ICEMAN 🥶! Ibanez USA Los Angeles Custom Shop 50th Anniversary LACS5 Root Beer Float DiMarzio PAF 36th Flame Figured F – The Only Gibson Inspired Design From The Collection

$ 49999.00

THE most fantastic Iceman made. EVER!!!

As featured in Guitar World July 2022 (Vol. 43 No. 7). From page 58 – 64 is an extensive article, The Rise of Ibanez, detailing the company’s history in honor of the formation of HOSHINO (U.S.A.) INC’s 50th anniversary (1972 – 2022). Following that, there is A Shredder’s Dozen from page 66 – 69, which explores just 12 of the 50 instruments created to commemorate this monumentous occasion. This very guitar is featured on pages 66 and 68. Additionally, it is the first instrument featured, affirming its superior status to all the rest. In the feature, Ibanez Communications Specialist Scott Miller describes his experience with LACS5:

“I had the chance to go out to L.A. in the very early stages to check out the instruments. This is one we were all drawn to. Even the guys in Japan were like, ‘Wow, that’s seriously amazing!’ It’s not a super-conceptual or experimental piece or over the top in terms of specs; obviously, some of the Japanese models had things like metal tops and crazy sculpting. This one seemed to hammer home the classic Ibanez elements, distilling the core of Ibanez to its purest form.”

Enough said.

Many of you are probably familiar with the story behind this amazing Custom Shop 1-off creation, but in short, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ibanez’s official entrance into the American market, they decided to do something unprecedented: create 50 unique and individual guitars within their 2 Custom Shops, and subsequently offer them to the public. 

This is a significant event, as Ibanez has never offered their Custom Shop instruments to the public before. There are two Custom Shops: 1 in Japan, which primarily prototypes Ibanez’s designs and makes alterations so that they can be produced in production runs by Ibanez’s other facilities, and then there is the most prestigious Custom Shop: the “LA Custom Shop” located in Los Angeles, California, USA!!! This Custom Shop is comprised of only 3 master artisans, and this is where artist guitars are made. Tak Hosono, Alex Kerk, and Aaron Stone are the artisans who have worked to create exquisite instruments for celebrities around the world. Only professionals such as Paul Stanley, Steve Vai, Nita Strauss, Paul Gilbert, and the other Ibanez artists have been able to have instruments from them, the LACS. Until now…

For the 50th Anniversary, Ibanez designed and created 30 unique instruments in its Japan Custom Shop (JPCS) and 20 instruments in its Los Angeles Custom Shop (LACS). The LACS instruments are of course the most desirable and valuable, as they are the only American, Made in USA, instruments to come from Ibanez. And it wasn’t easy to get ahold of ANY of these instruments, they were offered to Ibanez Dealers through a “lottery system”, and each dealer only had a small chance to represent any individual instrument, making it even more difficult for any member of the public to get a hold of any guitar they were after. ESPECIALLY for the most desirable examples from the 50th Anniversary Collection. And this one, “LACS5 Root Beer Float” was the most popular and desirable by far! Needless to say, it was nearly impossible for any one person to even have the chance to purchase!

LACS5 will be the most memorable of the 50th Anniversary Collection, as it has many unique and tasteful appointments. First of all, it is the only Iceman, Ibanez’s first and most iconic original design! The most notable famous artist is, of course, Paul Stanley, followed by none other than Steve Miller. The LACS5 is a very “Gibson Inspired” design, with a 25.7″ scale length, 12″ fingerboard radius, separate bridge/tailpiece setup, 2 volume/2 tone control layout, 3-on-a-side tuner layout, set neck design, and a 2-piece flame maple topped 1-piece mahogany body. As almost every other guitar from the 50th Anniversary Collection was a bolt-on or otherwise “Fender Inspired” design, if you’re an “Only A Gibson Is Good Enough” person and only accept USA made (like me!), LACS5 was THE ONLY guitar from the entire batch of 50 instruments that fit those requirements.

