Imperial 3-Pickup Electric Guitar 1960's Sunburst

$50 price drop
As low as $29/month with
This seller is open to offers
Shipped From
Sammy B's Basement
Spokane, WA, United States
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About This Listing


Finish:  Lacquer, 2-tone sunburst

Neck Profile: D

Fingerboard Radius: About 10"

Scale Length: About 25"

Nut Width: 1 11/16"

Electronics: All original, 3 single coil pickups, each with its own 2-way on/off switch, one master volume and master tone control for the whole circuit, one 2-way rhythm/solo switch. The circuit is pretty noisy and the switches have the sort of functional problems that are often common with this style of switch on Japanese vintage guitars, for example; pushing one switch drags the others with it, sometimes pressing the switch doesn't actually switch the tone unless you poke it hard a couple times, unpredictable shorting of the circuit or silencing of individual pickups may occur if a switch is flipped halfway or makes contact in a weird way, you know . . . that kind of stuff. Oh, and the volume and tone knobs don't really do anything when you turn them. Some new pots, a new capacitor of your choice, and re-soldered connections are definitely in order if you want them to do what they are supposed to.

So yeah, this thing has got some issues electronically speaking. Basically this is the sole reason I am listing this guitar as low as I am. You could probably refurbish the switches and do a re-wire without too much trouble if you really wanted to get into it, but this one is on consignment and I can't afford to put in that sort of work on it at the moment. All in all, it's still pretty cool as is as long as you're not too picky, or expecting it to function like its right off the factory line. 

Hardware: All original, thick aluminum pick-guard, original tremolo arm still present. 

Case: Nope.

Repairs/Modifications: Nothing is apparent

Neck Details: Neck looks pretty straight, bit of a noticeable forward bow, but no twist. No fretting issues.

Action: About .120" on the bass side to about .090" on the treble side, measured at the 12th fret, adjustable bridge is maxed out all the way down. 

Fret Wear: Fret wire looks to be original, wear is surprisingly minimal, these frets are in good shape. 

General Cosmetic Condition: This guitar is looking pretty good for its years! The finish is in pretty good shape, minimal checking, couple small dings and scratches here and there but really nothing that sticks out. The surface of the all-metal pick guard is a little bit tarnished and not as shiny as it once was i'm sure, but its actually kind of a cool aged look in my opinion. The pickups on the other hand are still nice and shiny somehow, go figure. Most important things to note are that the headstock badge is pretty faded and the strap buttons are plenty rusty (see photos for detail).

Other Notes: 

Pretty cool and quirky little vintage Japanese surf rocker here! These types of things were branded under so many different obscure names over the 60's I couldn't really tell you with certainty who manufactured the "Imperial" line, although the hardware does sort of smack of Kawai if I had to give it my best guess. Plays just fine if you don't mind the mid-high action as the adjustable bridge is bottomed out. The single coils are hot and sound great with a lot of versatility, if you can manhandle the switches into behaving the way you want them to, that is (PLEASE see the electronics description above if you are considering purchasing this guitar.)

  The "rhythm" side of the circuit sounds really bright and thin, but in an oddly appealing way (unique recording potential abounds!), where the "solo" side of the circuit gets the pickups sounding full bodied yet very bright and bitey, actually a really excellent tone if you are into the characteristically vintage 60's pop-rock sound, think like early Kinks. This one is what it is for the price, a really fun little garage rocker with decent playability, super cool looks, and a really sick and versatile tonal quality! Feel free to contact me with any questions. 

*This guitar is sold "as-described", and therefore not subject to my usual return policy.*

This item is sold As-Described

This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.

Product Specs

Listed8 months ago
ConditionFair (Used)
Fair condition gear should function but will show noticeable cosmetic damage or other issues.learn more
Made In
  • Japan

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