Defunct Musical Instrument Manufacturers - P

Defunct Musical Instrument Manufacturers - P

Panasonic (Organs & electronic keyboards) See --> Panasonic

Paradise See --> GTRC Services (USA - Guitars - 00's)

Based in New York, USA and assembled guitars on a semi-custom basis, run by Rudy Pensa of Rudy's Music Stop and John Shur that now owns Shur Guitars. Originally founded in 1985 after Shur had built a guitar in 1984 that was to a design specification put forward by Rudy Pensa and Mark Knopfler, but Rudy's Music Stop had been the main "Schecter Custom Shop" in New York for a few years, but those shops built guitars to customers specifications using kits provided by by Schecter.

The Schecter Guitar Research company had been sold a year earlier and in an attempt to meet increasing demand had closed down their California plant and opened up a new bigger one in Texas that was only geared up for mass manufactured equipment and the company stopped building custom guitars and for the most part stopped supplying their custom shop dealers with parts.

Mark Knopfler had been using a variety of Schecter guitars since 1980, having had Rudy's Music Stop assemble a number of them and was interested in a new guitar that was basically the Stratocaster clones that Schecter had been building but with a smaller body, Rudy Pensa managed to buy a number of unfinished necks from Schecter's new owners but put the idea on hold for a while.

When the original Schecter manufacturing site was liquidated one of the former employees of the company called Tom Anderson purchased the router that had been used to make guitar bodies at the factory and started offering guitar repair shops replacement bodies and a little later expanded into the manufacture of replacement necks and and pickups compatible with what Schecter had been using and formed a company around it called Tom Anderson Guitarworks that in a few years would start making full guitars under that name as well.

The availability of bodies and the necks that Pensa had already bought opened up the possibility for Pensa to make a compatible guitar and take over some of the custom business that the Schecter company had dropped in the preceding year, he asked John Shur to build a guitar comparable to the Schecter models, but Shur had been working as a guitar repairman for Mr. Pensa prior to that but had been building his own instruments on the side.

The first instrument went to Mark Knopfler who was very happy with it and this led Shur and Pensa to start manufacturing the guitars on a full time basis, in addition to models similar to the prototype they made full size Stratocaster clones and other products based on parts from TAG including a few basses, paintwork was by Patrick Wilkins and done on the bodies after they left TAG but prior to shipping to New York.

The partnership operated from Pensa's premises in New York and was never formalised, so when Tom Anderson announced in 1991 that they would stop supplying others with parts to concentrate on building their own, Shur proposed to Pensa that they invest in a router and start making their own necks and bodies, Pensa was not willing to finance that and with no other source of compatible parts they parted ways.

John Shur went to work for Custom Audio Amplifiers, but Rudy Pensa later started to manufacture of the product line using parts from an unknown source and now makes them under the Pensa Guitars name..

P&H Enterprises Ltd.
British company based in New Malden in Surrey that was originally founded in 1986 to manufacture musical instrument accessories sold under the P&H London brand, these are believed to have been wind instrument mutes but we are not absolutely sure. By 2000 they were selling a wide range of mutes but also glass fibre and carbon fibre bows for classical string instruments, these look like they were actually not made by the company but we are not sure about that either. Company stopped trading in 2009 and was dissolved in 2010, the trademark and selling of bows was taken over by P&H Bows but it is not known what connection there is between the companies or if there is any plans to re-introduce the mute range.

Phrogg Percussion (Drums & percussion) See --> Grover-Trophy Music Company

Pine State Music LLC

Company founded in December 1999 by Dana Bourgeois after the failure of Dana Bourgeois Guitars and was based in Lewiston, Maine, USA. Continued the manufacture of the line of Bourgeois acoustic guitars that the previous company had built, and was located in premises close to the original factory, but in the end was only active for about half a year or until Mr Bourgeois managed to find investors to properly finance a new company called Pantheon Guitars that took over the business, tooling and premises of Pine State Music.

