inter-mark guitar??

Posted by Johnson Phillips on Sun, 02/10/02 - 14:43:55.
In Reply to S&L MUSIC GEAR

My name is Johnson Phillips i have been playing guitar for a while now i have a friend that knows that i play and said hey i have an old guitar in my room he said that his brother inlaw gave it to him and that his brother inlaw got it from his best friends grand father when he was a kid. I took a look at it and now it's sitting at my house i have never seen a guitar like this it kind of resembles a fender jaguar it says inter-mark on the back it has odd pick up selectors and a set of pickups that i have never even seen they are odd. i would really like to know anything about this guitar if you know anything please let me know.

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Intermark Cipher guitar

Intermark Cipher guitars are out of Japan. It's interesting to note that they were built much better than the average teisco / Kawai etc. they also retailed for a lot more money than the average electric guitar import from the 1960's. the design & attentional to detail as well as the hardware was generally of much higher quality than the average MIJ electric guitar 9 you can note that when you see a Cipher today the stainless steel has usually held up very well compared to the aforementioned models.
I believe the flagship model was called a Valor with 4 pickups & trem, the pick up switches are similar to Hound Dog taylors 4 pup Kawai but instead of being rockers they slide into on/off position.
For tone these guitars fall into that Ry Cooder / David Lindley signature sound. Very microphonic responsive. With the Kawai / Guyatone / teisco & similar badged imports sporting 3 & 4 pick up models escalating in price. often going close to & beyond a $1,000. Intermark Cipher has come out of obscurity. Compared to the other brands that sold new for half the price there simply aren't that many Ciphers out there. Especially the top of the line 4 pickup models. At least one early owner remarked that he recalled paying $250 for either a 1965 or 67. Heck, you could get a Fender or Gibby for that back then. Obviously that is why you see so few of these guitars & when you do it's more often the single or 2 pickup version.
Some say the Cipher design paid homage to many Italian builders ie EKO but they also had a lot in common with German electrics ie the Framus Strato line. Ciphers quality is certainly up there with many of the European models but note that early on Cipher ditches the use of the zero fret. this makes it a much more appealing to most modern players & collectors.
Intermark believed that had a quality guitar. As you can see the instruments are proudly stamped into the neck plates Japan, well before the USA trade laws required a permanent mark indicating Japan. Most manufacturers were still using that metallic Japan sticker that pulled off easily.
Some Intermark Cipher 4 pickup models with a known players name attached the provenance are currently reaching the $2,000 mark. I myself hold no special significance to a players provenance attached to any instrument. IMHO it doesn't magically make that a better guitar.
I think it's pretty clear that on it's own merit the better model ciphers are going to attain the same selling power as the 4 pickup Kawai, teiscos, guyatones etc. I've seen some of those go for $750 to $1500 & the market for them seems stable. Perhaps their scarcity compared to it's contemporaries, the manufactures attention to detail as well as it's use of better parts & hardware along with the original retail price may allow Intermark Cipher to accelerate in in value even more.

Re: inter-mark guitar??

I have a Inter-Mark IV yellow sparkle finish over entire body & neck/headstock.No name on headstock.Name on neck plate.This guitar is in great condition plays really well, missing trem bar.3 pickups ala Gillette razor style...multi-slide pickup selector/Vegamatic? Jaguar body shape. It must be a rare bird but cool mid-range sounds/tone.Wish I could find the trem bar/attachment it would be complete.

Re: inter-mark guitar??

My name is thomas an i have a 1960s 12 string inter mark electric guitar. I have not seen one like it yet any info would be greatly appreciated. It has two pickups similar to microphones 2 volume knobs and one tone knob and only two 3-way pickup switches. i will try to post pictures of it soon.

Re: inter-mark guitar??

Hi All,
I recently picked up an inter-mark guitar at a garage sale. It is a 2-pickup with that real 60's Fender Jag look and a very thin body. It has 2 vol controls and a tone control plus 2 big white 3 way switches. Both the bridge and nut appear to be aluminum. The front pickup isnt working. I'm going to check out the pots, wiring and switches and see whats going on. The neck and frets are in great shape and the action is unreal. I think with some work, it could be a hot guitar. I would appreciate
any feedback or info you guys have regarding inter-mark guitars.

Re: inter-mark guitar??

My parents bought me an Intermark guitar through Columbia Record Club, for around $250.00. It was a complete "kit" like those you can buy in most music stores today (Ibanez, Epiphone, Squier). I used it to play a lot of styles and it had a pretty nice sound. I played it through a Vox Beatle amp. Playing Hendrix burned up the pickups (at least I assumed it did), and I switched to a Fender Musicmaster guitar (which made a better Hendrix sound). In 1971, I was in Sam Ash Music in New York City (Manhattan?) and shortly thereafter bought two humbucking pickups and a set of Grover tuners with the intent of renovating the Intermark. I had already removed the tremolo bar because the guitar would not stay in tune. We removed the original pickguard and replaced it with a plexiglass one and rewired it for the humbuckers. Shortly thereafter I replaced the fretwire. It has pretty much remained the same until today. A few months ago, I pulled it back out, replaced the strings, and played it in church yesterday, through a Peavey amp. Still has the great sound (similar to an SG), but really good action. I am glad to see that there is at least one around. Perhaps they can still be found in attics or in collections. But I play mine and love it.

Re: inter-mark guitar??

I have an Intermark guitar that my grandmother gave me. It is a semi hollow body with a red and black finish. I found a site that had the exact guitar, I believe it is Rareguitars.com. It was the only site I could find with a picture. Any way I took it last month to my local music store to have it restored. Everyone basically told me that it wasn't worth the material that it was made from. I told them that it had sentimental value and to fix it anyway. Now I am not fantastic guitarist but I have been around and it has the best action I've ever played with. The sound is not a gibson for sure but for what it is I can't believe how good it does sound. I've also had it back for a month and have not had to tune it once after the new strings stretched. I wouldn't be surprised to see this one become one of those few rare old collectors. If you have one I'd keep it for kicks to give to the grandkids. That is where mine is going.

