Page 1 of 1

Tokai Jazz Sound with P/J pickup - can`t figure out the poti controls (or date it). Can anyone help?

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:36 pm
by Popo
Hi Tokai Forum members,

i recently joined the club and managed to pick up a Red Tokai Jazz Sound. I only had a few minutes in this one second hand shop I was passing through on my travels, but the price was very fair and it plays so nice, I just went for it. The shop didn`t really know anything and couldn`t answer any questions. I thought I would figure it out at home..

So firstly, don`t get the poti controls. I thought it would be a simple Vol, Vol, Tone setup, but that definitely doesnt seem to be it. If I turn down the first or the last poti completely, there is no sound at all coming out. The middle one may well be tone, it makes the most difference, but I am also starting to think it might be a balance between the P and J pickups, but somehow reversed in direction.

Anyone know what the standard poti configuration on this kind of Tokai P/J bass would be? I opened the poti cavity up and the wiring seems all original and unaltered. One white cable came off as I did it, so I soldered it back into its place on the middle poti, hoping that might make it work in a way I would understand, but alas, nothing has changed. I am actually really happy with the sound, I just wish I could understand what I am doing when turning the potis...

Oh and since I can`t get into the Tokai Registry website for some reason (it will not load when I access it), I was hoping someone could help me figure out the age of this bass from its serial number (L19076). Thanks in advance to anyone taking the time to help!!


https://postimg.cc/8F3S4ddk
https://postimg.cc/k24zH6g2
https://postimg.cc/gX97rgqh

Re: Tokai Jazz Sound with P/J pickup - can`t figure out the poti controls (or date it). Can anyone help?

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:36 am
by mdvineng
The one nearest the jack is Master tone.
Middle is Jazz bass pick up volume
The next is the P bass pick up volume

A bit like this https://images.app.goo.gl/VyQagQVBc1pw9McZ6

Re: Tokai Jazz Sound with P/J pickup - can`t figure out the poti controls (or date it). Can anyone help?

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:57 am
by Popo
Thanks for the reply, especially the diagram. I will compare the wiring more closely when I get some time in the next few days, because it really doesn`t seem to be a Vol, Vol, Tone setup right now. I think the first two are Volume for P and J Pickups respectively, though there is something a bit odd about how they affect each other when fiddled with, but the knob closest to the Jack acts very much like a volume knob too, almost muting the bass when fully turned down and really making it loud when fully open :-? .

I never had a P and J combination bass before, I am assuming the pickups affect each other when their volumes are fiddled with, but the tone thing is really strange, it seems to mostly be a difference in loudness, not really tone at all. Any idea what could be wrong? Is the cap maybe broken? Is my wiring maybe wrong or faulty?

Re: Tokai Jazz Sound with P/J pickup - can`t figure out the poti controls (or date it). Can anyone help?

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:37 am
by mdvineng
Could be a faulty pot (shorted)
Try p pot full on j pot full off and vary the tone
Try reverse of the above
Try both p and j at 50% and vary tone
See what happens
Disconnect cap and see what happens
Guitar is probably mid 80's ,will try and look at the registry later.

Re: Tokai Jazz Sound with P/J pickup - can`t figure out the poti controls (or date it). Can anyone help?

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:00 am
by Popo
Thanks a lot for your help. Would really appreciate you looking up the serial number for me too!

I am working intensely for the next few days so really can`t do much bass tinkering but will look into it and post updates as soon as I have some free time. Really hope its not a faulty pot or even worse (my google research on the topic of tone pots acting like volumes mentioned possibility of broken pickup wiring :o , which would be a nightmare, really hope its not that) and is just the slightly crappy soldering job i did on the cable that was off or acme off when i opened the guitar up.

Re: Tokai Jazz Sound with P/J pickup - can`t figure out the poti controls (or date it). Can anyone help?

