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Guyatone (グヤトーン or ガイアトーン) is a Japanese manufacturing company known for its electric guitars, guitar amplifiers, and effects pedals.

Guyatone LG-60B (1959) (from Rory Gallagher's collection,[1] exhibited at Harrods in 2007)


Early History[edit]

One of the earliest guitar manufacturers in Japan, Guyatone began production in 1933.[2] According to Mr. Hiroyuki Noguchi, editor of Japan’s Guitar Magazine,[3] “Matsuki Seisakujo” (松木製作所) was founded by a cabinet maker’s apprentice Mr. Mitsuo Matsuki and friend Mr. Atsuo Kaneko, who later became a famous Hawaiian and Spanish Guitarist,[4] as well as help with the formation of the great Teisco in 1946.[5]

Mr. Matsuki had been enrolled in electronics classes, studying nights after his cabinetry apprentice job.[4] Hawaiian music becoming increasingly popular at the time led Mr. Kaneko to inquire to his friend Matsuki about building an electric Hawaiian guitar using his wood working and electronics skills.[4] In the late 1930s the “Matsuki Joiner” company (“Matsuki Seisakujo” in Japanese) was formed[4] producing and selling mostly American style (Rickenbacker style) guitars under the Guya name.

In 1940 Matsuki was drafted into the war between China and Japan and production halted for several years. After returning home, Matsuki formed his own company, “Matsuki Denki Onkyo Kenkyujo” (松木電気音響研究所[2]), translated means: “Matsuki Electric Sound Laboratory.”[4]


In 1951 Matsuki began to use the Guyatone name on his instruments. They also began to make amplifiers and cartridges for record players.[4] These cartridges found a large market after being routinely used by NHK — a government-owned broadcasting station. In 1952[4] (or 1956[2]) the name of the corporation was again changed to “Tokyo Sound Company” (東京サウンド(株)[2]). Eventually it was changed “Guya Co., Ltd.” ((株)グヤ) and then back to “Tokyo Sound Co.” once again.[2]

External images
original place of factory on meigji street in tokyo
History Site of original Guyatone factory on Meigjhi St, Tokyo Japan. Hiroshi Matsuki (松木裕), son of the founder (left) Copyright 2013 Frank Meyers, Drowning in Guitars

According to correspondence with Toshihiko (Toshi) Torri, R&D at Guyatone,[6] the Tokyo Sound factory began large-scale production in 1956. Guyatone’s own records indicate them as being “Founded” July 16, 1956. Apparently with ‘Fouding’ being softly defined as major manufacturing. It is unclear when the opening of the factory in Maebashi happened,[7] but in that factory of 9,720 sq ft, they produced the largest amount of audio goods in their history. Yielding, at times, 1,500 slide guitars, 1,600 electric guitars & basses, 2,000 guitar amplifiers, and 5,000 microphones a month.[8]

During the late-1950s to 1960s, Guyatone guitars were also distributed under various brands by other manufacturers/distributors:

In 2013 “Tokyo Sound Co. Ltd.” closed their doors to business and transferred ownership of the “Guyatone” name to Hiroshi Matsuki (松木裕), son of the founder of Tokyo Sound Co., and brother to the president of the company, re-opening and re-organizing a short time later that same year.[27]

-to read more, please follow the referenced page [8] [28]


