Electric Guitars/Vantage Guitar, early 70s


I have a "Vantage" that appears to pre-date the Matsumoku-era headstock. It's an exact copy of an early 70s Gibson Les Paul, right down to the shape of the headstock and the abalone (or whatever that material is) inset. I found another online that said it was a 1970, but you mentioned earlier that Matsumoku registered the brand in 1977. I've seen references saying Vantage as a brand goes back to the early 1960s in Japan. Do you know who owned it and produced this LP copy? It's in a sort of dull brown and is VERY Heavy, I'd say at least fifteen pounds.

On the headstock, the word "Vantage" is sloped two ways, like a "Guild" logo. But the shape of the stock and the pattern inset are exactly like a Greco lawsuit era. Pickups are exposed humbuckers.

Any help is much appreciated!

Hi thanks for writing in. Many guitars made in Japan by Matsumoto where never intended for export. Other large ghost builders like Samick made guitars mostly in Korea, some in Japan and now in China. Exporting started in 1977 for Matsumoto but they made guitars long before that. They show on rare occasions and are very nice. I have an ESP made in Japan years before they were even heard of in the USA. Mine is Dark blue a color they never used.
The serial number comes up blank, but the guitar was in my hands about 20 minutes ago.
Getting you crazy yet, I been chasing these ghosts for a long time and one thing for sure is they were not great record keepers. The products for Internet sales are untraceable. The original sales recipe won't even help.
Sounds like a very cool guitar. Did you pull the pups for any more information? I did and found out Seymour Duncan sold lots of great pickups in Japan.
You know you have a great upper level guitar but the detailed history has not been saved.
You can send some photos and I can research some more. Brick wall of lost trail. I am sorry I was not of more help.
Thanks and play that cool guitar. Kev.

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DR Kevin P Moore


Guitars and cats make life so much better. Playing the guitar is a wonderful thing, fixing you guitar is not that hard. I have played since I was a kid and started to fix guitars and the other things that needed repair. I still repair guitars for friends and myself and do enjoy it. I rebuild old guitars to their former condition, all amps and music gear. That the mystery out of where and when a guitar was made. The value of it and the difference between junk and a guitar you can grow old with. Ask me things and have some fun.


The fascination with electric guitars is the top for me. I fix amps, wiring and put the things that fall off back on. The way to really set a guitar up and make it a player. Buying a guitar is an art, and good amps that will get out that tone we all look for, Zen guitar and amplifier is a way to approach it. Better is no worry ask an expert.

Library of congress, five patients. I write on several guitar forums and many essays on guitar health.

PhD, MS, BA and a BS all from CMU. I have a BA from Mercyhurst College.

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