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Serial numbers can be useful in determining the age of a guitar as well as in which country and by which builder it was produced.
Unfortunately, there is no single unified format used for Ibanez serial numbers.
Exceptions are the Ibanez Blazer models which were made by Dyna Gakki and the Axstar by Ibanez models AX40, AX45, AX48, AXB50, AXB60, AXB65, AX70, AX75 which were made by Chushin Gakki (the flagship Axstar AXB1000 bass was made by Fuji Gen Gakki).
It is also believed that 'Terada Musical Instrument Co., Ltd.
One can perhaps make a reasonable guess as to whether a model with an F7 serial number was actually produced in 1987 or 1988 based on the production sequence (the last five digits of the serial number).
It's most likely that this is a big misunderstanding caused by an over generalization in the database of the "Guitar Dater Project" website, which is not able to assign the right factory to a vintage Ibanez guitar based on its serial number.
It's unclear whether this numbering convention is rigidly enforced, that is, each month actually starts out with the number prescribed above, or if this is just a way to estimate the production month.
What is known is that this rubric is used by Ibanez to set the production date for warranty claims.
Note: as of November 2004, the serial number represents not necessarily the year the instrument was produced but rather the model year to which the instrument belongs.
It has long been Ibanez's practice to begin production for the subsequent model year in November (or even late October), but the serial numbering change that was implemented in November 2004 acknowledged and formalized this practice.