Mystery Les Paul copy identification thread

reborn old

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A place to post mystery Les Paul copy guitars of unknown origin, for reference purposes.
There are isolated threads like this almost every day.
I thought if most were grouped together, it might serve users down the road with similar questions
without having to search in vain.

Most mystery examples will probably date from the late 60's to mid 70's
when blank headstock examples were most common.

There were so many obscure 70's guitar badge names, that establishing a manufacturer is going to be
the best you can hope for, in some cases.
Bolt on neck examples will almost always have "made in Japan" engraved on the neck plate, if produced there.

Here are a few reported badge names from more prolific manufacturers:

Matsumoku reportedly produced Arai, Aria, Aria Pro II, Aria Diamond, Apollo, Arita, Barclay, Burny, Capri, Columbus, Conrad, Cortez, Country, Cutler, Dia, Domino, Electra, Epiphone, Granada, Greco, Hi Lo, Howard, Ibanez, Lindberg, Lyle, Luxor, Maxitone, Mayfair, Memphis, Montclair, Pan, Pearl, Raven, Stewart, Tempo, Univox ,Vantage, Ventura, Vision, Volhox, Washburn, Westbury, Westminster, Westone and later Fernandes-Burny (1984 ~ 1987) LP examples.

Guyatone badges include Barclay, Broadway, Coronado, Crestwood, Futurama, Howard, Hi-Lo, Ibanez, Ideal, Imperial, Johnny Guitar, Kent, Kingston, Lafayette, Marco Polo, Montclair, Omega, Orpheus, Prestige, Royalist, Saturn, Silhouette, Silvertone, Suzuki, Vernon, Winston and Zenta

Dyna Gakki badges include JooDee, some Ibanez, Yamaha, Yamaki and later Fernandes-Burny (1987 ~ 1998) LP examples.

If you don't find your guitar already posted in this thread,
a pic of the headstock front and back (unless it bears the name of a major US manufacturer), body front and back and most important ... a control cavity pic with the rear cover removed, are required in order to help identify a mystery Les Paul copy brand.
Please do not ask members to guess what your guitar is without posting pics first !


You need 10 MLP posts in order to post pics using the MLP server, IIRC
but you can always post pics using a 3rd party photo hosting site like photobucket or Flick'r.
Some tips on how to do this are posted here:
http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/other-single-cuts/167868-_mij__faq_-_links-4.html#post6069278 (please note FLick'r has changed, so some steps will have changed from those listed in the FAQ.)

I've posted a few 70's no name headstock inlays below as examples.
 

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paruwi

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Stuck :thumb:

Let me know if other threads should be merged to this one

:wave:
 

reborn old

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Thanks PeteR, I wasn't expecting this thread to be stickied, but if there is interest,
hopefully it will serve mystery LP owners and we can all eventually learn a bit more about more obscure MIJ brands.
I'll try to dig up links to some past mystery threads.



A few different 70's control cavities:
 

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EvLectric

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Awesome idea Reborn! I'd like to add if anyone in Japan has any contact with prior/current workers or anyone else that has info on these to invite them in!
Gotta run!
 

stingrayII

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ive recently come upon a LP copy that I have no knowledge of. It appears to be Japanese, either from the 70s or 80s, and the tuners on it look a bit like some ive seen on yamahas from the 80s. Its inlayed with the " Laguna" logo I doubt that this guitar has anything to do with the modern Laguna company. any of you know the back story on this guitar please do share it.

thanks in advance!







 

Udonitron

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Looks Chushin Gakki made.
Very similar heel, truss cover, white plastic covers, etc to a Fresher.
 

JDB

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Good to see the new sticky thread being used.:D
 

slapshot

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the tuners on it look a bit like some ive seen on yamahas from the 80s.
there's a good chance it had tuners like this sort of thing on it with the offset screws and they've been swapped out too.they were pretty standard on a lot of these off-brands.The lack of any extra tuner holes also indicates this.
if it had anything else on it beforehand there's a 99% chance the tuner hole was directly in line with it.The back of the buttons look like gotoh.

yamaha also went to more fancy headstocks rather than plainer as that appears to be.I don't think there's any connection to Yamaha here to be honest.
Is there any sign of a scarf joint on the neck anywhere?quite possible it's an early Korean made guitar.
"Laguna" badged guitars are listed as being an unknown maker on this pretty comprehensive list.
 
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paruwi

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Merged the thread with the new stickythread from 'reborn old'

for some strange reasons it took the thread title from the new thread :hmm:

Mod edit doesn't work like it usually does...:hmm:
 

stingrayII

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the necks construction is a single piece of wood besides the wings on the head stock and the heal of the guitar has another piece of wood to make it deeper. it has a valute on the headstocks heal

the tuners are stock, or at least there are no signs of ant others ever being installed. the top is a 2 piece solid maple cap, the back is 3 pieces of mahogany with no veneer on either the front or the back of the guitar.

it has full sized no name pots that i assume are factory too due to there lack of after market labels.
 

dangerdog

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but maybe we should look at the option to "outsource" some of these to their own threads? Once there are more than three posted it could get difficult and cumbersome. May not be easy to figure out or indicate which axe someone is talking about.

If you ask me it needs its own subforum rather than a thread...or just their own individual threads.
 

paruwi

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Merged the thread with the new stickythread from 'reborn old'

for some strange reasons it took the thread title from the new thread :hmm:

Mod edit doesn't work like it usually does...:hmm:
fixed (by LZF) :thumb:
 

reborn old

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A mystery LP example from a few years ago with a bolt on neck + MIJ neck plate ...
Same headstock + Chushin Gakki TRC shapes as the example Udonitron identified above.

Best guess for a headstock name was Spitfire, but no one was able to figure out the company who commissioned the order.
 

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Udonitron

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Most likely said C Matsumoto Co Inc.
 

reborn old

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"Matsumoto" would be a very good fit. :thumbs:
I couldn't find anything more in searches.


BTW, speaking of Matsumoto ... if anybody ever comes across body route pics of Type 1 or type 2 Freshers (headstock badge types are pictured below) would you post them here, or notify me please ?
Type 3 + 4 Fresher badges were Chushin Gakki made. The 1st posted control cavity pic is an earlier Fresher I think
and the 2nd a Frontier LP.

I'm trying to find more body route examples from manufacturers in the Matsumoto Musical Instrument Manufacturers Association and other smaller obscure Japan manufacturers.
Camel Les Pauls were produced by a member of the same Association.

Thanks !
 

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reborn old

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Here's a Les Paul-ish mystery copy that was posted about a year ago.
It's been partially solved in that the parent company was Moridaira (Morris),
but I'm not sure if Moridaira actually manufactured this model, or contracted them out.
Control cavity routes differ slightly from major manufacturers,
so they may have been manufactured by another smaller lesser known company such as Lida(Ida) Gakki.
The 1st 3 pics are of the mystery guitar and last 2 pics are of a comparable
Hohner HG 430, which Moridaira offered along with similar Lotus badge models.
 

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