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Japanese Manufacturers of Made in Japan Badged Electric Guitars From 1960 to 1980

Who Made My MIJ Guitar!?

This is one of the most frustrating questions from the MIJ collector. As I've read many different guitar collector/enthusiast forums and spoken to local guitar dealers, it's clear that the layperson has little to no idea who made their badged guitar from the 1960-1980 period, also known as the MIJ golden age of guitar manufacturing. People often make the mistake of citing the American or European importer as the 'maker' of the guitar, when in fact several Japanese manufacturers were producing badged guitars out of their plants and shipping them to America and Europe to sell. Japanese manufacturers made multiple badges at the same plant, many of whom resemble each other closely. Some manufacturers merged or changed hands over the years which added to the confusion, sometime merging with another maker, only to pick up their name later. In some cases a manufacturer would farm out production to various manufacturers, making it still more difficult to know who made the guitar in your hands. Parts from other guitars would be used in the making of a particular badge for a period of time because it was all the manufacturer had to hand...which doesn't always help in identifying a maker. And sometimes, the guitar which is supposed to be an MIJ guitar is actually made elsewhere (Korea, Indonesia) because production was moved during this period in history. Sounds hopeless, right? Not always!

This page is a work in progress and as new information is revealed it will be added to the list. But I can't do this alone, folks. See a guitar not listed? Tell me! Listed below are the major manufacturers, known badges and suspected badges to the best of my knowledge in written and list form to make it easy to find out WHO MADE YOUR GUITAR! In some cases I won't know because the badge you have may be extremely rare and virtually unknown to even seasoned collectors.

And just a quick note: I do not buy or sell guitars. I have no idea what any given guitar from this period would sell for. I don't know if some of the listed guitars are indeed valuable. My sole purpose is to help people looking specifically for information on the maker of their MIJ guitar. So please...don't ask me what your guitar is worth. To me, they're all priceless.

Atlansia

This guitar manufacturer started out as a parts supplier in the early 1970s. Atlansia didn't begin production of guitars under their badge until infamous engineer and designer Nobuaki Hayashi of Matsumoku fame became the company's president and chief designer in the late 1970s. Since then, Atlansia has continued to produce cutting-edge guitar designs in Nagano, Japan. The company did not make any other badged guitars other than namesake Atlansia.

C.F. Mountain

Company was founded in 1948 and made high quality acoustics. Maker of house brand C.F. Mountain.

Chushin Gakki

Chushin is still in operation today in Nagano, Japan and does business with guitar giant Fender. I believe that Chushin may have been a member of the Matsumoto Musical Instruments Association listed further down because both companies produced Fresher guitars during different periods....with Matsumoto beginning production and Chushin ending it (perhaps because the Association was disbanded?). During the 1960-1980 period they were responsible for badges Bambu, Cobran, El Maya and Hisonus as well as some Charvel, Fresher and Jackson badges. The company may have possibly made some guitars with the Aztec, Maya and Robin badges, but that is not verified. Guitars made by Chushin from this period are well-made and appreciated by guitar enthusiasts worldwide.

Daimaru

Founded in the city of Matsumoto, Japan in the early 1960s, Daimaru produced their own house brand, although they outsourced electric guitar production to Teisco during the 1970s period. Daimaru appears to have gone out of business after 1980.

Daion Musical Instrument Company

Daion was founded in 1962 by Yasuyuki Teradaira. Maker of house brand Daion guitars, along with JooDee and Johnson badged guitars. JooDee was made by master guitar luthier Shiro Tsuji. Outsourced work to maker Yamaki. Daion went out of business shortly after 1984.

Daiwa Musical Instrument Manufacturing

Maker of the Daiwa acoustic guitar. Will research this for more information.

Dyna Gakki

Dyna Gakki began production in 1972 in the city of Nagano, Japan. They manufactured guitars for Fender Japan and Greco, so they couldn't have been a terrible manufacturer as Fender is very choosy about outsourcing their product. Dyna may have been a source for Japanese manufacturer Yamaki. Dyna also produced the infamous Ibanez badges for a short period of time.

Electric Sound Products (ESP)

Founded in 1975 by Hisatake Shibuya, this wildly-popular manufacturer focused on making quality basses for export as well as electric guitars. ESP survived the 'copy' era and is still in business today. Badges made by ESP included their house brand ESP as well as Navigator during the late 1970s. A possible badge made by the company was Robin.

Elk Gakki (also known as Miyuki)

Makers of the Elk badged guitar from the early to mid 1960s to 1975, although other sources indicate that the Elk brand did not stop production until the early 1980s. Elk badged guitars came in clear acrylics in addition to colors in the early 1970s, which was an attempt to copy clear acrylics designed by the legendary Dan Armstrong in the late 1960s.

Fernandes

Fernandes Guitars started production in 1969 in Osaka, Japan. It grew and became one of the largest producers of Japanese-made guitars, rivaling competitors Fujigen and Matsumoku. Fernandes produced guitars with the Burny and Nady badges as well as house brand Fernandes. A possible badge made by Fernandes was the oddly named Orange guitar.

Fujigen Gakki

Fujigen Gakki began operation in 1960 as a classical guitar manufacturer, moving into the lucurative electric guitar markets in 1962. The company was the largest producer of Japanese guitars during the 1960-1980 period. They were known for producing high quality products, especially for the badged guitar market, which is why the company was selected by so many major American brands. It wasn't until 1970 that the company began making products for the venerable Ibanez brand, which was an unqualified success. Fujigen Gakki was the main manufacturer of choice for Greco badged guitars in the 1970 to 1980 period. They also produced guitars for major manufacturer Yamaha. Badged guitars made by Fujigen include Antoria, Epiphone, Jason and Mann. Badged guitars that may have been made by Fujigen Gakki were Marlin and St. Moritz.

Guyatone

Guyatone produced electric guitars for major guitar manufacturer Suzuki. The company also produced their house brand Guyatone. Badged guitars produced by Guyatone include Barclay, Broadway, Coronado, Crestwood, Futurama, Howard, Ibanez, Ideal, Imperial, Johnny Guitar, Kent, Kingston, Lafayette, Marco Polo (electrics only), Montclair, Omega, Orpheus, Prestige, Royalist, Saturn, Silhouette, Silvertone, Vernon, Winston and Zenta, an impressive amount of names produced by a single company. Other badges that may have been produced by Guyatone are Beeton (not to be confused by the Beeton Brass Guitar company founded in 1994), Bradford, Canora and Regent.

Hayashi/Zenon

Hayashi was one of the premier acoustic guitar makers among Japanese manufacturers from this time frame. Hayashi bought out small manufacturer Zen-On in 1968 during a period of expansion for the company. Credited with making Pearl badged acoustic guitars, Hayashi was also responsible for making Cortez, Custom, Emperador and Mountain acoustics.

