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Teisco bass guitars

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


  1. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Nice vid - great tone - flats and a pick, that's what's on my Teisco EB Del Rey. Aside from being in the fingers, I never think of it as having 'wasted' money on more expensive basses - instead enjoying that they are real instruments the are fun to play and look at.
     
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  2. Eddie LeBlanc

    Eddie LeBlanc

    Oct 26, 2014
    Beaumont, Texas
    None
    They also built basses for Lafayette Electronics in the 60s. Pretty much very low quality for entry level folks back then.

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  3. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Norma's were made by the Sakai Mokko Co Ltd, located outside of Nagoya City. They were a major supplier of Norma and Decca guitars in the US. They started in 1923 making cabinets/furniture and began producing guitars in the early '60s. Other brand names used were; Cameo, Prestige, St Moritz, Recco, Decca and its own "Sakai" brand that continued to make guitars into the '70s. They are often confused for Teisco's as they used similar components and were imported by many of the same buyers.

    However, it's not that simple. Kawai purchased Teisco in early '67 splintering into Firstman, Idol, and Honey brands ending in bankruptcy in 1970. Teisco Gen Gakki (factory started by Tadashi Maruyama, plant manager of Fujigen in the early '60s) processed wood for Teisco guitars (bodies and necks) and shipped them to Tokyo for electronics and final assembly.

    On their long list of brand names, some were overlaps; Apollo, Beam, Blackjack, Bruno, Burns (not of London), Camaro, Crown, Excetero, Fandel, Fiama, Firstman, Givtone, GPO, Greco, Honey, Idol, Kent, Lafayette, Liberty, Maestro, Marco Polo, Marlin, Noble, Norma, Sekova, Silvertone, Thomas, Truetone, Voxton and Zim Gar.


    This is a mahogany plywood body Decca that I refurbished -

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    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
    TN WOODMAN and SwitchGear like this.
  4. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Lafayette was one of many brand names used by the Zen On Guitar Co. Ltd. in the mountains of central Japan near Lake Suwa. Other brand names used were; Artist, Artist Supreme, Audition, Knox, Morales, Olympic, Omega, Rodeo, Rossi, Victoria, Zenon, and Zim Gar. I have not found a correlation to the electronics company of the same name, at least during the '60s.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
    SwitchGear likes this.
  5. Backdrop

    Backdrop

    Feb 2, 2011
    Los Angeles
    The TB-64 is one that caught my eye years ago. Blonde Redhead used one for a long time.



    Eastwood made their own version recently.

     
  6. Eddie LeBlanc

    Eddie LeBlanc

    Oct 26, 2014
    Beaumont, Texas
    None
    Really..... hate to say it but I had my dad buy a Lafayette / Teisco bass back when I was in the 6th or 7th grade. It was directly ordered from the Lafayette Catalog. It was a piece of junk, but I was a kid and over joyed to get it. Also got a Lafayette amp for it the next year. Before that all I had was an old tube Alamo map with a 8" speaker. Older than dirt from a pawn shop. So the Lafayette amp was a real upgrade.

    But the bass looked just like this
    images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcStiut2IMx1lobSt_HLj-Z6OyQYQnY6GJ2VZw41p9v5jsUIWT33.jpg
    This was the amp....
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  7. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Like I said, I just haven't found information clearing up exactly how they were related. Possibly the same company with different branches/wings. If you can help find it we will all be more educated for it.
     
    Eddie LeBlanc likes this.
  8. I remember Lafayette was the hot pick for 23 channel mobile CB radios in the ‘60s. Sonar was the top brand for tube type base stations .
     
    JIO likes this.
  9. Mark Gastambide

    Mark Gastambide

    Jul 22, 2018
    Michigan
    JIO, you're Teisco (and other Japanese instrument) knowledge is quite impressive. You've done your homework. Thank you for sharing.
     
    JIO likes this.
  10. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I confess to relying on articles I've found on line and a few research books related - this one by Frank Meyers being especially informative about that period. If you are interested I highly recommend it. Many photo's, and extensive in-depth history about the Japanese factories that answered the clarion call for rock & roll guitars/basses in the ‘60s.

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  11. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Yah, for sure Lafayette was practically a household name at one time. Just not certain how they as a company related to the guitars.
     
  12. I have no idea either but waxed nostalgic for a second to the good old days. I’ve seen other Lafayette branded guitars and assumed they were affiliated but just that. Now I’m curious about the amps you occasionally see, too.
     

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