Sunday, June 29, 2008

This Old Guitar

Most players have an outdoor or camping guitar. It's "the beater". Already mojo'd up with dings and scrapes, another would only add to its character. Mine is my oldest guitar, a late '60's or very early '70's "Jadee". My parents bought it for me already well used back in '75 or '76; my first cannon. A Gibson Hummingbird copy, a big dread with a big sound. Back then I didn't know a lot about guitars, except that mine sounded a lot better than most of my friends'. Now I know why.

Extensive internet searches have brought up nothing for the Jadee moniker, but the history of Japanese copy guitars of that era is getting to be well documented. This guitar is solid top, back and sides, grain goes all the way through, no laminates. Adjustable bridge, like many early Sigmas, typical of that period. Logo and decoration all inlaid mother of pearl. The headstock still has the Gibson mustache, so it is said to be pre-lawsuit. Interestingly, the label, while stating "Made in Japan," also says, "Constructor de Guitarras. Jadee. Modelo No 684.6". Made for a Spanish speaking market? Or like the Ibanez, just trying not to be so Asian? Many factories were putting out amazing product during this "golden age" of Japanese production, guitars that blew the socks off of the lesser entry-level price point instruments made in the US.

But the best feature is how it still plays. The action has always been low, the neck profile slim as well. It's always sounded warm; matter of fact, that's how I got into buying D'Addario Phosphor Bronze strings, to edge up its brightness. After all these years, the bridge was just beginning to lift, so earlier this year I took it in for a glue job and had new tuners, a new saddle, and some fret replacement done. Probably spent as much on it as my parents originally paid for it. A total bargain. While I love my Martin, my Sigma, my Ovation and even that 2 x 4 of a Fender 12-string, this old guitar has a part of my heart. Don't think I'll ever let it go.

25 comments:

Ryan Kelly said...

Do you know anywhere I can find out more about Jadee guitars? I have one that's a modelo no. 645 and I'd to find out when it was made.

Ruralgurl said...

Ryan, It's as if they don't exist. I have found info on the Ibanez, Aria, Lyle, Antoria, Coronada, but nothing on Jadee itself. All the above made Hummingbird and other pre-lawsuit copy guitars. Probably from the late 60's/early 70's, possibly made at the FujiGen factory, and that's about as close as it gets. Things pop up on the internet all the time, though. If I ever find some hard facts, I'll post 'em.

srbraukhof said...

I have a 1973 Jadee Marin copy I bought new for $139.00.
The problem those guitars had was the floating, adjustable bridge would pull up after abour 5 yeard. I had it repaired by a Luthier friend of mine, bur three years ago the bridge cracked in two.
Thanks to advances in epoxies I repaired it and still play it regularly. It has a very rich sound, and I still love it and wouldn't part with it.

david said...

This is the only sight I have ever found with any info in regards to Jadee guitars. Like Ruralgurl said it is as though they never existed. I have the exact same model as you. 684.6. I found it at a yard sale for five bucks. It was gorgeous though it only had two strings on it and some busted machine heads and bridge pins. Took it to a guitar shop, had the broken parts replaced and wow it sounded beautiful. I have been wanting to have it appraised ,but no where to turn. Do you have any idea what they might be worth? I will check back here for any replies.

Ruralgurl said...

David, you got quite the deal! I've seen eBay "but it now" pricing on various MIJ 60's-70's Hummer copies anywhere from $199. to $649. I've got mine on the insurance list at $400. just in case. Your local guitar shop should do appraisals, but usually it does cost to do.

SRB does have a point, the bridges can tend to pull up. I'd always used light strings on it, so it lasted about 35 years as is. Didn't really pull badly until I started doing some "Nashville High Strung" stuff with it. That's when it had to be reglued.

Glad to see some other Jadee's out there! Enjoy 'em while ya got 'em!

mikemike said...

I have an old Jadee as well. Anyone want to but it? Not the best condition, but it plays wonderfully! $100.

Anonymous said...

The Jadee I have has no model # on the "Spanish tag". I bought it new in 1971. No Gibson moniker on the head stock. The moniker is mother of pearl, one triangle up one triangle down, with large m of p fretboard inlays. It has many hours on it and still plays and sounds great!

