Tokai SG35 - Not impressed :(

Tokai guitar discussion

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MASTER VOLUME
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Tokai SG35 - Not impressed :(

Post by MASTER VOLUME » Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:26 am

Been GASing for a new guitar for a while now and went out to try a few yesterday.
Been keen on sgs so tried out a Tokai sg35, an 2006 model made in china sticker on back of the headstock ,without the fc code.
Whilst it looked nice hanging on the wall , that was about as good as it got.
The nut was truly awful, looked like it been cut with a chainsaw.
The fretboard wasn't much better, the white binding on the side was 'bleeding' into the fretboard.
When I plugged it in things didn't get any better, didn't sound too great and wouldn't stay in tune.
The only good things were that the body looked quite well finished and it wasn't too neck heavy.
Shame, I really wanted to like this guitar but couldn't. Maybe it was a 'bad one', who knows.
Also tried out an epiphone sg, whilst the fretboard was finshed better, it was toneless and soooo neck heavy the headstock would hit the floor if you didn't hold it :D
I have heard alot about the new yamaha pacifica 112v,so tried one of those and was blown away with the quality and tone.
The build quality was flawless, had a really nice satin finish neck,the pickups sound really good for a budget axe , the coil tapped bridge humbucker was a nice feature and the whammy bar stayed in tune.
It would put many guitars 2 or 3 times the price to shame.
So quess what one I'll be buying ?

skalie
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Post by skalie » Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:57 am

I was in a music store the other, bought a cheap bass to use for some demo's.

Bass is a Farida, precision copy.

Guy in the shop said that Farida owned the factory in China, and all the other Chinese basses in the shop were built at that same factory, there being only four guitar making factories in the whole of China.

Thus, the Music Man copies under another brand name, etc., that I was trying out, were only more expensive due to the fact that they were made at a factory set up to produce Faridas.

That could be total rubbish of course, but I have not reason to doubt his information as he talked me into buying the cheapest bass in the shop.

Whether or not Chinese Tokais are made in a third party factory, I have no idea, but one thing I am pretty certain of, if you want top quality go for the Japanese models, followed by the Korean models.

MASTER VOLUME
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Post by MASTER VOLUME » Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:12 am

I was wondering if Tokai actually make the chinese guitars or they are made by a third party.
I know for a fact that the made in china epiphones are made by epiphone in their own factory in china.
Gibson set up their own factory in china to produce epiphones so they could build guitars better than the competition.
The made in korea epiphone guitars were made in the same factory as other makes,samick for one.
Gibson said that the problem with that was you couldn't make better guitars than your competition as they came off the same production line, hence why they got their own factory.

leadguitar_323
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Post by leadguitar_323 » Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:54 pm

Hi guys, hahahahahahahah epiphone better than the competition hahahaha, sorry couldn't help myself. Tokai contracts out the work to the Chinese, Tokai is nowhere as big as Gibson so they don't own a factory in China. I have tried the chinese ones too and don't like them at all and they are no where as good as the korean models IMHO.

Mick
so many guitars....so little money...

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Post by BillyWizz » Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:23 pm

skalie wrote: there being only four guitar making factories in the whole of China.

.

There are far more then four factorys in China. I have dealt with over 12 of them and two of them were selling Tokai badged guitars back in 2005.

If you look on any online trade directory like Alibaba.com you will find over 8 factorys in Beijing alone.

There are two dedicated guitar factorys in China building the Gibson fakes. Washburn and Ibanez are built in alternative factorys. Add to that another 150 brand names and my guess is there could be over 25 factorys to handle that amount of production.


The key to good Guitars coming from China is not the factory or the workforce, but the QA guys Yamaha and the other brand leaders send in to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Yamaha and Ibanez are past masters at controlling quality from China. however there are others who sort the bad apples at the point of distribution.

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Post by Ozeshin » Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:35 am

leadguitar_323 wrote:Hi guys, hahahahahahahah epiphone better than the competition hahahaha, sorry couldn't help myself. Tokai contracts out the work to the Chinese, Tokai is nowhere as big as Gibson so they don't own a factory in China. I have tried the chinese ones too and don't like them at all and they are no where as good as the korean models IMHO.

Mick
HAHAHA...I made Mick try the Chinese Tokai when he came to my town for a visit.
The Chinese Tokai that I've seen and played have the FCXXXX serials on the reverse of the headstock.
They certainly leave me unmoved as well.
I played the John Sykes Signature LP that was made in China and of all the Chinese range it was the pick..and certainly better than the Epi version that I played.

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Post by snakehips » Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:06 pm

Never thought I'd be defending Chinese guitar quality, but take a look at my recently acquired Ibanez Artcore AWD72 on my website - link below.

It plays and sounds as good as it looks. Only cost me ?220! I didn't check the country of origin before buying, and was quite shocked when I did. I've always trusted Ibanez, and they certainly know how to subcontract out.

http://www.plankspankers.co.uk/Other%20Guitars%201.htm

Ozeshin
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Post by Ozeshin » Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:02 pm

snakehips wrote:Never thought I'd be defending Chinese guitar quality, but take a look at my recently acquired Ibanez Artcore AWD72 on my website - link below.