And of course, LACS5 has many features that set it apart from any other Iceman. And to compound that fact, there are very few Iceman offered currently. Options are limited to a 7-string ICTB721 ($1299) and the Paul Stanley Signature models: PS60 ($349), PS120 ($999), PS10 (MIJ $3199), and the PS1CM was also MIJ (Made In Japan) and was $6999, but it is no longer in production. So options for an Iceman are and have always been somewhat limited, especially for a high-end Iceman. The LACS5 is undoubtedly the highest-end Iceman of all time. And the feel is completely different from any Iceman I’ve played before, even my high end Japanese made Paul Stanley models pale in comparison to the LACS5.

First of all, it is USA made, whereas all other Icemans are made overseas, and the most expensive, high end Iceman models offered previously are the Paul Stanley signature models, such as the PS1CM and limited edition PS1DM (7K & 8K respectively), which are crafted by FujiGen in Japan, NOT USA!

It also has a stunningly flamed 2 piece EXTRA THICK maple top, finished in a unique “Light Root Beer Burst” finish. The combination of horizontal flamed figuring and vertical straight wood grain is reminiscent of the wood Gibson used during the “Good Wood Era” of the 90s. No veneers or laminant tops here! And of course, it has a matching flamed maple headstock face, which is a pretty significant thickness as well. Furthermore, the edges of the flamed maple wood on the headstock and the body have been left exposed, giving the appearance of a natural flamed maple binding. And of course, there is also the custom, hand made flamed maple truss rod cover which has been “emblazoned” with the classic Ibanez “spaghetti” logo, and finished over in the same full gloss “Light Root Beer Burst” finish. Additionally, the LACS5 has a slightly different heel shape than other models, and it also features additional sculpting and rounding in the treble cutaway for more comfortable upper fret access, which other Iceman models do not have. I should also mention it feels very light compared to my Japanese made PS models. The heel also had additional sculpting and appears “offset”, another unique feature of this model to improve upper fret access.

The LACS 5 also features top-class hardware, including a “Gibraltar 1” bridge and “Quik Change III” tailpiece, which are not even featured on the most expensive Japanese-made PS models anymore, which have reverted to the inferior metric styled “Gotoh GE101Z-T” tailpiece and “Gotoh GE103B-T” bridge within the past few years. Additionally, the toggle switch is a higher quality and sturdier component than those used on other models. And the “Gotoh Magnum Locking” tuners hold pitch very consistently, unlike my experience with the non-locking varieties found on my PS models. And the pickups are DiMarzio, my favorite pickup manufacturer! They are the “PAF 36th Anniversary” models, DP103GU in the neck and DP223GU in the bridge.

Moving onto the neck, the construction consists of a center strip of maple surrounded by a piece of KORINA on each side. There is no volute or any type of scarf joint, as used on some of the lower-end Iceman models. For comparison, the PS10 and PS1CM models feature 3 piece maple necks with volutes. The serial number “LA0389” resides on a Custom Shop Ibanez decal underneath the finish. As a side note, Ibanez is well known for its “Rocket Roll” and “Destroyer” models, which were copies of the legendary Korina Flying Vs and Explorers, but despite projecting the appearance of Korina, the Ibanez versions were actually made of “Japanese Sen”. Furthermore, the fretboard is a beautifully grained piece of maple, which is bound in a beautiful “Flamed Maple Binding”. LACS5 also features “Luminlay” side dot markers, which will light up, in the unlikely case you are gigging LACS5 on a dark stage…

All in all, LACS5 is truly a magnificent masterpiece. It is a unique and playable work of art. It is a historical and significant part of Ibanez’s legendary 50th Anniversary commemoration which will only continue to appreciate with time…

Some words from Ibanez:

“ROOT BEER FLOAT” Celebrating Hoshino USA’s 50th Anniversary would have been quite impossible without delivering at least one example of the iconic Iceman. Over time, this model has become the quintessential metal guitar, but the luthiers at our LA Custom shop aimed to strike a warmer, more vintage note with this design. A Light Root Beer Burst finish rests atop a stunning, roughly half-inch-thick Flamed Maple top, delivering a color combination that blends perfectly with the Maple fingerboard, a rarity on any modern Iceman. The styling is more reminiscent of designs from the late 70’s, rather than the menacing metal machines of today. This frothy, throwback motif is further enhanced by Flamed Maple neck binding, gold hardware accents and a custom made Flamed Maple truss rod cover emblazoned with the classic Ibanez “spaghetti” logo. The LACS 5 Iceman is an exquisite example of what happens when the skills of Ibanez’s best modern-day luthiers are matched with a longstanding symbol of the brand’s enduring legacy.

