Cortez Les Paul???

tearz

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Hey, so recently, I bought this guitar off my friend, I've been trying to look around to see if I could figure out what exactly it was cuz I've never heard of the brand, so I was wondering if ya'll would be able to help out. (Sorry the first image being so blurry.)
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Dolebludger

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How old does it appear to be? Back in the 70s there were MIJ guitars with “one off“ brand names that were built in just a f stories there.
 

ehb

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I would bet it was built by 'Uncle Mat'...
 

ehb

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Uncle Mat built a LOT of different off brand guitars and such in Japan....
 

tearz

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How old does it appear to be? Back in the 70s there were MIJ guitars with “one off“ brand names that were built in just a f stories there.
I think its about 70's, late 70's based off of what the guy I bought it off of said.
 

strayedstrater

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Cortez isn't a rare or unknown brand. Just google "Cortez guitars" if you want a ton of info/history.

In a nutshell, early ones were mostly made by Matsumoko. But Cortez evolved into the company now known as Cort.
 

Maggot_Brain

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Cortez isn't a rare or unknown brand. Just google "Cortez guitars" if you want a ton of info/history.

In a nutshell, early ones were mostly made by Matsumoko. But Cortez evolved into the company now known as Cort.
That is incorrect. Cortez and Cor-Tek(aka Cort) are 2 different companies. Cortez was established in in Chicago in 1960 and made guitars into the 80s.

Cor-Tek(Cort) was established in S Korea in, 1973.

Not the same company and didn't turn into the same company. Just Google "Cort guitars or Cor-Tek guitars" & "Cortez guitars" and look at their histories. Nowhere do they EVER cross.

You really should confirm info as correct before telling someone else to Google. You apparently didn't. Lol


Here's Cortez Guitars history:

The Cortez brand name was established around 1960 by Jack Westheimer, a Chicago based importer and distributor. Westheimer first used the Cortez brand for a series of Japanese made good-quality Martin-style dreadnought acoustics. Most Cortez electric guitars were Strat and Les Paul copies, many made by Matsumoku. Also Cortez copies of the Gibson ES-175 were made. Cortez guitars were always made in Japan and the Cortez brand contimued until around 1986. There were also Cortez branded Italian made mandolins, but it is unclear whether these were made for Westheimer.

Vs Cort aka Cor-Tek History

Cort was founded in 1960 as an importer of pianos by current CEO Young Park's father. At that time, the company was called Soo Doh Piano. The business slowly evolved from a piano importer to a manufacturer and sales division then finally into a guitar manufacturer in 1973. At this early stage of the company's history, Soo Doh was strictly an OEM supplier to other foreign brand name companies. The company eventually changed its name to Cort Musical Instruments, focused on guitars as it became much more proficient at it than producing pianos and released the first Cort-branded guitars in 1982. Cort began production of headless guitars in 1984 with designs exclusively licensed from Ned Steinberger for Cort's own brand as well as for brands like Hohner and Kramer. This development helped bring the Cort name to the mainstream electric guitar market and attracted the attention of other well-known brand name companies seeking contract guitar manufacturers in Korea.[3]


Not the same company whatsoever. Matsumoto is never even mentioned by Cort because he never made guitars for them since they aren't the same company as Cortez. Cort made their own guitars and made guitars for others. No one ever made guitars for them because they were never Cortez.

Just Google "Cort guitars" and "Cortez guitars" if you want a ton of info/history. In a nutshell, they're 2 separate companies ;)
 
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strayedstrater

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"Teisco del Rey and Kingston were not the only brand names associated with Jack Westheimer. Another, which would have added significance today, was Cortez. Cortez would be important because it’s from that moniker that today’s Cort brand derived, in abbreviated form."

Yes, I did Google. But this was the only article I skimmed through.

Early imports have confusing histories. I've had several mid-'80s Arbor guitars, some of which were identical to some Corts. So I always assumed they were made in the Cor-Tek factory. But I ran into one of the distributors and he says they were made by Saehan. Presumably, the identical Corts were contract guitars built for them by Saehan.

Regardless, Cortez wasn't a particularly obscure brand. I've seen them for sale in stores and Craigslist in North Carolina, Texas, and Colorado.
 
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ehb

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Cort has made tons of guitars under different names.....

There is no telling how many guitars 'Uncle Mat' built under various names too....
 

Darthbatman

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I gotta say. I’m a bit of a fan of the 70’s MIJ Cortez LP’s. Has a good LP feel to it. But it’s light. Like a a diet Les Paul.
Solid actually beautiful guitar. The added Dirty Fingers give it a lot of balls. Gold hardwares was nice touch. Lots if not everything has been swapped at some point - but the price point was less than the pickups in the guitar so it was kind of a no brainer buy.
 

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