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Teisco bass guitars

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Crystalman85, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    Has anyone ever own these basses or tried them out?...my brother send me an email saying that I should buy a teisco del ray bass guitar mainly because he found a teisco del ray guitar at chicago music exchange(music store from my hometown chicago). he also said that it might be interesting to have a matching set-up(instrument-wise). anywho, I'm not familiar with teisco guitars and I was wondering does anyone here have any experience with their bass guitars?

    Here's the bass guitar that my brother wanted me to buy.

  2. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Don't know allot but everyone I ever seen or played were complete junk FWIW.
    gebass6 and bobba66 like this.
  3. Luckie


    Jan 1, 2010
    Northfield MN
    If it plays decent, they're really cool basses.
  4. Bass-Adrenaline


    Jan 23, 2010
    You can find used Teisco for near nothing if you look around.
  5. Avalon


    Feb 28, 2009
    My brother had a Teisco Del Ray hollowbody bass. That was the best Teisco that I have ever seen. All the others that I have seen were the quirky designed slabs. Fun stuff, but I can't see paying more than $150 without trying it on a good amp.
    bobba66 likes this.
  6. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    Okay so I take it that teisco basses aren't really that great. that's okay. I wasn't planning on purchasing a teisco bass. I really wanted to know if anyone had any experience with these basses.
  7. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    I'm more of a schecter and ibanez guy. but I don't mind trying out different basses.
  8. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Teisco Del-Rays were introduced from Japan in the early 60s. The quality and designs were poor. Of course, there were some exceptions, so it is not quite accurate to condemn them all as junk—but it is not too far off either.

    Some people love them for their quirky look and feel. Sound-wise, they usually had one or two single coil pickups that were pretty mediocre, IMHO. I owned one, a 1963 single pickup P-bass copy with a nice tobacco burst nitro finish (branded Kingston) and played many others. They were famous for thick necks and terrible action. I mean terrible. Chrome and rocker switches were typical features. It was the poor boy's way to get a bass. We considered them a badge of shame.
    AGCurry and M.R. Ogle like this.
  9. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    $500 seems kind of high
  10. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    ^ What Jim Carr said.

    These were what you could afford as a kid... but you really wanted something ELSE.

    $500 for one? Only if someone was trying desperately to re-live his youth. There's NO other justification I can think of.
    AGCurry likes this.
  11. Tiescos (and basses sold under other names but made in the same factory) are quirky to say the least but they aren't necessarily junk. In fact a lot of the features on these instruments were viewed as inferior or odd yet made sense (ie. multilaminate necks, truss rod adjuster at the heel of the neck, zero frets, slim necks with a moderate taper ala Hofner and Ric...). As for playability, they can be made into very good players with great action.

    The pickups are usually very microphonic but that's easily rectified by potting them. Unless the bass was well taken care of, which is a pretty slim chance given that these were inexpensive 'student' instruments, the switch contacts are most likely corroded or in serious need of cleaning. Other than that the pots and jacks, although run of the mill, are servicable and of decent enough quality to still be working.

    As for value... that's up to the seller/buyer to decide (click on pic for a chuckle):

    I have yet to see any baseball-bat-necked Tiescos so chances are that it's being confused with something like this Kent... a bass sans truss rod with one of the thickest (fore to aft) necks I've ever played... thicker than a Wishbass:
  12. This is my Kingston which I refretted and tweaked and is now a fantastic player:
  13. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    I picked up one of these recently for mega cheap on Craigslist. I posted a thread here trying to figure out what it was. It's in the process of being "restored" after a bad defret attempt and some other damages. No truss rod, very thick neck....
  14. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    These were the kind of Guitars and basses I had when I was in high school. I couldnt afford a decent one so we "tried" to make them work. We got shocked by some of them and the action was good for shooting small game with homemade arrows :p
    Keeping one tuned was another story.
    I wish we could of had what the kiddes have today ,SX , Squiers to start out with . We would of felt like rock stars.
    AGCurry likes this.
  15. Unless those Teiscos on that website are updated reissues, then those prices are definitely too high.
  16. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    I owned an Aria made in the same factory as the teiscos. I got it for about 70 dollars, short scale jazz with the rocker switches and chrome pickups. It sounded decent, but the intonation was hard to setup because of the bridge and the tuners felt cheap.
  17. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009
    It'd be a good deal if they popped off that first digit.
    Otherwise... no thank you!

    You'd be better off buying three or four SX's.
  18. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    Are teisco basses usually more affordable than that?
  19. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    yeah, usually in the $75-175 range, tops.
  20. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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