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Old January 28th, 2013, 12:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Impulse buy- Hilton Valentine's Tokai Goldstar

Alright, I dun it again. It's dangerous to search Ebay under simply "guitar" and go by items ending soonest (or newly listed), 'cause you're likely to find something good. I pulled the trigger on this '84 Tokai Goldstar strat, purchased new, played and sold by The Animals' original guitarist, Hilton Valentine. It's all original, including tremolo arm except for USA Fender RI pickups, but the original grey bottom E stamped pickups are included in the auction. $720 shipped may be a bit high (is it?)- but it seems the ones coming from overseas tend to come in around that with the shipping costs. It looks like there's some typical fretwear in the first few frets, but the pic was taken with a bright flash, so i'm being (perhaps overly) optimistic and thinking they may look more pronounced than they are. I've found numerous pics of Hilton playing this guitar, I'm not sure what if any value this adds, but I've saved a few just for the sake of documentation. Unfortunately, the South Park "chef" sticker is one of the most obvious identifying characters (I'll be removing it). I've already corresponded with him and he seems like a good guy, the usual well mannered if slightly absent minded aging British rocker. He had the shipping label printed up late last night, it's on its way already (from one state over). I've got an excellent 1990 Fender Japan 54 RI with a V neck, I'll see how this compares (I'm hoping for some kind of "wow" difference, so I don't feel like I made a dumb purchase). What 'yall thinks?
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Old January 28th, 2013, 01:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Seriously awesome. I've always planned to have a band named "The Hilton Valentines".
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Old January 28th, 2013, 03:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That is a great band name. There is/was a band called the Verlaines, which got their name from Tom Verlaine of Television (who actually came up with that name as a nod to poet Paul Verlaine). Anyways, this strat has probably been in some cool company over the years.
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Old January 28th, 2013, 06:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I used a maple neck Tokai to audition a Princeton Reverb years ago. It was the guitar that made me appreciate a V-neck. My current Strat is an '85 Tokai w/CS '69s and is only second to the '65 I sold when the prices skyrocketed. I've liked everyone I've ever played, I think you will be very happy.
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Old January 28th, 2013, 09:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That's encouraging to hear, Dog Fart (that's fun to write)- I wonder if this one will be a V neck as well- I'm happy as long as it's got some heft to it. I'm definitely going to post pics and first impressions, hopefully in a day or two.
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Old January 28th, 2013, 09:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Leave the sticker on.
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Old January 29th, 2013, 07:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Nice guitar. A fan of Hilton Valentine. Always liked his work in the Animals.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 05:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Good guitar from a famous player. What's not to like? I have a '84 TST-56 with Fralin Vintage Hots and a blend pot. I also eventually added a graphite nut, big trem block, and vintage style locking tuners when I got it refretted. I haven't found a Fender I like better. If you remove the Chef sticker who's gonna cook the Salisbury Steak?
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Old January 30th, 2013, 07:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Awesome! A great provenance and a great vintage instrument to boot.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 07:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Interesting; HV had one of the first guitar web sites I remember visiting, probably some time in the late 90's , I concur that the "Chef" sticker MUST stay... :-)
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Old January 30th, 2013, 07:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old January 30th, 2013, 09:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Sweet guitar; hope it comes through for you. And I'd leave the sticker on: it's the basis for one hell of a story!
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Old January 31st, 2013, 12:12 AM   #13 (permalink)
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You can't go wrong with a Goldstar. I used to have one. Looks like a nice guitar to have.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 02:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well guys, I got the guitar, and at first I didn't think it was all that spectacular when compared to my '89 Fender MIJ 54 RI, but after I set it up to my liking and did some more side by side through my SFPR, the Tokai's got that sweetness and dynamic response that's just not quite there in the Fender. The V neck is nearly identical to the Fender, but just a tad deeper. Now, don't jump all over me guys, but I did remove the sticker- but I peeled it off carefully and all the glue is intact (it's a vinyl sticker), I placed it on some tracing paper (tested it to see that I could still remove it with no problems) and I stored it in a ziploc sandwich baggie. Hilton also sent me a news clipping with a photo of him playing the guitar, as well as an autographed "Skiffledog" pick. And just for extra safe measure I took a photo of the shipping label, which was from a P.O. box address in his name to my current address. But I am digging the guitar, it sounds woody, chimey, quacky, etc- instantly recogniseable classic strat sound. The frets are fairly low with a few divots here and there, I may consider a fret job if I commit to the guitar. And by the way- I put the original grey bottom E stamped pickups in my 54ri and they're pretty damn amazing. So here's a pic-
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Old February 10th, 2013, 10:28 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Nice!! Would love to hear it. Got clips?
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