Help Purchasing a Tokai in Tokyo

Tokai guitar discussion

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derived813
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Help Purchasing a Tokai in Tokyo

Post by derived813 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:37 am

Hi folks! I'll be heading to Tokyo soon and wanted to purchase a Les Paul model Tokai. I am having some trouble figuring out exactly what I should be looking for (by all accounts, Ochanomizu area is pretty overwhelming), and was hoping to defer to all of your expertise!

I was hoping to spend about $1,500 or less and was wondering if it's possible to purchase a LS 160, LS 196, or LC 195 for around that price? Are there certain stores in Tokyo that I would have the best chance of finding those models for a good price? Would you say those models are the best value for the money?

Also, would it be recommended that I bring it back with me on the plane or have them ship to the US (in terms of customs, CITES, etc.)?

Lastly, any particular pedals I should look for while I'm there that would be difficult to buy here in the States?

Thank you so much!

aroomstudios
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Post by aroomstudios » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:30 pm

Tokai is in Hamamatsu city Japan. Why not just go there an buy direct from them? The CITES fee is $50 from Tokai. I just bought one with rosewood from them. If you go to the Tokai factory you can tour the factory also. Send them a email.

http://www.tokaijapan.com/postmail-utf/postmail.html

Their website with English translation

https://translate.google.com/translate? ... edge1.html

I would check into their SEB construction.

http://www.tokaijapan.com/sebstructure.html

I makes a big difference. I currently own two SEB guitars and have one on order.

iainblack
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Post by iainblack » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:44 am

http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=24257

some tips on this thread re second hand
Please check out my Tokai Strat Book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/my/book/detail/2060524 Image

derived813
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uick

Post by derived813 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:34 am

Thanks! Quick question about buying from them...were you able to buy straight from their Tokai factory? Did you fly back with the guitar or did you have them ship it back to you in the US?

aroomstudios
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Post by aroomstudios » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:32 pm

I have 6 of their vintage guitars. I live in California. I have never been to their factory. I do want to go but do not have any plans on being in Japan in the near future. But I did meet them a few months ago at the 2018 NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. I got two guitars from them that they had at the NAMM show. Both with SEB. Then I ordered two more from them a few weeks ago. One with SEB one without. One stock one custom made. The SH from Tokai to California was $130 for one guitar and $170 for the other. One had a softcase one a hard case which adds about double the weight or so.

The four guitars I just got from them are fender type guitars. The vintage ones are Les Paul and acoustic ones. I know there is a thing that they cannot ship/sell Gibson type guitars to America. Since I have ordered 4 guitars from them maybe they would sell the Gibson ones to me and ship them to me. But I really do not know. I will ask him about this when I am ready for a new Gibson type one. Since you will be in Japan I am sure they will sell you a Gibson type one if you buy it and leave with it. Shipping to America that could be another story.

When you send them a email Shohei Adachi will get back to you. He is the President of Tokai. I though that was pretty cool dealing with the President of the company and not just some random person taking your order.

Check out their website:

https://translate.google.com/translate? ... edge1.html

They have plenty of guitars on there for sale that are ready to go. Really dig through the site and hit next on the bottom of the page. Some pages have 10 pages or so. A lot of the guitars say sold out. But I bet you they have a lot more at the factory that are ready to go that are not on the website.

derived813
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Post by derived813 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:45 pm

Great, thank you! Got in touch with Shohei and am planning a trip there. Quick question, in your opinion, would you say the new Tokais are worth full retail price? I was leaning towards the LS-196 because I’d like a Les Paul style, but it’s about $2k USD. Would you say an older used model like the LS-160 (he said LS-196 was just same guitar but the newer model) would be better bang for the buck?

Thanks again!

aroomstudios
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Post by aroomstudios » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:39 pm

The Les Pauls I have are older ones from the later 70s and 81. I have a few LS-80s from then. Probably the equivalent of a 300 or so now. All my newer Tokais are Fender style ones. They are great guitars. I have some newer top end Fenders and the Tokais beat them out. The Tokais are about half the price of the Fenders and are better in my opinion. One thing I did find is the single coils are noisy from Tokai. More than the Fenders. I just spent about $6 on some copper shielding tape and spend about 2 hours and shielded the guitar. Then the problem went away. Other than that they are great.

I am really interested in the newer SEB Les Pauls. LS 279 - SP SEB, 273, 266.

https://translate.googleusercontent.com ... FZ9N_UAsMw

Probably not what you want to get for your first Les Paul type guitar though.

A 196 would be 196000 yen list. But they sell them for about 85% of that to you. Their website says 169300 so about $1,600 USD.

Yes, you could go around Tokyo and probably get a deal on a 160 or so. Personally, I would go to the factory and get one there. I know they have a lot of cool one offs and stuff you will never see in any store. Also, I would like to go to the factory and just look around.

As for being worth retail I think the quality is really there. The Fenders are about twice the price when you compare quality to Tokai. I am sure the new Les Paul ones are the same. Just for that I would say they are worth it if you are planning on keeping it for the long run. If you may sell it in a year from now different story.

derived813
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Post by derived813 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:38 am

Thanks so much for your help! I talked with Shohei and ended up putting a deposit down on their 70th Anniversary LS-186 Lemon Drop model. Can’t wait to pick it up and view the factory next month!

felixcatus
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Post by felixcatus » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:30 am

derived813 wrote:Thanks so much for your help! I talked with Shohei and ended up putting a deposit down on their 70th Anniversary LS-186 Lemon Drop model. Can’t wait to pick it up and view the factory next month!
8)

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