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One of the great Japanese instrument brands that has just celebrated its 70th anniversary, and whose guitars have been used by musicians such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) or Nile Rodgers (Chic).
Although they started making musical instruments in 1947, their career in electric guitars construction began in the 60s. Their Fender and Gibson replicas with high quality performances soon gave them great popularity, and for legal reasons they were forced to change the name of their instruments.
So, for instance, the one we know today as "Love Rock" corresponds to the Tokai Les Paul model, the ST series or "Springy Sound" corresponds to the Strato type, while the TE Series or "Breezy Sound" are the Tokai Telecaster models. In addition to guitars, the basses of this brand are also very appreciated, among them their Jazz Bass, baptized as JBS.
The uniqueness of its denominations does not end here, since the number that accompanies the model refers to the selling price in Japanese yen. For example, a Tokai LS420 would be a Les Paul whose original selling price was 420,000 yen.
The Gibson replicas by Tokai are highly appreciated since they are usually superior than Gibson in quality price relation. To this day Tokai has two production lines: Japan and China. The first ones are differentiated as Premium or Vintage among our Fanatic Guitars offer, while the second ones belong to the Traditional series. Below we offer you a small guide in which we detail the differences of its main production lines:
Premium Series: Entirely manufactured in Japan. Made by the most experienced luthiers of Japan and using premium materials. The guitars of this series have been handmade and their constructive professionalism is impressive. The finish they use for this highend series is nitrocellulose. They include an original Tokai case. They are made in one piece and incorporate high-end hardware, such as their potentiometers or Gotoh white-pin tuners, bridges, gibsons, long-tenon.
Vintage Series: It would correspond to its mid-range but they are also made in Japan. Their bodies are made of two pieces and contain simpler components than the Premium series. The instruments in this series have a polyurethane finish. Like those of the Premium series, you identify them because they have a Made in Japan engraved on the peghead's back.
Traditional Series: An economic range of instruments manufactured in China but supervised by the Japanese manufacturer. In addition to its name and serial number, the models manufactured outside of Japan can be differentiated easily because the lid of the soul is plastic and have three screws, while the Japanese only two. The identification of these products is also found on the shovel with the letters "CN" and its serial number. The bridge is usually made of stainless steel.