Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Tantra Hamsa - a very rare electric guitar from France
Here's an email from Maxime:

I'm French, sorry for my bad English.

I have a guitar brand "Tantra":

Model: Hamsa
Color: Red
Dates of manufacture: 1981 to 1983

I wonder if you could give me an estimate of the price at the time and now. Thank you,

Rather than try to make uninformed guesses about a little-known French guitar brand, I decided to ask Hervé Le Garsmeur, one of the founders of Tantra guitars, who just happens to be a Guitarz reader and who has sent us info on Tantra before. Here's his response:
This is a very very rare model. We only made 5 of those. The fretboard is painted (though being in purple heart) there are sparkles in the varnish and it's kind of "basic sunburst". The pickup is the first generation we made, single coil with a grey touch in the middle. So I can assure that this guitar is one of the very first ones of our production (1981). The latter models had two single coils in the same box you could switch either in parralel or series, in or out of phase for humbucking or "Dire Straits" type of sound (but the real big sound was in parallel), the fretboard was natural and had round dots and wider frets.

By the way Hamsa means "swan" in Sanskrit; it's the shape of this bird that inspired this guitar. Concerning the price I really have no idea. If it still plays well I'd say 1500 € because of the rarity, maybe more for a real collector. We stopped making "painted" fretboards because it was really fragile on the edges. There were also two types of wood used. Without looking under the pickguard, you can tell by the weight; if the insrument is really stiff and rather heavy it's made from oak, if it's lighter and you can slightly bow the neck, it's made from mahogany.

Hope you have all the answers you need.
I'd like to thank Hervé for supplying the above information, and also Maxime for showing us these photos of this rare guitar.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!


  1. come on guys, a guitar needs curves !

    1. You've gotta be fair to them - is this one curvy enough for you?

    2. Oh the 80s! the time of worst and best!

  2. I like it. The metal plate reminds me a bit of Bertrams Plankaster?

  3. Great Blog, keep on!

  4. This is one of the most beautiful guitars I've seen on this site! Tell the owner to send me an eMail if he sells it ;)

  5. Note how the bridge is integral to the metal pickguard. Fender later used the same idea on the Mk.1 Bullet guitars.

  6. Just note that the metal pickguard is stainless steel (18.12 for specialists)cut with a laser which was very hightech for the 80s. We chose stainless steel for many reasons;first its look but also because it's very reliable and it shields the electronics better than any paint or aluminium sheet. They used to do that on the first computers (remember those monster machines in James Bond films or in the banks). Every element of those guitar were custom made,even the very large brass strap buttons,saddles and volume/tone buttons(plain brass)

  7. I dig it. (Of course.)

  8. Hi...I have the Ivory Rock Machine and no info about this guitar on google.Help!
    For me as a acoustic player it's very hard to play and I want to sell it.It was a gift, but doesn't help me.I have fat fingers and this guitar has 2 octaves.It is posible to post here pictures with her?



Related Posts with Thumbnails