Teisco guitars were Japanese-made instruments imported to the United States from 1948 until 1969. Many were sold under different distributor brand names. These included Silvertone (a Sears model) and Kent, along with several others. The name Teisco comes from Tokyo Electric Instrument and Sound Company. These guitars were designed to be affordable alternatives to much more expensive U.S.-made brands. Depending on condition, a nice Teisco electric guitar can sell for hundreds of dollars.
The first U.S.-bound Teisco products arrived in 1948. They mostly consisted of microphones and amplifiers. The company shipped its first guitar to America in 1952. Tesico began introducing solid-body electric guitars in 1954. In addition to the Teisco name, many of its guitars carried other brand names. These included the Sears Silvertone line of guitars and amplifiers. In 1967, the company was acquired by Kawai and the Teisco name was discontinued in 1969.
During the company's life, its guitars were known for their looks and playability. Initially, many of them resembled certain classic American-made designs, including Fender and Gibson. Starting in the early 1960s, though, the company began to produce unique electric guitar models. Many were being turned out, in fact, with unusual body shapes. As well, they often featured a large number of pickups or other controls, including volume and tone knobs and switches.
Vintage Teisco guitars from the 1960s are collected by many guitarists in the United States and around the world. These include guitars made by Teisco under its own name and guitars made for other brands. The 1962 Teisco SS-4L solid-body electric guitar featured four pickups and a wide variety of switches and knobs. A Tesico-made Sears Silvertone guitar in 1964 featured a built-in amplifier. It was called the TRG-1. The amplifier was situated within the guitar's body.
The famous American blues guitarist and singer Hound Dog Taylor played many different Teisco-made guitars. He bought most of them at his local Sears department store. Teiscos are a favourite guitar of many collectors and enthusiasts, in fact. Many guitars made by the company sold in the 1960s for £32 to £113. The guitars themselves were plentiful because they were sold under so many different brand names in addition to Teisco itself.
The value of a Teisco or Tesisco-made guitar depends on its condition. There were many guitars made by the company starting in 1948. This means they're not especially rare. Instead, their value has more to do with their unusual shapes and also their control knobs and switches. For example, a vintage 1964 Teisco Del Rey electric guitar may be worth as much as £325 if it's in excellent condition.
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