The End of the Copy Era?
Our study of Ibanez Mandolin serial numbers has begun to yield some interesting information. We can break down the production of Ibanez Mandolins into two main phases:
1) The Copy Era: Making of F-5, A-5, and A style mandolins to emulate Gibson models, started circa 1975 and ending some time in 1978.
2) The Original Era: The original design 528 and 529 mandolins were made from 1981 to 1983.
The submission of pictures of H784392 gives us the latest serial number for a copy mandolin (A-5 style, model 522) in the log so far, and suggests that August 1978 is the end of the copy era for Ibanez.