Guitar - General/grant guitar


Simon Staples wrote at 2008-12-07 21:34:57
I have a Grant Les Paul Gold top copy which I acquired from a friend for 30 in the early 1980's. Rosewood neck is ace but it needs some tlc at the moment.

Billy wrote at 2008-12-08 23:14:52
Grant guitars were made in Japan. In the 1970's many copies of Gibsons and other Big Brand names were made until some lawsuits were filed.

I had a Grant Les Paul copy I bought in a store in Glasgow Scotland they were a popular brand for those who could not afford the real thing. I'm sure yours is 1970's It's a keeper as these pre lawsuit copies may become a bit of a collectable. The Big companies countered by launching their own copies like Squire (fender), Epiphone (Gibson)

pat O wrote at 2008-12-26 20:37:45
This may be a guitar made by Joel Grant. He used to make custom Guitars in La Habra but it became too time consuming and unprofitable so he moved to Fountain Valley CA and now specializes in tech work or repairs. If it is an original Grant Guitar, I can tell you that it is an incredibly well made guitar. Each guitar was made to order.

Peter wrote at 2009-02-27 19:55:38

I have a Grant guitar too! I've had it for around 20 years, my dad bought it for me one Christmas. It was 2nd hand then! I've been trying to find out where it came from too and had no joy.

Mine is a solid body electric, Les Paul style - black body with white trim and scratch board. Mother of pearl inlayed fret.

I'd love to find out more about the brand.


jazzcat wrote at 2009-02-28 02:12:45
Grant guitars are mentioned in the Blue Book and The Guru's Guitar Guide. Grant was a UK importer, and the guitars were made in Japan by FujiGen Gakki, who made Ibanez guitars and later was the main supplier of OEM Japanese Fenders. The quality of FGG's instruments was very good - some are classics in their own right. Grants were made in the 1970s-80s. The oval soundhole would appear to date this guitar to the 1980s.

Hot Dog wrote at 2009-05-16 21:59:09
Grant guitars were made by a man in La Habra. I have a Grant electric guitar. He made guitars by himself and each one was custom. My serial # is 48 I believe. I have not found any info regarding grant himself. His original shop was located off cypress and Imperial. He claimed to have made guitars for a band called Warrant. Since Warrant was under contract with either BC rich or Ibanez, they were not allowed to play them on stage. I believe that Grant was a great guitar manufacture but probably not a very good business man. I purchased my guitar from him in 1990 or 91 for $500 new. Floyd Rose included. He also made his own custom necks with over sized frets. I love this guitar. I hope this answers your question.

angus wrote at 2009-06-03 12:51:47
I remember Grant Guitars well and bought two (a Strat and a Gibson 335 clone) when they were new back in the mid 1970's. I still have one of them, along with over 20 other mid 70's Law Suit copies. Contary to another commentator here I must say that I am firmly of the belief that they were not however manufactured by FujiGen who manufactured the famed Law Suit copies for Ibanez in the US and Antoria and CSL for Coppock of Leeds UK. Word on the street in the 1970's was that they were a cheaper alternative to Antoria and CSL's which were made by Fuji Gen and retailed in the mid 1970's at approx twice the price of Grants.

derek wrote at 2009-07-24 17:40:21
I am in the middle of stripping and refurbishing a Grant sunburst Les Paul copy. It's my son's and he was given it by an older family friend who used it in an Irish showband in the 70s [there's a local Irish dealer decal on the back of the head between the machine heads. The neck is good, single piece, with decent resewood finger board and the frets aren't too bad. However, the body is ply and semi hollow, and instead of a fixed neck like a real Les Paul it has a 4-bolt plate like a Stratocaster.

All in all a decent guitar and better than the Japanese 'Avon' Les Paul copy I had in the 70s as a teenager.

D.Hellsworth wrote at 2009-08-04 09:12:02
Grant's a badass, from Grant Guitars, the one that use to be in la habra. He's my "go to guy" for my guitars.

Chris wrote at 2009-08-05 20:08:47
I have a Grant SG copy. It sounds fantastic although it needs a bit of work doing to it. Like many of the replies I have had it for for a number of years and couldn't find much info on it. It was given to me by my friend who bought a Les Paul copy from another manufacturer.

tom wrote at 2009-09-08 12:23:20
I have owned a Grant guitar made by the Ibanez factory in Japan. This one is a late 70s Les Paul copy. Very honest, clean with a fat sound, quieter than any of my Epiphones too! However, like most Les Pauls, the shortage of frets can be a nuisance.

