“Thumbs Up!” – 1966 Guyatone LG-180T Japanese Electric Guitar

Guyatone LG180T 1Such a strange guitar, totally original design here.  Hailing from the mid-60s, this LG-180T comes from perhaps the best era of Guyatone electrics.  The oversized body, the slim neck, and the headstock that’s reminiscent of a hitchhiker…this model represents some of the coolest of all the Guyatone guitars.Guyatone LG180T 2From the early 60s until around 1966, Guyatone guitars were appearing with regularity in the USA as Kent guitars but models like this one began production right around the height of the electric guitar boom.  This LG-180T was introduced in 1965 at the same time as the famous LG-160T Telstar, and for some unknown reason Guyatone had Yamaha in Hamamatsu make all the wood parts for these guitars.  There was a definite uptick in quality with these Yamaha-made Guyatone electrics, and the increased quality was the result of plenty of research by Guyatone.  The company really wanted to compete with the professional level American guitars by Fender and shed the label of cheap import guitars.Guyatone LG180T 3This headstock is either the ugliest or the coolest of the Guyatone designs.  I can’t decide which.  I will say no other guitar company ever put out anything like this.  You have to give the Guyatone designers credit for trying to be original!  This model was never exported, and Guyatone decided to forgo an adjustable truss rod.  Instead, they used a light alloy non adjustable core to reinforce the neck.  Speaking of the neck, this model features the most odd feeling neck!  It’s very thin but has a deep shoulder (if that makes any sense).  Totally strange!Guyatone LG180T 4This particular guitar I found in Kentucky!  Probably brought home by an American serviceman, it had lived a hard life and was dirty from head to butt!  Man, this this needed all sorts of tender loving care but in the end it became a rather good player.  The bridge on this guitar wasn’t that great, but I appreciated its simplistic effectiveness.  The tremolo worked well and the tremolo cover was still on the guitar!.Guyatone LG180T 5In early 1966, the Kent deal with American importer B&J ended and new Guyatone guitars all but disappeared from US shores.  I’ve often wondered who ended this relationship (Guyatone or B&J) but what is known is that at this time Guyatone was designing and producing some very solid instruments.  But this particular guitar was very short-lived and only appeared in the 1966 and 1967 catalogs.  After that it disappeared along with all the other Yamaha-made Guyatone electrics.  By 1969 Guyatone had gone bankrupt for the first time and thus ended the coolest bizarre Guyatone electrics.Guyatone LG180T 6





One thought on ““Thumbs Up!” – 1966 Guyatone LG-180T Japanese Electric Guitar

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow! What a great find and definitely a beaut. I’ve gotta say the bridge / tremolo combo with that odd headstock sure make it stand out from the crowd. Thanks for sharing!

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