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Dixon Guitars: EVERYTHING You Should Know (History, Review, Prices)

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There are several reasons why some musicians value vintage gear. For guitarists, vintage guitars are priceless. There are collectors who would pay as much as $10, 000 for a rare vintage guitar. 

Whether this is just to satisfy some unexplainable obsession is not very clear. However, what is clear is that it is the dream of most humans to have that which is not quite common.

There is an unexplainable satisfaction that comes with possessing symbols of rarity and scarcity—ironically. 

Also, having a vintage guitar is like being a part of history; it is like going back in time using a time machine. Imagine being in possession of an instrument that was only available about a hundred years ago. 

Also, for reasons we can’t explain in just this article, vintage guitars sound unexplainably awesome.

This could be a result of the ageing wood and materials or even the overall mechanics of the guitar, which we could argue to be superior to what we have now. 

Whatever the case is, vintage guitars are like treasures that many can only covet. In this article, we will talk about an amazing vintage guitar brand known as Dixon Guitars. 

Dixon belongs to the era known as the ‘70s “Lawsuit Era.” Dixon was birthed partly out of the quest for revenge. A certain guitar designer was denied his patent and design royalties by Gibson. 

Out of anger, he moved to Japan and started manufacturing copies of Gibsons.

Because he sold these top quality [copy] guitars at a very cheap rate, Dixon guitars only became more successful and popular as the days passed by. The story is an interesting one. 

History of Dixon Guitars

Dixon guitars and their information is rare to collect. Only a few pieces of information that are collectible are handed down by word of mouth. 

Many newbies starting to learn guitar would not know anything about the Dixon guitar. Except for old players that own(ed) the Dixon guitar. 

The only way to assimilate validated information seems to be from those who actually own Dixon guitars.

Regardless of the shortage of info, Dixon is one of the companies that designed elusive guitars which can only be found in the vintage market today. 

From 1930 to 1980, Dixon was manufactured in different countries. The USA in 1939, Japan in 1960, China, and later Korea. 

Generally, The Dixon company and its guitars are classified into a timeline in guitar history known as the 70s Lawsuit Era. 

The 70s Lawsuit Era is an Era in guitar history when the Ibanez company under Luthier Hoshino Gakki started producing cheap knock-offs for popular guitars. 

Towards the mid-70s, original models made by Gibson, Fender, and Martin had to compete with cheaper models such as Greco, Ibanez, and Takamine. 

However, the history of the Dixon guitar is very different from that of the Ibanez, Greco, and Takamine in the lawsuit era. 

Experts believe Dixon Company aspired to create more distinct and quality guitars. Unlike its 70s lawsuit-era counterpart. 

The acceptable story reveals Dixon used to work for Gibson company. The guitar designer felt he was denied royalties from the Gibson company. 

He left Gibson and relocated to Japan. In an attempt to get back at Gibson, the guitar designer began to manufacture copies of his design in Japan. 

He maintained the design quality and also sold at a cheaper price. This made the Dixon guitar thrive and ultimately attracted the Gibson company’s attention. 

Gibson Company sued the owner of Dixon Company after a letter of cease was issued. And when Gibson won the lawsuit, they eliminated all the Dixon guitars that were available in the market. 

Here is why it is so hard to find a Dixon guitar in the market. It is no longer produced or in circulation. Nonetheless, Dixon guitars are still valued as vintage and some are costly. Especially those that are still in a good condition. 

Electric Dixon Models

Acoustic Dixon Models

Review of Dixon Guitars

Dixon Strat-style Electric Guitar

Dixon Strat-style Electric Guitar

The Dixon Strat-style electric guitar is a vintage guitar with 3 single coil pickups, a 5-way switch, and a master volume. The Dixon Strat-style guitar also features a neck tone, middle tone, and a tremolo bar. 

It is less heavy with a scale length of about 25 ½ and a nut width of approximately 11/26. The Dixon Strat plays and sounds like the Gibson. The neck feels like the early 80s Les Paul black beauty guitar. 

Dixon Blue Ribbon guitar

Dixon made the arched electric guitar models in different colours to identify the various effects it came with.

