- electric guitars
Electra was a brand of electric guitars and basses manufactured in Japan and distributed in the US by two companies owned by brothers: Saint Louis Music (SLM) and Pacific Coast Music in the 1970's and early 1980's.
Unlike many other brands of imported guitars which were sourced from a single manufacturer, Electra guitars were ordered from all the Japanese factories and distributors. As a result, early models especially vary in details and quality. Later, as all models came to be made by Matsumoku, Electra guitars offered high quality at competitive prices. However, the brand never entirely lost its association with inexpensive 'copy' guitars and the brand name was transitioned to Electra Westone in 1984 and Westone in 1985. The same qualities make them popular among collectors today.
In 1976 Electra MPC (Modular Powered Circuits) models featured a pair of cartridge slots in the guitar body, which allowed effect modules to be plugged in and controlled from the front of the guitar. Today the unusual thing is that the effects are onboard, but even offering electronic effects to consumer musicians was fairly new at the time and offers an interesting alternate way to do it. There were a total of 18 guitar models which carried MPC circuits. The most notable was the Super Rock, which was a Les Paul copy.