One of the first Polish basses/guitars seem to be build at an accordion factory called Bydgoska Fabryka Akordeonow (Accordeon factory of Bydgosnhzcz). This Lotos was, together with the Samba, a far copy from the Hagstrom guitars from Sweden.
The body and electrics where good quality, and so were the tuners and sliding switches: a linea recta copy from the Van Ghent tuners Hägstrom used (or even Hägstrom made). Also the perforated metal sheet between the pickups’s resembles a Hägstrom. The strange thing about the Lotos is that the tuners are mounted upside down... Rather a good look than efficiency?
The axe is often pulled out the gearwheel instead of pushed in, don't
know how to explain but it's a fact that the wormwheel is often weared out
due to bad mounting of the tuners. I find those tuners very similar and
copied (as the rest off the Lotos & Samba's) from the Hägstrom tuners, and also
other pu's (pu's off Jola22 and Malwa22 or Melodia22: pu's with two levels(pole pieces and pole piece-adjusting screws).
The headstock, pick-up’s, pickguard and vibrato are also clearly copied from Hägstrom. This bass and electric guitar can be dated by the potentiometers to be from around 1966. The Lotos and Samba have offset cutaway’s and no bindings on body or neck.
It’s not clear if Samba was also manufactured by the accordion factory or by the Defil company. Rumours state that Defil took over the Bydgoska factory and manufactured their guitars there also. In short: the Samba is simular to the Lotos in construction. But Samba’s can be found with or without a Defil logo on the headstock. The Lotos bass came in a orange colour. I’ve seen Lotoses in other colours, but always repainted and/or refinished.
A friend of mine stated that the Samba could been much earlier than 1966 :
since they copied the Tremar vibrato from a 1962 Hägstrom the Samba & Lotos
can be from 1963/64.
Ivan alias Lordbizarre
"lordbizarre's electric guitar and amp museum"
Rock! electric guitar and amplifier repair
Leuven, Belgium, Europe