Hoshino Gakki, a musical products distributor from Nagoya
, started distributing Spanish guitars
in the 1950s
. In the 60s
, he purchased the rights to the name Ibanez and started selling guitars under that name in the United States
. In the early 1970s
, Gakki started distributing his guitars from an office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
. Most of his guitars were plagiarized versions of expensive name-brand products. As many American musical products coincidently were becoming increasingly expensive and experienced a decrease in quality, Hoshino Gakki's copies met a ready market.
Finally, in the mid-1980s, with interest in electric rock guitars on the rise, Ibanez had its break-through. The company negotiated deals with many rock stars of the time, such as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, and Sting, and became a respected and popular supplier.
Today, Ibanez is reputed to be one of the largest and most versatile guitar makers in the world, with products ranging from acoustic Western guitars to electric bass guitars. Guitar amplifiers and other accessories for electronic guitars are also part of the company's product line.