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  1. #1

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    Supposedly this is a 1981 matsumoku built copy of a1963 es175. The only branding is '63 special on truss rod cover". The asking price is $1000 CDN (about $800 US)

    Can anyone fill me in on this Japanese 175 copy-63specialfulllength-jpgCan anyone fill me in on this Japanese 175 copy-64specialheadstock-jpg

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  3. #2

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    My first thought was that the logo on the headstock looked like an Aria version of the Gibson logo.

    Given that Matsumoko Kogyo made guitars for a lot of brands (including Japan Gibson's "Orville" brand, Aria, Greco, and others), and also made store-brand versions of the same guitars, it would not surprise me at all if this were a Japan store-brand version of what would otherwise have been an Aria Pro II EA-650B. I say that because if it were sold as an Aria, Greco, Orville, etc, it probably would have had the brand across the top.

    I have seen that model with a half dozen different headstock logos. Not sure if the 63 Special means anything. I dug around in Japanese google to see if I could find anything with that label on a truss rod cover and came up with zilch.

    Dug around separately to find this, which has a similar logo mark: https://www.vintage-guitar.de/fullresolution_143.html

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by travisty
    My first thought was that the logo on the headstock looked like an Aria version of the Gibson logo.

    Given that Matsumoko Kogyo made guitars for a lot of brands (including Japan Gibson's "Orville" brand, Aria, Greco, and others), and also made store-brand versions of the same guitars, it would not surprise me at all if this were a Japan store-brand version of what would otherwise have been an Aria Pro II EA-650B. I say that because if it were sold as an Aria, Greco, Orville, etc, it probably would have had the brand across the top.

    I have seen that model with a half dozen different headstock logos. Not sure if the 63 Special means anything. I dug around in Japanese google to see if I could find anything with that label on a truss rod cover and came up with zilch.

    Dug around separately to find this, which has a similar logo mark: Aria Aria Pro II model EA-650
    Thanks. That was really good work. Definitely the same inlay on the peg head and it doesn't strike me as the sort of inlay that would just pop up randomly. A couple other bits of info from the seller that I find intriguing: he claims that it has a Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard and when I asked abut the weight, he claims 6.1 lbs.

  5. #4

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    Nice looking guitar

  6. #5

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    I agree with Travisty. It looks like an Aria EA-650B. I've had one in the past.

    The spray job is bang on for Matsumoku, colours and shading.

    I wouldn't think it was an exact copy of an ES-175 63'.
    Could be wrong though so jump in with corrections anyone.

    It likely has a sound post in and is quite heavy. From memory that is what my 650B had.

    Matsumoku's Aria branded guitars lack a certain refinement for me. There Es-335 types and Epiphone models were far better.
    They are without doubt hand made or finished but perhaps not in the sense that means 'better'. I would say more ruff around the edges (the glue coming out to the neck inlays etc and the paint job often looks underwhelming).

    If I had £500-600 to spare I'd probably buy it if I hadn't had one before.
    I wouldn't guarantee you'd be over the moon about it. Play it first if you can.
    The price is fine.

  7. #6

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    Interestingly, I just picked up a Japanese 175 copy today for $75. No logo either, but it does have the Gibson style crown inlay on the peg head. The guitar came to me completely unassembled as the seller had planned to turn it into some kind of project. Fortunately, the only thing missing is the pick guard.

    As ArchtopHeaven describes it has no bracing, just a rather large sound post. As well it has no proper linings between sides and top/back plates. Unrefined sums it up nicely, but for $75 it's worth a shot.


  8. #7

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    My Sakura looks very similar. It has a sound post rather than bracing.Can anyone fill me in on this Japanese 175 copy-20201211_151138-jpg

  9. #8

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    Thanks guys. This was all really useful information and it helped me decide to pass. If it was a real bargain I might have given it a go but at that price and without being able to put my hands on it I just don't think it's worth the risk.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    Thanks guys. This was all really useful information and it helped me decide to pass. If it was a real bargain I might have given it a go but at that price and without being able to put my hands on it I just don't think it's worth the risk.
    You made the right call Jim.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by telephone
    Interestingly, I just picked up a Japanese 175 copy today for $75. No logo either, but it does have the Gibson style crown inlay on the peg head. The guitar came to me completely unassembled as the seller had planned to turn it into some kind of project. Fortunately, the only thing missing is the pick guard.

    As ArchtopHeaven describes it has no bracing, just a rather large sound post. As well it has no proper linings between sides and top/back plates. Unrefined sums it up nicely, but for $75 it's worth a shot.

    Bragain.

    I would suggest glueing some braces in or adding another sound post. Or just leaving it and see what happens.

  12. #11

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    Braces aren't necessarily mandatory. My 1953 Epiphone Century has no braces, and no evidence of ever having had them. There is no sagging, no depressed top, it looks just like it did when it came from the factory, AFAICT, and certainly like it did when it came to me almost 40 years ago. It's a rather thick plywood top, and presumably the same for back and sides. It's never had a soundpost that I know of, no evidence of anything at all ever being inside it other than the pickup wiring. It's not unusually loud, but it's loud for a plywood box.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    Bragain.

    I would suggest glueing some braces in or adding another sound post. Or just leaving it and see what happens.
    Gonna put it all back together and see what’s what. Will keep you “posted”.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    Bragain.

    I would suggest glueing some braces in or adding another sound post. Or just leaving it and see what happens.
    I agree with the latter. It’s lasted this long without sagging, so why rock the boat?

    I thought all Gibson archtops had bracing. I imagine not so important with a laminate guitar, but still surprising to me.