Seizing on the success affordable Japanese import guitars had in the '60s, companies like Matsumoku, Teisco, Tokai, and others produced as many guitars as they could for the '70s USA guitar market. In this period, some builders were so brazen and unabashed that many designs are shameless copies of more expensive American-made guitars. While companies like Gibson hired teams of lawyers to fight the competition, some of these "Lawsuit Era" guitars sincerely rival their USA-made counterparts. In today's vintage market, these intriguing—albeit slightly whacky—axes are great-sounding guitars that provide a different, somewhat off-beat inspiration.
This Electra Super Rock was made in Japan by Matsumoku. It borrows shamelessly from the design of the Les Paul Custom, but Gibson never made one quite like this. Most obviously, the natural-finish Model 2249 has a Maple fingerboard and Maple headstock veneer—giving the guitar a blonde on blonde look. Unlike a Gibson, it has a bolt-on neck, and the body is also contoured for comfort. It's also chambered, and while that does keep the guitar at lightweight (8 lbs 2.2 oz), the intention was probably more to cut costs by using less wood.
It's hard to put a precise date on this guitar, but because of the open-book Gibson headstock, this Super Rock was likely made in 1974 or before. Obviously, it was made before Gibsons lawyers were able to force Matsumoku to change the headstock shape. It's hard not to love the natural blonde headstock with the Split Diamond inlay in green abalone (instead of black with pearl). Also, how about those black Trapezoids on the fingerboard? Easy to say yes to!
This circa '74 Super Rock is in nice shape for its age! It shows all the tell-tale signs of play and use, especially around the edges of the body. There are two bigger dings on the back of the neck, and the pickguard is long gone. The original pickups sound great, and the switch can be a little cranky but still functions. Also, the switch tip has been replaced with a smaller tip, so you're not as likely to bump it while playing.
This old Super Rock does exactly what it's supposed to: rock hard! It's a great guitar with cool vibe and mojo, and it plays nicely with low action. Hardshell case included!