The Paul Gilbert series is a Signature line of solid body electric guitar models offered by Ibanez. It is the signature guitar series of Paul Gilbert, an American guitarist best known for his work with Racer X, Mr. Big and a number of solo albums. The series consists of two different types: the PGM guitars are primarily based on the RG series body style and are easily identifiable by their unique painted "F-holes" while the FRM or Fireman series utilize an upside-down Iceman series body designed by Gilbert.
Paul Gilbert was already an Ibanez player before he got his first signature model in 1989. He played a couple of custom Ibanez guitars including a Destroyer/ Iceman hybrid model and a guitar based on his Epiphone Olympic. While on tour doing clinics he found out he preferred the stock Ibanez guitars lying around over his specially made custom guitars. Finally he ended up playing stock guitars from Ibanez.
When it came to designing a new 'Paul Gilbert model', the RG770 was chosen as base. To give it an original touch and make it look less 'heavy metal', Gilbert decided to let Ibanez apply the now famous painted F holes on his guitars. The first full production model was the PGM100 released in 1989.
Most PGMs are based on the Ibanez RG model. The RG shaped PGMs also have standard RG features such as a basswood body and a maple neck. Most PGMs are hard-tails, although the first PGM did feature the Edge tremolo like the RG770 it was based on. Other tremolo equiped PGMs are the PGM400 with a 'vintage' style tremolo and the PGM300 with a Lo-Pro Edge. Paul Gilbert's own PGM300 was modified into a hard-tail, the PGM301 was based on that guitar.
A couple of other (Ibanez) shapes were used for PGM models still featuring the signature F-holes, such as the Iceman shape (PGM600), Talman shape (PGM900) and a completely 'new' design based on the violin shaped (bass) guitars made famous by Paul McCartney.
A true departure from the whole series are the PGMFRM1 and PGMFRM2 Fireman models: a 'reverse' Iceman designed by Paul Gilbert. Although it's not the first PGM not being RG shaped, it is the first one not featuring the F-holes.