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OK, I know it's a Memphis...

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  • OK, I know it's a Memphis...

    ...and I know Memphis used to be a sub-company of Yamaha in the 1970s to mid-1980s, until Gibson sued them out of existence. I *think* they were made somewhere in Asia, but I'm not completely sure on that count, so...

    I'm looking for a date and model number on this rather nice-looking, if slightly beat-up Memphis guitar I picked up second-hand for my daughter:

    Here is a shot of the original gear box. I have replaced it, for obvious reasons:



    Here's the main body:



    A closeup of the tailpiece and bridge:



    The headstock (with new pegs):



    Any ideas? The shot of the headstock is closest to the actual color of the guitar. It's a cream-white, and slightly darker than the headstock shot shows. #!@%^$! flash!
    How I Make Music...
    Acoustic Guitars - Yamaha FG-480S (Dove version - "Kit") * Seagull S12+ ("Perth") * Hyostar SF811 ("Bren")
    Classical Guitars Tacoma Olympia OC-2 * Strunal C870
    Electric Guitars - Memphis (model unknown)
    Keyboards - Casio CTK-573
    Other Instruments - Mid-East Mfg. 22-string Heather Harp ("Thorn") * German factory-made 4/4 Cello, c.1865 ("Max")
    Musical Notation Software - Finale Notepad
    Voice - Contralto

  • #2
    that looks cool! My first guitar was a Memphis from 1985 or so. It was a flying V so I called it the Tennevee
    _________________________________________________

    stuff:
    52RI Tele
    Gibson SG 1970s Tribute
    more stuff:
    65 Twin Reverb Reissue
    Cox Tweed Deluxe Ultimate


    The REAL Angry

    Comment


    • #3
      @Angry Tele - I think it's going to sound pretty nice, once I pick up a practice amp. It BIT me, though, when I was taking the old strings off... stabbed me right in my left index finger! YEOWTCH! Puts the kabosh on me playing for very long until it heals up... I hate it when strings do the stabbity-thing... ESPECIALLY high E-strings. :-/
      How I Make Music...
      Acoustic Guitars - Yamaha FG-480S (Dove version - "Kit") * Seagull S12+ ("Perth") * Hyostar SF811 ("Bren")
      Classical Guitars Tacoma Olympia OC-2 * Strunal C870
      Electric Guitars - Memphis (model unknown)
      Keyboards - Casio CTK-573
      Other Instruments - Mid-East Mfg. 22-string Heather Harp ("Thorn") * German factory-made 4/4 Cello, c.1865 ("Max")
      Musical Notation Software - Finale Notepad
      Voice - Contralto

      Comment


      • #4
        the nut looks like a nightmare
        _________________________________________________

        stuff:
        52RI Tele
        Gibson SG 1970s Tribute
        more stuff:
        65 Twin Reverb Reissue
        Cox Tweed Deluxe Ultimate


        The REAL Angry

        Comment


        • #5
          @Angry Tele - Actually, the nut isn't too bad... the tailpiece is ... interesting? I'd say that's a good adjective for it. I've seen a few like it before. This is a really crude drawing of a cutaway... it's got six "slots" where you hook the ball end of the string into place.

          How I Make Music...
          Acoustic Guitars - Yamaha FG-480S (Dove version - "Kit") * Seagull S12+ ("Perth") * Hyostar SF811 ("Bren")
          Classical Guitars Tacoma Olympia OC-2 * Strunal C870
          Electric Guitars - Memphis (model unknown)
          Keyboards - Casio CTK-573
          Other Instruments - Mid-East Mfg. 22-string Heather Harp ("Thorn") * German factory-made 4/4 Cello, c.1865 ("Max")
          Musical Notation Software - Finale Notepad
          Voice - Contralto

          Comment


          • #6
            I am intrigued by the pickup and its placement.

            Comment


            • #7
              Nothing wrong with a Memphis. I still have my Memphis strat clone which was my first guitar. Although the only left that is original is the tone pots and the body.

              That body looks pretty cool.
              Pickups and Parts For Sale...

              WTB BG Pups
              Good deals with Guitarzan1143, diceman1000, narwhal, playdabluze, GibsonVman, TFM53

              Comment


              • #8
                @ugameus - The pickup is right in the middle of where you'd be strumming the guitar... it's very likely going to be hit several times as my daughter learns to play. The label, which is the silver-looking thing underneath the pickup, reads "FIREPOWER BLADE PICKUPS" if you look at it really closely (it's rubbed off pretty badly). I can't get a decent photo of the pickups - bad lighting, and flash = problems - but I'll draw them when I get to work tomorrow and have Visio to work with... :-)
                How I Make Music...
                Acoustic Guitars - Yamaha FG-480S (Dove version - "Kit") * Seagull S12+ ("Perth") * Hyostar SF811 ("Bren")
                Classical Guitars Tacoma Olympia OC-2 * Strunal C870
                Electric Guitars - Memphis (model unknown)
                Keyboards - Casio CTK-573
                Other Instruments - Mid-East Mfg. 22-string Heather Harp ("Thorn") * German factory-made 4/4 Cello, c.1865 ("Max")
                Musical Notation Software - Finale Notepad
                Voice - Contralto

                Comment


                • #9
                  @megawzrd - It's really nice-looking, especially for a $50 used guitar. I dropped nearly that much replacing the tuning pegs, but they were totally hosed. One of the heads had sheared off, and one of the pegs was missing the screw that held it in place, so when I pulled the strings, it fell out...

