Chinese tokai breezysound telecaster guitar forum electricity calculator

It has the import style chrome bridge – like the Squier Affinity; with 3 screws – and no ashtray – top load only, although there’s through load holes in the bridge. No matter – I’ve never liked that setup and although its a bit of mucking around – thats all going.

Under the control plate its mini alphas, a reasonable quality PCB switch and lots of room. The routing there is very generous which is a bonus. A closer look at the jack input on the outside (its a plate rather than inset) reveals that its not sitting quite flush with the body.

Changed strings on it and played for about 30 minutes or so. And my suspicions were confirmed. Pickups thin – not exactly lifeless but the neck pickup isnt happening for me. I didnt expect much from the bridge but it is gnarly and bright without a lot of twang or punch- its what you’d expect given the hardware on it and the lack of string through.

All in all a mixed bag- and potentially a good guitar. At 599 AUD retail I think its a bit steep , I would think this wont sell well in Australia – when a Squier Affinity goes for less than 350- 400 new -and there a few Mexican Fenders out there for about the same money(but I got this one for about half the price shipped with a couple of tiny dings in the black paint so I cant complain) -I’d expect to see more of these going cheap in the coming months.

A student of mine has a Tokai ES model hollowbody – the cheaper model..and its a superior instrument to this tele – it came out of the box a pretty good guitar for around 800 bucks. On the other hand with a bit of work this thing will be a good guitar. The neck and body are the important bits after all and while I have my suspicions about the nut slotting ( its a little deep on the top E string) – the quality of the wood and paint work is above average. With some investment in new pickups (I have a set of Fender 58’s going spare) and some messing around with the bridge/tailpiece I’ll be able to give my daughter a good tele to play around with and get my RI back off her!

Overall – its a bit expensive if you are expecting a complete guitar – especially these days. Dont know its origins but looks to be a Chinese knock off that Tokai have licensed and Im guessing it wont hold a candle to their new Japanese line of guitars, none of which Ive tried but I have heard good things about.

I have recently bought a chinese Tokai Breezysound (don’t know the model, but I guess is an ATE 38) in my usual music store. I have had a Fender Telecaster ’52 reissue that I sold, and when I saw this Tokai I fell in love with it. Good price, 330€ (I live in Spain) and the boss (a friend of mine, I have bought a lot of guitars an amps there) gave me an original Tokai bag (55€) for free.

The guitar is very well made, two pieces ash body, maple neck and a thick rosewood fingerboard. It plays really well, but the pickups doesn’t sound good for my taste. So I went to the store and the man (a very professional tube amp repairer and luthier) changed them for a new set of Fender ’51 Nocaster pickups. Plus a neutrik jack, two CTS pots and an original Fender 3 way switch. A lot of work, drilling holes to make some of them bigger, changing some screws, and soldering everything with textil wire. The cavities were painted with graphite coating, but he put some conductive tape to put this to ground. A great job.

Changed the strings, ocatave, pickup height and the guitar sounded really fantastic. It stays in tune and the hum was almost inaudible, incredible. He took a new Fender Tele ’52 reissue off the shop and compare both. The Tokai sounded much better, can you believe? There was very little difference between pickups compared to the new Tokai, and to his ears (and mine too) the bridge pickup was a lot better, and the neck pickup sounded more bluesy, more "rounded". He said that the Fender sounded more "cheap", and hums much more.

The guitar is fantastic now, the mod cost me 220€ more, but it worth that extra. For 550€ now I have what he called a "Custom Shop Tele", a superb guitar that I play and play, I have almost forgot the rest of my guitars (two Fender Strats, a 92 Plus Deluxe with Fralin Blues pickups and a Custom Shop Eric Clapton, plus a Gibson Le Paul Standard T 2017 with Wolfe Mr. Vintage pickups and an Epiphone Les Paul Joe Bonamassa). It’s so good, believe me.

If the Tokai chinese guitars have this tremendous quality I can imagine the more expensive japanese ones… The best buy I have made in years. I will send photographs of my new beauty if you are interested, and hope someone can tell me the exact model, because is not written in any place of the guitar.

Yep exactly – although I found the pickups in mine pretty awful and had to replace them (and the hardware) to make it sound remotely tele like. There seem to be some discrepancies over this side of the world on model numbers, parts and materials. My guess is that the one I got was part of an initial run of typical Asian basswood models that while having respectable Tokai QC were nonetheless bottom of the food chain models that were fishing for better prices based on the brand name. I cant find any info from Tokai on this but now the ATE33 model is no longer made apparently, now replaced by the ATE 48 with an Alder body but is still top loading according to the pics…..

Was there much structural work needed to accommodate the new pickups, and did you have to modify the pick guard? I play mostly fingerstyle myself, so it is important to have really good pickups, as it is difficult to achieve that real Telecaster sound without a pick; I am constantly trying to refine my technique!

Nothing structural essential – I originally had a Bigsby on it but some friends of mine needed a guitar for their son to do guitar study at school – so I removed the Bigsby and measured up and redrilled for a new ashtray bridge and string through. It’s the first time I have done this and it has changed the sound of the guitar significantly – to me its part of the sound but thats personal. An aftermarket pickguard worked fine. It was a good project and now its helping another youngster get started – so all good.