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Thread: Key Brand Info?

  1. #76
    Registered User bennyb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    Here's a thread on Kasuga brand. And here's another.

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  3. #77
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    This really isn't one of these models. Yours is a little nicer.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  4. #78
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    Kasuga Gakki built instruments for many "brands" (including the lower end Kentucky mandolins for a time, apparently) - they also labeled some with their own name. Most were "copies" of major brands, such as Gibson, Martin, etc and included acoustic and electric guitars, basses, mandolins and banjos. These were imported in quite some numbers into the UK back in the 70's - seem to recall JHS (John Hornby Skews) was the main importer/distributor at that time. I believe there was only a short period when they were imported into the US bearing the 'Kasuga' name.. some models also appeared bearing the "K-Country" logo.

    Kasuga Gakki did own and run their own factory, by the way, based in Nagoya. The company was founded around 1935 and ceased production (as a contract builder) sometime in the mid 1990's. They were one of the contract builders for some Yamaha guitars, too. The instruments varied greatly in quality - some were really quite cheap and not good, others were really quite decent. You seem to see more of them floating around in Europe than you do in the US, probably because they had better distribution here.

    An old Japanese catalog page showing some of the banjos and mandolins..

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by almeriastrings; Apr-11-2016 at 3:17am.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

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  6. #79

    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    Wow thank you for your time giving me this information I really appreciate your time and effort.
    The tuners and the inverted diamond look shiny like mother of pearl. Are the different pictures in the tuner area significant in anyway?
    Thank you x

  7. #80

    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    I think so 😊 It 'feels' special 😊

  8. #81

    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    But I cannot find any information on an M18 model from 1978 or any other year 😳

  9. #82
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    Here's an old Ebay auction for one (sold in the UK for 64 pounds, approximately $90).

    http://www.ebay.es/itm/mandolin-A-st...-/172114975538

    Seller dates it to 1970, though I think most of them are actually a bit later than that, around 1976-77.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

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  11. #83
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    Here's on with the brand name Artist.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  12. #84
    Registered User JH Murray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    Here is another Marquis. The seller is asking $200 Cdn, about $155USD. Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	149518. The seller also has a no-name bowlback he is asking $200 for. The bowlback may be worth a look at.

  13. #85
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    Here's one with an interesting modification

    For posterity:
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  15. #86
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    Here is one labeled Concerto.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  16. #87
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    Here is an electric labeled Harmony.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  17. #88
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    Here's one labeled Olympic.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  18. #89

    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    That Kay branded mandolin is from the revived incarnation- not the original company that folded in the late 1960s. These instruments were made in the Far East and South Korea predominated. I found a Kay banjo from that era in a dumpster- it played and it was made in Korea. I passed it on to my brother who likes banjos- I am, odd as it may appear, a mandolin man- and my home has no signs of any banjo activity whatsoever, inside.

  19. #90
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    That Kay branded mandolin is from the revived incarnation- not the original company that folded in the late 1960s. These instruments were made in the Far East and South Korea predominated. I found a Kay banjo from that era in a dumpster- it played and it was made in Korea. I passed it on to my brother who likes banjos- I am, odd as it may appear, a mandolin man- and my home has no signs of any banjo activity whatsoever, inside.
    That's the point of the entire thread. Kay wasn't revived, just the brand name along with a dozen or so others. We've seen so many of these same mandolins with different brand names over the years that this thread just became the repository. Whomever built these was the go to company for anyone wanting a brand on an imported mandolin. We have one member that started out playing one of these and speaks glowingly of them. I can't do that. I did however find the original mandolin that they copied or somewhat copied this design from and that was a Favilla model.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  20. #91
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    Hey, here's one branded Lyle. Lyle was the private brand name of instruments imported by the L.D. Heater Company of Portland, Oregon. Lyle was the name of L.D.'s son. Heater was owned by Norlin when they owned Gibson and was importing the famous open book headstock guitars cited in the now famous Law Suit. They were also selling Gibson pickups to the guys that started Alembic.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  21. #92
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Key Brand Info?

    Here is another branded Kay.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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