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Strange Brands
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japanstrat
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 12:56 am    Post subject: Strange Brands Reply with quote

Lots of Strange Brands pop up from time to time and some of them are great guitars.
If anyone can add any info then please do.

Matsumoku made Aria, Westone, Epiphone Japan (first series before Yamano), Westminster (distributed by Kanda Shokai), some Greco Fender and Gibson copies from the 1970's, Vantage, Univox, Westbury, Skylark, Lyle, Fell, Electra, Washburn.
Chushin made Jackson, Azumi.
Morris made Morris, Bill Lawrence, H.S.Anderson.
ESP made Navigator, Zep-II, Edwards.
Kasuga made Ganson, Heerby, Kasuga.
Guya made Guyatone and were distributed by Tokyo sound corp.
Tokai made Sigma and were distributed by Martin.
Chushin probably made Fresher and Camel guitars and they were distributed by Kyowa-Shokai (not Kanda Shokai) who also distributed some Jackson models in Japan.
Cimar were made by FujiGen and also in Korea. The Cimar guitars were produced by Hoshino Gakki (Ibanez).
CSL and Antoria were imported by various music shops in the UK and are basically the same as Ibanez and some Korean models were probably made.
Profile were distributed in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia and were made in Japan and Korea. The Made in Japan Profiles were probably made by Matsumoku.
The Japanese Profiles have Made in Japan stamped on the neckplate and the Profiles that don't have Made in Japan stamped on the neckplate are made in Korea with some having plywood bodies.
There are also Profile effect pedals from the same distributor.
Terada were made by Terada and distributed by Daion.
Harptone were imported from the US and distributed by Daion.
Chaki, Hamox, Mitsura Shinano, Tamura, G.J. Gould & Sons were distributed by Daion.
Joodee, Founder, Daion and Yamaki solid bodies were were made by Dyna Gakki and distributed by Daion and the Yamaki and Daion Acoustics were made by Yamaki and distributed by Daion.
Joodee, G.J. Gould & Sons, and others were built to specifications of small USA distributors (MCI Texas) and often had the same model numbers as their Yamaki counterparts.
Gaban distributed by Hukuhara musical instrument company and probably made by Tokai.
Gallan were distributed by Kyowa-Shokai (not Kanda Shokai) and probably made by Tokai.
Gession were made by Tokai.
Grandy were probably made by Tokai.
Gibbon were probably made by Tokai.
Maya and "El Maya" and Bambu were brand names used by a Japanese Trading Company from Kobe called Rokkoman. The Maya and "El Maya" and Bambu guitars were probably made by Chushin.
Pearl were distributed by the Pearl Drum Company. The Pearl logo font on the guitars is the same as the Pearl logo font that's on the drums.
The Pearl Les Pauls were made by Matsumoku and the Pearl Acoustics were made by Hayashi Gakki.
Cortez were made by Matsumoku and some have the same headstock inlays as the Pearls.
The Cortez name comes from Jack?Westheimer who founded Cort in Korea.
Rockin' Robin were an American brand and were made by Tokai at the start and then ESP and Chushin http://www.robinguitars.com/history.html.

After a while all these strange branded guitars follow a pattern.
Music shops, companies producing machinery or whatever or business people would choose a brand name often with a Spanish sounding name like Gonzales or Fernandes and contract someone to make them and then they would try to distribute them.
They could just distribute them in Japan and get along quite well because the Japanese market is pretty big and they could also try to distribute them to other countries which would have been harder and not many survived doing it but of course Hoshino/Ibanez did.
Only a few of these brands have survived and some brands have been brought back by other companies after buying the rights to the brand name.
Also some USA and UK distributors would have guitars made in Japan with their own brand name like CSL etc.


Last edited by japanstrat on Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:13 am; edited 31 times in total
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Ozeshin
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And out of that lot ...here in Australia we saw:
Kasuga,Aria,Westone,Cimar(as a sub-brand of Ibanez) but there's a heap that I'll research that were'nt on the list...Maya and Electra for example...stay tuned for more info
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luis
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about Grandy and Gaban brands?
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Ozeshin
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tokai have built guitars for many well known brands over the years. They currently build most of the Fender Japan solid body models.

Dyna currently build some of the Fender Japan models and also build some of the Gretsch models as well. They have also built guitars for Ibanez and Greco.

Terada concentrate mostly on making Semi Acoustic and Acoustic guitars and have made guitars for Ibanez, Orville by Gibson, Epiphone Japan, Gretsch and other well known brands as well. At their production peak (in the late 1970's/1980's/early 1990's) they were producing around 10,000 guitars a month using 3 factories, the Higashiku factory, the Kanie factory and the Shirakawa factory. Terada's output is now about an 1/8th of what it was at their peak and they are still actively producing guitars at their Kanie factory.

Iida made some Ibanez models in the 1980's such as some of the Ibanez Artist models. They also made Solid Body, Semi Acoustic and Acoustic guitars for other well known brands as well. Around the mid 1990's Iida moved most of their production to the Peerless factory in Korea which they also own.

Kasuga made the Heerby and Ganson Gibson replica guitars in the 1970's/1980's. They were involved in a joint venture with Roland for guitar synths in the late 1970's. They also made Acoustic guitars for Yamaha in the 1980's before the Yamaha Acoustic production moved to Taiwan. They went out of business in the early/mid 1990's.

Matsumoku built Aria guitars and Epiphone guitars for export in the 1970's/1980's. They went out of business around 1987.
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luis
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I miss Fernandes/Burny. I?ve heared they got their guitars from several factories as : small own one(low production), Fuji Gen(in 80?s) , Tokai for some models in late 70?s and Kawai (I guess maybe Matsumoku but not sure,just because seeing guitar building style).
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Ozeshin
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a side note...you often see Matsumoto written when it should be Matsumoku.
Matsumoto are the Owners/makers of Gotoh.
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togps
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

re Tokais acoustics.
Tokai has been an exclusive distributor of Martin guitars from 1972 through 1988. During this period, Tokai had made Sigma and Shenandoah models for Martin, while Tokai sold a lot of Cat's Eyes in Japan. Some engineers from Tokai factory went to Martin factory and learned their engineering. Martin fans in Japan do buy Tokais acoustic guitars with affordable prices even now.
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Loudmouse
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rendano?
I think I read now days they import the Galveston junk but I have an SG doubleneck that might be from their early import days. Decent quality with set necks and fret markers like on the LP custom. Dark sunburst.
I would like to know more about it and where it came from.
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20 century boy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=5350&highlight=greco+catalogs
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twinfan
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was also Pearl (as in the drumkit manufacturer). Here's my early 70s Matsumoku made Les Paul Custom copy:

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Ozeshin
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pearl were good quality...I remember them here in Australia as one of the prolific Japanese brands.
I did some research on Pearl not long ago..I'll find it again for you.
Quote:
Rendano?I would like to know more about it and where it came from.
I'll see what i can find
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Ozeshin
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
V.J. Rendano is a wholesale distributor of guitars and other instruments in Cleveland, Ohio. Your instrument was likely made in Japan or elsewhere for Rendano and sold under their name. They still exist, though the company's namesake died last year. I do not believe they still distribute instruments under the Rendano brand (they distribute Cort and Galveston brand guitars). They may or may not have records of instruments such as yours, but you can try to get in touch with them.

Is this your guitar?:

Try contacting them via their website:

http://www.vjrendano.com
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twinfan
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ozeshin wrote:
Pearl were good quality...I remember them here in Australia as one of the prolific Japanese brands.
I did some research on Pearl not long ago..I'll find it again for you.


Thanks!
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Loudmouse
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Ozeshin"]
Quote:
Is this your guitar?


No, that looks like one of the Galvestons. Mine says Rendano on the headstocks and is a different looking guitar. I'll post a picture of mine soon.

Thanks for the link too, I will see what they say about it.
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deoreo
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ESP made the Kramer Stagemaster guitars, that many believed to be American made.
http://www.vintagekramer.com/stage.htm

I believe Fernandes made the import line (to the USA) of Charvel guitars in the mid-late 80's
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