Here’s another guitar from that cool late 60s period. As the guitar boom was wearing down, and acoustics were becoming more popular, the Japanese manufacturers started really churning out some interesting hollowbody guitars. Some were copies of American designs, but many carried that unique Japanese design aesthetic that I so love. They elongated bodies, cutaways, bouts, headstocks, and sound holes, and came up with some totally interesting designs. This guitar isn’t an extreme example, but it’s probably enough of a “stretch” for the average player.This is another guitar that didn’t really appear in the US for very long. I’ve seen just a few examples of this model before, and most had a “Fandel” badge (or a blank headstock like this one). In Japan this model sold as a Firstman S2-C (with different pickups), or as a Liberty (with the same pickups). I wasn’t a real big fan of these pickups. They did sound sort of thin, but then again, if you’re going for that jangly sound then these are going to be in your wheelhouse!Harris-Fandel was one of the large wholesalers back in the day. Located in Boston, MA, the company served the large part of New England with many guitar brands including Kay, Danelectro, and Supro. The company’s president was a pleasant looking fellow named Merty Harris, and these guitars probably represented the lower end of his guitar line. But in today’s guitar market, what once was low is now not so bad. Really, these are nice guitars!What I find most interesting about this guitar is the white finish. For some reason, you don’t see many 60s Japanese imports with white finishes. Matsumoku probably did the most white guitars, but the other manufacturers didn’t really dabble with the color. I wonder why? Maybe some of you re-finishing dudes can shed some light? Is a white finish harder to get right? Either way, this guitar is super light and has a wonderfully solid feeling neck. Now the white finish has yellowed in places, and this guitar had some finish checking, but overall it held up really well!One problem with many of these old hollow bodies was that they were often fully hollow with a small support under the bridge and a block at the neck joint. The problem arises when one of these supports goes haywire. When that neck block gets screwy, real problems happen! Always check the cutaways and binding before buying any of these hollowbodies. I’ve seen many over the years that have gone goofy, and repair is not impossible, but it’s really hard to get right again.One last point I want to make is the appearance of volutes on many late 60s Japanese guitars. I suppose that’s a Gibson influence? I think it’s sort of strange that they just start appearing all at once on these guitars. Well, volute or not, good luck trying to hunt one of these buggers. They’re tough to find!