Here’s a little story about a 70’s Global Teisco guitar. There’s something about any 70’s model guitar that makes us gear heads swoon. Personally I give Jack White all the credit for making the worst pawnshop budget guitars into hot shit. But let’s face the facts, that dude can make a nail, a coffee can, and a string sing! Not all of us have that kind of talent, certainly not yours truly.
Now on to the story of how I got my hands on this 1970’s Christmas morning disappointment. One day I was swiping right on some local OfferUp deals when I came across this beauty marked all the way down to $75 bucks. I’ve always been interested in these Teisco style guitars and this deal sang to me…but I was going out of town for the weekend and didn’t have time to mess around with OfferUp dudes so I sent it to my bandmate who actually plays guitar.
Later in the week another friend calls me and tells me we’re after the same guitar. I tell him it’s all his, but I’m more than happy to help him look it over. So we meet up at some guy’s dilapidated lake-view hoarder apartment and my buddy seals the deal on this sweet baby.
My job now is to fix it up so that it can be given a new home. But in the meantime, I’ll go ahead and do some research and make a video to keep myself entertained.
Heard it through the Google vine…
Global guitars are cheap Asian/Korean guitars made for a Chicago importer in the 70’s and 80’s. Although many people seem to believe the company is related to Teisco or Kawai, I am starting to doubt that, even with the similarities between the guitars. I may be wrong, but I think Global is just a Teisco knock off. My best guess is that this guitar was made sometime in the 1970’s or possibly early 1980’s.
How to fix a Global Teisco guitar
- First off it had super high action so I lowered the saddle to the lowest height. The saddle screws would poke me in the hand when I palm muted.
- I removed the saddle screws, marked the body where the screws sat, then drilled shallow holes 1/4″ into the body of the guitar so that the saddle height screws could be screwed in deeper and not stick up so high.
- Filed down the fret sprout and leveled the frets.
- At which point I figured out that the “Rosewood” fret board was just painted on, because I actually sanded off some “Rosewood”…so I touched up the fretboard with brown and black Sharpie. 😂
- Set the truss rod properly, measuring .018″ at the 7th fret with a capo on the first fret and the string held down at the 17th fret.
- The nut had been cut too deep on the G string so I repaired it with baking soda and super glue and recut the nut.
- Clean the volume and tone pots with Deoxit to get rid of that scratchy pot sound.
- New strings and gave it a cleaning all over that would make a hoarder cringe.
Still to do…
Plenty of issues left with this guitar, namely it won’t stay in tune and it won’t intonate properly
- New tremolo arm and spring: This thing came with a marble holding the bridge up where a tremolo used to be. Someday it would be rad if the guitar got his arm back and gave back the marble to some little kid who it was stolen from.
- New nut: Eventually the repair I did may wear out. New nuts are nice. I like any of the Graphtech stuff.
- New tuning machines: This thing has the worst fucking tuners of all time. Anything would be an upgrade. 6 tiny pliers holding the strings to the headstock would be better. I didn’t think it was possible but a Squier Bullet Strat has high quality tuners compared to these. Go online and search for Global guitars and you will not find one without jacked up tuners.
- Better pots: This guitar has 500K pots. Seems like 250K pots would be more appropriate. Also replace the output jack with a SwitchCraft.
- More screws: Someone worked on this and didn’t put all the pickguard screws back! It’s a god damn shame.
My little Global Teisco guitar review:
If you can find one of these things for $80 or less in playable shape, buy it. You should be able to resell it $100-150 bucks easy, unless they’ve read this blog, then they will probably try to talk you down to $80. It’s definitely a cool little guitar but it’s temperamental and requires skills to make it playable and keep it in that condition. It’s a certainly a cool, old trashy guitar for that certain sound.
The body looks pretty nice at first, but take off the pickguard. It’s actually plywood and that sweet sunburst finish is actually hiding the layers.
The pickups are really low output so you may want to run a boost pedal on the front of your signal chain just to get the volume up to normal levels. The sound of this guitar has that indescribable “pawn shop” characteristic. It sounds like a guitar who needs a drummer who plays on some old metal trash lids.
This thing feels super small, light, and fun to play. Again, don’t give this to your kid, unless you want them to grow up to play EDM.
This may not be your forever or all the time guitar but it will be the one you pull out when you wanna get weird and make some noise. I hope that helps if you’re on the fence about buying one of these.
I have to be honest, I don’t know what model this guitar is so I took 3 guesses. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know what model this is.
Global Teisco Guitar Specs:
- Neck: Mahogany bolt on, 2.12″ at the heel
- Nut: 1.666″ Plastic
- Fretboard: Mahogany with a painted on fret board to give the appearance of rosewood
- Frets: 21
- Tuners: Plastic tipped, ol’ grandma guitar garage sale vintage tuners
- Body: Plywood
- Pickups: Teisco style low output soapbar
- Pickup Selectors: 2 independent on/off switches
- Knobs: Volume & Tone. 500k pots.
- Bridge: It’s gotta wammy bar! Well, this one has a marble.
- Output: Standard Quarter Incher
- Pickguard: 2 layer, black/white
- Scale: 25.5″ standard scale
- Weight: 5 lbs, 5.3 ounces