Ibanez Iceman

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The Iceman is an electric guitar model produced by Ibanez.

Ibanez Iceman ICT700 Guitar

History[edit]

The Iceman is an Ibanez guitar produced by Hoshino Gakki. Hoshino Gakki exported copies of American electric and acoustic guitars in the 1950s, and by the mid-1970s the Ibanez guitars had reached a level of quality comparable to American guitars. Lower labor rates at the time, plus efficient manufacturing meant that Ibanez guitars could be sold for almost half (or less) of the cost of a Gibson Les Paul or Fender Stratocaster.

In the mid-1970s Hoshino Gakki wanted to make a distinctly Japanese guitar and to start breaking away from the Ibanez replicas of Fender and Gibson models. The idea was to build a guitar with an appealing original design, like a Les Paul or Stratocaster. A meeting between Hoshino (Ibanez), Kanda Shokai (Greco) and one of the main guitar factories in Japan (FujiGen) resulted in the Iceman/Mirage design. Each distribution company had distribution rights to it in different global markets. Hoshino Gakki (Ibanez) had the rights outside of Japan and Kanda Shokai (Greco) had the rights for Japan.

The Ibanez model was originally named the Artist 2663. The name "Iceman" came later. The Greco model was named the Mirage and they are basically the same except for the pickup types that were used. Super 2000, Triple Coil and V2 pickups were used for the Ibanez Iceman, depending on the model number. Greco Dry and DiMarzio Super II pickups were used for the Greco Mirage. Body wood, pickups and neck joint construction varied with the Iceman/Mirage model price. The original Ibanez Artist/Iceman production was from 1975 to 1982/1983 with different models having set neck and bolt-on necks.

Early models were called Ibanez Artist 2663 models and were changed to the Ibanez Iceman name in 1978.

Steve Miller (musician) recorded his Fly like an Eagle album as well as parts of the Book of Dreams record with his Ibanez Iceman IC210.

The Ibanez Iceman II that was released in 1982/1983 had a different headstock with 6 in line tuners instead of the 3 a side tuners the original Ibanez Iceman had.

Paul Stanley of KISS favored the Iceman from the 1977 to 1980 and again used it primarily from 1992 to 1997 until he started endorsing his own Washburn guitars. Probably the most sought after by collectors is the PS-10, or Paul Stanley model. This came out in 1977 as the popularity of the rock band KISS skyrocketed. Ibanez approached Paul while KISS was on tour in Japan in March, 1977. They offered him a chance to develop his own signature model. He liked the shape of the Artist 2663 model and made changes to that model as his ideas came to fruition in the PS10 model. The PS10 first appeared in the 1978 Ibanez catalog, although it may have been available for purchase prior to catalog printing. Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar, vocals) played an Iceman for the next 4 years. Look inside the album cover of KISS ALIVE II for a live shot of him with the Iceman. This model retailed for about $695 in 1978, and was offered through 1981.

In 1995 the PS-10 was re-issued as the PS10-II and in 1996 an additional PS model was unveiled - the PS10-LTD (or Limited). Sales must have been good because in 1997 yet another PS was offered in the catalog - this was sold as the PS10-CL (or Classic). The biggest difference between them is that the PS10-II was made in Korean factories and the LTD and Classic were Japanese made and also had all the same features of the original 1978 model (like the Gibraltar bridge and Quick Change tailpiece). Although the catalog shows the PS10-II with "Paul Stanley" inlaid at the 21 fret, most were not produced this way. Apparently there was a problem with the inserts at the Korean factory and it was decided not to use them.

Paul Stanley states; "First of all, the Iceman and the PS10 have about as much in common as a Chevy and a Rolls Royce. The PS10 came about in the '70s, when we were on our first trip to Japan. Ibanez was interested in me doing a signature guitar with them. They wanted to me to design something new, and we did go through their catalog, I saw a picture of a guitar that was not terribly popular. I liked the asymmetrical shape to it; it reminded me of a Firebird or a Rickenbacker bass turned upside down. It had one pickup on it that looked like you took three bobbins from a humbucker and put them together somehow. It also had that wacky knob that looked like you were to change your television channels with it! I said, "You've got something here, but you don't know what to do with it." My feeling about Ibanez in the '70s, like many companies in Japan, was that they were excellent at copying but they didn't know why they were copying. We sat down, and by using that basic shape, I came up with a guitar: construction, frets, inlays, wiring, the type of tail block that has a sustain block built into it, the half-brass/half-bone nut, and so on. In other words, we took a shape and made a new guitar. Although there is still a guitar called an Iceman and some people use the name interchangeably with the PS10, they really have nothing in common except a silhouette".