Jim said...

I have a pretty old Jadee guitar mod. #628. The looks of the guitar had been drastically changed many years ago. So long ago that I can't for the life of me remember what it originally looked like. Maybe I will try to send you a photo of it. Anyone who says that the sound of this guitar is excellent is correct and the same goes of it's playability which is also fantastic. I have just recently found that I am going to have to have the base of the neck refastened to the body as the glue must have started to fail and needs some attention. I think I will do the work myself however. I have repaired other guitars and violins and I think I am up to this challenge. I really enjoyed reading about everybody else's guitars and experiences. I didn't buy my guitar new and I have owned it about 32+ years. I have no idea of it's age. Mine does not have the fancy shaped head that flairs to pointed edges but rather is just a straight line across the top of the head. I also son't ever remember anything being written on the head but I may not be correct on that. I have also recorded with this guitar amoung others. Take care. J.L.C.

Beserker said...

I have a jadee modelo# 628.12. It's a 12 string that sounds great. As myself nor my buddies have ever heard of Jadee, we tried to look it up and have found nothing. As with the anonymous poster mine has the mother of pearl inlays, the up and down triangle, and the frets. I realize information on these guitars is scarce, but have you or anyone come across any info on the 12 string Jadee??

Anonymous said...

I have a JaDee 12 string accoustic guitar That I bought around 1973 and I'd like to find out if it was worth anthing.I's in pretty nice shape and still has a great sound'

Anonymous said...

I have a Jadee Hummingbird Modelo: 92684 and love it. MOP inlays, fretboard is bound. It has such a deep luscious sound, I use it all the time at gigs. What a wonderful instrument.

twospirit51 said...

I just bought a Jadee 12 string from Goodwill for $50. It's had a rough life but still plays great. Even with all the dents and scratches it is still a beautiful guitar, with mother of pearl inlay on the headstock and fretboard and a fully bound body and neck.

Scott C said...

My wife just picked up the 684.6 model for me at a yard sale for $80. It's in decent shape for it's age. I have a new Yamaha as well, but the sound and feel of the Jadee is amazing.. I too have been trying to get more info and find out what they are worth....

Russ said...

Mine should be here tomorrow. Jadee 628. Looks like it has no play wear but some scratches and scuffs from laying around in dusty place for 41 years. Quite obviously the same maker as the Ibanez Jamboree 628 but a slightly different label and name. I am no Sherlock Holmes but Matsumoku Hoshino and Ibanez are key words here. I paid 37.99. Needs all strings. Will send photos and report when It gets here. One just like it, but with an Ibanez Jamboree 628 label just sold for 152.00. Can't wait to hear her.

Russ said...

She came in a UPS truck all wrapped up in a box. Looked very dirty and scratched on back but no real damage or play wear. After hours of cleaning and polishing compound she looks amazing. Took forever to pull the bridge pins which held the last 3 inches of old strings. The rest long gone. No tellin' how long she was without strings or a case. Inside was much hard mouse droppings and dust bunnies. Lots and lots of dust. Got her strung and tuned adjusted the bridge and she sure is sweet. That metal bridge gives the most ringing chiming sustain with angel voices and bell overtones/harmonics.Sustains forever. So visually beautiful. A rare gem with the most artistic jewelry like metal truss rod cover of gold and black. Sculptural fine art quality stylized logo similar to Yamaha but very art deco jewelry seeming. LIke a stylized cross with intersecting crossed paired arrows and revolving electron illustration appearance. Label in great shape. Almost just like an Ibanez Jamboree label. THe head mirrored diamond inlay is also an Hoshino dead giveaway. What a rare gem / piece of history. 37.99 plus shipping. Plays great sounds great looks stunning. All laminate but superb. Not a crack or separation. You know a solid one would be cracked up. PLayed very little and stashed without a case. NO doubt pre 1974 and almost certainly 67-69. Same as an Ibanez Jamboree 628 pre lawsuit but with the amazing gold and black metal cover art. Gibson open book head is gorgeous in black with the very choice MOP flashing like 3d diamonds. This beauty has aged so darn well. The colors the quality. I feel truly blessed. She rings forever with great balance and separation. 45 years old and better than the day she was made by fine artisans in Nagoya. Hoshino means star field in Japanese. She made the trip even better than new. Breathing again. Ancient trees. The masters who made these laminates and sold them dirt cheap knew what they were doing. This is the ultimate lawsuit guitar. Jadee, I love you. ..."Arabic Meaning:
The name Jadee is an Arabic baby name. In Arabic the meaning of the name Jadee is: Goodness."...

twospirit51 said...

