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Shaftesbury 3261

Semi-solid Rickenbacker 360-style six string electric

Shaftesbury was the house brand for UK music distributor Rose Morris. It was applied to amps, effects units, drums and of course guitars. The Shaftesbury 3261 was one of the very first models (alongside the twelve string 3262 and 3263 bass) to sport this marque, the range being first demonstrated in August 1968 at the British Musical Instrument Trade Fair. It was available from Rose Morris into the early 1970s.

The Shaftesbury Rickenbacker

Rose Morris were famously the UK's exclusive Rickenbacker dealer, however the arrangement seems to have finished sometime around early 1968 (read more about this here). With customers coming to the Shaftesbury Avenue store looking for Rickenbackers, but sales not taking place (either due to lack of stock, long lead times on orders, and comparatively high prices) it is not surprising that Rose Morris decided to create their own versions. And by all accounts they sold pretty well. It would seem that this was the first direct copy of a Rickenbacker guitar? The 3261 was based on the early Rickenbacker 360 - two pickups and no tremolo, and with the pointed horns. This was the iconic style made famous by Pete Townsend and George Harrison - and as of mid-1964 no longer available from Rickenbacker. The Shaftesbury models did have the "cat's eye" style sound hole, rather than the f-hole more usually associated with Rose Morris export Rickenbackers.

Incidentally, Rose Morris had been using the model code 3261 for the imported 4005 basses just a year earlier. Why they reused this code is unclear, especially with such a short time gap. It certainly seems odd. One might assume some confusion was desirable and intended?

From the 1968 Shaftesbury catalog

A special tone aperture is incorporated within the body of each model to ensure the best possible combination of acoustic resonance and electronic clarity. The slim, double cutaway bodywork has a distinctive shaded finish-ranging from black at the edges through red and orange to a week which golden centre. Matching finished neck fitted with fast action rosewood fingerboard and good quality nickel threats. The all-metal covered machine heads are specially geared for fine tuning. Super sensitive adjustable pick-up units with separate pole pieces. Each unit has separate volume and tone controls; pick up tone selector and overall balance controls are also provided.

Shaftesbury production

Initially, these guitars were produced in Japan, to a fairly high standard. The Japanese guitars had a set neck, and 'staple' type pickups. Exactly where in Japan these were made is unknown, but with Rose Morris' existing relationship with Aria, it is quite probable that these were made at the Matsumoku plant. The Barney Kessel-style 3264, available at the same time, seems also to have been produced at the same plant. But by 1970 production had moved - this time to be made by Eko - another company that Rose Morris distributed - in Recanati, Italy. These Eko Shaftesburys were quite similar, but had a bolt-on neck, and shared the same Eko hardware, including 'Ferro-Sonic' pickups as most late sixties Eko and Italian-made Vox guitars.

Precisely when this model was discontinued is also a little unclear. It was certainly still available into 1972, but, based on price list inclusions, discontinued at some point before early 1973. However it does seem to have been revived (along with the 3263 bass at the end of 1973 and through most of 1974). Whether it was reissued due to customer demand, or had merely been missed out from a significant chunk publicity remains to be discovered.

Despite the short period of availability, there were quite a few subtle variations in the 3261 over the course of production. The image above shows the 3261 as pictured in the 1968 and 1970 Rose Morris catalogs. The Japanese guitar to the left, the Italian to the right. As can be seen there are subtle differences in body shape, and hardware, with the Eko-made examples also having a bolt on neck. Note differences in pickguard screw arrangements, tailpiece, control knobs, pickups and tuning keys. Japanese examples also seem to all have white truss rod covers. Although the Eko guitar is pictured with white scratchplates, many were shipped with black plates.

The Mod revival of the late 1970s

Shaftesbury Rickenbacker-copies were pretty highly sought by the mod revival bands of the late 1970s, and early 1980s. These kids dedicated all their efforts into anything 1960s. Although other Rick-copies were available, a 'genuine' 1960s instrument, especially one so closely modelled on the Pete Townsend guitars, was certainly worth tracking down. If you couldn't afford a 1960s Rickenbacker, this was the next best thing.

