Deviser (Bacchus, Momose, Headway) Guitars and Basses:
Deviser is a guitar manufacturer that has the distinct history of making incredible acoustic and electric guitars and basses
since the 1970s. They have a lot of pride in their craftsmanship and make all their instruments by hand. No machines
do the work. Currently, there are essentially 4 different divisions of Deviser; one that focuses on special custom models
(such as the popular Zemaitis clone they made in the 1990s), Headway, which focuses on making high-end acoustic guitars,
Momose, which makes very limited quantities of ultra high-end Fender replicas and Bacchus, which is the most well-known
division, that makes extremely nice basses and used to make, up until 2005, jaw-dropping vintage Fender and Gibson
replicas. Deviser is well-respected within the Japanese guitar collecting community, which has attracted attention overseas
in recent years, as more of their hand-made Japanese domestic guitars find their way to other countries and in the hands
of professional players.
“Headway” began making hand-made acoustic guitars back in 1977. By 1981, they decided to expand and join the ranks
of Japanese electric guitar makers and began building their first Fender and Gibson replica guitars along side Tokai, Greco
and Fernandes. In 1991, Headway created “Deviser,” their division of unique and very high-end original-series electric
guitars, which eventually became the parent name for the company. Their motto was “devising the future,” hence their
Also, in 1991, Deviser created the "Bacchus" line of guitars, which, at that time, focused on cloning both Fender and Gibson
guitars with extraordinary accuracy as well as their own line of custom guitars and basses, featuring their own designs.
Bacchus, under Deviser, made a lot of their own original pickups and electronics, a technique that other Japanese
companies didn’t often do. Most Bacchus guitars and basses are fully-equipped with original parts, which I think is very
unique. They made most of their own hardware and wound their own pickups, which are known for their incredible tonal
qualities. Their Fender replica single-coils really capture the Fender tone and the Gibson replica PAF’s sound like the
originals, so much so that most players of these replicas do not consider changing any of the electronics at all. Some
special models come stock with Lindy Fralin or Fender USA pickups, or sometimes the basses come with Bartolini pickups.
The woods Bacchus used and uses are extremely expensive and sometimes rare. The grain of the wood they use is amazing
on every model. They bookmatch woods that aren’t one piece, and use high-quality nitrocellulose for the finishes on most
mid-range to high-end models.
In 2005, Bacchus (sadly) discontinued their Fender and Gibson replica lines for unknown (at this time) reasons. I was in
Japan at the time of the announcement and it lead to a final collecting "craze" by the Japanese, a final attempt to buy up any
and all existing Bacchus vintage stock from all shops in and around Tokyo. Prices soared and these fine instruments literally
disappeared from the market altogether remarkably fast. You can find them on eBay occasionally and they are usually
underpriced due to skepticism. These guitars will be highly collectible in the future and are very good investments.
Bacchus also made a “Universe” series vintage-style guitar for beginners, priced very low. They are not regarded as being
particularly well-made and are not for professional musicians, but they did offer beginner guitarists an opportunity to play a
guitar like their favorite artists at a price they could afford.
Deviser continues to make Fender-style guitars and basses in very limited quantities under the name Momose. These are
not exact replicas of Fenders and do not aim to be. The attempt is to take what the company admires about Fender and use
the overall design while incorporating their unique designs. These are very high-end guitars and are beautiful works of art
* Be sure to click on the bold brand names above - you will be taken to their homes pages which offer more information
in Japanese that can be easily translated to your language of choice through Google langauge tools.