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The majority of the instruments profiled on this site were produced by the brands to the left (click for more), although there is also some limited content on the following guitars and amps
Ampeg, Baldwin, Dan Armstrong, Futurama, G&L, Goya, Hayman, Ibanez, Marshall, Musicman, Ovation, Peavey, Rickenbacker, Selmer, Silvertone, Supro and Yamaha, WEM

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Vintage Guitar Catalogues
Guitar catalogue scans 1950s-1980s

Guitar companies have pretty much always printed catalogues, and aspiring guitarists have always pored over the different models, usually way out of their reach... Perhaps one day... But they can also be very useful when researching a vintage instrument today. The original catalogues, price lists, brochures, owner's manuals, and other promotional material can be really useful in establishing dates, but also giving general information on how the manufacturer intended it to be used.

Unfortunately the originals can be very hard to track down; some are quite commonly listed on auction sites like eBay, but in a lot of cases, few were ever printed, and the vast majority were simply discarded. Some of the rarer brochures and leaflets can sell for high prices; usually tens, but often several hundred pounds/euros/dollars.

vintage guitar catalogues

A number of old and rare catalogues are included on this site, in order to aid guitar identification. Most contain a guitars intended specifications, but these original documents almost always contained exceptions and errors, so this information has to be treated with caution.

The catalogue scans on this site are sorted by manufacturer: follow the links to find vintage guitar catalogues, brochures and owner's manuals, primarily 1950s-1970s.

Epiphone catalogues
Fender catalogues
Gibson catalogues
Goya catalogues
Gretsch catalogues
Guild catalogues
Hagstrom catalogues
Hofner catalogues
Kalamazoo catalogues
Ovation catalogues
Selmer catalogues
Supro catalogues
Vox catalogues

Guitars sold worldwide tended to have an overseas agent looking after the distribution and advertising in that particular territory. For example, in the early 1960s, Selmer were the UK distributor for numerous non-UK brands: Hofner from Germany, Hagstrom from Sweden, and Gibson from the US. UK brand VOX were distributed by the Thomas organ company in the US, whilst Vox's parent company JMI distributed Fender in the UK. So British catalogue listings for Gibson and Hofner, for example, appeared in Selmer catalogues.

Catalogues were typically available from guitar dealers and by mail from the manufacturers themselves. Whatsmore, some larger music stores produced their own catalogues. Often these contained pages from the manufactures own catalogues, but sometimes they were entirely separate. Examples include LD Heater in the US, and Bell music in the UK.

Some of the bigger manufacturers (most notably Fender in the early 1960s) started including somewhat slimmed down catalogues in the centre pages of popular music magazines such as Downbeat. Later Gretsch, Gibson and other companies followed suit. Early catalogues were naturally black and white, with the occasional two-colour font or page design. Some of the first full colour guitar publicity was produced by Gretsch in the 1950s. Though by the mid-1960s guitar sales were at a peak, and most manufacturers were using colour, often producing lushly designed full-line catalogues containing all guitars, basses, amplifiers, banjos etc produced by the company at that time.

Since the 1970s, colour printing has been the norm. All but the smallest companies print catalogues in significantly larger quantities than in the previous decades.

See also - Vintage guitar advertising

Most recent catalogue updates

1963 Vox Precision in Sound brochure
1963 Vox Precision in Sound brochureThis early Vox brochure comes from summer 1963, still the early days of JMI production, and shortly before the beat boom of the mid 1960s. At this time, Vox guitars were built in the UK, primarily for the British market. The company had refined it's production methods, to some extent, and many of the guitars shown are quite different from those in the Choice of the Stars catalogue from late 1962. Includes primarily Vox solid body guitars, basses and amplifiers. See other Vox catalogue scans here.
1960 Selmer Guitars and Strings catalogue
1960 Selmer Guitars and Strings catalogue, The 1960 Selmer guitar catalogue featured a whole range of acoustic, electric semi-acoustic, and solid body guitars manufactured by Hofner. There were also a small number of Hofner-made (but Selmer branded) acoustic guitars, Futurama branded solid bodies, and a Futurama electric upright bass. From the very fine (and even shorter lived) Golden Hofner, to the budget Selmer 222 flat top. Monochrome, 32 pages
1966 Goya Electric Guitars catalogue
1966 Goya Electric Guitars catalogue, Goya was well-known for it's acoustic guitars, produced by Levin in Sweden; but in the mid 1960s they added a number of Italian-built electric guitars and basses. Semi-acoustic models such as the 105, 107 and 109 Rangemaster guitars and Panther II bass were made by Polverini, whilst solid body models 116 and 118 were made by Galanti. These were well-built good quality instruments, but perhaps too expensive to sell in large numbers.
1962 Vox 'Choice of the Stars' catalogue
1962 Vox 'Choice of the Stars' catalogue, This is one of the earliest JMI catalogues to show guitars, and although undated it was most likely printed in late 1962 or early 1963. There are many well-known Vox guitar and amplifier models shown, amongst several that would be completely redesigned before appearing again; the most interesting examples are perhaps the Phantom I and Phantom II which are electronically quite distinct from the Phantom that would follow a little later. The Vox Escort and Vox Soloist only appear in this brochure, being deleted before the next was printed in mid-1963.

