Tokai Curveball Hall of Fame

Tokai guitar discussion

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Sigmania
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Re: Tokai Curveball Hall of Fame

Post by Sigmania » Mon May 23, 2022 6:32 am

I started a separate thread on this because I thought it was so interesting.

http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=26429

There is a link to a message between a member here, jacco, and a collector in Japan, Hiroyuki Yamauchi , in 2010 that may be its source?

jacco wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:14 am
Here's an update on this subject.
I have had email contact with 2 Japanese guitar collectors and they both told me that there was indeed another Tokai factory besides Hamamatsu, one in Nagano (150 km up north). That's were the ink stamped Tokai's were made.
I will quote one here:
Konnichiwa Jacco,

Grecos were made in Matsumoku (Matsumoto Mokkou) factory
in Matsumoto, that was definitely different from Nagano
factory of Tokai Gakki in Matsumoto.

Best regards
Hiroyuki Yamauchi
So the Nagano branch of Tokai guitars stood in Matsumoto, same town were Greco's etc were made.
I was also told that because the traditional relationship between employer and employee in Japan it's unthinkable that employees worked in 2 factories at the same time.
It's still a mystery to me why both early Greco's as early ink stamped Tokai's both have a dowel tenon, except for the fact that the people that made them worked in the same city.
http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=15910



http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php ... 2&start=15
Last edited by Sigmania on Mon May 23, 2022 6:39 am, edited 5 times in total.
That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

mdvineng
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Re: Tokai Curveball Hall of Fame

Post by mdvineng » Mon May 23, 2022 6:35 am

I'm perfectly happy with the made in a Nagano factory for Tokai idea. Makes perfect sense from an economic point for Tokai.
Tokai VSB80 OF, Michael Kelly Patriot custom, Epiphone Elite SG & EB3. 8)

mdvineng
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Re: Tokai Curveball Hall of Fame

Post by mdvineng » Mon May 23, 2022 6:47 am

meant to add this ages ago but it was on a tablet somewhere in the house.
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Tokai VSB80 OF, Michael Kelly Patriot custom, Epiphone Elite SG & EB3. 8)

Sigmania
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Re: Tokai Curveball Hall of Fame

Post by Sigmania » Mon May 23, 2022 6:51 am

Crazy...Btw, wasn't it Matsumoku that put "Made in Japan" on neck plates, or did Fujigen do that as well? Minus the Tokai logo of course.
That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

Voidoid56
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Re: Tokai Curveball Hall of Fame

Post by Voidoid56 » Mon May 23, 2022 7:31 am

Yeah, Matsu had MIJ on the neck plates (along with "Steel Reinforced Neck", "Steel Adjustable Neck" or "Matsumoku" through the years). As a rule, so did Fujigen, on Grecos together with a serial, but there are some models that for unknown reasons had just the serial for certain periods (late 70's SE700s, for instance). Both had Made In Japan in the same position on the lower third of the plate. Kiso Suzuki had MIJ as well, but on the upper third, and you see it on some Matsumoto Union builds (Freshers et al) too. I don't think the presence and/or position of it is necessarily consistent enough to be a true manufacturer tell for either, though.

Sigmania
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Re: Tokai Curveball Hall of Fame

Post by Sigmania » Mon May 23, 2022 7:33 am

But certainly I have NEVER seen that on a Tokai guitar.

That guitar looks like Koa too.

Must be mid 1970s?
That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

Sigmania
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Re: Tokai Curveball Hall of Fame

Post by Sigmania » Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:03 am

That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

currypowder
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Re: Tokai Curveball Hall of Fame

Post by currypowder » Mon Aug 15, 2022 1:00 pm

I own a couple of Tokais that I can find absolutely no information about. Maybe someone else here knows, but they appear to be either special orders or part of a very limited run, All of the information I'm including here is based on my personal observation and conclusions.

First up is a 2018 LC-320BB. In 2018, the highest Custom in the catalog is the LC-230S. From what I can tell, the 2 main differences in my 320 and the 230 is:
  • The 320 appears to have a solid 1 piece mahogany body (not a 2 piece back and top). I can find no evidence of a seam in any of the pickup or control cavities. I would also guess that it is Honduras mahogany given the high model number, but that's only a guess.
    The finish is a very thin satin lacquer that is simply gorgeous, IMO.
Beyond that, it has become one of my absolute favorites. It has a ringing, piano-like tone unplugged that translates well when amplified. I did replace the pickups with a set of K&T God Tones which are a perfect match. It plays as well as any guitar I have with a medium C neck. It has fret edge binding, and I'm not sure if the 230 has that as well.

I do have the warranty card that includes the model number and serial number, so I know the model number is correct.

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currypowder
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Re: Tokai Curveball Hall of Fame

Post by currypowder » Mon Aug 15, 2022 1:11 pm

Continuing on, next up as a 2015 LS-JW OR. I have no clue what this originally sold for or whether it's a one-off or limited run as I've never seen one like it from a recent run.

My guess is that JW stands for Joe Walsh and OR stands for Old Red finish color. To further that thought, my assumption is that this is a guitar built to be similar to the old 80s LS-100OR. Here's what I know:
  • The body appears to be 1 piece of mahogany as there is no evidence of a top/bottom seam in any of the cavities. I wouldn't speculate whether the mahogany is Honduras or African.
    The deep red finish is all over, front to back. I believe the 100OR had a natural finished back, not red.
    The finish is lacquer, though I'm not sure is it's top lacquer or all lacquer.
    The rosewood fretboard is nice, but I would not speculate that it's Brazilian without confirmation. There is no fret edge binding on this one.
Like the Black Beauty above, it plays like a dream and has a nice warm tone. Right now it is all original with the original Tokai pickups, which are fine. But I may drop in my set of Rolph Pretender double creams to see if that makes a difference.

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Sigmania
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Re: Tokai Curveball Hall of Fame

Post by Sigmania » Mon Aug 15, 2022 2:37 pm

That Joe Walsh is wild. I started a thread about the LS100S version. I have the ON version but oddly mine is 1 over 1.

I also finally figured out that the "S" means Special model, not Solid. Found a translation in a discussion of the NC router in the Spring 1982 catalog.

Here’s a link to the Joe Walsh LS100S.

http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php ... sh#p195708

Btw, I think I came across a helpful post by you on the mylespaul forum discussing a Reborn Old. I started a thread on them in this section. Thanks for posting and sharing info. Very helpful!
That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

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