Incoming Madeira EG-250, looks like a cool guitar?

Guildedagain

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So these things had Schaller tuners, how very interesting.

2 GOTOH humbuckers with phase switches, 24 frets, Made in Japan.

Seller claims it's actually quite playable.

Are the bodies made of wood?

There is a bass version I'm after as well, full sized tuners which is a good sign.

Any Madeira electric collectors here?

Madeiras were made by Kasuga Japan in the early years, later in Korea.

"Kasuga itself is one of the oldest stringed instrument manufacturers in Japan, started in 1935 by Miki Bukichi in Nagoya Japan. They started in making violins, banjos, mandolins, and ukuleles before starting the range of guitars in the 1960s. Along with acoustic guitars, they also made electric guitars, occasionally branded as Kasuga but more often made for another company, such as Tokai, and early Japanese Fender models. In regards to their acoustics, they made the Madeira acoustic guitars for Guild in the 1970s, Kasuga closed in the mid 1990s."
 

SFIV1967

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Those 1981-1984 EG (Electric Guitar) models were possibly made in the Matsumoko factory in Japan according to Michael Wrigth's book, page 51. Not sure however, others mentioned Tokai, see also below regarding the pickups.

Michael Wright wrote on page 51 if Guitar Stories Vol. 2: "In January of '82 Guitar Player featured a news item on two Madeira guitars, the EG-250 and EG-330....The EG-250 had a plain mahogany top (body), whereas the EG-330 had a maple-laminate center, making it look like a neck-though."

Looks like only the earlier models got a TRC with the model name engraved:

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The real Schallers might have been added aftermarket, I saw the with no-names otherwise:

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Regarding Madeira basses, some good info is here on the page of our late member Guido ("b0rn2w0rsh1p"):


The interesting thing with those pickups is that the spelling on them is not GOTOH but GOTO. However people say they are indeed Gotoh's. And those PAF GOTO pickups were used in a lot of TOKAI models hence the possible relationship to Tokai of that EG-250 model.
One of the mini switches seems to be a coil tap and a phase switch on the EG-250, but Michael Wright wrote two coil taps.

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Ralf
 
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Guildedagain

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The 80's seems plausible although Japan production was supposed to be in the 70's followed by Korea in the 80's?

Kasuga was reported to have built early Tokai guitars?
 

SFIV1967

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That Japan to Korea switch was first for the acoustic Madeiras in the 70ies. I have read Kasuga made the Madeira acoustic guitars for Guild in the 1970s. That seems to fit.
The electrics obviously also moved later on from Japan to Korea but above EG-250 and EG-330 models still have "Made in Japan" on the metal plate, and here we talk already 1981-1984.
Tokai USA and Kasuga had a partnership in 1970 (so long before that) where Tokai USA used the Kasuga factory for production of all kind of OEM models but it's not clear to me that Madeira electric models were produced at Kasuga.
Unless somebody like Hans would have reliable info it's all guessing as 99 % of offered items on the web just copy and paste other info again and again and no own (correct) info is added. We would need somebody from the old Westerly marketing guys who would know something about it...if one remembers or is still around.
Ralf
 

Guildedagain

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Madeira info online ranges from the credible to the preposterous...

Some mention Matsumoku as the electric guitar builder, but I"m not so sure about this.

There does seem to be some consensus that the acoustic line lasted longer, possibly quite a bit longer than the electric line.

Here's one of the Madeira blurbs, from a guru on the subject no doubt. Spelling Madeira is optional, and it seems that all of these rather low end lam topped guitars cracked? I've never seen a cracked lam top yet. This particular guru was so knowledgable he wasn't aware they sold electrics under that name.

"The Madiera Guild line of acoustics were real junk. A bad attempt at importing cheap guitars. It's kinda rare to see one that's not cracked.
I didnt even know they made electrics in that line though. May be ok for a cheap import LP type? Probably not the same builder as the acoustics..."

The internet is full of "teachers" who actually haven't really learned much of anything yet.
 

Guildedagain

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This is some of the better info, he doesn't think Matsumoku was the electric guitar builder. The info is sadly somewhat incomplete.



