Dating a teisco
Below: Perhaps my favorite 1960’s guitars, the Domino’s.
Teisco (テスコ) was a Japanese manufacturer of affordable musical instruments from 1948 until 1969, and now the brand is owned by Kawai Musical Instruments Manufacturing Co. Teisco products were widely exported to the United States and the United Kingdom.
The vast amount of controls; typically an individual switch for each pickup, plus a tone or phase-cancellation switch, along with as many as five tone and volume knobs gave a wide variety of sounds yet were easily switched while playing.
Teisco Del Rey In 1964, the company name changed again, this time to Teisco Co., Ltd.
However, in the early 1960s Teisco products became increasingly unique.
Teisco guitars became notable for unusual body shapes, such as the May Queen design resembling an artist's palette, or other unusual features such as having four pickups (most guitars have two or three).
The chart also gives us a direction on how to start to study each model and a reference between other models.
It is hard to imagine today, but in the early 1960’s having an electric guitar in your home was rare.
Del Rey, of course, is Spanish for “of the king,” which explains the crown.
This was no doubt added to the Teisco name, in part, to suggest quality.
However, it was also a way to add the de rigeur Spanish cachet necessary for “Spanish” guitars of the time.
It was convention that “Spanish” guitars carried Spanish names, except for the well-known brand names – Gibson, Fender, Martin or Kay; thus the plethora of imported guitars named Greco, Ibanez, Goya and Espaa.