1960s Kawai-made Sekova Semihollow Electric Guitar

I'm pretty sure this model shows-up as a Kawai-made product in the "Vintage Japanese Electrics" book. While it looks somewhat wild and funky (just look at that huge headstock) at first glance, it's actually a well-designed little beast. It's lightweight, the neck is slim, fast, and modern, and it actually sounds rockin' as heck. The neck pickup is the same type used on later Teiscos, too, and has a kerrangy, raucous, roaring personality -- I love the sound of these. They're built a little bit like a DeArmond-made version of a Gibson P-13 pickup, which is maybe why they suit my taste!

It's also 100% original except for the bridge pickup. The original one had a bad coil and so I replaced it with a same-era Fujigen unit with adjustable poles. It fit right into the old housing and that suited me just-fine. Now the guitar sweeps between two contrasting-but-comfortable tones, though the Fujigen pickup has less output and so the neck pickup needs to be cranked a bit lower in its mount.

As you can hear in the clip, it does sound pretty kick-butt, too. The fast neck is worlds-apart from the usual Japanese-made student guitars at the time and its 24 3/4" Gibson-esque scale go a long way to making it feel like a much fancier instrument. And that headstock!

Work included: much pain yanking the wiring harness and repairing bad connections and patching-in the replacement pickup, a fret level/dress, minor hairline crack repair at the neck pocket (the bass-side top of the pocket was separated at the binding... quick reglue), side dots install (below the binding for a neat effect), general cleaning, and a good setup. It plays bang-on with a straight neck and 1/16" action overall at the 12th fret, strung with 46w-10 gauges.

Scale length: 24 3/4"
Nut width: 1 11/16"
String spacing at nut: 1 7/16"
String spacing at saddle: 1 15/16"
Body length: 16 3/4"
Lower bout width: 14 5/8"
Upper bout width: 10 3/8"
Side depth: 1 9/16"
Body wood: ply mahogany
Neck wood: multi-super-laminate maple
Fretboard: rosewood, solid chunk
Neck shape: slim C shape, 10-12" radius board
Bridge: adjustable saddles in "reverse Jazzmaster" mount
Nut: zero fret with plastic spacer nut

Condition notes: the bright red finish is like... fire-engine-red! It looks great and only has very minor scuffs here and there. The binding is multi-ply and looks fancy as well. As stated before, the bridge pickup is same-era and Japanese but a replacement. I moved the bridge slightly lower for better compensation adjustments and so there's a tiny old mounting hole near one foot of it. The spring in the whammy is a replacement but works well -- it's very light-touch as these old '60s Japanese jobs tend to be. This has a zero fret but it's not oversized -- I leveled/dressed it along with the others so it functions 100% as it should. 


Phillips said…
Well done Jake...well done..
Love it..looks amazing and SOUNDS better than I ever expected..nice work