Sunday, 20 January 2013

Info wanted on 1970s Japanese-made Country SV300 solidbody electric
Greg writes:
I'd like to share with your readers one original guitar I recently put my hands on. It may be a Matsumoku or a Kasuga one, made in Japan, it was bought in France circa 1977 (according to the previous owner). The shape of the body is quite original and after few weeks lurking at vintage guitars catalogues and internet forums, I still can't clearly identify it. Pickups are TWB-20, a Japanese copy of DiMarzio Super Distortion. The overall quality build is very nice, excepted for the original bridge that I replaced with a new one. I would compare it to some great examples of Matsumoku made guitars (this bridge is found in some early models of Electra brand guitars... made by Matsumoku). While cleaning the guitar, I noticed the note "SV300" on the heel of the neck, may it be an indication of the model?

According to my local guitar maker, woods are: mahogany for the body (or is it bubinga?) with a piece of maple for the centre part, one piece of maple for the neck and rosewood for the touchboard.

Would it be an early example of Matsumoku original design guitar? Or could it be a Kasuga Musical Instrument guitar, a factory that made guitars for some well known japanese brands like Greco or Tokai?

I'd like to have the inputs of your contributors and readers about this one, even better: an actual pic of the same guitar from some old catalogue!

You'll find lots of pics of the guitar on my website (article in French).

Thanks for your help!

Paris, France
Thanks Greg. It's not a model I am aware of, and neither have I previously heard of the "Country" brand. Whilst it does seem plausible that it could be a Matsumoku guitar - they were quite fond of sandwiching the different body timbers in the style shown - I wouldn't rule out the other Japanese manufacturers either.

If anyone has any more info, please let us know via the comments below! Thanks!

G L Wilson

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  1. First thing I would do is paint that thing sonic blue. Then you got something.

  2. Stupid idea :)

    I'm actually fond of natural finishes!

  3. I like natural finishes on some guitars. Telecasters come to mind. But I have just never been a fan of the ones that look like this with that stripe down the middle. Like those old Alembic basses. Just never a fan I guess.

  4. Got in touch with a french luthier who used to work with japanese factories in the seventies. He assures me that this guitar is indeed a Matsumoku one, built for a french company "Gamme" that used to sell this kind of guitars in its guitarshops in Paris. So it's not a Kasuga guitar, it's a Matsumoku one.

    One last mystery: Mastumoku used an already existing design for the body, but we have no other known example of this design yet! It's not sure that the TWB-20 pickups are the original ones because Matsumoku usually used MMK45 pickups with different tag names.

    Anyway it's one of the best sounding Mat's guitar I own! Here is some sound test with clear tones on the neck pickup: (the mini-switch is an out-of-phase applied to the coils of this neck pickup, it doesn't affect the bridge pickup).

  5. Looks like a Suzuki guitar body shape to me. Check this out:лектрическа-китара-suzuki-рядък-инструмент,172500.html
    Although the guitar on the site is not in exactly original condition

  6. Body shape look exactly like my 1979 Suzuki electric bass, bulit by Kiso Suzuki guitar company in Japan
    My bass is unfortunately without logo. More info about Suzuki guitars



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