Teisco del Ray
Here is a rare 3 pickup /tremolo/ Jazzmaster-styled electric by Teisco Del Rey. These are so much fun! Most other multiple pickup Teiscos are tulip bodies, the Jazzmaster style body rare. Predates the striped pickguard models. Early “Del Rey” badge. E for electric, T for tremolo, 3 for how many pickups, 2 unknown, to explain the model nomenclature. Coolest 4+2 headstock design ever!
Body looks to be mahogany judging by the grain pattern under the red color, with belly-cut and armrest contours; with another strange contour on upper horn.
Mahogany neck mounted ‘precisely’ to body with 4 neck-bolts and plate. Neck is a laminate with a hard to see center stripe, 24 ¾” scale, 1 ¾” wide at nut, 7/8” thick at 1st fret, neck shape kind of a soft V that is reminiscent of a Martin to me oddly enough. Rosewood fingerboard with small frets, about 30% wear on open C note 1st fret the most worn, the rest about 20%. Also has way cool block fingerboard inlays that are on the edge, reminiscent of Gretsch thumb inlays.
3 square-pole single coil pickups with master volume and tone controls, pickups each have their own on/off switches with another slide switch a variation on a theme. Pickups are mounted to a matte-finish aluminum plate with matching head face-plate, the volume/tone/output jack are on a black plastic plate. Tune-o-matic-ish bridge with roller saddles, bizarre tremolo system (no bar) immobilized for stable play.
While not exhibiting the kind of fit and finish you’d see on an American guitar from this period it is playable and fully functional with some cool design elements unique to Teisco. Action is decent, but it ain’t butter; it’s all there but funky. The more pickups the better on these and the head design is to die for! Add the rarity involved and you’ve got a cool piece to add to the collection. Add the quirkiness and you’ve got great satisfaction for those with a taste for the bizarre!
Great for fans of early cool Japanese guitars.
Changed tuner, missing whammy bar, minor plating pitting, minor play wear.
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