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1990s Tokai Talbo A-125SH Aluminum Body Guitar Black Sparkle, Japan


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Up for sale, a 1990s Tokai Talbo A-125SH in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. Introduced in 1982, the Talbo (an acronym for Tokai aluminum body) is one of the more unique guitars to come out of ‘80s Japan. Visually and sonically unique, it features a double teardrop design with a solid AC-4B aluminum body; the same alloy commonly used in race car engines. The Talbo has an expressive, shimmering sound with a distinctive and immediate treble response, faithfully captured by the stock SSH pickup complement. The bridge humbucker is lively and aggressive, taking gain notably well, and the two single coil pickups deliver Fender-esque clarity and percussive cut. This Talbo weighs 9lbs, benefitting from a professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.

The maple neck has a medium C-shaped profile with modest shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .830” deep at the 1st fret and .890” at the 12th. The thick slab rosewood fretboard has a 12” radius with flawless medium jumbo fretwire, playing cleanly up the 25 1/2” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The stock bone nut measures 1 11/16” in width, and on the headstock, the Kluson-style Gotoh tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch.

All of the electronics work as intended, with the SSH pickup complement wired to the stock harness and governed by a five-way pickup selector switch with Master Volume and Tone controls. The vibrato has a full-sized block, and the unit has a broad, expressive range and excellent tuning stability. The dome-topped knobs have ridged grips for quick swells and on-the-fly adjustments. The three-ply black pickguard rounds out the plastics, with light scuffing across the strum path.

The back of the body sports a distinctive German carve, highlighting the fluid lines of the double teardrop design, and the treble-side body horn has a clean “Talbo” decal. Cosmetic wear on the gloss Black Sparkle finish is limited to a small area of buckle rash central to the waist on the back, a microscopic chip on the lower bout perimeter adjacent to the rear strap button, and a handful of faint scratches on the body as a whole. The smooth gloss finish on the neck profile is flawless.

A heavily padded faux leather gigbag is included.