The flagship model for Japanese electronics juggernaut was here and gone in the blink of an eye, but certainly not because of quality issues.
Talk about a flash in the pan. The Victor guitars of the mid-1960s came and went so quickly that many folks simply forgot they once existed! This month, I’m going to talk about the Victor SG-18, which was honestly one of the finest sounding electric guitars of its day.
The SG-18 was the flagship guitar of Japan’s JVC company. I found this particular SG-18 in California, back when I used to search Craigslist ads from all around the country and try to convince people to sell and ship guitars to me. I found some memorable guitars that way, but this one was the king of finds. I bought it from a friendly fellow living in Anaheim who had originally purchased it from a record store where it was hanging on the wall. (Back in the day, record stores sold guitars, too.) Now, it’s hanging on my wall.
When I acquired the guitar around 2011, it was right when I was starting to get serious about researching old Japanese guitars. I had developed a few friendships with like-minded folks—both here and in Japan—but when I asked around about the guitar, nobody knew anything about it. It was a total mystery, but I was determined to figure it out. It’s funny to think about now, but my search actually got moving thanks to a Japanese friend’s grandma. She remembered the guitar from a record cover! We then collectively started finding old advertisements and other memorabilia to piece together the story of Victor guitars.
According to Hiroyuki Noguchi, the author of the excellent book ’60s Bizarre Guitars, Victor guitars were introduced to the world on July 14, 1965. The unveiling was a rather glamorous event held at JVC’s Tokyo office. There were journalists, celebrities, and musicians in attendance to see the new line of instruments, which included two solidbody electrics, three amplifiers, and a lap-steel.
The new Victor instruments were marketed as high-quality models and were shown in ads with some of the most popular celebrities and musicians of the day, including the French singer Sylvie Vartan, teen heartthrob Akira Mita, and singer/actor Yukio Hashi. Just imagine if some huge record label like RCA developed their own line of guitars here in the U.S., and had a huge event where Elvis, Paul Newman, and Elizabeth Taylor were in attendance. The company put on a massive media blitz, so you can find all sorts of cool advertisements and record covers with the SG-18 splashed all over, with lovely ’60s flair.
The guitar really is a hot little number. The body and neck were made at the Matsumoku factory in Japan, but the electronics and hardware were designed by JVC. The trio of pickups are high-output units that measure in the 9k range. Resembling the ones found on Fender Mustangs, the pickups used six slug magnets and a phenolic base, and produce hi-fi quality sound. The SG-18’s bridge is similar to a Telecaster’s bridge, and the tremolo has a Jazzmaster feel. Underneath the huge pickguard are the high-end electronics, which include the finest output jack I’ve ever seen. Seriously, it’s like a lifetime jack that was built to last forever.
Unfortunately, despite all the thought put into the SG-18, production only lasted a year and then disappeared into history. There really aren’t many of these guitars around anymore and most examples I see are in this bright cherry red. I occasionally see sunburst models, and there was also a white version according to the literature. Most of the SG-18s were only sold in Japan, but apparently some did make it to the States via record stores on the West Coast. If you happen to have one of these guitars hanging on the wall at your home, then hopefully you now know what you have, too!
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This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
Adding to the company’s line of premium-quality effects pedals, Missing Link Audio has unleashed the new AC/Overdrive pedal. This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal – the only Angus & Malcom all-in-one stompbox on the market – brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
The AC/OD layout has three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone. That user-friendly format is perfect for quickly getting your ideal tone, and it also offers a ton of versatility. MLA’s new AC/OD absolutely nails the Angus tone from the days of “High Voltage” to "Back in Black”. You can also easily dial inMalcom with the turn of a knob. The pedal covers a broad range of sonic terrain, from boost to hot overdrive to complete tube-like saturation. The pedal is designed to leave on all the time and is very touch responsive. You can get everything from fat rhythm tones to a perfect lead tone just by using your guitar’s volume knob and your right-hand attack.
- Three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone
- Die-cast aluminum cases for gig-worthy durability
- Limited lifetime warranty
- True bypass on/off switch
- 9-volt DC input
- Made in the USA
MLA Pedals AC/OD - Music & Demo by A. Barrero
Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level with rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Z-One Pickup Demo
For more information, please visit railhammer.com.
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials