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High quality Japanese Guitars

jwguitar

Member
Messages
5,999
Hi Folks,

I have always really liked the Japanese guitars from say 1975 forward when they started making high end products. I have currently own a 2007 Epiphone Elitist Dot 335 semi hollow and a 1999 Yamaha SG700. If you guys can post pictures and or videos of your MIJ guitars it would be interesting to see what others use and own.

Here is my Yamaha SG700:


www.joeweinbergguitar.com
 

Average Joe

Member
Messages
11,826
I dont have access to neither guitars nor pictures as i'm on holiday but i feel that my ibanez JSM100 and tokai es158 are as good as any comparable domestic guitar
 

jwguitar

Member
Messages
5,999
I see old Aria guitars pop up now and again in guitar stores. Can you still get new Aria Pro Japanese made guitars in America or is that all overseas now? And what ever happened to Fernandes guitars? You never see or hear of that brand anymore.

www.joeweinbergguitar.com
 

jwguitar

Member
Messages
5,999
Is be curious about crews guitars as well. I've seen some recent tokais and they look good. I have a feeling most Japanese guitars are either made in the Fuji Gen Gakki or the Terada factories. I would assume the quality is excellent if it does come from one of those factories.

www.joeweinbergguitar.com
 

OlAndrew

Member
Messages
2,345
Don't have pics, but I had a Conrad D28 knockoff that was absolutely gorgeous. Good spruce face, very nice rosewood back and sides, and tone forever. Sold it to my guitar teacher, as I didn't play it much anymore. My only complaint was that the neck was a tad narrow. Built in the early or middle 70s, I think.
 

bgmacaw

Member
Messages
8,083
I have three from the 70's. All of them were purchased during antique buying expeditions and all 3 were in bad shape when purchased.

A 1974 Hohner Contessa - It was strung with steel strings and was stuck in a case that was rotting around it. It also had paper taped to it with note/chord positions, gunking up the fret board. After cleaning it up and changing strings to nylon ones, it reveal itself as a good guitar. It has a lot of chips and dents but still sounds good.



A mid-70's Global - This is essentially a Harmony H801 with the Global brand name. It was in a lot of fixtures and stuff from a closed restaurant. It had hung on the wall for years in a seaside restaurant and bar. As a result, it was quite nasty greasy, the tuners had rusted to the point of being unuseable and the electronics were shot. I replaced the tuners and the electronics, including shaving down a P90 to fit in the original casing. It's now my favorite open G slide guitar.



A mid-70's Yamaha(?) hollow body - I don't have a good picture of this guitar to share. I got it about 10 years ago and it's been an off and on project ever since. I'm not sure of the origin or even if it is an actual Yamaha guitar since the logo isn't right.
 

jwguitar

Member
Messages
5,999
It seems like after around 1975 or so the quality of Japanese guitars really jumps up quite a bit. You start seeing set neck lp copies and really nicely made hollow bodies. Does anyone have an idea of why the quality got so good seemingly overnight during this period of time?

www.joeweinbergguitar.com
 

hop

Member
Messages
1,110
Nice ;)
How would you rate Crews against Tokai etc., hop? Their LP models look really nice.
Can't really say as I didn't try out any Tokai. I did try some Bacchus SGs - a mango and a classic. I much preferred the feel and sound of the Crews. The Crews also beat a Gibson Custom Shop Pelham Blue SG. Someone somewhere said that maybe Bacchus and Crews are made in the same factory and they certainly have similar characteristics in places, but I don't know for sure. The pickups on the Crews are about as perfect as I've experienced.

About three years ago I let a beautiful Bacchus Explorer get away and I've been kicking myself ever since. They're nearly impossible to find on the 2nd hand market.
 

captaincanada

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
431
I've had bunches of nice Japanese guitars through the years..here's a few:

My favorite: 1980 Tokai Hard Puncher


1985 Fuji-gen built Squier strat


Greco SG that I refinished in aged pelham blue 10 years ago, this guitar is long gone..
 




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