Shaftesbury 3261 catalog appearances

The Shaftesbury 3261 was included in three catalogues between 1969 and 1971

Shaftesbury 3261 vs Rickenbacker 360

Both Japanese and Italian Shaftesbury 3261s are pretty nice instruments. But they are not Rickenbackers. Genuine Ric's were very difficult to source in the UK at this time, and were inordinately expensive. There was clearly space for an equally attractive, sensibly priced equivalent. It is unclear how many Shaftesbury 3261 guitars were produced between mid 1968 and the models discontinuation in 1972. At the time Rose Morris claimed they were selling well, but they are not especially common on the used guitar market. Italian (Eko) examples certainly come up with more regularity than Japanese ones.

These guitars are slowly becoming collectable in their own right as collectors see them for what they are, rather than what they were pretending to be.

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Cedar Lake, Indiana, 463**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


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1970s Made in Japan Full Size Acoustic Guitar *For Repair* Teisco, Kawai, Lyle

1970's Made in Japan Full Size Acoustic Guitar *For Repair* Teisco, Kawai, Lyle

Fairfield, Ohio, 450**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


I am selling a 1970's(?) full size acoustic guitar (with black chipboard case) for a luthier project. Made in Japan. I am not sure which factory this was made in. String action is appr. 3 / 16" at the 12th fret (look at last two photos for this). The neck is a very skinny width but with a greater depth (U shape). Reminds me of 1960's Kay acoustics I have had in the past with a baseball bat type neck.
Selling "as is " . No returns.... more
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Pair 1959 Jensen P12RJ Vintage 12" Guitar Speakers Ribbed Cone P12R

Pair 1959 Jensen P12RJ Vintage 12" Guitar Speakers Ribbed Cone P12R

Borger, Texas, 790**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


This listing is for a Pair of Vintage 1959 Jensen P12RJ 12" Guitar Speakers, with Ribbed Cones,
These came from a 1959 Pilot Model 1078 console stereo. They sounded great when tested in the cabinet, have intact cones with no rips or tears and show a DC Voice Coil Resistance of 6 7 and 6 9 Ohms on our Fluke DMM. We can not be sure of the nominal impedance so please ensure that this speaker is correct for your application before buying it. Fluke DMM in the pictures is not included in sale ... more
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Epiphone FT-360 Made In Japan Rare 70s Blue Label Vintage RARE Acoustic Guitar

Epiphone FT-360 Made In Japan Rare 70s Blue Label Vintage RARE Acoustic Guitar

Randleman, North Carolina, 273**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


This Epiphone FT-360 Acoustic Guitar is a rare vintage piece made in Japan with a blue label. It has a 0M body type and is made of spruce and mahogany. The fretboard is made of rosewood and it has a 6 string configuration. This guitar is perfect for any musician looking for a unique and high-quality instrument. Recent professional set up with low action and my preferences may not be yours. Ive been the owner of this guitar for several years and have enjoyed, especially finger style. It??s 50 + ... more
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1967 Hoshino Truetone Rock-Star Guitar Cherry Burst Japan

1967 Hoshino Truetone Rock-Star Guitar Cherry Burst Japan

Pflugerville, Texas, 786**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1967 Hoshino Truetone Rock-Star Guitar Cherry Burst Japan in working condition
... more
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Yamaha Pacifica 311MS Guitar Vintage Blonde W / Case-Nice!

Yamaha Pacifica 311MS Guitar Vintage Blonde W / Case-Nice!

Bigfork, Montana, 599**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


This listing is for a
Yamaha Pacifica 311MS Guitar Vintage Blonde W / Case
This guitar was part of a very large collection and as such, is in great shape and has seen little to no playing time
Comes as pictured with hard case.
Visit Roadhouse Vintage for more pics / info
Buyer pays fixed $100 shipping / insurance in the US(lower 48)
Specs:The Yamaha Pacifica 311MS is part of the Yamaha Pacifica series and resembles the more expensive Yamaha Pacifica 1511MS Mike Stern ... more
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Pair of Vintage 1960s Japan Teisco Gold Foil Pickups - Great!

