Ibanez dates back to pre-World War II, with origins in Spain, but the company really came to prominence with the infamous Japanese 'lawsuit' models of the 1970s. Like other Far Eastern manufacturers at the time, the company duplicated high profile designs by companies such as Gibson, Fender and Rickenbacker during a period when the big US brands were struggling with quality control.
By the late 1970s, Ibanez was producing quality guitars of its own design, such as the Roadstar and Iceman guitar and bass range. The '80s and '90s were defining decades for Ibanez. Company founder Hoshino Gakki's relationship with guitarist Steve Vai resulted in the introduction of the Ibanez JEM and Universe models. Both Vai and Joe Satriani have had signature models made for them. Jazz players too have been drawn to Ibanez's high-end hollowbody electro-acoustics.