ELECTRA
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ELECTRA
Instruments previously built in Japan circa 1971 to 1983/1984. Distributed by the St. Louis Music Supply Company of St. Louis, MO.
Electra guitars, like Alvarez, was a brand name used by the St. Louis Music Supply company. The Electra and Apollo brands were introduced in 1971 as a replacement for the U.S.-built Custom Kraft instruments (Apollo was the budget brand line). Many models were bolt-neck versions of popular American instruments.
Tom Presley was hired by St. Louis Music in 1975 to work on the Modular Powered Circuits (MPC) program. The MPC line of guitars (mostly a Les Paul-ish style) featured cavities in the back of the instrument where 2 battery-powered effects modules could be plugged in. Thus, the guitaristsĀ“ effects would be mounted in the instrument instead of located on the floor like stomp box effects. The effect modules had controls that could be preset after being plugged in; the guitar face had on/off toggle switches. The MPC idea is actually pretty clever! The distortion MPC modules also led to the development of SLMĀ“s Crate guitar amplifiers.
In 1983, St. Louis Music noticed that a west coast dealer had begun selling low-end imported guitars using the Electra trademark. Although prior use belonged to St. Louis Music, it was felt that there would be some confusion with dealers and the public sorting out the differing levels of quality. Right off, the trademark switched to Electra/Phoenix. Then, in 1984, St. Louis Music announced that the Electra trademark would be merged with another Japanese-built brand, Westone. Models were sold under the Electra/Westone imprint for a year, then finally Westone only as the Electra aspect was disc (early trademark history courtesy Michael Wright, Vintage Guitar Magazine).

From Blue Book Publications:


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