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Many years a member, first Tokai impressions.
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Deadman
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Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 568
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:55 pm    Post subject: Many years a member, first Tokai impressions. Reply with quote

Hi all, just wanted to share my story with you all.

I joined this forum originally as I almost bought an LS150 a few years back. For one reason or another it never happened but I regularly check the place out as I've always been curious about Tokais.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I happened upon a Goldstar Sound that was advertised as a 1984, 3 colour burst, non original black guard and sporting Bare Knuckle Irish Tours. I took a punt and from what I can gather it is a humble ST40. Saddles have been changed unfortunately as have the strap buttons. The former were too rusty to save, according to the seller. SN is 222---. On closer inspection it has all the stamps on neck heel and in the cavities you would expect. Now, here's the rub.

I took the BK's out and put the originals that the guy had given me back in. They're obviously the flat 'bar' ceramics. All of a sudden, I have what feels and sounds like an original 62 strat in my hands. I didn't expect them to sound like heaven. They nail 'that' sound.

It's a little beat up on the body but the neck is in excellent condition. I'll post some pics when I get a moment. Any input you could give would be appreciated. I'm really happy with it.
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Deadman
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Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 568
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the pics I've taken so far. I stupidly didn't take one of the (frankly amazing) pickups though:













For a RHCP fan like me, it does it better than any US strat I've ever owned. In fact it absolutely nails it.
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Deadman
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Joined: 04 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I like it anyway.
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Diamond
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Joined: 23 Dec 2007
Posts: 1655
Location: ZA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it, looks like a killer guitar.

Now go buy yourself a LS150/160 as well.
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Deadman
Guitar God


Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 568
Location: England

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the plan! I'd love an LS150. I was mad not to buy one last time I had a chance.
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jonah65
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Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 468
Location: weymouth, uk

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ha ha, don't worry deadman, you're not just talking to yourself, we all know
how good these guitars are on here, and it's great you share the love.
nice looking axe by the way.
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Deadman
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Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 568
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha cheers man.

Are these ceramic pickups supposed to sound so good? I've read that I'd probably want to upgrade them but nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps it's because I like RHCP stuff and these nail that sound. Honestly I just can't believe how good they are. After owning a fair few US Fenders my search for the perfect strat is certainly over.
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jonah65
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Joined: 16 Oct 2010
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Location: weymouth, uk

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my first tokai strat was a black, maple neck '40', must admit i quite liked the
ceramic pups, but was intent on making a dave gilmour strat out of it
and changed the pups out for SD's and CS pups, also changed the scratch plate.
when i came to sell it, i put it back to original, and still liked the sound of the
original ceramics. they're marmite really, love 'em or hate 'em i suppose.
probably my favourite humbuckers are ceramics, the 490T and R are great
on an sg.
stupid question i suppose but RHCP stuff?
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Deadman
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Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 568
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Early stuff, not the modern rubbish.

I also can't believe how light it is. It's a smidge under 7lbs on my bathroom scales, although in reality is more likely to be just over. The thing resonates beautifully too, I've played it more unplugged than powered up since I bought it.

I thought I was more of a tele man nowadays and got this more out of interest than anything but it's rejuvenated my love for the strat sound. Having said that, if I'd bought something Fender I guarantee I wouldn't be feeling the same right now.
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jonah65
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Joined: 16 Oct 2010
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Location: weymouth, uk

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the tokais' are without a shadow of a doubt more likely to give you the sound
your after, whereas finding a good fender strat seems to be more hit and miss.
a fantastic local pub bands guitarist plays a lovely old gibson les paul, but is always on the lookout for a good strat, (his gilmour stuff is unbelievable), i
just can't get him interested in trying out a tokai.
there are great fender strats out there, but it seems you have to try out so many to find "the one".
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Deadman
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed.

Interestingly this was A/B'd by a mate of mine (he took it to band practice) against a CS Gilmour and he said there was nothing in it. The guy who owned the CS was impressed by all accounts.
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jonah65
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Joined: 16 Oct 2010
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Location: weymouth, uk

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe it,s the fact that you don't mind really strangling a tokai, whereas, if
you've got a bona fide 'the guitar you've always dreamed of' fender/gibson, you treat it with kid gloves?
the old fender cbs strat i use, (circa ?1200 on e-bay), is well worn, and i don't
worship it, sounds great, magical tones, which is what we're all looking for.
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Del
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Joined: 20 May 2010
Posts: 52
Location: Kent, England

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice guitar, Deadman. Similar to my ST40 (below). Though I did swap the original pickups for Wilkinsons, which I found gave me a tone closer to what I wanted. Incidentally, the neck on mine is definitely on the beefy side, especially when compared to those on my ST50 and ST55. How is the neck on yours?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/derek_slade/8458794400/
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Deadman
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Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 568
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonah65 wrote:
maybe it,s the fact that you don't mind really strangling a tokai, whereas, if
you've got a bona fide 'the guitar you've always dreamed of' fender/gibson, you treat it with kid gloves?
the old fender cbs strat i use, (circa ?1200 on e-bay), is well worn, and i don't
worship it, sounds great, magical tones, which is what we're all looking for.


Yeah I'm certainly not scared to throw it around that's for sure. The thing is though it was hearing under the bridge by rhcp that made me first pick up a strat back in 1991. I've had about 5 or 6 since and although they looked good none of them got the sound and I obviously always figured it was because I wasn't playing an original 1962 fender. It is the holy grail I've always hankered for. I played Can't stop by rhcp this afternoon and it completely nails that intro. I'm pinching myself, even my kids and wife are commenting on it!
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Deadman
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Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 568
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Del wrote:
Nice guitar, Deadman. Similar to my ST40 (below). Though I did swap the original pickups for Wilkinsons, which I found gave me a tone closer to what I wanted. Incidentally, the neck on mine is definitely on the beefy side, especially when compared to those on my ST50 and ST55. How is the neck on yours?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/derek_slade/8458794400/


Thanks Del. I love the look of yours with maple. It feels no different in size to my last Fender, a US deluxe. Although it's not as silky, probably due to the gloss finish it's certainly not a handful. You do need to work to get the sound though but I'm finding it extremely rewarding.
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