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The Mystery of the "Tokai Mary Kaye"

Discussion in 'Non-Fender S-Type Guitar Forum' started by theriffjunky, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. theriffjunky

    theriffjunky Strat-Talk Member

    11
    Mar 18, 2014
    Dorset
    Just acquired a mint Tokai Mary Kaye ash blonde stratocaster and it dumbfounds me how good it really is, blows all my other stratocasters out of the water. These seem a bit of a rarity and not much info on the internet can be found bar a video and the odd ad for sale etc.
    Does anyone on here own one or know more about them. DSC_1908.JPG DSC_1908.JPG DSC_1929.JPG DSC_1929.JPG DSC_1929.JPG DSC_1929.JPG DSC_1929.JPG DSC_1929.JPG DSC_1932.JPG them?
     

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  2. theriffjunky

    theriffjunky Strat-Talk Member

    11
    Mar 18, 2014
    Dorset
    Sorry about the repeated Photos, i need to learn the media upload on this site ;0)
     

  3. Sarnodude

    Sarnodude Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 26, 2015
    Mukilteo
    In what way is it better than your other strats? Playability or sound?
     

  4. usul1978

    usul1978 Guitar bricolo Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 9, 2015
    France
    What year is it ? It seems quite new...
     

  5. jaybones

    jaybones Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Beautiful!!

    If Fender's Mary Kay was this dark I'd love it. Fender's always looks like whitewash or a quick coat or three of milk before spraying a clear coat.

    This looks more yellow and closer to a nice aged natural.

    It looks great with the gold HW and white PG, but I think it would look better with black and chrome HW.
     

  6. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    What would you like to know? It looks like one of the more recent Japanese models? Japanese Tokais made today seem to be of the same high quality as the famous ones made back in the late 70s & early 80s, so I would expect it to be a high quality guitar - and it looks like it is.

    A friend of mine had the Fernandes version of the Mary Kaye, & it was a beautiful guitar (it had even nicer grained sen for the body than yours does) but the big shiny maple neck was wrong for me, or I would have been tempted to buy it when he sold it.
     

  7. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    It wouldn't be a Mary Kaye if he changed stuff like that.

    Back in the 80s, lots of Tokais received all kinds of unwelcome & unnecessary alterations or "improvements" that were justified on the grounds that Tokais were just "cheap knock-offs". Most of those changes are now regretted. I would hope that we could learn from the mistakes of the past.

    To paraphrase Roger Waters "Hey - leave that Tokai alone!"
     
    Mansonienne and theriffjunky like this.

  8. theriffjunky

    theriffjunky Strat-Talk Member

    11
    Mar 18, 2014
    Dorset
    I bought it "used" and have no idea of year. I've since popped the hood and it has seymour duncan stk-4 pickups in it.
    It's absolutely mint so I'm guessing it's very recent
     

  9. theriffjunky

    theriffjunky Strat-Talk Member

    11
    Mar 18, 2014
    Dorset
    The neck is a lot beefier than my old Fender Mary Kaye, I sold her due to the neck being too skinny. The tone and feel of this is wonderful, it's going to be a keeper that's for sure.
     
    Mansonienne likes this.

  10. theriffjunky

    theriffjunky Strat-Talk Member

    11
    Mar 18, 2014
    Dorset
    I must admit the "yellowish" hue drew me to it...
     

  11. theriffjunky

    theriffjunky Strat-Talk Member

    11
    Mar 18, 2014
    Dorset
    I suppose we are all guilty of high praising a new guitar we have just acquired but the playability of this is truly amazing. The workmanship on this is top notch and it just feels right in your hands. The bridge pickup sounds fat, not spikey, position 4 is Mark Knopfler-esk which I love. Neck pick up gives an SRV impression without muffling out or sounding hollow, just big fat rounded tone.
     

  12. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

    these are actually my favorite Strat pickups, too!
     
    theriffjunky likes this.

  13. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    What are they? Stacked vintage type?
     

  14. theriffjunky

    theriffjunky Strat-Talk Member

    11
    Mar 18, 2014
    Dorset
    Yes stacked, they have that old school classic Stratocaster chime. I've only ever considered seymour's on my "high power" guitars of the past but these are great.
     

  15. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    Hmm, I've never tried them, the only Duncan stacked pickup I've tried is the Hot Stack many years ago. And that was good for what I wanted at the time.

    So they are noiseless humbuckers with a vintage sound?
     

  16. Mansonienne

    Mansonienne Stratocrastinator Extraordinaire Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    54
    Dec 2, 2015
    Paris suburbs, France
    That’s a beauty! Congrats!!
     
    theriffjunky likes this.