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Tokai 57 P-bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jazzbass1, Dec 30, 2000.

  1. jazzbass1


    Dec 2, 2000
    I just got a Tokai TPB 57 from a fellow on ebay, and I really like it so far. Tobacco sunburst, anodized pickguard, maple neck. I have it at the shop now having some high frets fixed, can't wait to get it back. Does anyone else have a Tokai, is there somewhere I can read more about them, thanks.

  2. KB

    KB Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I have an old Tokai APB57 P-bass with clear finish body, maple fretboard and "gold" aluminum pickgard. I even have flatwound on it for a low thumpy sound. I have been trying to find out info about Tokai for a while and haven't found out much. I know that they got sued by Fender due to the fact that their basses and guitars were basically exact copies of fenders, so I am not sure they are still in business (maybe in japan only??). I like my P-bass - it has great low p-bass sound, but I don't play it very much (I like my Carvin much better, because I play a more modern style of bass). My Tokai is very heavy (also why I don't play it a lot), but the craftsmanship seems just like fender (even better than most MIM Fenders I have played).

    If you find out any other info on Tokai, let me know. I asked about them here about 8 months ago and got very little response. I plan to keep my Tokai because
    1. It was my first bass
    2. It is kind of rare (haven't seen many Tokais around)
    3. It may be valuable one day

  3. I had a Tokai Jazz bass, and a 72 Fender Jazz at the same time. The Tokai was way superior to the Fender in sound, feel and quality, and I think they are definitely worthwhile. They are long since deceased as a product line, and yes, they were sued by Fender, but then so was everybody who made anything remotely resembling a Fender.
  4. Hi!

    I have a '57 style Tokai `Hard Puncher' (great name eh?!) bass which is as described, 2 tone `tobacco' burst, anodized plate, and maple neck/fingerboard! I collect basses (I have 40 at present)and its my second Tokai - the first one I had was a fretless Jazz replica which was superb!

    In fact, I agree that in certain cases, the Tokais were better than certain Fender instruments, and I also think that the original Squier basses (from Japan) are to this very day, some of the finest instruments around (I currently own a replica of the '62 Jazz bass, which was made in 1981 and a '62 Precision from '83).

    Tokai are still building instruments, however, I'm not sure about the bass range - I saw them at a recent music show over here in England - they are producing the Talbo (aluminium bodied) guitar, and some Les Paul replicas (these again pissed on a lot of real Gibsons!)

    I will see what I can find out!

    Best Wishes (And a Very Happy New Year!)

  5. jazzbass1


    Dec 2, 2000
    They must have had several names for that 57 RI copy. It does look as well made as the Fender copies. I saw the Talbo guitar-bleah!! What an ugly POS. Apparently they are still making copies of Fenders, there's people on eBay that are selling Fender knockoffs made at the Tokai factory under some other brand, can't remember the name at the moment.Yeah Dr. that Les Paul copy is oh so close isn't it? Please if you ever find some info I'd love to know.
  6. Yes, those Talbos are not the most pretty guitars ever!

    Best Wishes!

  7. jazzbass1


    Dec 2, 2000
    What size neck is on the 57, C profile or what?
  8. Hallo!

    My particular bass has a very rounded C profile and the neck itself is very thick, bordering on the crude! However, its still very playable but the fretless J type Tokai I once had was very, very slim! I think they varied!


  9. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I almost bought a Tokai '57 P at a shop in Oregon last year; the body was scuffed and the frets were worn, but it had a gold BadAss bridge and was only $250. It played beautifully and sounded very good. I remember seeing Tokai instruments in stores in the early to mid '80's, and like the Squier stuff of that era, it definitely smoked all of the American junk CBS was manufacturing under the Fender name.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I've seen quite a few adverts for Tokai basses in classifieds in the UK at about £200 - £250. I've heard people say they were good and there seemed to be quite a few around in the 80s in the UK - my local shop had a few. Personally I was put off Fenders in the 80s and there seemed to be a lot of exciting new options around, that were a better bet, so I didn't ever consider one.

    I think it's ironic now, that Fenders have held their value better and people are asking "silly money" for late 70s/early 80s Fenders which I thought were universally awful at the time, but the value of superior "copies" has dropped like a stone. I've met people who have bought "vintage" Fenders, thinking that they wil make them sound like Jaco or something, but on examination, these have turned out to be "cost cutters" with 3-bolt necks, poor bridges, floppy necks etc etc!! :rolleyes:

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