Review of my LS320

Tokai guitar discussion

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Felipe Nacif
Power chords are my friend
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Review of my LS320

Post by Felipe Nacif » Fri Jul 04, 2003 7:26 am

This is the review I posted on Harmony Central. I'm really happy :D

Price Paid: N/A
Purchased from: N/A

Features: 10
This is a brand new Love Rock LS320 model, currently top of line of the Tokai guitars, made at the Tokai facility in Hamamatsu in Japan.
Basicaly a 59 Les Paul replica, with few own Tokai appointments such as the rocket truss rod cover.
One piece mahogany neck, Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and one piece flamed mahogany body, neck with long-tenon joint, just like the old Les Paul new Historic reissues. Light weight guitar of this type, low 8lbs.
Bookmatched 4A chevron flame top, finished in Cherry Sunburst.
2 Seth Lover pickups, CTS pots, vintage style caps, Kluson type tuners, light weight tailpiece. Finish in vintage style lacquer.
The neck has a 59 carve, not baseball bat like a 58, not thin as a 60, very confortable. Pretty much mainstream carve by todays standards.

The Tokai case is also really nice.

Sound: 10
I've been thru lots of guitars, currently I own more than 25, including some top of line PRS and McInturff. This guitar is at least on the same level of the best guitars I've played.
The sound has tons of dynamics, the guitar vibrates like no other. It's everything I could expect from a guitar.
The neck pickup is very full and clear, while the bridge has a tad more bite. Playing thru a Tweed Deluxe with a SD-1, you can sound almost clean to very crunchy, kind of Robben Ford. The guitar has the Knofpler dynamic when you play with your fingers.
The PAF tone is all there, hollow woody midrange. Compared with my 81 Heritage Les Paul, it has more presence, while the Gibson has more pronounced midrange. They complement each other, if you're seaching for ultimate Les Paul tones. But the sustain is unbelieavable. It's one of the very few guitars that you can bend a note and see the volume even rising a bit.

The controls work really well, you can get the woman tone, get jazzy, or agressive like Gibbons.

Action, Fit, & Finish: 10
Finish is top notch, as good as it gets. Frets are medium jumbo, but rounded and smooth, unlike the trapezoid frets of most Gibsons.
The lacquer brings out the best of the wood, specially in the back, where the flamed mahogany really shines.
This guitar has now flaws.

Regarding the factory set-up, I only had to loosen the truss rod a bit. I did expect that, since the guitar came all the way from Japan to Brazil, took 4 days and stayed a lot on cold airplane cargo compartments. Every guitar that comes from airmail to me needs a bit adjustment. It's default.

Reliability/Durability: 10
Considering it's made as the old Les Pauls, which are around much longer than me, I have no doubts it will be pretty reliable. It's been with me only a month.

Customer Support: 10
I've dealt directly with mr. Shohei Adachi, the president of Tokai Gakki company. He's been a gentleman all the way, have done everything to satisfy my needs. Sent pics, answered my emails the next day.
It's the best costumer support I've had in my life.

Overall Rating: 10
This might look to biased, but it's not. This has been the greatest experience guitar-wise I've been thru. I've had more than 50 guitars during the last 10 years, and this one is defitely the most pleasure surprise I've had.
I have no complaints. I'm usually pretty critical about gear, once I have a new guitar I'm always looking for its flaws, anything I can correct or not.
Maybe I'd like this guitar to come with Duncan Antiquities, but so far the Seth Lovers have delivered the goods. I might even change the pickups if the squeal to much under distortion (Seths are non wax-potted pickups), but it won't be because of tone.
The guitar is so good I'm selling some stuff to get another one.
I could sell 15 guitars of mine only to buy 320s.
If I had to have one and only guitar, this would be it.

Submitted by Felipe Nacif at 07/02/2003 07:14


Post by loverockerUK » Fri Jul 04, 2003 8:50 am

Last edited by loverockerUK on Sat Mar 13, 2004 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.


Post by DELETED » Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:21 am


Power chords are my friend
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Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 6:00 pm

Post by QuiltTop » Fri Jul 04, 2003 4:50 pm


Glad that you love it so much! Great review, I might just go over there and post a proper one for my LS80F. Anyway, I did read the posts over at the Les Paul forum and was pleasantly surprised by the replies of some. The forum is overall still a cool one though. I've posted there before about Tokai and they have been helpful. I guess Tokai is not that easy to find in the States and hence the misconception.

Hey post some pics man! Would love to see some more pics of it! How does it sound against the TCM?

Play on.... Glad I didn't turn you to the wrong direction.

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Post by sneakyjapan » Fri Jul 04, 2003 5:51 pm

It`s hard enough resisting these you only make it more difficult.

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Post by luis » Sat Jul 05, 2003 6:47 am

Hey Felipe,non te esquezas das fotos. 8) ,te?en que ser impresionantemente belas :o

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Post by ez2slip » Mon Jul 07, 2003 2:58 pm


Thanks for the review. Sounds like a real winner.

Good lookin' and she sure can cook.... :roll:



Post by Lacroix » Wed Jul 09, 2003 7:10 am

Nice review and right. I hope that I'll be able to get the same one in half of the year. Anyway now I have my LS85Q HDC and satisfied for 100% because it looks and sound better than modern Gibson's LP and difference between real good Gibson's axe and my guitar less than difference in price :D

Felipe Nacif
Power chords are my friend
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 7:28 am

Post by Felipe Nacif » Wed Jul 09, 2003 1:12 pm

Thanks for all replies!

I don't mean to push anyone into GAS madness :lol: , but here are some pics:



This is one amazing guitar, I can say that for sure!
Hope you guys dig it :D


Post by loverockerUK » Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:43 pm

Last edited by loverockerUK on Sat Mar 13, 2004 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Power chords are my friend
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Post by Frank555 » Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:58 pm

Awesome pics Felipe!

Now you've got to show us that flamed mahogany body you were talking about.

And if possible, some soundclips? :)

Felipe Nacif
Power chords are my friend
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 7:28 am

Post by Felipe Nacif » Thu Jul 10, 2003 7:24 am

Thanks a lot!

Frank, I've got a pic, but it does not show the flame as it really is. I'll try better pics soon, anyway, take a look:


Barry, the Seth Lovers work beautifully on this guitar. They are low output, vintage clear tone, and the light weight of the guitar makes it vibrates like an acoustic. It's definitely the clearest LP-type guitar I've played, while keeping smoothness.
There are some pickups out there that have more mids, while the Seth has the hollowness, very woody tone. I dig it a lot, because the whole thing is very smooth.

Don't worry, you WILL like it!

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Post by Paladin2019 » Sat Jul 12, 2003 4:02 pm

Never noticed the covered fret ends on the 320 before. Is there any advantage to this method over the 'uncovered' style?

Very nice pics, sounds like a real winner!


Post by DELETED » Sat Jul 12, 2003 9:54 pm


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