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  1. #1

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    Years ago, before the internet made its way into our homes, I was in search of an Ibanez GB12, and never thought I would find one. While at my parents' house one Sunday I picked up the newspaper and took a look at the want ads. Low and behold there was a listing for a GB12. I made my way to the address immediately and found that the guitar was in brand new condition and had been in its case under the guys bed for most of its existence. I bought the guitar on the spot, and it was my main guitar for several years. A subsequent career change then had me back in school to become a physical therapist. When I came up short on a tuition bill some things had to go. One of those was my mint GB12.

    By then the internet was here, and I wound up selling the guitar to a gentleman in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area of Pennsylvania. I believe it was actually my very first eBay transaction as well. This gentleman claimed to own a music store, and said that he gave lessons as well. He was happy to have found this guitar of mine, and I was at least glad to know that my guitar would be going to someone who would appreciate it and play it a lot. I did not keep in touch with the buyer, but wish that I had. I am now the one looking for a GB12, and figured if there is an place to find one it would be out here. Perhaps the gentleman who bought my guitar years ago is even a member, or is at least known by someone who is a member.

    I am in the process of selling a few of my current guitars, at which time I am hoping to find a nice GB12 to replace the one I once had. If anyone has one, or knows of one that is or will be for sale please let me know. Also, if the music store owner from eastern Pennsylvania sounds familiar to anyone I would be interested in hearing about that as well.



    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    Wow, that's a fairly rare one to find, I mean they were discontinued right? Didn't Ibanez replace that model with a GB100? Super nice guitars, very top of the line for Ibanez!!

  4. #3
    I've seen a few here and there, but aside from that first one never when I was looking to buy. It was a very nice guitar for sure.

    I'm not sure if the GB100 was the replacement of the GB12. It's definitely much higher priced, so I'm not sure how similar they actually are.
    Last edited by snoskier63; 12-20-2015 at 11:15 AM.

  5. #4

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    Snoskier~ What a great back story of your GB12 adventure. I own one and totally understand your quest. I love this beautiful instrument.

    They do not come up for sale very often, as I'm sure you've discovered. However, GB100's that followed the very limited '12' series, seem to be more available for sale on Ebay and elsewhere. The only difference between the two guitars is the 12th Anniversary markings on the GB12. The amount of and degree of flame maple varies widely from guitar to guitar within the two series. And all of George Benson's 'signatures' are reproductions, not original, with exception of the very first few GB10's produced in 1978.

    That being said, if one were to score a nice GB100, it would be very close to a GB12. As far as pricing, they both have increased in seller asking price over the years.

    Good luck with your quest. You also might drop in on the Ibanez Collectors World forum. Over at ICW you might find a few other GB12 owners/collectors, and possibly one willing to consider selling.

    All the best.

  6. #5
    I noticed with the GB10 the seller asking price has gone up quite a bit as well, but the actual selling price is much lower in the $1500 - $1700 range. Can anyone tell me what the differences are between the GB10 and GB12? From what I can see it appears that the GB12 has fancier inlays and binding, and perhaps a higher grade of wood. Are there any structural differences? I'm not ready to give up on my search for a GB12 just yet, but it seems that a GB10 would be much easier to find, would be less expensive, and would functionally be the same guitar minus some bling.

  7. #6

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    Here's a copy of an old Ibanez catalogue showing the basic differences between the GB12 and GB10 models...

    Ibanez GB12-ibanez-gb12-jpg

    This image shows the varying body depth of each model. The GB12 is slightly wider, giving it a tiny bit more sonic depth.

  8. #7

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    Ibanez GB12, pretty hard to come by. I remember some lady joining this forum to ask for help in finding one for her husband some years ago.

    Good luck with the search.

  9. #8

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    GB-12 has a maple top, GB-10 has a spruce top. That's an important difference.

  10. #9

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    GB12 and GB100 also have a Mahogany/Maple/Mahogany neck... lovely guitar and pretty hard to find. Figure between $2800.00 to $4000.00 (for a more flamed out version in pristine shape).

    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 12-22-2015 at 03:43 PM.

  11. #10

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    Here's a shot of my 12.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpguitar
    GB-12 has a maple top, GB-10 has a spruce top. That's an important difference.
    I wonder how important if they are very thick lams.

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by BigMikeinNJ
    GB12 and GB100 also have a Maple/Mahogany/Maple neck... lovely guitar and pretty hard to find. Figure between $2800.00 to $4000.00 (for a more flamed out version in pristine shape).

    Prices have changed. I paid $1200 cash in the early 90's, and had trouble selling it for $1800 several years later. Considering that a mint GB10 can be had for $1500 or less $2500 for a mint GB12 would be my limit. I guess the price is meaningless if I can't find any for sale.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    I wonder how important if they are very thick lams.
    The tone is very close to a GB10, but maybe only slightly brighter, punchier. I find that the sonic differences between the GB10 and GB12 can easily be EQ'd to match one another. But subjectively, there's no way to match the visual sex appeal of the GB12.

