Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 34

midrange roll-off pots.
A five-position rotary
selector put the pickups
in series or parallel, in
or out of phase; pretty
effective, and didn't require
technical genius. A slightly
simpler L-6S Deluxe followed
in '75.
Gibson wasn't alone trying
to mount tonal vocabulary on
the guitar. In '69, Alembic, a
small custom shop in Novato,
California, began making hotrodded guitars in the Grateful
Dead's rehearsal space. By '72,
they'd produced a bass with
filtering circuitry and before
long were selling production guitars with advanced
electronics.
A lso i n '72, B.C . R ich
introduced its first original
neck-through solidbody design, the Seagull. Working
with Neil Moser, by around
'74 these had active electronics with twin humbuckers
run through an onboard
preamp, a six-position

The '77 Omega X230 is Electra's version of
Gibson's The Les Paul. This one has a replacement
pickguard. . The cover of Electra's 1977 catalog.

VINTAGE GUITAR

34

March 2017

tone with different capacitors and coil taps.
It was in this highly
experimental environment that Electra - the
name used on electric
guitars impor ted f rom
Japan by St. Louis Music
(SLM) - found itself in the
mid '70s.
Founded by Bernard Kornblum in 1922 as a violin
importer/distributer, SLM
expanded to guitars following World War II. In
'61, it began selling its own
Custom Kraft versions of
electric guitars made by
Kay. While they did not advertise it, the company also
imported a limited number
of Japanese electric guitars,
including some Guyatones.
By the late '60s, SLM was
promoting a full line of
Japanese imports, some
badged Apollo. These were
as much necessity as opportunism. By '68, Valco/Kay
was in trouble and closed its


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 3
Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 4
Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 5
Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 6
Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 7
Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 8
Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 9
Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - Contents
Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 11
Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 12
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Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - IBC
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