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The CARLOS Brand Confusion
The brand 'Carlos' was (and still is) used by more than one manufacturer.
This web page developed 2010-2014
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One thing that makes researching the Carlos brand a challenge is something that is rather unique to this brand. Several manufacturers have used the name. At least one still manufactures Carlos products today. But none of these is the same "company on paper" that imported the Korean-made Carlos guitars that are the subject of the Carlos Unofficial Web site and my research.
This page is informational and seeks only to distinguish between the Carlos acoustic guitar information that you will find on this site versus other manufacturers who also used the Carlos name. The Carlos brand that is the subject of my research is the Korean-made brand from the 1970's and early 1980's. The logos used for that Carlos varied slightly, but were primarily limited to two types. These are shown below, and were used in guitars from the mid 70's. Most notable is "Quality Product of Korea" printed on these guitars
The first photo below shows the original Carlos logo that appeared on a headstock. Beside it, shown in brown with yellow letters, is the logo from the 1976 Catalog. Then below that is an inside label from my own model 438. These logos all are alike and use the unique looking symbol for the "L" that somewhat resembles the pagan 'Ankh' symbol that reperesents eternal life. It is unknown if this symbol means anything, but it certainly distinguished the early Carlos Korean-made guitars.
It is not known when the below logo, shown from a "Model 205" guitar, was used. But it is obviously the same manufacturer of the Korean Carlos guitar--given the appearance of the "Quality Product of Korea" in the same logotype as the above early company models.


The logo shown here, was submitted by Brian Eggleston, and shows the label inside his Carlos guitar. The label, according to Brian, indicates this guitar was made in Mexico. It is not known when this label made its debut nor whether models carrying this label were one and the same as the more familiar Korean brand of Carlos whose labels are shown above. Other guitars (including one model 265 that is shown on the photos page) carry this same label, and have the familiar Carlos logo on their headstock--leading me to believe that the guitars were the same original branding. This is still being determined. As information is discovered it will be disclosed here.

Other logos seen in the market place are as shown below. I know little about their origin or years of manufacture beyond what is shown in the photos. The first photo with Carlos spelled out in dark pink, is from a Brazilian-made model 124 guitar. Submitted by Barbara Harris. Barbara submitted other photos as well, so I've included them here: Photos

Next, below left is the logo of Carlos Juan--a guitar builder who custom builds high-end guitars from his shop in Stuttgart, Germany. He is a native of Puerto Rico, but has lived in Germany since 1982, and established his Carlos brand of fine instruments in 1990.

The next logo shown here, identical to the one just above, is from the same Juan Carlos, but the limited research yielded only confusion. Note that the date shown on the logo above says the company was Established 1990, yet 18 years later the company had its 10th anniversary. I've not sought to get to the bottom of this, because this manufacturer is not the subject of the Carlos web site.