Dating Tokai Breezysound

Tokai guitar discussion

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ayc6
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Post by ayc6 » Sat Feb 02, 2002 4:19 am

I have a transparent blonde Tokai Breezysound with a Fender-like headstock and a post 83/84 logo (not spaghetti or capitals). The serial number on the neck plate is 221571. Fairly flat Rosewood fretboard, slim neck, white pickguard, says "tokai" on the bridgeplate. Anyone know when this is from? I've been told it might be from mid/late 80s. Please help!

Also, did they make many maple neck teles in the late 80s? I'd like to swap the rosewood neck for a maple one as I have a rare 70s Teisco telecaster (with original jazzmaster bridge) that is better than the Tokai. The Breezysound seems to get much less press than the other models and it's harder to find info for it. Teles are so much cooler than Strats (my 1st guitar was a Fender USA Strat).

TommyR
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Post by TommyR » Sat Feb 02, 2002 10:02 am

I think it's a mid-80s model. It sounds like the one a friend of mine has. The rosewood fingerboard would indicate to some that it's a '62 replica but I don't think so. My friend's has a six-way bridge instead of the 3 barrels found on the '62 replicas and if yours has the same type of bridge I'd say it was a mid 80s TTE-50 model. This also explains why the serial number does not have an L at the start, as is the case with my friend's Breezysound. Hope this helps. If you look on the tokairegistry at the catalogues, the 1985 edition has a section with the TTE models. Hope this helps. Tommy R.

ayc6
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Post by ayc6 » Sat Feb 02, 2002 1:58 pm

Thanks, Tommy. You're right about the 6 way bridge. The seller insists that he bought it new in London around 1989 though. Does that make sense? When did they stop having the L or a letter at the front of the serial number? Just need to know that it's not a later(or even Korean) body with an 85 neck.

If mine is the same model as your friends, then is it supposed to be a hybrid replica with bits taken from different fender models? Any opinion on how the TTE50 compares to other Tokai tele models? I've only ever tried one and it doesn't feel as vintage as I hoped (but pretty damn good for the 200 pounds I paid for it recently - really feisty bridge pickup).

TommyR
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Post by TommyR » Sat Feb 02, 2002 2:55 pm

I'm sure that the seller's correct regarding the dates, it's definitely Japanese and 80s. Essentially it is a hybrid - it's basically the '62 replica model with a modified bridge. I've got an older Tele that's a '62 replica with three barrel bridge and binding (Telecaster Custom) and there's really no difference between the two guitars in terms of sound or neck shape - same wood and same pick-ups. The L I was referring to is the prefix used by Fender for the rosewood fretboards they introduced in 1960 and Tokai used the L prefix for their '62 replicas - yours has a modified bridge and hence the lack of an L. For 200 quid I think you'll have got yourself a good deal if it's in good shape - the cost of new Squier standard models is about that and while nice to play, the materials used and the care to detail of the Tokai is much higher quality. A lot of dealers would be trying to sell your one for ?300 or more so if you decide to sell or part exchange, ballpark figure you should be going for. I don't think you'd find many Korean Tokais in the UK - I've seen a few of the new Japanese models in Cardiff and they start at about ?400 but I can't really vouch for the quality.

ayc6
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Post by ayc6 » Sat Feb 02, 2002 3:19 pm

Cheers. What I meant by difference in quality is the difference between early 80s and late 80s Tele replicas. Apparently mine is 1985 (bought in 89), but I was just wondering whether I should check out the slightly earlier models. I find that my pickups are sharper than old Fender Teles.

Peter Mac
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Post by Peter Mac » Sun Feb 03, 2002 2:17 am

Hi guys,
The shape of the rosewood board will give you an idea of the model, not the actual year. 1960 Fenders had a "straight" board, 62s hada convex and 64s had a concave board.
Fender used the L xxxxx serial numbers from 64-early 65.
By the sound of it, you have a 1962 replica which would not have an "L" serial #. It may not be a TTE-50 but one of the higher model Tele replicas as all TTE-50's were 1964 replicas.
All teles were available with maple necks, some were 1958 U shape and others were 1948 V shape.
regards
Peter

TommyR
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Post by TommyR » Sun Feb 03, 2002 3:22 am

Hi Peter, I think it's the 6-way bridge that leads me to think it's a TTE-50 - I'm almost certain that '64 or '62 replicas would have had 3 barrel brass bridges. The one my friend has used to have the oval '50' sticker up at the top of the neck near the body assembly (along with a Made in Japan sticker) - the two guitars seem identical in description. If it's one of the higher models which one might it be? Tommy R

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