Tokai Neck and Body Codes

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Sigmania

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Thought this deserves its own thread since it has been much debated.

Would love to hear people's theories about what these codes mean as well as see whatever you have found to support your theories.

It's still unsolved as far as I know.

Given the image below "7 = 32", it is obvious that the second number at least is not the month or the day.

CSaQJzO.jpg
 

Sigmania

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I have to think this is some sort of system for:

-tracking runs/batches, or
-matching bodies to necks re: final fitting, or
-relative to setting up the CNC machines, or
-runs relative to a new setup/blade change, etc.

The serial number seemed to be the system they used to track dates in a very broad sense up until Feb. 1, 1982.

I would bet that there were log books that tracked batches & dates. Maybe the new owners will find those if there is anything like that surviving, and share them with collectors? They have been finding other stuff it seems like. Never know.

jQ2gjWe.png


pGYOvG0.png


jgfXRd8.png


31livaS.png
 

Sigmania

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And here is another puzzle... my 1979 ST100.

Neck: 8 = 3 & 4

vDtbts1.jpg


Body: 8 = 3

xMhxUf3.jpg
 

Sigmania

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"A" = V neck as Peter Mac suggests.

That seems pretty solid. My ST100 has that. My V neck 1981 ST80 has it. Etc.

6D0vvc2.png


Interesting the "A" is also used with pickups to denote the higher end wiring harnesses.

Early pick guards with E pickups were marked "A". Pickguards with U pickups I believe were marked "B".

Also "TEA" pickups on TE80 Breezys and above etc. "TEB" on the lower priced models.

Just an observation, no idea if that is related.

*I got the scan from Cliff's Flickr page: https://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/50703512108/in/album-72157715185846651/
 

felixcatus

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Funny quote from a prior thread about 'the codes'.... 8)


Con matching codes:

-?For me definitively not! These are production codes and not matching codes.
I got that info from the president of Tokai. I posted that fact in several postings before...?

-?In the past I was meaning that would be matching codes. To match and fit the correct neck into the neck pocket of the body. I met two month ago the president of Tokai. I told him my meaning. He was laughing and said: "Oh no, instead of Fender ... our tool machines were working very correct in the eighties. There were no need to use match codes"

-"Our tooling and output is consistent enough that we don't need to match codes" - ie. you don't have to pick a body + neck from the same production run in order for the parts to fit (unlike Fender did!).?

I tend to go with what 'our president' is saying..... :D :lol:
 

Sigmania

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Lol. So what did "our president" say they were? 8)

What does “production” code then mean?
 

felixcatus

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Sigmania said:
Lol. So what did "our president" say they were? 8)

What does “production” code then mean?

That 'the codes' don't have to match and that Tokais build quality and consistency are of a very high level. :wink:
 

Sigmania

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Can you link the thread where that came from?

I guess anybody can say anything. Too bad Mr Adachi didn’t say that here. Would be great if we could ask him questions or the new owners.
 

Sigmania

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Ok. This makes more sense reading the rest of it. That’s exactly the question I was asking and a theory I was advancing above in this thread. Thanks as always felixcatus!

Post by togps (Gottfried/Faber Guitars founder):

In Dec. 2006 I wrote

These are production schedules: 4 = 3 for example means: The third bulk/ charge of guitars in the month April. In the past I was meaning that would be matching codes. To match and fit the correct neck ino the neck pocket of the body. I met two month ago the president of Tokai. I told him my meaning. He was laughing and said: "Oh no, instead of Fender ... our tool machines were working very correct in the eighties. There were no need to use match codes" ”
 

Sigmania

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Looks like opinions run the gamut as you documented.

It would be really nice if someone found some old log books in cleaning up the factory with the new owners, and were then able to give us a definitive explanation.

Or maybe someone will get a chance to ask Mr Adachi or someone else who worked there in the 70s/80s.

Otherwise, it seems like a mystery that may not ever be solved conclusively.
 

Sigmania

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Looks like opinions run the gamut as you documented.

It would be really nice if someone found some old log books in cleaning up the factory with the new owners, and was able to give us a definitive explanation. Or maybe someone will get a chance to ask Mr Adachi or someone else who worked there in the 70s/80s.

Otherwise, it seems like a mystery that may not ever be solved conclusively.
 

Sigmania

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I wonder how they kept track of 1, 2 or 3 piece bodies once they are painted?
 

Sigmania

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Just spotted this post.

Curious where you found that info felixcatus, and can you provide a link to Tokai saying that?

felixcatus said:
Here"s what Tokai Gakki Co.Ltd say about it;

"The code No. on the body and neck express lot number.
>-body code: 6=14 A
Made in June.
>-neck code: 5=16 A
Made in May.
"

http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=24985
 

felixcatus

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Sigmania said:
Just spotted this post.

Curious where you found that info felixcatus, and can you provide a link to Tokai saying that?

felixcatus said:
Here"s what Tokai Gakki Co.Ltd say about it;

"The code No. on the body and neck express lot number.
>-body code: 6=14 A
Made in June.
>-neck code: 5=16 A
Made in May.
"

http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=24985

That, literally, was Tokai's answer when I asked about specific info on my 1980 TE80R Breezy.
 

Sigmania

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Was that in an email? That’s the first time I’ve heard anything definitive from Tokai.

Wow. That’s huge.
 

felixcatus

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The mail, together with Gottfried's eye to eye talk with the president, have me convinced that the codes are month and batch numbers and that they do not have to match.
 
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