Tokai ES-90

Tokai guitar discussion

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Tokai ES-90

Post by guitarsammy » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:24 am

I have seen a 1993 Tokai ES-90 I am interested in buying, however I can’t find much information on it online. I also can’t spot it in the catalogues on this site. It seems there are a few early 1980s ES-100s out there, and a lot of early-2000s ES-120s and upwards out there, but virtually no Tokai ES-series guitars from the 1990s.

It looks like a great guitar and has the ‘traditional’ rather than dimple headstock, and also the Gibson-like truss rod cover.

However, I wanted to check the following:

- I know in the early 2000s there was an ES-100 and an ES-120, and the ES-120 was higher-spec. Was there a high and low-spec model like this in 1993? And, if so, was the ES-90 equivalent to the ES-100 or ES-120?
- If Tokai’s model numbering is based on the price in yen, then I assume a 1981 ES-100 was 100,000 yen. If the ES-90 was 90,000 yen 12 years later in 1993, was it a lower-spec guitar? Or am I missing something?
- Does anyone know if the finish on the ES-90 would have been nitro or poly?
- One of the few sources of information I have found is a German article downloadable here: - I don't speak German, but I can see that there are neck measurements there that suggest it is thinner at the first and twelfth frets than any of the measurements given for ES-120 and ES-130 here: ... highlight= - does anyone happen to know if the ES-90 typically had a thinner neck profile than the later ES-series guitars?


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Post by guitarsammy » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:14 am

I might have made a small amount of progress on this.

I paid for access to a 1990 Tokai catalogue at another website.

On there, it lists an ES90, ES120 and ES180. The ES90 and ES120 actually have identical specs, except that the ES90 is dot neck and the ES120 is block neck.

The ES180 is listed as 'flame maple', so I assume the 90 and 120 are plain top. As an aside, the ES180 has an ebony rather than rosewood fretboard and also has the fancy block markings, similar to (but not the same as) an ES345.

Pickups on all are PAF Vintage MK1, and they are all available in sunburst, natural and red. The ES90 alone is also available in black.

So, it looks to me as though the ES90 is essentially the early 1990s equivalent of the early 1980s ES100 or early 2000s ES120. It wasn't a low-spec version.

Still doesn't answer my questions on finish (nitro or poly), as this isn't listed, or on neck profile.

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Post by mdvineng » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:35 am

Nitro or poly will not make any difference except to how you polish it

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Post by achlayrhofer » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:40 am

All the guitars are fresh has been imported here now from the wires of them are also leaving the sound of the heart touching. If any guitar will damage then on the website you can get that guitar to be really sweet of the things.

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