1999 Teisco K-56

The K series, Spectrum and May Queen were all introduced by Teisco in the mid to late sixties and are some of my favourite shapes ever and all three were re-issued by Teisco in the late nineties and man did they do a great job on these.

The K series was originally introduced in 1966 and came in three guitar versions. The K-2, 3 and 4 indicating the number of pickups as well as a bass version. The slightly outward facing horns was a radical and great look originally used by Teisco on their "tulip" ET200 and slightly later on the SM2L which shared the classic 4/2 Teisco headstock introduced the same year.

 

The K series was a very complex body with a German carve style edge that when combined with contours makes the body a very fluid three dimensional extravaganza.

While the prototype K series was a little more traditional offset style horns with a non offset back end, the K series was striking from the first time it hit the market, and still looks great and futuristic today all these years later.

 

I have owned and sold many original and re-issue Ks, Spectrums and May Queens and as much as I love the originals, these re-issues were everything their vintage counterparts were and more. The shapes were copies exactly, with these K series guitars having the complex solid body contouring and carving in all its glory and beautifully finished in a choice of metallic colours.

The scratchplates were also nicely done in the striped aluminium that Teisco introduced in '65 and the attention to detail was carried over to the bridge and vibrato which were also copies of the originals. 

The pickups were a departure but by no means second rate with Firebird mini humbuckers being used. These look great and despite being a big fan of the original Teisco pickups, I'm also a huge fan of minis so you won't get any complaints here. These are standard Firebird construction so sound just like typical mini humbuckers and a little .... "fatter" than the original Teisco pickups. There are three slider switches for simple ON/OFF for each pickup and master volume and tone controls.

 

The necks are bolt on Gibson scale and nicely made and fitted and the headstock is the great 4/2 style with a screen printed logo instead of a badge (or decal on later) but still looks great. The original open tuners are replaced with good quality sealed gear tuners for reliability. 

 

So, these re-issues look great, but how do they play? 

They are great guitars. This is a great example of a company making a guitar with all the cool of it's original but updated and modern with great playability. Some would say these play and sound better than the originals, and that's probably true if you don't like the "quirks" of the originals, which I find part of the fun, but they definitely play and sound more like a modern instrument, while still looking every bit as cool as a mid sixties Teisco. The best of both worlds.

 

May 16 2019 Written By: Tim Brennan