Vintage Japanese

This page covers some of the vintage electrics I have owned that were manufactured in Japan. Although I did own all of these guitars at one point or another, I’ve likely sold all of them, so none of these guitars are for sale. Tell me if any information is incorrect, or if you have any important information to add.

    Elk “Cobra”Solidbody         Unknown MIJ (Dyko?)         Kawai Solidbody       Avalon “Shaggs” AV-T2
Here are four interesting vintage Japanese solidbodies from the mid 1960′s. The first guitar is a very well made “Elk Cobra” electric from Japan. (I recieved an e-mail from a man who was in Japan in the early 1960′s and remembers a friend of his who was invloved with the Elk guitar company, and owns a white version of the “Cobra” model). The second guitar, the white one with the black guitar pickguard, looks like some type of Guyatone creation to me, though I really have no idea. I had the same guitar before and it was marked “DYKO” with a sticker on the headstock… so is this a Dyko missing its sticker? The third guitar was an enormous, heavy Kawai with a warped neck. The last guitar is the legendary 1968 Avalon AV-T2, better known as the guitar played by the infamous girl-band, “The Shaggs”

     Electra “Omega”          Electra “Super Rock”        Raven Telecaster                Raven Telecaster               Raven Hollowbody

The first two guitars here are black Electra Les Paul copies with fantastic “wave” headstocks sporting the Electra “double-e” or “upside-down peace symbol” logo. The first guitar is a set-neck X210 Electra “Omega” model made sometime between 1976 to 1982. The second is a bolt neck Electra 2242 “Super Rock” model made sometime between 1972 and 1980. The third guitar is a beautiful Raven thin-line Telecaster-esque model, which I regret ever selling, as it played and sounded great and I’ve never seen one since. The fourth guitar is a more traditional lawsuit era (well probably pre-lawsuit era) telecaster knock-off with the Raven brandname on the headstock. The last guitar is bizarre looking Raven branded hollow-body with great horns and some deep cut-aways.

      Teisco ET-320                    Teisco EP-7                Early Teisco Hollowbody        Teisco Del Rey 

Four nice Teisco manufactured guitars. The first is a Teisco ET-320 with a cool but not very advantageous “monkey-grip” handle. The second guitar is a cheap little Teisco EP-7 hollow-body that played and sounded pretty terrible, but brought quite a bit of money somehow (maybe because I played up the fact that it’s the main guitar used by one of girls in ”The 5,6,7,8′s”, though I’m not sure if that’s a plus). The third guitar is a rare late 1950′s Teisco hollowbody with Teisco branded pickups and a headstock that said “TOYOU”. The last guitar is Vox Phantom copy sold under the Del Rey name.

   Silvertone by Teisco            Unknown Teisco             Teisco Spectrum             Teisco Spectrum

Four more Teisco products I owned a long time ago. The first two had cool brushed aluminum pickguards. The second two are variants of the Spectrum model.

         Conqueror                            Commodore                          Montclair                         Crown

The first guitar here is a wild-looking “Conqueror” with a very Mosrite-esque body. The second guitar is a “Commodore” with bass pickups and a very nice German-made Hofner tailpiece which I should have parted-out and sold seperately. The third guitar is a “Montclair” model which I have seen sold under the Ibanez name. It had some musician’s signature on the headstock. I couldn’t read it, and I hate people writing on nice guitars, so I wiped it off. The last guitar is a cool little “Crown” that had a great “Steel Reinforced Neck” metal badge at the end of the fretboard.
                  Zenon                               Zenon                            Zenon                           Winston

Here are four pretty interesting offerings from Zenon. The first is an oddly ornate two-tone red and white jaguar-esque creation sporting some wild pickups that are pretty reminiscent of those Kay “Kleenex-Box” single coils. The second guitar is obviously a close relative to the first – same tailpiece, bridge, headstock, body… The third guitar was another Zenon/Zen-on product with two of those infamous “Gold-Foil” pickups prized by Ry-Cooder. The fourth guitar was a tiny little “Winston” sporting the same pickup style as the second guitar here.          
Ideal                      Encore                      Kawai                       Apollo                      Tempo
The first two guitars here obviously originated from the same factory, but were sold under two different brandnames: “Ideal” and “Encore”. I could swear those tailpieces came off a Hagstrom, they sure look the same… If anyone knows anything about either of those brandnames, please e-mail me, as I would like to know. The third guitar is another one of those heavy Kawais but with a dark headstock this time. The fourth guitar is a pretty outlandish “Apollo” electric with FIVE different plates/pickguards in total. The last guitar is “Tempo” electric that is a bit reminiscent of a similar Univox model (same factory?).

   Bradford           Zenon               Dixon               Kent            Unknown       Unknown        Unknown

Nothing much to say about this row other than they were all typical low end Japanese imports and relatively unexciting. I likely paid about 50 dollars for each of them and sold each for ~100 to 150. I do however miss that Kent in the middle a little bit… it was a fun little guitar with a semi-set neck if I remember correctly.

Kingston                Norma                  Decca                   Decca             Unknown          Teisco (?)

What a great row this is… they’re all one-pickup, low end, Japanese imports from the mid to late 1960′s. Sadly they’re about as worthless as guitars come (except for any 80′s Korean stuff, which is almostcompletely worthless). But to be fair, I enjoyed and played every one of these guitars, and they all sounded “cool”.

    Silvertone           Unknown             Unknown                Unknown              Tempo               Lori

The first guitar here is Japanese made Silvertone that was plainly a design heavily influenced by the Mosrite electrics of the era. The second guitar is a mystery to me. It has a headstock and switchplate identical to the white Dyko (?) electric at the top of this page, but other than that I have no idea. It looks to be a Burns/Baldwin inspired desgin. The third electric is just like the Conqueror higher up on this page, but has no head-badge, so it could be a Conqueror or another brand. The fourth guitar is some unspectacular unknown 335 copy with an interesting addition: a vintage MOSRITE single coil in the neck position. Who the hell would waste that pickup on that guitar?! I should have taken it out and sold it seperately now that I think back on it all… oh well. The last two guitars are a “Tempo” bass and a “Lori” Jazz Bass copy.

        Unknown Hollowbody                 Squier Super-Sonic

I actually don’t know a single thing about the first guitar here aside from it being Japanese and that it’s from the 1960′s. Send me an e-mail if you recignize it or have any useful information about it. The second guitar isn’t exactly vintage, but it isn’t commonly seen and is certainly Japanese. Its a 1997 Squier “Super-Sonic” with a reverse Jaguar body and headstock. The last guitar is a very nice Es-175 copy with an image of a crown on the headstock. 

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