This guitar is a good example of the late 1960s Matsumoku made imports that were flooding the Americas. This model with these pickups were made for many years, starting around 1966 through the early 70s. That’s a good run! Based on my research this particular model probably dates from the late 60s.Most of the time I see these guitars with chrome or tortoiseshell pickguards, and this is the first one I’d seen with a white guard. Has a cool shape too! These pickups were exclusive to Matsumoku and generally have a good sound. I’ve measured about 10 of these pickups, and the reading are often all over the place. Some of these read out near 9k, and some read out under 5k, so obviously the specs changed over the years. I think the hotter reading pickups came from the later 60s era.Now that Lyle name was owned by the L.D. Heater Music Company out of Beaverton, Oregon. They had some cool electric models here and there and seemed to really focus on acoustic guitars back in the day. Most, but not all of the electric models were made by Matsumoku.Most Matsumoku guitars were made rather well, especially the wood parts. Bodies and necks were always top notch and their finishes hold up better than the average import guitar. They did some great, burst finishes! But one weak point on all these Matsumoku electric guitars were the pickup switches. They just weren’t made to withstand constant use and almost always fail. Dano at Happy Guitar Repair knows how to rebuild these switches, and it’s just about the only way to bring them back to life.The all-telling Matsumoku plate is back there and the neck pockets on all their guitars were really solid. If you’re looking to get into these vintage Japanese guitars, Matsumoku models are always a good place to get your feet wet!Mike Dugan loved this particular model, even though the frets were vintage Japanese tiny, and the pickups read out a little weak, sometimes a guitar just has a little chime and zing, and this one had it. Enjoy peeps!
One thought on “Lyle Style – Late 1960s Lyle Japanese Guitar”
I have a almost identical one in front of me, but mine has 3 pickups. It has the same color white guard and sunburst pattern. The back of the guitar has the redish sunburst pattern on the neck like yours but also has the red on the main body, unlike yours that has a colored neck and solid color back. I can’t find a picture of a 3 pickup that is like this. Any info would be nice to know.