Older updates here




US ebay listings

rare 1989 PEAVEY Amplification Guitar Catalog Japanese !!

Current price: $19.99
buy it now
Time left: 28d 18h 30m
Original Vintage 1962 Gibson Guitar and Amplifier Catalog Music Instruments

Current price: $29.99
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Time left: 11h 59m
rare 1983 Guyatone AMPLIFIER GUITAR Catalog Japanese !!

Current price: $15.00
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Time left: 28d 18h 31m
Circa 1950 Original Gibson Vintage Guitar Catalog SJ, J-200, J-50, CF-100

Current price: $125.00
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Time left: 29d 11h 18m
Vintage Original 1958 Gibson Acoustic Guitar Catalog J-200 J-185 CF-100 LG-2

Current price: $125.00
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Time left: 29d 11h 18m
rare vintage FENDER Electrc Guitar Bass Catalog Japanese !!

Current price: $29.99
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Time left: 26d 19h 52m
rare 1989 B.C.Rich Guitar Bass Catalog Japanese !!

Current price: $25.99
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Time left: 4d 20h 35m
Yamaha Electric Guitar & Bass Catalog Vintage 1994 Pacifica RGX BB TRB

Current price: $9.95
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Time left: 10d 8h 39m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

Circa 1950 Original Gibson Vintage Guitar Catalog SJ, J-200, J-50, CF-100

Current price: £77.49
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Time left: 29d 11h 18m
FENDER Guitar / Amp Refrigerator MAGNET. Vintage 1950s Catalog Design. 'Chunky'

Current price: £4.93
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Time left: 28d 8h 42m
Yamaha Electric Guitar & Bass Catalog Vintage 1994 Pacifica RGX BB TRB

Current price: £6.17
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Time left: 10d 8h 39m
Vintage Original 1958 Gibson Acoustic Guitar Catalog J-200 J-185 CF-100 LG-2

Current price: £77.49
buy it now
Time left: 29d 11h 18m
Vintage HAMMER Electric Guitar Catalog

Current price: £27.90
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Time left: 5d 11h 37m
Vintage Lot of Gibson Guitar Catalog Brochure Folios From 1981 COOL STUFF!!!

Current price: £14.88
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Time left: 25d 6h 25m
VINTAGE 1992 PRS GUITAR CATALOG FULL COLOR W/ALL MODELS DRAGON II CUSTOM ARTIST

Current price: £9.30
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Time left: 27d 16h 29m
4 FENDER GUITAR AMP & BASS VINTAGE LOUNGE SERIES CATALOG MAGNETS CHRISTMAS GIFT

Current price: £6.19
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Time left: 14d 18h 31m
See more results on eBay here

There are 3 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
Ron Comment left 3rd June 2012 20:08:21
I have a Burnside by Guild accoustic guitar. In the soundhole, the sticker says serial number of B1134....and the model number originally has G-25 but that is scribbled out in ink and BE 65 is written over G-25. Can anyone give me any information on when this was made? I've had it for many many years and never learned to play due to a shoulder injury that never healed. Any guess on what it's worth? Need to sell along with my 1978 Takamine F312S acoustic guitar. Thanks
snowboy Comment left 30th July 2012 10:10:50
Nice collection of catalogues, i've got some rare Vox guitar literature if you want to trade please email me at
abdel Comment left 22nd October 2012 20:08:06
que c'est beau

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