Ibanez Iceman Unmasked

Ibanez Iceman Unmasked

Lick of the Week by Will Ray- Lick #4


In this Lick of the Week, Will Ray, founding member of The Hellecasters, shows a nice attack for Open String Triplets. It's also a good exercise for those who are hesitant to finger pick a string here and there. As Will explains throwing a finger in the mix changes the timber and flavor of the note and provides texture to the lick.

"Ba da da dat, ba da da daah daah"

Sometime in 1974 a mastermind meeting of a few Japanese brands took place to create a distinctly Japanese electric guitar.  Something bold, something unseen, and certainly something that looked very different from a Fender or Gibson. 

The meeting took place between Ibanez (Hoshino Gakki), Greco (Kanda Shokai), Daiwa, and FujiGen which was one of Japan’s largest guitar factories.  

Ibanez left the meeting with the rights to market this new model outside of Japan while Greco retained rights for Japan.  

The resulting design appeared in 1975 and is commonly known as the Ibanez Iceman or the Greco Mirage.

However, Ibanez originally lumped this model generically into their Artist series which basically encompassed their entire catalog- “Artist” followed by a series of numbers. In this case it was the Artist 2663.


Specifically there was the 2663 with two humbuckers. 
The 2663TC with a triple coil pickup.
The 2663SL with a sliding triple coil pickup.

It was not until 1978 when Ibanez renamed the model Iceman. 

When KISS was on their first tour in Japan in 1977 Paul Stanley and Ibanez joined forces to create his signature model, the PS-10.  

While the body is that of an Iceman, all other appointments were decided by Stanley, and he has notoriously said, “the Iceman and the PS-10 have about as much in common as a Chevy and a Rolls Royce”.

The PS-10 came out in 1978 and remained in the line-up through 1981.  The original run of Iceman guitars ended in 1983, likely succumbing to the super strat mania of the early and mid 1980s. 

The Iceman has been reissued several times over the years including another signature model for Stanley in 1995 before he changed course to create his own model with Washburn in 1998.

Original 1975 Artist 2663 specs: Mahogany top on mahogany body, Mahogany neck, Bone nut, Rosewood fretboard, pearloid parallelogram inlays, Ashtray cover on the stop tailpiece, Ibanez Super 70 humbuckers, 3-way switch, Two volume and two tone controls

By 1979 the 2663 took on a more traditional look as the humbucker covers went away and the pickups changed to Ibanez Flying Fingers, the Ashtray tailpiece cover disappeared for a Quick Change tailpiece, and chrome hardware was swapped out for gold. This version of the Iceman also received a new model name- IC-200.

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