Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I've been curious about the oval sound hole Howard Roberts guitar ever since I saw a picture of one back in the 70's. Curious, but not driven to own one, especially with the current asking prices for Epiphone models made in the '60's or the Gibson ones made in the 70's. The Japanese copies don't come up all that often around here. There's nothing quite like it; it's a cool guitar.

    I recently came upon a Japanese copy for sale locally, apparently made during the so-called lawsuit era. This one is branded 'MANN', which was a brand owned by the Great West Import Co. in Canada back in the 70's and 80's. The MANN guitars of the 70's were apparently sourced from Fujigen Gakki who also made Ibanez branded guitars for Hoshino. The one I picked up appears to be absolutely identical to the Ibanez model 2453 offered in 1976 and 1977. There's no serial number or label on it. It's quite well made and plays well; electronics all good. It has the same Star Tuners found on Ibanez models from the same era, same headstock inlay and same hardware as the Ibanez models, etc. And the same headstock shape that was the subject of the Gibson/Hoshino lawsuit.

    Japanese MANN Howard Roberts guitar (Ibanez 2453 ?)-20210123_205324-jpgJapanese MANN Howard Roberts guitar (Ibanez 2453 ?)-20210123_205350-jpgJapanese MANN Howard Roberts guitar (Ibanez 2453 ?)-20210123_205549-jpgJapanese MANN Howard Roberts guitar (Ibanez 2453 ?)-20210123_212420-jpgJapanese MANN Howard Roberts guitar (Ibanez 2453 ?)-ibanez-1976-howard-roberts-2453-2-png
    Last edited by va3ux; 01-24-2021 at 10:39 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Cool buy! 60's Japanese guitars are very cool indeed.

    I always say, Ibanez, MANN, Greco, Firstman -- when only a Fujigen-Gakki will do!

    Congrats...

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Congrats! Looks like a find.

    Sorry to digress a bit, but the Epi headstock inlay has always intrigued me. It's quite complicated, yet very common even on later, inexpensive Korean and Chinese Epi archtops (Emperor Regent, Broadway) and thin bodies (Sheraton). Their fretboard inlays and multiple bindings are also much more elaborate than on Gibson ES-175s or 335s, for example. Today's CNC routing / laser engraving technologies no doubt enable such detail on mass-produced items, so the contrast makes me wonder how old technology is Gibson actually using in its U.S. works? In terms of automation, the newer factories in the Far East appear to be from another planet, an apparent paradox given the opposite difference in labor costs.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Good buy, I had a Greco variant. Yours likely has a Maxon pickup.

    Play it in good health

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Very nice score - congrats!

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Va3ux de kc2xu... we have reversed end letters...cool! We’re moving soon so I’m all packed up and off the air. SSB voice. TS890s, TS440sat, TS830s, HQ180a(for heat)))

    Best of fun with that Mann it looks great. Fugijen rules!

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter View Post
    Va3ux de kc2xu... we have reversed end letters...cool! We’re moving soon so I’m all packed up and off the air. SSB voice. TS890s, TS440sat, TS830s, HQ180a(for heat)))

    Best of fun with that Mann it looks great. Fugijen rules!
    KC2XU de VA3UX : good luck with the move JK. And get back on the air when time permits. I've been off the air during this solar minimum but looking to start-up again soon as our sun spots return (I hope). TS590G + TS-930S; no more amps; mostly CW.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Very cool guitar, indeed! Congratulations, and play it in good health!

    Does the mid knob work? Is it cut or boost?

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74 View Post
    Very cool guitar, indeed! Congratulations, and play it in good health!

    Does the mid knob work? Is it cut or boost?
    Yup, it works. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure what I'm hearing with that control. Perhaps mid range roll-off. It's quite a noticeable although not huge change. Between the 2 tone controls, there are some very pleasing tones coming out of this guitar. The stock pickup sounds great as-is and I see no reason to change it.

    There should be an inductor on that middle pot. I'll eventually take this all apart and we'll see then if the inductor is still there or if it was replaced by a cap at some point in the past, which is apparently what people often did if the inductor went open.

    It's a cool guitar. It's 'its own thing'.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Japanese MANN Howard Roberts guitar (Ibanez 2453 ?)-26117a96-b863-4199-8b10-df4ecf9c65ff-jpg

    Hello, just reregistered.

