Another Firstman from my obsessive love of this brand and what they eventually turned into.
I've written plenty about Firstman before and I've already declared my love and admiration for this vintage Japanese brand too many times so here's a blog about another one while I try to contain myself a little.
Like Honey, Idol (big blog on them soon) and Burns (and Excetro, and ...) Firstman were made by Teisco-Gen-Gakki after several key employees left Teisco after the Kawai buyout. While the factory made guitars for many brands, the people behind these names worked very closely with the factory and designed and manufactured more unique and ... exotic guitars and basses than the standard lines available from other brands.
Firstman, like Idol and Honey also made amps to compliment their guitar and bass lines and of course, Honey would design and make the original Superfuzz that eventually became one of the most famous fuzzes around.
But, I digress again.
The Firstman line up was impressive if for nothing else the sheer number of models offered in both unique and more generic styles. While these companies offered some "copy guitars" (see above links) Firstman really pushed the design limits with guitars like these Liverpool series.
Obviously named in homage to (or cash in on) the Beatles birthplace, the Liverpool series took the by now fairly familiar Hofner "Beatle bass" and ran with it. The bass version of this series, like the guitar line (and most Japanese brands) was offered in a variety of price points. The Liverpool guitar was offered in 3 main versions with the standard, or Junior, shown here at 26.500 JY, the Special at 32.800 JY and the top of the line Deluxe at 43.000 JY.
A slightly less wild bass version was offered in the Baroque series and all versions sported the scroll headstock in both guitar and bass versions.
These are well made guitars and show the high level of quality Teisco-Gen-Gakki was capable of in their mid to high end markets. Firstman started out as a more high end brand with great, unique shapes but as sales were reasonably slow with so much competition, the brand started using more generic lower to middle price point guitars in their lineups and some of their later '68/69 models were the same as more generic lower end Teisco, Burns, Liberty and even Aria guitars who were using this factory for parts at the time.
All of these brands were over by late '69 and the factory would limp on doing woodwork for whoever needed it for another year before closing also.
Of course the Firstman story doesn't finish there. As I've written before, Firstman, who had also been making amps and keyboards, would carry on as an electronics company making synths and sequencers for brands like Multivox and their Mosrite section, which had been building the famous Avenger guitars among others would be sold and turn into Mosrite Japan.