|Fuji Gen Gakki Factory|
These days there are a myriad of guitars and amplifiers made in the Far East or in Pacific Rim countries that are not just wonderful beginner instruments, but great professional guitars and basses as well. Of course the United States and Europe are turning out amazing guitars and basses that are more technologically advanced than ever before.
|1940's Harmony Patrician|
late 1940’s model Harmony Patrician and said, “Now here is a great guitar. Your kid will need a set of strings and a pitch pipe to tune it. That will be Twenty dollars.” I took it home on the bus.
Black Diamond String Company. I’m surprised Black Diamond Strings are still in the business of selling strings, because back in those days the strings came in only one size; Extra heavy. They made my fingers sore and stressed the guitars neck. But I persevered and learned to play basic chords at a local YMCA class.
|1965 Sears Catalog|
|My Band and my '57 Stratocaster - 1966|
The Strat also came with an original tweed case. As I recall it cost $150. I had no clue at the time it was a 1958 model.
Kay Model 703 amplifier. It had 3 odd tubes, a 35Z5 rectifier tube; a 50L6 model output tube, a 12AU6 preamp tube, 3 instrument inputs and a volume/on/off control and a tone control. I believe it had a 6” speaker with a transformer attached to the basket.
|'65 Fender Deluxe Reverb|
If you could afford it, Fender was offering some fine new guitars and amplifiers. You may recall 1965 was the year that CBS purchased the Fender Company and its assets. However there was still plenty of new old stock being sold in 1965. The big CBS changes would not take place for a few years.
Fender also came out with a Fender thin-line Electric guitar that was originally known as the known as Acoustic Electric and was later dubbed The Coronado.
In 1965 Fender also came out with several models of acoustic guitars including The Kingman, The Concert, The Newporter and The Shenandoah.
The Jazz Bass.
|1965 Mustang Bass|
However 1965 was also the first year for the short scale Fender Mustang bass.
|Fender Bass V|
|'65 Fender XII|
It also had a very interesting pickup switching electronics.
he Dual Showman.
Gibson Melody Maker.
The most likely Gibson to be seen on TV was the ES-335 or ES-345. It would be a few years before the Gibson Les Paul regained it's popularity.
In 1965 Gibson was also offering its unusual Firebird electric guitar and Thunderbird bass.
The Non-Reverse Firebird, which more or less resembled a Fender Jaguar/Jazzmaster.
|1965 Trini Lopez Standard|
|'65 Gibson Hawk|
|Gibson Minute Man|
|'65 Guild Starfire III|
|'65 Guild Thunderbird|
Zal Yanovsky of the Lovin' Spoonful played a Guild Thunderbird.
Guild also offered a budget version of this guitar with a slightly different shape called The Jetstar.
Guild's amplifiers were actually made by Valco.
Guild electric guitars from 1965 are excellent guitars, even the Gumby guitar is a great player. I've never used a Guld amplifier or run across one.
|'65 Gretsch Tennessean|
Duo-Jet.. He later purchase a double cutaway Country Gentleman. His first was destroyed in an automobile accident in 1965 when it fell off a lorrie.
brand was purchased by the Baldwin piano company which unfortunately did not do a very good job of maintaining this well-known old company.
Gretsch did offer amplifiers these amplifiers, they were actually made by the Valco Company.
Willie Nelson has been relying on his old Baldwin amp for years. Probably he most well known Baldwin amplifier was called The Exterminator. This was a huge beast with two 8-inch speakers, two 15-inch speakers, and two 12-inch speakers with 100 watts RMS.
You needed a couple of "roadies" and a large van to tote this amplifer to your gigs. Baldwin offered several other versions of solid-state amps; most were in the range of 40-45 watts RMS. Despite being well made they just did not sell in a market where Fender was king.
the choice of amplification for the Beatles and many of the other British invasion bands.
They were offering guitars too; and combo organs.. Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones was playing a lute-shaped Vox guitar.