It plays and sounds as good as it looks. Only cost me ?220! I didn't check the country of origin before buying, and was quite shocked when I did. I've always trusted Ibanez, and they certainly know how to subcontract out.

http://www.plankspankers.co.uk/Other%20Guitars%201.htm
I don't think it was as much a dig at Chinese quality as much as a critique of the Chinese built Tokai's that DON'T have serials...the ones that I've played that DO have serials are still decent quality for the reduced pricetag.
I just recently bought a Legacy branded Explorer copy...EMG-HZ pickups and grover tuners standard...MiC and it's brilliant....it's my fave guitar at the moment :D

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Post by Jamieh » Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:08 am

Oh dear.

There are SO many rumours about Chinese manufacture!

There are DEFINITELY more than 4 guitar making factories in China, and not every Chinese guitar is made in the same factory at all, that's nonsense!

Epiphone may or may not have their own factory, but I know for a fact that they are not all made in the same place... they make so many guitars they're basically made by whoever has space on the production line to make them!

Anyone who says "this was made in the same factory as Epiphones" MAY be correct, but it is that they are made in AN Epiphone factory, not THE Epiphone factory....

At the end of the day you get what you pay for and depending on how many lines of mark up there are between the factory and the retail floor prices can become slightly distorted against quality and the only thing to know for sure is "do you like it"..... and of course you ALWAYS get good and bad production runs, whether its at top end or bottom end of the market.

MASTER VOLUME
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Post by MASTER VOLUME » Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:27 am

You're right that not all Epiphones are made in the same place.
The goth sreies, the les paul standard,G-400,wildkat and DR-100 acoustics are all made in Gibson owned Epiphone factory in Qingdoa ,China.
Smaller runs like the non standard les pauls are still Korean made.
The Epiphone factory in Qingdoa was set up in october 2002, by Mike Volz, a Gibson luthier of 18 years.
Looks like he needs to take a trip back to China and sort out the QC :D

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Post by BillyWizz » Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:46 am

While we are on this subject :

Did you know Mightmite parts ( Pickups, Necks , Bodies etc ) are mainly all built in China. They still like you to believe Cor-Tek in Korea have the contract, but not any more.

Kent Armstrong pickups for OEM fitments are made in China and are nothing like the original Kent pickups.

When I was looking for suppliers out in China I was gobsmacked at the amount of shite that is built out there and badged with a known brand name. The guitar industry worldwide is losing its identity compared to the 70's and early 80's.

In 10 - 15 years time Africa will be the new China


Just like Japan was the new America , Korea was the new Japan, China was the new Korea and Indonesia nearly became the new China......

stratman323

Post by stratman323 » Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:31 am

BillyWizz wrote: In 10 - 15 years time Africa will be the new China
I'm surprised that India hasn't got in on the guitar market - or have they? It's another growing economy, and they have cornered the market in call-centres already. Surely there is a big industrial manufacturing base in India?

Mike

BillyWizz
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Post by BillyWizz » Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:16 am

stratman323 wrote:
BillyWizz wrote: In 10 - 15 years time Africa will be the new China
I'm surprised that India hasn't got in on the guitar market - or have they? It's another growing economy, and they have cornered the market in call-centres already. Surely there is a big industrial manufacturing base in India?

Mike
I think India is best placed for Technology. They have some of the worlds best IT and programmers. There maufacturing seems based around the Pharmaceutical industry.

Ill people all over the world can thank India for lowering the price of much needed drugs. I hope they continue along that path and steer clear of Guitar production. Otherwise the cost of Cancer drug treatment will go through the roof.

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Post by Ozeshin » Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:33 pm

Be afraid...be VERY afraid...
Many Brand name companies produce guitars in Indian plants already;
YA5252 Yamaha DW9 Dreadnought Guitar
Solid Engelmann spruce, Rosewood back & sides Made in India.
Price: ? 327.00 Pounds Stg (?488.00 Euro)
And who could forget the mighty....GIVSON guitar company many companies use Tone woods...they use Toon woods apparently....I think Bugs Bunny is head Luthier:
http://www.givson.com/home.html#products
Also part of the Squier range is made in India

rgrafend

Post by rgrafend » Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:09 pm

Have you ever been to Luanda in Angola? I've been there just 10 days ago.

The local Hilton is full with chinese people buying mahogany to feed the factory the are building. Guess who is their first american business partner...

I would not look into India when it comes to manufacturing. IMHO it simply does not fit. They (the top-caste btw) are our back-office since some 10 years already. AKA "knowledge" workers. Those people who know EXACTLY how/why they cannot answer a question but still charge for it.

I also want to point to the fact that indian companies like Wipro, Infosys, Tata came to the same conclusion and are trying desperately to hire people in the US, Australia and Europe.

Om.

Rup

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