Tokai PRS Copy?

Tokai guitar discussion

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yamahaforums
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Tokai PRS Copy?

Post by yamahaforums » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:46 am

Just bought was is supposed to be a Tokai PRS copy. I know Tokai did produce these some time ago, possibly around 2002/2004? not sure, anyway, not seen any others about and I'm not entirely sure it's genuine.

I know there were fake Tokai's going about in Canada a while back but not sure the PRS style model was one of them. By the way does anyone know the actual model name for this guitar?

There is no serial number that I can see, just a 'made in Korea' stick on the back of the headstock.

Some pics below. Would be interested on what people think?

http://imageshack.com/a/img905/6196/nmXmTe.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img538/9514/QafK3O.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img911/2713/a7y8TN.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img540/6243/baJ6xN.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img537/4227/rwVvjb.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img909/1194/JMWlIs.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img911/6698/IPXcni.jpg
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Diamond
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Post by Diamond » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:18 pm

It's genuine...

They still make them today, in China and Japan, they're the LG models.

Here's a 2014 LG124 Spalted Quilt I got a few months ago.



Image
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Post by yamahaforums » Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:18 pm

Thanks for the reply :)

Really like the look of yours! Would have preferred the twin coil humbuckers myself. Also I wanted to fit my Fishman TriplePlay midi pickup to it but the distance between the bridge and the pickup is too small. Needs 9mm and although it's ok at one end it's too small at the other....possibly something not right there?

Anyway, didn't pay too much for it and it seems to be a pretty good guitar so I am fairly happy with it. Will have to find another axe for my midi pickup though.
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Lucke Luke
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Post by Lucke Luke » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:35 pm

Does Tokai not do the birdies for inlays? :)

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Post by yamahaforums » Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:15 am

Haven't seen any with the bird inlays. Dillion do one with them though and I understand they have or had some connection with Tokai?
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villager
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Post by villager » Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:22 am

Lovely top diamond, solid or veneer?

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Post by jonah65 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:08 am

hi diamond, what trem system in yours?

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Post by yamahaforums » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:13 am

Trem system on Diamond's guitar looks like a Wilkinson, same as on mine.
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Diamond
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Post by Diamond » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:47 am

It's a veneer top with a Wilkinson VS100N.

The MIC model uses a Wilkinson VS50K.
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Post by yamahaforums » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:12 am

Having had a really good look at my Tokai and checking around the web I am not entirely convinced this isn't a fake.

There are a few things that stand out. First the headstock. The top and bottom E strings are at too much of and angle to the nut. On all the real Tokai PRS styled guitars I have seen, the strings are kept almost vertical to the nut as in a genuine PRS? I have also seen this same thing on fake PRS's coming out of China so although mine says Made In Korea on the back of the headstock I am not so sure about that.

Next there is that Wilkinson trem. It looks like a Wilkinson VS50 and says Wilkinson on it but doesn't seem to be of very good quality. There is also no cutaway around it on the body so you can't actually use it properly. Pulling on it just meets a dead stop.

It's also quite a heavy guitar. Not sure how heavy an original should be?

Here's a few more pics that might help?

This is a Chinese made LG50 and illustrates the cutaway around the trem. I don't have this. The trem just sits directly on the guitar body.
Image

This is the headstock showing the angle of the strings. If you compare that to an original you'll see what I mean?
Image

Not sure you can see it from this pic but there is no cutaway for the trem?
Image

Back of the headstock showing Made In Korea.
Image

Better shot of the trem. Clearly shows there is no cavity to allow for movement.
Image

And here it is from another angle.
Image

Also not sure about the original but the body on this one seems to be made of four pieces.

What do you think?
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Reborn Old
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Post by Reborn Old » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:57 pm

It looks real to me.
The only difference I see compared to the LG-50 Q shown in catalogs are speed knobs and a slightly different TRC shape.
Pickups, fretboard, graphite nut, badge, hardware placement, headstock shape all look correct.
The trem not functioning properly and no trem contour are the only troubling aspects,
but 2 different manufacturers from 2 different countries might explain this.
I would try emailing these guys about the problem : http://www.theguitarshop.jp/

Fakes wouldn't have the level of detail yours has ..
such as a silkscreened made in Korea badge exactly like the one Tokai uses.
A 4 piece body is commonplace for export models made in Korea and China.

There is no money in knockoffs of base models
and the market is absolutely flooded with legit versions of base models.
It has been for years.

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Post by yamahaforums » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:47 am

Thanks for the reply.

It's the trem issue that bothers me most. It's completely unusable and I can't think of any explanation for this. Every LG50 I have seen has a recess for the trem. Without it there is no way for it to work. All the original Tokai LG50's I have seen do have the trem recess.

The only explanation I can think of is that this was an unfinished body that managed to make it through the production process?

As for the merits of copying low end guitars, there is actually money in it. An original LG50 sells in the UK for around ?400. A Chinese copy can be had for around ?150. If you market it as an original there is still 100% mark up and no one is going to question it because most people don't see why anyone would copy a budget guitar.

International postage from China is heavily subsidised by the Chinese government so unlike say, buying from the USA, it's incredibly cheap to buy from China and delivery is also pretty quick. So that's why it would indeed be profitable to fake lower priced guitars.
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Diamond
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Post by Diamond » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:05 am

yamahaforums wrote:Thanks for the reply.

It's the trem issue that bothers me most. It's completely unusable and I can't think of any explanation for this.
How about every Strat that's ever been made, no recess for the trem, also unusable?
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Post by jonah65 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:29 am

maybe it's been blocked off at the back?

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Post by yamahaforums » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:29 am

How about every Strat that's ever been made, no recess for the trem, also unusable?
Well of course you are correct but the strat trem is floating, which gave me an idea. I took the back plate off and there were 4 springs to tension the trem but one was a different colour. Removed it and rearranged the springs and now the trem floats in the same way as on a strat :)

So, not sure that's the way it should work, as the normal Tokai LG50 does have a recess but at least it is now functional to a certain extent. It's certainly not going to allow for any wild variations but it's better than before. Perhaps someone added the extra spring to lock it down and avoid tuning issues?

By the way I did drop an email to Tokai in Japan along with photos and they got back to me asking for the serial number? Can't see any serial number but perhaps it's under the pickups?
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