History of Guyatone


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” 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 30’s the “Matsuki Joiner” company (“Matsuki Seisakujo” in Japanese) was formed producing and selling mostly American style (Rickenbacher) 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,” translated means: “Matsuki Electric Sound Laboratory.”

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Meet the Owner

In the early 1980′s, convinced it would be the next break-out sensation, Nathaniel DeMont invested heavily to create DeMont Keytars; a shop designated exclusively to the sale and construction of keyboard synthesizers you wear like a guitar. Unfortunately, like the rat-tail and Pogs, keytars were a short-lived fad. DeMont, having sunk his life savings into the business, pivoted to guitars. “Turns out the straps work on both. I was able to salvage half my inventory.” He said, shrugging seductively. Since then, DeMont Guitars has become the number-one combination guitar shop & small animal taxidermist in Northern Illinois.