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Old 03-11-2013, 10:50 AM
YamaYairi YamaYairi is offline
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Default Jester Guitars

A couple years back I played a Jester acoustic guitar in a local shop. It looked to be a copy of a pre-war Martin OM size. Very light weight, lovely sound, slim profile nick. The owner of the shop thought it was made in Holland. I haven't been able to find out much about them, except there was a company in England that made Jester guitars with the same logo. I didn't buy it because he wanted $450 for it and it needed a neck reset, but it has haunted me since. Anyone know anything about Jester?
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:43 PM
Luke52 Luke52 is offline
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About a year ago I bought a used Jester guitar for $200. But I couldn't find any information about it. So I was on mission for about a month to gather what I could. Here is what I have found out so far. In 1979 Jay Associates International was incorporated. In 1980 They applied for and received a copy right patent from the US government for the Jester logo to be used on guitars. In 1981 Jester guitars where built in Holland. They are apparently copies of Martins, right down to the bracing. Around 1976 a young John Pearse came to America from Germany after working for the Baldwin String company and went to work for CF Martin making and designing accessories for their guitars. He married a girl from PA who was a musician and they went back to Germany. John Pearse started making his own line of strings as well as some other instruments. In his bio it mentions that he sold strings to Jay Associates International makers of the Jester guitar. In 1988 the Jester logo was allowed to lapse. The last known address for Jay Associates International was in Easton PA. I contacted the current owners at the address and they said that in the 80's the house was owned by a Mr Johnson who was some kind of executive at the Martin Guitar company.
A friend of mind who lives in PA, sells antiques and is a player said he has seen two of these guitars in his life time and that they are exact copies of Martins. He heard that a music store in the Easton area were the importers of Jester guitars. The plan was to go big time like guitar center, with Jester being the house brand. Martin got wind of this sued and put a stop to it.

You can't find these guitars anywhere (e-bay) and very little info on line. Supposedly they where made from 1981-1986 in Holland. I am betting John Pearse had more to do with this than his bio mentions. I been trying to fit the rest of the puzzle together. Who was Johnson, what happened to him and Jay Associates? What company or luthier built the guitars in Holland and how many were made?
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:04 PM
gitreader gitreader is offline
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John Pearse made this post on the subject in 1999 on Usenet:

Quote:
'Way back in the very early eighties, I designed some guitars for a company called Jay Associates in Pennsylvania. They were marketed as "Jester" guitars. Some were made in Romania, and were maple back and sides. Cheapo but real good sounding. The others were made in Holland and were really nice, with mahogany or rosewood back and sides. I would dearly love to get my hands on one of the Dutch rosewood and spruce dreadnoughts to give to my son. If anyone has one that they would like to sell, please contact me.
Thanks,
John Pearse.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:18 AM
YamaYairi YamaYairi is offline
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Dang! I knew I should have bought that guitar! If it was $200, I sure would have bought it. You got a great deal!
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:43 AM
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picassov7 picassov7 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke52 View Post
About a year ago I bought a used Jester guitar for $200. But I couldn't find any information about it. So I was on mission for about a month to gather what I could. Here is what I have found out so far. In 1979 Jay Associates International was incorporated. In 1980 They applied for and received a copy right patent from the US government for the Jester logo to be used on guitars. In 1981 Jester guitars where built in Holland. They are apparently copies of Martins, right down to the bracing. Around 1976 a young John Pearse came to America from Germany after working for the Baldwin String company and went to work for CF Martin making and designing accessories for their guitars. He married a girl from PA who was a musician and they went back to Germany. John Pearse started making his own line of strings as well as some other instruments. In his bio it mentions that he sold strings to Jay Associates International makers of the Jester guitar. In 1988 the Jester logo was allowed to lapse. The last known address for Jay Associates International was in Easton PA. I contacted the current owners at the address and they said that in the 80's the house was owned by a Mr Johnson who was some kind of executive at the Martin Guitar company.
A friend of mind who lives in PA, sells antiques and is a player said he has seen two of these guitars in his life time and that they are exact copies of Martins. He heard that a music store in the Easton area were the importers of Jester guitars. The plan was to go big time like guitar center, with Jester being the house brand. Martin got wind of this sued and put a stop to it.

