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Kingston electric red sunburst MIJ circa 1970s, beg. (Stockholm)

Very Good condition, 7,5/10, Made in Japan, cute litte guitar of the type that was sold in mail order catalogues back in the day, 2 pickups, 2 switches, 2 knobs, missing tremolo arm, according to a sticker on the back of the headstock this guitar was originally sold at Ahlfors Musik in Malmö, Sweden, from ”Kingston guitars were built in Japan and imported into the U.S. by Jack Westheimer, who was an early pioneer of importing and distributing Japanese instruments during the late 1950s and 1960s. At first, Kingston guitar models were limited to acoustics that were similar in style to Harmony’s Stella line. Westheimer’s electric line at the time was built in Japan by Teisco and branded as such before the name changed to Teisco Del Ray. By the mid-1960s, however, Westheimer was no longer importing Teisco (or Teisco Del Ray) guitars, and he turned his attention back to the Kingston trademark, but added electric guitars this time. It’s obvious that quantity trumped quality when it came to producing the guitars, and it isn’t surprising that the electronics have some issues after all these years. Unfortunately, there is very little documentation or early catalog literature on the Kingston brand, so it is nearly impossible to date their guitars or group them into series. However, we do know that these guitars were likely built by Kawai, Teisco, and/or Guyatone (other manufacturers are possible as well). At the time, Kawai was building guitars in the style of a Fender Jazzmaster as well as the uniquely shaped Burns double-cutaway. Your guitar has more of a Strat-shaped body and I have seen it called a “Swinga,” but I wasn’t able to find another exact comparison in my research. I think your guitar was made by Kawai in the mid-to-late-1960s, because Westheimer was likely done with Teisco when this guitar was built, and it doesn’t really look like a Teisco from that era anyway. Through the late 1960s, Westheimer offered a wide range of Kingston instruments including electric basses and hollowbodies (and even amplifiers). By the mid-1970s, it was becoming increasingly expensive to build guitars in Japan, so Westheimer shifted production to Korea by building a factory there, which became Cort. Kingston guitars existed in one form or another through the 1970s and even in the early 1980s, but Westheimer was finding great success building budget and entry-level guitars in his Cort factory for big U.S. guitar companies such as Kramer, B.C. Rich, and Epiphone. The characteristics of your Kingston are very similar to what other owners have reported: occasional scratchy and erratic performance of the electronics, intonation problems, and action that is hard to control (notably due to the lack of a truss rod). Although I can’t verify this, one estimate indicates that over 150,000 Kingston guitars were sold in the U.S. during the 1960s! It’s obvious that quantity trumped quality when it came to producing the guitars, and it isn’t surprising that the electronics have some issues after all these years.”

Liknande produkter till Kingston electric red sunburst MIJ circa 1970s, beg. (Stockholm)