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  1. #1

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    I bought a secondhand (or thirdhand) Terada, an ES-335 model.

    The guy who sold it to me said he was told, when he bought it, the top was solid mahogany. I'm not sure about that one, however. But the bindings etc, all the finishing touches are beautiful!
    But anyway, the guitar plays wonderfully and has a great tone. If I get the chance, I definitly want to make a comparrison with a guitar of a Gibson-like price class (which this one is not!).

    Now the question: It seems impossible to find any information about this guitar on the internet. I'm looking for a little bit of history, the year it was built,... (There is no serial number anywhere on this box).
    I know Terada is a factory in Japan, where among others, Gretches are build and, I think, Epiphone Elitists also...

    Has anybody heard about Terada guitars, or does anybody know where I can find some information?

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  3. #2

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    it could be that the top is solid wood, but probably not mahogany. Hard woods don't make a very good sound when compared to the softer woods, like spruce.

    Also, I am pretty sure that most 335's are laminate? I believe mine is. Anyone?

  4. #3

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    Yeah 335's are laminate with a solid block down the middle. Gibson has changed block woods over the years.

    I have not seen a solid wood 335 clone before, but i suppose it is possible. I sincerely doubt mahogany though. The 335 is a pretty heavy guitar to begin with, making it out of mahogany would be brutal.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by derek
    The 335 is a pretty heavy guitar to begin with, making it out of mahogany would be brutal.
    Yeah, that is true. It is also one way to find out if it is made out of mahogany. Weigh it, then compare it to the weight of a known ES-335 which is prolly about 17 pounds (a guess for now).

  6. #5

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    Tanks for the info, guys. Well, I guess mahogany is out of the question. I don't have a Gibson i the neighbourhood to compare with, but the Terada is not really that heavy. I' ll try to post a pic next time.

    Grtz. M

  7. #6

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    i recently purchased a vintage "el torres" 335-type guitar. based on the little information i have this brand is closely related to terada (some el torres guitars have "terada guitars" stamped on the inside label).

    The Terada factory made high-end guitars for ibanez in the mid-late '80s, but back in the seventies they had released guitars - mostly gibson and martin copies - under their own name (at harmony central there are several user reviews).

    i'm very interested to see some photos of motion's 335, for i never saw any other 335-type guitar related to terada, only a few hollowbodies.


    Terada Guitars-el-torres-es-335-jpg

  8. #7

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    Finally I have the confirmation that Terada and El Torres are the same instruments. Indeed my guitar is the same as yours (even if I can't see the details). Same headstock, same triangle position marks, same "antique" f-holes. I hope you can pos some photos of the instrument soon. I'm posting a close-up of mine.

    Interestingly, I know two italian jazz guitarists who used the same archtop, but with the "El Torres" brand. I live in Italy too, so that makes me think that for same reason Terada exported their instruments to Italy using this name (a similar thing happened with other japanese guitar makers in the '70s, including Ibanez).

  9. #8

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    I noticed that my instrument has a mahogany central block, which makes it's tone very mellow. I play jazz and I'm able to get a sweet jazztone with it even with the treble at "10".

  10. #9

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    Here are some photos. It has a mahogany block.
    Attached Images Attached Images Terada Guitars-wp_000320-jpg Terada Guitars-wp_000316-jpg Terada Guitars-wp_000315-jpg Terada Guitars-wp_000313-jpg Terada Guitars-wp_000312-jpg 

  11. #10

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    Same factory, IMO.
    The Polytone semi has a mahogany block as well.
    Similar wood, finish, shape of "ears", level of detail to the binding and purfling, and so on.

    From Wikipedia:
    "Terada were established in 1912 at Nagoya and concentrate mostly on making Semi-acoustic and Acoustic guitars and have made guitars for Ibanez, Orville by Gibson, Epiphone Japan, Gretsch and other well-known brands as well. At their production peak (in the late 1970s/1980s/early 1990s) they were producing around 10,000 guitars a month using 3 factories, the Higashiku factory, the Kanie factory and the Shirakawa factory. Terada's output is now about an 1/8 of what it was at their peak and they are still actively producing guitars at their Kanie factory."
    Attached Images Attached Images Terada Guitars-terada-comparison-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 11-11-2013 at 03:24 PM.

