The Axstar guitars featured two distinct body shapes: the "shark fin" shape, which is basically a modified Explorer/Destroyer shape and the "battle axe" style which was a take on the headless guitars popularized by Steinberger. All of the Axstars except for the AXB1000 flagship bass model were produced for Hoshino by Chushin Gakki. The AXB1000 was made by Hoshino's main supplier, FujiGen Gakki.
The 1985 models had a pointy, sculpted X-shaped design which some refer to as the "shark" due to the resemblance of the shape of the upper part of the body to a shark's dorsal fin. These models had traditional necks with tuning machines on the headstock. These were designed by Chushin designer Tatsu Otsuki.
For 1986 these models were replaced with a brand-new Steinberger-style headless design with the tuning system integrated with the tailpiece function on the guitar body behind the bridge. The headless models were designed by Hoshino USA's chief designer, Mace Bailey. (more...)
Axstar models by year
- Michael Wright; Off with her head! (1986 Ibanez Axstar AX75 electric guitar); My Rare Guitars (blog); May 1, 2008; archived from the original April 2016
- Jim Donahue; Questions on a Few Unheralded Models; post on Ibanez Collector's World forum; June 8, 2004; archived from the original July 2018