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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:31 pm 
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Hmmm you make a solid case counselor :-) Your BP is a ringer for a Gibson especially with the crown on the headstock. There's no denying that there's some big time similarities between early - mid 70's Ibanez & Electra. I'd love to hear someone who was there confirm or debunk it once and for all.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:37 pm 
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There's little doubt. Electra was sourcing guitars from both Arai and Hoshino, and Hoshino were made by Fujigen and Matsumoku (at least!)

The trick to figuring out which factory made it will be comparing details with other models made by that factory. Since only Fujgen made Ibanez, your guitar's close similarity to that Ibanez model really does point toward it being made by Fujigen.

I find that after looking at enough of them, you can start to get a real 'feel' for the works of a particular factory. Matt feels like Matt and Kasuga feels like Kasuga. I've heard the same said about Terada. But I don't want to trust my subjective feel, I want evidence.

If we can find more parallels like this, we can make a clear map of who made each model. We can all tell subjectively the big differences between models, it's jsut a matter of systematically working them all out.

If possible, we should start documenting potentiometer codes and neck pocket and pickup rout markings- there are a lot of these, and we don't know what they mean, but maybe at least we can detect a pattern.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:02 pm 
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Ya, I think I'm on to something. I may be the the first guy to come up with this particular theory because of my particular guitar(s), but the idea that the "Ibanez" factory(s) made the same guitars for other brands is nothing new. Not by a long shot. It's all over the place on ebay. There are two more of these ES-175 copies now, and this one is a really nice Crestline branded one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Crestline-ES-175-Ja ... 0002425594

Given the history of this one, which I tend to believe, this is obviously not an orphaned Ibanez circa 1975. This one is just one that was made for Crestline in '73 or '72 or prior. Note that it doesn't have the distinctive Ibanez crown inlay that my two have.

Now, as to my two: The ES arrived today. It does indeed have a beautiful MOP "Electra" headstock inlay in addition to the beautiful MOP crown inlay. The fingerboard markers are MOTS, which is consistent with the Ibanez catalogs (compare the ES markers with the apparent MOP markers on other guitars on the same page). It is a very well-made guitar and nicely finished. It needs a major cleaning on virtually all of the body, but the neck is pretty clean and beautiful. It is a quality guitar and completely consistent with what I believe the Ibanez 2355 was in '75 (tho' I've never seen one in person -- yet!)

Now the bad news: It's going back to the seller. It has had a rather crude "repair" at the neck joint which obviously was required by the tension of the strings pulling on the neck and causing the neck to thus tilt accordingly, and the top of the guitar to be forced downward at that point. So they cut away the neck below the fingerboard and replaced it with a wedge-shaped affair in an effort to force the bottom of the fingerboard back up a bit, or at least stop or slow the tilting.

It's rather crudely done, as I said, and it's not getting the job done at this point anyway. The low E string is grounding on the neck pickup when fretted at or above the 10th fret or so. There's not much that can be done about it absent major surgery.

The seller has agreed to take it back, so that's what's happening with it. Unless one of you guys want it.

It is indeed a pretty nice example of what I believe to be a rare "Electra" ES-175, and may be quite collectible from that standpoint. I would love to keep it, especially since I have one other "orphaned Ibanez," but I'm just not that much of a collector. So it is going back.

It's a shame. I wonder how many others of these might have this problem. This one could just be from using heavy gauge strings or from poor storage, etc. I would hope that it represents an unusual case and that it's not something these guitars commonly have if well-taken care of and properly strung.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:19 pm 
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Oops! I forgot to include the Cortez that's up on ebay right now -

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Cortez-Holl ... 0003161545

This one could be another orphaned Ibanez because it does have the crown inlay. But I can't tell from the photo whether it's MOP or MOTS.

In any event, it looks like it's in nice shape. And the seller raves about the action, so it sounds like it has no neck issues like mine has.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:57 pm 
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Still beatin' that dead horse .....

One MORE thing about my BP that tends to make me think Ibanez is the neck. It has a great mahogany neck with what I consider to be an Ibanez signature trait and which I've never seen or heard of on an Electra. That is, the glued jointure near the top of the neck at about the first fret, or just a tad below it.

You know what I mean, right? Looking at the back of the neck you can see where it looks like the last couple of inches of the neck and the headstock-- which are one piece -- has been glued to the lower part of the neck. The joint is a pointy affair with the point pointing to the headstock and the apex of that point about at the level of the first fret.

