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Is it just me? Or...

 
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riogrand
Plucker


Joined: 25 Jul 2015
Posts: 0

PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:47 pm    Post subject: Tokai Silver Star I.D help (first post btw) Reply with quote

Hey everyone, I've been loving looking through all the posts, particularly the pre '85 pages! This is my first post so, I'm sorry if I screw the image link up...

Picked up this Silver Star, in a trade for a '74 Greco Supersounds that I just wasn't in love with. The Greco was super heavy, and pretty dull, while this Tokai, the moment I picked it up and strummed it, it felt like it was going to be my "forever strat", and to this day, I think it still is. Light as they come, lightest guitar I've ever strapped on in fact, and unplugged it has a wonderful bright crisp tone, chimes like a bell with a new set of strings! the neck was little thicker than I was previously used to (modern C tele player) but after a few adjustments (string height etc) I've completely come to love it. But I just really want to know now what it is, for no other reason than to satisfy my own curiosity!

Here's what I was told during the trade, it was dated by someone as an '83 model, and to me that sort of seems right as from what I can tell it was a transition year (?) and serial numbers may be missing... There have been some mods done, obviously the pickgaurd is non original, I can't find it right now but it was black, and the pickups have been replaced, but I have included pictures of the originals, that I still have.

Here's what has me stumped - No serial numbers anywhere, no markings on the grey back pickups, no number imprinted on the neck under the last fret, nothing inside the body either (from memory) to show any hint of model or year, nothing. I'll pull it apart after band rehearsal tonight and take some more photo's, but I was just wondering if there is anything to go by from what I can show you right now?

Oh and I just want to point out, I had nothing to do with the burn marks on the headstock...

Anyways, any and all help would be massively appreciated!













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Peter Mac
Guitar God


Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 1060
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Skender,

It's not a lot to go by, but the tuners and colour would place this as a TSS-38. Pickups would also help confirm this.
Year is the problem as most SilverStar from 1983 to 1989 are virtually identical. Body wood is Alder so thats a good thing, but the routing of the body could give a better indicator.
Please post them so we can attempt to determine a year.
regards
Peter Mac
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riogrand
Plucker


Joined: 25 Jul 2015
Posts: 0

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Peter

I'll open it up today and get some photo's of the pickup routes as well as the neck heel and pocket, and original pots selector etc. And sorry for posting it here should it end up being a model later than '85...
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Peter Mac
Guitar God


Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 1060
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Vintage is an indication of 25years or more. Indeed if yours should be an '86, it would still be 29 years old and therefore still within the acceptable guidelines of being Vintage.

Peter
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riogrand
Plucker


Joined: 25 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, went and opened her up to have a look, it would appear I completely forgot about the printed digits inside! There was an 8-1 on the end of the neck, and two sets of digits in the Bridge and Middle p'up cavities, as you can see in the pictures. At first thought, they looked like 3=6, but more likely 3=8(?) with the second set also having YS X after the numbers... And that's all I can really get from it. As for the original p'ups, yeah I went over all of them and there is nothing to be seen anywhere. All's else I can say is it came with a 3 ply black pickgaurd and black p'up covers. Current black V/T/T are original to the guitar as far as I can tell too.

I guess what has me stumped a little is the Brass saddles. I didn't think they were used on anything other than (I hate to use this term because I love this guitar whatever it ends up being) "higher end" models?

Really appreciate the help on identifying this, anything further that can be gleaned from the following photo's would be awesome! Thanks

P.S. Original pickup poles are staggered if that helps in any way.












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Peter Mac
Guitar God


Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 1060
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Skender

OK, first with the bad news . . this is a partscaster.
Now the good news. All the parts are original Tokai and are good parts.
Bridge is early Tokai with brass saddles added.
Body is possibly 1981 Sen Ash as stamp style and positioning would indicate this. 3=6 YS X indicates a March build, YS is colour code Yellow Sunburst and the X indicates a 2 piece body. This code was widely used on ST-60 bodies.
Neck appears to be from 1986-up as the different stamp style indicates, plus neck and body code do not match.
No-stamp, grey bobbin pups with black/blue wiring are from early 80's also.
Black pickguard and electrics all appear to be early 80's also.
In summary this guitar appears as though it was an SS-48 from 1981/82 that had its neck changed for a later model TSS-38.
Nothing can be 100% sure with old guitars, but I think my summary would be quite accurate.
regards
Peter Mac

PS: do you live in Sydney?

Peter Mac
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riogrand
Plucker


Joined: 25 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Peter for your time looking into this

Firstly, to me it's not really "bad news" to me, regarding this being a partscaster, or frankenstrat as I like to call them. Perhaps if I were a purist "collector" I may have been a little dismayed by the fact, but as this is my regular player, and I've always been one for experimenting with parts, it's actually right down my alley. (Also, I think I lost any right to complain about it not being a complete 1 guitar build the moment I changed the pickguard).

Thank you though for confirming the parts are genuine Tokai parts, and in a way, knowing that it has parts from here, parts from there opens me up a little to the idea of purchasing another Tokai neck instead of doing a re fret in a about 6 months. I'll still do the re fret but, maybe a little later on.

It's just really great to know a little bit about a guitar that I really love (and a lot more than I knew before).

Located in Brisbane

Again, thank you!
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