Emperador Guitars - a brief introduction.

Posted by Jenni on Wed, 11/16/05 - 06:58:26.
In Reply to Korean Guitar page

I own a lovely Emperador acoustic guitar. circa late 1960's. Model No. 1258??. Made in Japan by Jack Westheimer. He also produced the Kingston, Teisco and Cortez brands. Later also the Cort guitars. The Emperadors and Cortez brands were produced by the Hiyashi Factory - later brought out by Pearl in the early 70's. My Emperador is very similar to the Gibson Hummingbird. Still in immaculate condition. Does anyone else have this guitar or similar Emperador? I'd love to get a list together of owners to see just what's still out there and to share any information. Also whether they are of any value now? Apparently the Everly brothers used the Emperador brand and loved them.

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Emperador 1244 Stella string acoustic guitar

Got my 1244 acoustic in 1987 as payment for a $50 cab ride in Brisbane, Australia. Traveled around Australia keeping my family and friends entertained. Sounds amazing played aggressively with super heavy strings. Should of seen my calisters.
Inside on the neck strut, there is a stamped serial number- 120201.
Any ideas anyone? $$$$$???


I recently placed the winning bid on an Emprador Numbered 707 on the upper strut inside the sound hole
has anyone seen this model, just replaced the nut the original was plastic and cracked so I upgraded to Bone
was missing a couple Bridge Pins replaced them with a bone version as well, seems to have a big Bass, but left on Vacation this morning, so as yet have just strung it and tuned it, has anyone seen or know of this model

No 11

I have an Emparador. F011, maybe an early one. Great sound but needs some adjustment.

Emperador Classical 528

Bought it today. $150, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island. The tuning pegs are beyond stiff, so it will be in for an update this week. That said, for the 30 seconds it was in tune - lovely. Round label - which I guess places it as made at the Hayashi factory late sixties to very early 70s. Number 528 stamped inside. Not sure if that's the model number, serial number or production number. There was a small piece of torn paper taped inside the guitar that read 280 yen. The tape had yellowed over time. Two pencil marks inside one on either side - the number 24. Interestingly the numbers were not written in Japanese. Anyway... just thought I'd add to the list on this page. Best to all. Steve.

Emperador Classical #428

HI Steve:
I have the same model stamped as #428. It was purchased by my wife (girlfriend at the time) as a Christmas gift, in a music store in Ottawa in 1965. It's still in very very good condition and is played on a regular basis. Everything is original including the tuners - has never been in the shop and will stay in tune for hours. See you're in Nanaimo, great city - our niece is at UVI training to be a nurse and she will probably stay on the island when she graduates next year; she loves it there. Best regards. Al

Emperador 6 string

I’ve owned my Emperador for 45 years. Serial number 1617 is stamped on the inside of the sound hole. Like everyone else there is a Rondel glued to the inside that says Hand Made but I was not able to find a model number. I’m not sure how old the guitar is as I am not the original owner. I rescued the guitar from a dumpster. There were no strings on it and it was missing 3 tuning keys. It was played hard as the edges of the pick guard have hack marks from the pick. I took it back to the barracks and found someone who new something about guitars and picked up the required hardware to make it functional. The guitar has played at numerous house parties over the years. It has plenty of volume. The thing I like most about this guitar is the narrow neck that makes playing the guitar easy. I’ll be keeping it.

Emperador AW-14

I have picked up a beautiful mint condition emperador AW-14 6 string.
Made in Korea & red in color. Looking for information on this great sounding beauty
I believe is from the 70’s. I have seen by these old posts that these are great sounding guitars and everyone loves the one they own. Any history of the company. Values or anything would be appreciated. Thanks

Emperador guitars

I ‘m still looking for info on the 12string Emperador that I bought at a pawn shop a number of years ago that I am in the process of repairing and putting it in playing mode again. Still would like to find more info on the maker,country made ,year and other related info. I would also like to buy any Emperador guitar regardless of the condition E- mail me at the above address!

12 string acoustic Emperador

I have been searching for more info on this guitar but I was not able to find out more than what was posted on this site .If anyone has or knows of more info,serial # ,model # ,etc please contact me at the following email.
Thanks !

