Purchased from: a friend
Sound — 9
It has a very warm full jazzy tone. With distortion it gets a very nice vintage garage band sound. I can't get that sound from any of my other guitars. The two pickups get very distinct sounds, the bridge pickup is bright (but not too much so) and the neck pickup is good and warm. I like both on with the tone adjusted down around 2 (mostly bass oriented). The bridge pickup comes through that to give good definition, but the neck pickup fills and warms it out. Overall, a very good unique sound. The pickups can feedback fairly easily when loud and distorted. If you crank it way up, you can talk into the pickups and hear yourself somewhat.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a variety of music, and this guitar fits most of it. I do a lot of recording, and this guitar blended with my Strat has a very, very nice sound. They complement each other very well. If it were stolen, I would hire a team of thugs to track down the thief and, well, you get the idea. I don't think I could replace it, being what it is, and would be very sad about it's loss. It sounds good, plays well, is extremely light and easy on my back (messed up from too many years of carrying very heavy speaker cabinets). I didn't ask for it, and it was just given to me by a friend out of the blue. What a wonderful surprise.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Considering how old this guitar is and the shape I got it in, and the abuse it has obviously received, it survived very well. I have to give good rating to reliability. But some repairs were required, and the pickguard had obviously broken by the jack. It appeared that the guitar fell over while still plugged in, forcing the jack inward, so I blame that on a previous owner, not the guitar. I did have to replace the switches, however.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When I received it, the strings were probably as old as I am. I was born in 68, and so (most likely) was the guitar, and I don't doubt they were the original strings, or at least close to it. Even with the old strings, it had perfect intonation, and played very well. The action was very high, and I had fun playing slide on it for a while. I replaced the strings and lowered the action a bit, and it plays very nicely. It is very smooth and easy to play. The neck is just right in width and height. Much better than some of my more expensive guitars.
Features — 8
I believe it is around a 1968-69 Teisco. I think it is a Del Ray, although it doesn't have the inlay on the pick guard. When I received it, it had been sitting in a closet for many years. The switches were bad, and the pickguard was broken where the jack was located. An ugly piece of sheet metal had been cut in a triangular shape and screwed in to support the jack. I replaced the switches and used a soldering iron to melt the plastic of the pick guard back together. I also put a rubber stopper in the tail piece where the tremolo would be locked in place (was missing the spring and bar). It has 22 frets, a currently non-functional tremolo, 2 pickups, has a volume and a tone control, an on-off Switch for each pickup (I like this, because I can turn both pickups off when not in use), and is missing the Teisco metal logo on the head stock (as is common I hear). It was very difficult to identify this guitar when I received it, due to that. It has a very abrupt yellow to black fade/sunburst color. I don't know the wood. I wish I could add a picture. It is very old-school. Very light in weight, and a joy to play. I rate this an 8 because it has what you need to get the job done. It's weight helps a lot. The switch placement is very good. The neck truss is in a cutaway for easy adjustment. The tuners were a bit lacking (sticking, hard to turn), but that is probably due to age and abuse. The only way it could score higher is if it tuned and played itself.