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How well do Tokai's hold up?

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  • How well do Tokai's hold up?

    At a local shop, there's this used Tokai strat from '88 (as old as I am!). I'm kinda looking for a new guitar and that could very easily be it. Anyway, I'm going to play it a bunch of times before I make any sort of commitment to it, but I was wondering if anyone has had a Tokai for a long time and had any problem with it, or if late 80's Tokai have some sort of notorious flaws or anything like that. Bassically, if there's anything I should know about this guitar which might be bad that I wouldn't be able to tell from playing/looking at it, I'd like to know.

    Thanks alot,
    Jacob

  • #2
    Re: How well do Tokai's hold up?

    I dont know much about the older ones, but I have played a "Love Rock" Model at my local music store several times, I love the tone from that thing, it seems very solid. The only really noticeable difference with the love rock and the Gibson Les Paul is the price ^_^ Althought they do infact use different wood to manufacture, some would say lower quality wood than a Gibson. Out of all the Japanese lawsuit companies I think tokai is definitely one of the best.
    Heavy Metal is a 73 tonne Main Battle Tank :headbang:

    B.C. Rich USA ST-III w/ Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Neck/Middle, Duncan Custom Bridge. :firedevil

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    • #3
      Re: How well do Tokai's hold up?

      Some of the early Japanese Tokai's (dunno if '88 qualifies as "early") are very sought after instruments. They're good quality, cheap alternatives to the "real" guitars they emulate.

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      • #4
        Re: How well do Tokai's hold up?

        Hmm had Tokais since the early 80's.
        No troubles.

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        • #5
          Re: How well do Tokai's hold up?

          Tokai's are fabulous guitars - both old and new. Some of the 80's ones are supposed to be the best

          My hubby has a 84 Goldstar Sound Strat (in a very fetching gold lame!) that was 340 off Ebay, he used to have a 81 Sunburst strat that he sold and say's was his biggest mistake he's ever made.

          I have a newish Korean made 335 copy and the quality can't be faulted, threw in a set of Seths and it plays and sounds like a dream.

          For more info on Tokais old and new visit the Tokai Registry on www.tokairegistry.com or their forum www.tokaiforum.com. The guys over there are nearly as nice as the fols on this forum!
          I only know 3 chords but I play 'em real good

          Tokai 335 ~ Seth Lover
          MIJ Fender Stratocaster ~ SSL-1 Californian Set
          Gretsch Electromatic ~ GFS NYII & NYIII
          MIM Fender Tele ~ Quarter Pounder and Hot Tele Tapped
          Tokai MIJ SG - Gibson 57
          Tokai MIJ LP - Pearly Gates
          K.Yairi Gordon Giltrap Signature

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          • #6
            Re: How well do Tokai's hold up?

            If the guitar is one of those which from a distance the logo looks very much like the old Fender spaghetti logo then you are onto a winner. Even if the logo has changed (and I suspect it may have done) these early Tokai strats are still good and probably better than anything that Fender put out at that time. If it has the changed headstock then you can pick them up reasonably cheaply. They are reliable and you would not have any trouble other than perhaps a set of pick ups but that woud be down to individual taste.

            The Tokai (strat) was the guitar that competely shook Fender to the very core. As you may be aware there has always been strat & tele copies since as far back as I can remember. None of these were any good and in fact Fender never worried about them because people wanted a Fender. When Tokai came out with their copy of the strat - people jumped and got them because the guitar was every bit as good as the Fender. Eventually they (Tokai) had to change the logo to a more bland one and change the headstock as well.

            So if the guitar looks and feels good and is a reasonable price then go for it, you will not be disappointed. They will have been made in Japan and not Korea as Tokai now do with some of their range. Incidentally Gibson are pursuing Tokai over their (LP) Love Rock and other Gibson copy - SG/Explorer etc.

            BTW I have a Tokai LP '98 and it is as good as any Gisbson LP. One of my basses is a Tokai Jazz Bass and it is one of my main basses when I do any work.
            Normans Guitars

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            • #7
              Re: How well do Tokai's hold up?

              Tokai's are great guitars...even the Korean made models!

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              • #8
                Re: How well do Tokai's hold up?

                Originally posted by Norman_T
                If the guitar is one of those which from a distance the logo looks very much like the old Fender spaghetti logo then you are onto a winner.
                This is a picture of the guitar, is this what you're talking about? Looks like the Fender logo to me...

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                • #9
                  Re: How well do Tokai's hold up?

                  Originally posted by wasteofo2
                  This is a picture of the guitar, is this what you're talking about? Looks like the Fender logo to me...
                  Yeah from a distance away you can see how people thought that the Tokai logo could very well be mistaken for Fender, however the headstock at the top is changed and is not as rounded as on a normal Fender (see pic below) Looks alright though.

                  Normans Guitars

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