YAMATO Guitars - also made at the Matsumoku plant ?

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YAMATO Guitars - also made at the Matsumoku plant ?

Post by hendrik on Sun May 31, 2009 6:41 am

Hi all,

here in Switzerland there's some kind of regional EBAY called Ricardo ( seems similar the the U.K. Gumtree).
I stumbled recently over a YAMATO Les Paul ? : :?:

http://www.ricardo.ch/kaufen/musik-und-musikinstrumente/gitarren-und-zubehoer/gitarren/elektrische-gitarren/alte-jamato-les-paul/v/an567070646/

Does anyone know about the YAMATO brand? Is it worth a bid ?

Cheers in advance

H.

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YAMATO brand isn't a WESTONE make

Post by hendrik on Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:47 pm

Hi all,

a while ago I've posted these message.
Unfortunately nobody could help me.

After the price of the guitar dropped to my acceptable level I bought the guitar.


Some more research brought this up. Guitar was made by a company called Tombo. Also Japanese,
still existing, but only producing harmonicas these days.

The Guitar is really good, sound is fantastic, sustain.... I compared it with some new Les Paul copies.
There is nothing to compare. The guitar above rocks.

If someone knows more about the brand or the maker, maybe there's a forum like ours existing, all news will be highly appreciated.

H.

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Re: YAMATO Guitars - also made at the Matsumoku plant ?

Post by anaerobe on Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:03 pm

Hendrik,

Very nice. Can you take a pic of the neck plate for me (if its indeed a bolt on). I may be of some help.
Ian

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Re: YAMATO Guitars - also made at the Matsumoku plant ?

Post by hendrik on Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:03 pm

Hi Ian,

it's a bolt on. Here's the pic:



Just "Made in Japan". I also had look inside, had to repair the Toggle Switch and clean up the potentiometers for the Tone and the Volume. Didn't found anything inside, which could help. Only one hint during a google search, which put me into some database of Japanese guitar makers and all the different brands they made during the 60's and 70's.
There it was mentioned that the YAMATO name was made by TOMBO.
Matsumoku was also there with a bunch of brands.

Can't find the link at the moment.

H.

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Re: YAMATO Guitars - also made at the Matsumoku plant ?

Post by anaerobe on Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:36 pm

Hendrik,

OK - I was looking for some "genetic" homology between this guitar and the Aria/Westone/Granada lineage. The pickups and neck appear to share similarities with my Granada LP Custom. Polly pointed this out to me when I first show a pic of the Granada. Both Westone and Granada shared exactly the same neck plate - and it was distinct with wording like "Steel adjustable neck", etc - as was used by Uncle Mats.

Looking at your plate, the only thing I can offer is that I haven't seen one before. Which makes sense - its a distinct brand. Sorry I couldn't have been of more help. I love the look of the guitar and you love the way it plays... How are the pickups?

Ian

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YAMATO LES PAUL

Post by hendrik on Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:23 am

anaerobe wrote:Hendrik,

OK - I was looking for some "genetic" homology between this guitar and the Aria/Westone/Granada lineage. The pickups and neck appear to share similarities with my Granada LP Custom. Polly pointed this out to me when I first show a pic of the Granada. Both Westone and Granada shared exactly the same neck plate - and it was distinct with wording like "Steel adjustable neck", etc - as was used by Uncle Mats.

Looking at your plate, the only thing I can offer is that I haven't seen one before. Which makes sense - its a distinct brand. Sorry I couldn't have been of more help. I love the look of the guitar and you love the way it plays... How are the pickups?

Ian

The pickups are hot, a had a chance to compare the guitar to some new Les Paul clones, particular one VIG with Seymor Duncan Pickups, which is supposed to be a real hot guitar. And the winner is --> the YAMATO
I think its the combination of the pickups and the wood. All I read and noticed myself is, that Pre Lawsuit Les Paul copies from Japan have something. Cool

I had some issues with the toggle switch and the neck has to be adjusted, the strings are to close between the 2nd and the 4th fret, in case you play just the normal D, A .. chords, they are snarring.
And the sustain is nearly endless......

H.

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VINTAGE GUITAR Makers List

Post by hendrik on Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:09 am

Hi,

I've found the link. Unfortunately it's in German, but the listing is quite clear.
So here's the link:
Japanese Guitars Makers from the 60's to 70's

Here a translated copy of the list:

Fujigen Gakki:

Just production: Antoria, Greco, Ibanez, Jason, Mann, Penco, Univox, Yamaha, Kent, Hohner

Brands: Aokland, Beckenbridge, Goldentone, Grant, Isonez, P.Beuscher, Pearl, Polaris, Sakai, Ventura


Guyatone:

exclusiv: Capri, Crown, Guyatone, Guya, Fandel, Imperial, Saturn

Just production: Apollo, Audition, Decca, Domino, Futurama, Hondo, Kent, Kingston, Ibanez, Orpheum, Silvertone, Suzuki