Vox amplifiers and guitars.
|1965 Kent Guitars|
But what about us guys, with meager income, that spent the weekends in someone's basement or garage, hoping to be the next big thing or at least impress the ladies? There were plenty of guitars, basses and amplifiers available at bargain prices. And some were very good, and sought after in today's vintage market.
|1965 Sears Catalog|
We all know about their construction of Danelectro guitars which used Masonite tops mounted on a poplar wood frame with the pickup casings made of lipstick tubes.
|Dano' lipstick pickup|
The pickups inside the lipstick containers were made with alnico magnets. Most Danelectros were made in New Jersey and most were sold through Sears under the Silvertone logo. I knew so many young guys in 1965 that owned and learned on Danelectro/Silvertone guitars and basses.
|Silvertone Twin 12 - Model 1484|
The chassis was made of particle board, the speaker baffle was constructed of quarter inch masonite board and the amp was covered with a thin gray and black fabric.
The Airline brand of guitars were sold by Montgomery Wards. Many of these guitars were made by Valco (with encompassed National and Supro). These guitars and basses had modernistic Res-o-Glass bodies (fiberglass) and unique pickup arrangements. Some even came with a piezo element mounted in the guitars bridge.
Most amplifiers sold under the Airline brand were manufactured by Valco. This included a wonderful amp called the Supro Thunderbolt. I've profiled this amp before. It was marketed as a bass amp, but was better suited as a guitar amp.
True-Tone. The quality might not have been as good as Fender or Gibson, but they were respectable players and great starter instruments. Kay guitars, at the time, were made in Chicago.
The Harmony Guitars brand was actually purchased by Sears and the guitars and basses were manufactured by The Chicago Musical Instrument Company.
|Everett Hull on upright bass|
|Jesse Oliver with a B-15N portoflex|
|'65 Ampeg Reverb Rocket|
In 1965 Hagstrom guitars were made in Alvdalen Dalecarlia Sweden and distributed in the USA by the Hershman Musical Company, which at the time also distributed Swedish made Levin acoustic guitars. Some Hagstrom guitars resembled Fender instruments. In the U.K. they were sold under the Kent brand.
They called it "The King Neck". It had a unique I-Beam truss rod system.
The scale of most early models was somewhat shorter than Fender's 25.5" scale. The 24" scale was more suited to students.
|'65 Hagstrom F-400|
Supposedly this feature allowed the guitar to have an acoustic tone when played without an amp. It did not. As you can see from the models in the picture, the glue would someimes dissipate and the plastic section would fall off of the instrument.
The back was covered in some sort of fabric. The necks on this model guitar and bass were generally painted black, while more expensive Hagstrom guitars came with natural wood necks.
Carvin Guitars, was founded by Lowell Keisel and only sold guitars by mail through their catalog. They continue this practice today.. Though this comany has made great advancements on in house manufacturing, in 1965 these California assembled guitars were fairly basic.
The body was shaped, routed, sanded and painted at the factory while the necks and pickups were actually made by the Hofner company. During this year, many of their offerings resembled Fender guitar, although some had a rather odd design. In 1965 Carvin was a great alternative to imported guitars.
Teisco Del Ray guitars were built by Kawai Musical Instruments of Japan. The name was an acronym for Tokyo Electric Instrument and Sound Company. In 1965 the market was literally flooded with thousands of imports from Teisco, Guyatone, which built Kent guitars, Ibanez and dozens of nameless brands that jobbers would sell to retail stores.
|Teisco May Queen|
|1965 Univox amplifier|
Japanese transistor radios were just hitting the market and still expensive. Transistor electronics would be the first step in replacing vacuum tubes, but this was fairly new technology in 1965. In a few years Fender/CBS would try it's hand at a solid state amp, but it would be a dismal failure.
Kustom Amplifier. These were transistorized amplifiers that were designed and manufactured by Bud Ross of Chanute, Kansas.
500 watt amplifier head with a huge speaker cabinet that contained two or more 12 to 15 inch Jensen heavy duty speakers and all of them were eye-catching, especially with their blue and silver sparkle tuck and roll Naugahyde coverings.
Kapa guitars. These instruments were made by the Venneman Music Emporium in Hyattsville Maryland. The bodies were somewhat Fender-like as were the necks.
The necks and pickups were made by the Hofner Company of Germany. Compare them to the early Carvin necks. These guitars sold at half the price one would pay for a Fender guitar and Kapa guitars were great instruments. Kapa came out with an excellent 12 string model.
These guitars are treasures. If you have one, hang on to it.
In review 2015 offers a greatly improved selection of electric and acoustic guitars and basses due to advancements in manufacturing and better quality or parts, In my opinion this will lead to better instruments for young and seasoned players alike.
|Street price $1099,00 USD|
Enjoy what you have and by all means play your guitar!
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