Tuesday, October 2, 2007, 08:41 AM - Models
Howard Roberts style single cutaway acoustic electric Jazz guitar with set neck, flamed maple top, brown sunburst, inlayed rosewood fretboard, neck-mounted floating humbucker pickup, clear pickguard.


There are at least three different finish variants, a brownish antique sunburst, a more reddish cherry sunburst, and a burgundy red. There do not appear to have been different model numbers for these variants.





This one is a 1977 model. Note the 'Hoshino-syle' numbering, showing that this one was made in October 1977.








The inlay pattern seems to have changed, the above 1977 model has triangular inlays but other examples from 1977 and later have square inlays.




Above Pictures courtesy of: Vintage South Guitars, Nicholasville, KY






Below is another 1977 model:






The original Howard Roberts model was made by Epiphone, later Gibson also produced a version. Hoshino sold unauthorized versions of the same design under the brands Greco, Ibanez, and Electra. All are superb instruments.


Howard Roberts was one of the most recorded jazz session musicians of all time. His guitar is heard in soundtrack themes including The Twilight Zone, The Munsters, and the Monkees as well as backing numerous other artists. The Howard Roberts model guitar was based on Howard's ideas and preferences, and has become one of the classic original guitar designs.


From the 1977 catalog:











Tuesday, October 2, 2007, 08:33 AM - Models
Set neck double cutaway hollowbody with no f-holes, antique sunburst finish, rosewood fretboard with dot inlay markers, open coil humbuckers.











This model has clearly evolved away from copy status into the original designs of the 80's. Note the serial number, high production numbers in 12/82 leading to this 7-digit example. The Custom Pro was clearly intended to represent the high end of Matsumoku luthiery.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007, 08:29 AM - Models
Set neck ES-335 style with black finish, no humbuckers, rosewood fretboard with dot inlay markers, brass nut and bridge, white pickguard.









From the 1981 pricelist:






Tuesday, October 2, 2007, 08:13 AM - Models
Set neck ES-335 style with antique sunburst, rosewood fingerboard with Tree of Life inlays, silver hardware, brass nut.





This was the first Electra model to involve a celebrity endorser- Elvin Bishop, remembered for his 1976 hit 'Fooled Around and Fell in Love' (sung by Mickey Thomas, later to join Jefferson Starship) and for his guest vocals on his song 'Drunken Hearted Boy' on the Allman Brothers' legendary Fillmore East recordings. The above Electra promotional poster showed Elvin and Johhny V. (Vernassa) playing what appear to be an Electra Elvin Bishop and an Electra Maple Pro.











From the 1977 catalog:







Tuesday, October 2, 2007, 08:09 AM - Models
Set neck ES-335 copy with flamed natural maple top, rosewood fingerboard with Tree of Life inlay, silver hardware.





From the 1977 catalog:










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