Ibanez commemorates US distributor Hoshino's 50th anniversary with dazzling Custom Shop Collection

Ibanez electric guitars
(Image credit: Ibanez)

2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Ibanez’s US-based distributor Hoshino USA, and to celebrate, the Japanese brand has announced a commemorative line of Custom Shop electric guitars and bass guitars.

The occasion sees Ibanez’s LA and Japanese-based Aichi Prefecture Custom Shops join forces for a range of exclusive, hand-crafted six-strings – each of which will be totally unique – in what will be its largest run of custom instruments ever.

Ibanez’s collection has been unveiled in its entirety, and the results are pretty spectacular. Highlights from the drop include a range of exotic aesthetics, intricate designs, expansive electronics and highly unusual solid-block colorways.

Read on to find out more about Ibanez’s Hoshino USA Custom Shop Collection.

Ibanez LACS5 "Root Beer Float"

First up is the LACS5 "Root Beer Float", which pays homage to the brand’s Iceman body shape. In a bid to instill a vintage vibe to the metal-friendly axe, Ibanez has introduced a half-inch-thick, Transparent Root Beer Burst-finished flamed maple top and flamed maple fingerboard binding.

As for the build, the Iceman features a mahogany body, set three-piece maple/korina neck and Luminlay side dots. In terms of hardware, a gold Gibraltar 1 bridge is partnered with Gotoh Magnum locking tuners.

Elsewhere, the LACS5 flashes a maple fingerboard – a rarity on Iceman models – as well as abalone inlays and a flamed maple truss rod cover.

In the pickup department, a pair of PAF-style DiMarzio humbuckers are favored for a blend of crisp high-ends and robust lows, and are paired with a three-way selector switch, two volume controls and two tone knobs.

Ibanez LACS18 "Hang 10"

Joining the Iceman is the LACS18 “Hang 10” Talman. Once again, Ibanez has revisited one of its classic body shapes, and equipped its quirky offset with a quilted maple top and Turquoise Blue Satin finish.

On the spec sheet, there’s a three-piece maple/purpleheart neck joined to an alder body via a neck-thru construction – a rare feature that’s seldom seen on the body of a Talman. 

The surf wagon-themed offering, which aims to evoke “visions of the beaches of Southern California from which it hails”, also flashes a rosewood fretboard, mother-of-pearl dot inlays and a trio of Seymour Duncan Lipstick-style pickups.

Further touches include Gotoh Magnum locking tuners, a Gibraltar Std. II bridge, Luminlay side dots, a 25.52” scale length and a 16” radius.

Ibanez JPCS32 "Sakura"

The KPCS32 “Sakura” is named after the Japanese word for “cherry blossom”. As implied by the name, the bass is adorned with a wealth of cherry blossom designs, composed from a variety of woods and seashells.

More basic specs include a five-piece maple/purpleheart neck with a timeless timber maple core – a coveted piece of wood recovered from the bottom of lakes and rivers – as well as an ebony fretboard, mother-of-pearl and abalone inlays, white side dots and an alder body.

Other notable appointments include the Yozakura Blue colorway, 34” scale length, Gotoh RES-O-LITE tuners and an MR5S bridge. 

Electronics, meanwhile, are headed up by Nordstrand Big Singles pickups, controlled via Volume, Blend, Treble, Mid, Bass, EQ Bypass and Mid Selector controls.

Ibanez JPCS3 "Wind Shear"

Ibanez electric guitar

(Image credit: Ibanez)

It's also worth highlighting the none-more-blue "Wind Shear" model, surely one of the bluest guitars on the planet. Heading up the spec sheet is an all-flamed maple construction, drastic hand-carved, weight-relieving body cuts and a bold Transparent Blue finish.

It also boasts DiMarzio Air Norton and The Tone Zone humbuckers, an Edge tremolo bridge and offset mother-of-pearl dot inlays.

Ibanez JPCS21 "Jade Mantis"

Ibanez electric guitar

(Image credit: Ibanez)

Blue not quite your thing? Well, perhaps you'll be wooed by the equally eye-catching Green/Yellow "Jade Mantis" model. It boasts an African mahogany body, a figured maple top and a birdseye maple fingerboard, all of which are treated to a Green Gradation colorway.

Ibanez JPCS2 "RG-GT"

Ibanez electric guitar

(Image credit: Ibanez)

Joining the flamboyantly colored "Wind Shear" and "Jade Mantis" is the ultra-stealthy JPCS2 "RG-GT", which is composed from carbon fiber top, back and sides, as well as a carbon fiber headstock.

It's the cleanest-looking electric of the bunch, and the sleek aesthetics are further propped up by an ebony fingerboard, stainless steel dot inlays and a black Lo-Pro Edge 7 tremolo system.

We've only just begun to scratch the surface of Ibanez's Hoshino Custom Shop Collection. Joining the above is the wacky "Echo" eight-string – which flashes an intricate Tree of Life fretboard inlay – as well as the ultra-deep cut, 30-fret "Range Finder".

Other highlights include the figured koa top and the custom wood/resin pickguard of the JPCS20 "Caldera", and the futuristic, EMG-equipped "Big Rig" eight-string, which also flashes a neck-thru construction and a 27" scale length.

Head over to Ibanez's website to explore the entire range of Hosino USA Custom Shop guitars.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.