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1960s Kawai Teardrop Hollowbody Vintage Bass Guitar, Short Scale, Japan


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Up for sale, a circa 1968 Kawai Teardrop Bass in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. A direct response to Vox's Italian made Bill Wyman V248 signature model bass of the same design introduced in '65, this rare Kawai instrument was one of the earliest and most unique examples of Japanese craftsmanship replicating iconic instruments of the era.

Featuring a hollowbody design with a spruce top and mahogany back and sides, this Kawai bass has a short 30" scale, featherweight at only 5lbs 11oz. The neck pickup offers a throaty, dry thump, while the bridge pickup has greater midrange presence and authority. Strung with 45-100 roundwound strings, we've dialed in this Teardrop bass here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with comfortable action and accurate intonation.

The multi-ply laminate neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut with just a hair more shoulder and roundness as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .805" deep at the 1st fret and .875" at the 12th. The multi-ply bound rosewood fretboard features small block inlay, and the stock frets show minimal wear, playing cleanly up the 30" with a straight neck and responsive truss rod. The fretboard width is 1.650" at the zero fret just forward of the nut. The headstock features a universal string tree and low profile tuners with clover buttons that closely match Vox's design.

All of the electronics function as intended, with a unique three-way pickup selector that has an absolutely tiny switch tip. This switch is wired in reverse, with the bridge pickup engaged in the Up position and neck pickup engaged in the Down position. Large V and T topped chrome-plated knobs for Master Volume and Tone round out the controls. Hardware includes the unique adjustable bridge base with two large thumbwheels. The bridge shows light surface patina, while the large chrome pickup bezels and knobs have bright chrome plating. Cosmetic wear on the Sunburst gloss finish includes prominent, broad finish checking across the top and back, very similar to the checking that occurs on Italian-made Vox instruments. There is scuffing in the clear coat on the back, and some minor dings and scratches on the body as a whole.