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Hoshino Gakki Ten: IBANEZ and ralated brands....
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HISTORY
The Hoshino Gakki Ten company was formed in 1909 in Nagoya Japan, primarily as a stationary/book store by Matsujior Hoshino. They begin importing musical instruments in the 1920's, specifically guitars from Spanish luthier Salvador Ibanez. During the 20's Hoshino begins exporting "Salvador Ibanez" guitars, and eventually begins to build Ibanez branded instruments in Japan in the 1930's. The factory was destroyed during WWII. Returning to their original small location, the company re-organizes, and begins again in the late forties or early fifties. The first "Ibanez" and "Star" branded electrics appear around 1957 or 58{this is an estimation, no catalogues exist showing solid bodied electrics prior to this time}. The first solid bodied electrics are made by Tokyo Sound Company{Guyatone}. This is not to be confused with Tokyo Instrument Sound Electronics Corporation{Teisco} aka, Aoi Onpa Kenkyujo/ Nippon Onpa Kogyo. These early models resembled Fender Stratocaster/Jaguar configurations and Supro styles. In 1962 Hoshino opens the Tama Siesakusho plant{TAMA} and Hoshino begins making its own line of guitars bearing the Ibanez name. Other private labeled products are produced here as well, among them, Continental, Goldentone{though some items have both the Ibanez and Goldentone labels on the same instrument} Tulio, Jason{Australia} and many others. Hoshino aquires Elger guitars in Ardmore Pa. in the mid sixties, giving them a base of operations in the United States. This company eventually becomes Hoshino USA. In 1967, the guitar boom collapses world wide. Hoshino shuts down the Tama plant to guitar production and again goes to outside sources for their product.  Those sources would be Teisco,which falls victim to the guitar slide the following year and is consumed by Kawai and also Fuji Gen Gakki. By 69 almost all Ibanez branded products are made by Fujigen, which would also supply Kanda Shokai{GRECO} in Japan.

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Lets start at the beginning.{top} Here we have a '57-'59 Guyatone made model EG-90, sold to Hoshino, and exported to Canada under the Regent name. Single pickup, bound set neck, bound solid body.. This is a rare bird. No picture exists in any Hoshino literature or website. Lets just say Im happy to own one!
{Middle} A rare one here, an Ibanez model 1860 large body set neck, circa 1960. This old girls claim to fame is that one of these models was owned by the late Jimi Hendrix. I have the original Kevlar type case as well. It is also Guyatone made.
{Bottom} Here we have a much later Ibanez, made after the closing of the Tama plant in 1967. Most likely Teisco made, this has three pickups, a set neck, and the raised metal logo lettering on the headstock. A rare bird under the Ibanez brand name.

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Burns inspired model 1802
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Mid sixties groove thing!

Here we have several Burns influenced models from the early sixties. A model 1802{above} with three piece scratch plate, available also in a three pickup version{model 1803}
Next we have{below} a 1962 model 883 and a 63 model 882. Note some unusual things on the 883, the scratchplate is a golden coloured pearloid instead of the usual cream.Also note the misplaced dot marker at the 10th fret instead of the 9th. OOPS!

Model 883 and 882 early '60's
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OOPS Note incorrect dot position on the 883 on left!

Model 1943 very rare set neck
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1958 or '59 Set neck!

BELOW:Here we have a project{above}, but one of the Holiest of Ibanez relics, a late 50's model 1943 set neck. Looks very much like a National of the same era, Two pickups, trem, smaller body. This old girl will be under restoration for a while as I search high and low for parts.
Heres an earlier version of a model 994 from about sixty three. Its in need of a finish restore, the red paint is peeling badly. Probably due to wood that wasnt fully dried before painting took place.

Early sixties model 994
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Burns influenced copy

Model 1830 bolt on neck
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Early sixties relative of model 1860

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Look, its twins! What we have here are a matched set, Hoshino made models 901{single pickup} and 902{two pickups}. One was made under the Goldentone label, the other under the Continental label.  Both were made around '62-'63. The body on these is identical to the 700 series model Ibanez on the front page and is very small, 13.5 inches across the lower bout of the guitar. The 700 series has a pointy headstock and different knobs.

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Heres two more oldies...a 1962 model 1201 on  the Hylo label, single pickup, bolt on neck smaller body. The other is an Ibanez{missing most of tag} model 1502, also from '62 or '63. Two pickups, slightly bigger body and headstock than the 1201. I also have a 1501 that is being restored at present{single pickup version}.

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Ah, now for some good stuff! On the left is a Maxitone model 994  made by Hoshino, in 1963. This is one of the first real "Copy Era" style guitars, taking on the aspects of a Burns Bison. Look at those "Horns"! Four low output single coil pickups for that "surf sound". The other model is a rare bird, and one of the last made by Hoshino, a 1966 Ibanez 3902x large body Burns copy with pointed headstock. There were not many of these made, and this is the only two pickup version I've ever seen. Nice collectable, decent sound.

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Ok, heres the last two from this era...on the left is a '63 or '64 model 882. Two pickups, very Jaguar styling, the vast majority of these you see are the 3 pickup{model 883} and 4 pickup{model 884}. The guitar on the right is another Burns Bison variant, Ibanez model 3903, with "Goldentone" stenciled on the pickguard. Theres enough knobs, rollers and switches on this old girl to launch a rocket ship! These were available in the 2 pickup{3902} and 4 pickup{3904} models as well.

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