1981 Tokai TE-150 SB-BL Parsons White String Bender Equipped
Click on main image above for full size pictures
More details to come, but this guitar is now owned by a large guitar museum and will be part of their permanent exhibit.
In early 1981 Tokai created a limited-edition Breezy Sound that came equipped from the factory with a Parsons White String Bender. There were only 50 of these special models made, all in a beautiful transparent blond lacquer finish and retailed for ¥150,000.
String Bender equipped Fender Telecasters are a rarity, but a factory equipped Tokai Breezy Sound is even more so. The String Bender, also known as a B Bender, allows the player to bend the B String one full step by pressing down on neck. Look at the pictures with the back plate removed and you can see how the mechanism works. When I received the guitar the String Bender had been disabled but still fully intact. With a little guidance from Gene Parsons, I was able to get it working just as intended.
The guitar itself is in mint condition and appears to be all original. It is equipped as a copy of a 1948 Fender Telecaster with a one-piece maple neck with soft V profile, round string tree, five screw pick guard and coarse knurled domed knobs.
There is very little information generally available on this model. I’ve only found one other factory equipped TE like this one. I was fortunate to find some information including an original advertisement and a new product announcement in a magazine detailing the guitar. The model itself is not well known and it is certainly among the rarest of Tokai’s.
© 2020 GuitarsOfJapan.com