Hitachi Gakki/Hitachi Musical Instruments Manufacturing

I'm unsure if this company existed or not, but since many major electronics manufacturers jumped into the electric guitar market in the 1970s, it seems reasonable that Hitachi could have ventured briefly into guitar production. A seller of the badged guitar "Splender" claims it was made by this company. Yet another seller claims the badge Slendon was made by this company.

Hoshino Gakki Ten/ Tama

Hoshino Gakki were known primarily for producing Ibanez guitars during this time although that wasn't the only badged guitar they made. Badged guitars produced by Hoshino include Cimar, Cimar by Ibanez, Hy-Lo, Penco, Howard

Tama Industries began guitar production from 1962 to 1967 as a factory of Hoshino, producing more badged Ibanez guitars as well as Continental, Crest, Goldentone, Jamboree, King's Stone, Maxitone, Star, Starfield (some), Tulio and Jason. Tama eventually took over badged guitar production from STAR Instruments in the mid-1960s.

There's some evidence that Tama began producing guitars under their own badge from 1975-1979. I'm unsure at this point if this Tama had any relation to the Tama that existed under Hoshino Gakki Ten.

Humming Bird

Little-known manufacturer in operation in the early 1960s until 1968. Humming Bird made electrics that were copies of Mosrite guitars. It's possible they also made acoustics.

Iida

Iidi began manufacturing guitars in 1958 in Nagoya, Japan. Iida is still producing guitars, but mostly in their factory located in Korea. They were mainly responsible for producing acoustic and semi-acoustic rather than electric guitars for major manufacturers Ibanez and Yamaha. There is speculation that Iida may have assisted Moridara for a short period in making Morris badged guitars, but that is not verified.

Kasuga

Kasuga produced their own house brand in Kasuga guitars. For a brief period of time the company produced Yamaha acoustic guitars. Kasuga guitars were first sold in America in 1972. Unlike many Japanese manufacturers who outsourced their guitar production in other factories outside the main maker, Kasuga produced all their products in-house. Badged guitars known to have been made by Kasuga include Conrad, Emperador, ES-S, Ganson, Heerby, Hondo, Mei Mei and Roland. Kasuga went out of business in 1996.

Kawai Teisco

Kawai Teisco was founded by Atswo Kaneko and Doryu Matsuda. The company also produced the popular Ibanez badge in the 1960s. Kawai Teisco made their own house brands Kawai, Teisco, Del Rey and Teisco Del Rey. Badged guitars produced by the Kawai Teisco factories include Apollo, Aquarius, Arbiter, Atlas, Audition, Avar, Ayar, Barth, Beltone, Black Jack, Cameo, Cipher, Concert, Cougar, Crown, Daimaru, Decca, Diasonic, Domino, Duke, Emperador, Heit Deluxe, Holiday, Imperial, Inter-Mark Cipher, Jedson, Kay, Kent, Kimberly, Kingsley, Kingston, Keefy, Lindell, Marquis, May Queen, Minister, Noble, Prestige, Randall, Recco, Regina, Rexina, Sakai, Satellite, Schaffer, Sekova, Silvertone, Sorrento, Sterling, Swinger, Tele Star, Top Twenty, Victoria, and Winston. Possible badged guitars made by the company include: Astrotone, Demian, G-Holiday, Lafayette, Master, Orange, Tamaki and Trump.

Kyowa Shokai

This company, which may have been a distributor as opposed to a manufacturer, was a member of the Matsumoto Musical Instrument Association. They have been credited with Camel and Fresher badged guitars, although Freshers were also made by Chushin in the late 1970s.

Magnavox/Ampeg

Ampeg was swallowed up by Japanese electrical giant Magnavox in 1971, when they wanted to get in on the electric guitar copy craze of the 1970s. Magnavox produced electric and bass guitars under the Stud badge as well as the successful Ampeg brand. It's been suggested that Magnavox was also responsible for producing Selmer acoustic guitar badges during this time, but that has not been verified. Selmer was sold to Magnavox around the same time they bought Ampeg, so it certainly seems plausible they could have made Selmer acoustic badged guitars as an offering for that market. Stud badged guitars were made until '75, with Ampeg guitar production continuing until 1980. Opus was another badge made by the company. Magnavox lost their interest in Ampeg shortly thereafter and the brand languished until it was resurrected over a decade later by another American company.

Maruha Gakki

We know this company existed in the 1970s in Japan because of stickers found inside repaired Maruha guitars. Maruha made high-quality acoustics, some of which are badged F. Hashimoto (some long lost master luthier?) along with the Maruha badges. These guitars are highly sought-after because of the overall quality.

Matsumoku

Matsumoku is one of the Japanese manufacturers that did not survive long after the heyday of the 1970s guitar market despite having a long tradition of quality stringed instrument craftsmanship. Matsumoku produced guitars for major manufacturers Greco, Guyatone and Yamaha. Matsumoku made Arai, Aria, Aria Pro II and Aria Diamond badges, with Aria being their primary badge for a majority of this time frame. Badged guitars known to have been made by Matsumoku include Apollo, Arita, Barclay, Burny, Capri, Columbus, Conrad, Cortez (electrics only), Country, Cutler, Dia, Domino, Electra, Epiphone, Granada, Hi Lo, Howard, Ibanez, Lindberg, Lyle, Luxor, Maxitone (this guitar differs from Tama's Maxitone badge), Mayfair, Memphis, Montclair, Pan, Pearl (electrics only), Raven, Stewart, Tempo, Univox ,Vantage, Ventura, Vision, Volhox, Washburn (in 1979 and 1980), Westbury, Westminster and Westone. Possible Matsumoku badges include: Bruno, Crestwood, Conqueror, Eros, Mako, Memphis, Orlando and Toledo.

Matsumoto Musical Instrument Manufacturers Association

The Matsumoto Musical Instrument Manufacturers Association was the organization responsible for Fresher guitars. Little is known about this association, other than it did not have larger guitar manufacturers Matsumoku or Fujigen Gakki as members. Nakai Gakki was a possible member of the association. Fresher guitars began production in 1973 by the Kyowa Shokai Company, an association member, which was also responsible for the Camel badge. It's interesting to note that Fresher guitars were eventually being produced by Chushin, which leads me to believe that they may have been an Association member along with Kyowa. The beginning production year was considered a low quality benchmark for the company. The Fresher brand continuously improved in quality until 1980.

Maya Guitar Company

Located in Kobe, Japan, this manufacturer made the famous Maya brand guitar. Maya guitars were in production from 1970-1980. It's been suggested that Maya may have been responsible for the Aztec badge. You'll notice that Maya has been attributed to a company known as Tahara. At this point I do not know if Maya assisted in production or if Tahara produced some Maya guitars as a subcontractor. Maya and El Maya badges have also been attributed to Chushin Gakki. More research is needed to clarify this point.

