Guitarsite Forums Guitar Discussion Guitar Regarding Lyle Acoustic Guitars

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #22157
    fenderbasher
    Participant

    [original post]>Most of the Lyle Acoustics are worth around a hundred dollars. They were imported by an Oregon company if memory serves me. They are very decendent guitars builtat the same factory as epiphones! Play em don’t sell em!

    From what I’ve been able to find out (as a proud owner of a mint W-415 ‘Dove’ model acoustic), Lyle guitars are actually Gibson seconds, that for whatever reason didn’t pass muster to be sold as a Gibson (bad finish, scuff, imperfection in the wood, etc.). The Lyle company was out of Portland, OR (I believe) and was started by former Gibson employees who would fix the flawed Gibsons and resell them under the Lyle name. Made in Japan was because Gibsons were made in Japan at the time(?). A damn fine instrument; considered rare now, I guess. I don’t ever want to get rid of mine!
    NOTE: I could be wrong on any or all of the above; feel free to respond with the correct info if you want as I’m curious to learn more about Lyles as well…

Viewing 29 reply threads
  • Author
    Replies
    • #79892
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Had a W470-12 Humminhbird back in the early 70’s and, regrettably, traded it off. I’ve missed it ever since. Fast forward, 47 years. The Mrs. was looking at acoustic 12’s on google. She ran across a picture of a W470-12HB and told me to take a look at it because it reminded her of the one I had. The W470 was on a reverb store that just happened to by an hours from from the house. Needless to say, we shot right down there and played it a few minutes. I couldn’t believe how mellow it sounded. Incredibly mellow. No tinny, bright shiny tone. No, this was a mellow sipping bourbon tone. It’s now safe in my keep. And I’m now on the hunt for her sister, the W460 Hummingbird.

      Love my Lyle. Fits right in with my Guild D212 and Guild F212!

      Chap

    • #79896
      Anonymous
      Guest

      This was also on the guitar.
      And it did say made in Japan.
      # 80344

    • #79238
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I purchased my first electric guitar 1802T from L.D. Heater Music in 1969 in downtown N.W. Portland Oregon, and purchased other Lyle guitars later from them in S.W. Beaverton Oregon.

      https://jedistar.com/images/Aug2020/LD_Heater_Catalog_Cover.jpg

      The L.D. Heater Music Company was a family-owned US musical instrument company in Portland, Oregon and later in Beaverton, Oregon.

      They operated from 1918 to 1984 and sold a wide range of instruments, closing in 1986.
      They offered many music products and instruments, notably guitars, violins, and other string and brass instruments.

      By 1971, the company had moved from downtown Portland, Oregon to a local suburb in Beaverton, Oregon, located at 10300 S.W. Allen Blvd. Beaverton, Oregon.

      The L.D. Heater Music Company was a registered business in Oregon.
      Public records show that the company did not renew its registration and was dissolved in 1986.

      Lyle Delos Heater was who the Lyle brand was named after.

      L.D. Heater (the elder) was born in the late 1800’s in Iowa, his wife was Lenore Heater, the mother of Lyle DeLoss Heater.

      In 1918, L.D. Heater (the elder) was manager of the Portland office for the Columbia Graphophone Company, selling Alexander Graham Bell’s “talking machine.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia_Graphophone_Company

      Lyle Deloss Heater, son of L.D. Heater (the elder) and (Lyle Guitar Brand Namesake.) was born about 1913 in Portland, Oregon and died around February 1998? in Portland. His mother was Lenore Heater. His wife was Betty (Elizabeth) Heater.

      Music Trades Volume 56, published in 1918, mentions L.D. Heater of Portland Oregon as an early seller of the new “talking machines.”

      Paul Tutmarc was the inventor of the first “modern” electric bass in the 1930’s, which was designed to be played like a guitar. Tutmarc designed and produced the Serenader electric bass in 1947, which appeared in the 1948 music catalog of L.D. Heater Music Company.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bass_guitar#1930s.E2.80.931940s

      Ron Henson was President of L.D. Music Company in 1984. There is a 1982 newspaper article by the Eugene Register Guard about L.D. Heater Music Co. making violins from Oregon grown Spruce and Maple trees.

      https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=eRVWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=JuIDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6635,4392128&hl=en

      L.D. Heater imported instruments in the 60s and 70s from Japan. One of their favorite manufacturers in Japan was the Matsumoku factory. Matsumoku made very good guitars and amps under the names Lyle (the L.D. Heater brand.)

