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First seen at the Anaheim NAMM Winter 2008 show in the hands of George Benson himself who gave a live performance at the Hoshino booth, the Ibanez GB30TH gets its official send off at the Nashville 2008 Summer NAMM Show. Only 30 of these collectible small-bodied jazz guitars will be available worldwide, with just 16 slated for the U.S.A.

The GB30TH electric guitar celebrates three decades of the contributions of George Benson and Ibanez to the evolution of the modern guitar. It also commemorates one of the earliest, longest and most significant artist endorsements in the musical instrument industry and how important those artist/instrument maker relationships have been in creating interest and enthusiasm in the public for music making.

The original George Benson GB10 guitar was the first real acknowledgement that the nature of jazz performance had changed significantly from the conditions that had created the first jazz boxes. Benson's design featured a thicker top with floating pickups to reject feedback¿a must at the increasingly higher dB levels of modern music. Not only did the smaller body allow Benson, a stellar vocalist in his own right, to perform standing up, it also allowed the guitar to ride in the safer airplane overhead compartment to gigs. Plus, the guitar was much more stable than traditional jazz boxes so it arrived at the gig as playable as it was at departure. During the rare times adjustments were needed, the guitarist could do many of them without tools, even on stage. But most important was the sound. "The notes don't melt together like on softer guitars," says Benson in the guitar history, Ibanez ¿ the Untold Story. "It maintains the tone while articulating each note. No other guitar gets that sound."

For a fitting tribute to this historic collaboration of an American jazz master with Japanese craftsmanship, Ibanez chose a prestigious company in Kyoto with a 400 year history in the traditional Japanese textured silver leaf Garahaku art form to create and apply the finish for this extraordinary and very limited edition instrument.

The list price is $13,333.32.

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