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Has anyone ever heard of an Estrada Guitar

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#1 pimpmaster2000

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Posted 01 September 2002 - 04:57 PM

I just inherited it from a family member.

Ive never heard of this make of guitar. First off It has to be about 35 years old. It is a classical acoustic guitar and has held up well except for a little to much action which unfortunately is going to be hard to fix.

Whell I really dont know much about this guitar if any one knows how much it's worth and anything about the Estrada company it would be appreciated.

#2 namrednef



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Posted 01 September 2002 - 05:29 PM

Hmmmmm.....not sure about that name. You hear so many over years.....no tag or anything inside the soundhole?

Try a Google search about Estrada Guitars
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#3 treeza

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Posted 02 September 2002 - 09:41 AM

yes i've heard of these. I think they're Italian...had a real old 12 string with similiar probs. Don't invest big $ in it until you get it checked out...if its really starting to bow in the front you will never get it to concert pitch and you will never be happy with the sound. It maybe you'll end up keeping it just for sentimental reasons but not to play.


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Posted 18 September 2002 - 11:04 AM

Dude, an Estrada classical guitar was my very first guitar back in the day- 1975. My mom got it for me at the PX at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

#5 wordman2000

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Posted 18 September 2002 - 11:06 AM

is it the C.H.I.P.S. model?

#6 dustys1banjo

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 11:59 AM

Estrada guitars--the mystery guitar, I have been researching these guitars since I bought one in a pawn shop in 1975. They range from professional quality to terrible pieces of crap due to their strange past. They were mostly produced by M.I.C.A. I have alot of info on these but very few PROVABLE facts. What I know has been gleaned from mostly third party sources, official guitar companies won't say a word about them. The earliest guitars have a rectangular label inside and say made in Syossett, N.Y. M.I.C.A. seems to have been some sort of cooperative private group of Japanese and American investors. The story I have pieced together is this: Along about 1969, this group came together and decided to market quality guitars at low prices. Most guitar makers make a habit of overproducing their guitars to cover sudden order increases and also to make good on defective guitars. Martin puts these leftover guitars out under the Sigma brand and since buying Epiphone company, Gibson does the same with Epiphone. In 1969, however, Epiphone was still a seperate company. Now here is where we get into my personal theory: I believe some mid-level official of the Gibson Co. and one similar person in the Guild Co. thought it would be a good idea to sell all those assorted guitars gathering dust in warehouse corners and turn them into cash by removing the name brands from them. My reasoning is this: My own Estrada, Model#0055 Ser#70846 is the absolute twin to my friend's 1965 Gibson Dove Dreadnaught, detail for detail. My guitar has an "O" fret, which is right next to the nut, or upperbridge. This detail has only appeared on a few professional quality guitars. My guitar has a spruce front, rosewood sides, and a mahogany back. It has the Gibson tuners,Dove pickguard, and the Gibson mustache bridge. The headstock has the Gibson "open book" shape. Even the inside bracing is absolutely identical with the genuine Gibson. The cherry sunburst finish is even the same shade and tint. Therefore, I believe that my guitar and quite a few others were actually produced in the Gibson factory. The fact that these guitars carry this name makes their market value pretty low, but each individual guitar shouldbe evaluated for sound and playability. If you're looking for a good investment, skip it. If you're looking for a great guitar, then look a little closer, I wouldn't take $1000.00 for mine.
M.I.C.A. sold these guitars and some more they were able to buy dissassembled through about 1972, then I believe the bigwigs of Gibson and Guild got wind of what had happened, were appalled to be doing business with "a bunch of Japs" and cut off all sales of parts and surplus guitars. I have contacted both companies, and received silence for my efforts. I believe this is when operations were moved to Japan and became strictly a Japanese company, a subsidiary of Suzuki Enterprises. The guitars produced in Japan were copies of American guitars, had a round sticker inside saying made in Japan by M.I.C.A. Some of these guitars appear to have been well made by good luthiers, while some others were probably made by trainees with the poor quality of the unskilled workers. There literally thousands of these kicking around in closets and haymows. If you find one and it can be repaired, you have probably got a pretty good axe.

