This is one of the most frustrating questions from the MIJ collector. 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 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. 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.
The Tokai TST-50 Goldstar Sound in the 1980s
You can help by adding to it. Called the Les Paul Custom, this black guitar with gold-plated hardware was dubbed the "Black Beauty". Various bridge and tailpiece designs were added in and , including the popular Tune-o-matic bridge. The Goldtop and Custom models continued without significant changes until In , P pickups were no longer offered on Les Pauls.
Other changes include two lipstick pickups in the bridge, essentially a humbucker, as well as Kluson style tuners.
Coming in a choice of or replicas, the TST offered extremely convincing renditions of earlier Fender Stratocasters, at prices which, initially, were laughably low. Without mincing words, this ad hoc logo looked utterly crap, and given the importance placed on branding and logos by guitarists, it probably created a minor commercial disaster.
The original 3-ply scratchplate, the pickup covers and the knobs were straightforward white plastic. Driving sales even harder, some guitar shops had high visibility, ongoing promotions for the Tokai brand. At a big and very busy music shop near to me, staff memorably wore T-shirts bearing the slogan: The TST designations, incidentally, related to the spec of the guitars. The higher the number, the higher the budget, and the higher the designated selling price.
The practice of matching a model number to a price in thousands of Yen i. If the price of a Tokai rose too high, the customer would just buy a real Fender — even if the Tokai was better. Most of the youngsters buying Tokais just wanted a Strat that was good, and which they could afford.
The Truth About... Early Korean Squier Strats
What I find most interesting of all, is the extremity of opposing views on the early Korean Squier Stratocasters, first produced in Some say they were excellent; some say they were absolute rubbish. Very few guitars have polarised opinion in quite such a fashion on the basis of their quality. Lake Placid Blue was one of just four colours in which the original Korean Squier Strats were available.
A quarter of a century is a long time. Not only that, but these inexpensive instruments have often changed hands numerous times.
Killer setup, killer tone, a super axe all around.
If you're looking for an easy to play guitar, the action doesn't get any lower than this baby. Excellent value and quality that's typical of Korea today. This model was only made in one small run so there aren't many of these around - most of the Harm 3 models feature the cats eye f-hole in a semi-hollow design while this model was a limited edition production model that's no longer available. It features a solid archtop mahogany body, 22 fret maple set-neck with ebony fretboard and synthetic bone nut, side markers on the side of fretboard only, jumbo frets, flat The setup on this guitar is superb and the tone is warm and rich, very good choice for anything besides metal.
Last Guitar , pic2. More pics and full description at this link: Owned by Martin Miranda, my world-class tech, who was a close friend of Bernie and this was the last guitar that Bernie ever built, albeit not quite finished, and he was working on it the very day of his untimely passing. Click the link for a full description and feel free to email Martin Miranda directly at the address on the page.
A killer metal axe with cool looks with Tribal graphics, Widow headstock, and beveled edges which catch light and give it a very 3D look on stage. The main attraction of this axe, however, is one major upgrade in the tone dept. Now this guitar sounds as bad-ass as it looks.
I'm just someone who likes to make music. I hack away at it; I have since I was 14, back when the Beatles were still new. Still, I enjoy playing, and perhaps learning even more. So this is a page for amateurs like me. I had sold my last guitar a few years back in order to focus on other things the shakuhachi, for one. Last Spring, Susan gave me a beautiful blue Takamine C.
Has the same Brian Moore signature looks including sculpted headstock, sleek contoured body, and unique rear output jack of the higher end models.
Gibson Les Paul
Also features black hardware, Grover tuners, and football output jack which is another Jackson touch.
The mahogany neck was replaced with a three-piece maple neck in though mahogany still saw limited use with this change lasting till around
Japanese Manufacturers of Made in Japan Badged Electric Guitars From 1960 to 1980
Kyowa Shokai This company, which may have been a distributor as opposed to a manufacturer, was a member of the Matsumoto Musical Instrument Association.