Pair of Vintage 1960s Japan Teisco Gold Foil Pickups - Great!

Worcester, Massachusetts, 016**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


This pair of vintage Teisco gold foil pickups from the 1960s is a great addition to any guitar collection. Made in Japan, these pickups are sure to add a unique sound to your instrument. The brand Teisco is known for its high-quality vintage guitars and basses, and this model is no exception. The pickups are easy to install and have a classic look that will complement any guitar's style. Whether you're a collector or a musician, these vintage Teisco pickups are a must-have. Don't miss out on the... more
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1977 PENCO LES PAUL CUSTOM Electric Guitar W / case Matsumoku Japan

1977 PENCO LES PAUL CUSTOM Electric Guitar W / case Matsumoku Japan

Bellingham, Washington, 982**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Another quality brand made by Matsumoku. Most of these were made by Ibanez (Hoshino) but this is clearly a Matsumoku. Exactly made like a 77 Aria AE-325. Has electronics control board for trouble free sound. This one has plenty of wear and tear but mostly around the body on the with edge finish cracks through the poly including neck pocket. Several areas but all cosmetic. Neck is nice with only minimal fret wear. Upgraded Gotoh tuners leaving old holes exposed. Was set up as a baritone so with ... more
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Epiphone Texan acoustic guitar. Collectors item. Original owner and c

Epiphone Texan acoustic guitar. Collectors item. Original owner and c

Hemet, California, 925**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


'64 Gibson Epiphone Texan acoustic guitar. Collectors item. Original owner and case. Condition is Used. Shipped with USPS Ground Advantage.... more
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vintage 1961 Concerto 12 String Guitar.     Great Condition. Comes With Case

vintage 1961 Concerto 12 String Guitar. Great Condition. Comes With Case

North Plains, Oregon, 971**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


vintage 1961 Concerto 12 String Guitar. Great Condition. Comes With Case. Condition is Used. Shipped with USPS Ground Advantage.... more
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Gordon Hawtin Comment left 4th September 2020 16:04:38 reply
Your comments, I worked for Guitar Village in 1973 the year it opened and not 1970. It was part of Top Gear 5 Denmark St. I also worked for Sound City 124 Shaftesbury Ave, from Jan-June 1967 and I'm pretty sure Rose Morris was in business then not later.


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1971 Selmer guitar catalogue

1971 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1971 Selmer guitar catalogue showing the range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Gibson, Yamaha, Selmer, Hofner and Suzuki. 1960s Selmer had always placed Hofner at the front end of their catalogues, no doubt these were the better sellers - but into the 1970s Hofner were slipping somewhat and only appear at the tail end of this publication, pride of place going to Gibson, and to a lesser extent Yamaha. In fact this is the last Selmer catalogue to include the many Hofner hollow bodies (Committee, President, Senator etc) that had defined the companies output for so many years - to be replaced in the 1972 catalogue by generic solid body 'copies' of Gibson and Fender models. A number of new Gibson models are included for the first time: the SG-100 and SG-200 six string guitars and the SB-300 and SB-400 basses.

1968 Selmer guitar catalogue

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1961 Hofner Colorama I

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1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)Commodore was a brand applied to a series of guitars produced in Japan at the well-respected Matsumoku plant from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s - and sold primarily (perhaps exclusively?) in the United Kingdom. The models bearing the Commodore name were all guitars available from different distributors with different branding. Although there may have been some minor changes in appointments (specifically headstock branding) most had the same basic bodies, hardware and construction. Equivalent models to the Commodore N25 (and this is by no means an exhaustive list) include the Aria 5102T, Conrad 5102T(?), Electra 2221, Lyle 5102T, Ventura V-1001, Univox Coily - and most famously the Epiphone 5102T / Epiphone EA-250.

