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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:43 am
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My dad has acquired what looks to be a Matsumoku made f-hole es-335 knockoff. This unit is pre-Gibson headstock ban. There is a removable "Encore" sticker where Electra would normally be. (not removing it, but tempted just to see if there is anything under it, lol.) I looked up Encore and it appears some were made by Matsumoku in the 70's that had the back neck plate displaying "Steel Adjustable Neck, Made in Japan" identical to the Electra models. Shared characteristics are extremely close to several Electra models including the 2229 (or that series). Knobs are the older black but same style. The pickup selector switch is in between the volume controls and the bridge which is unlike the 2229. Also the tremolo bar looks like the one pictured in the add for the green 2207. The tremolo itself looks similar to the 2229 but is missing the decorative wooden piece as displayed in the Electra catalogs. It does look like something was affixed there previously. It also doesn't have a movable tremolo body hinge like the 2229. The pickups are black P90's which I don't see on any Electras in the old catalogs. The strings are dead and bridge is out of intonation (fixing to change strings and move the bridge to correct center/location) but I tuned it up and it plays and sounds wonderful. Has a very classic sound. It seems like a culmination of parts from the Matsumoku plant that produced old Electras.

I would say mid to early 70's by the parts, pre-banned headstock and other Electra models. What is the bridge saddles made of? They look like white plastic rollers but are not cracked and pristine which leads me to believe they are made out of something else like ceramic.

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The sticker at least looks identical to this guys below:
http://s177.photobucket.com/user/mulletviper/media/02-07-09_1533.jpg.html

Tremolo similar, and also pickup selector location on the green 2207 pictured below.
http://www.rivercityamps.com/electrapage/images/1972pg5.jpg


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:58 am
Posts: 925
Location: Southern Indiana
I am probably a little less qualified to comment than some because I don't collect those years of similar electras - but I will give you my opinion and others can chime in to confirm or correct me as well as provide more detail.

These are not likely matsumoku - to my knowledge those years of Electras were not. They were Japanese, the models in-between the matsumoku years and those years are Terada and Kasuga. It may be one of those, or even another maker selling under a lot of brands. As you are figuring out those guitars (or very similar ones) are sold under several brands. Also - many competing makers built products almost identical. Many may have bought from the same parts suppliers.

As far as the plastic roller saddles - they were very common on the Japanese models of that era. I had them on an epiphone coronet copy (or whilshire, or what ever you want to call those early bolt-neck copies). Some plastics hold up better than others, and some conditions may cause plastic to crack up sooner than others. Personally I have not had plastic roller saddles crack up on me. So it is a good thing certainly. I don't know now common it is for those to crack up - but I am sure there are lots of variables causing this. I have seen guitars that are exposed to extreme heat and cold (such as stored in an attic) crumble to pieces (not just the plastic, but all the laminations come apart).

Also, I have a fairly recent DiPinto with the plastic "pearloid" tuner key buttons that are crumbling so I already have gotten some replacements. You never know. I hope these replacements work better than the originals. The keys are fine, just the buttons split in two and of course you can't adjust the tension on the key without it cracking in pieces. It can happen on newer products too, depending on the plastic formulation.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:10 pm
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Location: Tifton, Ga USA
I would tend to agree with Thorny on this one. After hearing from Tom P at Electrafest 2014 we learned that almost all the early Electra models were so called catalog guitars( we show you photo and build it with whatever name you wish on it) As Thory stated most were made by many of the early manufacturers in place before Uncle Mat. That would explain why we see so many different brands that all have very similar construction, colors, looks etc. They cam be good players but require a bit more setup work as the neck joint are not always perfect and the bridges not consistent. Hope this helps and it is a nice example of the early models. :up:

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Always give thanks for everyday, It may be your last so Rock On Semper Fi!!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:12 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Ontario Canada
The Jedi Star site says John Hornby Skewes imported these into the UK


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