Serial dater and serial dating
Note: as of November 2004, the serial number represents not necessarily the year the instrument was produced but rather the model year to which the instrument belongs.
It has long been Ibanez's practice to begin production for the subsequent model year in November (or even late October), but the serial numbering change that was implemented in November 2004 acknowledged and formalized this practice.
Note that there is opportunity for confusion with some of the other schemes listed here with regards to the initial letters F and I, however, this format is the only one which has just six characters.
It is believed that all Japanese-made models with this serial number format are produced by Sugi Musical Instruments Ltd.
It's unclear whether this numbering convention is rigidly enforced, that is, each month actually starts out with the number prescribed above, or if this is just a way to estimate the production month.
What is known is that this rubric is used by Ibanez to set the production date for warranty claims.
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.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.It applies primarily to electric guitars, but some information may also be applicable to acoustics.Serial numbers on Ibanez guitars can generally be found in one of several locations: The first step in deciphering the serial number is determining the country or facility in which the guitar was produced.