Arbor Guitars

Credit for this post goes to Stu.

History of Arbor guitars

Musicorp was biased in North Charleston SC. Musicorp had a contract with Fred Gretsch and company to manufacture and distribute Gretsch Guitars. Musicorp had one of the major Korean companies (Samick or Cort) manufacture the guitar for them. In 2003, Fender purchased the Gretsch brand name and the right to manufacture and distribute Gretsch guitars and drums. Fender, however, did not purchase any of the Gretsch guitar stock. Musicorp was under contract with the Korean Manufacturer to produce a year’s worth of guitars.

What was the company to do?

Musicorp simply had their brand name Arbor affixed to the guitars that were intended to be sold a Gretsch’s. So, while the guitar says Arbor, it is indeed the same as the Korean made Gretsch guitars that were produced, just without the name and the High Dollar price tag.

When I left Charleston in 2005, you could still buy a new old stock Arbor/Gretsch at a reasonable price.

Additional info from kcbuck:

Arbor guitars are aimed at the entry-level student to the intermediate player and the listings within my references are extremely limited by models and do not contain any hollow body or semi-hollow body guitars. This guitar appears to be a copy of the Gibson ES-Series of Hollow Body Guitars. Value estimated at between $150.00 to $200.00 USD in Excellent Condition based upon other Arbor model values.

Images posted by a guest

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.


  • Vale: Does anyone else have anything to add about these guitars?
  • Revels317: anybody know when an Arbor A600-brb (acoustic, with pickup) , made in Korea was made and how much it is worth? Husband bought it for $50.00 at a flea market. It is in really good condition, he has been playing it and it sounds good.
  • Sparky2: Made sometime between 1988 and 1995.
    Sold for $340 back in the day, brand new.
    Right now, she’s worth $150 to $120 in really great condition,
    $100 to $75 in merely average condition.
    I hope this helps.
  • Revels317: Thank you, Sparky2. My husband loves it, so I guess that he got a great deal!
  • kcbuck: I mainly see the Arbor Guitars at Pawn Shops like Black’s Pawn Shop in Granbury, TX. They are selling for between $1250.00 to $175.00 USD new, depending upon the model and/or style of guitar.

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