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My new old Lyle Japanese bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Busker, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007
    Check it out. Its kinda rough, needs restoration, but it has a nice, substantial feeling laminated neck and the pickups sound pretty good. The scale is 30 1/2 inches. The body isn't really plywood I don't think (I can see wood on the edge where the paint is chipped), but rather some kind of core wood (mahogany?) with maple veneers front and back. The bridge is laughable - very crudely made and the 2 saddle variety, but would probably do the job. Probably crude because it was intended to be hidden under an ashtray, which is missing. I'm thinking the Rosewood finger rest isn't original. It looks like it might have come off of an old Gibson. What do you think? Any idea of the age? Late 1960's?



  2. amimbari


    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I know my old LYLE is a plywood bass, since the paint is no longer on it....lol

    mine was made in 1977 according to the pocket info and original neck + although the neck that is on it right now is not the original one, it is still a LYLE neck, but it did come off of a beater bass that looked almost exactly like yours when I had no other bass years ago and needed a neck quick after an ooopsie while drunk. ( that's a story for the off topic section )

  3. Busker, I saw a bass today in a pawn shop exactly like the one you have, except the bridge pickup had been replaced with a Music Man style pickup.
  4. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007

    Really? How much did they want for it? Wish I had the tuners off of it. One of mine is missing.:p I paid $45 for this one, and that was probably too much for the condition its in. But the pups are probably worth that much. Maybe, that is.:)

    These pickups? They sound good, but underneath those large covers are narrow single coil pups. I was expecting a fat coil to be under those covers. Not so.

    Amimbari, nice bass. Thanks for sharing.
  5. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    Early-mid '70s, like an Epi ET-280.
  6. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    The Aria Diamond 1820 you can see here (scroll down) is almost exactly the same, and has the fingerrest originally. It was made from 1970 to about 1974 at the Matsumoku factory.
  7. Rattman

    Rattman Supporting Member

    Hey Buckster... thats in pretty rough shape alright.. Obviously you'll be doing quite a bit of upgrading to get it up to speed. No need to worry about keeping it stock at this point, so you may as well make it modern and playable. Just as long as the neck is in good shape then bring everything up else across the board.. Looking forward to your future posts on your "new" Lyle...
  8. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007

    Yeah, I agree. I might even repaint it, and make it have a matching headstock, and put a decent bridge on it. Why not?

    This might be of some interest to everyone who likes these old Japanese basses.... I took the bass into a music store because I was hoping to match up the missing tuner with a used one out of their used parts bin. They didn't have an old vintage tuner, but they did have an Allparts tuner that fit, and they even had the bushing for it. It has the same screw hole pattern, dust cover and all, but the button is a bit differently shaped and the post is smaller diameter, but the bushing makes up for that. Not identical, but the deal is, it at least fits the bass and you can buy a set of four. They had a single one lying around so I bought the single. I can live with the mismatched tuner until I find a junk bass with these tuners.

    Thanks to everyone for the info.
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Those Lyle basses are very decent. They are a Matsumoku product and were produced at the same time and in the same factory as Univox and Epiphone. Aria is also a product of that factory, and pre-dates the Lyle line. The woodwork and finish is very darn good across these lines, although as you point out, sometimes the bridges are a bit primitive, and the tuners are just adequate.

    I've been following Ebay auctions for all these lines for a couple of years, and the pickups appear to be just about identical across all those lines - the same pickups appear on a variety of brands.

    I have a Univox hollowbody bass made about the same time as yours:


    And a Lyle hollowbody from that time period that's waiting for pickups:

  10. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007
    I love those. I know a lady who has a vintage Japanese Epiphone that's very much like your Univox, except cherry red finish, and the thing is near mint. She won't part with it, already tried to buy it from her.