Tuesday, May 26, 2009

1980's Memphis Strat - SG Copy

this is a Memphis copy of the Fender Stratocaster with a little Gibson SG thrown in probably from the late 1980's. It is a very accurate Japanese copy and has a great sound from the vintage pickups.

I found some conflicting information on Memphis guitars in my research. One place mentionted that Memphis Guitars is a defunct subsidiary of Yamaha that produced guitars during the late 1970s and early 1980s. It said the company started when Yamaha saw an opportunity in the demand for Gibson style guitars. Yamaha formed Memphis Guitars to be a cheap affordable, guitar that had an in-demand style (much the same way Fender guitars make a cheaper version known as Squire and Gibson does with Epiphone). In the mid 1980's Gibson noticed that Memphis guitars where using their designs and sued. Memphis guitars then ceased production. Many people suggest that Yamaha foresaw the lawsuit and started Memphis Guitars as a way of avoiding a lawsuit against Yamaha while selling poorly-made guitars for a quick profit.

Other sources indicate that Memphis guitars were imported by the Kaman Music Corportation of Bloomfield CT which was sold to Fender in 2007. You can find information on warranty on the Kaman website so this does make some sense to me. Kaman owns Ovation Guitars, Hamer Guitars, Genz Benz Amplification, Gibraltar Hardware, LP Percussion and Toca Percussion. The company is also the exclusive U.S. sales representative for Sabian Cymbals and the exclusive worldwide distributor of Takamine Guitars and Gretsch Drums. Maybe the earlier Gibson copies were made by Yamaha and later sold the name to Kaman? If you know the entire history of this model, email me so I can make corrections.


This guitar will be sold on ebay soon. Check my about me page for the ebay listing.


Anonymous said...

i bought a memphis guiter for 300 bucks did i pay to much or did i get a good deal

Guitar Hunter said...

That really depends on which model of Memphis guitar you purchased and how bad you had to have it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I bought a "Memphis" guitar like this, only with a totally different pickgaurd/electronics layout, a pointed headstock and no nut access.

I've been all over the internet and nobody can tell me who made it, where, what model it is, what year etc... it doesn't look like a total cheap-o to me, yet theres absolutely no serial number or identifying info anywhere on the guitar. I can't figure that one out.

Shoot me an email (drpepper687@yahoo.com), thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I actually own a Memphis guitar. I have no idea where it was made, what year or what model it is. I have only found a handful of these guitars online, but none with the exact same headstock as mine.

I actually made a site with plenty of pictures and info here:


Please take a look and shoot me an email. I am on a quest to solve this guitar's past. Thanks!

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails