Up for sale, a 1960s Norma model 480-3 vintage electric guitar, with a stunning gold sparkle finish! Produced in Japan by the Tombo company, the sparkle finish Norma guitars were only produced for a year or two, with the gold sparkle being perhaps the rarest color. This guitar has been very well cared for and has three single coil pickups that have plenty of percussive cut and jangle. There's quite a bit of tonal range between the three pickups, and they overdrive well, producing surprisingly thick, saturated tones through your favorite dimed tube amp. Professionally setup and strung with 10-46 strings, this Norma has an extremely unique and eye-catching look with a tone to match!

The neck has a fairly chunky C profile, with a 21 fret rosewood fretboard, and 24 3/4" scale length. The truss rod responds well and the original frets are intact and of the very slender variety (what's commonly known as "banjo" fretwire on Gibsons). The action is medium-low, and the guitar plays comfortably in all registers. The original plastic nut is intact, with a 1 5/8" nut width that keeps the strings decently spaced for easy chording and accurate lead work. On the headstock, the stock tuning machines are present, with the exception of the "D" gear, which is a vintage Kluson Deluxe gear matches decently well with the other five stock Japanese open back tuners.

On the body, all of the electronics work as they should, with strong output from all three pickups and only minimal static when engaging the three on/off toggles (these switches can be fragile and these particular three engage as well as any vintage Japanese guitar model). The original white skirted knobs are intact on the faux tortoise pickguard, as well as the infinitely cool "Norma" raised logo on the treble side body horn, with music notes extending from the N and M letters on the logo. The chrome plating on the original bridge and vibrato tailpiece is in fantastic shape, and the vibrato works well, with a responsive spring and original arm.

The gold sparkle finish is unique in its application and truly more of a wrap than a finish, having been applied over the wood in a sort of plastic sheet that has shrunken slightly over time along the edges of the lower bout. Of course this is to be expected on any vintage Norma, and this example is in excellent shape with extremely vibrant sparkles and a bit of wear along the edges of the body horns and where the forearm crosses over the face of the instrument. The rear strap button has also been slightly pushed into the body, but is structurally sound and still works as it should.

Don't miss out on this rare gold sparkle Norma guitar, produced in Japan, and delivering unique looks and great tone!
Year Condition Color Case
~1965 Excellent Gold Sparkle None


Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar
Michael John Ball
Seattle, WA
2:39 PM
Mon-Tues: By Appt. Wed-Sat: 10:30AM-6:30PM Sun: Closed

We accept all major credit cards, Paypal, USPS Money Orders and Bank Wire Transfers. We buy, sell, consign and trade and are always willing to work with you to find a creative way to complete your purchase. We offer a 30 day layaway with a 25% non-refundable deposit. We’re also willing to extend layaways beyond 30 days on a case by case basis.

Orders within the Continental USA are shipped USPS Parcel Select unless they weigh over 70lbs, in which case we ship FedEx Ground. International orders are shipped via USPS Priority Mail International, and in some cases Global Express (where Priority is not offered). We are happy to oblige our buyers and use more expedited shipping services if requested and all orders are shipped within three business days or receiving cleared payment.

We are happy to offer a 48 hour approval period after delivery on all of the items sold through Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar. We will accept returns only if the item has been misrepresented in regards to originality and condition. We do our absolute best to accurately describe the tonal properties of our instruments, but will not accept returns based on the subjective nature of "tone," In the event of a return, the customer pays all shipping and insurance costs and any other credit card or Paypal fees associated with the transaction. With that said, we go to great lengths to ensure with 100% confidence that you are getting the exact item you purchased in the condition and originality described.