In the 1960′s Maurice Lipsky Music Co., a prominent importer and distributor in New York City, developed the Domino brand of guitars. In 1967 Lipsky introduced a line proto-copies carrying the Domino brand name. Most were inspired by European models such as the EKO Violin guitar. Here is the original flyer announcing the lineup from 1967, claiming “DOMINO IMAGINATION LEADS THE ROCK GENERATION!”. The California Rebel, recently reissued by Eastwood Guitars, is front and center here in 1967.
Who actually built these guitars in Japan is unknown, but these pickups appear to be associated with Kawai guitars, and that’s probably a good guess.
Here is an example of a dual pickup Domino Spartan in Sunburst. It was available in 2 or 3 pickup configuration, and in many different colors. Over the years I have seen olympic white, sunburst, seafoam green, orange and red. This 2P model has volume and tone controls, a 3-way selector switch and a rhythm/solo switch. The quality was pretty solid across the entire Domino line, compared to some of the stuff that was coming out of Japan at the time.
5 thoughts on “Back Catalog Memories: Vintage Domino Spartan Electric Guitar”
I like the Spartan, a Daphne Blue reissue from Eastwood would be good!
Nobody’s making the “Californian” shape today exept Phantom Guitarworks in Oregon, and Vox, who call it the “Apache” with onboard amp, two 3″ speakers, rhythms, effects, etc. Love to try one, but no samples in stores yet, only (ostensibly) online.
Phantom shape forever!
Just found a Domino Californian Phantom at a flea market. The guy wanted $350
i got it for $200 with original case. He said he had no idea if it worked which
usually means it doesn’t. Got it home and it worked. Plays and sounds great.
Switches and jack are a little noisey I’m gonna work on that. It was missing whammy
bar so I just ordered one from Phantom guitar works.
The Olympic and Spartan guitars were most certainly Matsumoku products, with the Olympic being virtually identical to the Aria 1802/Epi ET-270 (along with the other dozen or so brands that also have identical bodies/necks/bridges like Conrad, Toledo, Electra, Granada, Eros, Lyle, and Toledo).
For more info, hit up the Aria 1802T/Epiphone ET-270 Database thread at OffsetGuitars.com
I just found a red and blackDomino guitar with a nickel pick plate two pack ups paid 400