Sunday, 30 October 2011

Canora vintage Japanese semi-hollowbody bass guitar
Here's a 1960s Japanese-made Canora semi-hollowbody bass. Anyone out there heard of the Canora brand? It appears to be the same model as the Sekova Vulcan and very likely was available under other brandnames too.

The eBay seller makes some really interesting observations:
While it is nearly impossible to exactly pinpoint the manufacturer of this bass, it is clearly an early product of Matsumoku, Kawai and the Teisco guitar factories as it has recognizable parts from each of those plants. It is well known that Matsumoku kept very poor records on the export models they produced, but it is known all of the Univox, Aria, and Guyatone guitars came from them as well as some Ibanez, Electra, Yamaha and dozens of other brands had at least a foothold in production there. It was clearly an odd time unlike anything that happens at US factories, because you'd often see different combinations of factories necks, bodies, pickups, and hardware all on the same guitar. Imagine a Fender neck on a Mosrite body with Gibson pickups and you get the idea of where I am going with this. It seems very strange but I think it went to a different sensibility employed in designing this guitars. There were a lot of orders to fill and many more coming down the pike! It seems that for the lines made for the Japanese market this was less the case, but the US imports often became a free for all. What results is many models with confusing slight or drastic variations in design that has made it almost impossible to get a solid handle on it. The guitars like Kent, Decca, Kingston, Guyatone, Audition, Lyle, and Melody all seem to morph and change model to model and year to year in this way. It is clearly not very easy for me to say with certainty much else about the history of this model...
The seller also tells us that the design is based on that of the Gibson EB-2. Personally, I'd have said that there was more of a hint of Kay going on in there. And where have I seen that shield-shaped pickguard before?

This is not a modern-sounding bass. It has that 50s/60s boom to it - as would would expect from a short scale bass with a single pickup mounted in the neck position - but it would probably be invaluable for re-creating that vintage vibe should you desire to do so.

Currently listed on eBay with bidding at $235.50 at the time of writing, and over 2 days left before the end of the auction.

G L Wilson

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  1. I have been packing around a Canora Acoustic Electric for over years now and to find the exact model online is like searching for a needle in a haystack. It looks very much like the bass above. Any direction on where I could check out their vintage guitars? Tried the site but they do not have any of the cross overs, just electric and acoustic but no combo's

    1. No idea, I'm afriad, but if you send some pics we can put them on a blog post and ask the readership. gavinlloydwilson@yahoo.ocm



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