Guitar Brand Names

(By Jimmy Noise / Mach 2013)






One of the most difficult parts of collecting Japanese guitars is identifying which factory in Japan made them. There has been over 300 brands identified that were used on Japanese guitars during the 1960ís era.The question is why are there so many and how can this help?


To understand this a bit better, one needs to understand what a brand name is and who actually owns it. A brand name is a name that a company owns and can place on their products.The names are usually registered; however a lot of these guitar brand names used, were not registered in the 1960ís. Some were small one time orders for small shops etc, that would not justify applying for a patent.


In some cases the band name matches the company name. For example Fender Musical Instruments owns the brand name Fender, and this can be applied to any product that they wish to sell. These products may be made in a factory that the company owns or purchased from other manufactures. ie a guitar made in the USA factory or a guitar that is made in another factory that is not owned by fender, can both have the Fender brand name. Fender also owns the brand name Squire. Like the Fender name, the company can apply this to any product they wish.


Some companies actually donít have any factories to produce products. They only own a brand name (or more than one), which is applied to products that they purchase from various suppliers. This is the type of company that most of the brand names used on vintage 1960ís guitars originate from.


Some Japanese companies / manufactures only used the brand names requested by their clients, and did not have a brand name that matched their company name. An example of this would be the Hitachi company that produced the Splender brand name.Other Japanese companies used their company name as a brand name. Examples of these are Guyatone and Kawai. These companies also produced alternative brands as requested by there clients.


Understanding the above allows the brand name issue to be examined in more depth. Understanding who owns the brand name, allows us to determine if a brand name is sourced from one factory or multiple factories.




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(Last Revised: 19th of Mar 2013.)


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