Hound or Dog? 1966 Kingston S4T Electric Guitar

Kingston S4T 1People really get caught up with artist association with guitars.  Take this example here….it’s a mid 60s Kawai built Kingston that was made in two, slightly different variations from approximately 65-67.  But listen, if you see any of these models they are seriously  worth buying.  With these guitars you really can’t go wrong.  Gone were the early 60s Kawai days of poor truss rods, and you can really get the action way down on these guitars, with a little effort of course!Kingston S4T 2Pickups in these S4T guitars (and the S2T models) are really great sounding units.  In fact, I like almost all the Kawai pickups from the early to mid 60s.  People argue the point all the time, but this was one of Hound Dog Taylor’s favorite models.  People get bent out of shape because the headstock isn’t the same as his album cover, or the pick guard isn’t the same, but really the guitars are essentially the same.  And I guarantee that Hound Dog didn’t care one way or the other! Kingston S4T 3One of the biggest differences, from a player’s perspective, are the necks.  The earlier necks of these S4T guitars used a different headstock shape and different wood.  If you like chunkier necks, then try to find an earlier version from 1965, but if you like thinner necks then this maple one would suit you better.Kingston S4T 4Kawai was still using solid wood construction during this time, so these guitars usually hold up well.  This particular model had some wonderful wear, and I love seeing that somebody loved their guitar!  Kingston S4T 5During the 1960s, Kawai was making its guitars in one of the piano factories in Hamamatsu, Japan.  The finishes one these earlier Kawai guitars are always nice, with some beautiful touches on the first finishes.  Kawai employed some knowledgable people with a lot of experience, so transitioning over to guitars was relatively easy since Kawai had been building some expensive pianos already!Kingston S4T 6Here you can see how they glued that lower part onto the headstock.  I never liked that method and many times I see separation at that point.  As the 1960s wore on, Kawai started to do all sorts of little cost-cutting methods like this.  Part of the blame lies with the American importers of the time, who were always trying to undersell the competition.  Oh well.

 

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