What the hell is this thing??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by brumshine, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. brumshine


    Apr 27, 2012
    Buddy of mine dug it out from under someone's bed and they gave it to him. Any information would be great. No visible serial number or manufacturer name.

    Attached Files:

  2. Might be a build? How does it feel/sound?
  3. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    It looks like a Teisco NB-4.


    I defretted mine and put Jazz bass
    pickups in it,


    Late 1960's Japanese made bass.
  4. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    The block side markers on the neck and the pickups make it look like it might be "Kingston" to me. I just bought a Kingston guitar (like Hound Dog Taylor used to play) that has a neck that looks like that. Kingston bought out Teisco and made cheap instruments for a while. All of these (including a couple basses I owned back when) had only a "kingston" paper sticker on the Headstock for ID which typically dried out and fell off. Hence the lack of any ID on the instrument.
  5. brumshine


    Apr 27, 2012
    Wow Tabdog, That looks exactly right. My friend will be stoked to know, thank you very much.

    I nver plugged it in but it felt pretty cheap to me. The body had some funky weight to it and it was in need of a good setup. The binding around the fretboard felt kinda cheap IMO.
  6. brumshine


    Apr 27, 2012
    Thanks for the response Benj!
  7. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    Hay Burnshine,

    It is cheaply made. The pickups are the
    usual cheap stuff from that era. Binding
    is cheap and the hardware sucks. The
    body has too much wood behind the
    bridge and adds weight to it.

    There used to be a medallion on the
    round top of the headstock,


    However, it is a cool bass and it has a
    one piece mahogany body.

    Can't beat tha price,

  8. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    Hay Bassbenj,

    I've got an old Kingston,


    It has "KINGSTON" stamped on the
    metal truss rod nut cover,

    Sorry for tha crappy pic,


  9. For some reason, I feel that it is both ugly and beautiful at the same time...
  10. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    I have to agree with you.

    The kicker is the neck. It
    has the thickest baseball
    neck I have ever seen,

    I didn't want to play it, so
    I hung it on the wall,


    Now, appreciation is up to
    the individual,

  11. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Inactive Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    It looks like a Decca made by the Tiesco factory. All the same. Cool under the bed find.
  12. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    yep, my 1st bass was of this era and also had a thick bbb neck w/strings an inch off the fretboard. How I stuck w/playing bass starting on such is beyond me.
  13. Fresh Eddie

    Fresh Eddie

    Nov 13, 2008
    New England
    Definitely looks like a Teisco... if you watch the RHCP video for Higher Ground, Flea is playing one.
  14. Strangely enough those medallions are currently available. Probably the only replacement part you can get new. They are often on ebay or from Banana guitars.

    I have had a lot of good luck with building up Teisco Del Reys. The secret is to throw away ALL the original hardware right down to the frets and start from just the wood. I have a pretty cool ET-460 / K4L set up as a Les Paul Junior (pickup and stop-bridge wise). It plays great, and looks really really weird.

    Teiscos can be great projects, but they were pretty cheap originally hand have terrible hardware.
  15. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I've got two old Kingstons like that from back in the day. The longer scale one is a little different. It has a sort of "jazz-like" metal plate for the knobs and jack below the pickguard and doesn't have an ashtray. It also is missing the metal truss rod cover plate. Kingston sticker is long gone (but it did have one once).

    I've also got a Kingston short scale that is very similar. Both were heavily modded back in the day for bass experiments. The long scale has a ribbon cable coming out of the neck with a wire to each fret! The idea (which didn't work out) was to make a switch between strings and frets to operate a synth. The short scale was moded with a circuit board that does tremulo and a leslie speaker simulator. It still works but is WAY too noisy by today's standards. Still was a very cute little bass. The fact that they were considered junk was why I used them for experiments. Now I guess they are "vintage" with lots of mojo!

    Don't have any photos of them... I know, I know.
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Definitely an old Japanese bass, almost certainly a Teisco based on the metal furnishings.

    They have a particular "vintage" sound, and if you enjoy it they're fun to play.
  17. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I bought my (not a Teisco but made in the same Matsumoku factory) '60's Japanese bass new at a Woolworth's dept store for $40 w/paper-route earnings (!)
  18. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    There's one on CL right now for $320.

    I won't touch them until they get to less
    than $80. Then it needs some MoJo,

  19. I dont care about the cheap made or anything. I love old stuff ! If someone would gave this to me I'd be very pleased !