SOUNDS WITH THE SWEETNESS OF ROOT BEER DiMarzio Humbuckers supply a thick, lush and sophisticated tone that replicate the sonic character of vintage PAF-style pickups. They create an equitable balance between crisp high-end and robust lows, serving as a perfect match to the ‘70s-inspired vibe of this exceptionally-unique, custom Iceman.

COMPLEMENTS IN CONTRAST The Flamed Maple Binding helps accent the Maple Fingerboard and block inlays without being in any way overpowering. It also helps to complement the contrasting effect of the Maple fingerboard against the finish and gold hardware. Though a shared feature across many of these customs, it delivers a far different effect on this guitar.

FROTHY ON TOP This extra-thick Flamed Maple top helps enhance the high-end, custom look of this LACS Iceman. The greater depth also creates a striking appearance when viewing the guitar from any angle, as the intense figuring is prominent all the way through the entire top wood. The natural finish on the sides of the top also strategically complement the tones of the Transparent Root Beer Burst Finish.

• Neck: 3pc Maple / Korina
• Neck Width: 43mm @ Nut, 57mm @ 22nd Fret
• Neck Thickness: 20mm @ 1st Fret, 22mm @12th Fret
• Grip Shape: Round
• Fretboard: Maple
• Fretboard Radius: 12”
• Inlays: Block Pearloid / Abalone
• Side Dots: Luminlay
• Scale Length: 24.7”
• Neck Joint: Set Neck
• Body: Mahogany
• Top: Flamed Maple
• Pickups: DiMarzio PAF 36th Anniversary
• Controls: 2 Vol, 2 Tone, 3 Way Pickup Selector
• Tuners: Gotoh Magnum Locking
• Bridge: Gibraltar 1
• Finish: Light Root Beer Burst
• Includes Hardshell Case & Certificate of Authenticity
Here are some details from Guitar World’s Press Release from February 15, 2022, when the 50th Anniversary Collection was announced (this is different from the feature printed for July 2022): 

Ibanez commemorates US distributor Hoshino’s 50th anniversary with dazzling Custom Shop Collection
By Matt Owen published February 15, 2022
50 one-of-a-kind instruments have been unveiled as part of the Japanese brand’s largest-ever single run line of custom shop guitars

2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Ibanez’s US-based distributor Hoshino USA, and to celebrate, the Japanese brand has announced a commemorative line of Custom Shop electric guitars and bass guitars.
Ibanez LACS5 “Root Beer Float”
First up is the LACS5 “Root Beer Float”, which pays homage to the brand’s Iceman body shape. In a bid to instill a vintage vibe to the metal-friendly axe, Ibanez has introduced a half-inch-thick, Transparent Root Beer Burst-finished flamed maple top and flamed maple fingerboard binding.

As for the build, the Iceman features a mahogany body, set three-piece maple/korina neck and Luminlay side dots. In terms of hardware, a gold Gibraltar 1 bridge is partnered with Gotoh Magnum locking tuners.

Elsewhere, the LACS5 flashes a maple fingerboard – a rarity on Iceman models – as well as abalone inlays and a flamed maple truss rod cover.

In the pickup department, a pair of PAF-style DiMarzio humbuckers are favored for a blend of crisp high-ends and robust lows, and are paired with a three-way selector switch, two volume controls and two tone knobs.

The occasion sees Ibanez’s LA and Japanese-based Aichi Prefecture Custom Shops join forces for a range of exclusive, hand-crafted six-strings – each of which will be totally unique – in what will be its largest run of custom instruments ever.

Ibanez’s collection has been unveiled in its entirety, and the results are pretty spectacular. Highlights from the drop include a range of exotic aesthetics, intricate designs, expansive electronics and highly unusual solid-block colorways.
From Ibanez:

Hoshino U.S.A. is celebrating 50 years of business in the American music market, and we’re pulling out all the stops with something truly special to mark the occasion. For the first time in the history of Hoshino and Ibanez, we’re throwing open the doors to two of our most acclaimed and exclusive guitar building facilities, the Ibanez L.A. and Japan Custom Shops.
Between these two facilities, we’ve arranged for the construction of various uniquely-spec’d, custom instruments to celebrate every year Hoshino U.S.A. has been in business. Just as no two years are ever exactly the same, each one of these guitars and basses are totally unique from one another. They are instilled with their own distinctive style and feature set, principally inspired by the master luthiers who built them. This remarkable collection is the single largest run of custom guitars we’ve ever produced, and unlike prior pieces to come from these facilities, they will ultimately make their way to our dealers and be available to the public for purchase.
As a way to share this extraordinary collection with the world, we’ve put together this website so that our fans, followers, and customers can experience the full effect of this momentous project. These exceptional instruments embody the apex of Ibanez design, artistry and musicality, and we invite everyone to explore the originality that went into each and every one of them.
Our Collective Appreciation
Kimihide “Ken” Hoshino has a long and storied history with Hoshino. He joined the company in 1974, then from 1981 to 1985, he served as president of Hoshino U.S.A. His tenure in the U.S. is widely seen as having been a driving force in building TAMA’s profile and helping propel the brand into what it is today. Upon returning to Japan in the early 90’s, he was heavily involved in various segments of the company’s business, including heading up Pan-Asian manufacturing, managing the electronics division, and becoming President of Hoshino Gakki Manufacturing Co. Ltd. in Seto City, Japan. Finally, he was elevated to his current position of President of Hoshino Gakki Co. Ltd. In 2015.

Shogo Hayashi has been with Hoshino for 26 years. He started with the company as a sales rep in the Tokyo metro region and eventually his career path let him to Hoshino U.S.A. in 2002. His began his time in the U.S. as a Guitar and Bass Product Manager and would eventually go on to lead all product management for the U.S. market. He was then promoted to company Vice President in 2008 and promoted again to company President &CEO in 2013, a role he still serves in today.

Explore These Awe-Inspiring, Custom Creations
Whether you’re a die-hard shredder, life-long blues player, or lean towards the jazz life, there’s a custom in this collection just waiting to be discovered. All you have to do is open the door…
LOS ANGELES CUSTOM SHOP Legendary Collaborations Realized
Renowned for the exhilarating custom instruments they produce, the Los Angeles Custom Shop enjoys a legendary, almost mythical status among the Ibanez faithful. Whether building for George Benson, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Nita Strauss or any number of other high-profile Ibanez endorsers, the LA Custom Shop is responsible for creating some of the most iconic guitars known to musicians and fans all over the world. Instruments from this shop have always been highly coveted but never made available to the public, until now! The LA team, led by Master Luthier Tak Hosono, conceptualized and manufactured 20 highly customized, one-off models in celebration of Hoshino USA’s 50th anniversary. Each instrument draws inspiration from past Ibanez designs, while also reimaging them with today’s sounds and players in mind. The brilliant skill and craftsmanship of this shop is normally dedicated solely to realizing the creative visions of our endorsers, but now, the playing public will be afforded the opportunity to own a piece of Ibanez history, an original Ibanez Los Angeles Custom Shop guitar.
Meet the Build Team
Master Luthier Tak Hosono has been building instruments and managing the day to day operations at the Ibanez Los Angeles Custom Shop for the past 25 years. His interest in the world of electric guitar was sparked by his uncle, who was a player himself and spent time in England, playing and touring with a progressive rock group from that time. Upon his Uncle’s return to Japan, Tak learned about his experience as a working musician, and it was these stories that inspired Tak to pursue a career rooted in music and the electric guitar.
Though he’s been officially working for Hoshino for 25 years, Tak has actually been involved with the company for over 30. He first started building Ibanez instruments in the late 80’s at his own shop in Glendale, CA. At the time, Hoshino decided to offer American-made Ibanez guitars, many of which were manufactured at Tak’s shop. This initial collaboration and the ultra-high-quality of the guitars produced, are what ultimately led Tak to Hoshino and the LA Custom Shop. From there, Tak would go on to produce stunning creations for an expansive list of Ibanez Artists; a multitude of iconic designs that would go on to be played, seen, and heard all over the world.
Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Alex Kerk studied guitar building prior to working for a number of prominent manufacturers in the industry. From there, he joined the LA Custom Shop and has been a valued member of the team for the past 15 years. He was primarily involved in final assembly and setup of the HUSA 50th anniversary customs, but also assisted Tak with some of the early specification planning and woodworking.

