Ibanez guitars are made in Japan, Indonesia and China. The Genesis, Prestige and J. Custom guitars are made in Japan. The Premium series, Iron Label, Axion Label and Standard series are made in Indonesia. The GIO series is made in China.
Ibanez do not currently make any guitars in the USA or South Korea. However, in the early-mid ’90s, the Ibanez custom shop was located in the USA. Ibanez also manufactured guitars in South Korea from 1987-2008, including the Prestige models which were made in Korea between 2005-2008.
Japanese-Made Electric Ibanez Guitars
Ibanez was founded in 1908 in Nagoya, Japan. Ibanez manufacture their Japanese guitars at the FujiGen Factory which is located in Matsumoto, Nagano and has an excellent reputation for producing high-end guitars.
The only country which is really considered “better” at guitar manufacturing is the USA however currently Ibanez does not make any guitars in America.
Unlike other brands such as Fender, Gibson and PRS which have their own factories which only produce their brand of guitars, the FujiGen Factory also produces guitars for other brands in addition to Ibanez. Although 90% of FujiGen’s subcontracts are for Ibanez, they also make guitars for G&L, Yamaha, and Dean, but have previously made guitar for Fender and Gibson as well.
FujiGen employee over 500 people and make approximately 120-130 guitars per day.
The following Ibanez electric guitars are made in Japan:
- Genesis Collection
- J Custom
Most Ibanez guitars were manufactured in Japan prior to 1987 when they started making guitars in South Korea as well. However, currently on the Prestige, J Custom and Genesis Collection of guitars are made in Japan.
The Genesis Collection of Ibanez guitars is made up of RG models only and is based on the ’80s rock period. Ibanez Genesis guitars are the cheapest models made in Japan and cost between $1000-$1500.
The Prestige series of Ibanez guitars are considered the flagship models and start at $2000. All Ibanez Prestige guitars are made in Japan except those which were produced between 2005-2008 which were made in South Korea.
Previously, Ibanez did have a custom shop factory in the USA which produced the USA Custom Series of guitars from the early to mid ’90s, but now the custom shop is located in Japan.
Unsure what all the series and model numbers mean? Check out my complete guide to the Ibanez guitar range and model names to demystify them.
Indonesia-Made Electric Ibanez Guitars
Ibanez began producing guitars in Indonesia in 1994 in one of the Samick factories in Bekasi.
Most of Ibanez’s electric guitars are made in Indonesia which caters for the mid-range price point. Indonesian Ibanez guitars do not have the same reputation for excellent build quality and materials as Japanese-made Ibanez guitars but offer options for lower budgets.
The following Ibanez electric guitars are made in Indonesia:
- Standard Series
- Iron Label
- Axion Label
- Premium Series
Ibanez Standard series of guitars includes shapes such as the AZES, RGA, RGD, Q, S, SA, and AR and is manufactured in Indonesia. These are the cheapest Indonesia-made Ibanez guitars which typically cost between $400 and $800.
The Ibanez Iron Label series are based on the RG shape primarily, although there are some exceptions such as the Iceman and Xlphos models. The Indonesian-made Ibanez Iron Label guitars typically cost between $1000-$1400.
The Ibanez Axion label series guitars are also made in Indonesia and consists of RG and S shape guitars which cost $1200-$1400 on average.
The Ibanez Premium series of guitars was first introduced in 2011 and are made in Indonesia, offering a cheaper alternative to the Japanese-made Prestige series. The Premium series includes JEM, RG, S and ATZ models which cost between $1300 and $2000 on average.
Chinese-Made Electric Ibanez Guitars
The entry-level Ibanez GIO series of electric guitars is made in China. These are the cheapest Ibanez guitars available which cost between $150 and $350 on average and hence cater primarily to beginner guitarists.
As these guitars are designed to meet a low price point, they are not crafted with the same attention to detail and with the same quality control compared to the more expensive versions. You can expect to find cheaper tonewoods, pickups and hardware being used as well as rougher fretwork and the need for a proper setup out of the box in some cases.
The Chinese guitar factory which produces the most of the affordable Ibanez guitars is located in Qingdao, China. This factory also produces guitars for Epiphone.
Korean-Made Ibanez Guitars
Ibanez manufactured guitars in South Korea from 1987 to 2008 but does not produce guitars there presently. The “Prestige” line of electric guitars was made in South Korea between 2005 and 2008, however since 2009 all Prestige models have been made in Japan.
Ibanez used several South Korean factories including:
- Samick Musical Instruments Co. Ltd. in Incheon
- Saein Musical Instrument Co. Ltd. in Incheon
- Cort Guitars in Incheon and Daejeon
- Yoojin Industrial Co. Ltd. in Yangju
- Peerless Korea Co. Ltd. in Pusan
- Sung-Eum Music Co. Ltd. in Yangju
Where are Ibanez Acoustic Guitars Made?
All Ibanez acoustic guitars are made in China and Indonesia. Most Ibanez acoustic guitars are made in China and cost between $150 and $1500. A limited selection of Ibanez acoustic guitars are made in Indonesia including the AEG and AEW models and typically cost between $300 and $1000.
Does it Matter Where Ibanez Guitars are Made?
The cheapest Chinese-made Ibanez guitars are not as good quality as the more expensive models. They use lower quality pickups and hardware in particular and just don’t sound or feel as great as a result. However, they are still good options for beginner players.
When you step up to the Indonesian-made Ibanez models you’ll notice an improvement in the pickups and hardware in particular. You’ll also see set-neck and neck-through constructions instead of standard bolt-on constructions. However, the cheaper Standard series Indonesian Ibanez guitars are much lower quality than the more expensive Premium, Iron Label and Axion Label models.
These more expensive Indonesian-made Ibanez guitars are much more similar in quality to the Japanese Prestige models. When you’re spending over $1200 on an Ibanez, you can expect to get really good pickups (usually from Seymour Duncan or DiMarzio), great hardware, and more premium finishes.
Japanese-made Ibanez guitars offer the best quality but at the highest price. The main benefits here include better quality control and even nicer body finishes. The hardware however is pretty similar when comparing the Premium and Prestige lines.
Check out this tone comparison between an Ibanez Premium RG (made in Indonesia) and Ibanez Prestige RG (made in Japan). The Japanese guitar is played first in the video.
Check out my in-depth comparison between the RG series and S series models.