Friday, August 28, 2009

1960's Audition (Kawai or Teisco) 2 Pickup Electric

This is a 2nd unknown Audition model 2 pickup Electric Guitar from the 1960's with 2 goldfoil pickups. The first one I posted had a roller type of bridge and this one has a solid plastic type of bridge. The prize on this guitar is the goldfoil pickups and I've already used them for another project. Audition guitars were distributed in the US and UK by the Woolworth chain. Many of the ones I've seen have the goldfoil pickups just like this one has. It's most likely that this guitar was built by Kawai seeing as how the quality appears to be higher than that seen in a typical Teisco.

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.

In 1968 both Kawai and Teisco freaked out. Kawai produced models such as the axe-shaped Concert, plus a variety of unusual VS violin-bodied guitars (including one with 16 strings and its own pickup mounted parallel to the strings, whether sympathetic or strummed, who knows?), the Splender, shaped like a banjo, and another model shaped like a sitar. For Teisco, 1968 was the year that gave us the famous artist-palette-shaped May Queen, wildly flared, asymmetrical Fire Bird, and long-horn Phantom. One other company, Firstman (unrelated to Kawai), produced a model similar to the Concert called the Liverpool.






One of my blog readers sent me these two pictures of what we believe to be the rare Splender model (Thanks James!)

This guitar will be sold on ebay soon. Check my about me page for the ebay listing.


Anonymous said...

Thats one bad-ass guitar!

Check out this guitar player:

Guitar Hunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Guitar Hunter said...

These Audition guitars are becoming one of my favorites. They were sold under so many names and I have 3 different ones now and I've passed on a few more. I don't see anything on the guitar playing ability of the rooster at your link.

Anonymous said...

I've got an Audition guitar as well, but it's not either of the two you've shown on your site. It's got the same finish, but is more Mustang-ish shaped rather than the Jaguar/Jazz Master shape. It only has one pickup/gold foil. 2 knobs... tone and volume. Anyways, I've never seen any other like mine, this and the other from May are the closest, yet fairly different.

Guitar Hunter said...

I have two more and there are subtle difference between all 4 of them. I would guess there were differences/upgrades during the years these were produced and maybe differences between the actual end customer being Audition, Kawai, or someone else.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much i got a "knox" guitar from my father before he passed i have looked everywhere and called everywhere but this is where i have finally found it.its not the round one its the other one. trying to get a value on this has been so hard! i love this guitar their are so many memories of dad playing when i was little now "39" THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

i got that guitar accept 1950 not 60's, and it has 3 pickups and 4 buttons at the top instead of 2 and u can decide wat pickups are on and off, and the 4th button decides wether its lead or rhythym guitar

Anonymous said...

I had a Audition guitar like the one pictured but had 3 gold foil pick ups, and 3 buttons.

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails