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Tokai Goldstar Date ID

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:36 am
by StokeJonington
Hello all,

Long-time listener, first-time caller...

I just took delivery of a beaut of a Goldstar, a shotgun buy it now on I wondered whether any of you in the know could help me ID the year of manufacture. The seller had it listed as a 1984 - I think on the basis of it having a 6-digit serial number - but I think it's almost certainly newer than that. Pics below, and the following details of note: ... 20Goldstar

- "11-8" date marking on end of neck and in neck pickup cavity
- countersunk neckplate holes, but no similar recesses in pickup cavity routing
- U pickups
- no brass plate underneath controls
- red japanese symbol in red crayon(?) on neck pocket
- 3/5 way switch (positions 2 & 4 are 'softer' than 1,2 & 3)
- 6-digit serial number (229583)
- "MADE IN JAPAN" in black text on gold at base of neck, no sign of oval sticker (40/50 etc)
- Knobs haven't aged to the usual yellow
- 2-colour sunburst with RW neck
- Laminate rosewood board

It's in crazy good condition: very little fret wear etc.

Going to get some bigger strings on it, but at present with some bad .9s on you can still tell it is a 'singer'... woody and resonant. It was between dropping ?1,600 on the Fender American Vintage 65 - which is a stunning guitar - or waiting for the right Tokai.. current pleased I saved ?1,200!

Any ideas on date from this info then I would be very grateful!

Thanks all.

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:45 am
by StokeJonington
P.S. It also has 'Final Prospec' saddles and 2-piece centre-seamed alder(?) body

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:05 am
by marcusnieman

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:33 am
by jonah65
1984 tst 50, goldsunburst, very nice, and welcome.

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:06 pm
by StokeJonington
Thanks for the replies fellas - a few hours and the forum swoops into action!

What do you reckon to the lack of countersink in the pickup routing, and the lack of brass plate underneath the controls? Were these features interchangeable as far back as 84 in your experience?

I've seen another goldie IDed on another thread with a lower 6-digit SN as 86/87.. It's all a mystery isn't it!?

Cheers again.

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:42 pm
by Peter Mac
Hi mate,

this looks very original but a few pieces don't seem right.

1) Neck pup marking is wrong (11-8.) - should be blank, not pencil
2) Whilst U pups and bridge saddles indicate 83/84 build, pup route and ser# indicate 85/86 build

Can you include some photos of
a] complete route shape, including control cavity.
b] end of neck where TR adjuster and 2nd stamp are.

Peter Mac

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:21 pm
by StokeJonington
Hi Peter Mac,

Thanks for your reply - that's kind of what I'm thinking too: 83/4 neck and PUs in a later body.

Here is the neck stamp: ... /image.jpg

Will take a pic of control cavity etc. when I'm back with the guitar.


Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:00 pm
by Peter Mac
'OK, that's interesting.
So the neck code ' 8-11' is closer to 85/86.

My ballpark estimate would be an '86 ST-50 with replaced pickups, this is not final, but I tend to lean closer to '86 than '84.
I don't believe it would be older due to the Alder body, but one never can tell.
After '86, the wood became quite plain, almost basswood looking - and in some cases they used basswood.


Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:30 pm
by StokeJonington
More photos here: ... %20Uploads

Nb pencil 8-11 is below varnish. No markings in control cavity.

Thanks for your expert help, Peter Mac!

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:02 pm
by Peter Mac
Hi and thanks for the extra pics.

For the record, I have never seen a TST or ST or SS model with a pencilled date- that was a '50s Fender thing. Tokai always had a inked stamp, mainly because it showed the finish to be applied.
It should have had a corresponding stamp in the control cavity, something along the lines of 8-11 GS Z to match the neck and whilst the photo doesnt show it clearly, there does seem to be faint remnants of such a code.
It could be that the body has been re-finished from Natural maybe to the GS colour we see, this could account for why the pencil is under the lacquer.

If I had to call it with all things being fair I'd go '85/86 TST-50 purely on the features and neck stamp. The MIJ sticker is period correct for the '80s but the pickups are from an earlier ST-50, so good score there.


Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:36 am
by StokeJonington
Thanks for your help Peter. Little bit of a mystery why that printed date stamp isn't in the control cavity, but short of finding a time machine there's only so much you can know for certain isn't there. All signs seem to point to your conclusions don't they.

Anyway, gig #1 with it tonight. Looking forward to it!

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:47 am
by Suki
I remember an earlier thread where there was a consensus that the use of U pickups, change of routing and lack of brass control plate all happened around the same time. Evidence suggests that during the transition periods, you could end up with any combination of the above.