Moridaira (Morris Guitars)

Founded in 1967 by Toshio "Mori" Moridaira, the Moridaira factory produced high-quality guitars, including the infamous Morris badged guitar. Moridaira also produced badged guitars for Hohner including Coronado, Futurama, H.S. Anderson, Lotus (some) and Sakai.

Nakai Gakki

Little-known manufacturer from Osaka, Japan, this company is responsible for the oddly named John Bennet badge. Nakai has been mentioned as a possible Matusmoto Musical Instruments Association member in the past. The company still exists and is producing musical instruments, quite a feat in light of so many manufacturers who faded after the golden electric guitar age.

Shinko Musical Company

A very small, unknown company that is attributed to being the manufacturer of the Pleasant guitar from 1960 to 1966. Shinko later moved to Korea sometime in the early 1970s where they produced the Drive guitar badge.

Shiro Musical Instrument Manufacturing Company, Limited

This little-known company is responsible for the St. George badge. This particular badge was made from 1963-1967. It also produced the rare Shiro guitar. It is possible that the company may also be responsible for the Pleasant guitar badge after 1966. This company may have been a small offshoot of Aria Guitar Company, founded by Shiro Arai, but that has not been verified as of today.

STAR Instruments

This company slowly merged into Hoshino/Tama but prior to their unification, produced instruments with the Star badge, mainly drums. They also produced guitars, including the infamous Zim-Gar badged electric and acoustic guitars. Over time, drum production was segmented to Pearl, while guitar contracts were taken up by Tama. Zim-Gar production was relatively short, as these were budget guitars made for K-mart between 1962 and 1968.

Suzuki Musical Instrument Manufacturing

Suzuki had two factories in Kiso and Hamamatsu where they made popular Suzuki guitars. The Hummingbird Suzuki guitar was manufactured in the Kiso factory. Suzuki is also credited with making the Canora and Takeharu badged guitars along with Marco Polo acoustics. Holly is another badge ascribed to Suzuki, although that has not been verified.

Kiso Suzuki Violin Company

Company founded by master luthier Kiso Suzuki, it began making guitars in 1951 in the area of Kisofukushima. Badged guitars made by Kiso include Takeharu and Toredo.

Tahara

Founded by a father and son, Ryohei Tahara and the unknown Tahara. I do not know which was the father and which was the son. The company existed until the late 1979 when it was bought up by Saga Musical Instruments. In all, the company existed less than a decade as Tahara. Both the Maya and El Maya badges are attributed to Tahara. Saga Musical Instruments exists to this day.

Takamine

Founded in 1962 in Sakashita, Japan, this manufacturer survived the copy era and is still producing guitars to this day. Takamine was among the first to make and export electric acoustics with their own house brand, although they are primarily known for their acoustic guitars. It is unknown if they made badged guitars.

Terada

Terada was one of the smaller Japanese manufacturers of acoustic guitars during the period of 1960 to 1980, producing products for Epiphone, Fender Japan, Grapham, Gretch and Vesta. Terada produced some Kingston badges until 1975. Other badged guitars produced by Terada include some Burny badges and interesting Thumb guitars. Terada has been in continuous operation since 1912.

Tokai

Tokai was founded in 1947 and is based in Hamamatsu, Japan. Tokai began production of acoustic guitars in 1965 and by 1968 was producing electric guitars for the American market. Tokai still exists as guitar manufacturer. Tokai made guitars for Fernandes, Mosrite and Fender Japan. Tokai badged guitars included the house brand Tokai as well as Cat's Eyes, Conrad, Drifter, Hondo, Love Rock, Mosrite, Sigma and Silver Star. Possible badges include Artist Ltd., Gaban, Gallan, Gession and Robin. It's suggested that Tokai made Hummingbird acoustics as well, but if these were related to those made by Humming Bird I haven't quite sorted out yet.

Tombo

Tombo was the only Japanese manufacturer who produced Norma badged guitars. Tombo made Norma guitars from 1965 to 1970. Badged guitars produced by Tombo include Angelica, Asama, Columbus, Condor, Duke, Horugel, Kinor, Montaya, Queen, Regina, Schaffer and Yamato.

Toyota

Is there anything T. Kurosawa didn't attempt to manufacture in the 1970s? Yes, Toyota manufactured a high-end line of acoustic, electric and bass guitars from approximately 1972. Toyota ceased manufacturing guitars in a short span of time (probably because they didn't sell), although exactly when in the 1970s production ended, I'm not sure.

Yamaha/Nippon Gakki

Founded in 1946, Yamaha is still going strong in the electric guitar market as a manufacturer. During the timeframe this article covers (1960-1980) all Yamaha guitars were made in Japan, although not necessarily in their factories as they outsourced to other manufacturers.

Yamaki

Yamaki was founded in the 1960 by brothers Yasuyuki and Hirotsygu. Yamaki exists today as a major manufacturer of guitar parts for outside Japanese guitar manufacturers. Yamaki produced a house brand, as well as Canyon, Daion, Dion, Grande and Jedson badged guitars. They also possibly produced JooDee guitars for a short time.

Yasuma Musical Instrument Company

Yasuma still exists as a company today, making high quality acoustic guitars. Located in Nagoya, Japan, the company may have been a source for Yamaha in the 1970s. Manufactured house brand Yasuma guitars.

Zen-On (see also Hayashi)

Little known Japanese manufacturer who was out of business by 1968. Zen-On made electric guitars with the house brand Zen-on badge, as well as Beltone, Morales and Zenon badges. Zen-On bought out Hayashi, but exactly when that took place is clouded in mystery.

List of Maker's Badges

ManufacturerExclusive/Contract Companies Known Badges Possible Badges

Atlansia

Fender Japan

Atlansia

 

Chushin Gakki

 

Bambu, Cobran, Charvel, El Maya, Fresher, Hisonus, Jackson

Aztec, Maya, Robin

Daimaru

 

Daimaru 

 

Daion Musical Instrument Company

 

Daion, Johnson, JooDee

 

Daiwa Musical Instrument Manufacturing

 

Daiwa

 

Dyna Gakki

Fender Japan, Greco

Ibanez

 

Electric Sound Products (ESP)

ESP

Navigator

Robin

Elk Gakki (Miyuki)

 

Elk

 

Fernandes

 

Burny, Fernandes, Nady

Orange

Fujigen Gakki

Greco, Yamaha

Antoria, Epiphone, Ibanez, Jason, Mann, Odessa,

Marlin, St. Moritz 

Guyatone 

Suzuki

Barclay, Broadway, Coronado, Crestwood, Futurama, Guyatone, Howard, Ibanez, Ideal, Imperial, Johnny Guitar, Kent, Kingston, Lafayette, Marco Polo, Montclair, Omega, Orpheus, Prestige, Royalist, Saturn, Silhouette, Silvertone, Vernon, Winston, Zenta

Beeton, Bradford, Canora, Regent

Hayashi/Zenon

 

Cortez, Custom, Emperador, Mountain, Pearl

 

Hitachi Gakki

 

Splender, Slendon?

