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 Post subject: Earliest known Electra
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:51 am 
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Every guitar has a story and this one is exceptional. The previous owner had known it since his brother originally got it under the Christmas tree in 1967! This was amazing to me and I drilled him with questions to verify this date. But no doubts, he was six years old and at that age every christmas and every present was a monumental event and he was absolutely certain. 1967, same year Revolver came out. You don't forget these things.

In its original case: the oldest known Electra guitar:

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Ther details are right for a 1967 era guitar too. I'm pretty certain that someone will come along and identify this as a twin or cousin of another brand, Teisco or Aria or some Hagstrom copy. (bright red guitars were Futurama copies)


This is a cool guitar. You can always tell a good guitar because it's resonant even if it's not plugged in. Well this guitar rings so loud off the back of the body that you'd almost think it was a hollowbody acoustic. This thing chimes! And the pickups are exactly everything you love about sixties vintage pickups - thin and snappy and jsut really really cool tone.

Some old guitars you have to apologize for. Not here. Intonation is spot-on and the action is great. This guitar rocks, and it appeared at a time before guitars had to look like Fender or Gibson in order to get sold.

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Conventional wisdom says all Electras with the name printed on a glued-on badge were PCM. That's not at all certain, but it's likely PCM had first use of the name and this may have been one of the first models to be branded Electra.


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Single-coil pickups very much like an Aria. The pickup slection switches (simple on-off sliders) are labelled MIC 1 and MIC 2. In many details it matches early Goya/Greco guitars. Yes, that's an adjustable roller bridge.





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It's vaguely like an early SG shape, but you know really I'd have to say that this pointy-tipped offset double cutaway is more like an Electra Phoenix than anything else.

Characteristic small trapezoidal neckplate. And note the odd neck!

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Yes, those are dozens of layers of laminations! It's a laminated neck. And don't get the wrong idea, it's a good neck.

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I've seen that neck in a few specific places, and it's interesting where. For one thing, in National teles, which were sourced from Arai around 69. And then... in another odd place: a Crown tele from the same time. That's strange because Crown is well known to be Hoshino sourced.

Hmm, which maker worked for both Hoshino and Arai? And was known for excellence with laminated wood... and which is reported to have made only components, not whole guitars, when they first started.

Neck by Matsumoku?

I've been thinking long and hard about it, because I wouldn't want to jump to any conclusion. But that's the way the evidence is pointing, very hard.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:06 am 
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8) 8) :hyper: :hyper: That is a really cool guitar. I agree that the quality of construction is far superior to most of the other brands of that time. I have always wondered what model or design Electra began with. As Paul Harvey used to say "Now You Know the Rest of the Story". Thanks for letting us be a part of it. Cool stuff, I rate this a 10 + I think on the cool scale. Lots of 8) 8) red and lots of shine from the chrome.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:06 am 
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Looks a lot like a Hagstrom II down to the strat output jack and funky vibrato:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Hagstrom-II-Electri ... 720wt_1032

Pickguard is almost identical, down to the swoop by the control knobs. Not sure why they'd copy a Swedish guitar..? So where did these brothers live in 1967? My guess is the west coast if it's PCM.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:41 am 
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Wow, that's a really pretty guitar! Incredible that someone so young would take such good care of it! I'd be afraid to play it for fear of messing it up...

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:41 am 
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I have seen another one of these on e-bay, I did post a link in the auction section, but that was a long while back.
Awesome instrument there.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:43 am 
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Looks like it's brand new!

RCSBlues :oops: :up:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:53 am 
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Kewl guitar! Was ahead of its time as far as the laminate neck is concerned. Martin uses this with many of their lower end acoustic guitars these days and they play really well!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:56 pm 
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That one is a beauty!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:44 am 
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There's one of these (in pieces...) on the block currently:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Guitar-Projects-Ele ... 582wt_1102

Looks like the bridge is missing though. I agree with X189 that these are super early, before the Japanese found out you had to copy a Fender or Gibson to get a buyers attention. Very interesting information about the neck lamination, and deducing that it could be a very early Matsumoku part. If you go for the parts auction, look at X189's preserved pictures above for reference! Mike.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:53 am 
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Excellent post, x189player.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:59 am 
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I saw that one, not a bad price on shipping. That would be a good winter project with 3 possible dive bombers.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:16 pm 
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I just saw this thread and I'm sorry I didn't see it sooner. This is most definitely a Kawai guitar. This is the same year that Kawai acquired Teisco and there are many similarites between this guitar and a Teisco.

I have a Kawai archtop with the same laminated type neck. This type of neck was a copy of the German necks being made at the same time. I have read that before the Japanese copied the US guitars, they were copying the German guitars. Framus for one made necks like this. You are right, these necks are fast, even on the archtop I have. My Kawai also came with the same bridge uninstalled, but I have replaced it as it was in bad shape.

The Kawai I have also has similar pickups, I believe the only differences are the pickup covers themselves. I will be getting this guitar back next week from my luthier. He's doing a setup on it and after I get it back I'll add more pictures, especially of the neck in light of your post.

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=5043


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:30 pm 
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Here is another thread with that type neck, although a different pickguard/switch combo. This was after Kawai acquired Teisco.

http://www.gbase.com/gear/teisco-tele-s ... d-sparkle#

and another.....
http://guitarhunter.blogspot.com/2009/0 ... ctrum.html

and a Framus...
http://www.guitar-museum.com/guitar-245 ... e-Acoustic


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:14 am 
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That thing is SWEET! Love it! :love:

What is the function of the slider above the neck pickup?

I've been egassin' for one of the SG copies with the faux Bigsby, but this guitar has me looking a little deeper now!

Thanks for the post! Definitely some good info to mull over :up:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:23 pm 
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I just found and bought one of these with a little Christmas windfall at a used guitar shop. It is the same as the Red Model in the first post, but mine is a sunburst color. Pics to come soon.

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