The Guitar Emporium Limited began trading in 2003, when its founder retired from a large worldwide technology company. Our initial business was the importing and selling Fender Japan worldwide. The reason that we did this was that since 1998 Fender Japan were limited by Fender to only selling in Japan. We found a way to import into the UK and then sell them worldwide.
We were selling instruments which many considered to a better build quality than ‘Made in the USA’ Fender guitars, plus they had USA Fender Standard Vintage pickups or Texas Special on the more expensive Fender Japan guitars. The guitar bodies were made of 3-piece basswood on the standard models and alder or ash on the more expensive ones.
We sold more than 2500 guitars around the world until the fateful Tsunami caused such devastation in Japan and the exchange rate to half against the Yen. With the price of a Fender Japan guitar doubling overnight, our market disappeared.
We dabbled with other brands but eventually decided to set up our own brand which would be in the spirit and style of Fender Japan.
Our lower cost models were labelled ‘Made in China’ on the headstock and were identical in left and right handed, other that the left-handed logo was also unique to left handed guitars; it too was left handed!