 

Hoshino Gakki Ten (Tama)

 

Cimar, Cimar by Ibanez, Continental, Crest, Goldentone, Howard, Hy-Lo, Ibanez, Jamboree, Jason, King's Stone, Maxitone, Penco, Star, Starfield, Tulio

 

Humming Bird

 

 

 

Iida

Yamaha, possibly Moridara 

Ibanez, possibly Morris 

 

Kasuga Tokai

Kasuga, Yamaha

Conrad, Emperador, ES-S, Ganson, Kasuga, Heerby, Hondo, Mei Mei, Roland

 

Kawai Teisco

Del Rey, Kawai, Teisco, Teisco Del Rey

Apollo, Aquarius, Arbiter, Atlas, Audition, Avar, Ayar, Barth, Beltone, Black Jack, Cameo, CBS, Cipher, Concert, Cougar, Crown, Daimaru, Decca, Diasonic, Domino, Duke, Emperador, Heit Deluxe, Holiday, Ibanez, Imperial, Inter-Mark Cipher, Jedson, Kay, Kent, Kimberly, Kingsley, Kingston, Keefy, Lindell, Marquis, May Queen, Minister, Noble, Prestige, Randall, Recco, Regina, Rexina, Sakai, Satellite, Schaffer, Sekova, Silvertone, Sorrento, Sterling, Swinger, Tele Star, Top Twenty, Victoria, Winston

Astrotone, Demian, Holiday, G-Holiday, Layfayette, Master, Orange, Tamaki, Trump

Kyowa Shokai

Matsumoto Musical Instruments Association

Camel, Fresher

 

Magnavox/Ampeg

 

Ampeg, Opus, Stud

Selmer

Maruha Gakki

 

Maruha, F. Hashimoto

 

Matsumoku

Greco, Guyatone, Yamaha

Arai, Aria, Aria Pro II, Aria Diamond, Apollo, Arita, Barclay, Burny, Capri, Cimar, Cortez (electrics only), Columbus, Conrad, Cutler, Dia, Domino, Electra, Epiphone, Granada, Hi Lo, Howard, Ibanez, Lindberg, Lyle, Luxor, Maxitone (this guitar differs from Tama's Maxitone badge), Mayfair, Memphis, Montclair, Pan, Pearl (electrics only), Raven, Stewart, Tempo, Univox ,Vantage,V entura, Vision, Volhox, Washburn, Westbury, Westminster, Westone

Bruno, Conqueror, Country, Crestwood, Eros, Mako, Memphis, Orlando

Matsumoko Musical Instrument

 

Fresher, Camel 

 

Maya Guitar Company 

 

Maya 

Aztec 

Moridara (Morris)

Hohner

Coronado, Futurama, H.S. Anderson, Morris, Lotus (some), Sakai.

 

Nakai Gakki

 

John Bennet

 

Shinko Musical Company 

 

Pleasant

 

Shiro Musical Instrument Manufacturing

Aria? 

Shiro, St. George 

Pleasant 

STAR Instruments

 

Star, Zim-Gar

 

Suzuki Musical Instrument Manufacturing

Suzuki

Camora, Takeharu

Holly?

Kiso Suzuki Violin Company

Kiso Suzuki

Takeharu, Toredo

 

Tahara

 

Maya, El Maya

 

Takamine

 

Takamine

 

Terada

Fender Japan, Grapham, Gretch, Vesta 

Burny, Epiphone, Kingston,Thumb

 

Tokai

Fernandes, Fender Japan, Mosrite

Cat's Eyes, Conrad, Drifter, Hondo, Love Rock, Mosrite, Sigma and Silver Star

Artist Ltd,, Gaban, Gallan, Gession, Robin

Tombo

Norma 

Angelica, Asama, Columbus, Condor, Duke, Horugel, Kinor, Montaya, Queen, Regina, Schaffer,Yamato

 

Toyota

Toyota

 

 

Yamaha

Yamaha 

 

 

Yamaki

Yamaki

Canyon, Dion, Daion, Grande, Jedson

JooDee

Yasuma Musical Instruments Company

 

Yasuma

 

Zen-On

Zen-On, Zenon 

Beltone, Morales 

 

Unknown Maker Badge Names

Unassigned maker badge names are AGS, Alex, Andre, Aquila, Asco, Avon, Axiom, Bradley, CG Winner, Clear Sound, CMI, Columbia, Commodore, Cortley, Crestline, Crown, D. Lewis (?), Danelectro, Dynelectron (some), Diplomat, Dixon, Dorado, Eagle, El Degas, Exceltro, Exper, Encore, Fandel, Garzia, Goya, Grant, Grenn, Laguna, LTD, Magnum (?), Maier, Monroe, Marchis, Mark II, Masaaki (?), Matador, Norwood, Palmer, Prairie, President, Rodeo, Sanox, S.G.C., Splender, Stella, Targa, Taro, Voxton by Vox, and Yoshi. Some of these badges are attributed to the importer as the 'maker', which is untrue. It's possible that some of these badges were made by smaller Japanese manufacturers that have faded into history.

Unknown Maker Badges

A

AGS, Alex, Andre, Aquila, Asco, Avon, Axiom

B

Bradley

C

CG Winner, Clear Sound, CMI, Columbia, Commodore, Cortley, Crestline, Crown

D

D. Lewis, Danelectro, Dynelectron, Diplomat, Dixon, Dorado

E

Eagle, El Degas, Encore, Exceltro, Exper

F

Fandel

G

Garzia, Goya, Grant, Grenn

L

Laguna, LTD

M

Magnum, Maier, Monroe, Marchis, Mark II, Masaaki,Matador

N

Norwood

P

Palmer, Prairie, President

R

Rodeo

S

Sanox, S.G.C., Splender, Stella

T

Targa, Taro

V

Voxton

Y

Yoshi

Torch's Awesome Vintage MIJ Links

Comments/Questions/Corrections

Bo Admas on August 26, 2020:

Who made sg galan guitars?

Kate on July 04, 2020:

I have a guitar with a label inside of Rockiuger. Does anyone know anything about this make or who may have made it?

