Bizarro MIJ Guitar

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Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby Lo-Fi » Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:56 pm

When I was a young 'un I used to sit and drool over the pics of those wonderous guitars plastered on the pages of mail order catalogs. Not knowing a good guitar from a can of tuna I figured the more pickups the better the guitar. Alas, that guitar always eluded me - until now.

I stumbled across this attic treasure and knew I had to have it and fulfill a childhood dream. As best I can figure it is a 1960s Cipher. Four pickups (which immediately brought to mind Hound Dog Taylor's Teisco) and a ton of switches. The guitar appears to be an attempt at a Fender Jaguar clone and it does have that psychedelic surf sound thing going on. The icing on the cake are those cool holographic plates over the pickguard making me think the guitar was probably made by Teisco.

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Re: Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby leftyguitarman » Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:48 pm

That is badass. I've wanted an old 60's Japanese weirdo guitar like that since I got into guitars, but finding left handed ones are hard. I've seen one Teisco, one Kent and one no name. The Kent and no name were being sold for $999 and $699 respectively. Way too much to pay for a Japanese guitar that will need work, IMO.

Yours is one of the cooler ones I've seen. I've always wanted to get a project body and neck and throw some of those old Japanese pickups in there. Any idea what each of the switches does? I think I'd get confused playing it :lol:

I'm envious of you right now. I love the sounds of those oldies. One of my friends bought a Teisco Tulip on ebay not too long ago and for one pickup and a volume and tone know, it roared.

EDIT: That Kent guitar came down in price a little bit. I still totally want this thing. It just screams WEIRD! :D

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-1960s-K ... 1c2186871e
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Re: Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby maxx england » Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:11 pm

I'm going to upset you. I have a Teisco 202 model, sold by Woolworth's over here, and known to some as the Woolworthcaster. It's being rendered playable, the neck was set wrong and the tuners were, well, Teisco tuners. It's getting a cut down Chinese Tele copy bridge and it already has the tuners from a broken electro acoustic. Might even add the piezo to it somewhere and see what noise that makes.
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Re: Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby leftyguitarman » Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:21 pm

And it's left handed, right?

I hate you Maxx :evil: :cry:
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Re: Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby Lo-Fi » Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:14 pm

leftyguitarman wrote:That is badass. I've wanted an old 60's Japanese weirdo guitar like that since I got into guitars, but finding left handed ones are hard. I've seen one Teisco, one Kent and one no name. The Kent and no name were being sold for $999 and $699 respectively. Way too much to pay for a Japanese guitar that will need work, IMO.

Yours is one of the cooler ones I've seen. I've always wanted to get a project body and neck and throw some of those old Japanese pickups in there. Any idea what each of the switches does? I think I'd get confused playing it :lol:

I'm envious of you right now. I love the sounds of those oldies. One of my friends bought a Teisco Tulip on ebay not too long ago and for one pickup and a volume and tone know, it roared.



It is kinda hard to swallow the prices folks have started asking for some of el cheapo MIJ guitars. While I could not find a whole lot of these Ciphers for sale - in good condition they can hit the $600 - $700 range.

What makes the Teiscos so popular are the Gold Foil pickups. Prices started going up as soon as Ry Cooder slapped one in the neck position of his "Coodercaster." The ones with the screws on the end are the ones to get.

The Cipher was probably made by Teisco but the pickups look more like what came with the Guyatone guitars.

The swithes just activate the various pickup configurations. If it looks confusing now it has gotten worse as I removed the holographic cover which had warped a bit and was interfering with the switches. When I get around to it I need to take the whole thing apart and give it a good cleaning.
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Re: Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby maxx england » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:21 pm

leftyguitarman wrote:And it's left handed, right?

I hate you Maxx :evil: :cry:



Nope, r/h, but controls shouldn't be in the way. Actually going to brush up my r/h strung playing in standard. A small pleasure, and you'll know it as well, is watching peoples' faces when you put down a lefty and pick up an r/h and get something recognisable out of it.
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Re: Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby bottleneck » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:32 pm

i have a nephew who can play very well left handed and passably right handed.funny!

i have a "telestar"single pup guitar that would fit right in.it has a gold foil pick up.


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Re: Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby maxx england » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:13 pm

Years back the 1st electric I had was a Kay branded Teisco Tulip single pickup. Didn't know what I had or what it could do, so it got traded. That's life.
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Re: Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby maxx england » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:14 pm

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Re: Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby zhyla » Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:35 am

That's a very nice Teisco (or Kawai or whatever). Heck of a find... it will sell for a decent penny on the 'bay some day.
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Re: Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby guitarslim101 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:05 pm

I like the looks of that. I have a soft spot for those funky old Japanese guitars, too. I love guitars with excessive amounts of knobs and switches.
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Re: Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby NEONMOONY » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:46 pm

I recently picked up this Tiesco SS-4L, buttons, gold foil pickups. Condition not as nice as yours. It didn't have a bridge/trem. I threw a piece of angle stock on there temporary so I could slide with it. Huntin' for a proper trem. Not pretty but still a badass slide machine.
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Re: Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby s1120 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:14 am

Nice! My first was a old Tiesco. A SG shaped with twin single coils. MAN I wish I had it back!!! I sold it about 10 years ago for $20!!!!!
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Re: Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby leftyguitarman » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:59 pm

That Teisco scares me... But I'd still rock that bad boy.

GAHHHH, I want one of these things so bad!!
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Re: Bizarro MIJ Guitar

Postby ricbleu » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:03 am

Has anyone checked out what's inside those pickups? There would have to be some sort of windings & magnet arrangement. It would be interesting to pull one apart and have a look. :D Peace
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