#1
So, after first spotting this very guitar in a local music shop 3 years ago, I finally bit down and got a hold of this beauty. Trouble is I don't know as much about it as I'd like.


First, the pictures.







Weighing in at 10.5 pounds, is my new baby, one of the old cast-aluminum bodied Tokai Talbos.

She sounds great; great, clear highs and mids and sustain for days, but there are a couple problems with the playability...

As anyone familiar with Talbos will probably spot, that's not the guitar's original neck. To the best of my knowledge the individual that originally owned the guitar and sold it to the shop broke the neck, removed all of the hardware, and put it all on a replacement. There are a few obvious problems with this:

1) the serial number's gone. I'm not concerned with the body's originality because a cast aluminum guitar isn't the easiest thing in the world to fake.

More troubling to me is problem 2) The locking nut that was transferred to this new neck doesn't fit. It hangs over the low-e side of the neck by a fraction of an inch and while the guitar is tentatively playable, the low E string sits perilously close to the edge of the neck, and has a tendency to slip off if you're not mindful of your playing. Other than that it's a lovely guitar.


What I need from you, dear readers, is any hint you can give me towards learning more about this guitar from what you see. The nearest example I can find to this guitar comes from a Tokai Magazine from 1985, that shows an HH configured Talbo in nickel plated hardware, and next to it an SSH in gold hardware, so i have reason to believe that this combination of HH configuration and Gold Hardware would have been, at least, available on a Talbo from 1985. This in mind, I have NEVER seen a Talbo in this particular color (which i have reason to believe is original, judging by the painted-on Talbo Logo on the lower horn, as well as the over-spray in the bridge cavity on the back). I've also never seen a Talbo with 4 knobs (and seeing as the knobs are tophats and I believe Talbos came with thimble knobs) And so i suspect that the original owner also drilled into the pickguard to add an additional volume and tone knob.

I've also never seen a Talbo with the "Talbo I" badge on the horn, only "Talbo". Whether this means anything or not I have no Idea. If any of you kind souls around here knows more about the instrument than I do, i'd really appreciate any tips you have.


In the mean time, I'm taking the guitar to my Luthier. I half remember reading something that said Tokai originally just used their Telecaster repro necks on their Talbo guitars; if I can find one in the proper width for that nut I may purchase a loose neck and trim it down to the modern Talbo Headstock and use that-- if not I'll have my luthier pal make me a new one from scratch that will fit. Seeing as the original neck is lost, I intend to make this guitar a permanent part of my collection, and something to play out with the band from time to time.
#3
Thanks! I'm just in the process of registering and posting there as well, right now.
#4
return it if you can, unless you got it really extremely cheap and don't care.

its cool, but with a different neck, a locking nut that doesn't fit, different amount of holes for the pots, questionable bridge.

what 'drew you to that guitar'? just looks, or tone? playability?

again if you are happy keep it, but i personally return it.
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#5
I'm definitely going to be holding on to this one, I got it for a hundred bucks and if i wanted to, i could probably piece out the hardware for that much.

Despite the missing neck, I'm fairly confident that the body is genuine; Talbos are obscure enough that I've never heard of one being faked in the wood form, let alone one of these Aluminum bodies. The bridge is original to some variants of the '82-'84 run, as is the nut, and the tuners which is why it seems like someone broke the original neck and rather than repairing it, took the nut and tuners off the old neck and slapped them on a shoddy replacement.

With a new neck that fits the nut it should play well, and it's easily one of my better-sounding guitars. With a little work, you can make anything playable, so she'll be in my collection for a good long while, whether she's as valuable as her all original counterparts or not. I'm just hoping someone that is more familiar with Talbos than I am can come along and help me pin down a specific year from some of it's other more unique features, if that's possible without the original neck and serial number
#6
it may be easiest to nail down a range of dates based on the electronics.

pot codes?

what do the bottom of the pups look like? any markings?
#7
I'll let you know once I get it all apart. it just came home last night and I haven't messed with it too terribly much; though I hadn't considered pot codes, or anything on the bottom side of the pups.

If someone did, indeed, add a second Tone and Volume knob to it, odds are that all of the pots were replaced at the same time, but it's worth a shot.
#8
Small update; I emailed the Tokai Factory with my questions, and inquiring about purchasing a replacement neck from them, and they wrote me back asking for pictures of the guitar. Hopefully I'll know something soon