  12. #11

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    Wonder why mine does not have a brand . Just Terada T.
    Last edited by kekkuli; 11-13-2013 at 03:39 AM.

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by kekkuli
    Here are some photos. It has a mahogany block.
    It also appears to have a mahogany neck.

    The Terada factory in Japan are basically custom luthiers with excellent craftsmanship and materials used.
    They have made the Epiphone Broadway Elitist and other Epiphone models, Some Fender acoustics, Gretsch White Falcon as well as some other Gretsch models, so I am not surprised that they make their own versions for the Japanese Asian markets, although it is rare to see these models over here in NA.

    Here is a video of the famous Terada factory, known for it's craftmanship..making Gretsch of course...


    Note the girly pinups on their workstations..accepted in their culture, but banned in NA..due to "sexual harrassment in the workplace
    rules"
    Last edited by Daniel Kuryliak; 11-13-2013 at 07:04 AM.

  14. #13

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    Maybe I am crazy but I think this is in par with even Gibson CS 335. Beautiful rich tone.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by kekkuli
    Maybe I am crazy but I think this is in par with even Gibson CS 335. Beautiful rich tone.
    If it's a Terada handcrafted model, depending on the pickups used..yes it will be close, but not exactly a CS-335.

  16. #15

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    Hi Kekkuli

    I play the same model since 1983, real clear brilliant sound and long sustain. Actually I don't need it anymore because I'm playing accoustic on a classical guitar. I would sell it to an interrested player.

    Cheers, Bist

    Terada Guitars-20150104_125407-jpg

  17. #16

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    Having had many Japanese archtops, it could be silly to say that there is a difference in quality between Fugigen and Terada but I have always been fonder of guitars from Terada.

    Cant even say I know why as the early Ibanez stuff (artist etc) is second to none.

  18. #17

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    ​Really lovely guitars, all of them.

  19. #18

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    guy`s i have a terada 335 gibson copy,, it`s wonderful, ive owned it for 25 years,, sadly it got water damaged and it at the menders,,, i pulled out the electrics (nothing fsancy about them , so i`m going to full hog,, seymour duncans, 500k pots and having tricked upu to run out of phase and in series/parralel,,,

    my question is ,, did gibson licence terada to reproduce the 335 and badge it as a gibson/epiphone for them to sell for this is what i`m lead to belive?

  20. #19

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    Vestax D'Angelicos were also made by Terada, I believe.

  21. #20

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    If I am not mistaken Terada also built the Orville by Gibson guitars... essentially, Japanese made Gibsons for the Japan domestic market. They, along with Matsumoku (now defunct) and Fujigen, are among the factories that made Japan a guitar making a global force.

  22. #21

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    There is an extensive thread about Terada guitars on the Delcamp classical guitar forum:

    http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.co...p?f=42&t=53616

    There is every knowledgeable Person called Whooper. Maybe he can help you out?

    I own a Terada steel string acoustic. It's a lovely instrument.

  23. #22

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    All of the upper end Gretsch (6xxx model numbers) are made in the Terada factory. Unfortunately the electric part is specified by the contract originator and in my experience Gretsch uses some of the worst pots and switches on the market.

    My Gretsch Anni is superbly made equal to most anything Gibson has to offer.

  24. #23

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    I have a modern g6120am made in Terada. As fine a Gretsch as an original anniversary I had in the sixties. At least it would be if it stayed in tune.
    davetad.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davetad
    I have a modern g6120am made in Terada. As fine a Gretsch as an original anniversary I had in the sixties. At least it would be if it stayed in tune.
    davetad.
    with a bigsby you need heavy strings wound well around the tuning posts... and you need to lubricate the bridge saddle slots and nut slots often and well...a very soft lead pencil works wonders


    cheers

  26. #25

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    Gee, my Anni doesn't have this tuning problem, I wonder why? Ooh... Ooh I think it's because I hang it on the wall sometimes?

