In the 1960s, the world was hungry for electric guitars, and Japanese manufacturers such as Teisco, Guyatone, and Matsumoku seized on the opportunity to export mass-produced axes. The market for affordable electric guitars grew so much that in 1966 over 750,000 guitars were exported from Japan. Most of their design elements were price-driven, which ultimately led to quirky but intriguing instruments that resembled American-made classics but captured their own unique vibe.
This single-pickup "Decca" branded Teisco was made in Japan during the mid-'60s before Kawai bought the company and moved production to Taiwan. The Japanese-made Tesicos definitely show stronger build quality, and this little rocker is rigged up with a single Gold Foil in the neck position. Teisco developed the Gold Foil pickup in the mid-'50s, and it shares some characteristics with the more-widely-used P90, but it has much lower output. Its tone is warm, and it has an ability to sing and growl (almost like a resonator). Thanks to Ry Cooder and his infamous "Coodercaster," the Teisco Gold Foil has become a popular choice for slide. But it covers a lot of territory beyond that, too!
This 1960s Tesico Decca has been nicely preserved over the years, and it's got a smooth playable set up, too. Someone upgraded the tuners to modern six-in-line Kluson style replacements, and they help quite a bit for tuning stability. The volume pot has also been upgraded to a modern CTS part, so it's way more flexible and usable that it would've been originally. Like a lot of these old imports, this Decca may be a little wonky—but that's just part of its charm! It's got authentic vibe, and the Gold Foil pickup sounds fantastic.