  15. #14

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    ​Not to rain on your parade but you'll have a hard time finding one for $2500.00, at least that does not have a lot of buckle rash and other issues. Comparing it to a GB10 price change is pointless, GB10s have been made since 1977 and are still being made. The GB12/GB100 is a more upscale and upmarket priced guitar in very limited quantities and has escalated in value with every passing year. Save your money, get what you want. I know one of my bucket list guitars is the GBY2K Masquerade... Ooohh now that is sexy to me.

    And I stand corrected, it's a mahogany/maple/mahogany neck...

  16. #15

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    Hi Snoskier,

    Indeed, a very intriguing backstory on your mission to find "the one that got away." Strangely enough, I have a similar story.. in reverse.

    About 15 years ago, I had a real hankering to find a GB-12. My dad has always been a big GB fan, and I must have caught the bug. Originally hailing from NE Pennsylvania, I was in college at Penn State University at the time. In amongst my search, I somehow came across a fine gent (online) from SF Cali who owned one. Naturally, he wasn't ready for them to go their separate ways.

    However, we stayed in touch via emails, and he helped me with visualizing the fretboard via spreadsheets he made. After enough of my gentle badgering to part with his GB-12 over the next several months and promises that it would going to a loving home, where it would be well-cared for, he changed his mind and decided to let it go. I arrived home from PSU one Friday to a professionally-packed cardboard box, which inside held a minty GB-12 and a super nice letter about his thoughts on selling it to me. I still have mine, and now appreciate his hesitation on parting with it.

    I have never seen/played a GB-100, but if I had to guess, I'd bet it be similar in sound to the GB-12. My dad has a 1979 GB-10 (natural), and the necks feel very noticeably different. If you ask him.. his plays better, of course! Tonewise, they have some differences, but can def be made to have a similar sound. I'll be heading back to NE PA for the holiday, and if I find time, I'll attempt to make some sound clips with the difference between the early GB-10 and GB-12 - no promises tho!

    Gitfiddler is on point, they don't come up very often - but with forums like this, I tend to see lots of requests for specific machines that find the needle in the haystack. Hang in there!



    PS - If you've stumbled upon this post, Robert V., know that the GB-12 is safe and warm, and is completely unchanged from it's departure in Cali.
    Last edited by sbeishline; 12-23-2015 at 01:52 PM.

  17. #16

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    I see some floating around my way and I think its a good shout. About $3000 - $3500 shipped but mint I would say. Theres one that keeps coming around or a couple anyway.

    I'll keep an eye out.

  18. #17

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    Good luck in your search, regardless of the final price paid. If you DO find an exceptionally flamed out one in really good shape be flexible in your price limit. When they DO appear they tend to move. I tell ya if in November a GBY2K suddenly appeared I'd be all over that puppy no matter what other things I had planned.

    Ibanez Collectors World: GBY2K?

    Ibanez GB12-20347-jpg

  19. #18

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    Hi Snoskier, I've come across Gb10s, GB20s, JP 20s and the occasional Gb12 every now and then here in Tokyo. If you really want one, I might be able to track one down.

  20. #19

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    how about this:

    16 3/4 x 3

  21. #20

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    ​Refarding SCottos post, the Japan guitar stores might have one... Look on eBay for some of the better know guitar sellers out of Japan and contact them.

  22. #21
    Thanks, Scotto. Any idea what such a guitar with shipping from Tokyo would run? I'm guessing it wouldn'tb e cheap, but I have no experience in buying guitars from Tokyo.

  23. #22

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    Hi Snoskier, I'm pretty sure you can ship a guitar from Tokyo to the US for under $200 via Japan Post. Also, check out This guy does alot of selling of vintage Japanese guitars between Japan and the US.

  24. #23

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    The Japan guitar dealers use EMS essentially, so figure roughly $150.00, where are you located ?? Most areas of the U.S. get delivery in 3-5 days. I speak from experience buying a number of hard to find Tokai's, Ibanez and Burny guitars in the past. Back when I was single and working a lot of overtime I'd get a guitar in 3-4 days in the San Francisco area depending on the day it shipped out.

    And to the poster who posted the link to the GB20, that guitar doesn't appear to be for sale any longer, a rather rare beast as most GB20s were sunburst. And it's a totally different animal from the GB12 and GB100 though quite nice AND collectable.

    Reputable Japan sellers are KOIZ, Sixtringslinger and others. Just do a search on Tokai Les Paul and you'll get a bunch of hits. Contact them, those guys know the back streets and all the obscure guitar stores in Japan... Most of the really rare Ibanez are in Japan first, many never make it to the U.S.

  25. #24
    $200 isn't bad. I'll get in touch with that site and see what happens. Thanks Scotto, and to all others who have offered advice. If I'm able to track one down I may need to declare it a group guitar, and we can take turns using it for a week at a time, then ship it to the next person.

  26. #25

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    Hi Snoskier, wanted to throw these your way. The GB12 could be an adventure to find if you have the patience. I was in a store the other day that carried the GB10 new in natural and sunburst models and sound like they might be in your price range. Roughly around 2K. Without shipping. I saw another used GB10 in another store that was around 1.5K. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a photo. I would imagine you may be looking at 3-4K for a GB12 depending on the condition. Anyway, gives you something to think about. This shop also had a GB300 that ran around 2.5k as well. Let me know if you need more information.Ibanez GB12-image-jpegIbanez GB12-image-jpeg