  • The Dixon Gold Ribbon is an extra auditorium-arched guitar. 
  • The Dixon Red Ribbon is a super auditorium-arched guitar. 
  • The Dixon White Ribbon is a grand auditorium-arched guitar. 
  • The Dixon Blue Ribbon guitar is a grand auditorium-arched guitar. The arched is Carved from well season spruce.

Dixon Hummingbird

Dixon Hummingbird

The Dixon Hummingbird acoustic guitar is one of the early vintage guitars designed by Dixon.

The Hummingbird is a 6-string right-hand flat-top acoustic guitar. It would be such a delight to play the hummingbird on stage and in the recording studio. 

They were designed in the lawsuit era in the 1960s in Japan. The Dixon Hummingbird has a larger body size with a cherry sunburst finish. It sounds as awesome as it looks and it lives up to its name, “Hummingbird.” 

Vintage MIJ Dixon 

Vintage MIJ Dixon

Dixon designed the vintage MIJ to look a little like the Gibson of the 1960s. It features a glossy, clean finish, and easy playability. This six-string acoustic vintage MIJ by Dixon was made in Japan. 

Odessa Dixon Guitars

Odessa guitars were produced in early 1981 in Indonesia. They were discontinued in 1990. These guitars are nice, cheap, and easier to play. They are made in a variety of models. 

Davitt and Hanser imported some Odessa guitars to the USA as budget-line guitars. Some Odessa label image says imported by Dixon guitars USA. 

Current Values

Dixon ModelModel typePrice
Dixon HummingbirdAcoustic Guitar$289
Vintage MIJ DixonAcoustic Guitar$200
1970s Dixon DC-11 classical guitarAcoustic Guitar$177.36
Excel by Dixon D01 16″ scale acoustic guitarAcoustic Guitar$68.21
Odessa dreadnought D-37Acoustic Guitar$886.86
Dixon DG-4 Brown Burst DreadnoughtAcoustic Guitar$145
Dixon Strat-Style Electric GuitarElectric Guitar$180
Dixon Blue Ribbon guitarElectric Guitar$75.00
Dixon Gold RibbonElectric Guitar$24.00
Dixon White RibbonElectric Guitar$37.50
Dixon Red RibbonElectric Guitar$52.50
Dixon challenge modelElectric Guitar$88.25
Dixon arch KraftElectric Guitar$18.00

Serial Numbers

It is a little bit tough to identify Dixon guitars with serial numbers and model numbers. A few Dixon guitars come with both serial numbers and model numbers. Like the Odessa made by Dixon. 

Handful Dixon just displays the model number. For example, Dixon DG8, Dixon DG/4C, or an RG814.

Meanwhile, the Odessa made by Dixon shows model SD-07, serial number 96122520. Considering the universal method of writing serial numbers. 

The Odessa made by Dixon was made in December 1996. Where the first two digits tell the year (1996), the second two-digit month (December), the third two digits(25), and the remaining factory code or ranking number. 

The ranking code also known as the RRRR could be the remaining four digits. You may want to use this method to unravel the serial number of your guitar. And maybe also know when it was made and where. 

Another format you may consider is that some serial numbers’ first two digits may be factory codes. Most interestingly, the best way to know any guitar made in the lawsuit era is the fact that most of them did not have a serial number. 


Unfortunately, the Dixon company is no longer designing and manufacturing musical instruments such as electric guitars and acoustic guitars. 

However, they are still there in the music market designing percussion instruments. The Dixon drum is manufactured worldwide. 

The Dixon company is popularly known for designing the best knock-offs and replica guitars for costly brand models. It little wonders the Dixon guitar is classified into the Lawsuit Era. It was not just a year but an era of imitation. 

Regardless, Dixon decided to make its guitar the best, strong and affordable. While its counterpart in the same era made otherwise. 

Regarding the short period that Dixon produced guitar. It’s worth mentioning that it was not an imitation. The original creator broke out from Gibson. Relocated to Japan to design Dixon the way he felt should be designed.

Perhaps revenge on Gibson—not an imitation—an act of revenge, rather. The mere fact that this priceless vintage guitar is no longer manufactured is saddening.

Although you can still find used ones online. Dixon guitars are irregular and so is their information. People rarely will offer undisputed data about Dixon. 

Nonetheless, if you come across any Dixon for sale next time, purchase it. It is a treasure and a machine—maybe, a time machine. And when you purchase it, make sure to take care of it.