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My Beautiful Trio of 'Jazz Sounds' (lots of piccies).
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Fender32
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:32 am    Post subject: My Beautiful Trio of 'Jazz Sounds' (lots of piccies). Reply with quote

So, having flipped over the Olympic White TJB45 'Jazz Sound' (below), which I got in the summer (after owning numerous more prestigious and expensive basses ), I decided to try and track down some more of these fine Tokai Jazzes to add to my small collection.











After some wheeling and dealing, it seems that I have succeeded !

The second bass to come my way was something of a 'find' - it's an incredibly tidy example of a TJB60, in Metallic Red and with all of the stickers and logos intact !!! It also appears to be 100% original and unmolested. It weighs 9.1lbs, which is exactly 1lb heavier than my white one, but still lighter than most Custom Shop Fenders that I've had.

(EDIT: I have actually sold this bass now).














The third part of the trilogy is formed by this well-used TJB60 (I think), in Black. Again, it's all there (apart from the stickers at the base of the neck), with no mods that I can see. This one weighs in at 8.7lbs, which is a good balance between avoiding both neck dive and back ache, IMO .

The neck on this one is a tiny bit 'clubbier' (i.e. more rounded) than the other two, but it's still the same width - I actually rather like this! Unlike the red one, which has hardware that looks 'like new', this black one has a bit of tarnishing on the metal work and a lot more dents and scrapes in the paintwork (not to mention a more 'orange' neck). I don't mind too much about this, as it means that I don't have to be so careful with it . The only downside to it is that it hums a lot more than the other two, due to lack of shielding - I need to work on that .











Instead of having three 'identical' basses, I got these with the intention of putting different types of strings on each one. The Olympic White one has now been restrung with Fender flatwounds (50-100) and it wears them well. The action is stupidly low on this bass, as the frets are utterly free from wear, so it's a doddle to play!

The black bass has Fender nickel-plated steel roundwounds on (50-105). These are (despite being 'cheap') my all-time favourite bass strings for passive Fenders. They can sound quite clanky and aggressive, but are mostly just 'warm and round'.

As an experiment, I put some Rotosound Swingbass s/s strings (40-95) on the red bass, to use for funk and slap. I'm not sure that that was the right decision, as the bass lacks the 'balls' of the other two with these thinner strings on. I will try some other strings in the near future, to see what works best.

As I only took delivery of the last two basses this week, I haven't had much time to form an opinion about them, so I can't say much more for now . What I can do though, is to is to post a load more pictures of them, in an attempt to liven up this 'dusty corner' of the Tokai Forum . Enjoy!






















Thanks for looking !
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Last edited by Fender32 on Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:46 am; edited 3 times in total
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DaveWW
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very very nice Fuelling my increasing Gas for a Bass!
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Goestoeleven
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice pictures!

They cleaned up really well. I've had Strats that have been a bit "Buzzy" but I've cured them with massive amounts of copper shielding. It's very cheap on Ebay, so maybe that will do the job okay for you?

Details here:

http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=12119
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Last edited by Goestoeleven on Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Fender32
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Graham !

Yes, I'll have a look into that, although there's not much that you can actually shield on a Jazz Bass. The red one has brass plates underneath each pickup and one in the control cavity, to which everything is grounded ...






... but for some reason, the black bass doesn't .

Another job for a rainy day ... (oh rats, it's raining now ).


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Last edited by Fender32 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Goestoeleven
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This guy's site is well worth a read:

http://mrglyn.blogspot.com/2008/11/reducing-hum-screening.html

He's currently removing necks from vintage acoustics using steam injection.

Brave man! He's got bigger balls than I have.
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Fender32
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Goestoeleven wrote:
This guy's site is well worth a read:

http://mrglyn.blogspot.com/2008/11/reducing-hum-screening.html

He's currently removing necks from vintage acoustics using steam injection.

Brave man! He's got bigger balls than I have.


Quote:

"This is the radiation present all over the universe caused by the Big Bang - known as the shadow of the big bang. Its been around for nearly 14 billion years just waiting to get into your pickups".

Yes, he knows his onions alright .
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funkpower
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful basses!!! Congratulations! Red one is great!
I have exactly the same Tokai like your first - cream-one. Also without L - letter on a neckplate. It's also very lightweight. It's sound so good!! I had a problem with pickups, but now everything is ok. I had to change polarisation in one of them, and now there is no hum!
I'm looking for a pickguard - can you tell me - can I replace it with mass Fender pickguard?
Best.
W
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stratman323
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice collection. Norman Watt-Roy wouldn't have played his Tokai for years if it wasn't up to the job.



