Hondo HLP (LP-29)
The Hondo brand was created through a joint-venture between Samick and Texas-based IMC (International Music Corporation). The new company introduced modern American and Japanese production methods to the Korean market, while taking advantage of the low-wage level in Korea to offer inexpensive, entry-level guitars.
Note: ALL Hondos from 1972-1989 (unless otherwise specified) are made in Korea by Samick.
The HLP was Hondo’s first Les Paul copy, Introduced in 1973. For the first two years, they were made by Hoshino Gakki (Ibanez) in Japan. However, they are very rare and noticeably different from the typical HLP. After 1974, all HLPs were made in Korea by Samick. Around late 1979, the headstock was redesigned to avoid lawsuits following the famous Gibson/Ibanez lawsuit. In 1980, it was re-named the H-740.
Note: The stock bridge on these models commonly failed, caving in at the center due to insufficiently durable metal. This lead to the creation of the Wide Tune-O-Matic in 1981, however, the original design was also revised with a more durable metal and continued in use.
Vantage was a brand started by Music Technologies, Inc. (MTI) around 1978. MTI was formerly known as Unicord, Inc., which created the Univox and Westbury brands.
The very first known model was a re-branded Hondo HLP called the V-100, most likely sold around 1978.
By 1979, Vantage guitars were mostly unique designs made exclusively by Matsumoku in Japan.
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