                  I really should have taken the pickups out and given the whole guts a good cleaning, but I didn't - mainly because when I tried to take the tailpiece off, I discovered that half the screws holding it in place were badly stripped out. :-p
                  How I Make Music...
                  Acoustic Guitars - Yamaha FG-480S (Dove version - "Kit") * Seagull S12+ ("Perth") * Hyostar SF811 ("Bren")
                  Classical Guitars Tacoma Olympia OC-2 * Strunal C870
                  Electric Guitars - Memphis (model unknown)
                  Keyboards - Casio CTK-573
                  Other Instruments - Mid-East Mfg. 22-string Heather Harp ("Thorn") * German factory-made 4/4 Cello, c.1865 ("Max")
                  Musical Notation Software - Finale Notepad
                  Voice - Contralto

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I like blade pickups. How does it sound? I would be half tempted to have it rewound if it doesn't sound that good. It looks killer.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      @ugameus I haven't managed to hook it up to an amplifier yet, due to not owning one - I'll pick up a practice amp tomorrow or Saturday and let you know, though. The pickups are pretty darned ancient - look to be original to the guitar. Without an amp, it sounded pretty good. It's got adjustable action, and I have it set pretty gentle right now, especially given my very sore index finger! :-(

                      Two guitars restrung tonight... and three to go, including a 12-string. I have GOT to find my peg-winder!!!
                      How I Make Music...
                      Acoustic Guitars - Yamaha FG-480S (Dove version - "Kit") * Seagull S12+ ("Perth") * Hyostar SF811 ("Bren")
                      Classical Guitars Tacoma Olympia OC-2 * Strunal C870
                      Electric Guitars - Memphis (model unknown)
                      Keyboards - Casio CTK-573
                      Other Instruments - Mid-East Mfg. 22-string Heather Harp ("Thorn") * German factory-made 4/4 Cello, c.1865 ("Max")
                      Musical Notation Software - Finale Notepad
                      Voice - Contralto

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        @Angry Tele - The Tennevee?! Oi, that's a HORRIBLE name, LOL! I love it!!! <3 Very punny.

                        I haven't named this one yet... we shall see!
                        How I Make Music...
                        Acoustic Guitars - Yamaha FG-480S (Dove version - "Kit") * Seagull S12+ ("Perth") * Hyostar SF811 ("Bren")
                        Classical Guitars Tacoma Olympia OC-2 * Strunal C870
                        Electric Guitars - Memphis (model unknown)
                        Keyboards - Casio CTK-573
                        Other Instruments - Mid-East Mfg. 22-string Heather Harp ("Thorn") * German factory-made 4/4 Cello, c.1865 ("Max")
                        Musical Notation Software - Finale Notepad
                        Voice - Contralto

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've never heard of Memphis having anything to do with Yamaha. Nor have I ever heard of them being sued about anything.
                          Some Ramblings from Mr. Gueguen
                          http://timgueguen.blogspot.com

                          Saskatoon At 7 Megapixels
                          http://saskatoonseven.blogspot.com

                          A Magpie Moment.

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxBVa9D0-J4

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've never heard of Memphis having anything to do with Yamaha. Nor have I ever heard of them being sued about anything.


                            Me neither but to be fair, Ive never heard anybody ever speak of them about anything. My first band we all had the same flying V Memphis so I was forced to play drums haha
                            _________________________________________________

                            stuff:
                            52RI Tele
                            Gibson SG 1970s Tribute
                            more stuff:
                            65 Twin Reverb Reissue
                            Cox Tweed Deluxe Ultimate


                            The REAL Angry

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              @tim gueguen & Angry Tele - Teh Interwebz was my source for that... from Wikipedia (whom we all know is not always 100% accurate):

                              Wikipedia article on Memphis Guitars

                              "Memphis Guitars is a defunct subsidiary of Yamaha that produced guitars during the late 1970s and early 1980s."

                              The pickups on this guitar look to be from that era, as does the tailpiece...

                              And from eHow.com:

                              "Memphis guitars were produced from the 1970s to the middle of the 1980s and were largely based off the Gibson Les Paul and SG model of guitar."

                              "Memphis guitars began when the Yamaha corporation saw a huge demand for Gibson-style guitars and decided to offer its own knock-off version at a much lower price than an authentic Gibson."

                              "The Gibson Guitar Company sued Memphis guitars in the mid 1980s to cease production as it felt Memphis had stolen its guitar design."

                              I cannot locate any information online about the supposed lawsuit; however, I have found that Gibson sues left, right, and center (most recently the makers of Guitar Hero)... so it's not out of the realm of possibility.
                              How I Make Music...
                              Acoustic Guitars - Yamaha FG-480S (Dove version - "Kit") * Seagull S12+ ("Perth") * Hyostar SF811 ("Bren")
                              Classical Guitars Tacoma Olympia OC-2 * Strunal C870
                              Electric Guitars - Memphis (model unknown)
                              Keyboards - Casio CTK-573
                              Other Instruments - Mid-East Mfg. 22-string Heather Harp ("Thorn") * German factory-made 4/4 Cello, c.1865 ("Max")
                              Musical Notation Software - Finale Notepad
                              Voice - Contralto

                              Comment



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