Axlehead wrote at 2009-11-10 13:35:11
Joel Grant made guitars from his shop in La Habra California until he moved to Fountain Valley California where he now does repairs only. His guitars were totally custom and unmatched workman ship. This guitar looks too commercial for one of Joel's guitars but you never know???? Google Grant Guitars Fountain Valley CA.

Good luck.

Jamie wrote at 2009-12-24 01:41:08
Another Grant! I've been playing my Grant for 25 years - beautiful guitar. I bought it from James Grant Music, Edinburgh, Scotland - the guitars were only available there, and I'm pretty sure he built then himself. Never seen another one anywhere in the world. Hope your son gets years and years out of his Grant too - lovely to see that logo!

jd wrote at 2010-01-22 00:47:58
Jimmy Grant imported many guitars around the 1970s and i have an early 1970s hummingbird of which grant branded with his stamp. Jimmy Grant was a music shop owner in Edinburgh... or so i am told. one thing is for sure, the information on these guitars is hardly easy to locate, and so are the original imports themselves. its a keeper if you have one!  

tgexplorer wrote at 2010-02-17 23:32:20
There was a Grant guitar store at the top of Byres Road in the West End of Glasgow and another guitar store (Bradley's I'm sure) in West Regent Street Glasgow that sold Grant guitars in the 70's. Have owned both an SG and Flying V (still have the V). They were both made in Japan, the V's were always thought to be the same as the Ibanez's of that period.

Bassassin wrote at 2010-02-18 17:44:36
My first bass was a Grant-branded medium-scale Jazz copy, which I bought new from Unisound Music in Chatham, Kent in 1978. I moved to Edinburgh in 1988 and have frequented the music shops both here & Glasgow regularly - it's my understanding that Grant's in Byres Road was importer & distributor of the brand. Does anyone know if they were connected with the Edinburgh Grant's?

I've recently been restoring a Grant 335 copy - I'm very familiar with Fujigen guitars (Ibanez, Antoria CSL, Cimar etc) and I'm confident that neither this 335 or my old bass are from that factory. They're more likely to be from Rokkomann, Moridaira or one of the various Matsumoto Manufacturers Association factories.

Interesting addendum - there's another UK brand called "Grantson" (the logo's a little bit cheeky) which might or might not be connected. The two examples I've owned (an EB-0 bass and a medium-scale Precision) were of a similar quality & construction and were probably from the same manufacturer as Grant.

Gordon Monro wrote at 2010-03-20 01:08:36
The first electric guitar I had back in 1975 was a GRANT Les Paul copy and at that time cost about 100 which was a lot in those days!   It was a great guitar, I sold it back in the eighties and regret it now! I've also tried to find out more about the brand but have not been successful.  

Ian Bray wrote at 2010-03-30 18:26:34
Hi there. I bought a second hand beautiful large acoustic guitar in Edinburgh back in 1978, flame back and mother of pearl inlay up the neck with GR on the head. It's a Grant, model FE720.  I have always been lead to believe that it was made in Edinburgh by a music shop at that time called 'Grant's' who made guitars.  A very long shot, but try asking   They've been a music shop around for decades in Edinburgh and might remember and help.  

Ian Bray wrote at 2010-03-30 18:44:50
I just took a magnifying glass to the label inside your guitar and the ornate surround around the grant name is identical.  Mine is edged with drawn rolls of paper, the G is a lower case G, one large circle below a smaller one.  Very coincidental if this isn't a match.  

Tom K wrote at 2010-04-28 22:59:17
There are two Grant Guitars, the Japanese ones from the 70's that were Gibson and Fender copies and the Custom made ones made by Joel Grant from La Habra California. Joel stopped making guitars in the 90's and now has a shop doing tech/repair work in Fountain Valley California. I personally have 5 custom made Grant guitars and they are excellent guitars that would rival any San Dimas made Charvel/Jackson, Gibson or Fender Custom shop, PRS, Baker or any other custom made guitar.

s0bad wrote at 2010-05-18 12:48:12
I just scooped a Classical Grant guitar.  Anyone shed light if the Japanese or California Grant made classical?  It has an issue number on it in the inside with the Grant logo.

Tony W wrote at 2010-08-05 21:23:27
Hi I have a Grant sundowner, this is acoustic and i bought it in the early 80s second hand, any one know anything about this one? Tony W Leicester

scouse wrote at 2010-09-29 10:09:48



derek nicholson wrote at 2010-11-25 13:05:00
I have a Grant electro-acoustic bought in the eighties made in korea it cost 125--00.It looks very much like certain martins and has a nice sound (very resonant)to it .As luck will have it the bridge has started to lift and i have to decide if it is worth repairing,model W10E

Drew wrote at 2010-11-30 22:14:31
Thought you might be interested to know I bought a Grant acoustic guitar about 35 years ago, it is like a gibson hummingbird copy, my son has it now,still playes ok. I bought it in a music shop in Glasgow , hope this is of interest to you.  

privateland wrote at 2011-01-13 21:02:00
I bought a Grant Les Paul Copy(branded Grantson because from a a distance it could look like Gibson!) a couple of days after seeing Jimmy Page and Led Zep play at Glasgow Green's Playhouse in 1972.

The guitar cost me 38. It was a black beauty, had a bolted neck and was unbelievably poor relative to the US equivalent.

I don't believe it was as good quality as the CSLs and Columbus models that were available then, but it was much cheaper. However it was my first electric, I wrote my first songs, played my first gigs, and learned many of my skills (such as they are) on that guitar - loved it at the time. I traded it a couple of years later for a Gibson SG. I'd love to have it back, or even obtain a photo of that guitar, but I'm afraid it is gone for good. Cheap crap, but happy, happy memories.


UsedtoworkatGrants wrote at 2011-02-20 23:17:27
Hi Folks. THE ANSWER is here!! I used to work in the James Grant guitar store in Byres Road Glasgow. James Grant (Jim) was an importer and retailer and used to import various guitars from factories abroad (Mostly Japan and mostly copies) and the deal was that his name was on the headstock. In terms of quality, they were in the Ibanez/Antoria ballpark and mostly Fender/gibson clones. In the 80's, he imported excellent guitars under the "Riverhead" brand name. They were "of the period" and had locking trems on guitars and active electronics and premier wood finishes on basses. (Check out images on Google for examples). Grants was a great privately owned music business with shops in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Ahead of it's time in the guitar and (then) hi-tech stuff (Remember Yamaha DX7 and Ensonique Mirage sampler? The fostex B16 recorder?) It was eventually killed off by the chains (Sound Control etc) with more buying power and more discounts. Just the way the business was going. (Ironic now that Sound Control have been killed by internet sales). What goes around etc. I remember Grants had a great team of guys working there and I had some really happy times. Working in a music shop was like a kid in a candy store!!

Hope that solves the Grant guitar mystery. They might not be worth a lot now, but if you like yours...keep on playing and enjoying it. Might not be a pedigree, but it will be a faithful companion nevertheless!

Rob-Guitar wrote at 2011-03-23 22:11:27
Well this has been very interesting for me as i have a copy les paul by grant, been trying to find out what they where and gave up, it was giving to my dad in the 80's by a friend who was on tour with him, he supported ACDC with his band AFT ( Autamatic fine tuning), or the band used to call it Any fu***** Tune which i thought was quite funny. Anyway back to the point, i can send you a pic of it if you can supply me with any more info it woyuld be great, just email me :)

badpuppy wrote at 2011-05-02 06:24:50
I have #55 a 1986 Red Custom V/Star shape Grant guitar from Joel Grant, La Habra Ca. Has original Floyd Rose floating trem, Custom Duncan pickups. Very fine guitar! Better then anything off the shelf.

James MacFadyen wrote at 2011-07-28 20:04:52
I have a Grant strat. It was my first guitar, my Dad paid 65 for it second hand. 22 years and many guitars later (including gibsons and fenders), it is now the only guitar I use! It's got this natural compression that no other guitar I've ever played has - similar to the effect you get from a valve amp cranked up - even when its unplugged. I'd love to know what wood the body is made out of, some people say its mahogany, but some people have said its not. I've always presumed its a japaneze tree of somesort.

silverhaired daddy wrote at 2011-12-04 20:04:28
Ive had a Grantson les paul copy for years. it plays alright!slightly lighter than  a L P, less powerfull. humbuckers thinner. excellent neck. and it looks the part.         i have gigged with it and it stayed in tune  mmm like all guitars you have to keep tuning,every three or four numbers. wouldnt be my first choice, but heh whendid every detail work out to plan.I have another lawsuit  JAPAN guitar and it is a 74 -76 and they certainly got that one right. It just sys Japan on the back plate.Some good old bargains out there if you lucky enough to find one, take s chance. you might be pleasantly surprised for a few quid its deal Byres rosd was a busy place in the seventies. I bet there are afew old hippies who would sell their laptop for one

Joel wrote at 2011-12-20 20:56:32
I just picked up a Japan import Grant classical with rosewood back. Saw it at the local auction, missing the D string. Got it for five quid, sounds great... why is it always the D string...

