Del Rey ET-220 review by Teisco

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (16 votes)
Teisco: Del Rey ET-220

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.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Haha, I thought it was meant to say TESCO! I was wondering why a supermarket would bother with musical instruments.
    Well it's a crap picture that the web-page chose, 'cause all it shows is that this dude's axe is indeed a Teisco, as nobody else ever took a go at that cute floral pick guard. But from this picture you cant tell if this Teisco is of the "Tulip" series or not. The reviewer says his has a whammy bar, so I'm guessing not. Go here to see every Teisco ever made> I've got the Year 1969 E-110 "Tulip" 1 pickup model and its body is solid plywood with the more solid quality wood veneers on the top and back that the sharp 3 tone sunburst is painted on. This guitar is only 1 3/32 inch thick and weighs just 4.7 pounds. The cutouts under the pick guard are just for the knobs and jack and pickup mount screws and switches on other models. So it's evident that it's a cookie cutter body. If you want to drop a replacement single coil Strat pickup in this you'll have to router your own cavity out, which scares me 'cause of how light weight and thin this bugger is, but it could probably take the abuse. The single pickup is mounted slightly above mid position, and it hasn't been potted or even wax soaked cloth tape wrapped, so you're talkin' a "microphonic" out of this world pickup, lol. The floral pattern on the pick guard is covered and protected by the second clear ply. This neck has the nowadays rare "zero-fret" which means that if you're like me and too cheap to buy Stu-Mack fret tools you're stuck with that action up top whatever it is. Turns out that somebody had slightly hacksawed on mine to fine tune it down. I was half satisfied with my action but discovered an incurable (without tools)high spot on the G-string at the 5th fret, so rather than ruin the fret scuffing with fingernail files and pumice stones I had to raise the adjustable bridge, damn-it! That fret looks perfect, so I'm guessing there is a high spot on the fingerboard. I'll also add that the headstock is an inline six tuner quasi Strat "doorknob" type. It has a single coat hanger bolted through the headstock string tree. I was missing one of the 3 mm acorn nuts and good luck to any of ya twangers if you can find any, I couldn't. The "nut" on this guitar is merely a string guide and is deep cut to the level of the zero fret. Don't screw with the nut other than lowering its grooves with proper tools after a precision filing on the zero fret. Because I'm tellin' ya it looks like the nut is epoxied and there forever baby, and if you give it the homer try and score it and give it a bang I bet you'll take a lot of wood with it, yikes! The neck has the exposed by a cutout in the pick guard barrel type truss nut at the base of the neck. I highly recommend sewing machine oiling it and turning the guitar upside down after you've done a wipe on and off of the rosewood fretboard with boiled linseed oil. And that's my only gripe, in that the fretboard isn't the rock hard clear maple type, and yeah it's the dang 24 3/4 inch scale unfortunately. And you'll note that the metal bridge saddle has three scored slots for each string, and it's a good thing because they got fast and loose with the neck pocket and you might have to jockey your strings accordingly to keep either the big or little E-string above the fretboard. What I think is cool is that when the tone dial is zeroed out you've still got some sound, unlike most Jap Strats that will just give you hum shadow sound. There is a capacitor bridging the volume and tone pots and it's the key I guess. But the pots are very resistant to turning, so you'll have to change them out if you're a Rory Gallagher type that tweaks on the fly-- I checked and it's not a lubrication issue. Well I guess that's all I gotta say on the 1969 Teisco "Del Rey" E-110 guitar. I lucked out and scored mine for $41.95 in an auction including shipping, but I've seen these listed on a Buy Now click at e-Bay for as much as $249 + $29 shipping fer-cryin'-out-loud!