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Sigmania

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Do you know the serial number on this guitar?

Trying to figure out when the Fender style numbering system ended.

Thanks!

Answering my own question. LOL

Looks like on Goldstars that the Fender serial numbers might go until after the pickup change at the end of 1983 for the 1984 model year..

Here is a 1985 TST60L LB with a Fedner style serial number (21953) and pot dates of August 1985 (58).

Lefty gold star sound - help with dating?

VII pickups originally.

Pot dates of August 1985 (58) on two of the pots.

Third one likely changed when humbucker added?

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Sigmania

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I don't think the GF labeled pots are made by Gotoh. I originally thought they were but sent Gotoh an e-mail in 2020: and they said they don't make pots. They might be made or distributed by Hayashi Shokai, who seems to supply a lot of the other parts like knobs and switches on newer Tokai guitars, but their pots don't have the GF label. HAYASHI-SHOKAI OFFICIAL WEB SITE

Below is the e-mail I received from Gotoh.

I just found your older post on these GF pots.

Awesome!

Wonder if those pickguards for the Tokai hole patterns of the early 80s? :cool:

Hayashi Shokai - Appears to make some of the parts on newer Tokais



I own a few Tokais, the most recent being a 2011 LS98F in blue, which is a great playing guitar. I noticed that the pots in it were marked "GF Made in Japan" and got curious who the actual maker is. After a lot of Internet searching, it would appear that HAYASHI-SHOKAI OFFICIAL WEB SITE Guitar Parts knob manufacturer makes these pots, and I noticed that they make a lot of other parts that look a lot like the stuff seen on newer Tokais (pickup rings, selector switches, knobs, etc). Their 5 way selector switch also looks quite a bit like the one on early Springy Sounds (a not-quite-clone of the Centralab switch Fender used for years).

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Sigmania

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Voidoid56

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Do you know the serial number on this guitar?

Trying to figure out when the Fender style numbering system ended.

Thanks!

The serial is 22558, the model is TST-50BB..

2020-01-25 10.49.01.jpg
Neck stamp with a dash:


2020-01-12 17.28.55.jpg
Body stamp with a =:

2020-01-12 16.25.32.jpg
It's interesting to see both the dash and the = in use, so possibly an approximate break point between those features? If the month = batch interpretation of the stamps is correct, this would be an Aug '85 guitar, which works with the June pots.

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Sigmania

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Awesome! Thank you!

I’ve been documenting these mixed codes.

They seem to appear in two periods. 1985 and 1987 so far.

See here:

Mixed Codes = & -
 

Sigmania

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I've no idea who made the YM X, vertical lines or rubber stamp pots. Hardly surprising, a business-to-business parts suppliers wouldn't normally have any interest in communicating their brand name in a way that makes it identifiable to the end consumer. That has changed though, at least when it comes to guitars, since it became obvious that guitar owners like to tinker with their instruments. In Japanese guitars, you often see GF brand pots installed as replacements, for instance. But I think we'd need to find info from inside the business to find the suppliers of those three types, and we all know how difficult that is...

But there is Noble, of course. I've never actually searched for them before, but they were quite easy to find. It's the brand name used by Teikoku Tsushin Kogyo Co. Ltd, founded in 1944 (in the Nagano prefecture, so they were well-placed) and a global corporation these days. I guess they may have info on the codes, and being global with a partner company in the US, they might even reply... :)

Teikoku Tsushin Kogyo Co., Ltd.

Other than Noble, I've come across one more "plaintext" pot brand, Cosmos. Quite rare, so far, I've seen it in one Fresher FP-380 P-bass and two Rickenbacker 4003 copies, one a Dyna Gakki-made JooDee JRB-55 from around 1977-78, the other an unknown with a fake logo from about the same time. The Fresher's pots actually have a 2 and a 3 on the housing (1982-83 actually seems to be a likely date for the bass), the Rics just the logo with "PR-3" under it (likely a model designation, I'd say).
The company is Tokyo Cosmos Electric Co. Ltd, founded in 1957, still around and using TOCOS as a brand name these days.

Potentiometer manufacturer. Tokyo Cosmos Electric

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Vintage 1980's GIBSON SONEX Guitar 500k Pot w Cap 1981 Invader | eBay
 

Sigmania

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One other thing I noticed.

Quite often all three pots are marked A.

I thought these were tone pots?

B for volume?
 

Voidoid56

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Just found these in a very late Greco SE. Push-pull pots with what could be April 1982 pot codes (24) on stickers on the switch housing.

2023-01-23 19.21.24.jpg

2023-01-23 19.21.48.jpg

The guitar is a Fiesta Red SE-600 oddball with a matching headstock and Schecter-style electronics with tappable SE-1T pickups. Infuriatingly, it doesn't have a standard Greco serial with plaintext month and year, only a four-digit serial on the neck plate (which actually seems to be a thing with some very late Greco Fender copies, I'll try to get back to that) But it is technically identical to an all-black one with rosewood neck and a standard April 1982 serial I've had a couple of years, so I would assume that this is from the same time. There's more about in in the below thread.

Odd and unusual Greco SE's

Here's one of the seller's pics of the guitar. It's on my workbench right, more when I have it assembled.

9633ff5e3ed327ecd7bbd4dd5e7a9d53.jpg
 

Sigmania

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Very cool. Does it have a V neck with the four digit serial number?
 

Voidoid56

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Very cool. Does it have a V neck with the four digit serial number?

Nope. I'm not really surprised, it has an SE-600 sticker. 800's have a pretty pronounced v-neck and some 500s as well, but 600s are generally more rounded. Mind you, it arrived without strings and it's hard to get a real feel for the neck until you've actually played it. I'll have it up and running in a day or two.
 

Voidoid56

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Another thing: the underlined S after the (supposed) date code on the push-pulls is strongly reminiscent of the "rubber stamp code" pots. Whoever made those seem to have fallen out of favour with Greco/Fujigen during the late 70's, so it interesting to see them in a (very likely) 1982 guitar. Maybe their regular supplier didn't have the right type of pots for the job at that time?
 

Sigmania

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Good term, rubber stamp code, or "rubber stamp" pots.

I didn't have a way of easily describing the ones from the late 70s-mid 80s

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and later from 1992-2008 or so.

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But you are exactly right.

I was calling them "inked", but 'rubber stamp' is likely how it was applied.

Like the E, U, V & VII pickups.

Very cool!
 

Sigmania

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Sigmania

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Next date code up:

The "vertical lines" code is found in Greco Fender copies from about 1977 to 1980, and no doubt in other guitars from that period as well. Not in Tokais, however, as far as I know. Please note that I'm not really up to speed when it comes to Tokai Gibson copies, though.

This code format has the month and year reversed compare to the YM X format: the month first, then the year. The months are also given differently than in YM X, using 1 - 9 for Jan - Sept, then J, K and L for Oct - Dec ( i e the 10th through 12th letter of the alphabet).
The month and year is followed by one, two or three vertical lines, and finally a 1 or sometimes another vertical line. The final digit is always in the same position, so if the vertical lines are fewer than three, there will be one or two spaces ahead of it.

I'm not sure if there is any practical need to find an interpretation for the vertical lines, but there is one that seems to fit rather well. It has to do with a Japanese tradition of dividing months into thirds, called jun. Two ten-day jun are followed by a third that's 8, 10 or 11 eleven days long depending on the month: upper, middle and lower jun.
Like I said, it sort of fits. Would you need to subdivide date codes into periods that short for QA purposes? Well, other manufacturers don't seem to have thought so... but then again, US manufacturers often dated their pots by the week (and still do, I think?).
Who knows? It's an hypothesis at least.

View attachment 1098
1977 Greco SE: 97 for Sept 1977, single vertical line, two spaces and a 1. Note the "parts number" above it. 7 or 4 in the penultimate position could differentiate linear and log pots, 4 is found on tone pots.

View attachment 1099
1978 Greco SE, K8 for Nov 1978. Two vertical lines, one space and a 1. These have the plaintext kOhm and log-lin info.


View attachment 1100
Mid-1979 Greco SE-800, one pot is February with two lines, the other March with one line. The final digit has no clear "hook" to indicate that it's a 1.


View attachment 1101
Nov 1979 Greco SE600J. Semi-obscured, but we see the J in use for October and at least one vertical line.
Would this Maya be 1978?

Sure looks Tokai built.

Any 1970-80's MIJ experts about? - Guitar Discussions on theFretBoard

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Homer J. Simpson

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The A/B/C code describes the taper, A=audio (logarithmic), B=linear, C=reverse logarithmic, Noble pots in guitars are pretty much always "15A", for whatever the '15' stands.
 

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