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Any truth in this story?

 
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Old-Bugga
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Joined: 27 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:00 pm    Post subject: Any truth in this story? Reply with quote

Apologies if this has been covered before. I used to work in a music shop MANY moons ago, and I remember being told how Tokai came about.

As I remember it the story went as follows:-

Fender was looking to have some cheaper budget line copies made in Japan.
They approached Tokai who agreed to make some samples.
The samples were made and duly presented to Fenders representatives for inspection.
Fender reps were blown away by the quality, and said, ok, obviously these were built to impress us, but the actual ones wont be as good?
No...they are ALL like this came the reply.

We dont want them ALL like that because that means they will be better than the US ones.

Tough....thats the standard we make them to, so we will just sell them ourselves!

Fender than got all the first batch impounded by US Customs, and they all got the necks sawn in half.

--------------

2nd part of this was that Fender gave Tokai some old stock necks and bodies to use for measurements/trials etc. Apparently some early Tokais feature old stock Fender bodies from WAY back?

-----------------------------

Last curiousity was that the music shop I worled for had some Tokai headstock logos in the till. I have one that has been on a Maya one piece body I built as a lad so they DEFINETELY did exist. I wonder is some skull duggery was taking place even way back then. Must have been about 1983 ish.



As I said...the first two may fall into Urban Myth territory. Curious to see if anyone can elaborate deny/confirm.

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JVsearch
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Joined: 01 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tokai existed way before they made guitars for Fender, but it does seem to be true that the Fender people were seriously worried about the fit and finish Tokai were able to achieve.
And, they were cloning Fender guitars before Fender even asked them to make any - they would have used old Strats that they had bought to copy.

Tokais with old stock Fender bodies... ah hahaha ah oh my god, I haven't heard much worse snake oil than that.
Only my opinion of course, I have no idea if it's true or false.
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ned
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe (and may be wrong) that the deal cut was Tokai would make Fender branded guitars for the Japanese market.
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rayspang
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:30 am    Post subject: Tokai/Fender Reply with quote

I remember that it was Fugigen Gaaki that made all Fender Japan guitars. In 1997 Tokai and Dyna Gaaki took over the contract with Fender.
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JVsearch
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ned wrote:
I believe (and may be wrong) that the deal cut was Tokai would make Fender branded guitars for the Japanese market.


Yes, 1997 to 2007 - the CIJ versions were made by Tokai.
But plenty of those were exported as well, because it's only in recent times that Fender have tried to steer everyone towards their Mexican made Fenders instead of the Japanese ones.

Obviously it's not really done with marketing, but through the distributors and dealers. Somebody managed to stop Ishibashi selling new Fenders outside of Japan a few years ago...
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Old-Bugga
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah...keep in mind you guys are all talking late 80's 90s. I am talking WAY back even before then. As I mentione dearly 80's. I am sure that I have spoken to a few other people who remember hearing about the US Customs Chainsaw Masacre.
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Paladin2019
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old-Bugga wrote:
I am sure that I have spoken to a few other people who remember hearing about the US Customs Chainsaw Masacre.


Maybe I'm getting too cynical in my old age (30 next year...) but that sounds like serious urban myth material, as does the 'old fender bodies' business. I've never heard either of these stories on this forum and this place is easily the best tokai info resource in the English-speaking world.

I have, however, heard plenty of BS from people looking to boost the perceived value of old Japanese guitars they were trying to sell.

The only encounter with US customs that I remember reading about (willing to be corrected here) was when Fender got shirty about Tokai using the word 'strat' on a batch of silverstars in the early 80's. Legal action was threatened but not persued, there were no chainsaws involved, and the incident helped fuel the infamous and neverending 'lawsuit' myth.
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rayspang
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:56 pm    Post subject: Fender Japan Reply with quote

[url]The Fender Japan guitar manufacturing contract was originally going to go to Tokai in
1981/1982 but at the last minute Fender choose Fujigen Gakki instead.
Some Fujigen made Fender replica between 1982 and 1997 have necks made by Atlansia.

I read somewhere that there was a connection in the early 80's between Tokai and fender Japan necks. Atlansia might have made both but I'm just speculating.[/url]
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ochay
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always thought that Greco was picked over Tokai because of Greco/Ibanez's impressive production numbers-

Early Tokai Stratocasters/Les Pauls are clearly closer to the real USA Fender/Gibsons that I have seen.. In 1978-thru 1980 Greco/Ibanez had already put out 10's of thousands of LP's and Strats-
Tokai in the same time period didn't produce 1/10 of that.....
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rayspang
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:45 pm    Post subject: Fender Japan Reply with quote

Fugigen Gakki was the parent company that made both Fender Japan and Greco guitars. They also made most Ibanez guitars. This why late seventies, early eighties Greco and Ibanez strats are really nice guitars.
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