Early 70's Guyatone EB-25

I've owned lots of Guyatones from this period which technically was after Tokyo Sound went into bankruptcy in mid '69 but carried on as a "brand" being made in several different factories. Some models were dropped and others were carried over into the new period. For the most part, these new lines were well made in reputable Japanese factories. The name would change to Guya in the late 70's and the number of models refined to a more traditional, mid-high end catalogue.

These early 70's Guyatones can be a real treat for the initiated with good quality builds and good prices as they're not as "collectable" as the classic mid/late 60's Bizarre guitars. The guitars and basses from this period were more tradition in terms of shapes and hardware while still keeping nice little aesthetics and designs. 

 

This EB-25 is a great example. Initially it looks very Fender in design but when you look again it's actually not a J bass, and definitely not a P bass. The slightly offset body has a definite J bass look but this body is smaller and has a more extreme elbow and belly contour. The body is thick and heavy laminated timber and feels substantial despite it's smaller size. 

The smaller body size works with the scale length which is short (Gibson) 30" scale with a thin maple neck. The rosewood fretboard is bound and this model, like some other Guyatones of the period has a zero fret and metal string guide like a Mosrite. Guyatone had used this system from the mid sixties on some guitars and basses. 

 

The pickup is a humbucker placed mid way between bridge and the neck and has a nice. round thump to it. The controls are easy with volume and tone. 

The scratchplates on these Guyatones is a nice dark tortoiseshell guard and this model originally had a chrome pickup and bridge cover, some with a stylized "G" stamped into it which look great.

The finish on these Guyatones is always very nice with quality at a very high standard for the price point. The equivalent guitars like the great LG-23 with similar construction feel and look great. The predecessor to this model was in the '68/69 catalogue listed as an EB-5 which had a full scratchplate and P-90 style single coil and earlier style hardware. This model was available with 2 of these humbucker pickups that strangely enough was also listed as an EB-25.

 

The tone on this is a little more .... spongy than a long scale Fender which along with the humbucker makes it more Gibson sounding despite the looks which is kind of cool. The heavy body in conjunction with the thin maple/rosewood neck makes it different to both US brands in materials and hardware which gives it it's own thing.

This one is in the shop now if it intrigues you. 

Mar 05 2020 Written By: Tim Brennan