Russ, thanks for your information about Ibanez. My 12 string has the exact same headstock (except it says Jadee) and fretboard as a 1975 Ibanez 12 string I just saw on eBay.
Wayne

Anonymous said...

If you look closely at the sound hole in the photo you will see that this is a laminate guitar. See the line through the middle. Solid guitars this old would be all cracked up and would sound no better. If it sounds great why be a sheeple and feel inferior because it 'aint super expensive solid top. Hardly anybody who pretends to know could really tell by the sound. Look at the original poster here. Even with the evidence of the photo and playing it for years even he is fooled it is a solid top. Nobody can MAKE you feel inferior. You have probably heard of the blind violin experiment. The worlds best violinists blindfolded played a priceless Stradivarius and a new violin. None of them could choose correctly. Same with guitars. Fine art of guitar lamination should actually be more expensive. It is a pretentious manipulated market for sheeple with "superior taste." Enjoy your golden age of Japanese guitar rare gems. The emperor wears no clothes! An Ibanez with a Jadee label or a Gibson or Martin with a Japanese label.Get it now?

Anonymous said...

http://shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Ibanez-628-Acoustic-Guitar--Case-11161775.html

Anonymous said...

I have a Jadee that is a telecaster copycat, it was a flee market find. Its supposed to be a bright yellow, but this thing now looks like its been thru a war (it actually survived a house fire). But it plays great. I had it adjusted recently, and 3 different guys at the guitar shop all said it was a nice playing guitar. I am still a novice player, and I can't help but love this thing.

Mikielikesit said...

I had just purchased an Ibanez hummingbird 1969 model #684-6 made in Japan. Looks very close. Picked it up for $50.00. I had one back in 72 and it got broken and thrown out. I thought I would never see one again. It was my best guitar.

brad prescott said...

I have a similar guitar a mendez 684.6 made in japan. it looks exactly like the jadee. i got this second hand from a guy for $40 in 1974- brad prescott

Anonymous said...

OMG! Thanks for all the info on the Jadee guitar. I bought my 12 string new at Hix Brothers Music in Aurora, IL with my summer earnings in 1976. Never heard of a Jadee before, but it was right in my price range-under $200. Model #92629. Interesting comments regarding Ibanez. When in the right light and the right angle, I have always believed the headstock HAD said Ibanez, which had been removed and replaced with the Jadee name. Same with the 2 triangle inserts - there was something else there previously. I have presumed for the past 38 years that it was an Ibenez reject, or made from leftover/closeout parts, but I could never find a flaw. Has anyone else noticed these "shadow" inserts on your instrument? Beautiful sound and fun to play.

sharon stritzel said...

I have a Jadee 645 that I bought in 1972 or 1973. It is in perfect condition and I'm wondering about its value. Any ideas? Sharon@telebyte.com

Unknown said...

I have an Ibanez Concord Humming Bird copy that I'd love to know some more about. It has no serial number on it anywhere. It does have a model number though model 684.6 it has the classic open book headstock and feels, plays and sounds just like a humming bird. Features both a humming bird and a small butterfly on the pick guard. Having said that it does look very similar to the Jadee pictured above but marked as Ibanez. Anyone familiar with this or even still following this post? Thanks

Aaron Goodridge said...

I have an Ibanez Concord Humming Bird copy that I'd love to know some more about. It has no serial number on it anywhere. It does have a model number though model 684.6 it has the classic open book headstock and feels, plays and sounds just like a humming bird. Features both a humming bird and a small butterfly on the pick guard. Having said that it does look very similar to the Jadee pictured above but marked as Ibanez. Anyone familiar with this or even still following this post? Thanks