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One of the earliest guitar manufacturers in Japan, Guyatone began production in 1933. According to Mr. Hiroyuki Noguchi, editor of Japan’s Guitar Magazine, “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 & Spanish guitarist, as well as help with the formation of the great Teisco in 1946.
Mr. Matsuki had been enrolled in electronics classes, studying nights after his cabinetry apprentice job. 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. In the late 1930s the “Matsuki Joiner” company (“Matsuki Seisakujo” in Japanese) was formed 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 back home, Matsuki formed his own company, “Matsuki Denki Onkyo Kenkyujo” (松木電気音響研究所), translated means: “Matsuki Electric Sound Laboratory.”
In 1951 Matsuki began to use the Guyatone name on his instruments. They also began to make amplifiers and cartridges for record players. These cartridges found a large market after being routinely used by NHK — a government-owned broadcasting station. In 1952 (or 1956) the name of the corporation was again changed to “Tokyo Sound Company” (東京サウンド(株)). Eventually it was changed “Guya Co., Ltd.” ((株)グヤ) and then back to “Tokyo Sound Co.” once again.
|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, 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, 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.
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.
- Antoria — in 1950s, Hank Marvin and Marty Wilde played models made by Guyatone.
- Ibanez Jet King 2 — in early-1960s, its original model "Ibanez Rhythm Maker" was supplied by Guyatone, and Jimi Hendrix played it.
- "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)
- "Mr. Hiroyuki Noguchi (Editor In Chief, Guitar Magazine)". Zoom Information, Inc. last updated on 12/17/12.
- Fjestad 2011, GUYATONE
- 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")
- "Toshi Torii (Guyatone, TOKYO SOUND co.,ltd)". Zoom Information, Inc. last updated on 9/29/10.
- 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.
- Nathaniel DeMont, http://www.GuyatoneGuitars.com/history.html
- 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. ...]
- Nathaniel DeMont, http://www.DeMontGuitars.com/
- "Marty Wilde — Antoria electric guitar". British Music Experience. Archived from the original on 2011-02-24.
- "Hoshino Gakki Ten: IBANEZ and ralated brands....". OnceVlectrum-UnderVlectrum.com.
- Nate DeMont, http://www.GuyatoneGuitars.com/history.html, DeMont Guitars
- Nate Demont, http://www.GuyatoneUS.com/history/
- Fjestad, Zachary R. (2011). "GUYATONE". Blue Book of Electric Guitars (13th ed.). Blue Book Publications, Inc. ISBN 978-1-93612017-8.
- Guyatone Catalog 1965 (guitars, amps)
- Guyatone Catalog 1966 (guitar amps 2, 3)
- Guyatone Catalog 1968 (guitars 1, 2) — Sharp 5 model (1967) was seen. Also, numerous roughly copied models were added.
- Guyatone Catalog 1968 No.4 — Reverb Mixer RM-4
- Guyatone Catalog (ca.1968) — New models influenced by Mosrite were added.
- Guyatone Catalog 1969 No.1 — Sharp 5 variation models were added.
- Guyatone Catalog 1970 — cloned guitar models and rhythm machines seem added after the 1st crisis in 1969.
- Guyatone Catalog 1972 — GA-2200 guitar amp stack with front-load horn cabinets was added.
- Guyatone Amplifiers Catalog 1975
- Guyatone Catalog 1976 — LG-880 Marroly (1974) guitar, a reissue of '50s LG models, and PS guitar effect series were seen.
- Guyatone Catalog 1977
- Guyatone Catalog 1978 Winter — LG-1000 Glory (1978) guitar, FLIP guitar amps using vacuum tubes were released.
- Guyatone Catalog 1979
- Guyatone Catalog 1980 Spring
- Guyatone Catalog 1980 Autumn — Vocal amp/speaker products were enhanced. PS guitar effect series were renewed.
- Guyatone Catalog 1981 Automn
- Guyatone Catalog 1982
- Guyatone Catalog 1992 — FLIP guitar amp stack, REXER wireless system, and Micro & Pro guitar effect series were seen.
- Guyatone Catalog 1993 Vol.1 — LGX-II Marroly (1993) guitar was released.
- Guyatone Catalog 1993 Vol.2
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