    I just got this model branded Speedfire. Bought from original owner. Has Ibanez serial number, June 76 build. Gold star tuners. Really well built.

    Issue is the pickguard gassed, kept in case a long time, and damaged the metal parts. I have a new Lollar JS, an L type tailpiece, and new Klusons.

    I came into the board seeking install info one the pickup since the Roberts has the odd three knob.

    Assuming I take the lead to the volume pot with the regular G type scheme.

    I have heard splicing the lead is not desirable.

    Any advice welcome. Thanks.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Aiq View Post
    Japanese MANN Howard Roberts guitar (Ibanez 2453 ?)-26117a96-b863-4199-8b10-df4ecf9c65ff-jpg

    Hello, just reregistered.

    I just got this model branded Speedfire. Bought from original owner. Has Ibanez serial number, June 76 build. Gold star tuners. Really well built.

    Issue is the pickguard gassed, kept in case a long time, and damaged the metal parts. I have a new Lollar JS, an L type tailpiece, and new Klusons.

    I came into the board seeking install info one the pickup since the Roberts has the odd three knob.

    Assuming I take the lead to the volume pot with the regular G type scheme.

    I have heard splicing the lead is not desirable.

    Any advice welcome. Thanks.
    Nice guitar!

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    That’s a beautiful guitar for sure. I love bursts! Congratulations on your find!

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Always been a fan of the Ibanez-and-stablemates Howard Roberts models. Every one I've played has been great.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Very cool.

    I've always wanted to stumble upon a Japanese made HR copy.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    welcome aboard...(i like your kalachakra mandala avatar!)

    nice hr style guitar...

    3 knobs are vol, tone and choke/inductor...for bass/low mids

    here's a great tutorial about whats inside and gettin things in and out- note the unusual rca pickup connector!

    Early 70's Howard Roberts :: one pickup, two tones — Chubbuck Guitars :: making & repairing Guitars in a old building just north of Boston, Mass.


    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 04-03-2021 at 07:34 PM.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    @va3ux

    Sorry for jumping on here, I just got excited to see a related thread!

    Thanks for the link @neatomic
    Last edited by Aiq; 04-05-2021 at 02:29 PM.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Splicing the lead is no problem, although some collector sometime might offer less for the guitar just because they can. A properly made splice has no effect on tone or function. A poorly made one can be problematic, but no more than a poorly made solder joint without a splice. It's easier to get a good joint with just a two-wire splice.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Japanese MANN Howard Roberts guitar (Ibanez 2453 ?)-5db3df4a-f721-493d-af5e-3a4a987a17c3-jpeg

    Finished the rehab, did end up splicing the lead but left enough length to go to the pot in future. Will be done as at some point I will replace the entire harness as there is some observable damage to the case of the pot from the gassing of the pickguard. Nothing like the damage to the PU just a bit rough to the touch.

    @va3ux I wish mine had been in as good condition as yours. I found this looking for info on these.

    I have some info about Ibanezes related trademarks:
    RELATED TRADEMARKS - IBANEZ (Hoshino Co.Japan)
    Isonez, Kasuga, Luxor, Halifax, Cimar, Maya, Morris, Global, Sekova, Polaris for European Market

    Antoria (CSI) England Distributor

    Greco for Japanese Market
    MANN for Canadian Market
    Jason for the Australian Market
    Penco, Elger*, Univox [Speedfire?] for the US Market

    Aria and Electra are from Matsumoku, not affiliated with Hoshino...”

    *Elger is who Gibson sued not any Japanese concern hence “lawsuit”. Sued over the headstock apparently and became moot as by the time the case was moving the manufacture of these instruments was winding down.
    Last edited by Aiq; 04-05-2021 at 02:37 PM.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Aiq View Post
    @va3ux

    Sorry for jumping on here, I just got excited to see a related thread!

    Thanks for the link @neatomic
    Heck, you're more than welcome to add to this thread. Its a great addition to see another one of these unique guitars. I'm glad you posted
    here.

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Aiq View Post
    Japanese MANN Howard Roberts guitar (Ibanez 2453 ?)-5db3df4a-f721-493d-af5e-3a4a987a17c3-jpeg


    @va3ux I wish mine had been in as good condition as yours. I found this looking for info on these.
    I would say yours is looking pretty good Aiq. The new pickup and tail piece look great.