Early 70's Guyatone SG-22T

The Guyatone SG-22T was their most expensive hollow body when it was introduced in 1966/67 at 35,000 yen and was only beaten in price by the LG-200 and the LG-350T solid bodies and closely followed by the SG-42T. In '68 the SG-30, 35 and 45 were introduced with a sharp cutaway and full thickness archtop and back body with set neck, like this amazing hollow body here.

The original 22's had dual parallel inlays in the neck and a Guyatone vibrato although this model (and the 30-45) were offered with trapeze tailpiece as well. This version here with block inlays and Bigsby style vibrato was offered in '67 and seemed to run simultaneously with the parallel inlay version. This one has all the signs of being made by Teisco-Gen-Gakki so I believe it would be post mid '69?

This is a full archtop holowbody and, like the SG-45 we sold recently shows just how great these Japanese manufacturers could make guitars. The construction on this is amazing and at this price point was a lot of guitar for your buck.

 

Construction is typical Jazz style Gibson/Gretsch hollowbody with a really nice arch top and back with three ply binding all the way and bound F holes. There's a nicely shaped/carved bridge block too which shows the work put into these. 

The neck is set three piece with two pieces of maple with a centre mahogany strip. The dark and tight rosewood fretboard looks like ebony and is block inlayed and bound with three ply binding with the nice little point at the body end.  The headstock is bound (there's a small piece missing) and the tuners are the common early seventies Teisco-Gen-Gakki style as used on many of my Teisco/Firstman/Excetro/Honey/Guyatone guitars made at the same time in that great factory.

 

The pickups on this one have been changed to standard P-90's and work REALLY well. The originals were missing when i bought the guitar so i can't comment on them but I love all the other pickups from this factory from this period so I can't imagine these were any different? They were different from the ones used in the SG-45 which were one of my favourite, slug P-90 style plastic cover pickups used on many Guyatones at the time.

The electrics are all original including the somewhat strange toggles on the top bout which are ON/OFF switches right next to the three way toggle? Maybe they were trying to be more Gretsch? The knobs are standard master volume and tone for each pickup. 

 

The P-90's were fitted into the original chrome metal surrounds without any mods and use all the original wiring so this could be taken back to original if a set of these Guyatone pickups ever turn up? Personally, I'd keep the P-90's but I am a sucker for them, especially in big hollowbodies. The last SG-22's had humbuckers with plastic surrounds but these seem to be rare.

 

This bridge is not original but works well with this set up. The originals had a "tune-o-matic" style bridge on a floating wooden base but I think these full wooden ones sound better on these. The vibrato is the standard "Bigsby" copies as used on MANY Japanese guitars throughout the sixties and seventies.

 

All in all this plays and sounds great and like I said, shows yet again what Japanese manufacturing was capable of when they wanted to make exceptional guitars in the sixties. The idea that all Japanese guitars are "cheap Asian guitars" is ludicrous and some factories as I've mentioned in other blogs were making world class guitars by the late sixties and by the late seventies were making better guitars than some of the big "brand" name factories in other countries. Go back through my blogs and you will experience MANY.

 

Aug 28 2018 Written By: Tim Brennan