What is an Emperador guitar?

Emperador was a brand that was improvised by Jack Westheimer (Westheimer Music - greater Chicago). They were first imported from Japan, but only for a short time. Then the manufacturing was moved to Korea. More Emperador models were made in Korea than in Japan. The original respondent here stated that he has an Emperador 12 String with a very full and mellow sounding guitar with surprisingly good tone for a laminated top guitar. He compares its tone to a Guild dreadnaught he owns. This is no surprise, because when Mr. Westheimer launched the brand, he wanted two things: Great guitars, and affordable prices.

I have spoken to Mr. Westheimer personally about this venture. He never tires of talking guitar history. Mr. Westheimer's goal in launching the Emperador line was to be able to offer a well-made guitar to the public at a reasonable price. They were inexpensive, but well made. Most feature what is known as "modified" x-bracing...an unusual bracing pattern with two braces running the length of the top, and others cross bracing. Westheimer is more well known for Cort. A later spinoff was Cortez (making use of the Cort name in a "Spanish-sounding" name). Westheimer is still in business today and has recently (2010) purchased the rights to, and is re-launching the Harmony Guitar brand.