The ‘Tubon’ Joh Mustad AB, Sweden, 1966

The Tubon
The Joh Mustad ‘Tubon’

The Tubon was an early ancestor of the  guitar-style electronic instrument family developed throughout the 1970s and 80s to allow the keyboard to become a front-of-stage performance device alongside guitars and vocalists. The Tubon was a tubular battery-powered, monophonic keyboard instrument that was played standing up supported around the neck with a strap, guitar-style, allowing the performer freedom to move around the stage. The Tubon was primarily designed as a bass instrument and had six preset sounds: Tuba, Contrabass, Electric Bass, saxophone, electric bass, woodwind and was commonly used by pop and folk bands in Sweden during the 1970s.

Paul McCartney's Tubon
Paul McCartney’s Tubon
Paul McCartney's Tubon backstage at a gig in germany
Paul McCartney’s Tubon backstage at a gig in germany

The instrument was manufactured by in 1966 by the Swedish manufacturer of electronic tube organs, Joh Mustad AB, in Gothenburg, Sweden and also sold under license in the UK as the ‘Livingstone’. Very few of the instruments were sold outside of Sweden but one was purchased by Paul McCartney ( the original score for ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ includes a Tubon intro which was replaced by a Chamberlin on the final recording) and by Ralf Hütter of Kraftwerk in the early 1970s.

Score for
Score for ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ introduction

Images of the ‘Tubon’:


8 thoughts on “The ‘Tubon’ Joh Mustad AB, Sweden, 1966”

  1. I got one, my dad bought it around 1975.
    My neighbor got one also.
    That is very, very weird.
    North of Sweden.

  2. greetings – I have two of these and they are awesome… tho one has broken electronically recently. I am wondering of anyone has ever come across a schematic. I figured I’d ask before reverse engineering this… which shows how incredibly lazy I am (at least when it comes to fixing my own gear) because there is not a whole lot to it circuit-wise. I am findable – add audio to my name in a google search

    1. hi John I’m looking to buy a tubon–where can you recommend I look these days as they never come up on eBay..thanks Paddy

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