The first is a Norma "Barney Kessel" model. It doesn't actually say that on the guitar, but a prominent website that features vintage guitars (My Rare Guitars) refers to the guitar by that name. Quote: "A very rare Norma split p/u Barney Kessel design." His guitar is black, and I don't see a bridge cover in the photo; otherwise they are twins. It has a big "baseball bat" neck, but it's a blast to play and it's great for a rockabilly type sound. The split-pickup setup is pretty unusual, and actually functional.
It has another cool feature--there's an inductive "varitone" type filter built in to it. It uses a small transformer as the inductor. The filter switch (L,M,H) is down near the lower (and oddly placed) F hole cut-out. It might be a resonant filter (should be), but it sounds like a high-cut to me.
|Norma Barney Kessel|
|The Norma "veritone" inductor and switching for the split pickups|
|The split pickup switching plate for the Norma|
The green burst is my Sekova--coolest headstock ever!
This violin style Kingston is a surprisingly great guitar! The action is excellent, the intonation good and it has a cool voice.
Two project guitars--a Kimberly Phantom 22 thin-line longhorn model. This guitar has the same pickups as a Teisco May Queen, and the tremolo and bridge also are the same. That's gotta say something about the date (and location) of manufacture. The other is a Maxitone something or other. Someday I'll finish fixing both up.
The Maxitone is a step up from most MIJ thin-line guitars. It's definitely heavier, more solidly built. Another with a uniquely weird headstock. I tried fixing the one bad pickup, which kinda worked, but was too noisy. Haven't found a replacement yet...
|Kimberly Phantom 22 and a Maxitone|
All the funky tremolos work fairly well on these MIJ oddities / beauties. Better than many stock Fender-style trems. Not the thing for dive-bombs, but still pretty cool.
Finally, here's an unbadged lap steel but I think it's a National. That is, I've seen identical guitars advertised as such on the 'bay.
|National lap steel (?)|