Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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rinneby
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Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Post by rinneby » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:15 am

Yesterday I got myself a very cheap Ibanez Andorra 2850 from the 70s - Incredible guitar for the price (around 100 euros). Not too many overtones of course, but great warmth, loudness and projection, easy on the hands.

Anyway, this got me interested in their top models from the 80s, namely the "Mastercraft Series" - GA-1000 and GA-1200 i think? - But I can't seem to find them (for sale) anywhere.

Anyone got one or tried one?

/Jon
1962 - Rokutaro Nakade A2
1975 - Asturias C150S
1992 - Manuel Bellido
2007 - Curt Claus Voigt
2017 - Tobias Braun

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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Brian McCombs
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Re: Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Post by Brian McCombs » Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:21 pm

I do recall, around 2002-2003 I was interested in finding one. I remember seeing them in some of their marketing literature and having had an Ibenez steel string, which was a pretty nice guitar for the money, I had looked for the Mastercraft offerings. I think they were actually Tama guitars but not sure.....or a continuation of their line.

I also could not find any on the auction site. Additionally, a nationwide craigslist search for both Tama Classicals and Ibanez Mastercraft yields zero hits which would suggests they are unobtanium.

Philosopherguy
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Re: Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Post by Philosopherguy » Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:41 pm

Every now and then I have seen the Tama Classical's come up for sale. I don't think they are too hard to find. But, I have never seen an Ibanez Mastercraft model for sale yet. They may be hard to find!

Martin
*************************************************************
2013 Ramirez 130 Anos - Spruce
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1971 Yamaha GC3 - Spruce

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mordent
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Re: Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Post by mordent » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:40 pm

The Ibanez Mastercraft series was ,in fact , simply the Tama TC 10 and Tc 15 badge engineered as Ibanez Mastercraft . These guitars are all solid woods with the Kohno style 6. parallel struts ,a major cross brace,full length bridge patch and 2. further cross braces plus a horizontal closing bar.the second parallel strut from the treble end was considerably thicker than the other 5 struts and in addition passed over the closing bar at the bottom of the guitar.
The guitars were all similar including the earlier GA 10 and GA 15.--the 15.(top model) had Brazilian Jacaranda back and sides as opposed to Indian rosewood on the other models. All had specially selected solid spruce tops. Most ,but not all, had the double ebony insert at the back of the neck. All these guitars were quite heavy and had the typical Kohno "piano" sound which is quite distinct from the "Spanish" sound.
Ibanez took over Tama guitar production in the late 70's. when Tama was undergoing financial restructuring and acquired the Tama stock of fine tonewoods and no doubt some experienced personnel.
Mastercraft series also included the GA 500S and GA 600S which were essentially the same but did not have the double ebony neck insert,however some had a single ebony insert and others none.
The story then continued with the "Andorra" series which again were produced in 1977 for a short time starting with the 285 -2863 all with solid spruce tops but some with laminated rosewood back and sides All these had the Kohno style parallel bracing. (there was also a 2856-2857 models with a laminate top and 5. fan struts.) Now another series was produced in the mid late 80's namely the Andorra Recital and Conservatory series. This series reverted back to the earlier Spanish roots of Ibanez in that the guitars were made with a Spanish heel rather than the usual Japanese dovetail housing joint .Also the tops were of cedar- a Ramirez influence-- and the bracing was basically as the Ramirez with 6. fan struts and a slanting treble bar. This Recital series was the top model and designated GA 500S, GA 400S and GA 300S. All had specially selected solid cedar tops and laminated indian rosewood back and sides--the only difference between the 3. models was that the neck of the 300 was of "nato" rather than mahogany plus DX machine heads on the 500. model.
These guitars are very good indeed and some are arguably as good as a Ram.A1. ( A poor mans Ramirez! ) I have a particularly fine GA 300S.which has the best cedar top have ever seen and that includes several A1's. It is personally signed by Ryoji Matsuoka.
The Conservatory series GA 100 and GA120 are further designated with an"S" to distinguish whether a laminate or a solid top --"S" denotes solid. i.e. GA 120.S. The GA 100 models have laminate Mahogany back and sides and the GA 120 models all have laminate rosewood.
I have a 120.S. which again is a very good guitar indeed. certainly as good as a Ramirez student model . (I have had a Ramirez 400E.)
I have been a fan of the Andorra series for many years and over that time I have owned most of the models. I currently own 3, such. I have never never owned a Mastercraft series ,indeed I have never seen one advertised but I have had a Tama TC10. However I prefer my Andorra 300S.
Chopin used to sleep with wooden wedges between his fingers to increase their span--now there's a thought !