Per Kolbe on June 26, 2020:

Got a Santana LP Deluxe with pre lawsuite stile, but cant find any info about it. Any one heard or seen anything about this ( got a sticker Made in Japan on it)

Elton Pinkster on June 09, 2020:

my friend has come into owning a Tomson Les Paul triple humbucker Japanese made guitar ( found in a shed )

Bolt on neck. says custom on the trust rod cover.

serial number is 1753750 or 1758750. I just cant find too much else about them.

Cj on May 04, 2020:

I have a 9nui guitar made in Japan. I wonder who made it?

LHS48 on March 11, 2020:

Hi I'm looking for any help anyone can give me. I have a Fairmont Jazz Bass of unknown age, has to be at least 45 years old. However there is no serial, no badges, no writing, logos "FAIRMONT" , nothing at all to indicate any manufacturer other than a neck plate that says "made in Japan" on the underside of the plate. I have plenty of pics if anyone can help.

Anyone heard of Fairmont Jazz Bass Made in Japan, its a Fender Jazz copy early mid 70's? i need Informations,can’t find anything on them, anyone help out? i play this Bass sins 2018 in good conditions

Lothar on March 11, 2020:

Anyone heard of Fairmont Jazz Bass its like Fender Jazz copy early mid 70's

James leventry on January 31, 2020:

I also have a black les Paul with plate made in Japan. Appears to be well made bolt on neck.

Kyle Grannan on January 03, 2020:

Lots of good info here. Why did it take me so long to find you?

Mario Gambino on November 18, 2019:

I have an Rare Amos Electric Guitar. It appears to be made in Japan around 1960-1970. Any one interested in buying the guitar?

Alex on October 30, 2019:

I have LP UNIVERSAL? Who made this guitar?

Shane on October 30, 2019:

I’ve got a Status Les Paul, got it new in 1994. I’ve only ever seen 2 or 3 others on the internet, can’t find anything on them, anyone help out?

steve@kishindo.com.au on October 28, 2019:

What about a Franpton I have a SG copy?

Rookie123 on September 25, 2019:

Has anyone heard of a Nashville? I have a 12 string dreadnought with nashville on the headstock. It appears to be a mij Martin clone

Old on September 14, 2019:

Anyone heard of Hudson its a les paul copy early mid 70's

Shane on September 13, 2019:

Goya was made at Takamine, says the GA 400 I have. Not sure if that was pointed out previously.

Jim on September 12, 2019:

Anyone heard of Hoffmann guitars

Made in Japan??

stevo62345 on August 30, 2019:

hi guys i bought a japanese made strat copy in 1980 called vintage profile..just pulled scratchplate off and i see a sticker inside with 23.71 on it..any ideas wat this means?..thanxs

Mike Billings on August 21, 2019:

Any idea of who made Cyclone bass guitars using the name EKS Technology Inc.?

Steve B. on August 07, 2019:

Anyone know who made the classical guitars sporting the Conn label?

markko viitto on August 06, 2019:

I did not see the badge name of Lyle mentioned. Matsumoku?

Groover on June 05, 2019:

can anyone give me info on ASOA guitars please.

Terry Moore on May 03, 2019:

Any one heard of or know anything about Universal Gibson copies?

dava4444 from Scotland on May 01, 2019:

I would guess Commodore (at least in the 70s) was done by Matsumoku.. you can see the the best two examples of this.. as the Westbury Standard/ Epiphone Scroll and The Commodore/Aria 1532T/1803T/ Epiphone ET-270.

There were a couple of minor differences.. the main one being the ET-270 came in a cool lightly patterned Cherry Sunburst. The others Tobacco Sunburst, Light Tri Colour Sunburst..

Of course.. the Epi came with it's three-a-side headstock.. and the others six-a-side.

The Commodore has the proper Epi trem bridge (or vice versa).. while the Aria had a jag/jazz style trem.

(and a slight change of the style of the cutaways between the Commodore and the Epi ET-270)

Ttellek on March 30, 2019:

Hello

I have had a Les Paul copy MIJ in my possession for over 30 years and would love to know more about it. It has Riviera on it and is really nice guitar. I painted it many years ago to stick it on a wall and am now in the process of refurbishing it to its former glory.

Bryan on March 26, 2019:

Hi I'm looking for any help anyone can give me. I have a black Les Paul of unknown age, has to be at least 30 years old. However there is no serial, no badges, no writing, no logos, nothing at all to indicate any manufacturer other than a neck plate that says "made in Japan" on the underside of the plate. I have plenty of pics if anyone can help.

dean brown on March 15, 2019:

Does anyone know who made Sam Ash's Carlo Robelli jazz basses in the 70's? Thanks.

Jason on March 12, 2019:

Im looking for info on an antique Asbury (not ashbury!) F65 made in japan

Looks like all around mahogany with a gibson style headstock.. no pics online ..

Pidg' on February 22, 2019:

Hello,

And what about Oakland&Co guitars ?

Thank you !

Clo from North America on February 21, 2019:

The Return of the Legend

Maya Guitars Canada

Clo from North America on February 21, 2019:

Headlines haven’t been kind to electric guitars. (sic) rolling stone magasine. Slipping sales year over year made for a bleak portrait, and by last September, even Eric Clapton wondered if the instrument was on its way out. “Maybe the guitar is over,” he mused, responding to reports that electric guitar sales had crashed half a million in a single decade and that industry leaders Gibson and Fender were both in debt. As if fulfilling prophecy, Gibson, maker of the famed Les Paul model wielded by everyone from Jimmy Page to Slash, announced this month that it is filing for bankruptcy.

Actually, not quite. Guitar sales in many markets are on the rise, and the industry is in one of its more optimistic times.

No one now believe that a guitar should cost $4000.

There is no wood, electronics or mechanics that would cost that much.

The technology is now good everywhere and the knowledge of making guitars is not a secret.

This is what Maya is proposing, Yes they are now made in Thailand but quality is there, components are very good quality, set up is perfect and prices are fair.

You don't expect to play in Las Vegas or having a world tour these guitars are for you.

Visit our site in construction Welcome

https://www.facebook.com/groups/488298531701385/

Lars on February 18, 2019:

Hi. Have any of you heard about the Galson? I have a Galson SG copy but can find absolutely no info on it. Any help on Manufacturers is appreciated. Pictures will be added here: https://levincraftsmanship.wordpress.com/2018/10/0...

Thanks

Twenki on January 26, 2019:

Hi everyone,

This looks like the perfect place to ask about an old japanese guitar, so.. there i go

First some pics:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=19ziURxlVq2q3Y7w2...

I have a strange old guitar named "Sugano" and for the history of the guitar I can date it around 1976.

I have no more information about the guitar, its a nice copy of a dreagnought and sound nicely.

I crawled internet several times and didn't found nothing, there is no information about that brand Sugano.

Does anyone know something about this rare brand Sugano?