I've seen this on a ton of Ibanez guitars but I have never seen it on any Electra guitar. My Jazz Strad clearly does not have this feature. It has what appears to be a 3-piece neck.

None of my other Electras have this feature. That's one X420VS, one X950 Vulcan, a 2245 Super Rock (bolt) and three X270's.

I'm not very familiar with circa 1975 Ibanez guitars, but I do know that this feature is quite common with certain Ibanez guitars made from approximately the mid-80's onward.

Any comments welcome.

Also note that I just started a thread in the Electra Guitar Discussion forum which seeks some information on Burgundy Pros, Maple Pros, Elvin Bishops and Jazz Strads. If ya have one of those, go see it please.

I did that because I noticed that my "BP" has a somewhat smaller body than my Jazz Strad. And also because I'm curious to see the data.

The Jazz Strad measures 16.25" and 11.5" across the bottom and top bouts, and the rosewood fingerboard (not including the binding) measures 1.5" at the nut. The "BP" measures 16" and 11" across the bouts and 1 7/16" at the nut.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:28 pm 
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One more thing on the neck issue, and this relates to X189's posts on who was making Electra's guitars, etc.

The 3-piece necks that are seen on Electra's ES-335 guitars cira 1976 - 1984, such as on my Jazz Strad and X420VS, and probably on some if not all of my other Electras, are very commonly found on Vantages of the same era. I have 5 Vantages of this era: 2 VP-795's, a Ghost, a VA800 and VE550 Entertainer solid body (Hi Kazz) and I think I'm correct in saying that they all have 3-piece necks (and they're all GREAT necks). I'd have to look again at the Ghost and the Entertainer, but I know the other 3 have the 3-piece necks, and I'm pretty sure the Entertainer does too.

I don't know if that means anything or not. Maybe Electra and Vantage were specifically ordering those necks from the same makers that were making one-piece necks for other brands as well as necks like on my BP and on some Ibanez models, which are essentially one-piece necks. Or maybe the factory that was making those necks tended to make only or mostly those necks.

Maybe it's one piece of the puzzle that might mean something, or at least something to think about.

Certainly it looks like whoever was making Vantages kinda specialized in this kind of construction since many Vantage models have that construction and look even in the bodies. They seemed to like to use this technique with different woods to get that "striped" look with a lot of the Vantages like the VP's, which had that neck thru look. And some Vantages were true neck-thru's, like the Ibanez Musician was.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:01 am 
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I'm pretty sure MAtt was making their own necks at this point. The question I would ask is 'who else made 3-piece necks?" I've heard it claimed that these showed up on other brands, but I haven't seen one myself.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:30 pm 
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Just to update my theory about my Electra being an orphaned Ibanez 2454, I just found out that the Ibanez 2454 was a true hollowbody guitar (no center block). My guitar has a center block, so it doesn't seem very likely that it could have been made as an Ibanez 2454.

So there goes that particular theory.

I was very surprised to find that the 2454 has no center block, but I've heard it confirmed by at least 2 owners so I have to believe it's true.

Here is a link to a page at the Ibanez discussion board where there's a good picture of a 2454 for comparison with my guitar -

http://www.ibanezcollectors.com/discus/ ... /6039.html

I posted pics of my guitar on page 2 of this thread and I think you can see that the crown inlay on Harry's 2454 is the same as on my guitar. The pics I posted previously from the 1975 Ibanez catalog weren't clear enough to see the crown inlay in detail. But Harry's pic nails it.

So I have little doubt that my guitar was made by whomever was making the Ibanez guitars circa 1975, and thus the crown inlay on my guitar. But since my guitar has a center block, it can't have been made as a 2454 even tho' it looks to be a dead ringer for it.

By the way, notice the pics of the ebay Ibanez on that same page (below Harry's guitar). That's a different model for sure, but it's also a '76 or later guitar because of the headstock shape. And note that Ibanez also changed the crown inlay in '76. Up until then, they'd been using what was pretty much an exact copy of Gibson's crown (as on my guitar and Harry's). But they changed it starting in '76, as you can see there. Another example of the effect the "lawsuit" had on Ibanez at the time.

Harry's pic is the first good pic of a 2454 I've seen yet. I haven't seen one on ebay yet and haven't seen one in real life yet either.

I did see some discussion on that board (I think in that thread in fact) that Ibanez apparently fiddled around with their models somewhat. Such as making some of the Varitone models without Varitone, etc. If that's the case (and it probably is), and they made a cherry Varitone 335 like mine (with a center block), then I suppose mine could be one of those (that they left the Varitone off of).

