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On the contrary: the fact that the production of solid body Ibanez Artist guitars shifted to Iida Gakki 1987, while hollow-body and semi-hollow Artist guitars became Artstar labels with H serial numbers, shows that the original production before 1987 came all from the Fuji Gen Gakki factory, which was experiencing capacity problems during that time period caused by their commitment to produce guitars for Fender Japan.If Terada had produced AR models already, they would have continued doing so.Ibanez serial numbers are unique identifiers placed on instruments sold under the Ibanez brand.Ibanez guitars have used serial numbers since the mid 1970s.One can perhaps make a reasonable guess as to whether a model with an F7 serial number was actually produced in 1987 or 1988 based on the production sequence (the last five digits of the serial number).Any production sequences above 43,200 may be assumed to be 1988 models, although this rule of thumb doesn't appear to always hold true.Models produced through 1988 (and perhaps into 1989) have serial numbers starting with "F7" which would normally indicate production in 1987.It seems that Fuji Gen or Ibanez produced an overstock of these "F7" serial number stickers and so just continued to use them through 1988.
Splitting the production up from a situation in which they were already both made in the Terada factory wouldn't be efficient, so it is highly unlikely that pre-1987 AR and AS models were ever made there.of Japan also made some guitars for Ibanez during this period.' It's thought that 'these would be mostly hollow-body guitars, but may also included some solid-body Artist series models.' There is no proof whatsoever for either of these assumptions.It's most likely that this is a big misunderstanding caused by an over generalization in the database of the "Guitar Dater Project" website, which is not able to assign the right factory to a vintage Ibanez guitar based on its serial number.Some sources say the practice started in September 1975, but serial numbers indicating production as early as October 1974 have been spotted.The serial numbers are generally a character string containing letters and numbers, although some are purely numeric.
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Numbers from this era/format can be found stamped on the rear of headstocks (in the case set-neck or AANJ construction), on neck joint plates or on labels inside hollow-body guitars.