THANK YOU

John Coe on January 22, 2019:

Just a message for your information. Takamine guitars were associated with the brand Jasmine which was imported into Australia back in the late 80s

Steve Mal on January 05, 2019:

Thanks so much, now I know I’m likely never to find who made my MIJ Steel Adjustable Neck, 7 digit serial # Les Paul knock off. :)

Tadakatsu from Canada on October 20, 2018:

Wow, cool and informative article. I never knew there were so many of these brands.

Jonathan Ocampo on October 14, 2018:

im from the phillipines and there are a lot of japanese acoustic guitars here but when i try researching some obscure brands i cant seem to find any information on them. the brands i cant seem to find anything are "koga" (different headstock logo from the ones i found online), "jumbo" and "jaxon". hopefully you can help me get some info on these brands? thanks! :)

manu on September 28, 2018:

Thanks for this usefull article! i just buyed an "EXPER" neck thrue guitar. the exact same model was sold under Rokkomann Deluxe badge and also Suntech and Elmaya. i believe it's the same manufacturer.

Peace.

mike on June 13, 2018:

how old is this mansfield acoustic guitar f301 serial no 708197

Fitfit on June 10, 2018:

@Webmaster,

Thanks for all this information!

@Notts

Some Avon guitars were exact copies of Moris guitars, that's all I know.

@Daniel "Oakland & Co" guitars looks very similar to El Maya and "Maya" branded guitars. There is also another brand that did an exact copy of a strat type model.

Daniel on May 16, 2018:

Can anyone shead any light on an Angelica De-Luxe Bass?

Who manufactured and what year?

States made in Japan, no serial number unfortunately.

Frank on April 29, 2018:

Does anyone knows, who maufactured under the label "Oakland & Co"?

manny on April 20, 2018:

I'm trying to find out who the Japanese bass guitar manufacturer was that build the coronet bass guitar in the 1970's cheers

Mst Rev. Norman Crabbe on April 09, 2018:

This Odessa Guitar is a Custom Black with black pick guard white bindings, cloth push back wiring w/ braided wire over the cloth. A well made guitar with a very bluezy sound.

Butch Mann on March 10, 2018:

I have a Les Paul Gold Top copy I bought new in the mid 70's. It has no brand name anywhere on it. I have done all the research I can and have found no conclusive results.I'm at a loss. It plays great! I do have pics. if that will help. Thanks for any help' It was bought in Montgomery Al. Clarence Carter's guitar player bought one while I was in the store so I figured ...must be a okay guitar. So I bought it. On the little square plate on the back it is hand engraved #0059. Thanks

Neil Moses on March 07, 2018:

Hi. I'm trying to trace a black Les Paul copy guitar I bought maybe 15-20 years ago (possibly more, memory is going!). The registered trademark on the top of the guitar is "Performer" and it has a stylised bird logo that looks like a swallow. Any help appreciated. I've tried Googling without much success.

David from Warwick, Western Australia on March 02, 2018:

I have to agree with Gem. There doesn't seem to be much activity on this web site despite there being questions asked on a regular basis.

Any response, positive or negative would be appreciated as this seems to be the only forum of its kind.

Gem on February 24, 2018:

Hi, just interested in whether anyone answers these questions?

Notts on February 02, 2018:

I posted about a year ago regarding my 1970 Morris guitar and having read the article under the "Moridara" heading, I was just wondering if my guitar is the "Infamous Morris badged guitar" and what is the significance of this instrument?

Glenn Student on January 30, 2018:

Hello. I am trying to find out more about my Hohner electric guitar. I've been trying to research it online but cannot find ANY information or reference to this particular model. Some people have told me that it may have been a prototype sample that never went into production. The only reference number I can find on the guitar is a label that says Sample by Nanyo CG300G and Made in Japan. I bought this guitar around 1980-1982 when I was 13-15 years old and it is still in mint condition. I would really love to know more about it's origin.

Tell me how to post pictures and I'll add photos of the guitar.

Scott Windsor on January 21, 2018:

Hi My aunt gave me a 1968 Riviera Custom Six electric guitar made in Japan looks like a copy of the Epiphone Riviera

cant find anything about wonder if you know

thanks

stralo48 on December 22, 2017:

Hi all, I'm owner from one Fairmont Jazz Bass Made in Japan.

I can't find eny informations abaut this Jazz Bass.

Please hep me,

Producer, year of Production, Price, Etc.

Have no Nummer only Initial market Fairmont on thr Neck

I have Pictures

Thanks for answer

Lothar from Switzerland

ton konijn on December 03, 2017:

I’m offered a Les Paul junior double cut (2 dogear P90’s) of a brand named “Custom”. Is there any relation to Univox/Matsomuko? Is it worth $350?

russell on October 04, 2017:

i recently acquired an odessa jazz bass. says made in japan on the neckplate along wtih the serial number. trying to determine the year of manufacture along with who actually does manufacture odessa basses. thanks

Emma on August 22, 2017:

I have an old Amena I can't find any information on. I wonder if they were released through Greco, as I've seen a few identical looking photos.

She is a Gibson 59 remake, with some lovely detailing and surpriseingly great sound. It doesn't look or feel like it could be made by the same place that made the el cheapo acoustic guitars, but it does say Amena.

Lee J on July 25, 2017:

What about Levinson Blade guitars - the late 80s and early 90s?

And also, Bill's Brothers guitars, I read they came out of the same Morris factory as H.S. Anderson and Bill Laurence guitars?

Cindy Braver on June 30, 2017:

I thin Yamaha LL16 is one of the best acoustic guitar on the market . Yamaha is known for making affordable, quality guitars, and this is one is no different. It features a solid spruce top, solid rosewood back and sides, and an ebony fretboard. It is smaller than the dreadnought guitars – a fact that is neither good nor bad but that does affect the way the instrument sounds and feels.

This guitar sounds tighter and is less loud than a dreadnought. But its construction warms its tone considerably. Its owners say that its tone is well balanced – clear and punchy but still warm. It offers clarity in the higher registers, but some boom in the lower registers. For that reason, the LL16 is suited to almost any style of playing. It will not, however, be as punchy as the Taylor 210 or as round sounding as the Blueridge.

Overall, this is a great guitar, at its price or any. Suited to almost anything, and fit for beginners and pros alike, LL16 is a great choice. http://www.guitarmesh.com/what-is-the-best-acousti... has great and informational reviews .

David, Australia on June 28, 2017:

P.S. I live in Australia and was interested to find these Canora guitars were manufactured in Japan and distributed in America.

Thanks again

David on June 28, 2017:

Hi

Bought a CANORA acoustic guitar (model #1916) from a garage sale $30 the other day

Anyone know where to pick up parts for these (want it original) or do I have to turn it into a 'bitsa' ?

