The 12 was the official Fujigen number on JS2's, that post is out of context in your quote. But you had anything that would remotely be saleable coming out of LA going out as gifts, sold to dealers, etc. So while the factory says 8 prototypes 4 production guitars there is no way to tell how many came out of LA. Kevin Burns [Joe's original manager] finally got his in 1991 from the AR in LA with a black headstock neck, that he had asked for in 89'. Plus there had to have been something slip out of Bensalem also. So while 12 is the official number it's not correct.I'f I had the cash I'd pay the $25K, that's a slam dunk investment and if you really want one, "the time to buy is when you see it" because you might never see another one for sale for a LONG time. When I started getting into collecting Ibanez guitars (around 2000), I remembered the JS3 from back in the day from the catalogs and started to inquire about it. I quickly realized that even if a guy was sitting on a mountain full of cash, you still had to find someone to let one go. Again, the fact you have someone willing to part with a forrest is the hardest part of getting one. From the early 2000s till now I bet the times I've seen a JS3 for sale is under 10 (not that I know all the times they were for sale) but to be safe I'd say it easily under 20 times in 20 yrs (someone correct me if I'm wrong)
In this thread; https://www.jemsite.com/forums/f15/ngd-js1000-rainforest-136475-2.html , Rich has the JS5s at 12 and also says "Any Donnie number is an educated guess, I'd guess closer to 60 than 80. The official number is 40 but that doesn't jive with the evidence, or, does it?"
So a possible 300 is out of the question.....
If I'm not mistaken Rich claims 22 on the Js4 (correct me if I'm wrong Rich)
15K would be cheap, misterspakle on ebay a few yrs ago sold one for $27K or $28.
One here on jemsite back in october of 2019 just offered a trade for a REMC or original UV77MC and $10k or he'd take $20k outright.
Rich says letters to hoshino for production #s has already been attempted yrs ago....
Also, if you implying lipe drew the donnies, he didn't, it was Donnie Hunt and Donnie has passed away in 1996
In my opinion, Rich is the leading authority on the history of any JS2, JS3, JS4, JS5 series guitars
Carol told Vick Sahota [another early collector like I was] she painted 14 Rainforests. Then years later she told somebody else she painted 11. The official HUSA number was 15, but it is never clear if that's a production number or a US distribution number. There were also 3 prototypes, Carols, Pedro Cruz, and the third was lost to JD's memory but he guessed it was Pamelina.
Joan told a collector she painted 22 Rainbows, 2 were destroyed in shipping. Actually I have 2 that Carol painted which I'm sure any Carol did are included in that original number. Again the HUSA number is 15.
Donnies, the number Bacon published in his book is about as close as I am to Nagoya. Joe should know better than say there are 300, maybe he was thinking 30, who knows but the number is just crazy. I was always on the conservative side leaning 60-80 but after breaking down how few 92' and 93's I have recorded and talking to a statistician analyst [who's also a guitar collector] we believe the number is probably closer to 50. Again the official HUSA number is 40.
Meestersparkle sold that one for $20k, it was a 90' IIRC. The one Kent listed here I won't talk out of school but the deal ended up close to his estimate.
There are a couple beaters out there I've come across including one in France that had the fretboard scalloped and has tons of play wear and tear.
Very few of any of these left the US for foreign distribution but some obviously did.
Lipe did nothing but make necks when directed to, not that he didn't build guitars. He would only have done work on guitars that were either for gifts, execs, artists, etc. He was LACS. The whole graphic JS program was handled by H&S in LA, which most should remember did all the "custom" customer work, and had nothing to do with LACS, but I suspect if one needed something there was cooperation between them. Leon cleared the bodies and H&S did the assemblies until H&S was folded 92'/93' [lost to my memory] but the last batch of Donnies that were done were sent to Bensalem where they were cleared and assembled.
I'd love to know where this Forest is just to see if I have the data on it, neck plate number and which of the 3 versions, or 3 prototypes it is.