    Heeyyy... I got it!!! mine has a tailpiece!

    Terada Guitars-gretsch_6118-jpg

  27. #26

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    I have several Terada made Gretsch guitars with Bigsbys. They all stay in tune if the nut is cut properly.

  28. #27

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    That double anniversary is a beautiful guitar my original one was a single anniversary and it was as uncomplicated as they come. I can'remember what amp I played through, possibly a vox ac, but I could get a real howling sound through that one pickup. I do remember I had no tuning problem with it, of course, because of the tailpiece. It also had a bar across the strings to add a vibrato effect, but I was too scared to try that often. A lovely guitar

    Davetad.

  29. #28

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    Ha, Just found out this tread is still alive and kicking. Great, seems like a blast from the past to me :-)
    Anyway, I'm still playing the Terada. It keeps on growing on me..

    Cheers,

    M

  30. #29

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    Yes yes, The F-holes, the headstock, the neck-inlays... all there.
    Did you find a serial number? How do you know it' from the early 80's? Maybe I can find out when mine is made.
    Also, the Grovers were a mod? Mine also has Grovers..
    I definitely would like to try mine side-to-side with a nice (priced) Gibson. I can't imagine a guitar with a better feel than this one, but hey, I might learn a thing or two.. or maybe not :-)

    µ

  31. #30

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    seeing as how i primarily play gretsches and elitist epiphones, i have a healthy about of terada guitars in there. and they are all pretty awesome. sort of take it for granted after a while. but i was at guitar center a few weeks back and grabbed a few randos off the wall- various mic and mik epiphones, dangelicos and such in the $500-1600 range and they all felt like crap to me. the woods, the components, the necks, the finishes... it just didn't work for me. i thought poly was poly but i was wrong. or i just greatly prefer mine to whats out there. i didn't plug any of them in as i wasn't really compelled to.

    i never did an apples to apples comparison between my elitists and their gibson counterparts but i did sell off my es333 when i got my elitist sheraton, and i never looked back. my guitars are too customized to really compare to anyway, but i don't really feel the need to seek out something better. i'm sure that gibson (or collings, more likely) can make "better" guitars than mine, but at those prices, i'll never find out.

    re: gretsch electronics- i'm not sure if they were the crappiest, but i did swap all of it out, for what that's worth. ditto the elitist components. but that mostly customization. maybe 80/20% between my tastes vs quality. or to look at it another way: i prefer higher quality stuff. so maybe it's 100%! don't have a real clear picture of it in my mind after all this time, but they were perfectly functional and lovely guitars before i got my stupid hands on them.

    as for the bigsby; i use pretty heavy strings and haven't really had major issues. they stay in tune about as well as anything else i own. if you start doing push ups on the thing then it'll go sideways a bit but that isn't me. otherwise, no better, but no worse, tuning wise. i use some graphite paste too very, very rarely and i'm not sure if that made much of a difference, personally. though i made the mistake of getting the stewmac stuff which is super hard to apply. get one with the little applicator thing. or now that i have them around, maybe i'll try a mechanical pencil.

    hey gary, it looks like the handle fell off your guitar, buddy. you may want to get that looked at.

    ps- some photos would be nice, guys.

  32. #31

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    Is your terada an acoustic/ electric acoustic archtop. Iam looking for a Vestax that was reportedly made by terada. Acoustic archtop. " modern acoustic es1500" see attached pic.
    Attached Images Attached Images Terada Guitars-img_1464-jpg 

  33. #32

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    Terada made/makes lots of great guitars. I have a Polytone Improv I guitar. It's an upscale version of the ES-345. The appointments are all very deluxe--ebony fretboard, gold hardware, binding is very multi, etc. Being a Polytone, it has unusual things, like a big, gaudy headstock, split "P" inlays on the fretboard, etc.

