History

 

Moridaira History
The Moridaira Guitar company has been building quality handcrafted instruments in Nagano, Japan for a long time. Mr. Toshio Moridaira, the founder, was the first distributor in Japan to carry both Fender and Gibson lines. In 1964, due to his working relationship with Gibson, Mr. Moridaira was able to visit the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan. An employee at Gibson nicknamed him “Mori” at that time. In 1967, he founded the Morris Guitars company. He named it Morris, taken from the nickname given to him a while back. Morris produced copies of dreadnought and small jumbo models based on Martin and Gibson designs. To this day, Moridaira’s main production are Morris acoustic guitars.
Moridaira’s philosophy has always been to keep a continuing dialogue with musicians, and combined with the company’s expertise in acoustic sound technology, know-how in woods and electronics to produce instruments which push the boundaries.
Moridaira has been a leader in development with its fresh ideas and will continue pursuing the possibilities of creating new sounds with our superior technology and close contact to the artists, hereby contributing to the creation and the development of music.

Mad Cat History
In 1973, the H.S. Anderson brand was launched by Moridaira, and one of the employees Mr. Shiino Hidesato (HS) designed what would become an iconic guitar, the Mad Cat.
While most Japanese companies in the ‘70s produced copies from famous US-models, the Mad Cat was something completely unique. The body construction was based around a walnut center strip, with sen ash sides and tiger maple top and bottom.
The hardware and pickups were not what people would normally associate with a tele-type guitar, but is more similar to a hardtail strat-style guitar, and the unique leopard-style pickguards further distinguished the Mad Cat.
A little over 500 Mad Cats were made during the ‘70s, including a small batch made OEM for Hohner USA with a Hohner logo in the H.S. Anderson style.
Pop artist Prince discovered one of these rare guitars early on in his career, and used it live and on countless hit-records like Purple Rain, 1999, Controversy, etc. for over 30 years now.
Original vintage ‘70s Mad Cats are very rare and hard to find guitars, sought after by numerous collectors.

 70′s H.S. Anderson MadCat

 

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70′s Prince Hohner branded H.S. Anderson

 

 

 ”Bill Lawrence” also sold a version which differs from the other copies in that it has a distinctive hook shaped headstock.
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 In 1984, after Prince made the guitar famous, Hohner re-released the telecaster manufactured by the Korean factory “Cort”. The first re-release was called “The Prinz” and featured Tele style headstocks with the normal smooth contours but with a logo which was different from the original.

 

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Hohner again released a Prince style Tele in 1990 which they called the “TE Prinz” model. Fender prohibited the builing of the Tele with the Fender Headstock so the “TE Prinz” design the Hohner Headstock. 

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Hohner released again in 2008, 2 models to their line of electric guitars, the HTA490 “The Artist.” and the Artist Elite.

“We’ve made a few improvements to the electronics, and some very minor cosmetic changes to differentiate the new model,” said Rick Gagliano, fretted division Product Manager. “This instrument echoes all of the classic tonalities made famous on recordings since the early eighties.”

The guitar features a soft rock maple body, flame maple top in Honey Amber finish with a compound radius maple neck and maple fretboard. It is accented with “Tortise Shell” pickguard, bridge guard and headstock overlay and chrome hardware. The guitar has a string-through-body design, a Strat-style bridge with individual adjustable saddles, Tesla VR-1 Single Coil Alnico pickups at the bridge and neck and Wilkinson “mini” style 18:1 high ratio tuners.

 

Hohner also offer a higher-end model of the guitar called The Artist Elite that is handbuilt in the Czech Republic by Hans Waldermeir. The Elite features a swamp ash body, one-piece maple neck/fretboard and handwound Häussel pickups.