypes or custom build one-offs, or VERY limited runs based on a custom or retailer's specs from 2018-19. I've seen that R7131E22J4 MANY times before, on Reverb, and I've also seen another of the blue one, with arguably a much nicer top as well, though there was even less info on that one back in 2019. Rich and I were talking about it last year, and the pics were already old at that point. Either way, still pretty rad, but I don't think they are anything new, or, any indication that it is to be become a new model.