1960s Teisco-made Kingston Hollowbody Electric Guitar

I feel like I've worked on so many old Japanese hollowbody electric guitars that the vast majority of them blend together into a sunbursty blur of plywood and scavenged styling cues. This one gets away from the pack a bit, though, by the sheer cool factor of its body outline and its odd, super-short-scale neck.

I'm pretty sure this is a Teisco/Kawai build from the early or mid-'60s and it even sports the low-output, super-microphonic pickups I'd expect it to have. These sound best pushed pretty hard through a tube amp, though standing too close to said amp when pushing hard may have consequences best described as piggy death cries.

I wrote a "workshop" post about how I went-about repairing and securing the neck block on this guitar, but the "real" work on this guy was refretting it with jumbo/pyramid-shaped stock. This changed it from unplayable (the old frets were almost to the point of just falling-out) to super-de-duper playable and with a fast, modern sort of performance factor.

I did mention that short scale, too -- it's only 23 5/8" and that puts it at even shorter than a Jaguar or Mustang. I'm pretty sure that it made sense for so many of the old Japanese firms to go with shorter scales, though. When this was made flatwound 12s with a wound G were pretty common and, just like with a Jaguar, guitars like this really "wake up" with heavier gauges. A set of modern electric 12s on something like this have overall tension about the same as 10s on a long-scale (25 1/2" or so, say) guitar. Shortening the length of the scale means tension slacks-off quite a bit and so if you were building guitars for "comfort" it might make sense to just make shorter-scale necks to make things more "playable" by hook or by crook.

At least this is my rationalization for why I find so many old Japanese guitars with scale lengths running anywhere between 21" to 24" -- a shorter reach is immediately "faster" via layman's perceptions and the shorter scale makes the "normal" tension feel slinkier, too.

Repairs included: refret, neckblock/endlbock repairs/support, adjustments, setup.

Body wood: ply maple w/ply spruce top

Bridge: rosewood base, adjustable saddles

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: super-multi-ply maple

Pickups: 2x Teisco adjustable-poles

Action height at 12th fret: 1/16" overall (fast)
String gauges: unsure, seems like 50w-11

Neck shape: slim C

Board radius: ~9 1/2"

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: tall/wider

Scale length: 23 5/8"

Nut width: 1 5/8"

Body width: 16"

Body depth: 1 1/2"

Weight: 6 lbs 8 oz

Condition notes: while it's almost entirely original, there's a non-original support bar running between the neckblock and the endblock. The frets are replacements. Otherwise, it's in good order, now. There's the usual finish crackle here and there, too.