12 string Emperado guitars

Hi....I'm Jeff
I picked up my 12 string Emp several years ago while searching for a general good 12 string acoustic. I ended up looking at this thing, which was badly in disrepair. I explained to the "seller", who had had it in the back of a walk in closet for decades, all the things it would need. He was honestly clueless, and called me back as I was on my way back home. He GAVE it to me (was asking like 100 bucks I think) because at that point, he just wanted to see it appreciated. I went back, picked it up, and spent the next month or so doing what I could for it.
Cosmetically, her "looker" days are long gone. But she plays nice and relatively easy for a 12...BUT MOST OF ALL, she has a uniquely "jangly" sound, which I attribute to the "zero fret". All who play her love her distinct sound.
My research has her being a 60's baby..."Hand Made" in Japan.
Have you found out anything else about these guitars?
Jeff McD

bridge pins

Does anyone know what size bridge pins go in an emperador acoustic guitar?

Emperador acoustic 6 string

I have an Emperador acoustic too, beautifull guitar, burst color, nice pickguard with flowers, no numbers, no model number.
Just a round label, says handmade.
The action was very high higher upon the neck, and the trusrodd doesn't do enough.
I shave the bridge down to lower the saddle , beautifull rich sounding guitar!

Emperador guitar

My parents bought me an acoustic Emperador guitar in the mid-60s. I took lessons and really enjoyed it. I'm picking it up again after all these years to try my hand and take more lessons. It has the round sticker inside with Emperador, Hand Made. The serial number 463 is stamped on the inside of the sound box on the upper reinforcement.

I'm enjoying it again - still plays great and after many moves (college, marriage, divorce, empty-nester), it's a joy to play.

Emperor guitars

I was given an acoustic Emperador guitar for my 13th birthday in 1971. It was made in Japan. It's a great guitar. I still have it.

Emperador acoustic guitar AC. 60

HI,I have an acoustic emperador. Ac. 60 I can't find any information on it. Much appreciated if anyone has any information on this particular one.


I have one acoustic guitar Emperador Model FW415 (made in Japan).. anyone know about it? there's not much information about Emperador guitar rather mysterious for me LoL.. is it a rare guitar? Anyone who know about it?


I own a Emperador 12 string Model number 1242 made in japan, adjustable neck and bridge in pretty good conditions just needs a bit of loving care and attention so just starting to get it back into playing shape. Any more info on it welcome.

emperador guitar

i bought a second hand emperador guitar in a pawn shop model number 1248 serial number 71000
in the 80s i have many acoustic guitars and think this is the best sounding one i have.It is a perfect replica of a martin that i have.would any one know how old it would be.
cheers Paul.

I was happy to see your

I was happy to see your comment - My brother passed away and left me the exact same guitar you described in your comment. I haven't as of yet found any information that fits that guitar other than it was from the late 60's into the 70's. It has been neglected for years but oddly enough which resulted in my search was that it is still true, neck was as straight as an arrow and intonation is still accurate. A good cleaning and new strings it should still sound half good.

Hopefully yours is still playable and I am hoping you enjoy it as much as I will mine.

Regards - Randall

Emperador guitar

I was given this emperador # AAW 41 made in Korea does anyone know anything about them!

Emperador from Korea

I just bought this model at a yard sale in a hard case. Very beautiful and though I’m a novice it has a nice sound. Was this model made in a certain year? Would be interested to hear more about it.

Emporador AW 41.

I was given the same model (AW 41) made in Korea as a gift from a buddy of my Dad's... Its cracked on the side and needs a lot of work but it has a nice tone... It also has a mysterious signature on the back that is kinda worn out, but the initials are definately KB. I can't find any Info on the guitar or the signature! Its probs some rando, but I'd really like to know! Haha

emperador guitar

I bought a second hand emperador guitar in a porn shop model number 1248 serial number 71000
in the 80s i have many acoustic guitars and think this is the best sounding one i have.It is a perfect replica of a martin that i have.would any one know how old it would be.
cheers Paul.

Emperador 12 string

I was given an Emperador 12 string acoustic guitar by my father. It has a round label inside that says hand made but no year or date. Just inside the hole is a number 0460 that I assume is a serial #... Can anyone give me some more information about this guitar? It seems to be a 60's or 70's model but it's definitely an older guitar. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

12 String Emperador

How interesting. I came here looking for information about a guitar that fits your description. The number just inside the hole on mine is 0461

Emperador 12 string acoustic guitar

I recently bought an Emperador 12 string acoustic guitar with the round label in the sound hole but no numbers . I need to lower the action but the truss rod seem to have been severely abused and turning the nut with a hex key towards the left( counter clockwise) ,it turns very easily as if it does not turn anything inside the arm. Does any one know what type of truss rods were used in these guitars ?
Does anyone have the same guitar and be willing to correspond and exchange info ?
E- mail:- locostbuickv6@gmail.com , my name is Jerry

