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Kent bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by blackrock, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. blackrock


    May 19, 2011
    Inherited a Kent bass. Not sure what value it has if any. Can someone please give me a little info on what I have? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!




  2. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    I don't have any info to offer, other than to mention that a bandmate of mine back in the 1970s had a Kent guitar. At the time we all presumed they were cheap offshore POS instruments, and nothing about his particular guitar suggested they were anything more.
  3. this is what I found on line about them

    Teisco guitars sold in the United States were badged "Teisco Del Rey" beginning in 1964. Teisco guitars were also imported in the U.S. under several brand names including Silvertone, Kent, Beltone, Duke, Heit Deluxe, Jedson, Kimberly, Kingston, Lyle, Norma, Tulio and World Teisco. Likewise, they were imported in the U.K under such labels as Arbiter, Audition, Kay and Top Twenty. While guitars manufactured by Teisco were ubiquitous in their day, they are now very collectable. In fact, highly sought after models are now being reproduced.

    From 1948 to the early 1960s Teisco products were often, like many Japanese products of the period, shared several designs with American and Western European products of the time including Hagström and EKO.[2] However, in the early 1960s Teisco products became increasingly unique. Teisco guitars became notable for unusual body shapes, such as the May Queen design resembling an artist's palette, or other unusual features such as having four pickups (most guitars have two or three). The vast amount of controls; typically an individual switch for each pickup, plus a tone or phase-cancellation switch, along with as many as five tone and volume knobs gave a wide variety of sounds yet were easily switched while playing. After Kawai bought Teisco in 1967, they started to produce all the Teisco guitars, as well as their own brand, Apollo. Hound Dog Taylor famously used a variety of these Kawai-era Teiscos, which he bought at his local Sears department store. Jim Reid of The Jesus and Mary Chain used a Spectrum V.

    Many Teisco guitars had a primitive tailed bridge in their extended tail bridges with limited timbre when used in an extended technique. When the strings are attacked behind the bridge, a 3rd bridge sound is created. This is one of the reasons these guitars became popular again during the 90s among many noise artists as a cheaper alternative for the Fender Jaguar or Jazzmaster, which were beginning to attract collector interest.

    Teisco EP-7
    (1955 or 1964)
    Teisco E-110 & EB-110
    tulip guitar & bass (1965)

    Teisco Vegas40
    Teisco May Queen
    (1968, seems origin of Eko/Vox Mandoguitar[3])

    Del Rey EV-3T
    (produced after Vox Phantom[4])

    Teisco NB-4

    Teisco also produced a six-string bass (baritone guitar) similar to the Fender Bass VI which was itself an uncommon instrument. The Teisco six-string bass followed an unusual body shape that was used on one of their guitars. It had an off-set body shape similar to a Jazzmaster, but with an extended top horn, a 'monkey handle' cutout on the left-facing side of the bridge and a Fender-style headstock with an over-sized scroll. This instrument, as well as its regular-scale guitar equivalent, can be heard extensively on Blonde Redhead's early albums of the 90's, where they used its wide range to switch between bass and guitar melodies in the course of single songs.
    [edit] Basses
    [icon] This section requires expansion.

    Teisco basses are easily identified through a unique pickup design exclusive to the Del Rey series. This design consisted of a large rectangular chrome pickup with black plastic holding the four poles in one place. Other designs may vary, but are all easily distinguishable and unique among subsequent bass designs.
    [edit] Amplifiers
    Teisco 74 R Amplifier
    [icon] This section requires expansion.

    Teisco also produced numerous models of guitar and bass amplifiers which were often sold under the Checkmate brand name, but also named Teisco or Silvertone. In the 1950s, early amplifier models were very basic 5-10 watt tube/valve designs. During the 1960s, more advanced and powerful models were offered, such as Checkmate 25, Checkmate 50,and Checkmate 100 featuring dual channels, reverb and tremolo effects. Teisco also made solid-state (transistor-based) models, some designed no less radically than their guitars of the time. The Sound Port 60 (60 watts/RMS) and Sound Port 120 (120 watts/RMS) amplifiers from the late 1960s were copies of Fender's silverfaced Vibro Champ and Twin Reverb.
    [edit] Synthesizers
    Teisco Synthesizer 60F

    Teisco also produced a range of synthesizers, with models including the 60F, 110F, 100F, 100P, SX-210, SX-240, and SX-400.

    Bands such as Hot Chip (UK), Pure Reason Revolution (UK), and Goose (Belgium) are known to use Teisco synthesizers.
    [edit] Drums

    Teisco marketed drum sets in limited sizes and configurations during the 1960s, sold under the brand name Del Ray. They were produced by sub-contractors to fill out the company's catalog as a supplier of combo instruments [5], but discontinued after the acquisition by Kawai.
    [edit] References
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I had a Kingston badged Teisco bass in the mid '60s. Not bad for a single coil mostly Mahogany instrument with a what I think was a nitro finish. Mine had a truss rod adjuster above the nut, but was otherwise very similar. I paid $93.00 for it (new) in 1963 with no case.
  5. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Can't speak to yours specifically, but my very first bass was a Kent P-Bass copy, similar to yours but not the same model (from what I remember). It cost $79 and was purchased in an electronics store - this was in the mid-sixties.

    I don't recall much discussion over the years about them going up in value like Danelectro and some others, or becoming collectible. Still, I wish I had mine, just for sentimental value.
  6. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Wow, I had no idea those were all related...my bandmate who had the Kent also had a Teisco Del Rey, a Silvertone, & a Lyle!

    I don't think we ever would have expected those instruments to become collector's items.
  7. ddawson2012


    Aug 30, 2011
    Farmingdale, NY
    D'Addario Marketing Specialist; Don Dawson
    You can always snoop around for your item on Gbase and see if they have a model/year close to what you have. It's a great way to see if your gear has some value...

    Home | Gbase.com > Guitars Amps & More

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