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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:20 pm 
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I did not see much when searching the threads here so I will solicit opinions.

My wife has a very nice bass guitar with the name Memphis on the headstock. I have posted on both the Mats and Westone forums looking to find out more about who manufactured that line and have gotten quite a few opinions on who did what when and where.

I suppose a few more cannot hurt. Discuss please.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:52 pm 
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If I am not mistaken the memphis brand was manufactured by our beloved Uncle Matt in Japan and Korea.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:15 pm 
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I have seen that said many times but usually in for sale postings or auction listings. It is almost always denied, (occasionally vehemently) when suggested on Mats related sites.

Perhaps Tom may know something about this. His posts have shed some rare insights into the inner machinations of the Japanese builders and buyers relationship. :huh: :huh:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:56 pm 
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Tom is the man when it comes to who sourced or made what in Japan. They do however share many of the same qualities. This is not my area of expertiese so I will await further input to listen and learn from the vast knowledge that is the Electra forums. :up:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:03 pm 
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I have ( or had......I gave it to a buddy) a Memphis identical to the Ibanez 2405 "custom agent" with the GibXXXX mandolin headstock. It did not have the "flower pot" inlay at the base but the rest was the same. So, as far as I know Memphis was stencil brand of Ibanez manufactured in the Fuli Gen Gakki factory and imported to Canada.
Ben


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:11 am 
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As you know Ice, i have the exact same Memphis as you except mine is a 6 string. :D I am sure it is Japanese, but not sure of who made them. Made in Japan on the back of the bridge, Mogami wiring, i'm pretty sure the tuners say MIJ also. :up: I'd love to know what factory made them, but will we ever find out? Tom P. where are ya? :wink:
By the way Ice, if i ever fall on real hard times and need to sell her you'll be the 1st to get the call. They would be a great matching set! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:30 pm 
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OK this is what I know: Memphis was made by many different makers, mostly Korean. Some of the MIJ's were Uncle Matt and have neck plates to indicate so. Others are just a guess but have MMK pups making it likely. Others, who knows.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:14 pm 
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Quote:
OK this is what I know: Memphis was made by many different makers, mostly Korean. Some of the MIJ's were Uncle Matt and have neck plates to indicate so. Others are just a guess but have MMK pups making it likely.


Agreed, and there is absolutely NO evidence that Mempis ever used FujiGen..the '76 "Pharoh" guitar (kinda looks like a Ibanez Custom Agent) is a decent build but clearly not a FujiGen. This guitar is similar to the Crestwood and Axiom versions .FujiGen almost exclusively used full length laminated necks..the Memphis has a scarf joint......


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:09 am 
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For a guitar of the Uncle Matt vintage, a scarf joint makes it close to certain that it was MIK. Most (maybe all) of the confirmed Matt builds are the "Hondo II" ones.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:51 am 
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I can confirm your Hondo comments as well. Most all information I've found agrees that the II line, especially the Professional models, were Tokai first and then Mats second when production capacity was exceeded.

I've been 'round and 'round over this bass, mostly over at the Mats forum with pm's and I'm fairly certain it is MIJ. The maker will never be pinned down, at least given the current information that is out there, at this time.

As anecdotal evidence my wife does remember that the owner of the store she bought it at back in the '80's stated it was MIJ, as Memphis was the only Japanese brand they sold there at that time.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:08 pm 
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Steve, your Tokai comment is very interesting -- I have a Memphis double-cut LP style on ebay now with a Made in Japan neckplate, and PAF Goto pickups like those used in ca 1980 Tokai LP's........ http://www.ebay.com/itm/110803857736?ss ... 1555.l2649


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:08 am 
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Back in October I assisted a Westone member with an auction that the seller refused to ship out of the CONUS. We (he) won a Hondo II Professional which was a copy of a Fender Lead II. It piqued my interest so I did a little scouring and that model did indeed get built by Tokai. That led me to additional info on the limited work Matsumoku did for Hondo on an intermittent basis.

That'sa nice lil' noodler you got on your hands there Dave. What's the rate for forum members interested in it, but not ebay fees? (nudge, nudge... wink, wink)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:24 pm 
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Never saw Memphis at Matsumoto Moku. Doesn't mean they didn't do some. Also, they did very few "scarf" joint neck production. Toshi didn't like'm.

I did see a few Hondo II but very few. International Music tried to improve the quality as they were mostly Samick products at the time. They were testing production at Chosun, Tokai and Matsumoku.

I did see a number of Memphis being produced at Chosun under contract. Remember, Kramer had most of their production at Chosun and they wanted a 100% production agreement. It was at the peak of the Floyd Rose period and Kramers were HOT! Chosun could make thousands of guitars a month and never did finalize a 100% production capacity for Kramer so they cross branded their production.

It's hard to say where a particular product was made during the period. Once I've torn into a guitar, I can usually figure out the "where" but my knowledge is limited to specific visits with specific production cycles.

I worked with and purchase products from Japanese factories - Kasuga, Chosun, Fuji, Tokai, Terada, Iida, Yairi and Matsumoku and spent weeks over there every year for over 20 years and I'm still do not have the knowledge that some of the guys on this forum have!

Tom


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:11 pm 
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Thanks very much for your thoughts, Tom. Always a treat when you share your insights.

This is a really, really nice shortscaler and it seems it is destined to remain something of an enigma. In the back of my mind I've come to accept the chances of it being Mats are virtually nil, but my wife loves it to death nonetheless, and in the end that counts for so much more anyway.

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