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rinneby
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Re: Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Post by rinneby » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:29 am

Mordent, thank you so much for this information, very interesting and much appreciated! Could it be that Mastercraft Model GA-1000 and GA-1200 never was released? I've found a Ryoji Matsuoka GA1000 for example, that looks exactly the same.

Image
Image

Regarding my Andorra 2850, the top looks like two pieces are glued together? But should be solid according to you?

/Jon
1962 - Rokutaro Nakade A2
1975 - Asturias C150S
1992 - Manuel Bellido
2007 - Curt Claus Voigt
2017 - Tobias Braun

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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mordent
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Re: Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Post by mordent » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:59 am

The Andorra 2850 is of all laminate construction, acording to my notes which I compiled some years ago.The number sequences are somewhat haphazard and often one or more in a sequence are not as the remainder.
I also came to the conclusion some years ago that the Mastercraft classical series ,although advertised,was never actually marketed and nothing in the following years has caused me to change my mind--however I am always willing to be educated. As mentioned in my previous post all these Ibanez early Mastercraft and Andorra series guitars were the Tama TC 8.10 and 15. guitars in ascending cost order with some minor differences particularly in the ebony neck inserts ,some with 2. such ,some with 1.and some with no insert at all. The later 80's Andorra series Recital and Conservatory are completely different as already described and are completely "Spanish" in construction and sound.Even the GA. all laminate models are surpringly good sounding guitars and are excellent beginners and even intermediate level guitars in my opinion.
Chopin used to sleep with wooden wedges between his fingers to increase their span--now there's a thought !

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Re: Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Post by Kenbobpdx » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:22 pm

Regarding my Andorra 2850, the top looks like two pieces are glued together? But should be solid according to you?
You may be confusing a book matched top with "solid." Most classical guitars are made with book matched tops. Essentially it is two pieces taken from the same piece of wood that are glued and reinforced down the middle. This is a norm for most CG construction.

Non-solid tops are generally some form of plywood (i.e. multiple layers of wood). These are most often found on very cheap and poorly built instruments or toy shop instruments.
"If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe."
Abraham Lincoln

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mordent
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Re: Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Post by mordent » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:02 pm

[

Non-solid tops are generally some form of plywood (i.e. multiple layers of wood). These are most often found on very cheap and poorly built instruments or toy shop instruments.[/quote]
Although I agree that laminate tops are always found on cheap and "toy" guitars there are some honourable exceptions.Namely the Japanese built guitars of the 70' and 80's. The Japanese were masters of laminating thin tonewoods which were durable in differing humidity environments . Some of these laminate top guitars have surprisingly good sound qualities as for instance the Andorra GA series mentioned in this thread and the Andorra 2850 which was the initial subject of this thread. Other makes of laminate Japanese guitars from that period can also have a good sound. Of course a good laminate top will never be better in sound than a good solid top ---but the emphasis is on "good" here as every guitar is different .I have played and owned Japanese laminate top guitars that have been better in sound than ,for instance, a £500. Spanish built Alhambra solid top guitar. My GA 120 is such a guitar but on the other hand it is not as good as my GS 120 which is a solid top, then again my Andorra GS300 is better again ,quite outstanding in fact!
Chopin used to sleep with wooden wedges between his fingers to increase their span--now there's a thought !

