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Review: Tokai AJG-88

Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

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Tokai AJG-88 – body angle

Are you looking for something off the beaten path of Strat- and Les Paul-clones? One interesting guitar might be the Tokai AJG-88 – an homage to the Fender Jazzmaster, factory-modded for the modern player.

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Tokai AJG-88 – full front

The Tokai AJG-88 (current price in Finland: 1,099 €) is a bolt-on-neck instrument with a long scale.

Tokai AJG-88 – full back

We find a one-piece maple neck fastened to a streamlined alder body, crafted from three side-by-side pieces.

The Tokai comes in an all-gloss finish: The neck has been sprayed with clear lacquer, with the body showing off a sumptuous three-tone sunburst.

Tokai AJG-88 – headstock

One welcome nod to the 21st century is the AJG-88’s truss rod access, which has been moved from the traditional body-facing end of the neck up to the headstock for easy accessibility.

Tokai AJG-88 – tuners

The AJG-88 comes equipped with a nice set of sealed Gotoh tuners.

Tokai AJG-88 – fretboard

The chocolate-coloured rosewood fingerboard sports 22 medium-jumbo frets, which have…

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Review: Tokai TTE-55

Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

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Tokai TTE-55 – beauty shot

Tokai’s TTE-55 is the company’s newest made-in-Japan Tele-type guitar. The TTE-55 isn’t meant to be a dead-on copy of a Tele from a certain period, but rather something like a Tokai “best-of-vintage-T” model.

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Tokai TTE-55 – full front

You can get the Tokai TTE-55 (current price in Finland: 848 €) with either a one-piece maple neck – as on our White Blonde review sample – or equipped with a rosewood ‘board.

The finish of the hardware is dependent on the body’s colour – in our case here the Tokai sports gold coloured hardware, which embues this Tele with a good dose of Mary Kaye -style panache.

Tokai TTE-55 – full back

The 1950s-type neck is screwed to a Sixties-type, bound alder body.

Tokai TTE-55 – headstock

The fine Kluson-copies have one major advantage over more recent designs: The nifty safety posts prevent any sharp string ends from sticking out.

The neck’s silky-smooth satin finish is a much more modern…

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Thursday Pin-Up – Tokai TTE-55

Tokai TTE-55 – beauty shot

Tokai TTE-55 – pickups

Tokai TTE-55 – switch and pots

Review: Tokai TST-50 + Seymour Duncan Little ’59

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Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

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Finnish importer and retailer Musamaailma offer an in-house customising service, which is still a rather rare thing over here. For a fair price you can order your guitar with your choice of EMG- or Seymour Duncan -pickups. Musamaailma employ their own luthiers, so all this work is done professionally and in-house.

Kitarablogi got to try out the brand-new Tokai TST-50 -model (current price in Finland: 699 €), which is an addition to the brand’s high-quality Japanese line-up.

In our case the Tokai TST-50’s stock, singlecoil bridge pickup has been swapped for a humbucking Seymour Duncan Little ’59 (current price in Finland: 84,60 €), which promises authentic PAF-type tones from a Strat-sized unit.

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Tokai’s TST-50 gives more than a passing nod to traditional S-style guitars in an early Sixties vein:

The alder body has all the characteristic flowing curves and deep body chamfers, and it has been…

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Review: Tokai SG-75

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Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

Tokai SG-75 – body angle

Tokai Guitars’ SG-75 is the company’s top model in their line of Gibson SG copies – a carefully crafted, Japanese version of the American original from the 1960s.

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Tokai SG-75 – full front horizontal

The Tokai SG-75 (current price in Finland: 928 €) is based on the first version of the Gibson SG, which was introduced in 1961 as the new Les Paul Standard guitar. At that time the original Les Paul -range started showing seriously flagging sales figures, so Ted McCarty instigated a complete rethink of Gibson’s main solidbody model. The idea was to create a sleeker and lighter guitar.

Mr Paul wasn’t pleased with the result and didn’t renew his endorsement deal, which is why the new model was renamed the Gibson SG (= Solid Guitar) in 1963.

Tokai SG-75 – full back angle

Tokai’s SG-75 is a great recreation of the classic model, and stays very faithful to the original design, displaying exemplary attention to detail in the process.

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Review: Tokai AJB-55BB + Basslines SJB-3

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Kitarablogi.com – Finland's premier Guitar and Bass blog

AJB-55BB? Is this bass Tokai’s Big Brother -special edition? No!
The BB stands for “big blocks”.

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The Tokai AJB-55BB is a special edition run of the company’s Jazz Bass -inspired model with block inlays instead of the usual small dots. Finnish importer Musamaailma has equipped the test sample with a pair of Seymour Duncan Basslines SJB-3s, which promise a hotter-than-vintage output. As supplied, the whole package would set you back about 888 € here in Finland.

This Japanese bass is a streamlined beauty with a maple fingerboard and a tortie-type scratchplate (sometimes this model also comes with a three-ply black pickguard).

Even though the large block inlays invoke a Seventies-look, the Tokai’s deep body chamfers talke you back all the way to the Sixties-period Fender Jazz.

Tokai uses Gotoh-tuners with smaller diameter tuning posts on the AJB-55BB, compared to the usual Kluson- or Schaller-types on many other…

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