Panasonic (Organs & electronic keyboards) See --> Panasonic
Paradise See --> GTRC Services (USA - Guitars - 00's)
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.
Phrogg Percussion (Drums & percussion) See --> Grover-Trophy Music Company
Pine State Music LLC
Prince Tsushinkogyo Co. Ltd.
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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