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New Blade B1 vs used Skyline Jo vs used Tokai

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by basadam, Mar 6, 2010.


  1. basadam

    basadam

    Nov 29, 2005
    They are all priced similar. Jo is from Lindy Fralin era and light. Tokai is said to be mid 80s, block logo and apparently all-stock.

    I tried Blade (alder body) and it looked and played great but if my experience taught me anything, it is that first looks are deceiving. You can only know about certain things like neck stability in time.

    Jo (ash) is as good as any Skyline, fairly light with a not-so-great grain pattern.

    Both sound as good as any good J-bass, Blade's construction seems to be better and mid-boost is a plus. But I already have a J-retro if I want an active sound out of Jo. Looks department, I prefer Blade's sunburst over Jo's, but the headstock is... don't know :meh:

    I am yet to see the Tokai in person.

    What would you recommend?
     
  2. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    It sounds to me like you prefer the Blade to the JO. I happen to prefer an alder body on a vintage Fender style bass and I also have never cared for the sunburst over ash look. (Much too 70's for a 60's styled instrument).

    Try the Tokai. Those 80's Tokais are killer deals. If you like it I would suggest swinging that way but if it doesn't speak to you then go for the Blade as it really sounds like you have a slight preference to that. They look nice I wish I could try one out.
     
  3. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    As much as I like my Tokais I'd take a Skyline over one any day (as long as the weight was decent).

    RE: the Blade only your ears can tell which you prefer.
     
  4. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    IMO if you are looking at one of the 60's styled Tokais they nail a 60's jazz better than the Skyline.

    Also he already said he considers the quality of the Blade to be nicer which is why I said to go with that one if the Tokai isn't killer.

    Edited to add: I checked out your gear list One Drop and you have some really nice stuff! I am jealous. :)
     
  5. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Thanks, Johnny. You wouldn't be jealous if you heard me play the stuff!

    I think the block logo Tokai Js would be the '70's version ('84 only?), though I might be wrong. I've not seen many '60s style Tokai Jazz Sounds, I assumed they all had the '60s Fender style logo.
     
  6. basadam

    basadam

    Nov 29, 2005
    Yes, I indeed have a slight preference towards Blade and only because it looks nicer and it has alder body; otherwise I have nothing but good experience with all the Laklands I played, and I already have a Skyline Duck Dunn.

    If I be on the safe side and buy Jo I will always regret not getting the Blade. I read glowing reviews about Blade basses, what I would like to know is if they have any "hidden" issues that are difficult to spot at first glance.

    All these of course may change when I get to see Tokai in person. I already have a Tokai strat so I know what Tokai is capable of. If it were sunburst instead of blue it would be on the top of my list.

    I hate it when cosmetics decide my purchase, but if all three are at about the same quality level, I'll go with Blade.
     
  7. I like Blade B1 & B15 basses. Very good attention to detail and the tone with a little mid boost is to die for - cuts through a dense mix with a very nice growl.
     
  8. Actually, the term 'block logo', in the context of Tokai Jazz Sound basses, usually refers to this type of logo which appeared briefly around 1984/5 (IIRC) ...

    Tokai_block_logo.jpg

    This was a pretty good era for Tokai basses, IMHO. Some of them had the 4-screw tuners (unlike the one above), which looked more authentic and weren't prone to the keys coming loose (like the two part 3-screw tuners sometimes do). Also, the Indian rosewood on the fretboards was usually very tasty looking and a lot of pretty lightweight alder was used for the bodies in the early to mid '80s, although of course it varies from bass to bass :meh:.

    If this bass is anything like the three Tokais which make up my little stable these days, then it should give you that ('64) vintage Fender tone and feel. Whether or not that's what you actually want, is another matter of course ;).

    BY the way, when you put one of these basses through the Sadowsky pre-amp pedal, you're into a whole new world of active delights. I'd go as far as to say that I much prefer my Tokai Jazzes (passive and through the pre-amp) to the Sadowsky 'Metro Vintage' that I had (or the Sadowsky Metro 'Modern V' for that matter, although it's a different beast altogether).

    Good luck!
     
  9. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Gotcha, Fender32. I'm familiar with these basses, which is why I mentioned "'84 only" in my post. I just wasn't sure if the one the OP was talking about was a '60s or '70s style Jazz Sound, as they made both in that era. The one you've linked is a '60s one.

    I own three Hard Punchers and I think they are very fine instruments. Mine all have 4 screw tuners, but they are still a weak point and I've changed out one set due to slippage on the A string.
     
  10. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland
    I've had a Blade B1 for five years now. To give you an indication of how much I like it, I thinned the herd two years ago to make room for the Sadowsky. Two MIJ Jazz basses went, the Blade stayed.

    Neck stability is a non issue. The neck is thin, narrow and fast. Love that neck.

    I found the bass sounded a bit thin, so I ran it through a Sadowsky floor preamp. Stunning sound.

    Blade's aren't well known. Those that have them or had them have nothing but good things to say about them. Since getting the Sadowsky, it doesn't get played or taken to gigs anymore. But, that was my main bass for three years and I loved playing it.

    I agree with you on the headstock. But ya know what? Ya never see it when ur playin. :)

    My two centimes.
     
  11. Ah OK, I didn't know that Tokai (Japan) had ever produced a '70s style Jazz Bass and have only ever seen the rosewood neck, vintage pickup spacing models, based on the 1964 Fender Jazz.

    Do you happen to have any pictures, or links to pictures of the '70s model, as I'd love to see one (even though it might start of the old GAS problems again :D)?
     
  12. basadam

    basadam

    Nov 29, 2005
    Thanks, this is what I'm looking for. I let go too many good basses because they'd constantly require neck adjustments.
     
  13. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland
    Mine is strung with Elexirs. I prefer light gauge strings.

    That neck is something else, isn't it?
     
    andronik likes this.
  14. basadam

    basadam

    Nov 29, 2005
    It is. I also loved the color of rosewood board, and I am a fan of vintage tint.
     
  15. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Sorry, no pix.

    Take a look at the Tokai Registry, there are probably a lot of pictures and more dating info there. The '70s style ones have a logo very similar to the Fender TV logos.
     
  16. :meh: Nope, no '70s Jazz Sounds there - only '70s Hard Punchers.

    Oh well, no big deal ;).
     
  17. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    I also very rarely see block logo ones like yours for sale, they seem much rarer than earlier and later ones.

    My apologies for the highjackery.
     
  18. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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