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Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2001 6:25 pm
I cannot believe how much information there is regarding Tokai Guitars!! Incredible! Anyhow, I have a question not unlike a couple of other fellows on this board. I went to a flea-market a couple of weeks ago and picket up a Tokai, I didn?t pay much for it and did not really have high hopes whether it was in working order or not. But was I surprised when I put on some new strings and plugged it in, it played beautifully! My question is this: How old is this guitar and how much would you say it is worth? It is B/W in MINT condition, s/n L14979. Any response is appreciated, thank you.
[Anonymously Posted by: 'Niklas']
Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2001 9:57 pm
Niklas, you don't mention what type of guitar it is but the L serial numbers were normally used on Tokai's Fender '64 replicas, both Strat and Tele (same as Fender's own serials). It's probably a TST-50 strat or a TTE-50 tele and probably dates from 1984 or 85. Tokai's were not available in Sweden earlier than '84. The 50 series was probably the most sold Tokai strat/tele's in Sweden. Look for a small oval gold decal on the back of the neck where it joins the body, it tells the model no of the guitar. It's probably missing, I guess a lot of people removed them. If you want more info you can send me an e-mail.
[Anonymously Posted by: 'Michael']
Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2001 4:44 am
Thanks Michael - I think we've found an expert. Please continue to contribute as you seem to know a lot about Tokai's and their history.
[Anonymously Posted by: 'Ned']
Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2001 3:53 am
Hi Michael, maybe you can help date my Tokai tele ... It has a Fender shaped headstock, a thicker (non-spaghetti) Tokai logo with the legend Breezysound below it. The serial # is 21820, it's black with a rosewood neck and a retro-styled six saddle ashtray bridge/tailpiece. I got it real cheap a coupla years back here in London, it's wonderful, I do my Steve Cropper schtick on it. Thanks in advance, Joe
[Anonymously Posted by: 'Joe Presedo']
Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2001 9:51 pm
Joe, I just stumbled on the fact that Tokai used the same serials on their '64 replicas. Probably the '57 replicas with maple necks also used the same numbering as Fender did. Maybe they used the same type of numbering for all Fender replicas, in that case we will be able to determine which model year the replica is supposed to be, it doesn't always say that on the headstock. The 84-85 Traditional Series catalog tells you what model year the guitars are supposed to be, for example TST-50 strat rosewood='64 and maple='57. The problem is determining when the guitar was made. If you remove the neck and pickguard you'll find some numbers there but I haven't been able to find out anything from them.
Ned, you seem to have been in contact with the Tokai factory, is there any possibility to get some information from them on how to date the guitar? I have a strat (off white/maple neck) myself that's supposed to be late 80's but I don't know what model it is, it used to have Tokai's modified headstock but someone has made it to look like the real thing again (the rounded top part is a little smaller but it actually gives the headstock better proportions). It has a 6-digit serial no and cheaper tuners (not Kluson type), I would guess it's an AST-40.
[Anonymously Posted by: 'Michael']
Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2001 4:35 am
I've tried, I believe the leadership at Tokai is different from what was their during the 70s/80s. I've been told there isn't any documentation.
My next attempt will be to try and get production numbers and dates hoping that maybe their is a lot number or something that will help.
[Anonymously Posted by: 'Ned']
Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2001 12:41 am
Re the "50" sticker on the back of your Love Rock, model numbers and prices - I never said that "50" means "ST-50". I've been pointing out that the figure refers to the Japanese price. If you look further back on this thread, you'll see that Toneshun has an LS-50. Yours may be the same.
I can tell you that the LS320 price is 320,000 Yen, the ES-140 is 140,000 and I believe the same is true of the Flying Vee and SG models. Just to add more to the pot on model number relating (or not) to the replica year, there was an ST-80 (or TST-80) which I doubt very much is a replica of a 1980s Strat!
[Anonymously Posted by: 'Barry']
Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2001 4:35 am
Thanks Barry,that makes perfect sense to me.
[Anonymously Posted by: 'kent']
Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2001 6:31 am
Go on then boys here's one for ya -
I bought a tele/breezy last week, definately 80's - with the short lived CAPITALS logo it. It plays amazingly (neck is a work of art).
What date is it probably?
What is the small sticker on the back of the neck "50" all about? (its an oval sticker where it joins the body)
Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2001 7:23 am
Martin, the sticker shows the model number, 50 should be a TTE50. I also have a TTE50 with the sticker intact but it has the Tokai spaghetti logo. I had a TST50 strat that I bought new in 1985, it also had the oval sticker. They didn't use the sticker on Love Rocks to my knowledge though, I have a 1984 TLS50 and it only has a made in japan sticker where the neck joins the body.
Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2001 12:18 pm
I finally bought the AST-56 Tokai.It is in very good shape.I am very happy with it,but i want to make it best.Can you tell me what do you do to get a great guitar?What about a Texas Specials pups,new pots and cloth wire?Could it be worthy?
Ned I will send you Tokai history next.It,s a little difficult for me to scan it,as the book is very tall.
Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2001 9:38 am
I have 3 ast56's and two ast 62's I have left the 56's stock , they capture that maple "twang and brightness" but I put VanZant"s Vintage Strats in the 62's to get a warmer sound. If you do a 4 spring set-up with 11's and get the pick-ups set to an optimum you'll get a great 56 tone! Good Luck!
Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2001 12:08 pm
I was given an original Fender set taken from a 70,s USA Strato.I will give it a try.Maybe sound better than Tokai pups.
Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2001 9:58 am
The "50" sticker on the back of your Love Rock, "LS-50". This was the "entry model" Les Paul that tokai made in teh early 80's
Whilst the number does refer to the Yen price, the higher the number, the better the materials in the guitar. A TST-80 was a 1954 replica using better grades of wood and electrics than a TST-50 ( which was a 1958 replica).
All this was altered when the Letter and numbering system changed in 1986 with the release of the AST series.
Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2001 10:03 am
actually guys, the "65" means that the guitar is "60" series (60,000 yen) with a custom colour ( add 5,000 yen)
This was the case up to the AST series in 1986