There were so many different Japanese guitars made during the 60s, and even though I’ve been playing them for many years I still haven’t seen them all. Almost every week I see something new, which is really cool. A perfect example is this Stagemaster guitar. It’s the only one I’ve ever seen.Now these pickups I have seen before, and these switches. They’re identical to the Douglas guitar I used to own, and for my money epitomize the lo-fi sound often attributed to vintage Japanese electric guitars. Dano coined the term (he coins a lot of terms) of the “empty beer can sound” as that’s a pretty accurate statement. These pickups have a rather low reading, with the neck pickup reading at 3.92k, but they tend to get plenty microphonic. They pickups also have this eerie, echo-like quality as well. So where some might scoff, others embrace this tone.This guitar and my old Douglas guitar most likely came from the same maker, but as of now it’s unknown. I will say that there is a definite novice build quality to these guitars. Like the pickguard for instance, was hand carved. Like, carved with a knife! Seriously! Also the pickguard material is this really strange cellulose material that I’ve only seen used on early 60s imports. Hoshino Gakki also used the same material on their earliest imports, but I think that’s the only connection between these and other Hoshino Gakki guitars.So there’s that Stagemaster nameplate screwed on there. Again, I’ve never seen that name before. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen a blue painted nameplate before! The shape of this headstock is also the same as the Douglas guitar, as are the tuners.The body of this guitar is plywood, and the neck is nice and chunky. Pickups were wired in series so at least you got some juice out of both pickups when they’re turned on. Another cool feature of the electronics is the Rhythm/Solo switch. Most of the time, those switches are totally worthless. But on this guitar, the switch offered a HUGE boost in overall tone and output. Weird.Check out that big ol sticker on the back of the headstock. Stickers were commonly found on imports back in the day, but they always fell off over time. See, there was another sticker up there at the tip, and I wish it was still there. Clues man, clues! Anyway, to hear the empty beer can sound in action, have a listen.