JUST AVAILABLE & READY TO GO! - 23/02/2020 - Checked over & just completing minor set-up adjustments.
HENRI OISEAU JAZZ 165 : Label Dated 23/5/07.
2007 Maple Top Sunburst Traditional ES-165 Type Deep-Bodied, Chrome Hardware, Single Humbucker, Tune-o-matic Bridge & Tailpiece, Kluson Deluxe/Keystone Style Tuners, Bound Rosewood Fingerboard & Parallelogram Inlays, Henri Selmer Style Headstock Name Logo, thought to have been Made in Japan, Ibanez "JIPU" pickup.
Stock Number: VTG1549.
Really outstanding archtop electric guitar!
Limited information available regarding Henri Oiseau Guitars, as website link shown on the card in the case is no longer operational, hence what info. is available is inevitably secondhand and not verifiable, but the gist of the comment confirms that these are quality guitars, faithfully reproducing a time-honoured traditional & historic, iconic design.
Therefore, without being able to check any of the information details included, I can only pass on what has been said, so most of what can be picked up an internet trawl on Henri Oiseau Guitars follows, in edited extract form..........
From eBay listing offered with the disadvantage of no postage facilities, collection only, therefore restricting demand - 22/12/19..........
"ES 165 Guitar...Prototype based on Herb Ellis Model. What I know : 1 of 11 built by the Takamine Factory together with a run of 335 Copies. Label reads Jazz 165 10.09.09. and signature. Neither were put into production and this one was supposedly given to Factory Designer who sold it to me. These guitars sell in the USA for over $1000 dollars. Rare.Complete with good quality case."
Further undated eBay listing details....refers to ES-175, although images suggest actually same guitar/model.......
"Chance to acquire Henri Oiseau 175 Jazz Guitar...very rare instrument, beautiful quality, tone and just a joy to play. Very responsive...complete with top quality case. These beautiful guitars only made over a period of two years. It is rumoured that only 12 of this type were made. The guitar has its authenticity label inside and is hand signed and dated. When new these guitars were selling at over a 1000 dollars in the states. Since then I am given to believe that the price has not dropped and rarity and quality may be the reason.I was very fortunate to obtain mine as a gift from a technical engineer working with the owners of the factory at Takamine which is renowned for outstanding quality."
From Harmony Central forum post in 2011........
"I have one in a very nice blue burst...extremely well made and superb to play. Not many made, production lasted only two years & numbers were limited...French company had 3 models made in the east as jazz guitars...I understand a limited run made in Takamine factory, would explain high quality. I bought one of two sold in a shop in the UK. A luthier had taken on a dealership but when production stopped he sold them...other was a very cool white 335 clone with gold fittings. If I had money at the time I would have bought both! I have seen jazz model for sale but they are very rare & not much information available. I would welcome any additional information - an instrument I intend keeping!"
There is a little more comment, but some of it does appear to be quite suspect. The comments are given for what they are worth, but there are some points of interest, particularly dates....one quotes an example of the identical model, with date in September 2009, whereas mine is dated from May, 2007.....a very long gap for a guitar which it is suggested did not go into full production. Nevertheless numbers are clearly limited.
However the consistent thread in all this is the opinion that these Henri Oiseau guitars were of Japanese origin....a view supported by the lettering stamped into the baseplate of the pickup...."JIPU", an Ibanez pickup.
For a now fairly mature guitar it really is in very smart condition, with in addition to normal light use wear, just a small number of very minor blemishes - you have to look very closely to find them, but there are small finish chips on the headstock.
The guitar appears to be fully original, and I am just carrying the final set-up to be ready to go. I hope that you will agree that the photos show that this remains a handsome & characterful guitar. More photo images available on request.
Following minor truss rod, adjustable floating bridge & set-up adjustments, excellent lowish action of around 1.75mm./2mm. at the 12th. fret has been maintained. It is currently fitted with a set of Newtone Archtop 13-56 Gauge Jazz Guitar strings - Newtone website says "A Double wrap of Nickel Plated Steel over a Round core gives these strings a unique feel and sound. They are warm and mellow with less string squeal."
The guitar comes in what appears to be original Brown covered, very substantial hard case, with plush interior, providing very good protection to the guitar, keys included, but with added taping to the exterior, where original case piping has come away or is missing, and covering lifting, and with just one of in all 5 catches missing, but this does not affect operation or security of the case. Also in the case storage compartment is the truss rod allen key as supplied with the guitar new....another sign of a quality guitar! Combined weight of Guitar + case = 9.2kg,case = 5.8kg, guitar = 3.4kg/7.5lbs.