The Guitar Gallery Forums - The Guitar Legacy of Matsumoku

Q&A, discussion, and information for the labels covered by The Guitar Gallery (Specifically and exclusively guitars made by Matsumoku up to 1987)
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Apr 2009 10:42 PM 
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Recently got my hands on an old guitar with no identifying marks that is extremely similar to a Vantage. The style of construction, design, wood grain, colors, finish, EVERYTHING about this guitar screams Japan made. The sound, feel, aging and vibe remind me much more of a Yamaha SG than a Schecter C-1, for example. But I can not find any info on it. Brand is Harmony "EST.1892", and I understand that Harmony's built after Harmony folded in 1975 labeled "Harmony EST.1892" on the headstock were Japan made until Harmony changed management/owners again in the middle 1980's. Does anyone know of these? It is extremely similar to a Vantage Phantom, minus the body contour cut on the back. I have included images for inspection. Help is much appreciated!! :) Thanks much.


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PostPosted: Mon 13 Apr 2009 10:45 AM 
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Hi ThaHammer,
I can see where you got the idea this might be Matsu-made, and related to Vantage. I see some points however, the lead me to believe your Harmony is not Matsumoku, probably not even Japanese.
The combination of the PU's, brass finger board markers, knobs and construction point towards Cort, South Korea. Probably around 1980. Please open up the elec-cavity, and tell us if the pots are marked 'dP'? That would confirm my suspiscion.

Until very recently, I owned a 'Gumika', which was a straight-on clone of the Vantage VA-800 Phantom. Also made by Cort. Check out this thread: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=4672&start=0

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Apr 2009 07:19 PM 
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Hello. thanks for replying. The pots are labeled MT105D. Does this tell you anything?


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PostPosted: Mon 13 Apr 2009 07:46 PM 
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Oops! Sorry, looked at my notes wrong, that was for the coil taps. Pots are labeled B500K and A500K.


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PostPosted: Fri 24 Apr 2009 07:13 PM 
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I think the coil taps on this guitar may have been added as aftermarket features, and the rail pickups, which though they appear of similar vintage, may not be stock. This may explain the lack of identifying markings on the pots. So the "cavity" isn't giving up any of the old girls' secrets. She plays nice though, and is very attractive. :up: Reminds me a little of my Yamaha (which is why I decided to buy her), but obviously not as nice. Probably better than some of the cheaper Yamaha SG's which were set neck or bolt on, and often made in Taiwan, while this lady is neck-thru like an expensive (HAMAMATSU) "Yammie" SG. Which I knew more about her, though, and why Cort was copying Vantage's, much less selling them as Harmony's!! :toopid:


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PostPosted: Fri 24 Apr 2009 07:50 PM 
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Don't get me wrong. The Cort factory has made a couple of very good Matsu-copies, and after that, they've become one of the major guitar manufacturers in the world. These guys have become pretty good!

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PostPosted: Fri 24 Apr 2009 08:13 PM 
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I do like my Cort MGM-1. Guess this Harmony is its Grandpa! These "Phantom" type guitars can't seem to decide if they are Ibanez's or Yamaha's (like an Artist model with an SG2000 neck). Very interesting. I had never seen a neck-thru build like this before on a guitar that wasn't either a custom-shop or at least fairly high in the model range of whatever manufacturer made it. Love the natural tones and striping. Saw it, had to have it, wife rolled her eyes! :x
Frankly, whether Matsu-inspired Cort or genuine Matsu, I like this one better than much of the Epiphone junk Gibson peddles, better even than that "Vintage Mahogany" Gibson LP model they think they deserve $1000 for because "only a Gibson is good enough", even if it is just a piece of bark with strings! :loon: LOL


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PostPosted: Fri 24 Apr 2009 10:39 PM 
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Either way, I like it...looks like a SKYLARK, with the same type thru-neck, and body shape. Lots of guitars of that era (80's) seem to have that body style. :up:
BTW, I believe the coil taps are original. :D
Norm


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PostPosted: Sat 25 Apr 2009 09:24 AM 
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I also believe the coil taps are original. If not, the cavity would not venture that far forward.


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PostPosted: Tue 28 Apr 2009 09:32 AM 
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I am with Jorg on this one. Are there any markings on the pickups. I have a rail type pickup from a Vantage but the vintage and manufacturer are unknown.

The control cavity looks very Uncle Matt to me.


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