70's Teisco Mustang

Yep, another Teisco ...

Anyone who get's lost in my blog knows I've written A LOT about Teisco but that's because I have lots of them, and I love them.

This Mustang copy was made by Kawai, who were primarily concentrating on Fender and Gibson copies in the 70's having dropped a lot of the truly great and innovative designs of the late 60's. The Enshu Kougei factory, which had started producing Kawai guitars in '63, was Kawais piano factory and had good knowledge of wood and wood drying techniques and Kawai had great distribution contacts for it's keyboards.

By the early 70's this factory made all the Kawai , and Teisco branded guitars up until the late 1977. It is also believed to have made some Fernandes guitars and it was the factory that made the very good, and very collectible Moonsault model in the late 70's.

 

The construction of this guitar shows lots of Kawai including the multi laminate neck that Kawai primarily used from the late 60's after buying the Shinko factory in '66. This is a very strong way of making a neck with lots of laminated pieces glued together to stop twisting. It generally works really well with few of these guitars showing twisted necks after 50 years.

Unlike the late sixties Teisco Mustang "copy" (and Tomson copy) the body on this is solid timber although still not quite as thick as a real Mustang. It does have smooth front and back contours and feels substantial enough to hold. The finish is well applied and these were available in red or blue both with competition stripes.

 

The short scale bolt on neck has a rosewood fretboard with pearl dot inlays and no zero fret and the original plastic button tuners that work well and the matching headstock is a nice touch.

The pickups on this particular one are the covered Mustang type, although there are versions out there (possibly later?) with pole piece pickups that look more Strat like. These pickups are strong and great sounding with lots of tops.

 

The switches on the really nice pearl scratchplate are simple ON/OFF without out of phase settings like an original Mustang. The knobs on this are original and are the classic Teisco type. The pole piece versions tended to have Strat style knobs as well.

The tailpiece is all Mustang and thee may have been the first copies to use an actual Mustang vibrato as most earlier copies and inspired used generic brands vibratos. The bridge however is typical of late sixties/early seventies Japanese guitars used on many brands and works well.

While Jags and Jazzmasters were a huge influence on the Japanese market and manufacturers from the early sixties, the Mustang was late to catch on and be copied. Influenced shapes started appearing in the late sixties but real "copies" like this didn't really appear until the early seventies. While there were a few copies around (like the linked Tomson before) these later Teisco versions did a great job of making a more affordable "Mustang" and the competition stripes are always cool. 

This one is all serviced and set up and in the shop now. 

Sep 02 2019 Written By: Tim Brennan