In 1957 in an effort to bolster their stand up bass business Gibson purchased their arch rival the Epiphone Guitar Company and moved production to Kalamazoo, Michigan. Along with the sought after bass tooling Gibson acquired access to many storied models and a brand name with a history of quality and prestige. With plans to expand retail distribution by differentiating Epiphone dealers from Gibson dealers, Gibson began production of a new line of "Kalamazoo-made and designed" Epiphones in 1959.
For over a decade from 1959 through early 1970 Epiphone solid body guitars and basses were produced in limited numbers right along side some of the greatest Gibson's of all time. These Epiphone guitars represented some of the highest quality and best sounding instruments of their generation. They provided unique shapes, pickup arrangements, and tonal signatures not seen on comparable Gibson models of the day.
The Epiphone Olympic started out looking similar to a Les Paul Special Doublecut From 1960 until 1962. In 1963, Epiphone redesigned the Olympic to match its other solid body guitars such as the Coronet and Wilshire. The original Olympic body shape became the Olympic Special with slight modification to the lower horn, which was shortened and re-angled slightly.
The Olympic, Crestwood, Coronet and Wilshire guitars are often confused with the ET-Series, which were a Japanese-made amalgamation of the older Epiphone body shapes and designs.
This is a 1965 Epiphone Olympic Special being sold in "Excellent" condition. Includes non-original case.
This guitar is all original except the rear pickup was rewound with vintage style wire by our friends at Taylor Guitars. 1963 Fender Stratocaster. Hardshell case included.
Like 1962, very little changed about the Stratocaster for the production year of 1963. Sales were still extremely strong, and the Stratocaster continued to etch out its place as the one of the world's most popular and iconic instruments. Some very minor changes seen in 1963 include a subtle shift in the shape of the pickup selector switch and a change in the location of the pickguard screw above the front two pickups. Also, by 1963 the "veneer" style of Rosewood fingerboard had become standard.
Years of Production: 1954 - present
Unique to this Year: No more date markers on body. Veneer Rosewood fingerboard becomes standard.
Body Style: Offset solidbody
Wood Composition: Alder body, Maple neck with slab or veneer Rosewood fingerboard
Design Elements: Bolt-on neck, dot inlays, 3 single-coil pickups, 3-way pickup selector
Finish Specifications: Sunburst was a standard finish for the '63 Stratocaster
Notable Players: Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix
Although the Fender Stratocaster MIJ is, as the name implies, made in Japan, and consequently sports a much lower price tag, many will argue that there is no significant difference between these models and the Strats made in America. Starting in the '80s, Fender began to produce guitars in Japan for import, Strats among them, complete with all of the accoutrements you'd expect on your typical Strat. Entering into Strat world with a super solid guitar is pretty easy with something like the Fender Stratocaster MIJ.
This one from 1987 is a "First Version" built in Japan featuring a Black Sparkle finish, two pivot vibrato bridge, rosewood fingerboard, American flag detail, as well as the original hardshell case. This guitar is in excellent condition considering it's 30 years old.
This is a VINTAGE Fender Heavy Metal Strat made in Japan in 1989. This guitar is a First Version. Everything appears to be all original and in "Good" condition. There are a few minor finish scratches and paint imperfections. Original hardshell case included.
The Fender HM strat was originally produced in Japan. Some sources say production started as early as 1986. Subsequently in 1989, it was produced in the United States. Some evidence indicates that assembly in the U.S. with components imported from Japan may have begun as early as 1987.
First Version - The first version appeared with a distinct Strat logo in the headstock, 24 medium jumbo frets (i.e. these are thicker and wider frets), a maple neck with rosewood or maple fingerboard and with one of the four neck "bolts" (screws) off-set at the bottom of the neck to allow a more comfortable "heel" area for playing in the upper registers, a lighter basswood body, or occasionally alder for US made guitars). The scale length is an even 25 inches (635 mm), rather than the normal 25.5 inches (648 mm) commonly used on Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars. In addition, the Fender HM Strat had a Kahler licensed double-locking tremolo system, "Spyder", and Gotoh tuners, one DiMarzio humbucking H* "Super 3" pickup ("H" configuration), and sometimes two single coil pickups (S*, HSS configuration), two humbuckers, or sometimes a single additional Super Distortion, (HH configuration) and a side mounted jack socket. Kahler USA offers a detailed schematic diagram of the Kahler Spyder tremolo and several (but not all) replacement parts are available.
