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1989 Bill Lawrence BTOM-60P Esquire T-Style Electric Guitar Japan, Mad Cat


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Up for sale, a 1989 Bill Lawrence BTOM-60P electric guitar in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. This T-Style "Esquire" guitar was crafted exclusively for the Japanese market and has a very unique history, resulting from a partnership between Bill Lawrence and Toshio Moridaira. While Bill Lawrence made a name for himself as a Jazz guitarist in the 1950s and subsequently as a guitar and pickup designer, Toshio Moridaira's claim to fame was the creation of the Morris guitar brand, which also produced the H.S. Anderson/Hohner Mat Cat model.

With a bound alder body, one-piece maple neck, and single stock T2 single coil pickup in the bridge position, this Bill Lawrence easily captures the chewy twang, cut, and classic sparkle of the Esquire design. The stock pickup features alnico rod magnets and flat pole pieces, indicative of early Tele designs and offering a bit more punch and fullness than later staggered magnet iterations. Of course, the secret weapon is the three-way Tone switch. In the "bridge" position, the pickup is connected only to the Volume control (the Tone control is disconnected), and this minimal circuitry produces more top-end sparkle than is possible with a Telecaster. In the middle position, the standard Tone control circuit is activated. In the "neck" position, the Tone control is again disengaged, but a tone-shaping capacitor rolls off much of the top end and some bottom, producing a darker tone and slight volume loss. The guitar weighs 7lbs 6oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.

The one-piece maple neck has a slender soft V shaped profile carve at the nut, graduating to a more rounded C shape in the higher registers of the fretboard, measuring .810” deep at the 1st fret and .925” at the 12th. The maple fretboard features black dot inlay and pristine original jumbo fretwire. The guitar plays cleanly in every register up the straight neck with a 10“ fretboard radius and optimally adjusted truss rod. The scale length is 25 1/2“, and the bone nut measures 1 5/8“ in width, ensuring optimal note clarity and sustain. The headstock features a Tele-style shape with a distinctive hook and the Bill Lawrence script logo on the face. The stock Kluson-style tuning machines function smoothly and hold pitch well.

The stock electronics function as intended, with a three-way Tone switch, and Master Volume and Tone knobs for the single pickup. Hardware includes the six-saddle bridge, domed knurled knobs, and four-bolt neck plate etched with Bill Lawrence's name. The hardware shows light surface patina, and the one-ply thick transparent leopard tortoise pickguard visually links this guitar to its Morris and Mat Cat heritage. The gloss three-tone Sunburst finish is framed by aged binding on the top, and cosmetic wear includes some light marks and scuffs on the sides and back of the body. The neck profile sports a clean original satin finish with a stray mark in the clear coat at the treble side of the profile next to fret 9.