    I believe Polytone (of Holywood, CA) had these guitars--made in 1979-1980--build by Terada. The Improvs sure show Terada workmanship.

    I like my Improv MORE than I did my vintage Gibson ES-335.

    Terada Guitars-img_1250-jpg

  34. #33

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    THANKS, THE ONE i AM LOOKING FOR IS A THINLINE, ACOUSTIC ARCHTOP, NO VISIBLE PICKUP.

    OOPS, SORRY FOR THE CAP LOCK.
    Attached Images Attached Images Terada Guitars-zbizyggjpf8rxqqhyktg-jpg Terada Guitars-zmdpzpap2wjr3ezwyjjex-jpg Terada Guitars-yx2x6fauftcc4juvtvrz-jpg 

  35. #34

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    Hi guys, first of all, I don't know much about Jazz Guitars, that's why i need your help...

    A few years ago i bought some guitars including Gibson,Epiphone,Ibanez and that guitar i didn't knew about called Terade.

    I searched the web quite a lot, but didn't find the right answers. so i went to a luthier near by and he told me that Terada is a Japanese Factory who now builds for Gretch and that my guitar is from arround 1980 (fits arround the year the other guitars were build 65-1980) according to the logo and inlays.

    The guitar itself is in quite perfect condition, the headstock,the neck, the machine heads and the body. the pickup,bridge,tone and volume knobs need to be replaced.

    Now here is my question:

    Does anyone know something about this guitar? Are these good guitars? What's the price range for thoose guitars (maybe I'll get it fixed).

    I hope you guys can help me out! thx

    Here are some photos
    Attached Images Attached Images Terada Guitars-img_20200305_150343-jpg Terada Guitars-img_20200305_150546-jpg Terada Guitars-img_20200305_150559-jpg Terada Guitars-img_20200305_150536-jpg Terada Guitars-img_20200305_150513-jpg Terada Guitars-img_20200305_150428-jpg Terada Guitars-img_20200305_150332-jpg Terada Guitars-img_20200305_150318-jpg 

  36. #35

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    Nice score. First thing, like right now, get that pickguard off and stick it in a plastic bag well away fom the guitar. Getting a nice replacement pickguard won’t be hard. Chris Mirabella or our own DeaconMark are both good choices. Have whoever you choose install Schatten controls under the guard, hard to say what damage that guard did to the current parts. Get a decent replacement pickup and then have a tech do her up. I’m a big Ibanez collector and Terada is highly regarded.

    looks like you’re gonna be having some fun man !!!

    Big

  37. #36

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    I have several later terada guitars from the 90s and 00s that say Epiphone and Gretsch on them. They are some of my most prized possessions.

    The closest thing out there to what you have are the 80s mij terada epiphones. Check them out on eBay and reverb, see what they sold for. That'll give you an idea. I don't think that a terada branded guitar is very common, though. Not in the us, anyway.

    I assume you'll be happy with whatever it is when you're done with it.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by feet
    I have several later terada guitars from the 90s and 00s that say Epiphone and Gretsch on them. They are some of my most prized possessions.

    The closest thing out there to what you have are the 80s mij terada epiphones. Check them out on eBay and reverb, see what they sold for. That'll give you an idea. I don't think that a terada branded guitar is very common, though. Not in the us, anyway.

    I assume you'll be happy with whatever it is when you're done with it.
    I had an Epiphone Elitist Broadway that was a Terada made guitar, and it was absolutely perfect in every way, like playing an L5ces. I can honestly say I felt and heard no important difference between my EEB and my L5ces through many, many, hours of playing.

  39. #38

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    Big Mike is right, get that pickguard off immediately. The pickup could possibly be saved by cleaning off the corrosion caused by the deteriorating pickguard, but it's impossible to say from a photo. The plating is probably gone, but that has no effect on the sound, if you can live with the way it looks. Replacement pickups aren't necessarily expensive, relatively speaking. It obviously needs a nut and a bridge, but those are easy enough to replace. I would expect it to be a fine guitar after minor restoration.

