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Suntech was an electric guitar and bass brand from the late 1970s to 1980s. Suntech instruments were made in Japan for overseas distribution. Suntech guitars typically good copies of Fender, Gibson and Rickenbacker models - but there were also some nice original variations like Suntech's Limited Edition neck-through version of the stratocaster.


Joe Marinic founded Shadow Electronics in 1971 in Erlangen, Germany as an electric guitar and pickup maker, but initially Joe decided to focus solely on pickups. Soon Shadow invented a ground breaking undersaddle piezo pickup (called the “Shadow 1”) for acoustic and classical guitars. The 1970s saw further innovations from Shadow including the first endpin output jack for acoustic guitar and the first dual magnetic and piezo pickup system. During the late 1970s and early 1980s Shadow invented the first piezo bridge for electric guitars and the first active humbucker with a built-in equalizer. In 1987 Shadow began making electric guitars in Germany and released several guitar-to-midi converters and guitar synths. More recently, Shadow developed the NanoFlex transducer and NanoMAG magnetic pickup systems.


Ortega was established in 1994 by the German musical instrument distributor Roland Meinl (Meinl Cymbals & Percussion). At the beginning Ortega Guitars was a classical guitar company with a range of 6 classical guitar models all made in Spain using traditional methods. By 2018 their product line had expanded considerably and included acoustic & classical guitars, acoustic basses, mandolins, ukuleles and banjos as well as accessories and effects for acoustic instruments. By this time most Ortega instruments were made in China although there was still some Spanish manufacture.

Source: Ortega Guitars website (25 October 2018)


Nady Systems Inc was founded in the 1970s by John Nady who developed and refined wireless mircrophone systems for musicians. Although best known for their hugely successful wireless systems, Nady also introduced Nady Lightning guitars and basses in the 1980s with built in wireless transmitters - these were initially made in Japan by Fernandes. Nady also produce guitar amplifiers (with built in wireless receivers) and a wide range of effects pedals.

Source: Nady Systems Inc website (16 July 2018)

Prince (Tsushinkogyo)

Prince Tsushinkogyo Co. Ltd.  (Prince Telecommunication and Engineering) was founded in 1950  in Nagoya, Japan. They concentrated on making tuners and solid state musical instrument amplifiers which were sold under the Prince brand names as well as others (such as Memphis). The company began to use the Arion brand name in 1980 and began making guitar effects pedals. The company's fortunes declined in the 1990s and by 1997 Arion was sold to the Ueno Kaihatsu Center, who continued making pedals and tuners, but discontinued the amplifiers.


JOYO TECHNOLOGY is a Chinese company specializing in R&D, manufacturing and marketing digital products for music education. There are two brands under JOYO TECH: JOYO and Dr. J. Their main products include: Effects Pedals, Guitar Amplifiers, Tube Amplifiers, Rock House, Metronomes, Tuners, EQ systems, Drum Practice Pads, Pedal Controllers, Synthesizers, E-Erhus, Wireless Systems, Audio Cables, and Portable Power Supplies.

Source: JOYO website (1 November 2017)


Peterson StroboClip, clip-on virtual strobe tuner for stringed and wind instruments

The Peterson StroboClip is a clip-on virtual strobe tuner. The virtual strobe is shown on the tuner's LCD display.Like a strobe tuner, the StroboClip has lines that rotate either left or right depending on whether you are sharp of flat. The speed of rotation is linked to how out of tune you are. When you are in tune the rotation will stop. It might sound complicated but it is quite easy to use in practice.

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Peterson have been in the tuning business since the 1950s. They have traditionally specialised in high precision mechanical strobe tuners but have also developed a range of virtual software based tuners. Some of their tuners featured "sweetened" tuning which offers sets of optimized tuning offsets designed with a particular instrument in mind to help combat the bland tone equal temperament tuning provides.


Snark produce a range of tuners as well as a 9V power supply and a metronomes. The Snark brand is named after a mythical species described Lewis Carroll in his poem "The Hunting of the Snark". The snark is a peculiar creature that cannot be easily captured: the most common method is to seek it with thimbles, care, forks, and hope. One may also "threaten its life with a railway share" or "charm it with smiles and soap".


C. G. Conn Ltd. was a musical instrument company founded in 1874 in Elkhart, Indiana. They manufactured a full line of band instruments including wind, strings and percussion. They also manufactured organs, pianos and music boxes. Conn did not manufacture their own guitars but distributed both American made and imported guitars, banjos and zithers.  In 1969 Conn was sold to the Crowell-Collier Macmillan Company (who were primarily publishers) and the Conn guitar division was established in Oak Brooks, Illinois. The Conn guitar division contracted Tokai Gakki in Japan to make a range of acoustic guitars - and these were available until 1979. Conn also entered the electric guitar market with a series of original designs and some copies but Conn discontinued their electric guitar line by mid-1980, and the company was sold again. In 1985 the Conn Strobotuner division was bought by Peterson Electro-Musical Products, who continue to service Conn products.


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