Proud to be among you.  

sjaakuitjulianadorp wrote at 2012-04-03 09:47:42
I own a GRANT guitar; Grant sundowner J-250 N, about 30 years ago a brittish guy, working in offshore played the guitar in my parents bar; bar Las Palmas in Den Helder. a woman stept on it, the headstock broke from the neck, and the guitar was left behind. My father glued it back together and I started learning how to play but everytime you turn up the string the glued crack opened, so it was a useless piece of decoration in my house for all these years untill I recently had it fixed properly and it is playing and sounding not badat all! it is a jumbo and an exact copy of a Gibson J-200 and I wonder too, where is it made?

can I put a picture here?

sjaakuitjulianadorp wrote at 2012-04-03 10:02:38
oh what great to find out! a store in edinburgh and glasgow who had them made in japan.. thanks a lot "usedtoworkatgrants" my Grant once owned by a guy working in offshore company from abberdeen, no coincidence.. knowing this makes me more proud to own a Grant! wish I could share a picture of My Grant Sundowner J-250 N, N stands probably for Natural J for Jumbo it is a copy of a Gibson J-200 plays and sounds pretty all right!  

mikeyB wrote at 2012-04-26 11:17:20
I have an off white strat copy with "Grant" on the headstock, and "Made in Japan" on the metal backplate- bought it second hand in the North East of England about twenty years ago, so the Edinburgh connection sounds right - just picked it up again last week - the pickups have yellowed, and it has a few paint chips, but otherwise still good - cleaned it, fitted new strings, and set the intonation - sounds great, and is really holding tune even with the brand new strings.

mahlzeit_time wrote at 2012-05-19 20:41:57
I too have just been donated a black Grant SG cop which says 'made in Japan'.  It is missing it's bridge and seems to have 4 screw-in postholders for the bridge.  I'm wondering if someone has added two narrower ones for some reason?

I have never seen a bridge with 4 mounting holes.

Keep on playing peeps!

Jazz wrote at 2012-06-09 05:21:15
I have a common thread with most of the posts here. I have a Grant W10E acoustic flat top which would appear to be a copy of a classic Martin D-28. I bought it s/h in 1981 in S/w Scotland from our bands lead guitarist. It has a sptuce top and rosewood body with inbuilt pick up, controls near the neck join. This guitar is very well made and is still one off the most playable guitars I have owned. It has been refreted twice and the only upgrade is Grover machine heads. It is still my go to guitar for all acoustic work and I could not be parted from it.

Usedtoworkatgrants wrote at 2012-06-09 23:18:58
Glad to be of help to anyone above. This is bringing back memories to me! Just thinking of the "hot products" of the time when I worked in Grants Glasgow. As well as the "copy" electrics, we used to do well with Grant acoustics... In particular some small bodied cutaway electro acoustic in both candy apple red and metallic blue. As well as Grant guitars, we had the first japanese Squier Fenders, a large stock of pre lawsuit Tokai strats in many colours, some Washburn electrics in black with 80's period red bindings, locking trems...we even had an Alembic bass which was bought by Wet Wet Wet and let's not forget the Roland G700 guitar synthesiser(which really worked really well !) The first fledgling multi FX units...(step forward Yamaha SPX90 and Alesis Midiverb) Oh.. and if anyone bought Grant guitar or  bass were actually getting bargain priced Dean Markley strings which they branded as Grants in recognition of bulk buying.

If you bought a Grant guitar in Glasgow in the 80's...thanks as not only do you have a rare and pretty good guitar, you also helped pay my mortgage for a couple of years! Cheers and well done everyone for your enthusiasm in playing this amazing instrument we call the guitar  

col wrote at 2012-06-15 00:56:30
I remember spending a lot of time looking at all the amazing stuff in the window of the Grants shop in Tollcross in Edinburgh. There was an Alembic bass there too, most classy were all the Riverhead guitars and basses. I ended up buying a Riverhead Jupiter 700 guitar there - it would be great to get more information about those guitars as well. Do you remember any details about them Usedtoworkatgrants?

I do still see Grant guitars occasionally in Edinburgh second hand shops. Will pay much closer attention in the future - part of our cultural history :)

Usedtoworkatgrants wrote at 2012-06-17 00:46:35
Riverhead guitars were great. We started stocking them  in Glasgow in 1985 and they came in a few different types...double humbuckers, single coils etc. Good quality guitars from japan and very stylish for the  time. I remember a particularly nice Riverhead Exeed in candy apple red with a bridge humbucker and two single coils. Very like the current Music Man Luke guitars. Pretty rare sight nowadays I would think. The Riverhead basses were even better than the guitars, very well made , well finished and somewhere between current Warwick and an Ibanez type vibe. Very funky and great for slap bass.

