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1981 Tokai Springy Sound ST55 Vintage S-Style Guitar, Metallic Red, 100% Original w/ Hangtags, Japan


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Up for sale, a 1981 Tokai Springy Sound model ST-55 MR in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, boasting a custom color Metallic Red) finish with matching headstock and complete with the original Tokai-branded gigbag and hangtags. One of the more storied vintage Japanese Strat-style guitars, the Springy Sound models were celebrated upon their introduction for being a faithful, high-quality spin on the classic Fender platform, even finding their way into the hands of players like Stevie Ray Vaughn and Billy Gibbons.

The Springy Sound line was produced from 1978-83, and this particular model has a 1950's aesthetic and tonal profile with a small Pre-CBS style headstock shape, single-ply pickguard, and the tonewood pairing of a one-piece maple neck and alder body. This Tokai has a clear, defined acoustic voice that translates well through the original trio of gray bobbin, U-stamped alnico magnet single coil pickups which have plenty of sparkling treble and tight low-end. All three pickups meter just over 8k ohms (notably hotter than vintage Strat coils), achieving the clarity and bounce of a vintage Strat with a bit more midrange and authority. This Springy Sound weighs 7lbs 9oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action and accurate intonation.

The maple neck has a chunky C-shaped profile carve with ample shoulder, measuring .875” deep at the 1st fret and .920” at the 12th. The maple fretboard has a 7 1/4” radius with stock slender fretwire, showing only wear beneath the plain strings on frets 3-10. This guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 42.5mm (just shy of 1 11/16” in width). On the headstock, the Tokai Springy Sound waterslide decal is in excellent condition above text which reads “This is the Exact Replica of the Good Old Strat” where one would typically expect to see the small patent numbers under the model name. The Kluson-style, “Tokai”-stamped tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch, with even surface patina. The four-bolt serialized neck plate dates the instrument to '81.

The electronics work as they should, with untouched solder joints and the original gray bobbin pickup trio wired to full-size 250k pots. Plastics include the original trio of knobs, all evenly yellowed, and the one-ply white pickguard, which displays some scuffing along the strum path on the treble side.The hardware has plenty of shine, and the original vibrato actuates smoothly for warbles and dives.

Cosmetic wear on the gloss Candy Apple Red finish includes a handful of dings and small chips along the body perimeter, particularly concentrated at the bass-side waist and treble-side lower bout, with a smattering of additional pinhead-sized dings at the arm contour and on the back. The gloss finish on the neck profile is smooth and clean.

The original oxblood faux-leather Tokai-branded gigbag is included, along with the hangtags.