Vantage guitar dating
On the other hand, shortly after the World War II (1939-1945), the Singer Corporation had established a Japanese subsidiary, Singer Sewing Machine Company, Japan, and set up production facilities in Nagoya.
Matsumoku often preferred using Aria as its business agent, and many of Matsumoku's contracts were written by Aria with Matsumoku stated or implied as sub-contracted manufacturer.Matsumoku produced guitars, or parts of guitars, for Vox, Guyatone, Fuji Gen Gakki, Kanda Shokai (Greco), Hoshino Gakki (Ibanez), Nippon Gakki (Yamaha), Aria and Norlin (parent company of Gibson). Penney sold Matsumoku-built Skylark guitars through its catalog division.American owned Unicord contracted Matsumoku to build most of its Univox and Westbury guitars. Louis Music Company imported Matsumoku built Electra Guitars. Matsumoku built many early Greco guitars as well as Memphis, Vantage, Westbury, Westminster, Cutler, Lyle and Fell.Matsumoku also built amplifier cabinets and wooden cabinets for audio and television makers.However, as other Japanese companies were producing similar instruments, Matsumoku set out to distinguish itself by producing high quality acoustic and electric archtop guitars.Several of Matsumoku's early archtop guitars survive, most owing their basic designs to Hofner, Framus, and Gibson.
By the early 1960s, Matsumoku had acquired new mills, lathes and specialized presses and began to increase musical instrument production.
Washburn Guitars contracted Matsumoku to build some of its electric guitars and basses from 1979 through 1984 (though Yamaki was the manufacturer for the early Wing series).
Though the names above reflect Matsumoku's involvement, many of the names were later sold to other companies, which made completely different guitars in quality and sound.
Matsumoku also manufactured drum kits under the Aria name, initially under licence from Remo who had identified a gap in the market for low-cost drum kits in the compact 5-piece "rock" configuration as innovated by the Rogers Power Tone range in the early 1970s.
Gibson decided to move Epiphone production to Japan in the early 1970s and chose Aria as its contractor.
Design engineer Nobuaki Hayashi (currently with Atlansia) became part of Matsumoku's engineering team in the mid-1970s. Noble", appeared on many of the Aria Pro II instruments he designed.