The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Ibanez 2461 Johnny Smith ‘Lawsuit Era’ Archtop Electric Natural, 1975


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During the 1970’s, Japanese guitar builders dramatically improved their quality, and produced many excellent guitars like this Ibanez 2461 Johnny Smith ‘Lawsuit Era’ archtop guitar.

The term ‘Lawsuit Era’ refers to a suit launched in 1977 by Gibson against Elger Guitars owned by Hoshino Gakki, or Ibanez, over copyright infringement. The key parts of the suit focused on the use of the Gibson ‘Open Book’ headstock. In response, in 1977 Hoshino – the parent company of Ibanez – ceased use of the Gibson-style ‘Open Book’ design and shifted to another headstock design that can be seen as being strongly influenced by Guild headstocks. Guild, however, did not sue.

Here we have an Ibanez 2461 Johnny Smith style, full body cutaway archtop, built in Japan likely during 1975. The model was built until 1977. Typical of the early 1975 period, it has no serial number – these started appearing on the back of the headstock in late 1975.

It is largely original, though it has a slight modification – the output jack was a mini-plug mounted on the pickguard, and this was removed and a standard 1/4 inch jack installed to the lower treble side. This bound, faux-tortoise pickguard itself is a copy of the Gibson Johnny Smith pickguard, with a pair of ‘floating’ pickups – they do not touch the top – individual volume and tone controls and a master volume.

While these instruments are excellent and well built, and look a lot like the original Gibson models, there are important differences. First, the body is laminate., and the finish is a polyester,  rather than Nitrocellulose Lacquer.  The top is a Spruce laminate with parallel tone bar bracing and a support under the bridge. The sides and back are Maple laminate, with solid Maple for the neck. The bound fingerboard is Ebony with faux Mother of Pearl split block position markers, and the floating style wooden bridge is also Ebony. The hardware is gold plated, or at least gold coloured. The headstock does not have quite as steep a tip-back angle as the 17 degree Gibson spec, and of course the truss rod cover has three screws instead of two.

With these differences in mind – these are excellent instruments. They are well built and play quite well, and sound good.

This lovely guitar is in overall good condition, with some dents and bumps and moderate play wear – this guitar was used as intended.  Sold with a non-original, arched top hard shell case.

Price: $2,600.00 CAD
  • Model: 2461 Johhny Smith
  • Year: 1975
  • Finish Natural Blonde
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: N/A, serials added at end of 1975
  • Country of Origin: Japan
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 05/08/2022

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 8.25lbs 3.75kg
  • Scale Length: 24.75in 628.6mm
  • Nut Width: 1.67in 42.5mm
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