Friday, April 8, 2011

Marchis guitars

A reader begins his message to me with "I understand you have a great knowledge of guitars..."

Oh gosh.  I wish.

Then he asks me about Marchis guitars.  This is a badge I've never even heard of.  Nor seen.  There doesn't seem to be many of them, from a quick glance at the internet.  I did find a fellow blogger with a page on it.  My reader said he has a Les Paul Gold version of the Marchis and Flat Eric's photos show a Telecaster thinline guitar that just about matches one in a 1974 Greco catalog.  Greco utilized Dyna, Fujigen and Matsumoku in manufacturing their guitars, so it's conceivable that Marchis was a badge made by one of these three manufacturers.  Both Matsumoku and Fujigen are the most productive of the timeframe in which Marchis would have been made, however, Dyna made quality guitars as well (they were used by Fender, which is pretty darn selective).  Is it possible that Marchis is a lost Dyna badge?

And much to my surprise guitarist East Bay Ray (Dead Kennedys) owns a Marchis....which is shown in a January 2006 Guitar World on page 33.  So it can't be that horrible of a guitar.

So does anyone else own one of these lost guitars?  Tell me!


  1. I own a Marchis Jazz bass. I can send a photo

    1. I'm looking at one if these tomorrow. Do you have any info on the bass, the construction or the value, the year? Thanks

  2. Hi Major,

    That would be great! Please send it along to:

    Have a great day and thanks for reading!

  3. I've just had a Marchis acoustic in my workshop - very nice!

  4. Just bought an ES-335 copy by Marchis from one junk shop in Rome. The owner of the shop told that this guitar is the last one of a collection of Fenders etc. that one of his friends had. He told that it is fronm 60's .... Now when I tried it at home after changing the strings ... it felt pretty good! At least rare and beautiful hanging on the wall ... Tuomo

  5. I have a Marchis es-175 copy.
    Plays beautifully

  6. I would like to get some info about it:)

  7. I've got marchis lespaul, please do contact me on


  9. Not sure if this thread is still alive or if anyone is interested - I just bought a used Marchis SG copy from a guy who knew next to nothing about it or guitars. He wanted $100, got it for $40 as it was in real rough shape.

    I had heard MIJ guitars are some of the best Gibson and Fender copies, so I thought I'd take the chance and put some work into it to get it up to snuff. So I took it home and started fouling it apart... very disappointed, it looks great from the outside and didn't sound terrible (but certainly not great) when plugged in. First off the body is laminated plywood with a very thin veener on top - very cheap wood. I then moved to the electronics which for a 70's era guitar the pots and switched were what is to be expected, but the pickups were the real eye opener - as most know an SG/Les Paul is know for it's Humbuckers - well inside the Humbucker casing was a VERY cheaply made single coil pickup. I now think even $40 was too much to pay for this guitar, very disappointed. The only saving grace is the neck - which looks to be solid wood, with some nice frets with binding (they are in really good shape for an 35+ year old guitar) I'm going to continue working on it and make it into 'something great' as a project guitar, but in my opinion that's all these Marchis guitars are worth - with new electronics, a new nut and some of my time, it could be worth $250-$300.

    In my opinion though stay away from any Marchis guitars that haven't had any improvements made to them, they would have been pretty much junk brand new, let alone now...

    I also have a Tora MIJ guitar (sold only in Canada I think) sitting in its case ready to look at, I now wonder what delights that has to offer.

    Thinking of doing a blog about my findings and progress with these 'rarer' MIJ guitars if anyone is interested, I have documented everything so far with the Marchis SG in photos - so easy enough to do.