Electra Guitars of the 1970s

Above: an Electra ad from 1979 which seems to be suggesting that by using their sound-effects controls incorporated into the guitar itself (rather than in foot-effect-pedals), you will develop a unique style and attain success.  Okey…  Anyone using one of these today?  Thoughts? 

Electra was a brand-name for Japanese-made guitars imported by the St Louis Music Co. in the 1970s.  There were also Electra-branded amps:  I had a pretty rad solid-state piggyback with a 15″ driver and footswitchable phaser/reverb/overdrive (i think…) in the early 90s…  pretty good sound for a solid-state amp… Anyhow, I can’t find any info on the amps online but maybe someone can send us a catalog?  As far as the guitars: there is pretty good documentation on the web: start with this page.  These dudes also posted the full 1977 catalog, which is one of the best I have ever seen.  To wit:

(image source)

Goddamn hippie cowboy space invader!  Nice.  Anyhow… here are some more interesting Electra ads from the mid seventies which I think no one else has bothered to upload yet… enjoy…

The Electra MPC guitar with modular electronic-effect plug-ins.   Gimme TANK TONE baby.

The Electra ‘Tree of Life’ guitars, part of a larger ‘carved-top-design’ trend in the 70’s…  see here for another example.

7 thoughts on “Electra Guitars of the 1970s”

  1. The internal effects guitars worked great when they worked, but usually became intermittent and had other electronic issues. Relatively few of these guitars survive in stock condition because people gutted them out and rewired them with standard stuff. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago these imported guitars became cool, especially in the Midwest were a larger percentage were sold, so many were subject to crude “conversions” into fake Gibsons or Fenders too.

  2. Have used Electra guitars since 1976; the MPC models in particular since 1977 – still using 2 today – with no problems with the MPC modules at all, also a 2267 model. Check out the Electra website at rivercityamps dot com.

  3. My first halfway playable guitar was one of those carved Les Paul copies. I stripped it and dyed it purple.

    And like the above guy I ripped out all the electrics and put in the old EMGs. It played pretty well for about ten years, needs neck work now. Maybe one of these days.

    But my first GOOD guitar-a ’69 Tele that had been reworked by Dan Erlewine-was so much better it wasn’t even funny. My mother shipped it to me when I was in nuke school in the Navy and UPS made kindling out of it. After that Fender had been bought out from CBS and was making the vintage reissues that were 95% as good as the old ones so I didn’t pine over it too much- the UPS insurance bought me a Mary Kay Strat. I still have that and it’s a truly great guitar. I did put Callaham hardware on it and Waverly tuners though.

  4. I have two Les Paul MPC clones, one with the wave headstock, and one with a Gibson style. My first electric was a “Workingman.” I have had several others over the years. Wish I stilll had them all!

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