Pearl Telecaster from Matsumoku factory ?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Frakbak, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Frakbak

    Frakbak NEW MEMBER!

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    Hi there everyone. This is my first post on the telecaster forum.
    Just recently i bought my first Telecaster guitar.

    The guy i bought it from told me that is as made in the 70's in japan in the matsumoku Factory.
    After coming home and inspecting it a little better, I could not find a serie number anywhere on the guitar. It only says Pearl on the headstock. I've looked online but can't seem to find any information about this guitar, and was hoping that somebody on this forum might knows more about it.

    I inserted some pictures from the guitar. I opened the guitar up and could not find any information there either. Only in the neck pocket there is some scrible that I can't decipher. IMG_0059.JPG IMG_0528.JPG IMG_0552.JPG IMG_2558.JPG IMG_3027.JPG IMG_5040.JPG IMG_5143.JPG IMG_8947.JPG IMG_9577.JPG
    IMG_5510.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  2. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    It looks about right for the late 70s. Blank neck plates and no serial numbers were the norm back then for "cheap copies" as they were known (some very nice guitars though and they weren't that cheap either).
     
  3. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Nice looking Tele, congrats.

    If I don't miss my guess, that logo looks just like the Pearl drums logo. Maybe they tried branching out into guitars for a time. First one I've ever seen.

    [​IMG]

    - D
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  4. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Afflicted

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    the fretboard looks beautiful!
     
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  5. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Poster Extraordinaire

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    I thought the same thing---dead ringer for a Pearl drum logo.
     
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  6. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    Well, they definitely made effects pedals for awhile, but that was in the 80's, I think. I remember the ads in Guitar Player, and I think I actually had a brochure for their effects range. So I suppose a guitar range is possible, but if it was during the time I'm thinking of, wouldn't they have been obligated to change the headstock shape? Or could they have had a deal similar to what Schecter had with Fender, which allowed Schecter to use the Fender style headstocks?
     
  7. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    That's why I said late 70s, but this side of the pond the headstock shape was never such an issue. Some manufacturers have never changed them to this day for European market.
     
  8. Velorex

    Velorex Tele-Meister

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    Pearls were very common in the 70s in Germany.
    They copied also Strats and Gibsons.
    I had a later Vorg by Pearl Tele.
    The neck was shorter than Fender , check yours.
    Fine quality guitars, lousy tuners and pickups.

    velorex
     
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  9. Frakbak

    Frakbak NEW MEMBER!

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    Turns out Matsumoku made some electric guitars for Pearl back then. Unfortunately a previous owner tried to "upgrade" the electronics. but failed to do so. Yesterday when cleaning it out and rebuilding it I also found a little surprise under the pick guard. Clearly somebody wanted to install a thirth pick up, but gave up after doing quite some damage
     

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  10. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    And that brings up something I've always wondered about, because my understanding is companies like ESP, for the guitars that are actually meant for the Japanese market, they still use the original headstocks. Apparently, some collectors pay big money to buy the guitars from Japanese dealers and have them shipped Stateside.
     
  11. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    That's the beauty of the pickguard. The rout is but an afterthought and won't affect anything.

    If you got it for a good price and it's straight with a lot of fret life left, you did a good job. A call to pearl might yield what years they marketed telecasters and who made them for them. Or, an email - that would give you something to stuff in the case if you ever decide to turn it over.

    Looks like the last several frets could be leveled/crowned and polished to remove the gritty lines on them.

    Lots of references on line to Matsumoku making pearl electrics and hayashi making pearl acoustics.

    Neck pocket scribble is probably kanji. It's hard enough to track down what it is when it's printed, let alone written.
     
  12. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    They've always been available here, Fender doesn't have the clout here that it does in the US, they couldn't keep them out.
     
  13. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    I've had a gaggle of guitars shipped over here with gibson style pegheads, and never a problem. The peghead thing is trade dress related based on the assumption that it is an identifiable brand characteristic while certain generalized shapes are not. If you're not selling a guitar in the US, most other countries don't care. (ever find someone over here chewing us out about something identifiable on a yamaha saxophone? Who cares, it's meaningless to us, right?).

    Lots of tokai guitars with fender peghead shapes (and plenty of others), gibson peghead shapes, etc, and epiphones marketed in japan with the gibson open book peghead shape.

    You have to get a pretty good deal on any of those to make them worth the trouble of getting into the united states, because nothing really sells as well as a guitar that says fender or gibson on it along with the shape. BTDT.

    Customs has never bothered me about peghead shape, but if someone started retailing those guitars here with that peghead shape, there'd be a problem - and it would be initiated by whoever was being infringed upon. tokai and others, AFAIK, never had any actual legal trouble, but refuse to market their guitars here because they're not looking for any.
     