You can't find these guitars anywhere (e-bay) and very little info on line. Supposedly they where made from 1981-1986 in Holland. I am betting John Pearse had more to do with this than his bio mentions. I been trying to fit the rest of the puzzle together. Who was Johnson, what happened to him and Jay Associates? What company or luthier built the guitars in Holland and how many were made?
This is what makes this forum so special. Thanks for the info and Welcome Luke!!!
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:19 AM
arie arie is offline
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i dug up some stuff from jedistar:

"Factory operated in Holland between about 1981 and 1986"

and

"We have made guitars since 2006 under the Jester label, although the people involved have been making guitars most of their adult lives. Terry built his first electric guitar in 1961!
They are built in our unit in Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Dating Jester guitars
The guitars are Stamped on the neck plate, this identifies which guitar. we can then look at it's manufacture record. The date, and serial number are also under the heel of the neck, and in the neck socket where they join. Each is initialed or signed by the builder.
From these details, we can tell who built the guitar, who ordered and bought it originally, to what specification and colour.
should anyone not supply the numbers that correspond to the serial number we have registered, we know it is not genuine. The neck plate number is no use on it's own." [Source: Kathleen, Jester Guitars, email 16/6/2009]






maybe useful...
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  #7  
Old 05-05-2013, 09:14 AM
Luke52 Luke52 is offline
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The picture of the Jester is a picture of what was being made in Holland in 1981-86 by Jay Associates missing the pick guard. The company that is being talked about is another company making guitars using the Jester name. The Jay Associates International trade mark patient on the Jester Logo lapsed in 1988. I am surprized there are not more of these guitars around concidering they where made from 81-86.
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:02 PM
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I'm vey happy to stumble on this thread, lots of great info!

I bought a Jester JMD63 in 1980, one of the Dutch models. It listed for $650. The salesman said it was made by some guys who quit Martin and started their own guitar company. It's been a dear friend for over 30 years, and I still have it. I've seen two others, used, each sold for about $100.

The original Jester Guitar company is long gone. The 2006 company, mentioned above, was totally different, and their website is gone. There is now another "Jester Guitars" that makes novelty cigar box guitars.

The JMD63 has a deeper body than most other dreadnaughts (4" at the neck), so great volume; it's a boomer. The Mahogany back, sides and neck really bring out the bass and midranges without overwhelming the treble, which is crystal clear. What I really love about this guitar, besides its tonal clarity and volume, is the ability to control the sound of each string, even while strumming, to bring out different moods.

Mine's been pretty beat up over the years. It's been sat on, barfed on, thrown out of a car, neck broken twice... One luthier said it was a cheap budget guitar and refused to work on it. I would love to get my hands on another.
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2014, 10:53 AM
Luke52 Luke52 is offline
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Default Jester Guitar

I own a Jester JMD 63. Great guitar, bought it off some one for $200. I Have yet to find something equal even in the $1000. plus range. The guitar does have Martin ties. I am convinced that John Pearse of John Pearce strings and who worked for Martin in the latter part of the 70's then returned to Germany is one of the people involved in making that guitar. The Jester name was owned by a company call Jay Associates international. The last known address was in Easton PA. I sent a letter to the current owner of the house who told me that the previous owner of the house was a excecutive at Martin Guitar. Trail ends there. I think that the guitar is a law suit guitar, and Martin put the company out of business and bought up the stock.

Hang on to the one you have, they are rare and pretty nicely made.
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  #10  
Old 02-15-2014, 10:39 AM
FolkBluesBeyond FolkBluesBeyond is offline
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One of these just sold on ebay...pics for future reference







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  #11  
Old 02-20-2014, 03:35 AM
filsk1t filsk1t is offline
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Default filsk1t/derek johnson

I bought this guitar from ebay.
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2014, 05:58 AM
YamaYairi YamaYairi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filsk1t View Post
I bought this guitar from ebay.
You are a lucky guy!
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:58 AM
filsk1t filsk1t is offline
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Default filsk1t/derek johnson

It has rosewood back and sides and a spruce top and I am tryint to find out about it . Inside on the label it readsI think......W160 but I cant be sure. Can anyone help? Thankyou.
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  #14  
Old 03-25-2014, 02:16 AM
rjohn71 rjohn71 is offline
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Default Jester cl 020

I have a Jester cl 020 which is a clone of the Martin N20. I presume cl means classical. Perhaps your W means western. My guitar sounds very good and holds its tune well.
rjohn
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  #15  
Old 03-25-2014, 04:16 AM
rjohn71 rjohn71 is offline
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Default jester images

Sorry cannot load photos.
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