solid state amplifiers

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Lafayette Radio Electronics Corporation was a radio manufacturer and retailer based in Syosset, New York. The company sold a wide range of electronics equipment and other items through their mail order catalog, including guitars and amplifiers. Lafayette instruments were typically imported from Japan - the electric guitars were often made by Guyatone. Lafayette also produced effects including: Echo-Verb, Fuzz and Rotovibe units.

Source: Lafayette Radio Electronics catalogs 1964 to 1973.

Positive Grid

Positive Grid is based in California, with satellite operations in Europe and Asia.Since 2008, the company has designed and developed a core technology base and is currently expanding it to various applications for mobile, desktop, and hardware. Positive Grid’s best-known product range features the JamUp, BIAS Amp, and BIAS FX amp-and-effects guitar processor software, as well as the BIAS Pro pedal line, and the BIAS Head and BIAS Rack amplifiers.

Source: Positive Grid website (27 November 2017)


The Japanese Pearl Drum company bought the Hayashi acoustic guitar company in the early 1970s, and began selling Pearl branded acoustic guitars made by Hayashi. There were also Pearl Export Series solid body electric guitars and basses made by Matsumoku from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s. The Pearl Musical Instrument company also sold a range of effects pedals and solid state amplifiers in the 1980s.

Source:  Jack Westheimer Pioneer of Global Guitarmaking. By Michael Wright. Vintage Guitar Magazine

Source: Pearl Guitars...brought to you by Matsumoku and Hayashi

Source: 1983 Pearl Effects catalog


The Kasino amplifier brand was launched by Kustom Electronics in 1972. Kasino amplifiers were identical to Kustom amplifiers but were covered with traditional Tolex material instead of the regular Kustom Tuck-And-Roll Naugahyde. This made the Kasino amps more attractive to players with conservative tastes who were put off by the flashy look of the Kustom amps.  The Kasino amplifier line was discontinued in 1975 following a change of ownership of Kustom Electronics.

Although Kustom went out of business in the late 1980s, Hanser Holdings of Cincinnati, Ohio bought the rights to the Kustom and Kasino brands in 1994. At this time Hanser introduced some Chinese made Kustom amplifiers and some Kasino by Kustom guitars and basses.

Source: Kasino catalog 1973


Gibson used the Kalamazoo brand name for a lower cost range of instruments twice in their history. From 1933 to 1942 Gibson made Kalamazoo branded archtop guitars, lap steel guitars, banjos and mandolins. From 1965 to 1970 Gibson made a Kalamazoo line of lower cost solid body electric guitars, amplifiers and basses.

Source: Gibson & Kalamazoo catalogs


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)

Jordan (Electronics)

Jordan Electronics was initially a division of the Victoreen Instrument company, making radiation dosimeters. Jordan Electronics then became a division of the Phaostron Instrument and Electronic Company of Pasadena, California. In the late 1960s and 1970s Jordan Electronics made a range of solid state amplifiers as well as the Boss Tone Fuzz effect and volume/fuzz pedals. The Jordan Electronics brand later became a division of International Music Corp of Fort Worth, Texas, who distributed Jordan amplifiers.

Source: Jordan Electronics catalogs 1969 - 1972


Jansen electric guitars, audio equipment and amplifiers were originally made in New Zealand in the 1960s to 1970s. The Jansen guitar range was revived around 2016 with Chinese made versions of the Jansen Beatmaster and Invader.

Source: Jansen website

Randy Jackson

The Randy Jackson Diamond Edition guitar series was introduced in 2012 by Home Shopping Network in the USA. Featuring designs by Jackson himself, packages included the choice of a solid body electric or acoustic electric guitar paired with an instructional DVD featuring Jackson and guitar expert Scott Goldbaum, a 15W amp, a custom case and guitar strap. The price was around $279.

Source: Billboard 4 December 2012. Randy Jackson to Debut Guitar Collection on HSN,


The J3 Guitars brand was owned and designed by Codel Enterprises LLC of Bethel, Connecticut. J3 Guitars were first introduced at the Summer NAMM show in 2005 and were made until Codel Enterprises shut down in 2008. The J3 line included guitars, basses and amplifiers. John Coates (one of the three Johns after which J3 Guitars was named) said "Our goal in designing the new J3 line is to produce guitars and basses that players will want as their main instruments. Our instruments will embody equal measures of playability, innovation and dependability. We're passionate about our products, and we feel confident that the passion will be evident in the instrument's design and sound. The quality of the build will attract the pro, and the competitive pricing will offer the beginning guitarist unparalleled value as well."


Penco was a Hoshino Gakki brand for Japanese made acoustic and electric guitars & amplifiers in the 1970s. In 1971 Penco instruments were distributed by Philadelphia Music Company Inc in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The year later Hoshino Gakki acquired the Elger Company in Pennsylvania which became Hoshino USA - the exclusive distributor of Hoshino Gakki products in the USA. The Penco brand was discontinued in the mid to late 1970s

Source: Penco catalog 1971

Source: Hoshino website

Haynes (amplifiers)

Haynes amplifiers were made by the Amplifier Corporation of America (ACA) a company established in 1936 and specialising in broadcast and amplification systems. The amplifiers were designed by Nathan M. Haynes - who held various patents related to amplification and recording circuits. Unicord bought ACA and the Haynes brand in the early 1960s. By 1966 there were two Haynes amplifier models: the Jazz King and the Bass King. Both were solid state combo amplifiers.

Source: Haynes Amplifiers - Unicord catalog 1966


Heathkit electronics catalog sold kits to make solid state guitar amplifiers (branded Heath) as well as effects pedals. Heathkit also distributed Harmony electric guitars (Harmony by Heathkit) to go with the amplifiers, you had to install the electronics and controls yourself.

Source: Heathkit catalogs 1967 to 1970


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