Thursday, 27 December 2012

Vintage 1960s Teisco Bizarre Guitar Amazingly Cool Violin Shape Rare Mod Rocker

A rather breathtaking title for a nice little "phew" (sharp intake of breath or appreciative whistle as is your wont) guitar. A Teisco violin shaped guitar currently languishing in post-celebrationary haze over on Now, we have featured these guitars TWICE before on Guitarz, here and here but I hope we can be forgiven for showing one again. These violin shaped guitars were only made for about a year (1968) and so are pretty uncommon (if not downright rare) and they were sold under at least two different badges, just to confuse things even more. This one is badged with the Teisco Crown logo (my own one is blessed with the Satellite brand). If one turned up with a Guyatone, Silvertone or Kawai logo, it wouldn't be too much of a surprise.
This guitar was produced in red-burst and green-burst colourways and with varying scratchplate (pickguard) combinations of white, black and tortoiseshell (based on my own observations). This one has a typical Teisco tremolo that can be seen of lots of other models, a fairly standard bridge for Teisco, nicely yellowed nylon tuner bushings and absolutely typical Teisco pickups.
I'll include an excerpt from the sellers description as I think it does warrant the re-telling;

Ahh don’t you love these guitars?? Really nice green burst paint job here. Cool shape looks very mod and neat. Great for garage rock or you retro rockers out there. Also this guitar is perfect for people with smaller frames or you lady rockers out there. Its a little bit smaller than a normal guitar. The guitar is great cool shape. A few scratches here and there and the guitar could use some new strings. This guitar is very rare and difficult to find. It plays nice and sounds amazing!

So, those Guitarz readers of diminutive stature and/or of the diminutive sex, this guitar may well be the one you've been waiting for...
I will agree that they do play (very) nice(ly) - my own one has an excellent neck and an action that no one would be ashamed of - and, even if those pickups do only sport an output of 4-5K, they produce a decent rich sound that anyone, who was attracted to the vibe of these kinds of instruments, would be more than content with.
Anyone still feeling flush after the Xmas excess or who woke to find a nice little wad of crispy banknotes in their stocking from Santa on Christmas morning, this little treasure is yours for 850 US Smackeroonies (plus the usual).

Just to illustrate Marshall Will's remark in the comments, these guitars are pretty sleek. That keeps it light and comfortable to play. The only downside is that the lower "horns" can dig in your thigh when playing sitting down. But, this is a guitar for standing up and showing off with so no problem really, eh?

David in post-Christmas, pre-Tres Reyes Barcelona

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!


  1. Cooler still is the sideview shot. This is much sleeker than straight on pic's would lead us to believe. Thought it would be every bit as ungainly as the Vox/Hofner semi's.

    If my liking it makes me a "retro rocker", then so be it. The only real drawback I can think of is; everyone wants a shot at these so you bring into the bandroom or friend's place and it'll be the last time you get to touch it!

  2. Bought one of these in 1992 for 20 bucks! Very chunky sound but a great look.

    1. Chunky is good though, right? By the late 60's a good many of those PU's were probably swapped out for HB's. And later regretted...

      $850 may come off a little steep, but given its rarity, $20 bucks isn't going to cut it any more! Ah the 90's. Wouldn't it be fun to walk into one of those Mega Guitar outlets, tell them your guitar needs a setup and then break this out of the case!? They absolutely wouldn't know what to DO with it!

  3. Great to discover this information. I didn't know what I had back then. I bought it at a department store chain in Canada called Simpson's. I just thought the shape was cool and different from what anybody else had, and I loved the green/black fade coloring. I couldn't play guitar worth $#it (OK on school orchestra viola) but I kept it until 1995 when I put it on consignment. Made a good friendship with a pro musician out of that so it's all good.

    A bit of trivia - I spotted this guitar only once again, used in a promo photo for the band Presidents of The United States. One of them was holding this guitar up in the air. Probably just a prop guitar because they were all standing in a few feet of swamp water from what I recall.



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