Ta for help David

rennie on June 21, 2017:

Hi, I have a japanese made guitar badged "HAWK" any info about which company produced it and which year it was made?

Kurt on June 16, 2017:

I own a les Paul copy by a company called classic,its very well made,heavy as hell,wilkinson pick ups,but can't find any information on it

Cappadizzy on May 25, 2017:

Dorado was a matsumoku-made deal

Rockin J on May 23, 2017:

Has anyone heard of the Japanese brand Starfire? I'm looking at a Strat copy and other than the brand Starfire it has nothing else on the guitar, haven't found anything online as yet. Any clues??

Laszlo on May 03, 2017:

My guitar is made in Japan, nut I cannot find anything about. It is a Lp guitar, called Riviera. Would you help in identification? Also dont find how to put photo. Cheers, Laszlo

Marc Bristol from Duvall, Washington on April 02, 2017:

Back again! I sold the Eagle Jazz bass copy, but have acquired a hollow body 3/4 bass that we believe said Lyle or Aria on the peg head (badge gone). Interestingly it seems like possibly a copy of a Kay design, florentine cutaway with a sunburst. Three of the tuners are missing the bushings, and I'd love to know how to get replacements! I may have to manufacture something, but don't own a metal lathe. Also found a Strat copy that says Mark II on the peg head, nice mahogany neck, in a dumpster along with a Jackson Dinky. Stole parts off the Dinky to make the Strat copy whole, and I like it better than the Mexi-Strat and Squier Affinity start I had, so I sold those, and the Jackson after replacing the bridge parts I'd stolen off it. Besides, I still haven't got all the magic marker off the pick guard on the Mark II (recently heard they were made by Cort, or whoever makes Cort). I bought a Telestar (believe it was made by Teisco) in a thrift store for maybe $12.99 or something like that. I love the pickup sound, but the neck doesn't get any wider as it approaches the body and the frets get closer together. I also have a San Antonio made Alamo like that, and sold off a Silvertone (made in Japan) tiny hollow body with that issue. The necks are hard to play! But I like that pickup on the Telestar so much I can't part with it.

Bill on April 01, 2017:

I have an Emperador acoustic/electric. After reading a very lengthy article in Vintage Guitar magazine, I would say that Teisco, in a roundabout way, did make the Emperador line, but it's not that cut and dry. Jack Westheimer and Hayashi were the actual ones behind this guitar.

They were played by The Everly Brothers and only 180 were imported ( talking about the acoustic/electric model).

https://www.vintageguitar.com/1933/jack-westheimer...

Paulus Deen on March 01, 2017:

I own a G 100 and a W 380 Hashimoto ( Martin D 35 copy )

I have found thad there are 3 differend "stickers " in these guitars

one only Hashimoto one F Hashimoto ( also onthe headstock )

and K Hashimoto al of them were made at the Maruha Gakki factory

André Sierecki on February 27, 2017:

Hello! I'm from Germany. I have a Maxon deLuxe SG . pre Lawsuite early 70s. I can't found any information about this. Can you help? Best regards André

Chilliepot on February 12, 2017:

My guitar is a Clear Sound and listed in your Unknown column. The label says it is made by the S S Sound Co. Ltd. The label also notes

Made in Japan under strict quality control.

It has a Model no. 1902.

Its a nice classical guitar with a good sound.

Fred Kramer on February 01, 2017:

Hello all. I have a brand name guitar, which was very popular in the 1980s, and still is being manufactured under Gibson today. I didn't see it in your list though. It's a Kramer Stagemaster. It's a beautiful guitar, which I may never part with. Strat-Style with Neck-Thru-Body & Floyd Rose Trem. The headstock states Kramer American. These were passed off as American made models, however I understand that they were actually made in Japan. The style and appointments are strikingly similar to my Ibanez Proline 2550 from the same era, which has 'Crafted in Japan' written on the headstock. I know that Kramer made a lot of American made guitars out of Neptune, New Jersey, however these were all bolt-on neck guitars. Does anyone know where these Neck-Thru Kramers were made, or why they have American printed on the headstock if they are not tues American made guitars?

Lang Steve Peek on January 28, 2017:

Sakai was a really unknown wood maker near Nagoya City in Japan. They produced a lot of guitars in the late 60s and early 70s, mostly budget stuff but as always there are some good guitars to be found. Not made by TEISCO

DG on January 10, 2017:

I have a Triumph Les Paul, also not listed here but MIJ. No other info, apart from serial number 9332 at top of head. Have not opened the guitar, s not sure is there is more in there.

Patrick Maher on December 26, 2016:

I lost a wonderful EMPRO les paul custom model In a plain top brown finish (it was at a friends house in Dallas Texas who died in 2002 and was auctioned off before I could get down there from Michigan). It was my first electric guitar, bought at a pawn shop in Sulphur Springs, TX in 1989. I loved that guitar and have only seen about three other Empros since then. I did not see the Empro badge on this site. Anybody know the maker?

Glen Jones on December 15, 2016:

I have a Bass Guitar with the name SAKAI on the head. Don't know anything about it.

Ryan M on December 10, 2016:

I found a Na Yang Acoustic Guitar and I can't find the name, maker or anything on line about it. It looks like a Martin D-45 copy. It does have nice pearl inlay around the body and on the nick. Anyone out there ever seen or heard of a Na Yang guitar???? Model# W-945

r on November 09, 2016:

you put in a lot of work, its not biblical correct, pretty good...but take with a grain of salt. but some guitars are made in Korea. I bought a Yamaha 3 piece back like a Kiso Suzuki, I would it was made in Japan The tuners said made Japan. I thought the pawn shop was crazy. I got it for $100 Love this guitar and then one day I looked at the the decal in the sound hole and in the tiniest print "Made in Korea" I felt a pang like o' crap I bought a Korean guitar. But I have a few Acoustics High end a Guild made in the 80's and this Yamaha is incredible. better or just as good as my old Suzuki

Whiteyak1 on October 25, 2016:

Morning everyone, well it is here in UK anyway. Who can help with my find. It's a Dia Hummingbird labelled F 315 but no serial number. So from what I can find Dia was a brand used by Matsumoku but I can only see electrics under Dia brand when I search. However it looks identical to a Aria F315 Hummingbird on eBay USA at present, and identical to an Aria Pro II from the 1976 catalogue but labelled W 30 model I believe. I won't put a link on here in case I'm breaking rules. It has that weird aluminium compensated bridge and seriously, this one looks brand new with two tiny dings that would make it a second or an ex-demo if it was on sale. Action at low E 12th is about 2.7mm and about 1.8 at high e. It's in such good condition I began to question if in fact it is a 'knock off of a knock off' though why anyone would think that would work I can't guess. It is very very playable, and at first I wasn't keen on the tone though sustain is great (despite bridge) but I changed to heavier strings (13) with much improvement. I'm seeing a luthier friend next week who is finishing off work on a brilliant Terada FW 613 (D18 clone if you like), but I'm wondering whether to get him to replace the whole alloy bridge. I can do a couple of pics if anyone is interested. Any help in identification of maybe year (guessing 1976) and origin greatly appreciated. I think it's a keeper, but should I change that bridge ? Has anyone done similar on one of these compensated aluminium designs and what were results. Many thanks.

