Teisco Del Rey ET 200 Reviews 4

A friend of mine found this for me at First Flight in the east village, NYC. It wasn't exactly what he was looking for, but exactly suited for how I play, so he called me over. I got it packaged with a vintage Vox solid state practice amp for a total of $450, but I believe only about $100 of that was for the guitar.

Not even the owner of the store could tell who made this model, as the logo (traditionally made from a steel plate and glued on, I now know) had falen off. This is EXTREMELY common with Teisco, and is one of the reasons they are so obscure. On the other hand, everything else about the piece is about as durable as could be hoped for. It is said that you could hammer fenceposts into icy ground with it and it would come out okay - I believe it. Also, and though this apparently varies greatly from owner to owner, it had, and stil has, some of the fastest action I've ever had the please to play on, and a very smooth fretboard, comparable to the Voodoo Les Pauls.

The wiring in the upper pick-up (both single coil) comes and goes, occasionally leading to general aural nastiness when it cuts off, so I just keep that pick-up off when it's being fidgety. Also, the bridge has a tricky string-adjustment mechanism that doesn't allow for individualized tweaking, but which does, admittedly, help give the tone a touch of that icy telecaster feel. Depending on where you strum, it's easy to accidentally switch the pick-ups off on the up-stroke.

Solid-body, light enough to forget you've got it over your shoulder, but it doesn't get away from you either. I bought this for bar-gigs, and the sound I got was perfect for the scene, plus, it's strong enough to have been splattered with beer and soco more times than I can count and never miss a beat. While this may not sound impressive, the guitar was built in '67 or '68 (Teisco records are now kept almost exclusively by fans, so dates are hard to tell) and has never had anything replaced but the strings - a testament to it's construction.

Very playable, very durable. If you play solo, it's just about the best you can expect for the price. If you play with a group, who knows? If you replace the pick-ups you can end up with a great-looking nostalgia axe.

Dawson Smith rated this unit 4 on 2004-03-02.

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