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Thread: Please identify these pickups

  1. #1
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    Please identify these pickups - SOLVED!

    This one is solved!

    These are original Ibanez pickups. It's a model 2391 with these weird mics originally .

    http://www.ibanez.co.jp/anniversary/...cat_id=1&now=2

    Thank you and sorry for bothering!

    -Leka

    >Hello!
    >
    >I was wondering if some of you pickup-gurus could identify the pickups which came in my recent guitar buy.
    >I am guessing that the guitar itself is ~1973 Ibanez Les Paul and it has some strange pickups in it which I think are not original ones. >They do sound great but I've never seen this kind of pups and I am really curious what they are.
    >
    >Please help!
    >
    >- Leka
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails pup_down.jpg   pup_up.jpg  
    Last edited by Leka; 07-30-2008 at 02:43 PM. Reason: Problem solved!

  2. #2
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    I had the same pickups in my first decent guitar, a Sekova Les Paul copy. They had closed covers, but when I took the covers off that was what the pickups looked like.

    Probably a very common Japanese pickup at the time.

    [EDIT]

    I looked at that catalog page. The Les Paul Custom clone was exactly the same as my guitar, same knobs and inlays, except mine was black on the top, and had the same pickups, but with closed covers. I ended up stripping the top on mine like that to look like Mick Ronson's guitar.

    I guess the guitars were marketed under different names. I don't recall seeing Ibanez back then, but Sekova was common. Mine was also from 1970-1971.
    Last edited by David Schwab; 07-30-2008 at 07:47 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    I had the same pickups in my first decent guitar, a Sekova Les Paul copy. They had closed covers, but when I took the covers off that was what the pickups looked like....
    Probably a very common Japanese pickup at the time....
    I guess the guitars were marketed under different names. I don't recall seeing Ibanez back then, but Sekova was common. Mine was also from 1970-1971.
    Its a good bet that Sekova and Ibanez were out of the same factory. I've seen several very early Ibanez models from before tha 'copy era' that have corresponding Sekova branded twins. Those pickups may well be original to the guitar. There are Ibanez nuts out there who could tell you more than you'd ever want to know, but I am only 'generally' knowledgable when it comes to early Ibanez.

  4. #4
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    The pickups are probably produced by Maxon. They look very similar from the Maxon pickups I ripped out of an "Emperador" Les Paul DeLuxe Asian made (rumour has it that it was a pre Ibanez label guitar). Those had covers, but I couldn?t resist a peak inside. The marking on the back and the glue (jupp no solder here) that keep the cover on looks exactly the same.

  5. #5
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Naglitsch View Post
    The pickups are probably produced by Maxon. They look very similar from the Maxon pickups I ripped out of an "Emperador" Les Paul DeLuxe Asian made (rumour has it that it was a pre Ibanez label guitar). Those had covers, but I couldn?t resist a peak inside. The marking on the back and the glue (jupp no solder here) that keep the cover on looks exactly the same.
    Yes, Maxon. I was trying to think of that. My Sekova also had the covers glued on.

    The slug side is interesting because it's not separate "slugs" but a bar shaped like that.

    Ibanez has been around a long time. Hoshino Gakki started in 1908! They started aking instruments in 1935. I always thought it was funny they used a Spanish name, but they were importing hand made guitars by the luthier Salvador Ibanez. But they've been using the name Ibanez on electrics since 1957. But Hoshino Gakki probably made a lot of other brands to. Starting in 1969 they started using the FujiGen factory who also made Yamaha and Greco guitars. Dyna Gakki who makes Fender and Gretsch also made Ibanez guitars for Hoshino Gakki, and Greco guitars for Kanda Shokai.

    So you start to see the connections between Japanese guitars! Then they use the same OEM pickups and parts, etc.

    Here's a Roland guitar synth made in the FujiGen factory. You can see the big triple coil pickup that Ibanez used on some of the Iceman guitars!

    Last edited by David Schwab; 07-31-2008 at 05:44 PM.
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein

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  6. #6
    Senior Member LtKojak's Avatar
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    Exclamation Emperador, you said...?

    Emperador guitars:

    "Instruments previously built in Japan by the Kasuga company circa 1966 to 1992. Distributed by Westheimer Musical Instruments of Chicago, Illinois.

    The Emperador trademark was a brand name used in the U.S. market by the Westheimer Musical Instruments of Chicago, Illinois as the company's entry level line to their Cort products line through the years. Emperador models are usually shorter-scaled entry level instruments, and can be found on both jazz-style thinline acoustic/electric archtops and solid body electric guitars and basses.

    Gibson sued the company sometime in the late 1970's in order to prevent any more Gibson copies being made by them.

    Jack Westheimer, who was one of the earliest (and most influential) importers to cultivate Japanese manufacturing in the years surrounding 1960. And it was Westheimer who, along with folks like Jerry Freed and Tommy Moore, brought Korea to the point where today more than half of all guitars made in the world come from that Asian peninsula.

    Teisco del Rey and Kingston were not the only brand names associated with Jack Westheimer. Another, which would have added significance today, was Cortez. Cortez would be important because it's from that moniker that today's Cort brand derived, in abbreviated form.

