I've written about Excetro before with my Mosrite copy, which is one of my favourite Mosrite inspired guitars from Japan and, like the Mosrite version, this Ric copy is very Ric, and very good.
Excetro were a brand name produced by Teisco-Gen-Gakki between 1967 and '69 for a huge music shop in Tokyo called Kamano Music Co. Along with Firtsman, Idol and Honey, all were made in the same factory under brand names started by ex Teisco employees after the Kawai buyout in '67. Of all these names Firstman is probably the most famous and went on to become Mosrite Japan after making very good Mosrite copies from '67.
All of these brands were bankrupt and gone by late '69 after the guitar boom declined seriously after '67. Firstman kept making electronics, mainly in keyboards for a couple of years and Honey of course was/is famous for having unleashed the Superfuzz onto the world and made electronics, amps and PAs for a short period into the early 70's.
This Excetro Ric copy here, officially known as Harley 1 (DASH) was one of several higher end instruments produced for Excetro by Teisco-Gen-Gakki and very similar to the Honey models I've written about before.
While Excetro also offered lower end guitars like some of the cheaper hollowbodies from the Teisco-Gen-Gakki catalogue, these Ric copies, like the Mosrite ones are very good quality and show the high quality guitars that this factory could produce by the late 60's.
This body is constructed as a 2 piece, sandwiched "frame" with laminated top and back with a solid timber centre block running back to the bridge and supporting both pickups. The Ric method of construction, where they rout the entire back out of the body and then glue on a back, is very expensive and consuming of timber. This method of building a frame and attaching a top and back has been used by many manufacturers over the years and is a common way for modern guitars to be "hollowed" or chambered.
The neck is set with a deep, long tenon into a cavity left before attaching the top and these were all made like 60's Rics where the fretboard ends at the body, with the neck hanging right out. I love this look as it accentuates the huge, round cutaways.
The neck on these (and the Honey versions) are VERY thin with a real 60's Ric feel. The fretboards are always nice, dark rosewood and have the triangular inlays and binding like a real Ric. The whole thing is carried over to the very Ric headstock and trussrod cover. These tuners are used on most medium to high end guitars made in this factory at the time and they're great tuners.
The electronics and scrathcplate layout are all Ric with these having a Vol and Tone for each pickup and a master volume (small knob) instead of the sometimes and useful blend knob on Rics.
The vibrato on this one is pure Mosrite and was used on some Firstman Mosrite copies with a different arm. It is recessed into the body like a real Ric to give break angle over the bridge.The bridge is the usual roller bridge used on so many of these higher end guitars from this factory at the time and works very well.
The pickups are single coils much like a P-90 with chrome metal covers with the insides being identical to the Mosrite version which also has metal covers although theirs are coated/anodized black to look more like Mosrite single coils.
Like I've said, this factory was making some pretty impressive guitars by this stage and while this isn't a Ric, it's a great copy. Like the Honey ones I've owned these do a pretty impressive approximation of a Ric with P-90's but are slightly less bright and vibrant when strummed acoustically.
If you search Teisco-Gen-Gakki on my site you'll see heaps of blogs I've written about these guitars and as I get more time I'l write more about the rest of what's here in my collection.