Has buying Tokai stopped you buying Gibson ?

Tokai guitar discussion

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luis
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Post by luis » Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:48 am

I guess people buy Tokai becxause a reason: really good quality at a nice money, every segment of the market. Well, high end are really expensive now and tops are not those we love but Gibbo counterpart are more expensive. I made my choose a lot of years ago and I?m really happy with my Tokais.I was able to compare them and I bought a Gibson,but sold it.

Dave_Mc
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Post by Dave_Mc » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:22 am

ACY wrote:No, Gibson themselves stopped me buying Gibsons!
haha

Diamond
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Post by Diamond » Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:29 pm

ACY wrote:No, Gibson themselves stopped me buying Gibsons!
Post of the year, 2011. :D

spikeymikey
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Post by spikeymikey » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:53 am

"Has buying Tokai stopped you buying Gibson?"


Yes.

f5joe
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Post by f5joe » Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:56 am

spikeymikey wrote:"Has buying Tokai stopped you buying Gibson?"
No, not at all.
Image

voiprodrigo
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Post by voiprodrigo » Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:31 pm

Tried my luck with gibson. In the end bought a ls1-r8, I have it for a couple of weeks and I love it. Without going into details of my recent experience of trying to buy Gibson, I have to say that, IMHO, it's not acceptable from Gibson the lack of QC they are showing. Some guitars should not leave their factory, yet they do. I wish I had found tokai sooner, would have save me the trouble. My next will be a ES, and it will be a tokai.

Diamond
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Post by Diamond » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:02 pm

Here's an appropriate photo for this thread.

On the left a used Gibson LP 60s Traditional (I think that's what it's called), twice the price of the brand new Tokai LS92 Violin Finish on the right.

Image

f5joe
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Post by f5joe » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:09 pm

Diamond: Good point.

I've bought some of the new Tokais and they are very, very good. My interest in Tokais leans towards the old stuff ... LS 70 and higher. I've owned quite a few of these. However, these days, the pricing on the old Tokais gets well into (and above) the range of a good used Gibson Historic LP. As stated earlier, for me there is a threshhold where I prefer the used Gibson Historic value more than I prefer the old Tokais. Again, just my preference. Takes nothing away from the value and quality of the new Tokais and Gibsons that you sell. :)
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singemonkey
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Post by singemonkey » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:55 am

Endless topic. But I think there is a right answer here.

Firstly, Gibson USA models are shockingly badly made. I've heard people argue this point, but I don't know how they convince themselves. I've looked at entire walls of new Gibson USA models and found obvious cosmetic flaws on every one. Every. Single. One.

Added to that is their huge divergence from 1950s specs. Who doesn't revere 1950s/1960s Gibsons above others? A tiny minority. And Gibson USA models - chambered, multi-piece backs, heavy tailpieces, etc. - are a long way away. Gibson USA models are often good playing guitars. But their new features and appalling finishing leaves them trailing behind Japanese makers.

So what of Custom Shop historics? Great guitars. And if you compare a 2nd hand one to a new Tokai, they're about the same price - or even cheaper. Just like when you compare a 1980s Jaguar to a new Mazda, guess what? It's cheaper.

I'm not arguing that that's an identical comparison at all, but it's absurd to compare 2nd hand prices to new and say the Gibson is a better deal. Compare the price of a recent 2nd hand historic to a recent 2nd hand premium Tokai, and, once again, the Tokai is significantly cheaper for a guitar that differs only in flavour and emphasis - not quality.

I think it would be truer to say that at $1,850 or so for an R8 you get a damn fine Les Paul that you don't have to justify. No more struggling to explain how your guitar is not an alternative to a Cort or an Epiphone when someone asks you after a gig.

I think that's entirely understandable. But I do think it says more about brand prestige than about guitar quality. There are dud historics and dud premium Tokais - you can't know what the wood's going to do until the guitar's finished and strung up, no matter how good it is on paper.

