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Your expert opinions and advice requested:

 
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Neil-London
Plucker


Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:04 am    Post subject: Your expert opinions and advice requested: Reply with quote

First off, hello everyone - I've been lurking here a while, now I've bought what I think is a Tokai, so I suppose that makes me 'official'!

Ok so down to business. I'm a relative newbie to bass and a complete newbie to Tokai, and electric guitars for that matter. I was looking for a nice bass guitar and am drawn to older guitars rather than new ones - so I picked up this heap which claims to be a Jazz Sound from the bay (advertised as near-mint ) Clearly is wasn't anything like 'mint' - in fact it is knackered - so I took it apart.

My questions to you are:

Is it a Tokai at all? The neck looks pretty genuine from what I can tell - certainly old and used - and doesn't look like a fake. From what I can gather from the registry here, the "Oldie but Goodie" logo puts it's manufacture in Japan - would this be correct?

The body: I can't tell if this is the original or not. The pickups surely can't be, I've found no picture anywhere on the web with a Tokai of this style with white pickups so I assume they are replacements. The bridge is a badass. The body material seems to be proper wood rather than a laminate and the paint looks to be original although I'm not sure. Scratchplate is missing. I can find no markings on it anywhere to suggest it's origins - so would this suggest to you that it may well be Tokai but perhaps Korean? Or something else all togother? I suppose it could be the original....

Finally - what do I do with it?! Do I try to restore it to former glory - or maybe sell the (decent looking) neck on ebay and dump the rest? If it turns out to be an 'original', then restoring it would be something I'd like to do - I'd enjoy it. But if the concensus of opinion is that it was probably no good to begin with - then I'll cut my loses and find another. Don't want to waste the time and money. What do you think?

Lots of questions I know - but I'd love to get your feedback and advice.

Pictures here www.sub73.net/tokai

Many thanks in advance.

Neil

*EDIT* Ive just found another marking on the body underneath the plate behind the pots which reads I think "12 = 6BB" - I'll add a picture later.....
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javelin70
Guitar God


Joined: 09 Sep 2001
Posts: 820
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The neck is definitely an original Tokai neck, probably from the mid 80's and japanese. The code at the end of the neck is correct. The body might also be original, it seems to be an alder body (repainted(sprayed)? On the strats/teles you'll normally find a code under the pickguard as well and also a color code. I guess the basses should also have those codes, probably in the control cavity. The pots looks like the ones used by Tokai in the mid 80's, here's a picture of the pots in my 1984 Tokai strat:



Does the neck fit well in the neck pocket? If it does there's a good chance that the body is original.

Is there a serial number on the neck plate?

Mike
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javelin70
Guitar God


Joined: 09 Sep 2001
Posts: 820
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:41 am    Post subject: Re: Your expert opinions and advice requested: Reply with quote

Neil-London wrote:


*EDIT* Ive just found another marking on the body underneath the plate behind the pots which reads I think "12 = 6BB" - I'll add a picture later.....


The body is definitely also an original Tokai then, BB means black by the way. The bassplayer in my old band still uses the Jazz Sound that he bought in the mid 80's and it's a great bass. It has been his main bass since he bought it!

I would restore the bass if I were you, the wood used by Tokai in the 80's is excellent. I love the -84 strat I put together from a TST-50 body and an -84 TST-60 neck, the tone and sustain is excellent and the guitar is also very lightweight.

Mike
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Neil-London
Plucker


Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies guys - I really appreciate it. Given what you say - I'm definately going to keep it and restore it. I'm excited about it now!

To answer a couple of questions and pose a few more:

I put a picture of the number I found on the body up (http://www.sub73.net/tokai) - it would all seem to correspond then - and I guess the black paint must be original?

The neck plate doesn't have any numbers on - and looks pretty cheap to be honest. Maybe it's a replacement although I can't imagine why. The neck does fit quite well into the body - kind of feels like it belongs - but as you've already guessed I'm no expert.

The pickguard is completely missing.

The body and paintwork is pretty bashed up, although not completely desparate. Would you have it refinished - or leave as is? (I'm thinking it might be a bit weird having nice new paintwork on a 80's guitar with a nicely worn neck - shame it's not cleaner though).

My guess is that it is basically original then (and not the 8 years old the seller claimed!) just with replacement pickups and bits missing.

What would about stuff like finding the original pickups and scratchplate - I'm guessing they are impossible to find nowadays right? Any idea what colour the original scratchplate would have been? Laminated?

Thanks once again for time and help.

Neil
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brad347
Guitar God


Joined: 03 Oct 2005
Posts: 272

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

leave the finish as-is! to get it refinished in nitrocellulose (the only way to go!) would probably cost near what the bass is worth. She has earned her dings, be proud of them... they sell 'relic' guitars today for twice what they're really worth. Consider the dents a "free gift." Heh.

At any rate, I'm sure it's a great bass. Slap a pickguard on it, get a pro setup, and rock!
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Neil-London
Plucker


Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update.

http://www.tokairegistry.com/images/ads/jazz_reviewp1.jpg

Right so I've just found this review on the register of a 1986 bass [brilliant site this] which features white EMG-J pickups that look similar to mine although hard to tell. Having spent a few hours digging around inside it - I now suspect that my bass is completely original bar the bridge and missing scratchplate. Which brings me much joy I think my white pickups are probably those very same EMG's - as they are certainly as rusty and generally abused as the rest of the guitar.

Thanks for all your advice - I'm going to strip it, clean everything, sort the electrics, re-fret, re-nut - and love!!!

I'll post some 'after' pics if your interested, and let you know how the bass is once it's all done.

One final question - anyone got a picture of what the strap nut on the back of the headstock should look like?

Cheers,

Neil
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javelin70
Guitar God


Joined: 09 Sep 2001
Posts: 820
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neil-London wrote:
Update.

http://www.tokairegistry.com/images/ads/jazz_reviewp1.jpg

Right so I've just found this review on the register of a 1986 bass [brilliant site this] which features white EMG-J pickups that look similar to mine although hard to tell. Having spent a few hours digging around inside it - I now suspect that my bass is completely original bar the bridge and missing scratchplate. Which brings me much joy I think my white pickups are probably those very same EMG's - as they are certainly as rusty and generally abused as the rest of the guitar.

Thanks for all your advice - I'm going to strip it, clean everything, sort the electrics, re-fret, re-nut - and love!!!

I'll post some 'after' pics if your interested, and let you know how the bass is once it's all done.

One final question - anyone got a picture of what the strap nut on the back of the headstock should look like?

Cheers,

Neil


I think the strap nut is the same as on vintage strat/tele models (the picture shows a Squier JV Jazz Bass):



You should be able to find one without any problem. I had to buy a set for my Tokai strat as well since the originals were missing. I bought Allparts in nickel finish.

It would be nice to see what the bass looks like when it's finished.

Mike
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Neil-London
Plucker


Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great - thanks for the piccy and all yours advice javelin.

Yes I happily post some photo's when I'm done - I can't wait to get this bass playing.

Regs,

Neil
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