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:08 am
by Popo
Try p pot full on j pot full off and vary the tone
Try reverse of the above
Try both p and j at 50% and vary tone
See what happens
oh yeah, tried this for a couple of minutes and the tone pot basically does the same thing in all three variations. Pickups seem loud and clear until I turn the tone pot, why just progressively mutes everything in all three volume settings.. Is this giving you any indication of what it might be?

Re: Tokai Jazz Sound with P/J pickup - can`t figure out the poti controls (or date it). Can anyone help?

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:41 am
by mdvineng
Use potentiometer cleaner on all 3 pots first
Change the cap 2nd
Change the pot 3rd
Schematic https://guitarelectronics.com/jazz-bass ... g-diagram/

Re: Tokai Jazz Sound with P/J pickup - can`t figure out the poti controls (or date it). Can anyone help?

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:57 am
by Popo
Have managed to get into the Tokai Registry now but still struggling to identify this bass. Looks like a TJB 55G, but its hard to tell. I keep seeing very similar ones on google but they all have gold hardware. Also those metal knobs on my pots rather than the plastic one. Can anyone tell me when the headstock shape changed away from the Fender original one? Is that a definite indicator of the rough age? Did they still make those proper Fender copy headstocks in the mid 80s or only in the beginning?

Re: Tokai Jazz Sound with P/J pickup - can`t figure out the poti controls (or date it). Can anyone help?

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:45 am
by mdvineng
The headstock change was primarily for the USA market, evetyone else got the Fender shape. Yours looks like an 84.

Re: Tokai Jazz Sound with P/J pickup - can`t figure out the poti controls (or date it). Can anyone help?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:13 pm
by Popo
The headstock change was primarily for the USA market, evetyone else got the Fender shape. Yours looks like an 84.
Ok thanks, still haven't got around to resoldering the looser cable or clean pots yet, but hopefully have some time the day after tomorrow. Any more info on the model/date of my bass would be very welcome. I am in Japan and bought it here, btw. So the headstock didn't really get changed in shape in Japan? I thought there were legal pressures and Tokai, as well as all the others, started to make the designs less Fender like around mid 80s (aka lawsuit era). Do you know any website/link that explains the bass side of the Tokai story in more detail, as well as giving a way of dating Tokai basses by their serial no.? I can only find information like that about the guitars....

Re: Tokai Jazz Sound with P/J pickup - can`t figure out the poti controls (or date it). Can anyone help?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:20 pm
by mdvineng
The shape changes didn’t affect the domestic market at all. Very little information on basses anywhere, we are the forgotten guitarists :D
Suggest an email to Tokkai Gakki with a picture and ser # they will let you know more info.

Re: Tokai Jazz Sound with P/J pickup - can`t figure out the poti controls (or date it). Can anyone help?

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:10 pm
by Popo
mdvineng wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:20 pm
The shape changes didn’t affect the domestic market at all. Very little information on basses anywhere, we are the forgotten guitarists :D
Suggest an email to Tokkai Gakki with a picture and ser # they will let you know more info.
I have managed to fix the problem!!!! :D :D :D
Thanks for all your help! You have been great. I checked the wiring diagram and one wire was wrongly soldered on the outer, instead of middle, of the tone pots three connectors. I changed it to how it is supposed to be according to the very helpful diagram and voila, it works and my bass sounds f*++ing awesome!!! 8) I am so happy!! :D :D :D

Here is a pic to explain it, for anyone interested! https://postimg.cc/w3mwCGSb

Also thanks for the advice, I will try emailing Tokai Gakki with my pic and serial. How sad that there has been no serial dating information made for the basses, since they are really great, well built, wonderful pickups, really nicely shielded and grounded electrics. They deserve a bigger fanbase!

Re: Tokai Jazz Sound with P/J pickup - can`t figure out the poti controls (or date it). Can anyone help?

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:09 am
by mdvineng
Glad it is fixed ,have fun with it, they superb instruments. Dating Tokai guitars until recently hasn't been easy either, so an email to them will get you the year and model at least.