Japanese-assembled guitars have colored polyester on the bodies, and clear polyester on the necks. American-assembled HM Strats have a very hard aircraft grade urethane color and clear coats on the body, while still using polyester finish on the neck.
1991 G&L ASAT Classic Leo Fender Signature is in excellent condition and perfect playing order. This ASAT features classic elements with modern design. Built with a powder coated metal pickguard. Two single coil pickups give this guitar a chimey classic feel. Classic style bridge has six individually adjustable saddles for a good setup. This great sounding guitar is one of the G&L's with Leo Fender's signature on the body, which are no longer being manufactured.
Case: This guitar includes its original hardcase along with its original paperwork
Details & Measurements: Single cutaway body shape, 12 1/2" lower bout width, 10 3/4" upper bout width, 15 1/2" body length, 1 5/8" body depth, 1 5/8" nut width, 25 1/2" scale length, weighs 8 lbs 5 oz
Materials & Construction: Ash body with a natural ash finish, 3 bolt maple neck with a rosewood fretboard, 22 frets, pearloid dot inlay, black side dots on neck near edge of fretboard, head stock adjustable truss rod, bone nut
Hardware: Satin chrome Sperzel tuning keys, white painted metal pickguard, ASAT Classic bridge with six individually adjustable saddles, knurled chrome dome knobs, chrome control plate
Electronics: Two single coil pickups, three way pickup selector, master tone and master volume
100% built in USA
This VINTAGE 1974 Gibson L5-S Custom is one of the more spectacular vintage guitars we've seen come through our shop in a long time! It is all original, including the hardshell case. This guitar appears virtually un-played. A rare piece for the vintage collector!
Serial Number 400386
The Gibson L-5S was introduced essentially a solidbody variation of the classic L-5 hollowbody. Both models featured a single cutaway body style and multi-ply binding. The L5-S was launched with low-impedance pickups that were replaced with humbuckers in 1974. It also started out with a plate tailpiece that was later replaced with a stopbar. Its array of high-end appointments make the L5-S more collectable than the similar L6-S.
Years of Production: 1972 - 1985
Body Style: Single cutaway solidbody
Wood Composition: Maple body, five-piece Maple neck, Ebony fingerboard
Design Elements: Two humbucker pickups, block inlays, four control knobs, three-way pickup selector, black pickguard, large plate tailpiece and Tune-o-matic bridge
Finish Specifications: Cherry Sunburst was an original finish for the L5-S.
Notable Les Paul Players: Keith Richards, Jeff Lyne
This is a 1968 Kalamazoo KG1 made by Gibson in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This VINTAGE instrument is all original with the exception of the Bad Ass bridge.
Here is a little history on this particular model.
Kalamazoo was an American budget guitar brand, created by Gibson to market cheaper guitars than the fine instruments they were already making for professional musicians. This marque had been used by Gibson previously in the 1930s and 1940s, and was resurrected to cope with the massive demand for entry level guitars after the beat boom of 1964/1965. They were made in Kalamazoo, but not at the Parsons street facility (plant I), rather a newer building at 416 E. Ransom Street (plant II).
The KG guitar was a simple solid-body electric, using Gibson parts on a fibre-board body made by a manufacturer in Wisconsin. The parts used also appeared on other lower-end Gibson solid-bodies: the pickups were straight from the Gibson Melody Maker, the bridge and vibrola from the Melody Maker and the Gibson SG Special and Gibson SG Jr.
It was aimed at younger players; primary colours and surf styling - early models had a Fender Mustang shape (and were available in the same three colours of the Mustang, red, white and blue), although this changed to the SG style as the sixties wore on, and that shape became more fashionable. Despite the fibre-board body, the Kalamazoo guitars had a nice maple neck with rosewood fingerboard; bolted on (rather than set as was Gibson's norm), and the same electronic components as some more expensive Gibsons.
With Gibson quality and components, and a fair price, it is not surprising these guitars sold well; a total of 23994 KG guitars were shipped between 1965 and 1969, in three colours: Flame Red, Glacier White, Las Vegas Blue.
Teisco was a Japanese budget brand that produced guitars starting in the late '40s. By the early '60s, Teisco guitars became increasingly unique with a number of original shapes and designs being produced. Those imported to the United States were branded as Teisco Del Rey starting in 1965. Collector interest in Teisco and other budget import brands has increased in the past several years. Teiscos are notoriously difficult to date and identify as no comprehensive records were kept during production. The ET-200 was a two pick-up version of an earlier design.
Years of Production: 1960s
Design Elements: Two single-coil pickups, floral pickguard, dot inlays