#7 dadfad



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Posted 08 June 2011 - 01:21 PM

"... I have contacted both companies, and received silence for my efforts."

Try contacting Walter Carter in care of Gruhn Guitars. He's now affiliated with Gruhn's but he was the Company Historian for Gibson for many years and knows a ridiculous amount of inside-Gibson information. He's also a pretty nice guy. He might respond if your theory is correct he knows anything about it. I used to have his phone-number at Gibson, but we haven't been in contact for close to ten years since he left Gibson.

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#8 misterhat


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Posted 18 June 2011 - 11:23 AM

Gibson does the same with Epiphone. In 1969, however, Epiphone was still a seperate company.

Gibson has owned the Epiphone name since 1957. From 1957 to 1969 Epiphone guitars were made in the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

My first guitar was an Estrada classical.

Edited by misterhat, 19 June 2011 - 09:51 AM.

#9 phurtado1

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:45 PM

Yes I have heard of the Estrada guitar, in fact I have a 12 string Estrada model F614 that I bought back in the 70s. I sold it to my brother-in-law and he recently gave it back to me in excellent condition. The green rectanugular tag says the guitar is Japanese made for a company called MICA. There is no date on the tag inside the body, but If my memory serves me right it was in the 70's while I was in the military. It is a really well built guitar and it has a great sound. It looks like a Gibson Hummingbird complete with the Hummingbird pick guard and the tail piece looks like a gibson with inlaid mother of pearl and a crest that has the lletters RS and the number 42216. The frets are also inlaid with mother of pearl. I would like to know more about my guitar and if it is one of the old Gibson castoffs I think I'll invest in a hardshell case.

Edited by phurtado1, 15 November 2012 - 03:04 PM.

#10 dadfad



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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:47 AM

If you like the guitar, Gibson-related or not, I'd get a reasonably good case for it. And often even what were relatively inexpensive guitars made back then were of better quality than some more expensive newer guitars of today.

It's really amazing how the price of fairly good hard-shell cases has come down so much in the last few years. (One thing I guess the Chinese helped out with. :sadbuttrue: ) (And supplying the US with millions of reasonably-decent very inexpensive defense-rifles! :lol: )

My old 1930 Gibson L-1's original (semi-hardshell) case was starting to deteriorate. As the original case itself had become fairly valuable and I use that guitar frequently, I didn't want to drag it around and have it continue to fall apart like it had leprosy or something. I got a new hardshell case (well-padded plush-lined, decent latches and lock, etc) at Guitar Center for about fifty dollars. Not quite as well-made as say a brand new Gibson hardshell case, but pretty good and more than adequate.

Anyway, if you have a guitar you like, protect it.

And welcome to GuitarZone.

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#11 Abear

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 06:31 AM

I came across this forum by accident. In 1970 I was at Palm Beach Junior College, Florida. The head of the music Dept was Sylvio Estrada. He was from Spain & his family made Estrada Guitars. I know that at one time they were custom made.  I played his but really don't remember it too much. Maybe they sold the name. There should be some old custom made Estradas  out there. Hope that helps a little.

#12 joemezzane

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 08:27 AM

Hi dustybanjo


I ve just bought the same guitar as yours because of your post ;) hope is a fine one  ;)

there are only 2 digit of difference on the serial number ..amazing no?

no so sure of you theory do you have some news about?

i m little afraid about the zero fret style is it really good ?

I ll get the guitar in 2 or 3 weeks I ll a post about ...

#13 Jiharv

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 01:27 PM

I got my classical Estrada in a classified ad for $50 back in the 90's.  It's a CL-7 model and is labeled by Suzuki - no serial #.  It has  a rectangular orange label, "Made exclusively for MICA by Suzuki, Nagano Japan".  I've tried other, more expensive guitars (up to $1,000) and really couldn't justify the cost to trade up.  The action is a little high as neck isn't perfectly straight, but I get by.  I had a surface pick-up mounted in the body by the bridge with a jack mounted on lower side.  It must have been made by one of the better luthiers that day...

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