1960s Fujigen-made Offset Electric Guitar

Many old Japanese-made student-grade electrics (like this one) are small, compact, and feel like driving a tiny sports car. Their handling, though, is a little odd for modern fingers as the necks tend to be bigger and many have super-short (23") scale lengths. This one has an almost mid-'50s Gibson-ish neck shape with a longer 24 11/16" scale and medium-C neck shape. That alone gives it a huge advantage over typical single-pickup Japanese guitars of the time in my book.

I'm thinking this Premier-branded guitar is probably a Fujigen product judging on the basis of the pickup type, some of the hardware, and the neck style.

All of these old guys need a bit of help to get them to perform best, so that got done and now it's a quick-playing, lightweight guitar with a relaxed, almost vintage-jazzy tone to it. Cranked through some overdrive, though, I'd imagine it'd be a great little gritty garage-rock monster.

Work included: a fret level/dress, compensation added to the bridge/saddle, mild cleaning, and a good setup. The truss works, it has a straight neck, and it plays with spot-on 1/16" overall action at the 12th fret, strung with 46w-10.

Scale length: 24 11/16"
Nut width: 1 11/16"
String spacing at nut: 1 3/8"
String spacing at saddle: 2"
Body length: 17"
Lower bout width: 12 1/4"
Upper bout width: 10"
Side depth at endpin: 1 1/4"
Body wood: Japanese ash?
Neck wood: something like mahogany
Fretboard: rosewood
Neck shape: 12" radius board w/medium-C rear profile
Bridge: original steel, new compensation for 3-wound, 3-plain
Nut: original plastic

Condition notes: there's mild wear-and-tear throughout and the original mounting hole for a bridge screw is poking-out from under the bridge base where it's aligned now (for proper compensation). I also moved the strap button from the back of the heel of the neck to the shoulder for easier balance and hanging.

The funniest thing about the '60s Japanese electrics is that the headstocks always feel out of scale with the rest of the body. They're big!

It's nice to see a big slab of rosewood on this neck, sans-binding. So many early-'60s Japanese electrics used ply rosewood for the boards with binding to hide it. The frets are small, narrow, and shallow -- just like you'd expect.


CM said…
For all their funky-ness (including my first Teisco single pickup, ($20 new at Thrifty Drug Store in the photo department...1969)) I always thought they had a great handle on their sunburst finishes, it just looks good and would be amazing on a real Jazzmaster.