  14. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    Very interesting to hear all that. So you say none of the Japanese companies never had any actual legal trouble, but I had the understanding that Fender and Gibson went after companies like Ibanez in the late 70's. That was why they had to change the headstocks for the US market. Or was it just a "cease and desist" order, not any actual lawsuits?

    Makes me think of a modular synthesizer company that makes what they call the Post-lawsuit filter, which is based on the filter ARP introduced after MOog basically told them to stop copying their filters (which they actually had a patent on). They admit there was no actual "lawsuit", but "Ambiguous Legal Action Filter" didn't have the same ring to it. lol
     
  15. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    Tokai didn't have legal trouble that I'm aware of. I'm not sure if ibanez, et. al settled with gibson and fender or if they were actually sued, but I've got a small fascination with tokai because if you know which ones to get, they are about half the price of gibson guitars and pretty much equivalent or better. Their regular run stuff sometimes suffers the same ills as quickly made gibsons.

    Lots of other makers (Edwards - ESP, IIRC), Yamaha (no longer making LP copies that I know of, but made a lot), Burny (fernandes parent), Navigator (not sure who that maker is, but they're expensive)...not sure who got sued and who didn't.

    One issue with the guitars that are 40 years old from the lawsuit era is that a lot of them were actually played a lot. It's not like today where people buy 10 guitars and play 2. And everything moves over time.

    But, as far as who actually settled, decisted, etc, I'm not sure who did what. i don't think tokai got in any actual trouble, but rather backed out before they did. Which is a bummer (their original top end LP copies made the "old" way when gibson was gluing 4/4 material together are collectors items, so I've never gotten my hands on one. )
     
  16. jim777

    jim777 Tele-Meister

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    Gibson went after Ibanez (Hoshino really, Ibanez is the name of Hoshino's big brand)for the "open book" headstock shape in the 70's. That was pretty much it. It was enough though that lots of companies changed their practices so they weren't next, but the only lawsuit of the "lawsuit era" was Gibson going after Ibanez for the open book headstock and "squished frog" inlay.
    Anlther tidbit, Ibanez does not have a guitar factory and never did. Companies like Matsumoku and Fuji-Gen Gakki would build anything you ordered from them so Hoshino-gakki did. As a matter of fact Ibanez has been moving their current Japanese production to other factories in Japan because Fuji-Gen is mostly making wooden parts and inserts for car dashboards and interiors these days.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  17. perttime

    perttime Friend of Leo's

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    So Ibanez went and designed the best looking headstock - ever - for their Artist series.

    AR.JPG
     
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  18. rob2

    rob2 Tele-Holic

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    I had one of these years ago,fine quality Tele,mine was blonde with standard die-cast knurled Tele knobs and a black bobbin bridge pickup..my faded memory was of split post tuners too but when I see your photo they could have been this type...
    Sadly,combined with my "playing" through a Marlboro G40R the poor Pearl wasn't done justice and probably had much the same sonic footprint as fingernails down a blackboard.....
    There were a few Pearl instruments around,Jazz and Precision basses especially and if I remember correctly set neck Gibson clones...I also have a memory of a Silverface twin like amp?....don't think I ever saw a Strat though....
    I always wondered about the drum association as the logo is the same but assume it most likely that it was a distributor in UK/Europe who arranged for that....if so a valid link quality wise,though not quite up to the Tokais when they emerged but pretty much on a par with the early Squires from what I recall.
    It was a huge step up from my first "Tele",a Dali-esque take on Leo's design,badged Shaftesbury,made in Italy.....
    I traded the Pearl for a featherweight '69 which I still have and while it was better sounding and feeling there wasn't the same shocking leap forward the Pearl had been over the Shaftesbury!
     
  19. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, I understand that a lot of guitar companies in Japan are based out of the same handful of factories. So, for instance, Ibanez and Greco guitars have a lot of similarities, because they're instruments are both made at Fuji-Gen Gakki. From what I gather, the Ibanez Iceman (well, the one with the simple electronics, not the fancy ones with the EQ and triple coil pickup) and the Greco Mirage are exactly the same guitar, except for the headstock inlay.

    I believe the Roland G series guitars that went with their 80's era guitar synths were also made at the same factory, which is probably why the body style on the G-505 and G-202 were similar to the Ibanez Roadstars, and the G-303 and G-808 (as well as the G-88B bass) were similar to models that Greco marketed (but without the synth electronics).

    I also remember there were a few companies back in the 60's that all had almost exactly the same models, save for the pickups. I'm thinking of St.George, Teisco, and maybe one other. I recall there was an article on "pawnshop prizes" in Guitar Player back in the 80's, sort of the precursor to the Off The Wall column, that showed three such guitars, from three different companies, all had the same bodies, pickguards, bridge assemblies, etc. Only the pickups were different (and the one baritone guitar had a hole cut in the body).
     
  20. jim777

    jim777 Tele-Meister

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    The GR-808 was basically an Ibanez Musician.
     
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