Mike
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Fender32
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

funkpower wrote:
Beautiful basses!!! Congratulations! Red one is great!
I have exactly the same Tokai like your first - cream-one. Also without L - letter on a neckplate. It's also very lightweight. It's sound so good!! I had a problem with pickups, but now everything is ok. I had to change polarisation in one of them, and now there is no hum!
I'm looking for a pickguard - can you tell me - can I replace it with mass Fender pickguard?
Best.
W



Hi there Wojtek !

I'm glad that you got your pickups sorted out in the end. My white bass is also the lightest of them all (only 8.1lbs, with strings and without strap) and to be honest, it does have the sweetest tone too, by a tiny fraction .

Funnily enough, I just ordered a Fender USA replacement pickguard (in tortoiseshell) for the black Jazz Sound. It's the 'vintage' model pickguard, with 11 holes, which Fender fit to their US Vintage Reissue basses. It should arrive tomorrow, so I'll let you know how it fits. I have tried four different types of replacement p/g from non-Fender manufacturers and none of them would fit properly, so I hope that this Fender one will (as it's very expensive ).

I agree with your comment about the red bass - it is great ! The condition is amazing, for a 25 year old bass. It has some fret wear, but it's obviously been well cared for. I was suprised that it weighed a whole 1lb more than the white one, but it does have a little more 'attack' as a result and so it works well with the s/s strings for slap'n'pluck (not really my strong point though ).

Perhaps you could post some pics of your white bass in this thread, funkpower, as I'd really like to see it ...

http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=15014
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Fender32
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stratman323 wrote:
Very nice collection. Norman Watt-Roy wouldn't have played his Tokai for years if it wasn't up to the job.



Mike


Interesting! Which Tokai bass did NWR have then? I could only find one interview with him (http://www.philbrodieband.com/muso_norman_watt-roy.htm) in which he says that he used a 70s Fender Precision (3 tone sunburst and no pickguard, with an extra J Bass pickup added later) and he now uses a Shoreline Gold pre-CBS Fender !?

Here's the P Bass in action ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS5bxk89gQg

It'd be nice to think that he did use a Tokai at some point though, as he's a bassist for whom I have much admiration .
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not 100% certain about this, but I'm pretty sure that the bass he used for years both with The Blockheads & later with Wilko was a Tokai without the scratchplate. I believe it was a Jazz. A couple of bass players I know told me that, & I'm sure I read something years ago.

His current bass, the heavily worn metallic gold one, was made for him by The Bass Centre in Liverpool Street.
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Fender32
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stratman323 wrote:
I'm not 100% certain about this, but I'm pretty sure that the bass he used for years both with The Blockheads & later with Wilko was a Tokai without the scratchplate. I believe it was a Jazz. A couple of bass players I know told me that, & I'm sure I read something years ago.

His current bass, the heavily worn metallic gold one, was made for him by The Bass Centre in Liverpool Street.


Could well be! He must have had more than a couple of basses, so perhaps he used a sunburst Tokai as a backup to his Fender !?

I've seen the "Jive Basses" that the Bass Centre are selling, which they say are built "with the input of Norman Watt-Roy" (and Guy Pratt), but I seriously doubt that either of these bass legends would gig with these ?199 'planks' .

http://www.basscentre.com/cheap-bass-guitars/bass-collection-jive-bass.html

I guess that if he's using a custom made bass in place of his Shoreline Gold Fender, that it's a bit more 'special' than those .

Thanks for the input though!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they sell a version of Norman's bass that's quite a bit more expensive than that! Here's what Norman was playing at The 100 Club last year.


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Fender32
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stratman323 wrote:
I think they sell a version of Norman's bass that's quite a bit more expensive than that! Here's what Norman was playing at The 100 Club last year.



Oh yeah, I see what you mean, that's certainly no Fender !

Sadly, it's not a Tokai either .



Thanks again for the input, Startman.
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Goestoeleven
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Word is that Stevie Ray Vaughan used a Tokai for a good while, and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top was a major Tokai player too as I recall.

I used to think Tokai were "Cheap copies" until I knew better. If I was ever buying new guitars again now it'd be Tokai every time. I just don't see how you can get anything even close to it in terms of quality for the money from anyone else.

Okay, they are basically copies of well-known instruments, but then so is every violin or cello come to that.
The Strat and LP designs have stood the test of time so well because they worked. They got it right the first time. They're now such a familiar shape and morally (if not legally) in the "Public domain" that a good one doesn't need to have the original maker's name on the headstock any more to make it worthy of respect.

I certainly feel no sense of being the poor relation because my Les Paul says "Tokai" on the headstock!

Further reading:

http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=15314
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