The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    I just bought a PM 100. It plays and sounds great, but I am having difficulty with the serial number. It has F with 5 numbers following. When I went to a Ibanez guitar serial number checker online, it did not like the number I put in. I see pics of other PM 100 with the F***** format. My guitar’s number is F96582. I would love to know the date or how to read the number. Thank you.
    Last edited by st.bede; 01-08-2022 at 12:44 AM.

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  3. #2

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    For that particular model and run, it was the 582nd guitar to come out of that factory in June 1996.
    F is the month, F being the 6th letter of the alphabet, the 96 following it referring to the year of that run.
    The guitar was made at the top factory in Japan for Ibanez, the Fujigen factory which makes the Joe Pass, George Benson and Scofield models too. This was the first year of the run for those guitars although his own guitar predates that date by a number of years. Pat's actual working guitar was closer to the Joe Pass JP20 with different inlays, a natural finish and a tune-o-matic bridge.
    Ibanez worked with Pat for a long time and there were many prototype attempts before they came on the design that Pat liked, and even more time before they came upon a design for production that he would agree to put his name on.
    The PM100 was produced for only a few years, most of which had a dark grey translucent poly finish. They are highly regarded and treasured among players and collectors alike.

  4. #3
    Thank you, very much for the information. How would I check the authenticity of the guitar. I was able to buy it for a good price,and I am a bit worried. However, the guitar plays as good as any high end Ibanez I have ever played, and the workmanship is top notch. (Could just be paranoia). Also I would describe it as black much more so then grey.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by st.bede
    Thank you, very much for the information. How would I check the authenticity of the guitar. I was able to buy it for a good price,and I am a bit worried. However, the guitar plays as good as any high end Ibanez I have ever played, and the workmanship is top notch. (Could just be paranoia). Also I would describe it as black much more so then grey.
    Check the headstock logo, the label inside the guitar and compare it with existing examples. But really, those guitars do NOT have the collector's cache that make them the subject of forgery and duplication. I have never seen a knock off of an Ibanez especially an archtop. They're just not objects for the obsessed collectors in that way.
    I worked for Ibanez and it wasn't an issue in any sense. We were very meticulous about making sure logo and headstock were perfect and any misalignment would result in the "S" seconds stamp being applied to the back of the neck, and for guitars coming out of Fujigen, it just DIDN'T happen; their own QC was impeccable.
    So rest assured, you've got the real deal there. I happen to have a PM100 like yours, mine outfitted with a wood JP20 tailpiece and a wooden bridge while I was working for Hoshino. It's an extraordinary instrument. I will note that I have seen finishes range from near light grey to almost black on the PM100, so know that's normal to see variation in the colour.
    You got a good price? YEAH! They are little gems in the Ibanez lineup. Play it long and do it justice!

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    Both my PMs have a serial number consisting of an F followed by 5 digits .. underneath that there is a Made in Japan. Are we sure that F is the month? .. I don't think I've ever seen a PM with a non-F serial number?
    Yeah, that serial number was their standard protocol. We'd get the guitars in from all the MANY factories throughout the far east and they all used this system.
    As far as the F being the month, yes that tells the month of manufacture, and it helped keep QC tracking quantifiable on a month to month batch basis. Those guitars were made in large runs at a high quality facility in Japan and they also made many other guitars for other people too. So when they'd tool up for a run of, say PM100's, they'd do them all at once, (like June that year?) and a month later we'd get ALL the Fujigen guitars coming into the states to be stored in our huge warehouse in Bensalem PA. Stacked to the top levels of 3 story corridors of guitars. When stores ordered them, they'd be taken down, inspected, set up, frets filed, made ready and sent out to the stores. So it's easy to imagine that just about every of those not so common high end instruments could have been from a run made within a timeframe. They didn't make them for very long either. That adds to the charm of those guitars.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Check the headstock logo, the label inside the guitar and compare it with existing examples. But really, those guitars do NOT have the collector's cache that make them the subject of forgery and duplication. I have never seen a knock off of an Ibanez especially an archtop. They're just not objects for the obsessed collectors in that way.
    I worked for Ibanez and it wasn't an issue in any sense. We were very meticulous about making sure logo and headstock were perfect and any misalignment would result in the "S" seconds stamp being applied to the back of the neck, and for guitars coming out of Fujigen, it just DIDN'T happen; their own QC was impeccable.
    So rest assured, you've got the real deal there. I happen to have a PM100 like yours, mine outfitted with a wood JP20 tailpiece and a wooden bridge while I was working for Hoshino. It's an extraordinary instrument. I will note that I have seen finishes range from near light grey to almost black on the PM100, so know that's normal to see variation in the colour.
    You got a good price? YEAH! They are little gems in the Ibanez lineup. Play it long and do it justice!
    Did that wooden bridge also come from a JP20? I'm interested to see how my PM100 sounds with a wooden bridge.