Guyatone ZIP200B (1979) bass amp

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Guyatone LG60B (1959)". Instrument Archive, Rory Gallagher - The Official Website. 
  2. ^ a b c d e 東京サウンド(株) [Tokyo Sound Co., Ltd.] (in Japanese). Suginami Sangyo Kyokai (杉並産業協会).  [In English: CONTACT: 3-36-14, Takaido Higashi , Suginami-ku, TOKYO. ABOUT US & HISTORY: Founded in 1933, produced first domestically electric guitars / In 1948, founded Matsuki Electro-Acoustic Laboratory / In 1956, renamed to Tokyo Sound Co., Ltd. / In 1959, moved to present location / In 1983, introduces the "REXER" / In 1999, revived the "SOUND".] (also PDF version is available)
  3. ^ "Mr. Hiroyuki Noguchi (Editor In Chief, Guitar Magazine)". Zoom Information, Inc. last updated on 12/17/12.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Fjestad 2011, GUYATONE
  5. ^ Fjestad 2011, TEISCO DEL REY, “In 1946, Mr. Atswo Kaneko and Mr. Doryu Matsuda founded the Aoi Onpa Kenkyujo company, makers of the guitars bearing the Teisco and other trademarks ...”  (Note: "Atswo Kaneko" referred to in this section seems to be an another notation of "Atsuo Kaneko")
  6. ^ "Toshi Torii (Guyatone, TOKYO SOUND co.,ltd)". Zoom Information, Inc. last updated on 9/29/10.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ Although reliable sources are not yet found, it may be possibly late-1950s or early-1960s: A user refer the "Guyatone/Musician SG-M02".  in 1963 as the first product of Maebashi factory.
  8. ^ a b Nathaniel DeMont,
  9. ^ "富士弦楽器とIbanez" [FujiGen and Ibanez] (catalog clips). Matsumoto Guitars [Guitar manufacturers in Matsumoto City], The Junk Guitar Museum Matsumoto (in Japanese). 2009-06-14. 
    Star EG-1570 (?), EG-1580 (LG-50), EG-1590 (Hi-Tone/LG-40), EG-1800 (LG-60), EG-1810 (LG-60B), and Ibanez 1850 (LG-70 ?) seem Guyatone models.
  10. ^ a b "Hoshino Gakki Ten: IBANEZ and ralated brands....". {Middle} A rare one here, an Ibanez model 1860 large body set neck, circa 1960. This old girls claim to fame is that one of these models was owned by the late Jimi Hendrix. I have the original Kevlar type case as well. It is also Guyatone made.”,“Model 1830 bolt on neck  
  11. ^ Harry Shapiro, Michael Heatley, Roger Mayer. "1961 Epiphone Wilshire". Jimi Hendrix Gear. Voyageur Press. p. 34. ISBN 9781610604215. ... in September 1962, he traded in his Danelectro (valued at $20) for an unidentified Ibanez electric from Collins Music Store in Clarksville, Tennessee. Unable to keep up the $10-per-week installments on his $95.87 purchase, he voluntarily returned the guitar in mid-November. His next purchase was a new Epiphone Wilshire, ... 
  12. ^ Steven Roby, Brad Schreiber (2010). "Chronology of Tours and Events, 1962-1966: November 1962". Becoming Jimi Hendrix: From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London, the Untold Story of a Musical Genius. Da Capo Press. p. 222. ISBN 9780306819100. Thesday, 11/13 ... Hendrix voluntarily returns the Ibanez guitar he got on loan from Collins Music Store in Clarksville because he cannot continue payments. 
  13. ^ a b 60's Bizarre Guitars. Guitar Magazine Mooks (in Japanese). Rittor Music. 1993-03-01. p. 32. ID:4-69771-02. 
  14. ^ フジゲン創成期(エレキギター生産の始まり) [Genesis of FujiGen (beginning of the electric guitar production)]. Matsumoto Guitars [Guitar manufacturers in Matsumoto City], The Junk Guitar Museum Matsumoto (in Japanese). 2012. [In English: At the same period, Mr. Yokouchi (founder of FujiGen) contacted to the Nanyo Boeki, a musical instrument export trading company, to promote his prototype products. Then he was indicated a Kawai electric guitar and said that "Please manufacture as same as this", and the business had progressed. (the brand was Tele-Star) And we can see that Teisco models manufactured by FujiGen were the same as well. The OEM production of domestic other manufacturer models at FujiGen was not by the direct transaction between manufacturers, but by the trading company initiative.] 
  15. ^ 1965 photograph of FujiGen office. Matsumoto Guitars [Guitar manufacturers in Matsumoto City], The Junk Guitar Museum Matsumoto (photograph). 
  16. ^ "About". Antoria Guitars. 2010. ANTORIA GUITARS were first introduced into the UK from Japan in the early 1950's. ...  
  17. ^ a b "Drifter LG50". Burns London. 
    Drifter LG50, a reissue of Burns-Weill Fenton made after Guyatone/Antoria used by Hank Marvin in the late 50s, will be shipped from Burns London in Nov. 2010.
  18. ^ a b "Marty Wilde — Antoria electric guitar". British Music Experience. Archived from the original on 2011-02-24. 
  19. ^ a b "Guyatone/Antoria LG50 - The inspiration for the Burns-Weill Fenton". Archived from the original on 2010-10-23. 
  20. ^ Paul Alcantara (September 2010). "50 Years Of Burns Guitars". Guitar Buyer Magazine (109): 89. 
  21. ^ "Burns-Weill Fenton (1958?)". Instrument Archive, Rory Gallagher - The Official Website. 
  22. ^ Steve Russell (2000–2009). "Mid 1960's Futurama Sophomore Solid Electric Guitar". The Futurama Guitar Story, Steve Russell's Vintage Hofner Site Home Page ( 
  23. ^ Steve Russell (2000–2009). "Late 1960's Futurama Freshman and Sophomore Budget Solid Guitar". The Futurama Guitar Story, Steve Russell's Vintage Hofner Site Home Page ( 
    Although a name of manufacturer is not explicitly described on the pages, these models seem Guyatone LG-50A (1965) and Guyatone LG-60 (1959), respectively.
  24. ^ "A History of Broadway Guitars". 
  25. ^ "Broadway Guitars - About". Facebook. 
  26. ^ Kent Guitars 500-800 Series — Gallery of Kent branded guitars manufactured by Guyatone, FujiGen, Matsumoku, Teisco, and Kawai.
  27. ^ Dozy Duran (2013-05-06). "新会社Guyatone(ガイアトーン)の案内" [Notification of the new company "Guyatone" [Gaia-tone]] (in Japanese).  [In English: Tokyo Sound Co., Ltd., founded in 1956, which was producing, designing and selling the Guyatone, a first Japanese electric guitar brand, was decided to close in January 31, 2013. ... "If we gave up as it is, our social responsibility to the long-standing loyal customers can not be fulfilled!", Hiroshi Matsuki, Tokyo Sound's sales manager who is familiar with the wide variety of new and old music scene, scrambled for reviving the Guyatone. Toshi Torii, a development engineer who was instrumental for the late Guyatone while working as a university lecturer, also felt similar feeling. ... And now, in order to meet the hot demand of Guyatone fans around the world, we has decided to start a new company on June 1, 2013. And also the official pronunciation of Guyatone have been unified to [Gaia-tone], as already familiar by the users in oversea. Gaia-tone ? — the pronunciation implicitly means our desire for our products, "Sound of Earth". ... On the new company Guyatone [Gaia-tone], "Toshi Torii" and most known Guyatone collector in the US, "Nathaniel DeMont" are in charge of the coordination of sound. ...]
  28. ^ Nathaniel DeMont,



External links[edit]