6/26/2013

c.1970 Teisco 4-Pickup Kimberly Electric Guitar




Four goldfoil pickups, whammy bar, tons of controls, jade-green-burst finish, and bizarre body style?

GARAGE ROCK FEVER!

Anther gem from the "Skanktone Collection," this Japanese Teisco-made, Kimberly-branded rocker monster is just that -- a monster. Switch on one or two pickups and you get that great old "goldfoil" single coil jangle and clarity. Add one more and you get some big drive. Add the fourth and ohmigod, this thing is fuzzing, bursting, paint-peelingly fun.

And... did I mention the jade-green-burst?


Work included a bunch of cleaning, a fret level/dress, proper intonation of the bridge, tuner lube, and setup. It plays just as it's meant to (excellently, with 1/16" action at the 12th fret) and actually has a longer-than-normal scale for a Teisco product (24 3/4" Gibson length vs. 24" or shorter) which makes it feel more substantial than usual.


Note the "zero fret" for even tone through the board, funky "Kimberly" badge, and (yes) jade-green-burst at the headstock, too. I actually really like how these old Teiscos get the "big string tree" for all the strings, unlike the single-unit trees like Fenders have. To me, this is a far more practical solution and insures even down-pressure.

The board is radiused, rosewood, and bound. The neck has a good medium-C feel and is quite fast.


Individual on/off switches and tone knobs for each pickup! This lets you get bizarre combinations of pickups for lots of fun effects. These "goldfoil" Teisco pups are actually quite desirable on their own, thanks to electric guitarists' endless modding. One could probably part this guitar out and sell them for more than the whole thing together, but, hey -- it's so super cool as-is. That would be a shame!


Despite the grunge that was on this guitar when it arrived, it cleaned up quite nicely. There's use-wear throughout but it's overall in excellent shape. I was extremely surprised that all of the electronics worked right out of the box!


The whammy makes you feel like a superman, but it'll eventually drag you out of tune just like any other Bigsby-inspired knock-off. The "roller" saddles are pretty nice, though.




Yeah, it's pretty slick. It's like a "mutagen" (any '80s Ninja Turtles fans out there?) version of a Mosrite.





I can't believe the sticker is still on this...


This guitar was originally part of the Skanktone Guitars collection. Skanktone was run by Joe Schenkman of right-here-in-Rochester, Vermont, and specialized in fun, funky, wonky, and wild old guitars (among other things). He amassed a very cool personal collection that's been off-and-on stored for a number of years and now a fair number of the quirky and fun vintage items are being sold through Antebellum. Thanks for sharing the toys, Joe!

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