Emperador # 14114

I bought this Emperor when I first got out of college in 1970. I am now lending it to my granddaughter, who is a beginner. It has a round label in the sound hole that says Emperor Handmade, plus a serial number stamped inside. It has a lovely sound. I know nothing of it's valuable. I probably only paid 50 dollars or so for it originally-dont remember. It's in good shape. I enjoyed reading these posts to learn more about the brand.

original owner Emperador acoustic

i've owned an Emperador acoustic guitar since my parents bought it new when i was in high school in the 70s. it has a great rich tone. there is no label or serial number or model number inside or anywhere, just the name Emperador painted on the head.

my recollection was that it costs $50 in the 70s, and i thought we were told that it was handmade in Mexico. based upon what i see in this thread, perhaps it was handmade in japan or korea, but the people who obtained it for us definitely were Mexican

Emperador Guitae info

Depending on the model, they were Gibson knockoff's. Marketed out of Chicago. Check out the Guitar Medic website. By the way Gibson sued them for infringement on their Patent.

Emperador Dreadnot ,

I have a small out of apt repair business. in Miami,Fl , used to be a TV teck. I am 70 years old now and this give me a reason to stay alive. I love what I can do with old guitar amps and guitars. I bought this emperador guitar on ebay because of the fancey pickguard. Its was only $ 25.00 because of high action. I had to grind down the bridge and lower the adjustable saddle. I was empresed with the construction and the sound. It has a label but it just saids hand made. No model of location of production. But who cares. My phone number in south Miami is 305 232 6790 if anyone can give me any info on this guitar. Happy Trails to you all.

Emperador guitars

I have two emperadors, one is a 1964 dreadnaught the other a 1963 "concert" size. (I only know the years because I purchased them from the original owners) Both had the bridges lifting. I repaired them both and to avoid any further bridge issues I put trapeeze tail stocks on both of them. They sound wondefull and I play them pretty much every day.I would not think twice to pick up another one (or more). They are difficult to research but the sound is comparable to any high end acoustic.

keep on strumin'

Emperador Dove

I recently picked up an Emperador copy of a Gibson Dove (not sure if it's Japanese or Korean made), but it seems to be around 30 or 35 years old based on discoloration of the binding, slight splitting in the binding, etc. Other than that, it's in really good condition and has the fancy bridge (adjustable) with the two doves inlaid and split parallelogram inlays on the fretboard. It sounds great and plays great.

Emperador Classical Acoustic Guitars

I have and Emperador Classical Guitar which I bought about 50- 60 years ago. The label just says Emperador Hand made. It has a beautiful tone and I was seeking its value if any one can help.

Emperador guitars

Hi I just recently purchased a emperador guitar looks like a Martin copy plays great inside it just says emperador hand made guitar it has some letters looks like wozoz can anybody tell me something about this guitar thank you vito


Your guitar should have a model number located just inside the sound hole.. If you look deep inside at the base of the neck.. Use a light it will help.

Emperador 12 String guitar

I bought my 12 String guitar when I was stationed in Germany while in the Air Force. The model is F007N, SN # faded out. It is still in great condition. I need the ajustable bridge. The screws are stripped. Can anybody tell me where I can order the parts. Thanks in advance, Fred

Emperador 12 string guitar

I have lead on a 12 string Emperador guitar that I really like !
Are they worth buying,do they increase in value,do they stay in tune ,

Emparador, 12 string electric Accoustic Guitar

Received this beautiful Emparador 12 string electric accoustic guitar on my Birthday 45 years ago , mint shape , best sound ever.
Tried many others and none can match the sound.

It's a keeper , antique , any suggestions ?


12 string Emperador acoustic guitar

Hi, I have a similar 12 string as yours that I’m in the process of repairing after a very hard life and ended in a pawn shop where I found it . Some frets are missing and I want to replace all of them but I need the retboard radius . Can you help ?

Re: Emperador Guitars - a brief introduction.

Mine was handed down to me from my grandfather about 15yrs ago, I believe he purchased it in Winnipeg MB (no idea when) # on inside strut is 929. Out of my 8 or so guitars this is the one I still pick up everyday, its been battered and bruised and even has a crack the whole width of the back from being used as a weapon in a bar fight (not by me) but still sounds and plays great.

