how to date a ventura guitar

How To Date A Ventura Guitar: Dating Ventura Guitars

When were Ventura guitars made? How to date a Ventura guitar? Can you date a Ventura guitar by its serial number? Can you date a Ventura guitar by its model? If you have not heard of a guitar company named Ventura yet, then it is your lucky day. It is in my best interest to educate you on everything about Ventura guitars, as its guitars have one of the best bang for the buck in its heyday. On the other hand, if you are an owner of one, we will help you check out when it was made by the company.

So, what is Ventura? Ventura is a guitar brand known for its electric and acoustic guitars, but it also offers banjos, bass guitars, mandolins, flamenco, concert, folk, concert, and classical guitars in its product line. These stringed instruments are made in Japan and imported to the US. The brand is owned by C. Bruno and Company and was introduced in the music market in the 1960s.

Since its introduction in the market, Ventura guitars have been known by many as knock-off guitars, as most of its acoustic guitars resemble some Martin guitars, while its electric guitars are knock-offs of guitars made by Fender, Gibson, and many other top guitar companies at that time. A great example is the Ventura V-35 which looks like a Martin D-35, and the Ventura V-14 which looks like a Martin D-14.

Unfortunately, after C. Bruno and Company was bought out by Kaman Industries, which is known today as the parent company of Ovation Guitars, the brand started to disappear in the market, and in the early 1980s, it was gone entirely. 

After Kaman Industries acquired C. Bruno & Company in 1971, they contracted Japanese guitar manufacturers like Matsumoku, which is the parent company of the famous Aria Guitars. Many people also believed that before the company was acquired, they had already contracted with other guitar manufacturers like Kasuga and many others.

Ventura Guitar Models

Ventura V-1583

One of the earliest guitars under the Ventura brand is the V-1583. It was still included in Ventura Catalog in 1968, but it was already removed in the 1970s, meaning that these guitars were only manufactured in the 1960s.

The Ventura V-1583 is a classical guitar made in Japan. Its back and sides are all made of Rosewood, while its top is made of Spruce. Its neck is made of Mahogany, and its fingerboard is made of Rosewood. These guitars usually come with a hard case when bought in the past.

Ventura V-2E

The Ventura V-2E is one of the earliest acoustic-electric guitars offered under this guitar brand. This was released first in the market in 1970, but it was removed in the 1980s. So, one meaning of this is that these guitars were only made starting in the 1970s, but their production had already stopped before the start of the 1980s.

The back and sides of the V-2E are made of Mahogany and are bound with multiple celluloid layers in white and black. Its top is made of Spruce and has an X-design bracing, while its neck is made of Mahogany. The guitar’s bridge and fingerboard are made of Rosewood, and lastly, it comes with a pickup that has volume and tone controls.

Ventura V-1000

The Ventura V-1000 is a semi-hollow body electric guitar that came on the market only in 1968. However, after the start of the 1970s, the electric guitar has already been removed from the brand’s catalog. So, it only means that this guitar model is only made in the 1960s.

The Ventura V-1000 comes with two humbucker pickups and a tremolo system attached to it. It has an adjustable bridge, and its tone and volume controls are all separated. It also has a toggle switch for pickup switching. The V-1000 has a look similar to a Gibson ES-335.

Ventura V-1584

The Ventura V-1584 is one of the newest classical guitar models introduced under the Ventura brand after it was bought by Kaman Industries in 1971. So, if you are able to get one of these, it was probably made in the 1970s, as the brand also disappeared in the early 1980s; however, most of the guitars do not have serial numbers on them.

The Ventura V-1584 has a Spruce top, and it’s back and side are made of Mahogany. Its fingerboard and bridge are also made of Rosewood. Lastly, it comes with a set of nylon strings.

Ventura AO-60 Western

The Ventura AO-60 is one of three guitars under the A-Omega Limited Edition Series. These guitars are still included in the 1980s catalogs for the guitar brand. So, if you try to analyze when these guitars were manufactured, you can say that these guitars were started to be manufactured from the late 1970s up to the early 1980s.

The Ventura AO-60 Western is an acoustic guitar with a dreadnought design and has a sunburn finish. Its side and back are all made of Mahogany, while its fingerboard is made of Rosewood. It comes with inlaid mother-of-pearl symbols as its position markers and has an adjustable neck made of Mahogany. Lastly, it has black bindings, and its machine heads have a chrome finish.

Dating A Ventura Guitar With Serial Numbers

Although a serial number can be a good way to learn the manufacture date of your guitar, for the Ventura guitars, there is no proven way to determine its date of manufacture by looking at its serial number. Many Ventura guitars do not come with serial numbers, so it might be impossible to check their manufacturing date.

It is believed that one of the contracted guitar manufacturers for Ventura guitars is Sadao Yairi. So, suppose it is true that Sadao built your guitar. In that case, you can probably know its manufacturing date, as he usually uses the Japanese Emperor Dating System for his built guitars.

An example of the Japanese Emperor Dating System is that if your guitar serial number is 50235, then you have to add 28 to the first two digits of the serial number, and the result of that would be its manufacturing date. For example, the result is 78, meaning that the guitar was built in 1978.

However, this method should not be used in all Ventura guitars, as not all of their guitars are made by Sadao Yairi.

So, when were Ventura guitars made? All Ventura guitars were made in the 1960s up to the early 1980s, as the guitar brand started to disappear from the market in 1982. One way you can determine their manufacturing date is to base it on the guitar model, as some are only made in the 1970s, while some guitar models are only available in the 1960s.

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