This guitar got a big ‘ol butt! Ha!! Check out that lower end, that’s just some serious oversized acoustics happening in that area! One of the more interesting hollow designs from the late 60s Teisco, the EP 11 T was just a big ‘ol biggie, and shared some of the same dimensions and construction as the more famous Teisco Firebird. There was also a 12 string variation of this guitar!
Okay, so you have this big body and the pickups are squeezed into that tiny area near the neck, so as you can imagine this guitar can feel a little strange to play. And one aspect you’d miss unless you held one of these in your hands is that the body is a full 2.5″ deep! In comparison, most of the Teisco hollows from this era had a body depth of 1.5″ or thinner. You’d think that big bottom would contribute to a bassy sound, but this guitar sounds snappy, and loud. It has really good acoustic tones, and that just enhances the electrified sound. And check out that beautiful figuring in the wood. Hints of birdseye are all over the place! This Teisco was made by Kawai, as were all Teisco guitars starting in 1968. These EP11T guitars were only made for a year or two, and did appear in a Sears catalog, because this one (even thought the sticker is gone) was labeled as a Silvertone. These guitars were billed as “professional” models in their day, and were the most expensive Teisco hollowbody guitars in the 1969 Bennet Brother’s catalog, except for the 12 string model.
The last cool feature of this model is the headstock. One of the cooler headstocks to ever appear on a Teisco guitar, it has a wonderful carve and the craftsmen took their time to make these. And thankfully, it’s not broken! These headstocks usually always have that longer “horn” snapped off.There are a few guitars with this wavy headstock, and sometimes people refer to them as “cousins”. I guess they are kinda related in a sense. You know, Kawai was using laminate necks on almost all their guitars during this period, but here we see solid construction. This really was striving to be a professional model! These tuners work well too.
There was one area where Kawai was skimping though, and that was in the pickups. From the top, those square pole-peice pickups looked the same, but underneath they were sort of wimpy and had much less windings than before. Sneaky!
Also notice the strange neck plate location here. Under that plastic plate is a cavity of sorts, where the neck plate resides. The neck attaches straight into the neck block, and there were several models by several companies that used this method. Sort of weird.
Anyway, Dano down at Happy Guitar Repair just about blew a gasket on this guitar. When I bought it, I knew it needed some work. But man, it needed a lot! The neck had more humps and bumps than an old country road! Electronics were totally whacked! But check out the video below and you can see Dano’s hard work in action, through the playing skills of Mike Dugan. I love happy endings….
14 thoughts on “The BIG Bottom- 1968 Teisco (Silvertone) EP11T Supreme!!”
How cool was that? I loved it!
the headstock is almost copying a Hofner 500/1 “Beatle” bass headstock shape; And it has a zero fret like the Hofner. I bet it plays good.
Another great job by Mike and and, another great sounding guitar!!! Love the Gemini as well!!!
I have one that looks just about identical to this, but the model says, “Vegas 66”
Beautiful! I have a mint original Teisco EP-11t sunburst with the neck burst too. My vol & tone knobs are different also, originals with trim rings like the selector has.
Do you have any idea what sort of hardshell case would fit one of these? I’ve had one I put some love into but haven’t found a case to fit the butt and headstock
It’s such an odd shape, I really couldn’t say…
See comments below about the case. Tried to fit it into the biggest Gibson ES-175 style cases, but the Vegas is even bigger than those. I got lucky and found an off-sized large dreadnought acoustic case that works well.
Thanks for sharing that info!
I have just scored a 12 string version of this guitar ..and it’s awesome. In good shape , save some of the finish chipping off the neck and a little binding damage . A friend found this site ,before that I had no clue as to what guitar I had…thanks
I just bought one these babies from a guy selling it on Craigslist. I paid $180. It needs some clean up. It is missing a few inches of purfling on the neck and a wammy bar. Happy Happy Happy
Cade: I have one of these and had to go to a wholesaler in LA to find a case for mine. They happened to have something on hand for a Yamaha dreadnought and it fit like a glove. Pure luck I ran into one.
My headstock has a round metal “Teisco Del Rey” crown-type logo on it.
When overdriven, to me the pickups on this sound have a Gretsch Country Gentleman kind of sound. Maybe not as well rounded but that’s the basic idea: Really snarling with lots of hollow body overtones with all the interesting feedback possibilities you might expect.
Mine has an enameled Teisco plate on the headstock, it also has a black pickguard which features a floral inlay that looks like thin multicolored abalone but I’m sure is plastic. It also has the original knobs which are sliver/aluminum barrels with separate trim rings that note volume, volume, tone. The original lady who owned it had passed and her sister was going to put it (and a Cresendo teardrop!) on the curb with the trash. A niece saved them and GAVE them to me. A search on the net verifies the rarity of the guitar in complete mint condition.