Whatever it is, I'm still thinking it was made for Ibanez and thus became an "orphaned Ibanez" when they decided to change their headstock (and crown inlay) for the '76 model year.

But it apparently wasn't made as a 2454.

Also, there was a Burgundy Pro just sold on ebay -

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0019990993


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 Post subject: More Followup
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:31 pm 
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Just to note that there's currently an Ibanez 2454 up on the bay, and that's the first one I've seen there, tho' I confess I haven't been very diligent keeping an eye out for one since starting this theory of mine awhile ago.

There is also a Greco 335 copy, which the seller says is a model SA-700 circa 1981. That one has the forbidden open book headstock shape and the crown inlay, both of which are on my "Burgundy Pro." It also has unbound F-holes, like mine.

So it could well be that my guitar was made by whoever was making Greco 335 copies.

I'm guessing that the "forbidden" open book headstock shape wasn't so forbidden on Grecos since they were essentially made for sale in Japan (I think). This one is said to be an '81, and that's well past the time when Japanese makers stopped putting that headstock shape on the guitars sent to the US market.

Back to the 2454 now up for sale, I just looked at it again and noticed that it has a stop tailpiece rather than a trapeze. That's interesting because in my last post I reported that all 2454's were supposedly true hollowbodies (no center block). Hard to imagine this guitar has no center block with that stop tailpiece. I think I'll ask the seller about it. Maybe he just thinks he's got a 2454 (?). I'll also look at the '77 catalog to see if there's anything else this could be. Surprisingly, this supposedly-knowledgable seller says he hasn't seen a '77 catalog. It's available online and not too hard to find.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:22 pm 
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Came across this interesting bit of info regarding the "Greco/Ibanez relationship" -

Here is a brief explanation of the Greco/Ibanez relationship from the seventies, as told by "DA MAN", Jeff Hasselberger (head of Ibanez USA in the seventies and once cool dude), over at the www.ibanezcollectors.com discussion board.

Greco was one of the exceptions that made the rule. No, they didn�t sell everything we did, with the Greco name on the headstock. Yes, they sold some models that were virtually identical to Ibanez.

Greco guitars were sold primarily in the Japanese domestic market. They were the high-end of Japanese made electric guitars sold in Japan at the time. We were sort of �brothers in quality,� since our standards were higher than our respective competitors and roughly equal to each other. Many of the models were made in the same factory as the corresponding Ibanez models.

Since Ibanez guitars were not sold in Japan at that time, there was a sense of cooperation between us and our counterparts at Kanda Shokai (Greco marketer). They sold a lot of models � some original designs as well as copies � that we didn�t. And vice versa. Yes, we occasionally �borrowed� from each other.

Jeff

http://vintageibanez.tripod.com/greco.html


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:07 am 
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Okay, that seller responded to my question about the center block (he got a few other folks asking the same thing) and so now he's posted my query (and another guy's) on the page. He also put up a new pic showing that the label I.D.'s it as a 2454 even tho' it's got a center block. It's item 120053596799. So it seems that my original theory could still be intact even tho' my guitar is a semi. Gotta tell ya that his guitar's fit and finish look very much like mine. I wish it were a '75 instead of a '77 so that they'd be closer in vintage. And if it were and had that center block, that would really help my theory.

Now, I came across this interesting tid bit (I thought). I know I've been doing a lot of yapping about Ibanez and this is an Electra site, but let's face it, they are kinda kissin' cousins, no?

So check out this guy's Ibanez collection because he's a SERIOUS Ibanez freak (and obviously has a TON invested in them), and then scroll on down to his lone Electra (MPC X 350 and the last guitar on the page) and see what he says about it.

http://www.ibanezregister.com/Gallery/g ... ltborg.htm

Pretty impressive, no?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:50 pm 
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Location: ontario, canada
and to think i am considering selling mine :o

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http://www.therathole.org/leia/visitors_axes/leia/leia.html


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:50 am 
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I hope you aren't getting rid of all of them;

What would we do without Leia sharing in the Electra world?

Just my opinion; :up:

Thanks. :oops:

RCSBlues .......

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:05 pm 
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no... not all of them.. i just think a few of these need more attentive owners.... so... i think the x350, the two x810s and at least one of the x960s should go to new homes.... but i am in no rush to move them.. but if you know of anyone who might be interested, let me know.....

