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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Vintage Japanese Guitars

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I bought this Fandel Jet (probably made by Aria) and the Teisco 17 on Nov. 24, 1967. They both still work, not real well, but for 51 years they are survivors. I read a post a few years ago by a fellow that bench tested 1960s Japanese electronic components and why they never seemed to have any "wack." What he discovered, and I can believe it, is that the components were NOT the culprits but rather the poor quality solder used and also the soldering method used. Solder needs to be high quality rosin core, wiring tinned and properly fluxed and applied with a hot soldering iron that provides even intense heat, not a soldering gun which is used for quick fixes on electronic parts that need to go back in service immediately; never mind the longevity such as military applications. Those guitars and amps were affordable (mine came from EJ Korvettes) to any kid with a part time job and I'm happy to have them.

Remember as a little kid seeing Teisco's in the local tiny music store, they were eye catching to say the least. One cost an astonishing $65, a good year's work to save up for it from my paper route. Never did get one until I went to college and my room mate sold me his, nowhere near as cool as this one.

These are my 1960s relics from Japan. I modified both to improve playability, sustain and tone. On the archtop I replaced the entire vibrato with an Epiphone model, and I replaced the bridge with a roller. This combination stopped the strings from popping off the bridge during play, which was a constant problem. It also improved tuning stability and sustain. For the solidbody I glued lead weights to the vibrato plate, achieving solid sustain instead of mandolin-like plink.

Both have fretboards as narrow as a Mosrite, and also slender. They are not my best guitars, but they are usable. Before the mods they weren't.


The Insanitizers!

Last edited: Jan 25, 2018 16:47:11


69 Telestar 5001 original pickups were terrible, I had an old set of Gibson S1 pickups that fit without modifying any parts of the guitar. Very different tone, but I really like it.

I just picked up Tele Star! It's got a nice ring and great acoustic tone. I'm going to rework/rebuild the pickups to sound better, give it a refret, and a bone nut. I plan on gigging with the thing!


Nice i love those weird japanese guitars i got to play a 60s no name strat hybrid a few months ago and the neck was like a baseball bat Big Grin

I'm Jake G and I approve this message

That's a really cool guitar! Never seen this one but I'd certainly gig with it!

CrazyAces wrote:

Ha, that's way crazy.
The actual Teiscos from that particular period can be great guitars though.
They almost all came with rough to non-existent frets and yes, the switches are weak.
I picked up this Silvertone branded 1436 (WG-2L) about seven years ago for $155.00. After a re-fret and cleaning it's been very reliable and great sounding as well.



That guitar is so cool, whether it works or not.
Glad it does work though.
What a bargain.

Morales Mosrite-clone from '66 acording to seller. Almost like new.
Cleaned it, oiled the fretbord, new strings and wax. Made a new pickguard also as the original was broken.

Last edited: Feb 18, 2018 05:37:29

Picked up this Teisco K-2L the other day. Could do with a bit of a set up, but it sounds great, really nails that early Man Or Astro-Man? sound, oddly enough.


Earth. Atomizer. Let's go.

The Atom Jacks

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