Daron Malakian of System of a Down favored this guitar from the early days of System of a Down up to the Mezmerize/Hypnotize era, when he switched to using Gibson SGs, although he has been recently seen playing Iceman guitars again with Scars on Broadway. Daron had his own signature model, the Ibanez DMM1. It was a limited edition run based on the Ibanez Iceman ICX shape and features a special graphic design painted by Daron’s father, Vartan Malakian. Only 300 were made.

Currently, Mitch Mitchell of Guided by Voices is using an Iceman for the group's "Classic Lineup" reunion tour. Chris Catalyst has routinely played an Iceman onstage since joining The Sisters of Mercy.

Fireman[edit]

In 2009, the Iceman was remodeled by Paul Gilbert using Photoshop, by flipping the body of the Iceman over. Since the cutout was on the other side, they added another cutout that was a bit smaller than the trademark Iceman stalk. There were two designs; both of a natural wood finish, one with mahogany with a cherry fret-board and another with korina wood.

Paul Gilbert's model was released at a 2009 Guitar show as the "Ibanez Fireman", with a set 3-piece korina/bubinga neck, 22 frets, and a 24-3/4" scale length. It also contained a fixed Gibaraltar II bridge, (with a Quick Charge tailpeice) and Dimarzio Area 67 hum-cancelling single coil pickups. It comes with a hard Ibanez case,(authenticated by Paul Gilbert) and additional accessories, limited edition. Paul Gilbert also notes in interviews that a fan submitted the idea for the name:[1]

"At first, I called it the “Reverse Iceman, but a fan wrote to me and suggested the “Ibanez Fireman,” and since fire is the opposite of ice, that’s what we ended up calling it.” [2]

Ibanez STM[edit]

The STM is a special version of Iceman designed for Sam Totman of DragonForce. Essentially it is an Iceman with a 24-fret neck-through neck and Edge III tremolo instead of a hardtail bridge. This is the first production Iceman since the 1990s to have a whammy bar.

Specifications[edit]

Ibanez Iceman IC200 (1978) from Ibanez catalogues

  • BODY: Mahogany
  • NECK: 3 piece Maple (Thru Neck)
  • FINGERBOARD: Rosewood
  • PICKUPS: Super 80 (Flying Finger)
  • CONTROLS: 2 Volume & 2 Tone, 3 way switch
  • TUNERS: Velvetune II
  • BRIDGE & TAILPIECE: Gibraltar & Quik-Change (r)
  • HARDWARE: Chrome

Greco Mirage M900 (1978) from Greco catalogues

  • BODY: Mahogany
  • NECK: 3 piece Maple (Set Neck)
  • FINGERBOARD Rosewood
  • PICKUPS: DiMarzio Super II
  • CONTROLS: 2 Volume & 2 Tone, 3 way switch
  • TUNERS: Greco MH-900C
  • BRIDGE & TAILPIECE: Greco BR-GO & TP-GO
  • HARDWARE: Chrome

Ibanez Iceman IC300 from Ibanez catalogues

  • BODY: Mahogany
  • NECK: Iceman Maple Bolt-on neck
  • FRETBOARD: Bound Rosewood fretboard w/Pearl dot inlay
  • BRIDGE: BR-GO & TP-GO Tune-o-Matic
  • PICKUPS: Ibanez AH-2 neck and AH-1 Bridge
  • CONTROLS: 3 way switch, 1 volume 1 tone
  • HARDWARE: Chrome

Also had optional cream colored pickguard (similar in shape to the one on the PS10), pickup rings, control cavity covers and truss rod covr.

Ibanez Iceman IC500 from Ibanez catalogues

  • BODY: Mahogany
  • NECK: Iceman 3pc Mahogany/Maple set-in neck
  • FRETBOARD: Bound rosewood fretboard w/Pearl block inlay
  • FRET: Medium frets
  • BRIDGE: Gibraltar Standard bridge
  • PICKUPS:

- DiMarzio® D Activator™ (H) neck
- DiMarzio® D Activator™ (H) bridge

  • HARDWARE: Black

Ibanez Iceman ICT700 from Ibanez catalogues

  • BODY: Mahogany wing body
  • NECK: 5pc Wizard III Maple/Walnut neck-thru w/KTS™ TITANIUM Reinforcement
  • FRET: Jumbo frets
  • PICKUPS: DiMarzio® D Activator™ (H) neck pu and DiMarzio® D Activator™ (H) bridge pu
  • CONTROLS: 1 volume, 1 tone, 3 way switch
  • BRIDGE: Gibraltar custom bridge
  • HARDWARE: Black

Serial numbers[edit]

The serial number format is MYYPPPP.

  • M = production month (A=January B=February ... K=November L=December).
  • YY = year (79=1979).
  • PPPP = production number.

FujiGen Gakki used this format for the Ibanez guitars they made from the mid-1970s to 1987.

References[edit]