Teye Guitars have been producing instruments from their Austin, Texas custom shop since the early 2000’s. Based on the illustrious Zemaitis guitar design- which introduced aesthetic craftsmanship and beauty with engraved tops, diamond and pearl inlays to the electric guitar– these exquisite American-made boutique instruments can feature exotic woods, hand-engraved pickguards, pearl-front inlays, and relic-ing if desired. New for 2014 is the Coyote series of guitars, which incorporates modern production technology and simpler finishes into a guitar with all of the aforementioned Teye aspects.
The Coyote features a mahogany body and neck with a maple cap. A 24-fret ebony fretboard can be easily accessed up and down the neck. The neck is about as thick as a Les Paul, but with a wider fretboard, which make it easy to play double-stops and country bend pull-offs. The guitar’s proprietary bridge and locking tailpiece, signature to Teye’s A Series guitars, allow for easy, secured adjustments. Two DiMarzio custom pickups are controlled by independent volumes, master tone, and another Teye signature element, the “Mood” knob, which blends the coils of the pickups to variably access single coil and humbucking modes. No 60-cycle hum interferes single-coil operation here. The pickups can also be run out-of-phase, via position four in the Coyote’s five-way switch. Grover tuners and a Korian nut complete this Texan-made axe.
I first played the Coyote into a Twin Reverb. The tone was crystal clear, and had a pleasant attack, even when playing hard. Output levels between pickup positions were balanced. Moving over to an Orange Rockerverb 50, I cranked out the hot and thick DiMarzio humbuckers and played the out-of-phase position with reverb. Get your Jimmy Page and Gary Moore licks ready in this position! This guitar delivers them faithfully. The dynamics and articulation remained throughout, even when the gain was very high.
I was impressed by the response of the electronics. No matter where the volumes or tone were set, there was no “blanket” effect to be heard. The Mood knob proved incredibly useful, and unlocked a lot of the potential of this guitar. I found myself scrolling through every position on the five-way in a live performance setting. And, almost to my surprise, I found myself on the out-of-phase position the most. It really is a beautiful effect when used on the right axe, and this one certainly exemplified that. For rhythm, I’d play with the Mood knob down, and crank it up for solos. The phase cancellation was never overly apparent unless you want it to be and play louder.
Without question, this is one of the more standout boutique guitars I’ve played. It is not a first guitar purchase for anybody by any means. And of course, Teye knows that. It is pricey at $3000 and its looks will definitely garner a ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ response. But it feels, plays and sounds like a $3000 guitar. The Teye builders put many hours into crafting each guitar and the sweat labor shows. To some, the design and look may seem like overkill and gaudy, while those looking for a rare one of a kind treasure will marvel at the guitar’s aesthetic. The Teye Coyote is a versatile axe and feasible for those that are in search of the legendary Tony Zemaitis allure.
List price: $3000
• Mahogany body and neck
• Bound Maple cap
• 24-fret bound Ebony fingerboard with the Teye-inlay
• Two DiMarzio custom-wind humbuckers
• Proprietary fine-tuned Teye electronics with the full four-knob A-series control panel
• Proprietary Teye A-series hand-made bridge
• Proprietary Teye hand-made tailpiece
• Two distinctive custom engraved aluminum body plates
• Distinctive custom engraved aluminum headstock plate with direct truss-rod access
• Custom aluminum rear plate
• Proprietary Teye volume and tone knobs, and ditto switch tip
• Korian nut
• Nitro finish
• Case included