  8. #7

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    I too thought that the 'F' stands for Fugigen Plant and not for a particular month as every PM model i have seen has F at the beginning of the serial number.
    Also the colors of PM100 were black or natural as far I have seen.
    Dark grey had the PM20 (korean version and probably most accurate depth of Pat's original prototype)
    Anyway, I greatly appreciate jimmybluenote's input and knowledge!

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeontheguitar
    Did that wooden bridge also come from a JP20? I'm interested to see how my PM100 sounds with a wooden bridge.
    It was. With a wood bridge, it has a woodier sound and comes closer to the sound of a Joe Pass than a Pat Metheny. I happened to like it so I made that switch. The nice thing is it's reversible and fully interchangible and working at Hoshino, they had the parts. There were even some models, the AF-100 I think, that was built in a Chinese factory that offered the option for the user to change. They shipped with a TOM and gave a wooden saddle as part of the case candy. Years later, I worked for Guitar Center and was appalled to find out that their standard operating practice was to throw away all the case candy extras (to simplify interchangability of cases or something) and that's why instruments bought at Guitar Center don't have extra parts in them a lot of the times. Sheesh! One reason to support your local Mom and Pop music store.

  10. #9

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    Yup my PM200 2014 (bought 2019) still had both the TOM and wooden bridge in the case. Not much candy other than the J Crew plastic case with the truss wrench, inspection tag. It does have the “S” it had been sent back by a dealer for a finish defect I’ve never been able to find lol.
    FWIW I’ve never kept a TOM on any of my archtops. I favor the more moderate woody sound to the (to me) too trebly TOM sound. Tweren’t no TOMs around on the old recordings we adore
    I never thought micro-tuning the 12th fret was worth the effort, but that’s all personal opinion.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by st.bede
    I just bought a PM 100. It plays and sounds great, but I am having difficulty with the serial number. It has F with 5 numbers following. When I went to a Ibanez guitar serial number checker online, it did not like the number I put in. I see pics of other PM 100 with the F***** format. My guitar’s number is F96582. I would love to know the date or how to read the number. Thank you.
    Hi st.bede, I'm thinking a lot about PM100's.
    How would you describe how yours sounds, plugged and unplugged? Have you had any chance to compare it with an es175?

  12. #11

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    Hello all, my first post.

    I own an Ibanez PM100 with a serial number of F96194. Can someone please tell me the date and location of manufacture?

    Thank you for your help!

  13. #12

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    Welcome!
    PM100 is a nice guitar.

    F96194

    F Fujigen Gakki in Nagano Japan
    96 year
    194 sequence number:
    November (0001-02999)
    But…. The sequence number is usually 5 digits, so I would have thought yours would be F9600194. Ibanez serial numbers can be in their own world)
    Reference here at the Ibanez Wiki:
    Ibanez serial numbers | Ibanez Wiki | Fandom

    As they say,
    “Its unclear whether this numbering convention is strictly enforced”

    Best to ya!
    jk