Madeira-


Guild developed the Madeira line to build affordable "folk" guitars, but they also built Classical, Acoustic and Electric guitars and basses, even Mandolins and Banjos. Manufacturing was started in Japan when the Japanese factories were starting to come into their own and started building pretty good guitars at a reasonable price, thanks to cheap labor. Many stories are floating around, and there is no definitive historical information, but here is some pretty reliable information I have seen in more than one place.

The early original parts came from the US, and shipped to Japan for assembly under Guild trained supervision, then imported back to the states. Oval Labels inside the sound hole proclaimed "Adjusted and Distributed Exclusively by Guild." Usually missing is the small gummed label that says "Made in Japan", and otherwise there is no indication of the country where it was built. This is important because early Madeiras are from Japan. Later ones from Korea; those labels were usually square (but so are some MIJ) and had "Designed, Warranteed and Distributed Exclusively by Guild." Another topic of discussion is which factory(s) built the Madeira; some factories are more famous or are known for building other high end Asian guitars. One famous factory, once used to make sewing machine cabinets for Sears, made guitars that are still sought after, but I do not believe the Madeiras were made in the Matsumoku factory. I have heard they may have been built in the factory where current Samick guitars and other brands are manufactured. By the late 70's, Japanese guitars were rivaling US guitars in quality and price, so manufacturing was moved to Korea where again labor was cheaper. Needless to say the MIJ (Made in Japan) guitars are more sought after than the MIK guitars, as again the labor-force was being trained from simple assembly-line workers to craftsmen.

Guild is known for its' distinctive crowned headstock, but the early MIJ Madeira guitars had plain flat tops. There are some models, I believe of late MIJ or early Korean manufacture that have a curved or double raised bump-on-a-hump and a modified "Chesterfield" logo. I now own 3 Madeiras, an early 70's A-20 Dreadnought (I bought used in late '73 or '74) that has the fullest, deepest mellow-aged tone of any guitar I own. I recently bought a C-60 Classical that needs a little work, mainly most of the tuner knobs are broken, so it hasn't had strings on it yet, and a top of the line P-812 flame-Maple back and sides 12 string that plays as easy as an actual Guild and sounds full and wonderful.

Very few and far-between, are electric guitars - the fad at the time was acoustic and folk guitars. Guild had their own electric archtop, hollow and semi-hollowbody, and solid body electric guitars and basses. As the Fender Strat and Tele craze developed, and Japanese copies were rampant, Guild imported those styles too. Where the original Strat had three single-coil pick-ups, Madeiras ranged from one to two humbuckers or three single-coils, but always with just a single volume and tone control. Some different switch arrangements, but usually a 3-position blade switch, sometimes with mini-switches that I don't know what they did (but advertised as phase switches). Electric Guitars and basses had bolt-on necks with a plate stamped with the model number; EG for Electric Guitar and EB for Electric Bass, and models ranged from EG-40, EG-51 to EG-61 (single HB, std. Strat, dual HB respectively) to the EB-402 iconic P-J Bass style.

Fender was not the only guitar shape the Madeiras came in. There was the EG-150 that looked very much like a double cut-away Gibson Les Paul TV Special - even with P-90 looking pick-ups. I have a Bass that looks like a cross between a Guild S-100 and a Gibson EBO, I need to clean that up and check the pick-ups and wiring. Finally, I have seen pictures of a unique Guild-ish style that resembles the Guild S-300 family of electric guitars. With very severe waist cutouts, a wide-round bottom and short treble horn and longer bass-side cutout - it is a bit of an ugly duckling. Not knowing when that model was released to compare with the release date of the S-300, I would almost guess that the Madeira was a test-bed model to develop the Guild shape.

The "as rare as hens' teeth" are banjos and mandolins. There are at least two models of each. From what I've seen the 5-string banjos are resonators that have rosewood backs and MOP Madeira logos, the higher end has a bookmatched and inlaid back with additional inlay on the headstock. The mandolins come as either an "A"-style or a two-pointed horn style, model numbers start with M (for mandolin) or B (for banjo). I would like to add one of each to my studio collection, I just can't find any good bargains. Update: needs a little tuner TLC, but I finally scored a B-5 Banjo.
 

