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Tokai Soundstream T2 Review

Introduction

From Tokai's web site.

The string vibrations of wooden instruments travel faster at the center of the body than they do at the top and back. By placing a cross-grained piece of wood at this center position of the body, sound is reflected back towards the top and back of the instrument four times faster than on a standard guitar. This groundbreaking new body construction offers dramatically increased sustain and note clarity that can actually be felt "streaming" through your body as you play. In addition, the multi-directional grains offer a stunning visual appearance unmatched by standard instruments.

In 1983 we created the same effect with the revolutionary aluminum-alloy body of our original Talbo guitar and bass. Now after two decades of research and development we have succeeded in producing the same long sustain and clear sound with the added warmth and aesthetic appeal of a wooden body.

If you are ready for an entirely new level of sound quality and performance, then it's time you entered the sound stream.

Features

Body: Alder top, Mahogany Middle, Alder Back
Neck: Maple
Fingerboard: Rosewood 22 frets
Bridge: Tokai Vintage
Pickups: 2 single coil, 1 PAF type humbucker
Controls: 1V, 2T, 5way-selector

Basic Strat type guitar with a humbucker. What is unique is the PAF or covered pickup not normally seen on Strat shaped guitars. Also, the lower horn has been cut-off which allows for easy access to the 22nd fret. It takes some getting used to but the shape grows on you. This is obviously a pre-production guitar as there are vitually no markings other than Tokai logo and made in Japan on the back of the headstock.

Construction and Feel

Its a Made in Japan Tokai, what more needs to be said. The neck is fast and smooth and the pickups sound great.

Sound

This is where the Sound Stream really shines. Not only does it sound great, kinda like a SG, but the sound feels great. No you didn't read that wrong... the sound FEELS great. As stated above the sound vibrations are excellerated towards the front and back of the guitar and when you nail a power chord you can really feel the guitar vibrate.

I plugged her in and set the GuitarPort to AC/DC's Back in Black and just let it rip. When playing with my Love Rocks there is a noticeable diffence between Angus's sound and mine but with the Sound Stream there is not much difference. What was really fun was feeling the vibrations as I played through the chorus (A, E, B, A, B) which just makes you want to crank up the sound even loader.

The other thing I noticed was how clear the notes come through even with heavy distortion and how long they sing or sustain. The solo section of Back in Black really stands out with this guitar.

Conclusion

If your looking for something different in shape and sound then the Sound Stream series might be your ticket. It's great to see Tokai diversify into new lines and hopefully their success with the Love Rocks will carry them forward with the Sound Stream.

Hopefully there will be more to report on this line at winter NAMM in 2005.

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