Ibanez’ mid- to end of the 1970s copies of mainly Gibson archtops have an excellent reputation. This is reflected in the amount of praise that the seller, Archtop.com, of this Ibanez FA-510 is able to mobilize, advertising it as an “Ibanez L5CN,” indeed, “the most faithful L-5 clone anyone’s going to build, as long as Gibson has lawyers.”
Oh well. I bought my FA-510 in 1984 as new at (then) appr. 1,200 USD. I regretted the purchase, but was only able to sell it it about three years ago (at the same price that I paid twenty years earlier :-(). Acoustically, this was the most dead archtop I have ever played. Only slightly better than a solidbody guitar. Part of the explanation was that the tonewood — at least on the specimen I owned — was extremely thick and the guitar was therefore very heavy and non-responsive. But it was pretty (though nothing unusual on today’s standards), and plugged into an amp it certainly sounded allright.
However, the experience gave me a distinct distate for Ibanez lawsuit archtops, and my distrust in them has largely been confirmed by the other specimens I have occasion to try out. IMHO Ibanez only really got its archtop act together with the GB-10 and, particularly, the lovely GB-20. And the Joe Pass model was excellent value, but that is a different story.