Memphis guitars?

Posted by Slightly confused on Sat, 04/03/04 - 20:48:15.

Alright, about a year and a half ago, my girlfriend at the time bought me a guitar that some friend of her dad's had sitting around for years and hadn't touched. It looks like it's a Les Paul replica, it looks old, and it plays pretty well through a decent amp. On the tag between the machineheads it says "Memphis." I've been trying to figure out how old this guitar might be. Or what the hell Memphis guitars is. Or anything, really.

Realistically, it makes no difference to me knowing any information. I love the way the guitar plays, so I'm not selling it anytime soon, but if anyone has any info, help me out!

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Re: Memphis guitars?

Sort of an off brand distributed by Kaman Music


Re: Memphis guitars?

i have a memphis! i thought maybe it was one of a kind. i bought it off some kid for 20 bucks, and its better than my ibanez haha

Re: Memphis guitars?

I am in the same boat! My DAD had Memphis guitar and mine looks like a les Paul except its wooden (light) color with to stripes running down in and 24 frets!! Its also HEAVY as hell and the dude at the local guitar shop says its a Korean import brand and said its not all that bad!! I am having a jack replaced so I have not played it yet but I am loving your posts in that you guys are liking them!

Re: Memphis guitars?

i bought a memphis guitar a couple of months ago. I have been looking for someone who knows where its from. i recently replaced the tuning pegs and its now the goods. mine also has the 24 fret neck.

Re: Memphis guitars?

ok guys heres the scoop from my friend robert who is a luthier at my local guitar and audio repair shop ( Yamaha was making dead up knock offs of gibson guitars and they got sued so to get rid of what they had left in stock they put memphis on the head stock and sold them like that.mine is basically a copy of the les paul classic with sort of vintage sunburst, i got mine from a friend had been given the guitar.mine is kind of beat but i love it.i'm putting two custom wound 57 style pickups in it and getting new machine heads and its good to go.i love how distressed mine is from the years gone by, it gives it character.

Memphis guitars

Actually it was made by a Japanese company for import to the U.S. in the the late 70s early 80s. Not a bad guitar for what it is.

Re: Memphis guitars?

ok. My dad baught me a memphis guitar from a pawn shop when i was 8 years old. i am 20 now. the guitar looks like a fender replica, it a is gloos black electric guitar. i was just wondering how old it might be or how much its worth. thank you


I have a black Memphis which is definitely made in Korea (as it says so on the back of the neck) but it doesn't sound like anything you guys are describing... My grandpa bought it forever ago.. It has 21 frets. It's a 6-string and in awesome shape. It says the serial number is 109754 but there's another number under it (903266) anyone know anything about this particular guitar???

memphis guitar

Your guitar was made between 1969-1989 and distributed by the Bruno the u.s.These were made in Korea and Japan by the Matsumoku music makers co.It is a good guitar.Hang on to it.I hope this helps a little.


I bought a black Memphis in great condition, from a local pawn shop. It looks like Lucille" Sounds great and just seems 'bluesy/soulful'. Yeah, it is heavy. I think the parts are all original. Two days ago, I bought a Memphis bass for $20.00 at yard sale. It needs work, but once I resore it, I know it too will be a delightful instrument to play. The thing is: I never played bass but, what the funk.



Memphis guitar

I bought a copy Les Paul guitar from the local pawn broker for $150 as a project and maybe to relic. When I held it in the store I noticed it had a set neck and was heavy as hell.
I took it home and have found very little about it as the Logo on the headstock is not the 60s swirly style and more modern font.
Turns out it had a fairly decent wiring set up - with decent capacitors etc and ARTEC Humbuckers. I will replace the pups with Zebra hot set.
So what i intended to monsterise, will be left as it is actually very good and I think super rare.
Does anyone know about this model les paul with the modern logo??

Memphis hummingbird

Hi all
I have an excellent Memphis hummingbird with a set neck open book headstock
It’s made in Japan I have never seen another anywhere. Unbelievable tone
Any info would be very welcomed as I’ve found nothing on the internet
Thanks Tim

Memphis guitar

I have a dove by Memphis. I wonder about it all the time. Mine is actually missing the dove pickguard. I'm not sure weather to buy one from gibson one or replace it at all. I only.paid 35 dollars for it but.i did so played well. In wikipedia's there is an article about memphis guitars.

memphis guitars

i just bought this guitar cheap off some older person. serial #001248 made in korea model S2TW any ideas what it might be worth? its a 24 fret bolt on with locking tremolo nut, whammy bar, what look like two open faced humbuckers that sound awesome ! any info would be much appreciated!

