1960s Guyatone/Japanese-made Hollowbody Electric Guitar




I wish I could say with confidence who built this guitar. Unfortunately, it's definitely a "cobbler's" job. The body appears to be made by Guyatone as it has Guyatone-style pickups in it -- right down to the finish washers said pickups usually use. The wiring and bridge are also probably original to the body, but the Bigsby-copy tailpiece definitely seems to have been added later -- though it's of Japanese make, too, and good quality -- it works like the "real thing."

The neck was a donor from another hollowbody (a wrongly-necked Vox Super Lynx body, oddly-enough) and seems to be a little later -- maybe a late-'60s or early-'70s Japanese neck and probably of either the Teisco or Kawai persuasion. Its 24 3/4" Gibson-style scale length leads me to think it's Teisco-related (as Teisco loved to copy Gibby scale), but there's no way I can confirm that.

Anyhow, as I noted, this was a parts-project and it has the fortuitous ending of actually playing and sounding great. The neck is medium-girth but quick, the Bigsby-style whammy is smooth, light-touch, and accurate, and the pickups have a very healthy Jaguar-ish/Mosrite-ish thing going on that really suits the more fundamental sound of the hollowbody build. It can jazz it or it can rock it

Work included: a fret level/dress, better-fitting of the neck to the neck pocket, filling/redrilling neck mounting holes, adding a ground to the tailpiece/strings to the wiring, general cleaning, and a good setup. It has a straight neck, functioning truss-rod, and it plays with spot-on action of 1/16" overall at the 12th fret (with just a teensy hair above that for the EA strings). It's, of course, adjustable to taste. Strings are 46w-10 gauges with an unwound G.

Scale length: 24 3/4"
Nut width: 1 5/8"
String spacing at nut: 1 3/8"
String spacing at saddle: 1 13/16"
Body length: 18 5/8"
Lower bout width: 15 1/2"
Upper bout width: 11 3/8"
Side depth: 1 7/8"
Body wood: some sort of plywood
Neck wood: super-lamination of mahogany-like stuff
Fretboard: ebonized hardwood of some sort
Neck shape: 12" radius board mild-to-medium, D-shaped rear
Bridge: adjustable saddles over rosewood base
Nut: zero fret with plastic spacer nut
Weight: 6 lb 3 oz

Condition notes: cobbled build with some replacement hardware, but all of it Japanese-made and 1960s/early '70s in era. The neck pocket is a little oversize so I have some shims at the sides of the heel to fit the neck a little more firmly with the screw/bolt-tension slacked. There's average playwear throughout but overall it looks pretty clean for its age. There's definitely some finger-wear discoloration to the fretboard.






The adjustable polepieces on the pickups help to even-out string-to-string balance.


See that nice Bigsby-style whammy? It might as well be one, it's so closely-cast along the same lines -- and functions just as well, too. The only downside is that the arm on this unit doesn't slack-off as nice as a normal Bigsby, so one has to tighten it more often if you're the type to constantly move the arm out of the way.




The aluminum knobs are pretty hip and look like period home-stereo equipment.




The tuners are definitely nothing to write home about, but they seem to hold pitch pretty well -- even with repeated vibrato/whammy use.





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