Up for sale, a 1960's Zen-On, model ZES-1400S in exceptional, collector-grade condition and in perfect working order. This extremely rare vintage guitar is 100% original and is easily one of the most visually alluring guitars to ever be manufactured in Japan, with a two-tone ocean turquoise and mint green finish, chrome hardware, and a pair of impressive sounding humbucker pickups. Frankly, few guitars have as many model names as this particular instrument, which was only produced from 1963-65 in extremely small quantities. While Ze-non is the brand, "ZES-1400S" is the true model number, and "Victoria" relates to the branding applied for the particular retail chain to which this guitar was shipped.
The tone from the pair of humbuckers is quite rich and detailed, with on/off selector switches for each pickup in addition to a pair of tone switches, labeled "Clear" and "Solo." While the Clear switch adds more treble and scoops the mids slightly, the Solo switch adds more low end heft to the signal. From syrupy low end and midrange to twang and sparkle, this Ze-Non covers a huge amount of tonal ground, and the individual volume controls and global tone control work very well with the tone switches to further dial in the perfect amount of warmth and cut. The guitar weighs in at a mere 6lbs 2oz, has a bright and clear acoustic tone, and balances quite well on a strap, despite the tiny body and giant neck! Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this guitar is strung with 10-46 strings, low action, and solid intonation.
The neck has a very chunky and round D shaped profile, with generous shoulders and true "baseball bat" fullness. With a nut width just a hair over 1 11/16" and a full 25" scale length, the guitar feels very comfortable and intuitive. The original fretwire is intact on the rosewood fretboard, and the slender vintage wire retains its full original height, with well rounded crowns and virtually no wear. The sliver thin abalone trapezoid inlays are mostly intact on the fretboard as well, with a few small chips on the edges of the 3rd and 9th fret inlays, but since these inlays are so incredibly thin, playability isn't affected in the slightest. On the headstock, the original "V" (for Victoria) metal truss rod cover is intact, and the Victoria waterslide decal is intact on the tip of the oversized headstock. Continuing the two-tone theme, the headstock is split between the two shades of greenish blue and looks truly stunning. The tuners are original and wholly unique, with dished white buttons and an open gear design with clear hard plastic covers for each individual gear. These tuners all turn smoothly with straight shafts and hold pitch as they should.
On the body, all of the electronics are original and untouched, working as they should with switches that engage solidly and no scratchy pots. The chrome hardware is particularly clean and even the original bridge cover is present! The vibrato arm has its original ridged rubber tip, and while this vibrato doesn't have much range, it does engage with a bit of effort for quick surfy dives. One of the tiny pole piece screws is missing beneath the G string on the outer coil of the bridge pickup, but this does not affect the volume or clarity of that string in any appreciable way.
Cosmetically, this guitar is very clean and original, and the two-tone nitro lacquer finish has no touchup or overspray. There are a few chips through the finish on the sides of the body, particularly at the tip of the bass side body horn and around the edge of the treble side cutaway as well. Overall, this is a stunning example of one the rarest Ze-Non guitars.
The original hardshell case is included.