Goya
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Goya
Mandolins previously produced in Sweden between the late 1950s and the early-1970s and in Japan, Korea, and/or Taiwan between the early 1970s and 1996. Distributed by Hershman Musical Instrument Company in New York, NY between the late 1950s and 1970, by Kustom Electronics, Inc. between 1970 and 1972, by Dude Inc. between 1972 and 1976, and by The Martin Guitar Company in Nazareth, PA between 1976 and 1996.
The Goya trademark was originally used by the Hershman Musical Instrument Company in New York City, NY in the 1950s on models built by Sweden's Levin company (similar models were sold in Europe under the company's Levin trademark). Levin built high quality acoustic flattop, classical, and archtop guitars as well as mandolins. A large number of rebranded Goya instruments were imported to the U.S. market.
In the late 1950s, solid body electric guitars and basses built by Hagstrom (also a Swedish company) were rebranded Goya and distributed in the U.S. as well. In 1963 the company changed its name to the Goya Musical Instrument Corporation.
Goya was purchased by Avnet (see Guild) in 1966, and continued to import instruments such as the Rangemaster in 1967. By the late 1960s, electric solid body guitars and basses were then being built in Italy by the EKO company. Avnet then sold the Goya trademark to Kustom Electronics. It has been estimated that the later Goya instruments of the 1970s were built in Japan.
The C.F. Martin company later acquired the Levin company, and bought the rights to the Goya trademark from a company named Dude, Inc. in 1976. Martin imported a number of guitar, mandolin, and banjo string instruments from the 1970s through to 1996. While this trademark is currently discontinued, the rights to the name are still held by the Martin Guitar company.
The Goya company featured a number of innovations that most people are not aware of. Goya was the first classic guitar line to put the trademark name on the headstock, and also created the ball end classic guitar string. Levin-Era Goya models feature interior paper label with the Goya trademark in a cursive style, and designated "Made by A.B. Herman Carlson Levin - Gothenburg, Sweden." Model and serial number appear on the label, as well as on the neck block.

From Blue Book Publications:


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