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Vintage Kawai guitars info?!

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 4:33 pm
by bottleneckjohn
Hey guys!!

I'm looking for Kawai info here, I've got me two old Kawai electrics and I'd like to know model names and production years if possible!!
Any help to shed light on my vintage guitars appreciated!!! :mrgreen:

Username, you seem to know about the Kawai guitars, can you tell me what I've got?!



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4 pickups and an awesome tone!!


And this one, with just one pickup?
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Any KAWAI info appreciated!!
:D

Ps. Check my new band out here: http://www.johaneliasson.com/bjhd.htm
In the studio right now recording our first album, also my very first "electrified" CD, LoL! :mrgreen:

Re: Vintage Kawai guitars info?!

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 6:25 pm
by bottleneckjohn
I found this info..

Kawai was founded in 1927 by Koichi Kawai in Hamamatsu, Japan. Mr. Kawai's vision was to create top-quality pianos, a quest in which he certainly succeeded! Kawai added guitars to its line around 1954 and eventually became a player in the 1960s Guitar Boom. Like many Japanese electric guitars, most early Kawai guitars were slightly frumpy, although the impression is that their electronics were a little better than most. Often accused of supplying more flash than substance, there are Kawai guitars that are of high quality, playability and design.

Probably the most prominent brand names in the U.S. manufactured by Kawai were TeleStar, whose sparkle models have a small but devoted following, Kimberly, and Domino. Kawai also built guitars for Saint Lous music in the 1960's and 1970's under their brand name Apollo.

In January of 1967 Kawai purchased the Teisco guitar company, but they appear to have operated the two companies pretty much separately. Both lines featured exclusive designs and different pickups. Teisco continued the vector of evolution it had taken, ending up with the Spectrums and finally the mini-Strats, before become the Kay brand in the U.S.

Re: Vintage Kawai guitars info?!

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 7:50 pm
by zhyla
Ah, you've wandered into the cheap Japanese waters I see. There's not a ton of info about specific models. There are hundreds of models made by Kawai and Teisco and sold with several dozen different brand names. Wacky body shapes and metal pickguards are pretty standard.

Here's a site with a small subset of the Teisco models: http://www.mark-cole.co.uk/teisco/

The single-pickup model I see frequently, I've heard they're really good. Hard to tell from your video because you make every guitar sound good :). The 4-pickup models are less common and usually sell for decent money.

Here's my Sorrento-branded guitar, I think it's Teisco-made in the 60's. It's got a short scale neck and the intonation isn't so great but it makes a great slide guitar. The vibrato setup is actually very nice, I like it better than a Bigsby or strat-style trem.

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Re: Vintage Kawai guitars info?!

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 10:39 pm
by bottleneckjohn
That Sorrento is cool!!!
Give us a sound or video clip please!!!!! :D

Re: Vintage Kawai guitars info?!

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 1:50 am
by Sheb Whitebred
I'm loving the space age frunkiness of that Sorrento.

Re: Vintage Kawai guitars info?!

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 11:55 am
by bottleneckjohn
Here's a sound clip featuring the single PU Kawai.. :D
Playing in open G tuning on this song!

http://www.johaneliasson.com/Crossroads.mp3

Re: Vintage Kawai guitars info?!

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:27 pm
by Jane fromLondonUK
Yes, that Sorrento is something! Never seen one before. Great design.

Re: Vintage Kawai guitars info?!

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 7:19 pm
by leftyguitarman
Hey Zhyla, I saw one of those same guitars you have on ebay yesterday; but it only had one pickup. I wish I was right handed. I'd like to get one.

Re: Vintage Kawai guitars info?!

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 7:50 pm
by maxx england
I've got a r/h acoustic, I've learned open upside down, you can too. I can even do some standard (think Albert :mrgreen: but not as good :( )

Re: Vintage Kawai guitars info?!

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 8:05 pm
by leftyguitarman
maxx england wrote:I've got a r/h acoustic, I've learned open upside down, you can too. I can even do some standard (think Albert :mrgreen: but not as good :( )


I've got 3 right handed guitars... converted left handed. :mrgreen: But they're all symmetrical so they look fine. I could never play an electric upside down. It looks tacky and it annoys me.

Re: Vintage Kawai guitars info?!

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 8:10 pm
by maxx england
Freaks righties who can't do it l/h though :mrgreen:

Re: Vintage Kawai guitars info?!

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 4:38 pm
by Ed Boyd
leftyguitarman wrote:
maxx england wrote:I've got a r/h acoustic, I've learned open upside down, you can too. I can even do some standard (think Albert :mrgreen: but not as good :( )


I've got 3 right handed guitars... converted left handed. :mrgreen: But they're all symmetrical so they look fine. I could never play an electric upside down. It looks tacky and it annoys me.


You're not a Jimi fan?

Re: Vintage Kawai guitars info?!

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 9:40 pm
by leftyguitarman
Ed Boyd wrote:You're not a Jimi fan?


Not at all. I don't really care for Jimi at all. And my three right handed guitars are a resonator, a classical guitar, and an old archtop. So they look left handed but were originally built right handed.