Goldstar modified headstock shape when?

Area for Tokai's older than 1985

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Goldstar modified headstock shape when?

Post by stratman323 » Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:22 pm

Could somebody please tell me when the headstock shape on Goldstars was modified from the "correct" Fender shape to the newer shape? I always understood that it wasn't till at least 1986. I understood that early (84) ST50s had U pickups, then in 85 they had V1s, then after that (but I'm not sure exactly when) the headstock shape was changed.

The registry seems to suggest that both shapes were made in 1984, but that isn't what I have been led to believe from posts on the forum. Possibly the headstock change happened sooner in some countries, so it's particularly the UK/Europe market I'm interested in.

Can anyone help?


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Post by Rossi » Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:57 pm

I always thought 1985 :wink:

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Post by marcusnieman » Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:01 pm

Rossi wrote:I always thought 1985 :wink:
Yeah, me came right on the heels of the Goldstars with the still correct headstock (84)

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Post by luis » Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:28 am

AST models appeapered in SRV cover catalogue 1985/86 I own by Tokai courtesy.


Post by stratman323 » Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:58 am

Thanks guys. So it looks like proper headstock shape Goldies were on sale from late 83 (I bought one in London in December) till late 85? In that case, the registry is wrong and needs amending. It's also wrong about the block decal models - there were both block decal Springys & Goldies made in 1983, as we have seen in the forum. So what is the correct way of requesting that the registry is corrected?

The reason that I raised this matter is that someone recently sold a new headstock shape Goldie ST40 for ?230 on eBay, and described it as a 1984 model. When I told him it couldn't be, he referred me to the registry, which does show both headstock shapes in 1984, something that I knew to be wrong.

When people are accessing the registry, getting wrong information, and then quoting that information to others, there is clearly a problem that needs to be sorted. There is quite enough mis-information about Tokais without the registry adding to it.

Ned - PLEASE can the registry be sorted out to give the correct dating information?

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Post by ochay » Sat Sep 13, 2008 7:45 am

-if Ned hasn't already answered you- post this in the Tokai Guitar Registry Feedback
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Post by stratman323 » Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:19 am

OK ochay - done.

What about the post-Goldstar models - the Limited Editions, Custom Editions etc? Weren't some of these made with the correct headstock shape after 1985? I'm sure I've seen posts confirming these as 1986 or 87.

Also, when the headstock shape was changed in 1985, I accept that the changes applied to North America and Europe, but did they apply to all production? e.g. guitars made for the Japanese market?

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Post by Tony o'Riordan » Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:34 am

Hi Mike

I think that you could get goldstars and breezysounds (probably Love Rock models too) in the UK with the 'correct' headstock until the early 1990s. I bought my own Goldstar in 1986 (blue sparkle TST-55 w/matching correct headstock). I keep old copies of Guitarist magazine and they reviewed the Goldstar and the Breezysound models in 1991 or 1992 (I'll check if you want) and they had the headstock with accurate shape in that edition.

Tokai guitars seemed to disappear from the UK market in the early 90s and when they re-appeared (late 1990s, early 2000??) the goldstar models had the amended headstock.

Would be interesting if others out there could corroborate this - most people that brought Goldstars seem to have acquired them in the mid-80s - maybe supplies later on were short to this market, hence why we can't put a finger on when the headstock shape changed.



Post by stratman323 » Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:56 am

Tony o'Riordan wrote:I keep old copies of Guitarist magazine and they reviewed the Goldstar and the Breezysound models in 1991 or 1992 (I'll check if you want) and they had the headstock with accurate shape in that edition.
Thanks Tony, if you don't mind checking, I would appreciate it, and I'm sure other people would too. You're the only person to say this, but I had a sneaking suspicion that 85 wasn't the correct cut off point for the UK. Maybe the US, but perhaps the "lawsuit" situation was different in the UK.

Whether you're right or wrong, it would be good to know.

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Post by Tony o'Riordan » Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:27 pm

I've found the edition of Guitarist which reviewed the breezysound and goldstar sound guitars - November 1991. The review is by Neville Martin and the pics of the guitars show the correct headstocks. If there's doubt about the headstock changeover period, it could be just the review models rather than the normal retail models that had the correct headstock.

Interestingly, there's a kind of advert for Tokais on one of the pages in the magazine and it carries the headline 'Tokai are back. The guitars which set the music industry ablaze are now available from these dealers." This indicates that Tokai guitars disappeared for a while in the UK and came back but possibly not for very long if we can't find many people who bought one at this time.

At the time that I bought my Goldstar the UK distributor was Blue Suede Music and in the 1991 review it says the distribution was covered by Tokai UK Ltd, Walsall. Therefore, there seems to be a gap in the importation of Tokais around this period. I would hazard a guess that when Blue Suede Music stopped importing/went bust, Tokais weren't imported here (to the UK) in any great numbers - no real distribution channel to do it. The company based in Walsall may not have actually lasted that long. That of course has changed since the company in Sheffield started doing it around 2000/2001 and the brand is widely available again with a much broader range (pricewise especially) than in the early to mid 1980s.

It would be really useful to hear from anyone in the UK that bought new Tokais in the late 1980s/early 1990s to shed some light on what the headstock shape would have been at that time.

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Post by Tony o'Riordan » Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:37 pm

I've just looked on the registry catalogue:

87-88 European catalogue has Traditional Series page which has the TST models with correct headstock. Last page states importer as Audio Factors in Leeds, exclusive distributors for the UK and Eire.

Think that's the last catalogue from a UK perspective.


Post by stratman323 » Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:32 pm

Well...................that's the most interesting post I've read for a long time, thanks for all the research. So where did this belief about 1985 come from? 1985 has always been the year people quoted on here when I asked the question before.

As you said, there must be somebody on here who bought a new Goldstar in the UK after 1990. And there is still the question of when the new headstock did come to the UK, even if it wasn't 1985.


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Post by Tony o'Riordan » Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:17 am

i think we're building up a picture here of fragmented distribution: Blue Suede Music, Audio Factors, Tokai UK....(gap)....Tokai Guitars UK.

I'm not sure where the 1985 theory comes from for the headstock shape change. I'm certain I bought mine in 86 and Tokais were plentiful at that time and all carried the correct style headstock. Of course, once I bought mine I didn't look at another guitar shop for a long time and probably wouldn't have noticed whether they stocked Tokai or not. Unthinkable now! I was doing A levels at the time so all my cash went on that guitar ?239 and that was me done with guitar shops except for strings and plectrums. Out of the people I used to rehearse with (about 5 or 6 guys), I remember 4 of us had Tokais: 3*goldstars, 1* LC model (Custom LP). That might give an indication of how popular Tokais were in the mid-80s for people looking for a quality guitar on a reasonable budget.


Post by stratman323 » Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:40 pm

This is on eBay now. The seller says he bought it new, in London, in 1989. ... :IT&ih=018

So, Tony's theory seems to be backed up with evidence. Time to re-write the Goldstar history book?

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Post by mrsuspend » Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:17 am

I always understood 1985 to be the first year for the new headstock in the US only.

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