With an educational background in guitar building, Aaron Stone began his career and honed his craft working for other manufacturers in the musical instruments industry until ultimately finding his way to the LA Custom Shop in 2012. Aaron’s work is prominently on full display since he was in charge of adorning each of the LA Custom Shop guitars with the attention-grabbing finishes seen throughout the collection. In addition to his work with the custom shop, Aaron is also the lead singer of the popular Los Angeles hardcore band, Adamantium.

More from Guitar World:

12 highlights from Ibanez’s remarkable 50th anniversary Custom Shop Collection
By Amit Sharma published March 25, 2022
We take a closer look at a shredder’s dozen from the Japanese guitar giant’s eye-catching 50th anniversary range
Let’s face it, the 50th anniversary of anything is always a great cause for celebration – which is exactly why Ibanez has gone above and beyond to commemorate American distributor Hoshino USA’s five decades in the guitar business.

50 exclusive handcrafted electric and bass guitars have been produced, with the L.A. and Aichi Custom Shops joining forces to create some truly head-turning one-off instruments. If you’re interested in exotic aesthetics, intricate designs, expansive electronics and highly unusual concepts, look no further.

“This was an idea that was formulated by our president Shogo Hayashi,” says Hoshino USA Communications and Marketing Specialist Scott Miller.

“This company was launched back in 1972 to give Ibanez guitars a physical presence in the U.S. Obviously they’d been doing business here before that, but this is what allowed the company to take off and develop into what it is today. We wanted to commemorate that with something really special, something everyone would see and think, ‘Wow, this is a big deal!’”
Though historically the two Custom Shops have worked independently from one another, the idea of partnering up for something extra special felt like a great way of dreaming up the impossible. Which is precisely what they did.

“The principal thing with our Japan Custom Shop is that they’re our prototypers,” Miller says. “They’re the idea guys who work out which thoughts we have in meetings can work on a production scale or not. Because that’s where we meet our customers – in production rather than custom shop spaces.

“In L.A., the focus is more on the artists, so when an artist has an idea or concept that we can’t provide in our production series, that’s where they go. They make the very best, stage-ready performers’ guitars.

“Our Japan shop is more about R&D and experimental instruments. It’s more about ‘what could we do?’ rather than taking what we know and executing it. Hoshino USA was the intersection of it, coordinating all the images and specs and getting all the content ready from both custom shops.”

Below, Miller gives us a closer look at 12 of the most striking models in this year’s anniversary series.
1. LACS5 “Root Beer Float”
Specs: A mahogany body Iceman with a Transparent Root Beer Burst-finished flamed maple top, set three-piece maple/korina neck, maple fingerboard and two DiMarzio PAF 36th Anniversary humbuckers.

“I had a chance to go out to L.A. in the very early stages to check out the instruments. This is one we were all drawn to. Even the guys in Japan were like, ‘Wow, that’s seriously amazing!’

“It’s not a super-conceptual or experimental piece or over the top in terms of specs; obviously, some of the Japanese models had things like metal tops and crazy sculpting. This one seemed to hammer home the classic Ibanez elements, distilling the core of Ibanez to its purest form.”

If you made it this far, I’ll put it into perspective for you: Want a new MIJ Toyota Highlander? Or THE 1/1 Made in USA top of the line Ibanez Iceman?