1960 Hofner Colorama II

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1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280)

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1981 Gibson Marauder

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1971 'Pick Epiphone' Catalog

1971 Pick Epiphone catalogWhen Epiphone production moved from Kalamazoo to the Matsumoku plant in Japan, a whole new range of electric, flattop and classic acoustic guitars was launched. Between late 1970 and 1972 the new models were launched and refined. This 'folder' catalog contains various inserts released over these years detailing four electric six-strings (ET-270, ET-275, ET-278, and thinline EA-250), three bass guitars (ET-280, ET-285, and thinline EA-260), three folk/steel acoustics, four jumbo flattop acoustics, two 12-string jumbos, four classic acoustics, and a banjo.

1981 'Gibson Specials' Pre-Owners Manual

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It was the largest folder in the series, with 24 inserts, (19 guitars and 5 basses): Guitars: 335-S Standard, Melody Maker Double, Marauder, L-6S Custom, S-1, RD Artist, Firebird, Firebird II, Flying V, Flying V-II, The V, Explorer, Explorer II, The Explorer, The "SG" Standard, Les Paul Artist, Les Paul Artisan, ES-335 Heritage, ES-175/CC Basses: Grabber, G-3, L-9S, RD Artist Bass, Flying V Bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bassRose-Morris were selling Shaftesbury-branded Rickenbacker copy instruments from the late 1960s right through the 1970s. The 3263 bass was one of the first models, (alongside the 3261 six string and 3262 twelve string) available from late 1968 until about 1974. The earliest incarnation was a set neck bass, produced very briefly in Japan. But production quickly moved to Italy. This bolt-on neck example was built by Eko, in Recanati, using the same hardware and pickups as fitted to Eko, and Vox basses built around the same time. It's certainly a fine looking bass, and not a bad player either.

1961 Hohner Zambesi

1961 Hohner ZambesiThis very early, and pretty rare British-built guitar is branded Hohner London. Hohner were, of course, a German company, better known for their harmonicas and accordions, but they were keenly expanding into guitars at the birth of the 1960s. This model, along with the Hohner Amazon and (particularly) the Hohner Holborn, bear some similarity with Vox guitars of the same period; furniture manufacturer Stuart Darkins constructed bodies and necks for both brands, with Fenton Weill assembling them using their hardware and pickups. These guitars do have some hardware peculiarities, and they are not the most adjustable of instruments, but they actually play very nicely, being solidly built out of some very nice woods. Check out the video on this page.

1963 Vox Super Ace

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1966 Vox New Escort

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1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin' Care

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1973 Eko Ranger Folk

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1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar

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1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

1968 Shaftesbury catalogThe 1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog was just four pages long, and contained four guitar models: the six string Barney Kessel-style 3264; and three Rickenbacker-styled semi-acoustic models: the six-string 3261, the twelve string 3262 and the 3263 bass. Shaftesbury was the house-brand of major UK distributor Rose-Morris, and seems to have been launched as a response to the company's loss of it's distribution deal with Rickenbacker. The guitars were mid-priced, and built in (initially) Japan, and later Italy, by Eko

1970 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns Celebrated Classics' catalog

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1971 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns' catalog

1971 Rose_Morris catalogThe sixteen-page 1971 Rose-Morris catalog featured electric guitars by Rose-Morris' own brand, Shaftesbury, and budget brand Top Twenty; aswell as acoustics by Eko, Aria, and for the first time Ovation. The catalog contains the following instruments: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3264, 3265, 3400, 3402; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Ovation: Balladeer, 12 String, Glen Campbell, Glen Campbell 12 string; Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12, Colorado, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Studio 'L'; Rose-Morris Florida; Aria 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk

1972 Fender Precision bass

1972 Fender PrecisionA detailed look at an early 1970s Fender Precision bass guitar in custom black finish, with rosewood fretboard. 1972 list price, $307.50. The Fender Precision had been shipping since at least very early 1952 - with just one re-design circa 1957. This example, then, shows a model already two decades old, but barely changed since the '57 revamp. Fender got it right first time around, and although there are numerous minor cosmetic differences, the essence of this bass is effectively the same as it was in '52: a simple, single pickup instrument with a GREAT sound. Check out the demo video through an old Ampeg B15. It's no wonder this is the bass that everybody wants!