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:22 pm 
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Hi Guys. Haven't been around for quite awhile but came back to talk about my Burgundy Pro some more.

I'm WAS going to say that I'm backing off my claim that it was made by Ibanez, but now maybe not. Read on.

What prompted this is that there's another Greco SA-700 up on the bay (item 150141275204) and he's got a lot of pics (at a separate link page). I thought I'd previously posted about this model Greco and the connection to my guitar because my notes reflect that there was another one up on the bay last Fall (back around 11/17/06), but maybe not. Anyway, this guitar's headstock is exactly like mine but for the brand name. And it's supposedly a 1981 vintage despite the fact that it has the forbidden Gibson headstock. The body and binding and just about everything "basic" about the guitar looks identical to mine (except for the color, of course). Same very nice unbound F-holes, everything. Tuners are different, etc., but the basic guitar could be a twin to mine.

As to the forbidden headstock shape, Grecos were made for the Japanese market, so nothing to fear from Norlin on that score. See my prior Fri 17 Nov 2006 10:22 PM post on this aspect.

The label inside clearly says it's made by "Fujigengakki Mfg. Co. Ltd."

Now, in my prior Sun 25 Jun 2006 10:15 PM post, I noted a resource that said:

"In 1966, Hoshino decided it was more cost effective to buy its electric guitars from suppliers than to make its own, and began sourcing them primarily from Fuji-Gen Gakki of Matsumoto City, with some also coming from Teisco Toyoshina, which was owned by Kawai. Yep, Teiscos! Right around 1970, when this Model 2020 was made, Teisco went out of business and many of its top people got jobs at Fuji-Gen."

So, as to my notion that my BP was made by Ibanez, I may be both right and wrong. Looks like Ibanez was sourcing from Fuji-Gen Gakki (from the story I found and quoted in my prior post) and clearly Grecos were made by Fuji-Gen Gakki (or Fujigengakki, as per the label in the SA-700). So, obviously, Fuji-Gen Gakki was making both Ibanez and Greco guitars.

And it certainly could be -- from what I see and now know -- that Fuji-Gen Gakki could have made my BP. Why or how it came to be branded Electra remains a bit of a mystery, I suppose, but so what?

One interesting thing about mine is that I have some of the history of it (I think I already gave it) which is that it was sold new in 1981 at a California Music store. I have the receipt, which states that the guitar was new and the price was $413.00. The '77 Electra catalog price list has the BP priced at $435, with the hard case priced at $75. I got it with the original case, so the total in 1977 would have been $510. Yet my guitar sold new in 1981 for $413 (with the case). So I'm assuming this guitar was made circa 1975 or '76 and sat around in the store for a few years. If anyone has more recent prices for Electras (like 1981) I'd be interested. But my guess would be that the prices were higher. So I doubt the music store would be selling an '80 or '81 BP and case for that kind of money. More likely they were only too glad to dump it for a nice price because it had been taking up room for a long time.

That's my feeling on that. Which, to me, at least kinda pegs the vintage of it.

The main point is that my BP is a high quality guitar which MAY have not been made by the "usual" supplier(s) of SLM Electra. It does not have the proper Ekectra logo for the time frame and it has the Gibson crown inlay in the headstock. I've never yet seen another Electra with that inlay. But Greco sure had 'em. I've seen a few now. And so did pre-1976 Ibanez guitars. Ibanez continued with a crown inlay in the headstock in '76 and onward, but it was a different crown and not the exact copy of the Gibson crown like on the Greco guitars and the Ibanez guitars up to '76.

So if my BP WAS made by Fuji-Gen Gakki, as were most Ibanez guitars back then as well as this Greco SA-700, then I'm happy. That SA-700 is a very sweet-looking guitar (and in very good condition). It looks like it rivals the Ibanez 2254 and other 335 models of the era as far as quality and craftsmanship goes. And why wouldn't it? The same factory was making them all.

One off-topic closing thought: I also own 5 Vantages (2 VP795s; a Ghost; a VA-800 and a VE-550) and have had them out for an airing recently. Everytime I get them out, I marvel at the quality. I think I'm correct that these are almost certainly Matsumoku guitars (?). In any event, these guitars -- like the Electras of the same era -- are just fantastic guitars. They are all going on 30 years old and still look brand new but for the bumps and bruises. And they all play great.

Say what you want about Gibson and Fender, but the guys making these Japanese guitars back in that era really did some beautiful and magnificent work and made some beautiful and magnificent guitars.


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