Guildedagain

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In this case study from the Guild site circa 2007, some unkind things being said, actually mentions the 2 p'up LP special which has the same Gotoh pickups that were in Tokais. I'm guessing the pickups are actually great, that's been my experience with most Japanese humbuckers which were actually made by Maxon, the originator of the TS-808, another piece of junk for sure, til SRV got a hold of one...

The EG-250 p'ups are three way adjustable, like Guild, smart, and coil tapped, what's there not to like?

"Anyone remember the Madeira guitars imported by Guild in the late 70's and early 80's? There was a full line of acoustic based on USA-made Guild designs, and a few electrics. They all had one thing in common though: they sucked. We sold a lot of them to people unable to afford a Guild. The guitars were Korean-made, long before Korea got their act together as guitar makers.

The really low-end acoustic was the A-1, and these were the worst pieces of sheet Guild ever sold. Most of them came back with necks warped beyond belief, necks separating from the body, bridges pulled up, fret issues, pickguards fallen off, etc. We used to take those returned A-1s and throw them in the dumpster. One day, one of the warehouse guys and I smashed three of four of them a la Pete Townshend. Lots of fun!

The electrics were equally hideous from a quality standpoint. One of them looked like a two pickup Les Paul Special.

I always asked Neil to drop the Madeiras, and they finally did, but not until after I left the company. The one smart thing they did was to leave the Guild name off them."


Unfortunately, this info also passes for Gospel if you want to believe that these guitars are junk.

Here's an ad showing many pics of an EG-250. Full sized pots labeled Japan, a very good sign actually. I have these pots in a couple other guitars, they are as good as CTS, which they are probably a copy of.


And finally a glowing review of the racing stripe lam bodied EG-330. It's funny he mentions selling off "real" guitars and keeping the cheap ones because that is exactly what I'm thinking. Buy cheap guitars, use the incoming boxes to sell the expensive guitars.

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Sound Quality

I play oldies rock, country and blues. The original pickups although safely stored away have been replaced by Dimarzio DP156CR's primarily for more punch and a sought after Fender Tele sound. I kept the wiring configuration the same and play it through a Peavey Revolution 112 amp and a Digitech RP100 modeling box. A great combination. This has been a recent alteration. I played in many bands with the original pickups and found them to be adequate. I did sell my Fender Tele with the 1968 coil windings and held on to this great Madeira guitar

Reliability/Durability

This guitar as proven itself for twenty years as my first choice for playing gigs and is a true champion in overall durability and dependability !!!

General Comments

Has always been my favorite guitar. As a former guiter shop owner and authorized Gretch Guitar repairman that has been playing music in bands since 1966 as a drummer or Rhythm/lead guiter player I have found myself selling my other expensive name brand guitars and keeping this Madeira (Japan/Guild). Enough Said !

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I bought a pretty killer MIJ dread for $400, sold one of the Guilds for $1400, kaching, kaching, katching.

If the Madeira P Bass checks out, I'll sell my '73 P Bass, it's only like a $3k price difference and I barely ever even play bass. big time kaching on that one.

When the dust clears, I may not even have a USA made Fender or Gibson left, but who the hell am I trying to impress anyway, nobody.

I have another killer MIJ Yamaki D28 copy on the way, $400 shipped from Japan. If it checks out, I might sell most of my other acoustics, I have way too many and they sure take up a lot of room, have to be kept properly hydrated, etc, a lot of responsibility.
 
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The Guilds of Grot

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The "as rare as hens' teeth" are banjos and mandolins. There are at least two models of each. From what I've seen the 5-string banjos are resonators that have rosewood backs and MOP Madeira logos, the higher end has a bookmatched and inlaid back with additional inlay on the headstock. The mandolins come as either an "A"-style or a two-pointed horn style, model numbers start with M (for mandolin) or B (for banjo).
I believe I have a Madeira 5-String Banjo and a "A" Style Mandolin.
 
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