      Arai and Matsumoku, were Japanese builders of Lyle, Epiphone, Aria, Univox, Tempo, Westone, and many other brands.
      Nobuaki Hayashi (H. Noble), was a designer of many Matsumoku built guitars.

      But L.D. Heater also imported many instrument brands other than the Lyle Brand, from places like Germany, Italy and other countries as well.

      L.D. Heater Co. may have been a subsidiary, or had a contract of some kind with Norlin Musical Instruments due to the Gibson head-stock copy infringement issues., Norlin was the same company that owned Gibson Guitars in the 1970’s and 80’s.

      Yet Lyle brand guitars were not guitars made under contract for Gibson with Arai and Matsumoku, they were their own brand with their own contracts with these companies.
      The confusion came from the Gibson head-stock controversy and no lawsuit was ever filed, as Lyle and other knock-off brands agreed to change the head-stock design to get around Gibson’s own design.
      The guitars that were Japanese copies of U.S. guitars were, in most cases, a different body dimension than U.S. made guitars.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson

    • #79257
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Posted on February 28, 2014 by alex
      L.D. Heater Music Company

      The brand was named after Lyle DeLoss Heater.
      The L.D. Heater Music Company was a family-owned importer of musical instruments based in Portland, Oregon from around 1918 until about 1984. They offered many music products and instruments, notably guitars, violins, and other string and brass instruments. By 1971, the company had moved from downtown Portland to Beaverton, a local suburb. The company was located at 10300 S.W. Allen Blvd. Beaverton, Oregon. The L.D. Heater Music Company was a registered business in Oregon. Public records show that the company did not renew its registration and was dissolved in 1986.
      Most of the instruments and products L.D. Heater imported in the 60s and 70s were from Japan. One of their favorite manufacturers in Japan was the Matsumoku factory. Matsumoku made very good guitars and amps under the names Lyle (the L.D. Heater brand), Epiphone, Univox, Tempo, and others. But L.D. Heater also imported other fine instruments from Germany and some from Italy.
      The Final Years

      Ron Henson was President of L.D. Music Company in 1984. There is a 1982 newspaper article by the Eugene Register Guard about L.D. Heater Music Co. making violins from Oregon grown Spruce and Maple trees.

      Kapok Violins.

      Edgar Perry Dewitt (1913-2010) was a financial officer for L.D. Heater Company.

    • #127763
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I have a w 415 dove. It’s my favorite of my three acoustics. If any one is selling one or knows of anyone selling one I am interested.

      • #127770
        Anonymous
        Guest

        I also have a W415 dove. It was my Mom’s. Do you know much about them? Is this one with the laminate on it or bridge trouble? I’m going to have it adjusted once we get past this Covid junk. Haha. Thanks.

    • #78326
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Picked up a Lyle sunburst hollow body electric bass dating from the 60’s at a garage sale for under $50. The guy who sold it called it a lawsuit guitar? Made in Japan Any Info. on this from anyone would be apricated. Looks to be all original

    • #78373
      Anonymous
      Guest

      My grandmother bought a lyle Dove brand new in 1969 in Medford, OR. For her daughter my aunt. She never liked it and put it in the closet in 1970. In the 1980s she gave it to me and i never played it either. So 50 years of sitting in its case in the closet. What is it worth? Thanks John

    • #77992
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I recently purchased 2 Lyle guitars, one being the hummingbird model #W-460 serial # 600404 with spruce top and laminate mahogany sides and back. The other one is the dove model #690 DL with spruce solid top and solid Brazilian rosewood sides and back and mother of pearl inlays on the headstock and fingerboard. I would like to find out more about these but there is not much info out there. From what I see on this site there are multiple request’s for info but no answers?? Is there any other site that has more info?? BTW, the tone and sustain is awesome on both guitars!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you in advance for your reply,,,,, Larry T

    • #77714
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I bought my Lyle HB in 1973 in Hillsboro Oregon at Westfalls Music on main st. I paid $79 and it came with a semi-hardshell case. I still have it today. It’s been all around the world with me on tour. I’ve upgraded the tuners over time and replaced the nut once. My bridge is starting to pull up. StewMac has several great fixes for this for around $150. The sound of this guitar has warmed up over the years and is still wonderful. The cost of keeping this guitar alive and playable is part of my history and love for this guitar. Like Trigger is a part of Willie Nelson, this guitar is a part of me. About Lyle? Lyle was sold exclusively through Heater Music Co. in Beaverton Oregon which is right next to Hillsboro where I bought mine. The Matsumoku Company manufactured many Lyle branded guitars in Japan from (approximately) 1965 to 1972. It was purchased by the Norlin Company, at the time the parent company of Gibson. This relationship is why many guitar people think Lyle was copying Gibson. The guitars distributed by the L. D. Heater Music Company were not part of the lawsuit. But many think it was. The lawsuit was with Ibanez’s American brand and was settled out of court. The Lyle Hummingbird is not worth much after 40 years. It’s just a nice very cool guitar with a colorful history.