Re: inter-mark guitar??

Wow, i dont know how old this message is, but if you can help me out...please do. I just got back from my grandma's after Church today and went up in the attic and found an intermark guitar. it needs work. I'm going to get some grover tuners put on it, and i need a new pickgaurd and basically new hardware...It looks like it has been through a flood or two with all the hurricanes we have down here in NC, but i would really like to fix this up and play with my band, or sell it to get more equiptment. since they dont make them anymore, and i fix it up nice...how much do you think this thing would be worth? it has a few scratches in it, but theyre only on the sides and back...so they arent very noticeable. please message me back...i need another guitar for stage, haha.

Re: inter-mark guitar??

Hey Guys -- Recently found a "Cipher"or "Inter-Mark" guitar at an estate sale for $15.00...cant find anything on the net about it except here...this guitar is missing the bridge and the tremolo spring...any more info on this thing would be appreciated....
Larry

Re: inter-mark guitar??

Hello,
I was given an Inter-Mark Cipher bass guitar that my friend was going to throw away in the trash! What's wrong with him? So, I'm giving it a good home.
I too am looking for info on this strange instrument. Let me know what you find out.
David

: Hey Guys -- Recently found a "Cipher"or "Inter-Mark" guitar at an estate sale for $15.00...cant find anything on the net about it except here...this guitar is missing the bridge and the tremolo spring...any more info on this thing would be appreciated....
: Larry

Re: inter-mark guitar??

the pickups are really microphones

Re: inter-mark guitar??

Hello,
In regards to your Inter-Mark guitar, I have a brother who bought a guitar in 1966 that was made by Inter-Mark. It had the name "Cipher" on the headstock. It was a redish color with dark possibly brown or blackish color on the edges and I would call it a red sunburst if that's the correct thing to call it. It had if I remember , 3 or 4 large white plastic rocker swithes at the top side of the strings which selected how you used the pickups. It had 3 pickups that were a silver color that almost looked like plastic to me. It had a thin round vibrato bar that broke off in my hands one day and wasn't ever repaired. I believe it had 2 but could have been 3 knobs just below the vibrato bar as most guitars of those years had. I always thought it to be just a cheap guitar from a Woolworths or W.T. Grant store. A lot of those $29.00 guitars were sold in those types of stores. I have a picture of my brother playing that guitar from around 1968. I can probably scan it and send a copy if you think yours might be like it or if you need to see it for whaever reason. Just write back. >dlalmashy@webtv.net< .

Re: inter-mark guitar??

: Hello,
: In regards to your Inter-Mark guitar, I have a brother who bought a guitar in 1966 that was made by Inter-Mark. It had the name "Cipher" on the headstock. It was a redish color with dark possibly brown or blackish color on the edges and I would call it a red sunburst if that's the correct thing to call it. It had if I remember , 3 or 4 large white plastic rocker swithes at the top side of the strings which selected how you used the pickups. It had 3 pickups that were a silver color that almost looked like plastic to me. It had a thin round vibrato bar that broke off in my hands one day and wasn't ever repaired. I believe it had 2 but could have been 3 knobs just below the vibrato bar as most guitars of those years had. I always thought it to be just a cheap guitar from a Woolworths or W.T. Grant store. A lot of those $29.00 guitars were sold in those types of stores. I have a picture of my brother playing that guitar from around 1968. I can probably scan it and send a copy if you think yours might be like it or if you need to see it for whaever reason. Just write back. >dlalmashy@webtv.net< .

My email has changed from webtv. please use >vachevyman@hotmail.com< to inquire about those pictures. I've got several with my brother playing his Cipher Intermark guitar.

Re: inter-mark guitar??

I got a Inter-mark bass. I got this bass from my high school band teacher. He said that it has been there since he had started teaching there (15) years. since then I have totally redone it. If anyone has some info. on Inter-Mark bass please E-Mail me at Oddman998@aol.com

Re: inter-mark guitar??

: My name is Johnson Phillips i have been playing guitar for a while now i have a friend that knows that i play and said hey i have an old guitar in my room he said that his brother inlaw gave it to him and that his brother inlaw got it from his best friends grand father when he was a kid. I took a look at it and now it's sitting at my house i have never seen a guitar like this it kind of resembles a fender jaguar it says inter-mark on the back it has odd pick up selectors and a set of pickups that i have never even seen they are odd. i would really like to know anything about this guitar if you know anything please let me know.

Re: inter-mark guitar??

johnson: read with interest your note regarding your guitar....have similar, appears to be 60's, closely resembles a "Burns-bison" 4 pickup, wired in series, "Intermark" name on back, Japan.....telestar on head stock....not finding on searches though, have you had any luck?

Re: inter-mark guitar??

: johnson: read with interest your note regarding your guitar....have similar, appears to be 60's, closely resembles a "Burns-bison" 4 pickup, wired in series, "Intermark" name on back, Japan.....telestar on head stock....not finding on searches though, have you had any luck?

Re: inter-mark guitar??

I've got nothing concrete just yet. I do have a couple guys that I'm trying to get in touch with that may have some information about the guitar. All I know so far is that Cypher is the japanese company who made the guitar in the early 60's. It was distributed here in the US by Inter-mark. I'll let you know if i get anything else. Hopefully you'll do the same. Thanks.

Re: inter-mark guitar??

i also own a guitar much like the one described here and i am also interested in finding more about this guitars history any help would be welcomed

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