Jim P. on October 21, 2016:

I just thought you'd like to know that Takamine produced for other names. I've just bought a 1973 Wayne which has a Takamine label inside stating it was made for Wayne. Its a Takamine 375 thats a Martin D35 copy. Wayne were guitar makers in Melbourne Australia in the 1950s and 60s and began importing under their name briefly in the 70s. It sounds amazing.

Notts on October 19, 2016:

I have what I believe to be a 1970 Morris Mando Mania and am trying to source some background information.

It has a Florentine scroll with twin pickups and the headstock reads "The Morris" and a name plate inside the f-hole reads "Morris Gakki Co. MORRIS Custom".

The only reference to it is that Pete Cosey played one in the 70's with Miles Davis and there are a few pictures on Google but that's it!

Any help would be much appreciated.

I can supply photos for authenticity if it helps.

Konrad on October 09, 2016:

Hi,

I was informed by Mark Erlewine that his japanese made "Automatic" guitar in the early 80ies were made by

Chushin Factory / Matsumoku, Japan (not the Hondo made guitars).

Maybe another sign that Chushin may have been a member of the Matsumoto Musical Instruments Association in these days

Sincerely

Heinrich on October 04, 2016:

I have a guitar that my wife got from her granddad. I have taken it in for repairs and the person told me that it is Carlton 60 era Japanese guitar. I cant find any information on this brand.

Can you help?

Scott on August 27, 2016:

I have a Dixon model 2846 MIJ. It is basically a guild d-50 knockoff but has a Martin type three piece rosewood back. This guitar is very high quality. The same guitar is sold under the Ibanez name in the mid 70's.

So any information on the brand, Dixon. What factory it was made and what year?

Send any info to telcord@gmail.com

Thanks

gerardo tex on August 16, 2016:

does anybody knows about this japanese guitar brand? STRIKERY, or anybody has one of this, something to help me identify it. thanks

Pat Mc on July 25, 2016:

I'm looking for some deeper research than I can find. I have a Hohner 310 Limited Edition that I bought in October, 1975 in Canada. Common Hohners have a meaningless SN (does not relate to date made). They are also listed as having been made from 1978-1984.

Mine was bought before this and does not have a SN. It is a very well built, Martin D-28 copy. It is also very similar to the Morris W35, except for the snowflake fret markers vs dots. The headstock looks identical although they could have been purchased.

The label clearly says "HOHNER INTERNATIONAL", and a wood label beside the paper reads "Hand made for HOHNER".

OK, so is this a Moridara (Morris) or is it by someone else? When did Moridara start making Hohners? Thanks if anyone knows more than I.

Grant on July 12, 2016:

Anyone heard of a Dara? Says made in Japan. It's from the 60's or 70's but I can t find any info on it.

Eddie on July 10, 2016:

Dear

I purchased a Vibromatic and told it's a 1970's guitar with "made in Japan" on the back (See photos attached). It's not your guitar listed of makers. I have had not joy in searching the "web" can you help me identify the history of me new beloved Vibromatic.

i can email photos edwarddevoy@hotmail.co.uk

thanks Eddie

Dave on June 29, 2016:

Anyone ever heard of a blaZe, it looksi in all aspects like a fender strat but the head is blaZe. Plays great and sounds real good but no ones ever heard of it?

Dave Feller on June 20, 2016:

Legion classical guitar, model 4104, square label inside with made in japan in bottom right corner, along with make and model.Any ideas? Looks like a maple laminate top...

Simon Beck on June 08, 2016:

Very interesting and well-researched. I would take issue with your repeated use of the word "infamous" - it means notorious, or famous for a bad reason. Perhaps you should just use the word "famous" instead.

George on June 07, 2016:

I have Bolero dreadnought that I am not able to find the manufacturing details. The trust rod cover says Tokai I have contacted the Manufacturer in Japan but they did not confirm nor deny that made that brand :(

mike on May 30, 2016:

I found a 70's made in japan electric guitar Watson, double cut, neck through, looks similar to Memphis MG300 Matsumoko.

Anyone knows anything about this badge ?

thnks!

Ed on May 20, 2016:

Yamaki produced Washburn guitars and basses in the early 80s.

No-Way on May 06, 2016:

It's confirmed. Eagle in Norway was not associated with Eagle/Sweagele (Eagle Instruments, in Sweeden). Eagle/Sweagle was manufactured by Unsung in Korea! (ref. correspondense with Jam.se)

Anonymous on April 16, 2016:

Have a Columbus series 3 superstrat. Jackson/charvel knockoff. It plays ok with a dimarrzio bucker and 2 single coils od unknown origin. It original had a locking trem which could only dive and I replaced with a FR that can only do same because I wouldn't risk routing the ply body. Anyway the interesting point (and I'd love to find out) is that under the "Columbus series 3" badge can clearly be see the faint etching of another badge in gothic script "Winchester". Any thoughts?

Peter Clarke on April 14, 2016:

Yamahas were not all made in Japan from 60-80. At least some of the acoustics were made in Taiwan from about 1975.

Evan on April 11, 2016:

I have a SHIMA JN-70 Made in Japan, classical, looks to be 60s or 70s, no info whatsoever.

Roger on April 10, 2016:

Tune was a Japanese brand from the 80's producing good quality basses such as the Wood Bass

Ronnie on March 24, 2016:

Any clue on Global? I don't see them listed.

Lana on January 31, 2016:

I have a "President" brand guitar made by the Luthier Maruchu Shokai in Hamamatsu, Japan. Can anyone tell me how old it is, or anything else about it?

mersastra on December 16, 2015:

Just purchased this vintage 1970s satellite guitar. Not the usual LP /Strat copy , plays nice and looks gorgeous.

I was wondering about origins and came across the same model on Ebay (Link below ) The seller puts this in his description

" When you look up satellite, they were cheap japanese guitars possibly made in the matsumoku factory, but this was their prestige model ".

Think I have too many guitars as it is but couldn't resist this one , was local and picked it up for £32.50 the guy on Ebay is asking £350

for his , either he's dreaming or I have really got a bargain. Always loved the look of a neck-through and natural wood , love it.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1970s-Vintage-Satellite-...