  40. #39

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    I purchased a new Epiphone Elitist Byrdland. Excellent guitar, sold it because I could not adapt the ridiculously narrow 1 11/16ths nut width nor the short scale.

    My friend and I compared it to his 4 Gibson Byrdlands ( to include one clearly marked as a 1954 prototype)
    We agreed the fit finish, workmanship ansdplayability was superior to Gibson.

  41. #40

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    This one is a laminate guitar, close to a single-pup 175. Terada also made the Vestax-era D'Angelicos. The carved-top NYS models were/are in high regard, pressed-top NYLs also fine.

  42. #41

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    In my Chet picking days, I had a Terada built G-6122-1959 and it was an excellent instrument.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by bohemian46
    I purchased a new Epiphone Elitist Byrdland. Excellent guitar, sold it because I could not adapt the ridiculously narrow 1 11/16ths nut width nor the short scale..
    Isn't 1-11/16" fairly standard?

  44. #43

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    It is pretty much the standard. Some makers offer 1.75" necks, which one either loves or hates, I guess. I have a couple of guitars with 1.75" necks, and more with the narrower necks. I like the wider ones for single-note playing, but narrower necks are easier to play rhythm on, using the thumb over the neck for some chords. It's a personal preference, either is valid.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    It is pretty much the standard. Some makers offer 1.75" necks, which one either loves or hates, I guess. I have a couple of guitars with 1.75" necks, and more with the narrower necks. I like the wider ones for single-note playing, but narrower necks are easier to play rhythm on, using the thumb over the neck for some chords. It's a personal preference, either is valid.
    For sure. Nobody who knows archtops would refer to 1 11/16" as "ridiculously narrow."

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    For sure. Nobody who knows archtops would refer to 1 11/16" as "ridiculously narrow."
    Yeah that's what I meant, I was wondering if it was a typo, because the original Byrdlands did have a really skinny neck.

  47. #46

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    Yes, Terada has used so many different names on their own production models over the years. They just hope to sell their own guitars not just OEMs, but they couldn't sell very well and then they'd change the brand name again and again....
    Japanese especially older people don't consider Terada made guitars as good instruments as their production quality was horrible in the past up until late 80s or early 90s I guess. Though they improved significantly since then. Once I brought a Vestax era D'angelico to one of my local luthiers for a basic setup, and when he looked at it he just laughed and called it a fake. lol

  48. #47

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    In 1972, my wife bought me Terada 12 .

    The inner label shows everything but the model number. Investigating , I believe it to be a 648.

    My question is where can I buy a pick guard and where can I get a headstock decal?

    tks

  49. #48

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    Hi, I am French and I love Terada Guitars.

    I bought my Terada in 98, in a small French guitar shop.

    It's similar to a CS335 and the sound is wonderful.

    I tested some Gibsons, but I prefer my Terada

    Terada Guitars-img_1248-jpg

  50. #49

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    This is an interesting thread. I couldn’t not show off my Terada built D’Aquisto New Yorker. While I no longer have it, I can say the craftsmanship of that guitar was second to none. I miss it. It was exquisite.
    Attached Images Attached Images Terada Guitars-8a0f11d7-114e-41f8-b868-7b77aeef920a-jpg Terada Guitars-0896662a-7c88-4ba8-b7e1-119975ae02bd-jpg Terada Guitars-f29302f6-1777-45b1-b93f-318fc5a79f44-jpg Terada Guitars-620ed35a-d841-4706-a892-2117399bb782-jpg Terada Guitars-961d0ec8-008b-45d4-b087-7a75b580df96-jpg Terada Guitars-ad73fb17-52ff-438a-b0d5-4c66bd888783-jpg 

  51. #50

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    I think that for the Japanese market, one of the brands they usted was Vesta or Vesta Graham.
    Unfortunatelly the related information is in Japanese.