Friday, 31 December 2010

HsinMi "unknown", possibly Japanese, electric guitar
I'll let the eBay seller tell you about this guitar:
HsinMi vintage electric guitar with original case and strap.

I know you hear this a lot concerning vintage guitars: Very, very rare electric guitar. Try researching this one.

Not even the Guru of Bizarre Guitars, Lord Bizarre, knows its country of origin:

I have researched this guitar a fair amount and can only surmise that this was a mail-order only guitar shipped exclusively to Netherlands. The closest resemblance is the TEISCO Spectrum 5 although I would venture to say that this is much more rare. This guitar has 3 pickups and tremolo and comes with original case and original(?) strap.

Guitar is missing neck binding although based on another HsinMi that I have seen the neck binding is black. I have just purchased black binding for the guitar which is included in this auction (replacement of neck binding will be new owner's responsibility). I have done my best to clean and detail the guitar and it is playable with straight neck and light fret wear. The neck is kind of chunky and reminds me of a Silvertone Silhouette or Harmony Bobkat in feel. There is no adjustable truss rod despite the ornamental truss rod cover. Some of the metal parts have rust and some of the screws holding the pickguard and tremolo base unit have proven too difficult for me to remove (2 of the screws holding the pickguard appear to have been filed as there are some light scratch marks by them). As a result, I have been unable to inspect the pickup and control cavities and the tremolo base unit. All 3 pickups work although middle pickup seems to have lower output than the other two. All parts and paint appear original. Pickup selector switches and control knobs work albeit mysteriously (not intuitively as outlined).
It's a weird one, for sure. If this was the only example I would have sworn that the horns had been re-worked by hand, but the evidence provided by the photo of a similar guitar in Lord Bizarre's collection shows that it isn't a one-off. So, does anyone out there know anything about these beasties? The name sounds like it might be Japanese, but that's only a stab in the dark.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!


  1. I was the owner of this guitar and the Ebay listing and pictures above were mine. I was recently informed that these HsinMi guitars were made by Kawai in their "new" (at the time: late 60's early 70's) Korean factory for the Netherlands.

  2. Hi Johnny. Hope you're OK with us using your pics (and words) here. Did the guitar sell, by the way?

  3. Yes, that's fine by me to use the pictures and description. At least now there is a little bit more info on this guitar. Yes, the guitar was sold through a private transaction.

  4. Hi all. Just wanted to ask, was Mark Knopfler using a Hsin Mi with split coils in the video of "True Love Will Never Fade"?

  5. HI all. Just wanted to ask, was Mark Knopfler using a Hsin Mi with split coils in the video of "True Love Will Never Fade"? The shape seems similar. Thanks

  6. My apologies. It's A Teisco Del Ray. Cheers.



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