Prince Tsushinkogyo Co. Ltd.
Japanese trading and manufacturing company originally founded in 1950 and based in Nagoya in Aichi prefecture, their name would translate to “Prince Telecommunication and Engineering”, but Tsushin Kogyo, written as one or two words, was until the 60’s a common name used in Japan for what we would call electronic companies today.

Very little is actually known about the history of the company, they are manufacturing musical instrument amplifiers in the 1960’s under the Prince brand, these include a couple of valve based models but the wast bulk of them is transistorised combo amps. All of their early amps appear to be named although some have model numbers as well, larger amplifiers have names like “Princeton” while small portable practice amps get insect names like “Wasp” and “Beetle” and it is for those practice amps that the company is best known especially in the West. They are in fact rather interesting in some ways, the bulk of these seen are not branded Prince but rather as Piggy but that is actually not an inference or copy of a the Pignose brand as is often stated but rather it starts life as a model designation for a small budget combo amp that manages to combine a fairly cheap construction with a rather good feature set for such an inexpensive model, including dual channels and something that a number of the Prince amps somewhat uniquely feature at the time; headphone outputs. The Piggy name then later turns up on other models as a brand although the Prince or Prince Amplifier name is usually also shown on those as well in smaller letters, this is especially common in markets where the Prince trademark already exists, but another Japanese company called Yoshinaga Prince Co. owned the trademark in a number of countries.

The Piggy practice amps were sold in a variety of versions, ranging from dirt cheap models with just an input and gain control and featuring small loudspeakers intended for portable radios and suchlike to quite well specified models that feature dual channels, reverbs, EQ and quality drivers seldom seen on small practice amps, some of their small portable amps could even have optional built in tuners, if there is a T at the end of the model name there is an electronic guitar tuner built in at the back, and a fairly good one at that, something we do not see on the market again until amps with built in digital signal processors start hitting the market. As said before the bulk of their amps unusually enough feature headphone outs but in the latter half of the 70’s the Prince Tsushinkogyo takes that to its logical conclusion by releasing a miniature practice amp that does not feature a loudspeaker, this appears to be the first guitar headphone amps in the world, and was released as the Piggy “My Way”, it does appear to predate the Rockman by at the least 3 or 4 years, which is quite funny since the Arion headphone amps are universally referred to as Rockman clones although in practice it is the other way around.

In 1980 the company started to brand their products under the Arion name and goes after the guitar effect pedal market in a big way and very successfully for a time, their pedals were very keenly priced but mainly cut corners in the cases which were made out of injection moulded plastic versus the metal boxes most other makers used, but the electronics were quite similar in quality to what was to be found from other Japanese manufacturers, they also benefitted from having more modern designs than what their American competitor’s offered so during the early 80’s the company became one of the larger makers of pedals and much better known for them than for their traditional tuner and amplifier products.

The company’s fortunes waned in the latter half of the decade, sales of guitars and accessories slowed down as the 80’s wore on and pedal sales in particular started dropping in 1984 when affordable multieffects started to show up on the market, at the time they relied on custom VLSI so large companies like Yamaha Corp. and Roland/Boss that already had expertise and finance for development of custom silicon or companies like Alesis that had access to venture capital and cheap fabrication cleaned up the market while small companies like Prince were in no position to compete. The last we heard from the company was in the mid 90’s and by then the company was a small operation with just over 10 employees and was being run by Sawako Watanabe, but sadly we do not know if she was part of the family that originally founded Prince or if she came from the outside. In 1997 the Arion trademark and product lines were taken over by Ueno Kaihatsu Center, they continued with the manufacture of pedals and tuners, but the amplifiers were discontinued.

It is rather remarkable how well some of the company’s products have withstood the test of time especially given that most of them were budget priced to begin with, in fact outside of their home market the pricier and larger amps are difficult to find while their main line products are still very common in lower wage counties around Asia such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia and often seen on the second hand market.

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The site was last compiled on Sun Nov 10 2013 at 9:15:00am