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These pages are dedicated to the Electra MPC line of guitars Guitars (1976-1983).
Electra guitars were imported from Japan by the Saint Louis Music (SLM) of Saint Louis, Missouri from 1971 to 1984 (most MPC models were made by Matsumoku of Matsumoku , Japan) . Matsumoku has made many popular guitar brands over the years including; Aria, Westbury, Westone, Epiphone, Vantage & Vox to name but a few.
Electra MPC Timeline
Dating your Electra: Matsumoku made guitars have serial number in which the first one or two digits represent the year of manufacture. A guitar with a serial number that begins in "0" or "80" would have been built in 1980 (this is just a guideline and DOES NOT apply to all Electra models but seems a safe bet for 1977-1981 guitars).
The Electra MPC's claim to fame was, and is, on-board effects (more commonly referred to as effects modules). No stomp boxes required. If you want to use an effect (wah, phase shifter, etc) , all you have to do is flip a switch on the front of the guitar, and turn a knob (also on the front of the guitar) to adjust the intensity of the effect. Twelve different modules were available in all.
Over the years major musicians endorsed the MPC line, such as, Peter Frampton, Leslie West (signature model), ELO, Allen "Free Bird" Collins, Chris Squire (MPC Bass), The Outlaws (signature guitar & bass), and Rick Derringer (X910 model is also known as the "Derringer" model). Despite these endorsements, the Electra line still disappeared while the SLM went on to produce Westone & Crate products. Today, SLM distributes Crate, Ampeg, Alvarez & Austin products. So as you can see, it's a misconception that SLM disappeared or went bankrupt...they just changed.
The first school of thought was that the Electra MPC line were shoddily manufactured gimmick guitars. Now, twenty five plus years later, they are finally starting to be recognized for superior craftsmanship and playability. For years many Electra's languished in pawn shops while buyers focused on vintage Fenders and Gibson's. Now, there seems to be a resurgence in both their value and reputation for quality.
Electra MPC's in Print
Thanks to all the extremely helpful people who have provided the information and photos to make these pages possible! Page first created Aug 1998 by Mike Cantrell, transferred to Mike H Feb 2001. Page expanded and run Feb 2001- Jan 2005 & Nov 2005-Dec 2005 by Mike H. Page transferred to X189player Dec 2005.Pages updated and transferred to John Thornburg Jan 2006