    The Cortez brand name dates bact to around '60, and the beginning of our tale. The Cortez brand was given (by Westheimer) to a line of good-quality Martin-style dreadnoughts manufactured in Japan by the Hiyashi (or Yashi?) factory. Westheimer dispatched some of his staff to visit the factory and work with them to develop the product, resulting in Cortez acoustic guitars. Remember, guitars were still called Spanish guitars in those days, an appellation that has fallen by the wayside; hence, the "Spanish" names like Cortez and del Rey. According to Westheimer, Hiyashi was one of the top Japanese acoustic factories, and it was responsible for many Cortez and Emperador acoustics. Hiyashi was bought out by Pearl sometime in the early '70s and that marked the end of its glory days.

    Again, no reference materials are available to document Cortez guitars in detail.

    Westheimer recalls one acoustic/electric model made by Hiyashi carrying his Emperador brand that was actually played by the Everly Brothers. Fewer than 180 of those guitars were imported because they just didn't catch on. One day, the Everly Brothers' manager called Westheimer to see if any more could be obtained because the Everly's guitars had run into repair problems. Westheimer was able to locate several examples in various warehouses and got them to the crooners. He still gets requests for that guitar."

    For the happy owners of an Emperador guitar such as myself, that's the only little bit of information about this brand I could come up with.

    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy

  7. #7
    Senior Member TD_Madden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    I had the same pickups in my first decent guitar, a Sekova Les Paul copy. They had closed covers, but when I took the covers off that was what the pickups looked like.

    Probably a very common Japanese pickup at the time.

    [EDIT]

    I looked at that catalog page. The Les Paul Custom clone was exactly the same as my guitar, same knobs and inlays, except mine was black on the top, and had the same pickups, but with closed covers. I ended up stripping the top on mine like that to look like Mick Ronson's guitar.

    I guess the guitars were marketed under different names. I don't recall seeing Ibanez back then, but Sekova was common. Mine was also from 1970-1971.
    My '77 Electra Omega had a bridge pickup like that.

  8. #8
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TD_Madden View Post
    My '77 Electra Omega had a bridge pickup like that.
    I remember that guitar!
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein

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  9. #9
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    Thanks for the Emperador info Peppe. I think that there might be more than one Emperador brand out there. My research gave at hand (on forums now defunct) that the Emperador I have is made in Asia by some company that had some cooperation with the Ibanez distributor before Ibanez actually started to make electric guitars.

    Looking through Dave?s post I see that things seem to be even more complicated when trying to understand the correlations between early Asian guitar building companies.

    My Maxon pickup also had that bar instead of slugs.

  10. #10
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    Thank you all for the info!!

    I have now tuned the guitar and it feels and sounds really good.
    These pickups are giving me a quite unique sound which I like a lot!

    - Leka

  11. #11
    Senior Member LtKojak's Avatar
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    Cool My #1 baby is an Emperador...

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Naglitsch View Post
    Thanks for the Emperador info Peppe. I think that there might be more than one Emperador brand out there. My research gave at hand (on forums now defunct) that the Emperador I have is made in Asia by some company that had some cooperation with the Ibanez distributor before Ibanez actually started to make electric guitars.

    Looking through Dave's post I see that things seem to be even more complicated when trying to understand the correlations between early Asian guitar building companies.

    My Maxon pickup also had that bar instead of slugs.
    Well... Jack Westheimer would use a different factory in Japan or Corea for every model ordered so it was easy to pinpoint the origin of the faulty ones to be send back to repair and/or change. I was told he was a very hard but fair business man that cared about what he was selling.

    As a rule of thumb, the solid body ones were made in Japan, the Acoustic ones in Corea at the now known as Cort factory, and the nylon string ones changed factory at every order made, so it's very difficult to know where they come from.

    I've bought my 335 copy at a pawnshop (in Italy) for next to nothing! The research I've made showed me that it was made in 1967 at the Kasuga factory and it was one of the first ones arrived in the US. The craftmanship is top notch, the hardware was so-so. It came with a couple of 12K Gotoh HB p'ups that didn't sound bad at all once I took off the golden covers. The neck one is double black the bridge one in double cream.

    After I've put good pots and caps, Grover tuners, Tone Pros bridge and tailpiece and Duncan p'ups it became one instrument that can give any Gibson CS a run for its money, and then some.

    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy
    Last edited by LtKojak; 08-05-2008 at 02:33 PM.

  12. #12
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    Emperador- Les Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak View Post
    Well... Jack Westheimer would use a different factory in Japan or Corea for every model ordered so it was easy to pinpoint the origin of the faulty ones to be send back to repair and/or change. I was told he was a very hard but fair business man that cared about what he was selling.

    As a rule of thumb, the solid body ones were made in Japan, the Acoustic ones in Corea at the now known as Cort factory, and the nylon string ones changed factory at every order made, so it's very difficult to know where they come from.

    I've bought my 335 copy at a pawnshop (in Italy) for next to nothing! The research I've made showed me that it was made in 1967 at the Kasuga factory and it was one of the first ones arrived in the US. The craftmanship is top notch, the hardware was so-so. It came with a couple of 12K Gotoh HB p'ups that didn't sound bad at all once I took off the golden covers. The neck one is double black the bridge one in double cream.

    After I've put good pots and caps, Grover tuners, Tone Pros bridge and tailpiece and Duncan p'ups it became one instrument that can give any Gibson CS a run for its money, and then some.

    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy
    I bought an emperador les paul copy in 1969 and I still have it. It was a great quality guitar other than some of the hardware as mentioned. I did the same and upgraded the hardware with, lollar pickups, Grovers, Gotoh bridge, Buzz Feiten nut, Pagebucker wiring, etc. Although it has been played a lot over the years, the body looks in new condition and has fantanstic quality feel. The sound it produces is just great now. Originally paid about $150Cdn.

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