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rinneby
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Re: Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Post by rinneby » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:10 am

mordent wrote:Some of these laminate top guitars have surprisingly good sound qualities as for instance the Andorra GA series mentioned in this thread and the Andorra 2850 which was the initial subject of this thread.
I actually found an Andorra 2860 in mint condition a week ago, can get it real cheap - But hardly any info at all... Surprising ;). Would like to get my hands on a GS10 or GS15 some day!

/Jon
1962 - Rokutaro Nakade A2
1975 - Asturias C150S
1992 - Manuel Bellido
2007 - Curt Claus Voigt
2017 - Tobias Braun

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

Sguitarist
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Re: Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Post by Sguitarist » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:24 am

Hi Folks, I am a professional guitarist. I own a Ibanez GA1000 for about 34 years! It exists and I own many reputable luither guitars but this Ibanez GA1000 grew up with me. I was 14 years old when I gotten this gem. It was gift from my dad. Since, he has passed. That's the only thing that he has left for me and I will keep it forever!

Sguitarist
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Re: Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Post by Sguitarist » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:30 pm

Hi Jon

Has just sent you some photos.
Glad that we have some Ibanez-Ryoji Matsuoka's guitar lovers here!

Cheers!

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spassbeisaite
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Re: Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Post by spassbeisaite » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:17 pm

Dear friends of the Japanese classical guitar,
Here is an IBANEZ Mastercraft GS 1500. I bought this guitar in 1983 or 1984. I paid about DM 1000 at the time (that would be about $500 today). For the next 20 years I played almost daily on it. I work as a guitar teacher and professional musician. That is why there are clear signs of usage. Nowadays I don't use it as much, but I still think it's an excellent instrument.
Perhaps one of you specialists can answer my questions.
1. this guitar cannot be found in any catalogue. Obviously, however, it is a successor to the GS 10 or GS 15, as it has already been shown here. Many details are as shown in the catalogue, but the headstock is different. Have any of you seen this model before?
2 The serial number is J.O. 0911193.
This can't be a year, since I bought the instrument in 1983. And the "J.O.", could that perhaps be "Juan Orozco"?

Any ideas?

Thank you very much for your help!
Michael

02-ibanez-gs1500-front-total-2.jpg
03c-ibanez-gs1500-label.jpg
05a-ibanez-gs1500-back-1a.jpg
03d-ibanez-gs1500-serial.jpg
More pictures:
http://spassbeisaite.de/div3/gs1500/01- ... alcase.jpg
http://spassbeisaite.de/div3/gs1500/03- ... -top-4.jpg
http://spassbeisaite.de/div3/gs1500/03b ... -top-2.jpg
http://spassbeisaite.de/div3/gs1500/03e ... ndhole.jpg
http://spassbeisaite.de/div3/gs1500/04- ... back-4.jpg
http://spassbeisaite.de/div3/gs1500/05- ... back-1.jpg
http://spassbeisaite.de/div3/gs1500/06- ... back-2.jpg
http://spassbeisaite.de/div3/gs1500/07- ... oard-2.jpg
http://spassbeisaite.de/div3/gs1500/08- ... tuners.jpg
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spassbeisaite
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Re: Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Post by spassbeisaite » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:26 am

...I have now found a catalogue. Very interesting.
http://orozcoguitars.blogspot.com/2008/ ... makes.html
Picture 11.
Juan Orozco was the designer of the Tama TC and the IBANEZ Mastercraft Series. He had a shop in NYC and an own label. I think my guitar is an Orozco Guitar, labeled as IBANEZ Mastercraft.

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Justfun
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Re: Ibanez Mastercraft Series - Impossible to find?

Post by Justfun » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:40 am

Excellent
Richard Reynoso, Cypress \ Spruce 2016
Ramirez 4NE 2013

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