12 string Emperador Acoustic

I knew nothing about guitars when I bought it. I got it from a second hand store in Michigan and the guy told me that it was an "antique" made in the 70's.

The square Label inside shows a Model no. of 'F007N' and a Serial no. of 'I' (I think. the letter is kinda worn) made in Japan. I paid $350 for it in 2010. I'm pretty sure I was taken for a ride now that i know what I know about its typical 12-string condition issues but it still looks great, is stringed up as a 6 and sounds pretty good. It has a uniquely shaped, black pick guard with goldish designs. The designs are flowery with a butterfly and the silvery Emperador logo in the middle is slightly faded. The finish is amazingly shiny and in great condition.

I was hoping that it would be worth something some day but its hard to determine the worth when there is so little information on these things. Like I mentioned before it has a couple condition issues ( broken nut, bulging top, missing tuner, few scratches ) and I'm wondering if I should fix them up or just keep it as is..

Any suggestions?

Emperador 1256

I have an emperador 1256 in a beautiful original case, As it's one of too many guitars in my collection I'm thinking of putting it on ebay but have no idea of its value, any suggestions would be appreciated. rgds, Mike


Hi Mike, I know this is an old thread but I was curious how you went selling your 1256 model Emperador on ebay. Not much info about these available.
Looking for a similar type and would love to know the current expectations in prices.
Kindest regards. Ozi.

Re: Emperador Guitars - a brief introduction.

I am soon to be the owner of an 'Emperador guitar'... I saw it ages ago in a friends house and loved it straight away... I'm trading him a bass for it

Its a hollowbody i think, double cutaway 335 style, with massive sixties pickups, a bigsby style trem, and a mono/stereo switch,
with white/black decorative binding and it's in a natural wood finish. Love it. Does anyone know what this model is? x


Re: Emperador Guitars - a brief introduction.

I have a Korean made aaf-37 grand concert Emperador acoustic. There is something amazingly unique about this guitar. The tone is incredible and its overall sound is very even. Mine was made in the late 80's. I have been playing every day for 15 years. No joke this Emperador is one of the best acoustics I have ever heard. Perhaps it was a fluke accident, maybe the worker at the assembly line had a great day and was like hey I am going to make the best damn acoustic ever. Never played another Emperador before so I am not sure if this is there normal quality.

Emperador Acoustic

I still have my Emperador acoustic dad bought me around 1966? No serial number just "Hand Made" I'm not sure when or where he got it, but I do know I was playing it in my elementary talent show in 5th grade. A beautiful sunburst guitar with a fancy pick guard (my favorite feature) still has a great sound. A little nervous about parting with it for repair work yesterday. I always cherish this guitar, I've had a Martin a Kay and a Yamaha, but this one I'll keep and pass it down to one of my grandchildren one day!

Emperador Ukelele

I have an Emperador Ukelele. I bought it at an antique shop about 20 years ago. Would like to hear more about the history of these, as I only found Guitars, not Ukes, on the Web. Thanks. It also says "handmade" inside of it.

Re: Emperador Guitars - a brief introduction.

: I own a lovely Emperador acoustic guitar. circa late 1960's. Model No. 1258??. Made in Japan by Jack Westheimer. He also produced the Kingston, Teisco and Cortez brands. Later also the Cort guitars. The Emperadors and Cortez brands were produced by the Hiyashi Factory - later brought out by Pearl in the early 70's. My Emperador is very similar to the Gibson Hummingbird. Still in immaculate condition. Does anyone else have this guitar or similar Emperador? I'd love to get a list together of owners to see just what's still out there and to share any information. Also whether they are of any value now? Apparently the Everly brothers used the Emperador brand and loved them.

i also have an emprador serial no 1262. great sounding guitar and also has agreat finish just a shame i can't play it .:).Iálso curious on the value.

Re: Emperador Guitars - a brief introduction.

: I have an Emperador Mod No. 1256. I really don't know anything about it except that it is a lovely guitar, very everley brothers. If anyone knows anything about it let me know.

Re: Emperador Guitars - a brief introduction.

i am in Australia and was gifted an Emperader 12 string acoustic in 99 it is old and has been neglected but i can tell this guitar will have a killer tone and i compare it also to a guild or hummingbird :),it's japanese made and has a serial number that has become worn

i was keen to know if anyone could recommend somewhere for good parts as i have decided to restore it to full glory,mainly after genuine parts is the prob...a long shot i know :(

i have used this guitar as a home jam option and was glad to find out some information in your post ty i believe its a 1268

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