Memphis Bolt-On & Set-Neck Guitars.

Memphis guitars came from two places as far as I know:
1. Set-Neck Memphis Les Paul -- built before 1988 were built by Matsumoku of Japan. I have one of these (1979). Matsumoku had very high quality guitars, and these command a high price. The set-neck models also weigh quite a bit.

I've seen set-neck Memphis Les Pauls going for $750 on Ebay. Matsumoku factory burned down in (I think) 1988. They never recovered. There is a website if interested. Matsumoku also built guitars for Aria, Westbury, Electra, Concord (I think), and at times Gibson & Fender (the non-U.S. models) and many others... some even with no-name. Any Memphis guitars built after 1988 were obviously not Matsumoku.

2. Bolt-On Neck Memphis Les Paul. These are most-likely Korean guitars. I had two of these (Les Paul varieties), and they were both nice guitars and both Korean. Price on this maybe 125-250 depending on how nice it is. The Memphis bolt-on models I owned were laminated models, and the set-neck model was a pretty sizeable block of wood (much like the early Gibson Les Paul models).

I have no idea if any bolt-on neck models were built by Matsumoku. My two were post-1988 and therefore were not, and will state on the guitar or sometimes just a label that they are built in Korea. I have seen many advertised on CL and Ebay, and none of the bolt-on models definitively were proven to be MIJ. Many said they were... but without proof.

Quite a few Matsumoku guitars have a 3-piece wood neck. 3-pieces give the neck more stability (supposedly). That is usually a dead giveaway that they are Matsumoku. However, some Matsumoku guitars have single-piece wood necks. So just because it is a single piece of wood does not mean it is not Matsumoku.

1. If it is a set-neck Memphis guitar it was probably built before 1988 and is probably Matsumoku.
2. If it is a bolt-on neck Memphis guitar it is probably Korean and built after the 1988 burn-date.

Hope that helps explain the Memphis guitar a bit more.

Memphis Guitar

I have a blonde body (Brian May style) Memphis guitar I bought back in 1984, Looking for any info on how to find out value and if there is a demand for it? comes with hard case.

Memphis Guitar ....

I have a memphis guitar i got from my uncle. It has made in korea in the back with a serial number 905329. It looks like it was a label right above it with more numbers but i can not read them out. Looks like the first two are 11 following about 5 or 6 more number. It is teal and wood grain. But i do not know much about guitars. Pleasee helpp!!

Another Memphis serial number question

I have a 3/4-scale Memphis, kind of a Strat-ish body with a single HB pu, with a "hockey stick" shaped headstock. I bought it at a music store in Dallas TX in the mid 80s. Bruce Kulick made an in-store appearance and autographed it for me. I'd like to find out if there's a Memphis serial number database/list somewhere, as I'm compiling a list of my collection for insurance purposes. Thanks!

My life with Memphis

I had a really crappy Memphis bolt-on neck Les Paul copy in eighth grade as a first guitar and got rid of it quickly. My buddy Mike had a Memphis natural blond strat copy that was really nice, so I always wondered why the Les Paul was such a pile of garbage. It had the cheap painted on gold logo on the headstock. I've seen these on eBay for upwards of $400. Don't waste your money, they weren't quality when they were new and age has not increased their construction or quality of materials no matter what any one says.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago and Mike brings by a Memphis Les Paul set neck, mahogany body beauty with a pearl inlay headstock in tobacco sunburst. Maple cap, fifties style neck (no volute) and a dead on copy of a real Les Paul. It even has the sandwich body of the eighties Gibsons. I couldn't believe it. I've never seen anything like it. It needs a ton of work, much of which I've already done, but its heavy and such high quality, it really feels like its right up there with my Gibsons. I really have taken a shine to this guitar.

Because I've had these things for forty years, off and on obviously, somehow I developed some at least psychological attachment to the company and always thought about the duplicity of my first guitar vs. Mike's strat. I guess what becomes apparent is this company marketed cheap beginner guitars (I paid $125 new out the door at a music store in Walnut Creek, California around 1982) and instruments of such a high quality they forced a company like Gibson to sue them. Now I'm not saying Gibson sued Matsumoto directly, but this is certainly a 'law suit' type guitar.

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