Brands: Barclay, Beltone, Broadway, Capri, Crestwood,
Elko, Feather, G.Rossi, Howard, Hi-Lo, Ideal, Johnny Guitar, Kimberly,
Lafayette, Lindell, Maier, Marco Polo, Marquis, Maximus, Melodier,
Montclair, Omega, Orpheus, Prestige, Recco, Royalist, St George,
Silhouette, Sorrento, Toledo, Vernon, Victoria, Zen-On, Zenta


Kasuga:

exclusiv: Kasuga, Tokai, Goban

Just production: Conrad, Hondo

Brands: Heerby, Ganson, Emperador, Madeira, Asco, Orville


Kawai/Teisco:

exclusiv: Del Rey, Kawai, Teisco, Teisco Del Rey

Just production: Arbiter, Audition, Apollo, CBS, Decca, Imperial, Kay, Kent, Kingston, Ibanez (60's), Noble, Silvertone, Telestar

Brands: Arirang, Band Master, Barth, Daimaru, Devoc,
Diasonic, Dispender, Duke, Heit Deluxe, Hi-Lo, Holiday, Jedson,
Kimberly, Keefy, Melody, MCM, Noble, Prestige, Philharmonic, Randall,
Regina, Rexina, Sakai, Sattelite, St Georges, Schaffer, Shadow,
Sorrento, Sterling, Swinger, Tonemaster, Top Twenty, Winston, Zeus


Matsumoku:

exclusiv: Arai, Aria, Aria Diamond, Electra, Stewart, Tempo, Ventura, Westbury

Just production:Colombus, Conrad, Domino, Epiphone, Greco, Guyatone, Ibanez, Yamaha

Brands: Arita, Barclay, Cimar, El Maya, Fell, Gallan,
Gigan, Hi.Lo, Howard, Lindberg, Lyle, Luxor, Maxitone, Maya, Mayfair,
Montclair, Pan, P.Beuscher, Raven, Sekova, Skylark, Univox, Vision,
Volhox


Tombo:

exclusiv: Morris

Just production: Norma

Brands: Angelica, Asama, Columbus, Condor, Duke, Horugel, Kinor, Montaya, Queen, Regina, Schaffer, Yamato

Not clear to determine who is the maker:

exclusiv: Hitachi, Kyowa, Terada

more brands: Ayar, Astrotone,
Beetone, Bradford, Bruno, Conqueror, Calif, Canora, Cipher, Coronado,
Cutler, Demian, Eros, Fresher, Holiday, Intermark, Lero, Mako, Marlin,
Master, Matador, Mellowtone, Memphis, Montaya, Orlando, Pleasant,
Regent, Sigma, Solola, Tamaki, Trump, Truetone, Westminster...


Last edited by hendrik on Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:42 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Wrong timeline)

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Re: YAMATO Guitars - also made at the Matsumoku plant ?

Post by anaerobe on Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:46 am

Good information... is it just me or did I miss Westone?

Also wasn't there another Japanese factory called Yamaki?

Thanks,
Ian

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Vintage guitar maker list....

Post by hendrik on Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:42 pm

Nope, you've seen it right, the list is actually based on the 60's and early 70's.
Have to clarify that in my posting. Westone brand appeared in the late 70's.

H.

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Re: YAMATO Guitars - also made at the Matsumoku plant ?

Post by DuoFuzz on Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:31 pm

Hi there Hendrik,

I've been reading through your post and thought I'd put up some pic's up of this,




This is an Avon version, distributed by Rose Morris and seen throughout the UK and I think Europe. It has a plywood body with a hollow pressed ply front. My brother replaced the pick-ups with EMG's (?!?) but I still have the originals. These look like humbuckers but on this guitar, they are actually just a single coil in each cover ! Also, the knobs have been changed, they were originally the 'witches hat' type.

These seem to have been under many names and you have already mentioned most of them in the German list you posted, I've seen others online and my father told me of some years ago including Arbiter, Antoria, CSL, Columbus, Kay, Kasuga, Kimbara, Saxon, Shaftesbury, Vox.......

I also have this,



This is a Satellite branded model. I'm not sure if it was made in the same factory, the construction is similar but it is not the same quality as the Avon.
Check out the back of that headstock! I wanted to replace the worn out tuners with some Klusons but when me and my dad tried to fit them we realized the headstock was w-a-y to thick, better still it was thicker on the treble side than on the bass side ! Dad armed with a hammer and chisel quickly solved the problem, resulting in the work of art you see above Shocked
I removed the name from the headstock when I was young and under the Satellite transfer was the name Interguitar, anyone heard of them?

DAN.

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Re: YAMATO Guitars - also made at the Matsumoku plant ?

Post by hendrik on Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:03 pm

Hi,

the are definitely related. The Trussrod Cover is the same. Just the inlays are different.
The guitar has the Witch Hat knobs. Did hear the name before. scratch



I think they have been branded according to the countries where they would be going to sale.
Avon sounds perfectly English, I assume here in Switzerland the name Yamato suited better.

The pickups are the original PAF's.

H.

For the 2nd guitar and the new Kluson tuners, could have been my dad. He would have done exactly the same.
Man born in the 40's are like that, aren't they? Laughing

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Re: YAMATO Guitars - also made at the Matsumoku plant ?

