Vintage Japa ?something?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by TVvoodoo, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. TVvoodoo

    TVvoodoo Mad Strappier

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    picked this up on my lunch hour, thrift shop $10. Yeah, it's a sickness.

    [​IMG]

    zero fret, about 1.25" thick on the body, seems to be mahogany - a big chip on the side doesn't reveal multi-lam anyway. Stamped Japan on the neck plate. Very nice maple neck, rosewood fretboard. Pretty much all I can see looking at it. Headstock is unbranded. Volume, tone. I'm guessing the switches turn the individual single coils pups on and off. No intonation adjustment as
    that always sucks aldatone.

    Missing trem arm, d string and one tuner kidney bean, nut is cracked. I think I have enough parts in the old inventory box to make it ok again. Trem will be a challenge, but I have an idea on that.
    Impulse purchase. You'd do it too, don't kid yourself.

    If anyone here might know what it is by looking at it, I'd love to hear from you.
     
    lugnut111, aynirar27 and Stratobuc like this.
  2. marl

    marl Member

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    Looks like a Tiesco guitar to me. They made several funky 60's/70s Japanese guitar models for different companies. I have a '69 Silvertone Mosrite copy by Tiesco. Similar pickups,trem, overall vibe.
     
    swiveltung and TVvoodoo like this.
  3. Ilduce

    Ilduce And now for something completely different! Supporting Member

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    Cool score! I know that for $10 I'd be all over that!
     
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  4. TVvoodoo

    TVvoodoo Mad Strappier

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  5. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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  6. poolshark

    poolshark Supporting Member

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    I had a similar guitar under the Silvertone brand. Same shape, bridge, pickup construction, zero fret, etc. Neat.
     
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  7. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Member

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    Name brand could be one of many. Teisco, Guyatone, St.George, Domino ....
     
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  8. G.Ham

    G.Ham Member

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    Kawai built.. Branded many things!
     
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  9. great-case.com

    great-case.com a.k.a. "Mitch"

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    $10... wow. Plug it in and let us know...
     
  10. TVvoodoo

    TVvoodoo Mad Strappier

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    Will do - fingers crossed. Looking at it closer, one cool thing... angled headstock!
     
  11. TVvoodoo

    TVvoodoo Mad Strappier

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    Ok , i tore the mid sixties japa "prestige" t down, put it back together and.... it still sort of sucks.
    Makes me realize we are in a way better place these days buying even the cheapest crap new. But it's all good -
    you gotta know where you been, to appreciate what is available to us these days at low dollar.
    I was drawn to the Mosrite form factor, and the $10 thrift store price.

    [​IMG]

    yanked the neck. Even prior, I could tell from the start there was shimmage going on. but it's also of an epic level. Exact wrong placement for a neck pin, for a major high-up shreddah like myself (LOL).

    [​IMG]

    At the very least, I'd call the shimmage it "authentic". We got a Canadian brand of smokes carbboard packaging,
    and EB strings label. Back in the day I used to smoke that brand myself, so I'm dating the shim to the mid/late 80's.

    Cleaning up the neck...

    [​IMG]


    OMG!!! I have seen some dirty necks. This one is the absolute worstest. Kind of stomach-turning actually.
    But by my estimation it is also 50+ years old.

    [​IMG]

    several applications of hi-powered cleaner, then a good dose of lemon oil. b (I had high hopes), seemed to really improve the neck.
    Shined up the frets too, light steel wool.

    here's some gut shots.

    [​IMG]




    I was correct in guessing an on/off switch or each pup, plus general tone and volume. kind of cool.
    All the pups checked out as active, but I didn't measure values. Sprayed liberal amounts of contact
    cleaner into the switches, and flicked them vigorously into climax. I had plenty of spare old tuners
    in my tool box, (many came off my old jap lotus), and the gear and peg parts seemed direct drop-in.

    [​IMG]

    Multi-ply tonewood is plainly obvious. Again body thickness is approx 1.3 inches. That too is kind of
    cool, but ends up being the major downfall of this guitar..

    I also used my tap and die set to modify the threads so I could work in a spare strat trem arm into the stock system and it is rock solid, if not original.
    Put it together without any shims, and was able to adjust it to slightly better action than prior with bridge height adjustments alone.
    But, the action is still not optimal. Don't know it if ever could be without shims.

    [​IMG]

    Sounds, um... "crisp and a little junky". That's my main ascertation. Tone control has some, but little effect.
    volume works fine. The neck pup is finicky, will have to take apart again and adjust contacts on the switch.
    Best switching position is middle pup by itself, for my ears. Pups are actually not that bad. guitar has pretty decent sustain.

    Trem is functional and quite nice actually, doesn't pull tune badly at all. Even provides a half/3/4 step upwards pull on it and returns nicely.
    any further, spring is liable to pop out.

    Because of the body thickness, (I believe) the tuning is not that stable. Almost like many SG's I have played, you lean on or pull the neck even a little bit, you are a quarter tone out. Also the bridge design allows no intonation adjustment, so in effect, you get what you get. Requires you to play careful, but I was rocking out with it this afternoon, managed to figure out Alice's "Eighteen" so, totally worth $10, a spare tuner and a bit of time.
     
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  12. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    Interesting score. Reminds me of my first electric, which was similar in body shape and color but had more chrome, maybe one more pickup and definitely more switches. It was a POS, barely playable, but that's what el cheapo guitars were like back then. There must've been factories turning these plywood things out by the truckload, because guitars like this were all over the place and branded with many different labels. They had weird pickups and very funky electronics. I'm not sure the tone controls on mine where actually wired to do anything. The switches more or less took away volume and/or high end, no matter which one I pushed.

    One neat thing about guitars nowadays is that a lot of the low end crap is still quite playable.
     
  13. sleepingtiger

    sleepingtiger Supporting Member

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    That's the kind of deal I'm looking for!

    Tony
     
  14. edwarddavis

    edwarddavis Supporting Member

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    It's was junk then and it's still junk now

    You put a lot of work into a $10 guitar
    But you are right now
    New crappy guitars a much better
    Hey you had $29 worth of fun
     
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  15. lugnut111

    lugnut111 Member

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    grab a slide, crank up your amp & let 'er rip!
     

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