1967 Vox Stroller

1967 Vox StrollerThe Vox Stroller was the brand's entry level electric solid body guitar, fitted with just one pickup and a fixed tailpiece. Although aimed at student guitarists, it wasn't a terrible instrument, but did lack somewhat in adjustability, having no accessible truss rod and only a floating rosewood bridge. But this example is actually quite an improvement on earlier versions, with a standard 1/4" jack and a solid mahogany body. 1967 price £18 2s. JMI ceased UK guitar production in late '67, and combined with decreasing demand for the Stroller, this surely must be one of the last examples shipped.

1963 Vox Clubman Bass (left handed)

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale

1977 Gibson ES Artist 'prototype'

1977 Gibson ES Artist prototypeNot to be confused with the Gibson ES Artist launched by Gibson in 1979; this ES Artist was an early model designed by the Gibson research and development team in Kalamazoo in 1977, the instruments themselves constructed by Gibson artist Chuck Burge. It was planned for launch as a high end semi acoustic with 335-style construction (central maple block) and innovative circuitry - but was pulled at the last minute, being deemed too expensive. Apparently, several examples were produced with varying specifications, though exactly how many actually left the Kalamazoo plant is unclear. Certainly two guitars were sold to LaVonne Music by Gibson in around 1980. Read more about the development of this guitar, with details from Chuck Burge and the story of it's sale to LaVonne music

1959 Hofner Committee

1959 Hofner CommitteeThe Hofner Committee was a truly beautiful guitar produced in Germany, primarily for the UK market. It was a large bodied (initially 17 1/2") guitar with a carved spruce top, available as an acoustic or electric guitar. By the early sixties the carved top was replaced with a laminate, and although still a very fine guitar, the earlier carved top examples, with frondose headstock (like the example shown here) are far more highly prized amongst musicians and vintage guitar collectors.

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins TennesseanThe Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, or model 6119 was Gretsch's best selling hollow body of the 1960s. This wonderfully faded example from 1965 was originally Dark Cherry Red, but has turned a mid-orange brown. The original color, however, can be seen underneath the pickup surrounds. 1965 specs: maple body, two-piece neck, Brazilian rosewood fretboard and Hi-Lo 'Tron single coil pickups. Nickel plated Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece.

1965 Gretsch 'For the Spectacular Sound of the Times' guitar and amp catalog

1965 Gretsch catalogThe 1965 Gretsch catalog, or catalog #32, featured 10 hollow body electric guitars, including the newly launched Gretsch Viking; four solid body electrics, including the Astro Jet - making it's only catalog appearance; just one bass, the single pickup PX6070; nine acoustics and 12 tube amplifiers. Pride of place went to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman that adorned both the front and back covers. 24 pages, six of which are in full color.

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret ends

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret endsLoose frets are especially problematic in certain old guitars, but are generally very easy to fix. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make with just a few tools, a bit of knowledge, and a little time. Fixing loose frets can eliminate fret buzz, remove sharp fret ends, and greatly improve the tone of any guitar. If your luthier bill will be greater than the value of your guitar, definitely time to have a go yourself!

1966 Hagstrom 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog (Merson USA)

1966 Hagstrom guitar catalogHagstrom guitars were distributed in the mid-1960s United States by Merson of USA. This eight page 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog, printed in two-colors contained six solid body electrics, three solid body basses, two electric acoustic guitars, two electric acoustic basses and five acoustics.

1965 Hofner President

1965 Hofner PresidentThe President was produced by Hofner in Bubenreuth, Germany, specifically for Selmer, who distributed the brand in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other commonwealth nations. The President was a hollow body electric acoustic, available as a full body or thinline, and with blonde or brunette finish. It was a great playing guitar that sold fairly well in the second half of the 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the very early 1970s. The example shown here is a full-body depth guitar in blonde - and as a 1965 guitar, one of the last to feature the rounded Venetian cutaway. From late 1965 until 1972, the President sported a sharp Florentine cut. Naturally, such an electric acoustic suggests jazz and blues, but many of the original British Hofner President players were part of the rock 'n roll, skiffle and beat scenes of the late 50s and early 60s.

1963 1964 Fender catalog

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.