Specs
scale: 658 mm
weight: 1750 g
body length: 496 mm
nut: 52 mm
upper bout: 293 mm
waist: 248 mm
lower bout: 375 mm
depth: 97 mm
top thickness:2.62 mm

action - 5th fret: 2.0 mm
action - 12th fret: 3.6 mm
neck size - 1st fret: 80 mm
neck size - 5th fret: 84 mm
natural resonance note: F#/G
strings: D’Addario Pro Arté normal tension,
silverplated wound clear nylon, EJ45

top material: spruce
sides/back material: rosewood
neck material:mahogany
fretboard material: rosewood
bridge material: rosewood?

builder: Lyle (Matsumoku), made in Japan
model: 588
serial no: NA
year built: 60s or 70s
original msrp: $79.50 ('70); ($460 in 2011 dollars)

download picture pack (5.3M)
info on specs

Stuff
There's lots of stories about Lyle guitars but not being sure what is the truth, I'll just provide links: link1, link2, link3. This is a nice guitar - the double binding is very attractive and the finish is well done, typical of the Japanese-built late-60s, early 70s guitars. Supposedly, Lyles were built by Matsumoku who, reportedly, also built Yamahas, Epiphones, Arias and so on. It has a similar feel to the Yamahas but seems a little easier to play...not quite sure why. The body dimensions are actually slightly larger than the 658-scale Yamahas (contributing, perhaps, to its sonic presence) but it feels a little smaller...here again, not quite sure why. The guitar has, for lack of other description, a very nice presence (maybe it's that resonance note) and I can see how someone could get attached to one of these.

Condition
Very good condition but if i were to keep it, I'd have some fretwork done on it. It's playable now but if you're going to spend 10 hours/week playing it, it would be worth a fret job. And the nice thing about this guitar is that it's in good enough shape to justify fretwork. There are a few dings, the biggest being on the top just below the bridge, and some scuffs (that may not show in photos) but overall, it looks very good and is a rather attractive guitar.

It has a nicely-balanced sound and compares favorably to a Yamaha of the same era. The tuners are slightly stiff but work smoothly, the neck is straight, the heel looks very good, the guitar was apparently well cared for and the action is almost exactly midrange of what a classical is supposed to be. It's certainly not a concert-level guitar but for a low-end guitar, it's got very good volume and presence. It's easy to see why the Lyles were (and still are) sought after. Whereas some of our other guitars pretty much sound like the recordings we've done, this one sounds better in person than on the recording.

How it sounds