Not an SS4L, but rather an S180

I took my guitar into the office to show off to some interested fellow guitar geeks and while there, one colleague (Hi Tatu!) spotted, after doing a Google image search on his phone that my guitar might actually be something other than a Kawai SS4L.

My assumption (and clearly also that of the guy who sold it to me) was that this was basically a Teisco SS4L re-branded as Kawai, after Kawai acquired Teisco.

But if you google Teisco SS4L and Kawai S180 they are actually pretty different guitars. Both have four pickups however, so I guess it is a reasonable mistake to make.

Teisco SS4L

Kawai S180

I googled Kawai S180 and found Jarmo’s Guitars.

(First hit. In Finland. Spooky).

I exchanged emails with Jarmo and he told me that my guitar is definitely an S180. Probably 1964.

So that makes this guitar 51 years old, Wow.

Some smaller updates…

  1. I am told (thanks, Marko!) that Kawai means “cute” in Japanese!
  2. I plugged the guitar into an amp and clonked the pickup pole pieces with a screwdriver. All pickups are alive, but two out of four of the toggle switches are a bit ropey and will need replacing. Tone circuit clearly works too. I could hear the pickup noise being shaped. Who knows about the volume pot. At least it doesn’t feel good.
  3. I just bought some Teisco / Kawai tuners on eBay that I hope will fit this guitar. Let’s see.

That is all.


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