      Tony G

    • #127669
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I have a lyle w460 serial number 901579. Could anyone tell me when it was made.

    • #77413
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I bought a Lyle C-625. One of the rarest at a garage sell in Oklahoma! Its beautiful inlay and sound totally freak me out, in a good way! Goose bumps. I wouldn’t let sell her for $700. Top notch guitars. There is a 5 digit number on the tag inside the guitar at the bottom right…. anyone know what this number is for?

    • #77355
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I just bought it, anybody help? yet to find any info on it.

    • #77346
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I have three Lyle guitars, the first I got is an acoustic nylon string serial number CD – 366, and it plays beautifully, I got it for about 40 bucks. My second one is a stunning steel string acoustic serial 1100 – L, I believe I payed about 150 bucks. My last one is a SG copy, that I don’t know the year or serial number yet, but I paid around 220 bucks.

    • #77203
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I bought it 1970, still have and have never done anything to it. Plays well and sounds better with age. The bird is wore off from playing but that is the only wrong. Red and yellow sunburnt. Near as I can tell was built around ’68. Not sure though. Paid around 300 and a trade hollow body electric.

    • #77005
      Anonymous
      Guest

      pristine condition, I traded a nice rope gold chain for it, My wife hit the roof as I own a lot of guitars,I didn’t wear the chain, so I just told herto go polish her jewlrey . The guy i trade with said is was made in the late 60’s in Japan it plays as nice as my martin on my gibson blues boy EC30 I would like to know what it’s worth just to shut my wifes mouth.

    • #76987
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I recently was given a Lyle 460 acoustic guitar. It is in need of restiration. In need of everything except the body. Body is slightly dinged up inside and out. I intend to restore not sale. I am wondering if the body inside is needing a couple wood pieces replaced, will that affect the sound and play quality too much? Is it worth restoring? Also I’m curious if anyone has a Lyle or other quality 6 string acoustic guitars for sale or trade.

    • #77044
      Anonymous
      Guest

      pretty good 70s japan guitar definately not a Gibson second thats pretty obvious. Great beginner guitar and has great projection. I would say soundwise its more in line with a martin. Clearly this guitar was supposed to compete with a Gibson Humingbird. The quality it just not there. I paid $180 in a pawnshop in Fort Worth texas December 4 2017. there are cracks in the top which are consistent with a solid top back and sides are laminate. There you go its a fun guitar for a campfire thats about it.

    • #76545
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I recently purchased a Lyle W 420 12. The top has several dings, it did not have a saddle and the tuners are in bad shape. A few gears for the tuners have been stripped and it appears someone used pliers to tighten the strings on a few tuners. I am going to try and fix it as well as I possibly can, but I will keep the original parts that I have. It also has a cracked pick guard, but no noticeable cracks anywhere else.

    • #76533
      Anonymous
      Guest

      This is all great information and really good to hear all the good words regarding Lyle Imports.
      My goto has always been my 1961 Guild t100 used to sit next to the fire and pick the blues unplugged. But when it plugged into the fender twin its soulful. Just now bought a late 60s Lyle ES-335 copy 5102-T. Love it! Very full sound and rich feel. Actually as nice or nicer than side by side compared to the older Univox and Guild. I have not plugged it in to the 1978 Fender Twin yet but REALLY looking forward.

    • #127614
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I got my Lyle model# 692 in Eugene,OR, in 1969 or ’70. Probably ’70 as it was a birthday gift. I had to pay half of the $47.50 price. Now I know more about it, I understand WHY I had to retrieve it from an ex boyfriend and then again from an ex-husband. HaHaha, ex-husband plays an Epiphone, manufactured by the same company that made Lyles. Beautiful tone still, but strings are semi difficult to press down as they sit higher above than more expensive guitars I’ve tried. Always was this way as I recall. Cannot find this model # in any of the listings I’ve seen. Serial number is also present, both very clearly stamped. 6 string, any clues as to what my problem is with reference to the model number not appearing on the known lists?