Post by DuoFuzz on Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:20 pm

Both of these guitars have had their hardware changed over the years but we kept all the original stuff that was removed.
They both had the same tailpiece as yours, flatter and more square than a real Gibson version. The Avon had the witches hat knobs but the Satellite originally had the reflector type knobs when I got it. The original tuning pegs from both look the same as yours as well.

When we first got these guitars, both of them had fake humbucker style pick-ups fitted, with only one single coil hiding under each chrome cover. I'm not sure if these are original factory pick-ups but they didn't sound very good. At the moment the Avon has the EMG's and the Satellite has some tasty sounding Sky/Kent Armstrong PAF+ humbuckers fitted.

Unfortunately my Satellite doesn't see much use (or should that be abuse?) these days, not since the end of the truss rod decided to snap and fall off! It played O.K. for a while but after a few years the neck began to pull forward, making it unplayable. I put some .012 gauge strings on, raised the action and set it up for slide. That was 6 years ago and I'm still trying to master slide to this day!

DAN.

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Re: YAMATO Guitars - also made at the Matsumoku plant ?

Post by norfolkngood on Sat Aug 01, 2009 5:34 pm

Like the mod-by-dad headstock What a Face

My old man would have done it like that too. He was fond of telling me that I should only ever use the correct tool for the job; one time he told me that was just before I took him to hospital after he used a chisel to try and get the lid off a tin of paint No

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Re: YAMATO Guitars - also made at the Matsumoku plant ?

Post by hendrik on Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:00 pm

Hi,

again could be my dad too. Can't and will not recall all times, when he hurt himself with something and at the same time told you how to do a thing right. And who had to clean up the mess....
Forced me to put good 1000 km between me and him. Cool

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Re: YAMATO Guitars - also made at the Matsumoku plant ?

Post by hendrik on Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:04 pm

[quote="DuoFuzz"]Hi there Hendrik,

I've been reading through your post and thought I'd put up some pic's up of this,




This is an Avon version, distributed by Rose Morris and seen throughout the UK and I think Europe. It has a plywood body with a hollow pressed ply front. My brother replaced the pick-ups with EMG's (?!?) but I still have the originals. These look like humbuckers but on this guitar, they are actually just a single coil in each cover ! Also, the knobs have been changed, they were originally the 'witches hat' type.

Where do you leave the battery for the EMG's? Or are they passive? How do they sound on the guitar ? Reading your comment and understanding it right, you do not like the sound of the EMG's, do you?

H.

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Re: YAMATO Guitars - also made at the Matsumoku plant ?

Post by DuoFuzz on Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:15 pm

Hi there Hendrik,

My brother, Steve got these EMG's out of a second hand Maison guitar (yet another Les Paul copy! Rolling Eyes ), one of them is an EMG 81 and the other is an HA (a single coil model).

When he fitted them to the Avon years ago (he was in his James Hetfield/Metallica phase), we didn't realize that EMG's used different pots to passive pick-ups. This guitar still has it's original pots fitted but with the EMG's being active, they really need 25k pots to work them properly. The battery sits on it's edge, in between the pots and wrapped up in some foam to keep it still.
I never thought that the EMG's suited this guitar because the Avon was so cheap!!!!, it just wasn't right.

At the moment the Avon doesn't sound good with EMG's and the wrong pots, but the pick-ups are going into another guitar. My brother has a 3 pick-up Epiphone SG Custom with a crack in it's neck that I have just started repairing today. The plan is to repair the neck break, strip the thick (hard as glass !) paint, then repaint it Gibson Pelham Blue using nitrocellulose aerosol paint. Steve is trying find another EMG humbucker (60,81 or 85) and fit them all into this SG with the single coil in the middle.
After all that work (if it works!No ), we also have to wire up some controls, 3 volumes and 1 tone with the correct pots. A long job but he might get a nice guitar out of it, fingers crossed pirat .

I'm really into Metallica and spent ages working out how to get THAT sound. So I bought a second hand Epiphone SG Gothic and fitted it with the Zakk Wylde EMG set (an 81 and 85). It sounds amazing with distortion and really clear on a clean setting, completely different to passive pick-ups but definitely worth it.

DAN.

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Re: YAMATO Guitars - also made at the Matsumoku plant ?

Post by hendrik on Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:52 am

Hi Dan,

one of 1st guitars, was a Telecaster copy, probably Chinese. The neck didn't really fit.
The Pickups have been rubbish.
So I decided this would by my training piece for all guitar repairing works, which I had to learn.
I fitted the neck into the right position, bought a different neck on a flea market. Put this one on the guitar and so on...

One day a saw EMG TC Pickups, especially made for Telecasters. I became curious and bought them.
Put them into to guitar, took the DREMEL and cut a hole into the back for a battery compartment.
After the work done, I was stunned by the sound of the EMG's. No white noise, a brilliant and clear sound, which I hadn't expected. All kind of distortion and modulation worked with this pickups.

The guitar broke recently during my personal "Pete Townshend moment". Cool Which was good fun. Very Happy
No video was taken, sorry.
Sold the pickups afterwards on EBAY, was the only thing which was leftover.

Try to put the EMG's into the right configuration, you will be surprised.

Cheers,

H.

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