High-End MIJ (Made in Japan) Guitar Manufacturers
Please note that the following manufacturers are selected by myself.
I played these guitar for a while and felt I should say these are High-End.
There are several high-end manufacturers here in Japan. Some of them are very big
organization which are doing a large OEM production for specific Brand name.
Beside those organization, there are many small hand crafted manufacturers.
I would like to add these one by one, However, if you have any idea, please let me know.
As you may know, I have sold many Japanese vintage guitars on this WEB. Many guitarist and
collectors asked me "Do you knew the best guitar ?" It's very difficult to answer.
However, I think these brand guitars are one of my answer !
We don't have any authorized distrobution ship with below manufacturers. We could offer only their second hand guitars from our stock list. We could look for the particlar guitar, if you would like to get. Please contact us in case. We are not in the position to introduce these
manufacturers for you.
AKAI Professional (Discontinued)
This brand was distributed by Akai but only 1 year. The design was done by Mr. H.Shiino (Vestax) and his staff. Very few production, it is very difficult to find out even in Japan
.I personally feel this is updated Vestax guitar using new design and technology.But very regretfully, Akai had a financial trouble and re-organzie the products line.
I recently got the detailed information of Akai guitars detailed. Please check the Akai Guitar
This brand was distributed by Flex Corporation, In Nagoya City. But I'm not sure which manufacturer is actually building this guitar. It is very famous that Mr. D.T.Walker has an endorsement. I'm also not sure whether Artex is still available or not.
They are mainly producing the guitar as custom order made. We can see their catalog model,
however, most of Artex guitars on the market is not listed their catalog.
Very good wood material and great craftsman-ship.
Very famous as the Bass Manufacturer here. One of their Builder, Mr. Masu Hino, is offering the
good hand crafted guitars too.
Well, most famous, big guitar manufacturers here. They used to supply Greco, Aria, Fender Japan, Gibson Japan (Orville by Gibson) and Ibanez guitar. They are currently offering their original Fujigen Brand, (FGN). Their custom shop made guitars are great.
Killer Brand was established for Mr. Akira Takasaki, famous Hard Rock Guitarist, here.
The brand name was made as private label, it became the company name now.
They are offering only original model and it looks pretty hard Rock.
I personally don't like odd designed. So when I was young, never touch Killer guitars.
However, I bought a Killer guitar as a request of my client. I played a bit when I got it.
It is really super Hard Rock Guitar !
MATSUSHITA Craft (Seen)
Matsushita Craft was established about 25 years ago. When I was young, I visited them
in the summer time, I remember Mr. Matsushita gave me a quite professional advice.
They are mainly doing the repairing of guitars. Many Japanese professional players are
asking them to maintain their guitars.
The "Seen" is a their original brand. It is very regretfully, I never owned their guitar.
However, I knew their repairing and assembling, it should be very good guitars.
I would try to get their guitars and would like to introduce this high grade guitars for you.
Mr. Yasuo Momose who has been producing the guitar over 30 years. I have heard that he has been producing the acoustic guitar at first. However, he made many electric guitars.
Now, he became a top High-End Guitar builder here.
ORNETTS(Discontinued, Now producing Greco, Zemaitis)
The manufacturer name is "High-End Guitars". I have heard that they are subsidiary of Kanda Shokai. They have started as Valley Arts Japan. The, They made the Musicman Axis (Japanese made OEM Musicman). Ornetts is their own brand using very high class wood materials.
Now, I have heard that they are manufacturing the "ZEMAITIS" guitars. (Greco-Zemaitis is made by Tokai Gakki, I've heard)
PGM - Moon - VanZandt
When I was a Univ. Student, I was working at music store as a part time job.
I still remember that they came to us several times to start the Moon Brand guitars.
It was just like Shecter USA using good wood and hardware. Many musicians started to use
Moon guitars and basses as high end products. Now, their production section became the
independent company which named PGM. PGM is supplying their guitar for Moon, Vanzandt
and other (Joe Barden guitars too).
I saw this brand on the book first. It should be several years ago. Last year, I visited
Musical Instruments exhibition here and stopped at their booth.
I like their guitars very much. Good materials and good craftsman ship.
They, Takahashi Brothers --- should be the twins ? , started this company about 20 years ago.
They have got many OEM business too. They offered many good guitars now.
VESTA GRAPHAM, BossAxe, Vestax and D'Angelico
This brand was sold by Vestax (Shiino Sogyo Co.,d Ltd) many years ago. I have heard
Mr.Shiino was used to work for Yamaha. He made most of standard specification of Yamaha Guitars. In late 70's, he started his own company. First time, I knew them as a guitar parts
distributor (it said PACO). I personally purchased many, I remember.
Vestax offered many great guitars as "Vesta Graham" and "Bossaxe"I clearly remember these are very high grade guitars. After that, Vestax changed the brand name as "Vestax" or "mashroom" Later, they started D'Angelico guitars in Japan. D'Angelico guitar is still available.
Please note that we could see Korean and Chinese made D'Angelico without licence contract.