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No Information On Models Beginning with 'CN' Or Other Letter Combinations...???

Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2022 12:30 pm
by gmeades
I just bought a Tokai ALC70 WR (Wine Red) with S/N CN20040291

The seller provided no other info than claiming it was "purchased new and hardly played".

So, I wanted to authenticate it and find out what year it was made and "purchased".

Aside from 2 guitars listed in the registry with serial numbers starting with "CN" confirming that these are Les Paul models and have been made in China, and 1 post I found in the forums with one individual responding to the original poster and simply telling them their serial number that started with CN indicated it was a Chinese built model built in 2020 and was part of the "Traditional Series", it seems there is no information at all to be found on any Tokai serial numbers that start with CN or any other letter combinations.

I found a number of posts that state that any Tokai with a serial number starting with "CH" is a Chinese model, but obviously, "CH" is not the only prefix used to designate guitars that were produced in China on models produced at least in the 2020 time period.

Have I somehow missed where information and explanations are located on Tokai models with serial numbers that begin with letter combinations..?

Does anyone have any information on identifying Tokai Guitars with Serial Numbers that start with two letters...?

Can someone add information on Tokai Serial Numbers that start with to Letters to the registry or in the area for "Tokai Gibson Copy Information" perhaps...?

While I have been able to determine this guitar which I am currently awaiting arrival on is a Chinese produced model built in 2020, it would be nice to have some source of easily accessible information regarding these Tokai models that have serial numbers beginning with letter combinations...

Re: No Information On Models Beginning with 'CN' Or Other Letter Combinations...???

Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2022 12:45 pm
by Sigmania
What you are running up against is a lack of information that begins with Tokai itself.

Lower cost models are commonly contracted to be made in China (and Korea at times) for cost saving reasons.

However, I doubt you will find any official Tokai information even acknowledging that these guitars were made outside of Japan.

Starting in the 90s, all Made in Japan Tokais are stamped "Made In Japan".

Guitars made in other countries were not stamped "Made in..."; however, there are occasional rare surviving foil stickers saying "Made in Korea" or "Made in China".

In other words, the cost saving manufacturing deal Tokai has with other countries is not shared openly.

If you scan the forum, there have been many, many entries related to Chinese models and their serial numbers posted by members who have spent a lot of time on this. Good place to start.

No Made in Japan Tokais have serial numbers that begin with letters.

Re: No Information On Models Beginning with 'CN' Or Other Letter Combinations...???

Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2022 6:30 am
by Sigmania
Also, you probably noticed that the CN serial number prefix is used on other brands and is associated with Cort mfg who make guitars in China and Korea.

At Tokai, lower cost models were made in Korea from roughly 1995-2005 before shifting to China.

Korean guitars generally did not have serial numbers (possible exceptions including F, FC, J and 6 digit numbers, although they could have been made in China). ... e+in+korea

By the time your guitar was made in 2020 lower cost Tokais were made in China, and have a Chinese style serial number beginning with two letters, often CN (also C, CN, and possibly a 6 digit number).

And it is possible that the CN serial numbers were in fact made by Cort for Tokai in China. Note that even Cort began moving to China in the mid 90s.

“So, where are these amazing Cort guitars made? Today most of their guitars are made in Indonesia. They started making them in Korea in 1973, but in the mid-90s, they began moving to Indonesia and China to manufacture their guitars.” ... tars-made/