Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 32

and bound rosewood fingerboard
with dot inlays. Most had simple
Volume/Tone controls with sliding on-off switches. They came
with one to four pickups and in
yellow or red sunburst, white, red,
and blue finishes. A few "Promotional" models were offered with a
conventional rounded lower bout and
angle-nosed head.
By late '67, Heit also offered the
Deluxe model, Kawai's violin-body
guitar, in two- or four-pickup versions
with sunburst, red, or white finishes.
The TDL was an offset-double-cut
solidbody based on the Burns Bison
with two or four pickups. The most
interesting model offered in late '67 was
the TPL, a solidbody influenced by the
Hallmark Sweptwing, with a narrow
butt that flared outward in a reverse V,
two pickups, white or red finish, and
a tiger-striped pickguard. The violinbody and Hallmark-inspired models
were also likely recent additions.
Thinline hollowbodies came with
symmetrical cutaways, rounded or
pointed. Basses were double-cut solids,
a Bison-style, one with a sculpted lower

	

bout, and one shaped like
a violin. Also offered was
a range of conventional
acoustics perhaps made
by Kawai or any number
of other makers aligned
with the Kawai trading company, along with a mix of tube
and solidstate amps.
In '66, the Teisco company became
affiliated with the Kawai trading
organization, though it continued
independent factory operations. In
January of '67, as signs of decreasing
demand were becoming evident in
America, Kawai absorbed the Teisco
operation, closing the Teisco factory
and continuing Teisco production at
Kawai's Enshu plant in Hamamatsu.
This explains the convergence of
Teisco and Kawai design features.
Some of the most-exotic designs
by Teisco and Kawai date from
after Kawai and Teisco (and Shinko
Gakki) merged in '66. Legendary
models appeared, such as Concerts,
May Queens, and Fire Birds. This
1968 Heit Deluxe V-2

VINTAGE GUITAR	

32	

February 2017

also marked when Japanese builders began to make "copies" of the
Ventures' Mosrite guitars; the band
toured Japan in '62 and recorded
live shows in '65. Some Japanese
designs were tributes with the
extended lower horn (Yamaha SG-5
and Guyatone LG-50/150) or more
blatant, like the Teisco V-2.
The Heit Deluxe seen here (not in
the '67/'68 catalog) is identical to the
'68 Teisco V-2 in every detail except
for the logo. Since GHi was sourcing
guitars from Kawai, and since Teiscos
were now produced by Kawai, a Teisco
appearing at this point makes perfect
sense. Despite a limited tonal palette,
given a good setup, these guitars sound
great and play very well.
So, it seems likely Heit Deluxe guitars
appeared after the '65 NAMM show and
were gone by late '68 or sometime in '69,
by which time Japanese makers were
headed into the "copy era." Twenty years
ago, the majority of Heit Deluxes were
seemingly found in the Mid-Atlantic,
suggesting regional distribution. But,
as with so many unresolved mysteries,
anything - now and then - is possible!



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 1
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 2
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 3
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 4
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 5
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 6
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 7
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - Contents
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 9
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 10
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 11
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 12
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 13
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 14
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 15
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 16
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 17
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 18
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 19
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 20
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 21
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 22
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 23
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 24
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 25
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 26
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 27
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 28
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 29
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 30
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 31
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 32
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 33
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 34
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 35
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 36
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 37
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 38
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 39
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 40
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 41
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 42
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 43
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Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 46
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Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 49
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 50
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 51
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Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 54
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Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 61
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Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 136
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - IBC
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