1. #1
    Here is an interesting hollow body I picked up for a good deal the other day. A "PAN P-23" copy of the Gibson Trini Lopez model made in Japan by the famous Matsumoku factory between 1970-74. This guitar was also branded as Aria, Granada, Lyle and Conrad. This particular PAN model was marketed in Canada.

    It's not all original in that it's bridge pickup has been replaced with a humbucker and the stock tuners have been replaced with Kluson style ones. The nut, floating bridge and tailpiece have been replaced. The original bridge came with roller saddles and a Bigsby type whammy bar. However it's a great "players" guitar what with all the extra modifications. It came with what felt like .012 gauge round wounds with a wound 3rd which I have replaced with a set of Ernie Ball Regular Slinky's and they feel nice. Not "jazz" strings I know but I will be swapping these out for a set of D'Addario Chrome flatwounds at the next string change. After changing the strings and lowering the bridge a little it plays quite nicely. I did have to shim the neck (it's bolt on) a little to get the angle better and the strings a little lower. The neck is very slim and fast and the electronics work perfectly. The neck pickup I believe is single coil and sounds great. Would love to have it in a telecaster. The replacement bridge HB sounds nice as well and compliments the neck pickup. Here's some pics.

    PAN P-23 Trini Lopez copy (made by Matsumoku)-20200707-145113-jpg

    PAN P-23 Trini Lopez copy (made by Matsumoku)-20200707-144539-jpg

    PAN P-23 Trini Lopez copy (made by Matsumoku)-20200707-144627-jpg

    PAN P-23 Trini Lopez copy (made by Matsumoku)-2020-07-07-14-48-29-jpg

    PAN P-23 Trini Lopez copy (made by Matsumoku)-20200707-144546-jpg

    PAN P-23 Trini Lopez copy (made by Matsumoku)-20200707-144557-jpg

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  3. #2

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    Neck pickup seems suspiciously höfner like to me, but somehow full-sized? Interesting. Neat looking guitar, anyhow. Semi or full hollow?

  4. #3
    It's completely hollow except for a block of wood inside between the top and the back under the bridge area. Maybe for support? From info I can find the neck pickup is the original "staple" style also found on Univox and other Matsumoku made hollow body guitars. It's single coil similar to a P90 without the "dog ears". It has a very warm but not muddy tone. It makes the classic "jazz" tone without having to mess with the tone controls on the guitar. It's a really nice guitar to play even though it has a slim neck the profile is comfortable. I'm guessing it has a fretboard radius of 7.25" or 9.5" since it's certainly not flat and is easy to play chords up and down the neck. These guitars in mint original condition are fetching 2-3 times more than I paid for mine. Mine is a "players" instrument. The only thing I need to do is shape the floating bridge to the top by taping a piece of sandpaper (using masking tape) to the top and sanding the bottom the bridge so it matches the shape of the top and makes full contact with it. Right now there are gaps at the ends of the "feet" of the bridge which means it's not matching the shape of the top.

    Here's a pic of one I found off the internet in original condition.

    PAN P-23 Trini Lopez copy (made by Matsumoku)-pan-0118-main2-jpg
    Last edited by OldGuitarPlayer; 07-09-2020 at 06:47 AM.

  5. #4

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    Oh, so it's more like a casino, then. That's cool. The only other mij guitar if that era I knew was a teisco that was also essentially a very small casino. At least you have a more normal bridge and tail piece set up. The trem on that teisco would go out of tune if you farted too loud.

    We don't get many staple pickups in the states so I have no idea what they sound like, but I've admired höfners for a long time.

    Good luck with the bridge work. Hope we get to hear it soon.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by feet
    Oh, so it's more like a casino, then. That's cool. The only other mij guitar if that era I knew was a teisco that was also essentially a very small casino. At least you have a more normal bridge and tail piece set up. The trem on that teisco would go out of tune if you farted too loud.

    We don't get many staple pickups in the states so I have no idea what they sound like, but I've admired höfners for a long time.

    Good luck with the bridge work. Hope we get to hear it soon.
    Thanks! Yes I prefer the regular bridge/tailpiece combo over any Bigsby style one. Not my cup of tea. As soon as I can get to a music shop that sells D'Addario Chromes (.010-.048 gauge) I will endeavour to work on the bridge and install the new strings. So far I love playing this guitar and might even invest in a partial re-fret since the first 5 frets are much more worn than the remaining ones up the neck. I guess the previous owner didn't venture much past the 5th fret. I will try to record a video clip and upload it to YouTube. If it works I will post it here.

  7. #6

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    Congrats on your new Trini. It reminds me of the 60's Harmony H72. It also was a full hollow with bolt-on neck.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    Congrats on your new Trini. It reminds me of the 60's Harmony H72. It also was a full hollow with bolt-on neck.
    Thanks! I had a 1960's Harmony Meteor when I was a teenager learning the guitar in the mid 70's and this guitar brings back my memories of playing it back then. However this PAN model feels much better in terms of playability and I love the neck on it.

  9. #8

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    Cool guitar! Congratulations, and play it in good health!