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1960s Tokai Gakki Hummingbird Vintage Electric Guitar Black w/ Gold Foils, Japan


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Up for sale, a 1960s Tokai Gakki Hummingbird model 100S vintage guitar, professionally setup and featuring a pair of highly-prized Japanese gold foil pickups. Purportedly the first electric guitar model ever offered by Tokai (in both 100S and 200S versions) and a rare instrument indeed, this Japanese-made Hummingbird has a number of visual and sonic influences, synthesizing Mosrite, Burns and Fender for a wholly unique result.

The pickups have an articulate, broad quality, with plenty of glassy, sparkling treble and a focused, sweet bass register. Either soloed or combined, the gold foils have a full spectrum sound and nice midrange character, sensitive to picking dynamics and offering great clarity even with the Tone knob rolled fully back. This Hummingbird weighs 6lbs 2oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 roundwound strings, low action, and accurate intonation.

The mahogany neck has a substantial U-shaped profile carve with tons of shoulder and heft, measuring .890" deep at the 1st fret and 1.080" at the 12th. The thick slab rosewood fretboard retains the original slender fretwire which is quite low, leveled and crowned and showing no wear, playing cleanly up the 25 1/2” scale. The fretboard measures 1 11/16" wide at the zero fret just forward of the nut, and the headstock features the original metal TG logo and set of upgraded Kluson-style tuners that turn smoothly and hold pitch well.

The straightforward electronics function as intended, with Master Volume and Tone knobs and individual pickup on/off switches governing the gold foil pair. The two pickup switches have also been shaved down somewhat in an attempt to get them further out of the pick path (it worked, and functionality isn’t compromised). Hardware includes the machined aluminum bridge and Jazzmaster-style vibrato, and plastics comprise the original brown tortoise pickguard and pair of gold bonnet knobs.

The guitar has been refinished in a semi-professional gloss black, with finish loss down to a brick red base coat on the lower bout body edge, various scuffs and nicks on the body as a whole, and some additional small finish chips on the back and body perimeter. The neck retains a smooth gloss finish.

A padded gigbag is included.