For me, I think about when pro photographers started pitching up in the 1950s with a little rangefinder camera branded "Nikon." It was obviously a Japanese knock off of the German Leica cameras. Japanese = poor quality toy rubbish. But when people started seeing the results, and realised how much cheaper the Japanese "Leica" was, and heard the owners talking about the quality and reliability, something started to shift.

Electric guitars are not technology driven. They already do what we wish they would do. So Japanese makers aren't going to "trump" Gibson any time soon. But they still offer a fantastically high quality product at a lower price. And like the Japanese camera makers, their respect for their customers is obvious.

In contrast, Gibson makes you pay a lot of money for quality that came standard in the 1950s. At the original price point they offer a product that radiates contempt for their customers - something that is about bean counting and cost saving, not quality.

I would buy a 2nd hand Gibson if it was the right guitar at the right (2nd hand Custom Shop) price. But I'm even more likely to buy the right Tokai, Bacchus, or Burny, since that guitar, 2nd hand, is almost always going to be at a much more tempting price. Gibson USA? I'm totally done with that brand.

carl300367
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Post by carl300367 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:06 am

i loaned my tokai love rock to a mate in work who's friend tried it when he visited
although it's only a korean made model ,early i think as it has no serial No,
his mate loved it saying it played and felt better then the 2 gibsons he has that he paid over ?1800 a peice for :D

JVsearch
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Post by JVsearch » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:06 am

Used Gibson Historic v premium Tokai LP bought over the internet without being able to play the guitars?

I would nearly always buy the Gibson, because I know I wont have a problem re-selling it if I don't like it.

Personally, I haven't had a really bad experience with any Gibson I've bought (about 6) and there was at least one that I never should have sold. However, minor cosmetic blemishes are of absolutely no importance to me, as long as I know about them before I put down the cash. I don't give a sh*t as long as it plays well and sounds good.
Totally biased towards Japanese made guitars.

singemonkey
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Post by singemonkey » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:18 am

JVsearch wrote: minor cosmetic blemishes are of absolutely no importance to me, as long as I know about them before I put down the cash. I don't give a sh*t as long as it plays well and sounds good.
Well, for me, I'd rather spend $1,500 on a guitar that's put together like a $2,000 guitar, than spend $2,000 on a guitar that's put together like a $500 guitar.

I agree though that it's going to be easier getting rid of a 2nd hand Gibson Custom Shop for what you paid than a 2nd hand premium Tokai. That's the market.

marcusnieman
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Post by marcusnieman » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:22 am

JVsearch wrote: I would nearly always buy the Gibson, because I know I wont have a problem re-selling it if I don't like it.
That right there says it.... alot more people out there that would buy a Gibson than a similar Tokai because of the name alone

luis
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Post by luis » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:35 pm

It would depends on where you live.
I understand US people prefer Gibson Historics, they are very accesible and are able to pick a good one.But here in Europe there are not so good Reissues,at least here in Spain, I have seen severasl R8 and R9 foating around continously and a R9s(flamed top) cost here 2.500 euro and up used....

Said, that I will get a LS-320 or order made Tokai over a Gibson Reissue but that?s me. And I was able to compare side by side my 320s with Gibson Custom Shops. I did know certain Custom Shop employee buying other brand when he wanted a good ,why? :roll:

mattim
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Post by mattim » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:40 pm

I was shopping for guitars in Japan, Tokyo Ochanomizu area, the Year was 2007 beginning of January.

I was trying to find a decent high end Tokai, failed badly. Instead I bought a 2006 Gibson LP standard. I had chance to test 8 similar guitars acoustically and with amp. The price of ths Standard was about 1100 euros, whicih I consider a bargain for a guitar of that caliber.

I would not have considered to buy a Gibson LP Standard with the prices we have to pay here in Finland.

In my case the owning Tokai guitars, does not prevent me from enjoying guitars with other brands also.

I still have the Gibson and I really like it's sound and the overall quality of that guitar, the only small drawback is the little bit skinny 50's neck...

Matti
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