The Univox Coily Hollowbody Electric – A True 1970’s Sleeper
The Univox Coily is one example of a guitar that no one wanted in the 70’s, but would die for today. This thing just rocks!
Back in the 70’s, Univox was known as the U.S. distributor of Marshall amps… and… that’s about all they were known for! They did have their own line of guitars and amps, but most everyone wanted to rock a Les Paul with their Marshall, not a Univox, or even a Fender for that matter.
But the Coily has that Epiphone Casino-like mojo. It’s a full hollow body Maple thin line guitar, with a pair of P-90 type pickups, similar to John Lennon’s Casino. And these pickups are hot!
The 1975 Coily featured a flamed Maple body, fully bound, in a sunburst finish, P-90 type pickups, a ball-bearing Vibrato arm (Whammy Bar), Matsumoku’s three-piece Maple neck, Rosewood fingerboard with Pearloid “Box” inlays.
The Coily was based on the Epiphone Casino, made popular in the 1960’s by The Beatles. John Lennon was the first Beatle to get one; and later Paul and George each got their own. The Casino was the only guitar that was owned and played by all three. You can see John playing his Casino in several Beatles films and videos. But the Abbey Road Rooftop Concert might be the most famous, with John playing it during their recording of “Get Back.”
1975 Univox Coily
Model number U1825.
Full Hollow body thin line body (no center block), arch top, electric.
Maple ply top, back and sides.
Bound body with Flamed Maple finish.
Sunburst body in Orange, Red, and Jade Green (rare color).
P-90 Pickups (made to look like Humbuckers).
Separate volume and tone controls for each pickup.
Three-way pickup switch.
Black pick guard.
Ball-bearing Vibrato Tailpiece.
Made in Japan by Matsumoku, mid 1970’s.
Similar to Epiphone Casino, Epiphone EA250, Epiphone 5102T.
Original sale price: $122.50.
A bass guitar version of the Coily was also available.
The Lyle C-600 is an excellent 1970’s reproduction of the Martin 000-18 guitar. The C-600 was made in Japan at the Matsumoku factory and sold in the United States by L.D. Heater Music Company of Portland Oregon.
This particular guitar came to me as a gift from my family last Christmas. My son found this Lyle online at a Goodwill Store in Seattle. When the guitar finally arrived, it looked a bit rough: with a few scuffs, marks, dings, and plenty of scratches. Not to mention a few decades of dust!
The passing of time had not been kind to this Lyle, which resulted in a bowed neck. Poor Lyle. Here’s a picture of Lyle the day he arrived in his original chipboard case.
A New Life
Lyle spent quite a bit of time earlier this year at Barrett Coughlin’s repair shop. Barrett straightened Lyle’s bowed neck, lowered the bridge saddle, treated the fingerboard, filed and polished the frets, and generally brought this old instrument back to life.
A Good Build
Crafted in Japan, in the Matsumoku factory.
Imported and sold by the L.D. Heater Co. of Portland, Oregon.
1970’s Lyle ‘Strat-Like’ Electric Guitar, white solid body, 3 pickups
Here’s an interesting vintage 1970’s Lyle guitar currently offered on eBay. This Strat-like 3-pickup solid body is dressed nicely in an aged and relic white finish, tremolo bridge (the arm is missing), with a Japanese bolt-on Mahogany neck, an adjustable truss rod, and Rosewood fingerboard. Mostly known for its less expensive copies of famous guitars, Lyle actually sold some decent gear—in addition to a lot of low end beginner’s trash! This one appears to be of higher quality as suggested by the three-ply pickguard, the sliding switchgear, and the closed back tuning machines. Most Lyle guitars were built in the Matsumoku factory in Japan, however the Mahogany neck and the pickups suggest it could have been built elsewhere in Japan? Lyle guitars were sold by the L.D. Heater Music Co. of Portland Oregon during the 1960’s and 70’s. The seller says this guitar plays and sounds great with low action and no fret buzz. We have not tested to confirm. Seller is asking $279.95 plus shipping.
*DISCLAIMER*: Buy at your own risk! Although we like to point out interesting buys on eBay, craigslist.com, and other sites, Tone Gems has not tested this guitar and does not endorse or recommend this product, nor this seller.