How good are Raven acoustic guitars? Is Raven a good guitar brand? Who made Raven guitars? Where are Raven guitars made? Aside from their acoustic guitars, do Raven guitars also make electric and bass guitars? The Raven brand is not really that popular, especially among the younger generations, so if you are curious about how good these Raven guitars really are, now you are going to find out the truth about them.
So, what are Raven guitars? The Raven brand is a house brand for the Great West Imports Limited, which is a huge and popular music biz distributor located in New Westminster, British Columbia, Vancouver. It was established in the mid-1960s and garnered a reputation for making cheap guitars similar to Gibson, Epiphone, Fender, and many more guitar models.
Raven guitars were initially manufactured in Japan; however, they later transferred some of their manufacturing facilities to Korea. Aside from their acoustic guitars, the company also produces classical, electric, and bass guitars and they are distributed in the USA and Canada.
Most of the Raven electric guitars were made by Matsumoku, a known Japanese guitar manufacturing company located in Matsumoto, Nagano. They are also known for making Aria and Epiphone guitars. Raven guitars are equipped with the Matsumoku Steel Adjustable Neck, where the neck mounting plate and the serial number are located.
The guitar components like fretboards, bodies, bridges, bindings and many more that are found in the Raven guitars are also similar to those that you can see in PAN guitars, which is also a brand name that is being manufactured by Matsumoku. Raven guitars started to manufacture in the 1960s until they ended in the late 1970s. Their guitars are known to have good quality with good tone and low price.
Raven Guitar Examples
As Raven is known to manufacture budget guitars, their acoustic guitars usually have a laminated body rather than a solid.
One of their more popular acoustic guitars is the Raven A-201, which is a copy of a Gibson dreadnought acoustic guitar. It still comes with its iconic headstock that has a figure of a raven in the middle. Its fingerboard is made of rosewood, and it also comes with a pickguard. If you look far away from it, it really looks like a dreadnought guitar made by Gibson.
Another acoustic guitar that the company was able to manufacture is the Raven A-203Y, which is a replicated copy of the Gibson Hummingbird. These acoustic guitars were made in the late 1960s. They have similar pickguards from the original Gibson Hummingbird, which is one of its key features.
Aside from their dreadnought acoustic guitars, Raven produced some parlor acoustic guitars. The bridge on these guitars is made from metal, which is why they are more durable compared to other budget acoustic guitars. These acoustic guitars are more of a copy of Gibson slimline acoustic guitars, which are also Gibson’s parlor guitars.
The company also made some classical guitars that come with high-quality nylon strings. Most of these guitars do not have reinforced necks, so it would be better not to use any steel strings, or it could damage the guitar. These classical guitars were made in the 1970s, before the brand’s production ended.
The Raven guitars are known to copy some high-end guitar brands like Gibson and Epiphone. They were able to produce an affordable version of a Gibson ES-175DN, which is an archtop electric guitar. It comes with two humbuckers, a nice tremolo system, and gold-plated hardware. These guitars are made in Korea, as they were produced in the late 1970s.
Raven guitars also made some copies of the Gibson SG and Les Paul. They also made some Fender Stratocaster copies. Similar to a Strat, it also comes with three single-coil pickups, one volume knob, two tone knobs, and a vibrato bridge. Its difference with a Strat is that it only has a three-way switch.
Raven bass guitars were also produced in the 1960s and 70s. One of their bass guitars is a copy of the iconic Hofner violin bass guitar. These bass guitars became popular as it is the model that the Paul McCartney of the Beatles frequently used in his live and recording performances. These Raven bass guitars come with their trademark headstocks.
There were also Raven bass guitars that were a copy of a Fender Jazz bass guitar. Although its two pickups look like a humbucker, both of them are single-coil pickups. It also has two on/off switches for the pickups.
Raven acoustic guitars and their other products were really popular in Canada in the 1960s and 70s, as they were an excellent option if you are looking for quality guitars at an affordable price. At that time, there were still fewer people that could afford the Gibson and Fender guitars, so brands like Raven were a go-to if you wanted to have a decent guitar that you practice and play with.