The world of music is always stringing with tune and melodies. With this increasing intensity of the music and widespread learning notions, multiple companies have stepped into the field. They are manufacturing guitars and other musical instruments to meet the increasing demand. One such company is the Robin Guitars.
Robin Guitars is the manufacturing company involved in the manufacturing of electric guitars. The manufacturing and operational location in Houston, Texas. The company was first launched back in 1982 with the inauguration crown on Dave Wintz. Back in the days, he owned the Rockin’ Robin Guitar. Until 1986, the robin guitars were manufactured by Chushin and Tokai in Japan.
Many famous players loved this company and their models. For instance, Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan used the 6-string standard neck and 6-string octave neck double-neck guitars in the 1980s for their stage shows. Also, Stevie Blaze has involved Robin Guitars in the early years of his music career (yes, we are talking about the Stevie of Lillian Axe!)
Eric Johnson had one as well. However, over the course of years, the guitars and basses have added the pickups from Rio Grande Pickups. This company is known as its sister company and the pickup notion started in 1994. If you are intimidated by all this, we have added everything you need to know about Robin guitar. So, have a look!
All About Robin Guitars
How It All Started?
Well, there was a time when Japanese people were handling this mastermind “Robin Guitars” but soon, the American companies took over it and the history just vanished off the EARTH. But the Japanese were the people who put the realistic and cutting-edge designs in the musical world. Be it the basses or vintage guitars, they started buying them and selling back in the US where Robin Guitars was in exponential demand.
With such high demand, they were soon sold out and the new shipment arrived with hundreds of Springy guitars, but there was a Tokai logo. Well, this created some chaos but one cannot let one mishap tarnish the image, right? At that time, GC cases were ordered and to date, they happen to be the sole supplier of Robin Guitars. Then came the era of spaghetti logo or the guitars with the contoured body that shined bright on Dave as they were sold out like never before.
The Trademark Issues
Fender happens to be the top design that got into a feud with Tokai. The company had ordered the vintage guitars but they were stuck in customs because of the trademark collapse and unauthorized matching. Some people depicted that Fender had to cut off the heads of the guitars to pass through customs. But in reality, they had to order alternate necks. Even after the customs pass, the investigation resumed for a long time!
With chaotic Customs investigation, Robin Guitars had thought about separating the operations and manufacturing. This prompted the owners to change the retail store’s location and with the inauguration on Shepherd, it becomes the Robin Warehouse and the original designs started pouring in. According to Wintz, they were popular but they never produced large quantities of guitars as they didn’t want to impact the performance.
The American company made around sixty guitars per month while the numbers didn’t surpass one hundred for the Japanese side either. However, they have never shaken their head to challenges because Robin Guitars revolutionized the guitars and made them into the ‘80s staple. Well, this was an innovation, and signing up for trademark became integral but to their bad luck, they got stuck in the supplemental trademark list. With this list, they were on hold for five years.
Fast forward to 1983, Kramer came up hockey stick-like head which was similar to Robin’s Guitar staple but being in the supplementary list, they couldn’t prove anything. However, Kramer shut the business and Robin Guitars were able to sell this as their products. These products were designed in collaboration with Tokai and with its classic design; it can still surpass the advanced options of the modern world.
The Progressive Models
With Robin Guitar’s contract with Tokai, multiple progressive models were designed which include Stratmania which was creating interest even with the new launch. There were three series; RV, RH, and RG. Also, the wood-necked guitars were introduced for the first time by Kramer after the bolt-neck designs by Grovers.
With these notions, Robins came into the ground with their maple necks. Also, they used left-handed units for tuners with a rosewood or maple fingerboard. The topping point was the reverse six-in-line heads but with the RV series, the body got the square edges. But these designs weren’t successful because they couldn’t adapt to the arms.
There were coil tappings with mini-toggles in the first design of the RV series. On the other hand, the RG series had the traditional Strat outlook. The design is similar to the RG series but the pickups and bodies have a different color. The guitars belonged to different series and have played an integral role in scaling up the image. However, only RV series could work for long because RH and RG were discontinued after a year despite huge success.
The Mighty Robin Ranger
No one can beat Robin Guitars when it comes to classic and they proved themselves with Robin Ranger back in 1982. The square shape was similar to the guitars from RV series but there was no binding (yes, it looked pretty different without the binding!) The design is thin with a reverse head and a bolt-on maple neck. The Tele-style pickup has been added while the pickguard is protected with white colors and cutaways.
In this series, they launched two guitars named Ranger Custom and the Ranger. Well both the guitars are the same but how they differ is elaborated in this section. The Ranger was designed in alder material topped with single coils and slanted bridge. However, this was designed by Tokai but when the manufacturing was handed over to ESP, they named it Ranger Custom with the neck pickup and 22-fret fingerboard.
To give the strat look, they didn’t alter the tele-style pickup. This design made this guitar a perfect option for jazz and blues. However, the Ranger Custom had Japanese options available as well and they lasted till 1987. The prime reason lied in their ability to offer a specialized guitar for left-handed people.
SG Takes Over Robin Guitars
Solis festival might be the rage these years but Robin Guitars started the trend by launching the Soloist guitar back in 1982. This guitar had all the vintage one could ask for with mahogany and bound body. The fingerboard was bound and constructed from rosewood while the set-in neck made the debut. When it comes to the SG series, the Soloist had everyone’s heart.
The first Soloist was designed by Mike Stevens as the prototypes but this prototype is still hanging high at the Robin Guitars. However, the NAMM show of 1985 changed the name to Artisan because the artistic craftsmanship had allured everyone. Multiple copies were designed and manufactured by Tokai but each of them had different outlooks in terms of finish.
Everyone had high hopes for this guitar but given the bad relationship with Robin Guitars and Tokai, the plan was given out to Chushin but it couldn’t stand the testing times and was disappeared back in 1986.
Did Robin Guitars Stop Innovate?
Robin Guitars should be named as the thriving brand because they have never quit and ever coming out as the best. This can be seen by their launch of a uniquely shaped guitar in 1982. This guitar might have the Strat-style pickguards but no one can debate about the advanced reverse heads. The love for bridge assembly was real because Mike Stevens redesigned to put forward the Mando.
They also came up with the Octave as it had the six-string neck. This was designed in Japan and ESP happens to be the mastermind. This guitar stood its ground till 1987 but after that, it was transferred to the American production houses. In contrast, the RDN versions literally vanished in 1985.
- ESP helped in designing the Rivals
- Tokai and Robin Guitars had the dispute over faulty pieces because Tokai has the tooling issues
- The Raider was designed in collaboration with ESP back in 1984 with ask, contoured, and round body. Also, there were maple or rosewood fingerboards
The Bottom Line
In this article, we have shared information about Robin Guitars, what are they, and how they started off. Also, we have shared information about different guitars created by this company, and literally, all of them are vintage yet the masterpieces. So, see what you can hone with these guitars, the perfect integration of skills, craftsmanship, and musical notes!