Monday, 29 April 2013

Teisco KB-2 vintage Japanese bass guitar from 1967
Here's a 1967 Japanese Teisco KB-2 bass, the bass sibling to Teisco's infamous ET guitar series (see here and here). It's a shame it doesn't have the striped effect metal pickguard that the guitar versions sport; it's actually quite conservative looking with only two pickups, the plain plate, and (obviously) no trem. Still, it's a great looking design if you like your basses retro-style.

And - oh look - it has a headstock with a 3+1 tuner arrangement. Yes, the very same that Ernie Ball think is their intellectual property despite the fact that this configuration was in use many years before Music Man were formed. (The first Music Man guitars and basses didn't appear until 1976, with the guitars originally using the Fender-like 6-in-a-line tuner arrangement).

This bass is currently being auctioned on eBay with a starting price of $649.99. Yeah, I know, someone has strung it up with the strings going around the tuners in the wrong direction.

G L Wilson

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  1. Speaking of ideas theft.... The Musicman Company was partly founded by Leo Fender and former (Pre-CBS Vintage) Fender Employees and Ernie ball came later, but what is really interesting is the trajectory of Leo's career his ventures describes. By 1975 he was actively copying (and improving) fender amp designs for musicman, and quietly stole (and improved) the tiesco head stock design, and quietly stole (and actually fixed) the fender three bolt neck mount. He went from being the original creator (with help) of a lot of great guitar designs to being the dude who stole ideas and mixed them all together.

    I'll leave out the G&L company (where he wound up copying patents he himself took out) and simply say this, just because you originally came up with an idea doesn't mean you applied it properly. Nowhere is this more true than guitar manufacturing. Some of the best ideas in the guitar induxstry come from looking at another design and simply going 'well what if we took it to 11?'

    1. I wouldn't go so far as to say any of these ideas had been "stolen", but I do think it is a bit rich that Ernie Ball have the nerve to slap a patent on the 4+2 and 3+1 headstock layouts when other companies, notably Teisco and Gretsch, had already used the same ideas on their guitars in the 1960s.

  2. This looks like something George Jetson would play.



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