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The new MIJ Tokai Strats

Discussion in 'Non-Fender S-Type Guitar Forum' started by gusgorman, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. gusgorman

    gusgorman Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    40
    29
    Aug 25, 2018
    Bristol, UK
    Anyone here own or played of the of the new MIJ Tokais?

    I've seen various models online, eg TST50, Silverstar SS88, AST95 etc all for around £800 or £900.

    I was wondering how these compare to picking up a 1984ish Goldstar, which seem to be going for around £500 in the UK at the moment.
     
  2. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    Yes, I bought one in 2010 when they first came out. I bought a Tokai TE50 Breezysound because I was intrigued to find the answer to the very question you've just asked. It was the same colour & 30 years newer than my other Breezy.

    IMG_0506.JPG

    149_4905.JPG

    Since Tokai's contract to make Fender Japan guitars had just ended shortly before, I wondered if this was a rare short line of Tokais with the correct Fender headstock shapes, I wasn't sure that they would be able to make them for long. It looked to me like a two tone SB body from a 50s style Tele with a rosewood board neck from a 60s style Tele. But then Tokai have always done this strange "mix & match" thing. But they still seems to be producing them, so I was wrong about that.

    After a while I realised that I had a slight preference for the 1980 example, maybe the neck was fractionally slimmer? But there really wan't much in it at all. The quality was the same, it was an excellent Tele. In the end I realised that I didn't need two almost identical Teles in one of my least favourite colours, so I sold the new one to a former ST member from Scotland a few years ago.

    As you say, the price of the new ones is the key issue. Yes, they are worth it, I would sooner have one of the newer Tokais than I would much of the current Fender range. But why buy a new one when you can get a 1980s example for maybe half the money? It just doesn't stack up.

    Especially for those of us in the UK where the supply of used 1980s Tokais is fairly steady, it's not hard to find a used example for a decent price. Even a refret (which I've done on one of my Goldstars) still means that an 80s example costs less than a new one. Since I tend to prefer my guitars a bit "played in", I'm happy with my older Tokais.

    As good as the old ones? Definitely, yes. Worth twice as much as a 1980s example? No, not to me.

    If you haven't read this, you might enjoy it.

    http://www.tokairegistry.com/tokai-info/Andrew Munro Article-July2008.pdf
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  3. Lonn

    Lonn Mod Admin Staff Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Admin Post
    Excellent analysis!
     
  4. gusgorman

    gusgorman Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    40
    29
    Aug 25, 2018
    Bristol, UK

    Great answer, thanks! I've not seen that article before so I'll have a read after work.

    I have to admit I'm slightly tempted by one of the new Olympic White Silver Star SS88s, but I'll prob hold fire to see what turns up second hand over the next month or so first.

    how much did the refret cost?
     
  5. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    You're welcome. The new SS88s are £800 aren't they? If you're patient, you should be able to get an older one for £400 to £500 on eBay. A Goldstar is much easier to find though as they were widely distributed over her, the SSs were only for the Japanese market. And most of the SSs you see here are the base models with the trap shaped tuners I dislike. Only a small number of the Goldstars you see for sale here have these tuners.

    Refret cost me £110 4 years ago.
     
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  6. usul1978

    usul1978 Guitar bricolo Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 9, 2015
    France
    Same here. I refretted and pleked my springy...totally worth it !
     
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  7. gusgorman

    gusgorman Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    40
    29
    Aug 25, 2018
    Bristol, UK
    Cool. Actually I'd be just a happy with a Goldstar. I just like the look of that White SS88.
     
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  8. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    A white Strat is a white Strat - they can't help but look cool. :cool:


    IMG_2031.JPG
     
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  9. gusgorman

    gusgorman Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    40
    29
    Aug 25, 2018
    Bristol, UK
    That picture isn't helping my GAS go away :)

    Do you know what the finish is on the S88 ? Thin Poly? Nitro?

    I really need to go and play one but the nearest store I can find that has got one is about 1h 30mins drive away. Might be able to get there at some point in the next few weeks,
     
  10. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    Oh those are just the cheap old ones..... :sneaky:

    You mean the new ones? I'm almost certain they will all be poly. Only a few top of the range Tokais were ever nitro. Well good luck if you do go to try one, & let us know how you get on.
     
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  11. gusgorman

    gusgorman Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    40
    29
    Aug 25, 2018
    Bristol, UK
    :) :) :)


    Ok will do!
     
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  12. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    52
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    I wish they were more readily available in the U.S.

    I was in Tokyo for 3 years from '89 to '92, and I played many '80s model Tokai, Fernandez, Greco, et al. And I can say that they were excellent guitars, and cost next to nothing for used ones at the time.

    If I knew then what I know now, I would have bought a truckload of them.
     
  13. usul1978

    usul1978 Guitar bricolo Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 9, 2015
    France
    Let's go back, Marty !
     
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  14. UmpaHimself

    UmpaHimself Strat-O-Master

    839
    Jul 16, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I don't know but I have a mid 80's Tokai Strat that is absolutely killer. Best $350 I've ever spent.
     
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  15. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    52
    May 7, 2014
    UK
    Always wanted a Tokai, but never seem to have the cash needed when one comes up for grabs.
     
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  16. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    If you're in the UK, there is nearly always more than one 80s MIJ Tokai on eBay for sale. It's much harder to find one in the USA, but it's easy here.
     
  17. Gunner56

    Gunner56 New Member!

    Age:
    50
    4
    Sep 22, 2018
    Chicago
    Did any of the earlier MIJ Tokai s-style models have a larger neck, i.e., at least 0.87 at the first fret?

    Thanks!
     
  18. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    Yes.
     
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  19. Gunner56

    Gunner56 New Member!

    Age:
    50
    4
    Sep 22, 2018
    Chicago
    Thanks. Do you know what models those were? It's almost impossible to figure this out on Ebay with Japanese sellers.

    Best,

    David
     
  20. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    We never knew what models they were even when they were new, that came much later, with the internet. 50s style are your best bet. @felis might know. The neck on mine was a huge V, but it was stolen 20 odd years ago.
     
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