If memory serves me right, they mostly sold in the 400 to 500 price point which was a fair bit of cash in the 80's for an unknown brand. This was the time when both Gibson and Fender were having manufacture and distribution problems, so brands like Tokai, Washburn and Ibanez were rushing to fill the gap. Riverhead could have been a contender if they'd had proper marketing, but it was not to be and they disappeared.

Makes your Jupiter pretty rare I'd have thought and although it's maybe not well known to guitar buyers in general, if you like it and it plays well...sounds like a keeper.

There are some good riverhead pics on Google images if interested. (Maybe one of them is yours?)


Don wrote at 2012-07-08 18:14:35
Your guitar was made by Joel Grant, who now has a shop in Fountain Valley, CA above a sound studio.  Google 'Grant's Guitar' and you'll find it on Newhope.  He'll be able to answer all your questions

Col wrote at 2012-12-26 09:58:37
I love how all the US readers of this post categorically state "You have a guitar made by Joel Grant in La Habra California - great guitar" without reading what the guitar is or its history... LOL

As any Scotsman worth his haggis knows, Grants were MIJ copies imported by a store in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I have heard that they were manufactured variously by Fujigen (also made Ibanez, Greco, Antoria, CSL etc) or Matsumoko (Aria), both very good, or perhaps by lesser names such as Rokkoman (Avon etc.)

Indrabir wrote at 2013-06-20 09:33:05
i have a grant stratocaster copy that my mum bought for me in 1979, it is the best guitar i have played with a beautiful action.  i have had work done on the pick etc and would love to find out more about the brand and what it might be worth?

eldo56 wrote at 2013-08-08 16:56:02
There is a Grant SG copy at this coming saturday 10th August 2013 Greenwich Auction, with a guide price of 30 quid - just google Greenwich Auctions and you can see it in the auction preview

Cygnus wrote at 2014-02-28 20:32:31
There is a Grant Facebook page, to find it type the following , Grant Guitars MIJ sold in Scotland . Use Capitol letters the same or the search won't work?

Cygnus wrote at 2014-04-20 17:18:35
You can also Google , Grant Guitars MIJ Facebook and the page comes up ? Please like the page and join the rest of us in the group  

iworkedingrantmusictoo wrote at 2014-06-27 18:50:29

I worked in grants at Home Street in Edinburgh, latterly, and to the end when James Grant emigrated. My mate and I worked there and remember clearing out the glasgow shop and I remember locking up on the last day of business. I remember the Alembic bass - we couldnt give it away! Yes the  riverhead basses were ace. Wish id bought some of the great 80s squier strats! Had a few nice Charvels too. Jubilee Marshalls. Some terrible Gibsons around that time. Marlin strats were awful! Had some lovely Yairi acoustics. The Grant brand wasnt great but good value for money. The sg s were good. Still see em on ebay.  

Usedtoworkatgrants wrote at 2014-07-12 00:49:38
Hey Iusedtoworkingrantmusictoo. Nice to hear from another 80's music shop colleague. You're right if i had a time machine, I'd go back for the stock of Japanese Squier strats. Might even find my old coffee mug somewhere too . I'd leave out the fostex X 15 4 track recorders', the terrible electronic drum set (Simmons kit rip off... our Glasgow drum sales guy bought a set and he couldn't keep time with a watch) the Casio keyboards etc...but... If I could have all those original Lowden acoustics...average price then...500 to 600...I'd be writing this from somewhere hot and sunny. (And using the Alembic guitar as a coffee table probably!)

Cygnus wrote at 2014-09-07 21:09:15
Please join the Grant guitar Facebook page and tell us all your Grant stories ?? There's over 150 people on the page right at this moment who would love to hear them ( including me !!!)  

ollie wrote at 2016-11-01 17:49:23
I have a Grant 335 copy in cherry red bought from Grant shop in Home Street in Edinburgh on 8/11/79

Grazy wrote at 2016-11-25 00:20:09
I like Privateland also owned a Grantson Les Paul black beauty copy, bought from McCormacks music in Glasgow (sadly closed a couple of years ago) got it 1973 and also cost 38, I was 14 at the time,if you look at wages at the time it was not so cheap there were plenty of beginners electrics out there for 20,

I loved that guitar and wish I had never parted with it, never sell your first guitar you will always have more memories of it than any that come after even if they are 100 times better.

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