1997 Orville ES-335
Happy marriage of Gibson and Japanese craftsmanship
Quick introduction on Orville - it is a Gibson's sub-brand, marketed and sold in Japan during the late 80s and most of the 90s. Gibson-designed and Japanese-made excellent guitars were sensationally hit in the domestic market for about 10 years until Gibson decided to unify Orville brand with Epiphone. Due to the quality, playability and rarity ObG is one of the highly sought-after vintages for Japan vintage guitar hunters.
Serial number J hints it was made by Terada music, using Japanese pickup. Citing here an article from a Japanese Orville forum - 'Pickup must be made by Nissin Ompa. While ObG US pickup sounds louder and chunkier, Japanese pickup plays delicate, especially in pitching high tone.' Also compared to Gibson ES-335, Orville matches or arguably surpass the feel and touch. There are debates where some people put ObG even higher than Gibson, while some, comparing to the Japanese hand-crafted brands such as Aria Pro II, Greco and Tokai, degrade ObG by lack of variety in exotic designs and sound. Well I still want to single out this terrific guitar, as it is simply too remarkable to be treated as one of those old Japanese guitars.