      • #127646
        Anonymous
        Guest

        Take your Lyle guitar to a Luther and have it set up . I have a 680-L Hummingbird bought in 69-70 and was also hard to play. I did some research on setting up a guitar and set mine up myself. Smooth and easy playing. Looks great yet, bird wore off pick guard, otherwise looks like new. Use to get bounced around playing in bars in 70’s.

    • #127580
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I purchased my Dove in 1989 in a mom and pop kind of music store in North GA , actually Cumming GA. I have played it ever since and I have owned many other guitars in my 52 Years in the music business but it has always been my come back acoustic for the sound and playability of the neck slim D stile ,but the sound quality is very much as good as any lots more expensive guitars,the way it holds the overtone of the note long after you play the note in the body is just unbelievable ,my hat’s off to which either company wants to claim they built it I am just glad they did!! Damn fine Guitar.Thanks,Victor

    • #127578
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I bought mine used in 1989 in a mom and pop music store in the North GA mountains in Cumming GA and have loved it everysence I Know very little about it except that I would not trade it for a new one. The sustain in the body of the overtone note is fantastic and rare to find.I use d’Addario phosphorus bronze strings 11 – 52 and would not change anything about this guitar,fantastic!!! Thanks Victor

    • #72506
      Batlan
      Participant

      A guitar reseller told me about 6 months ago that a circa 1970 Lyle Hummingbird might sell for between $150 and $250. Not enough for them to bother handling the sale.

    • #72448
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I’ve got a Lyle Hummingbird from the 70’s original case, it still looks and sounds beautiful. Any more info available about them out there? Current value?

    • #72509
      Anonymous
      Guest

      I had a Lyle Dove copy that I bought at a McMinnville, OR music store in the early ’70s. I sold it in ’78 after buying an Ovation. Still have that Ovation, but really wish I had the Lyle instead. Great tone, and after a pro setup it played as nice as any Gibson I’ve ever touched.

    • #72503
      mikehoefer
      Participant

      I have a 690-DL (Dove knockoff) that I bought in Wichita Falls, TX in 1971 for less than $100 in excellent condition.
      Any idea of the value?
      Not intending to sell, but curious.

    • #72508
      Batlan
      Participant

      I purchased a Lyle Hummingbird acoustic guitar in 1970 at a Salem, Oregon music store…and still have it and the original case. I haven’t really used it that much for the past 35+ years as I transitioned soon after to 12-string guitars…as I prefer the sound qualities.

      In 1970, I paid $79.50 for the guitar and the case was $14.25

      It appears that this guitar model has appreciated significantly in value over the years due to various factors.

      I will likely be selling this guitar in the near future since I rarely use it and I prefer playing 12 strings over 6 strings….the Takamine F-395S 12-string I now have and the Ovation 1598-MEII Adamas Melissa Etheridge acoustic electric 12 string I just ordered.

      To answer a previous question on this forum….

      The Lyle Hummingbird guitars were distributed exclusively by:

      L. D. Heater Music Company
      10300 S.W. Allen Blvd.
      Beaverton, Oregon 97005

      Beaverton is just outside of Portland, Oregon.

    • #72495
      bmarksb
      Participant

      I Have a ’70 lyle hummingbird and its a solid spruce top and mohagony neck back and sides. My guitar luthier fully inspected it. Mine is in near mint condition and sounds identical to the ’64 Gibson Hummingbird my luthier has. He was trully freaked out by this.. ha ha He keeps trying to buy it from me but im affraid im hanging on to mine. It seems there is alot of contradictory information on these guitars. It is super hard to get more than a small paragraph of info on these things. One site out there has several catalogs from lyle guitars but they require a payment or paid membership to view them. If you are interested google lyle guitar catalogs. There is one that sold for 600.00 at joes vintage guitars.com Its Identical to mine. If I find any more info Ill post as discovered.

    • #72505
      CPOJerry
      Participant

      I have a lyle guitar which i purchased in the early 70’s. The bridge is starting to come unglued. I wonder how much it would cost to have it repaired?

    • #72457
      docrichards
      Participant

      Portland, OR was probably the place of import, but all the Lyles were ‘licensed’ copies of Gibson, they weren’t seconds. The acoustic guitars were built in Japan, with laminated tops and sides. Over all construction on the guitars was very good for the materials used. I gave my Humminbird copy to my son after playing it for 25 years, and he still plays it today. Unfortunated during that 25 years, I had to have the bridge reset 3 times due to the weakness of the laminated top. My luthier asked me why I didn’t just buy a Gibson or a Martin for as much money as I put into repairing that Lyle…I told him the tone was worth the extra expense.

Viewing 29 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.