The Ibanez Prestige series is a series of electric guitars produced by Hoshino Gakki, introduced in 1996. It is a quality label Ibanez uses for its guitars to indicate that a guitar is built through the highest standards, with the best components and with some unique features. It forms the top-class of regular production models. It is related to the other quality label Ibanez uses, J Custom.
Most Prestige models are made in Japan. Ibanez started the line in 1996 with the introduction of the RG3070. Until 2003 Ibanez issued only a few Prestiges, including the highly acclaimed RG3120 and piezo equipped RG2020X. In that period several other Japanese made models were issued as well, not necessarily as a Prestige. In 2003, Ibanez changed this and made every Japanese made model a Prestige, although signature models as the JEM7V and JS1200 are not labeled as such. Previous regular models such as the RG550 and RG570 were relabeled and returned slightly modified as the RG1550 and RG1570.
In 2005 Ibanez introduced the first Prestige models produced outside Japan, the Korean made S2075FW, SA2020FM and SZ2020FM. Between 2005 and 2008, all S series and derivative Prestige models were Korean made exclusively. In 2008, Ibanez reintroduced Japanese made S Prestiges and from 2009 and on, all Prestige models are made in Japan again.
An Ibanez Prestige model usually comes with a few accessories. Since 2005, most Prestige models come with a guitar case. With some models, a special set-up tool is included.
Prestige vs. J CustomEdit
The Ibanez J Custom line is presumed to be a class higher than the Prestige series, with more exclusive features and a greater eye for detail, built by the most experienced builders.
There is some debate wether or not J Custom guitars are actually of higher quality, but the more limited production numbers and availability do make them more exclusive.