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  • identify this old guitar

    this guitar came from a store in south jersey called saters music, it has no markings at all, i pulled one of the pick ups and looked inside, nothing. i think it is some kind of sales demo because the head stock has the letters "JOS" across the top and "SATERS" down the center. if you need more pictures let me know and ill e mail them to you.
    thanks
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    Last edited by scole; 04-17-2011, 07:42 PM. Reason: added pic url

  • #2
    I don't have a clue, but wanted to comment on it being very unique.
    The pickup covers look painted, and I think they are adjustable?
    The pickups and pickup rings look like one piece in the pictures?
    Maybe a Harmony?
    I like the Pickup selector also.
    Good Luck,
    Terry
    "If Hitler invaded Hell, I would make at least a favourable reference of the Devil in the House of Commons." Winston Churchill
    Terry

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    • #3
      the pickups are not adjustible, they are one piece plastic

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      • #4
        Any Luck on the Quest for Identification?
        T
        "If Hitler invaded Hell, I would make at least a favourable reference of the Devil in the House of Commons." Winston Churchill
        Terry

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        • #5
          Have a look on these sites. Recently referred to me from TB. i was currently looking for the name of some old soviet guitars.

          JunkGuitars.com
          http://www.lordbizarre.com/
          Vintage guitars, basses and effects from the communist Europe

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          • #6
            That guitar reeks of Kay! Good pics of the headstock, front and back, and some pics of the pickups and wiring would help a lot. From what I can see, it looks to be this:

            with these pickups under a molded plastic cover:

            I also wouldn't rule out a pre-Gibson Epiphone. There is a pre-"New York" Epiphone pickup that looks a lot like the ones on the OP's guitar and the body is similar to some old Epis:

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            • #7
              Interesting. Looks familiar, but I cannot place it. How about a pic of the headstock? The shape, even if there is no logo, could tell us more.

              From what I can see of the construction and finishing, it looks like like it was made in either the Kay or (most likely)Harmony factory in Chicago, because those knows and select lever are right off of the old Harmony H59 Rocket. The guitar is finished in nitro lacquer, which eliminates cheap imports, and it's a nicely-done burst over what appears to be a maple-faced plywood top. The only thing that's throwing me are the pickups. Never saw them before. However, Harmony and Kay did a lot of custom, private-label OEM work, so it could be related to that, and also why there's no branding on the guitar.
              John R. Frondelli
              dBm Pro Audio Services, New York, NY

              "Mediocre is the new 'Good' "

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              • #8
                i was just about to say "That guitar says Kay all over", when I scrolled down to Sweetfinger's post. So that's two votes.

                Just enter "Kay guitar" into an image seacrh and see what comes up. I think you'll see some strong similarities. What about the headstock? We don't see it in your pictures, but it tends to be a giveaway with Kays.

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                • #9
                  here are some head shots
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                  • #10
                    Open book narrow headstock and Waverly singles. This isn't helping.......OK. need gut shots of pickups/wiring.

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                    • #11
                      It's a Stewart Oriphonic.
                      I originally thought it is an early and obscure Guild, as many of the parts are the same as those appearing on some old Guild archtops, such as the tailpiece, tuners, single-layer binding, headstock, and the Fransch pickups(although the poles are offset, unlike every Fransch-equipped Guild I have seen). Then I stumbled upon this:

                      Folkway Music -- Instrument Gallery - Electric Guitars

                      It's about 2/3 down the page. Mystery solved.
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                      Here's another one closer to yours.
                      All sizes | Stewart Orophonic | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
                      Last edited by Plucky; 05-05-2011, 07:22 PM.

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                      • #12
                        wow, im impressed. i thought it was a cheep jap thing and it turns out to a rare american made peice. anybody know if its worth anything?

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                        • #13
                          I too spent a little time digging around trying to find an early Guild that matched. What a weird one. At that point the Stewart name was being applied to sub contracted builders. The headstock and tailpiece on the blonde one look totally Harmony, but the Daka-ware knobs and pickups look Kay. I'm sure that Harmony is the likely builder from looks and from info in the Wheeler book but I'd bet that the pickups are Kay made. They certainly aren't Dearmonds, which Harmony used on almost everything. Not a Gibson design either. The molded part is very similar to the Guild units, tho.

                          That's all fine- It is probably worth what any other cool Harmony or Kay archtop electric from the time period is worth in similar condition. Maybe around $500. is my guess.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sweetfinger View Post
                            The headstock and tailpiece on the blonde one look totally Harmony
                            The headstock is Gibson-derived, and the tailpiece on that one is Hofner.

                            I'm sure that Harmony is the likely builder from looks and from info in the Wheeler book but I'd bet that the pickups are Kay made... The molded part is very similar to the Guild units, tho.
                            The guitar would seem to have been made by "United Code". The pickups are, in fact, Fransch pickups, also known as Franz pickups. It is the same company that made the Guild pickups.

                            Now, in light of the Guild similarities previously observed, as well as the connection between Guild and the other companies which were populated with former Epiphone employees, here's where it gets interesting...

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                            Also, Scole, your guitar is safely worth over a thousand dollars.
                            Last edited by Plucky; 05-07-2011, 10:47 AM.

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                            • #15
                              heres a close of the tail and controls
                              Attached Files

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