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Tokai ST-120, Maybe ST-136?

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 2:15 am
by dennisqle91
This very interesting Springy Sound popped up for sale:

Looks pretty neat. Anyone familiar with custom order Springy Sounds?

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 2:24 am
by villager
was a production model for 2 years i think 80/81

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 6:53 am
by marcusnieman
Curious..... what's the upgrade above say an ST80 .... obviously the nicely flamed neck is one thing. Perhaps a one piece body? Can't tell from the pics.

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 7:01 am
by villager
flamed neck, 1 piece body and one year was gold hardware..

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 11:15 am
by dennisqle91
While an ST-120 showing up is cool enough, the cavity and neck markings are what really interest me. I asked Tokai about it and they said it indicates some kind of special model that costed 136,000 yen :o

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 12:11 pm
by villager
yes it was 120 for the guitar and 16000 for the case which came with it..

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 1:42 pm
by dennisqle91
Interesting theory, though a bit odd to work in the price of a case into the price or model of the guitar? If that were true, I'd expect the ST-80's to have 96 written in the cavities or on the necks.

After looking at some catalogues:

ST-80 has a two piece body (though some have reported one piece bodies), non-figured neck, "E" stamped pickups

ST-100 has a one piece body, lightly to moderately figured neck, Dimarzio VS-1 pickups

ST-120 special order only, with one piece body, heavily figured neck, Dimarzio VS-1 pickups


The only other ST-120 I've seen, owned by Buduranus2:

Posted: Thu May 02, 2019 12:47 am
by villager
maybe st80 and 100 could be ordered without a case and the 120 came with? or possibly a tax? but it seems a lot for a tax.. I am sticking with the case theory!! lol

Posted: Thu May 02, 2019 7:45 pm
by Peter Mac
Hi guys,

It depends on which case - the ST120 or ST-180.
ST-120 (12000yen) looks like tweed but was made of nylon whereas ST-180 was a proper tweed cloth finish over the case.
In terms of manufacture a case was NOT included in the price of the ST-120V.
Only 4 guitars had a case included in the price - LS-200, LS-150, ES-200 and TE-200. All others added the case as a seperate expense.
Hardware doesn't appear to be Gold either, a feature of ST-100 and ST-120.
One piece bodies were generally Alder for the solid colours and Sen Ash for the Sunbursts and Natural, usually hand chosen for the grain pattern.
The tremelo block lacks the Tokai casting marks ( MADE IN JAPAN, 3 circles) plus the bullshit about 'warped scratchplate' - please.
Too many irregularities for my liking at that high price . . . but that neck is gorgeous.


Posted: Thu May 02, 2019 10:33 pm
by villager
great info Peter! thanks

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 3:36 am
by javelin70
In Sweden you actually got a case with most Tokais in the 80's (don't know about the cheapest models). With the JSX-70 I bought in -86 I got the cloth tweed case. The TLS-50 I bought in -84 came with the black Tokai LP case and the TST-50 bought in -85 came with the nylon tweed case.


Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 6:17 pm
by J.E.M.
I think it may have depended a lot on the country and even on individual dealers selling them because I have three 1984 Strats all bought new that year in Toronto, a TST 50 and two 60's and all three came with the nylon tweed case with red interior, which I'm very happy I still have...

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 5:05 pm
by dennisqle91
My theory is that it is an 1982 ST-120 with a special ordered one-piece alder body.

1982 is consistent with:
-stickered model number
-spaghetti logo
-Of the catalogues that have surfaced online, only the 1982 catalogues has the ST-120
-two-piece bridge system with screw-on zinc alloy trem block and "final prospec" saddles

The spec sheet for the ST-120 in 1982 says that it came with either a one-piece sen ash body or a two-piece alder body. So maybe the "136" is for a one piece alder upgrade? Since the ST-120 was a special order model, it would be pretty reasonable to think that you could have ordered it with nickel hardware and upgraded woods.

Obviously this is all based on very limited info and unclear photos (body could be two-piece).

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 1:51 am
by villager
good idea ..

Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 6:12 pm
by Blackout2112
The neck is very nice did anyone here get it?