Tokai Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nino Valenti, Sep 27, 2002.

  1. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    <img src=""><img src="">

    Anyone familiar with these basses? I remember hearing about lawsuit models in the 80s that were really awesome. Any info would be great. Bass Palace has them & the white one is $450 <a href="">(click here)</a> & the black one is $350 <a href="">(click here)</a>
  2. I had one for a long time, Olympic white. If ya did'nt see the name on the headstock, you would'nt know it from a Fender. These were the closest anyone ever got to being a Fender, and I heard that Fender eventually crippled them with lawsuits, although I believe they are up and running again. They even copied the pickups down to the number of windings etc.
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I had a couple of Tokais (Still have a fretless J) and it was a smoking instrument.

    I'd be careful witht hese new Tokais, though. I think someone's pulling a Danelectro (Taking an established name to sell product). The company that made Tokais is no more, so I wouldn't expect these Tokais to be as good as the ones that made their name in the industry.

    Nice looking basses, though.

    Here's my Fretless:

  4. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    they had 2 in in this finish and i think that this is the one that bernie owned. if it is, it is a stellar bass, I loved it myself! sounds better than most new americans. the other tokais sounded good but not like his did. i'll warn you that it is not exactly the most well made instument in the world but the tone is incredible. ask if it IS the one that bernie owned...
  5. I've heard good things about the older Tokais, but like BlackBird said, the old company is defunct.

    However, I see a lot of Tokais pop up on ebay selling for cheap. I've never really looked into them, but now I'm wondering if they are the old good ones, or the new crap ones.
  6. Are you guys shure the new ones are crap? I have heard knowledgeable guitarists talking about the new tokai guitars alot, and they are saying that tokai's are even better than the real thing, or at least comparable to some of the better built originals.

    I don't know if the same applies to the basses.
  7. I managed a music shop when Tokai came into this country in the early 80s, and i was astounded at their quality. The only difference between Tokai's and the originals they "copied" was the name on the headstock. Many players came to buy one so that their originals could be put away.
    The early Tokais are now collector pieces, especially the Flying Vs and Les Pauls. The "J" and "P" basses are hard to find and when they do appear,are snapped up very quickly.
    I am sure that a an active "Jazz" was produced near the end of production.
    If you find an early 80's model, "BUY IT"...
  8. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    My pal has quite new Tokai Jazz, it costed something like $500 new and it was quite decent instrument when I tried it out. Made of plywood, though. Tokai's guitars are said to be good deals, and I think their Love Rock -models(LP copies) are way better than their Epiphone counterparts.

    In my opinion, their quality is somewhere between Mexico and Japan Fenders.
  9. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
  10. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I didn't see any mention of the Jazz Basses on their website.