I finally became a very unhappy Tokai owner.

Tokai guitar discussion

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cuthbert
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I finally became a very unhappy Tokai owner.

Post by cuthbert » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:55 am

Just sent the payment for this KLC345BB, shameful copy of a 1957 Custom with three pickups and Bibsgy B7:

Image

I already have an Historic R0 and I toying with the idea of getting a 1960 Custom but price and availability for Gibson is prohibitive (made to order), this Tokai has not been cheap at all at all but it looks solid and I hope the reputation about quality is well deserved.

Does anybody know if these Kurosawa special orders have the correct neck angle for a vintage Les Paul like the HLSs?

Another thing, it appears to me that there is binding over the frets:

Image

However the shop denies that. Am I blind? Or wishful thinking? :-?
Last edited by cuthbert on Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

marcusnieman
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Re: I finally became a more or less proud Tokai owner.

Post by marcusnieman » Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:45 pm

More or less proud owner? Shameful copy?
Oh ye of little faith! :roll:

"Binding over the frets" instead of "fret edge binding" may pose a translation issue.

luis
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Re: I finally became a more or less proud Tokai owner.

Post by luis » Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:01 pm

These are LC models with some special festures hence they would have a 4'5º boddy to neck angle, originals had 4º and HLC 3'8 º .
Headstock would be 17ª as on premium instruments.

Enjoy it! I do love Customs

MARCUS, Tokai do no fret covered by binding lately, less time consuming I guess. I agree it should have fret edge binding as on originals....

cuthbert
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Re: I finally became a more or less proud Tokai owner.

Post by cuthbert » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:26 am

I finally received the guitar and indeed it has binding over the frets, so I am very happy.

Image

Image

I am less happy to find out the first five MOP inlays are offset and one is slightly tilted, evidently Tokai´s legendary attention for details belongs to the past. :-?

However more pictures of this black beauty:

Image

Image

Love the case too:

Image

Here with my Les Paul R0:

Image

JVsearch
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Re: I finally became a more or less proud Tokai owner.

Post by JVsearch » Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:30 pm

cuthbert wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:26 am
I am less happy to find out the first five MOP inlays are offset and one is slightly tilted, evidently Tokai´s legendary attention for details belongs to the past. :-?
I can tell you that my vintage Tokai LS has inlays that are not accurately centred, but I kind of like it.
Love your new Custom and the R0 looks nice too!

Anyway, how's it sound and play?
Totally biased towards Japanese made guitars.

cuthbert
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Re: I finally became a more or less proud Tokai owner.

Post by cuthbert » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:13 am

JVsearch wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:30 pm
cuthbert wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:26 am
I am less happy to find out the first five MOP inlays are offset and one is slightly tilted, evidently Tokai´s legendary attention for details belongs to the past. :-?
I can tell you that my vintage Tokai LS has inlays that are not accurately centred, but I kind of like it.
Love your new Custom and the R0 looks nice too!

Anyway, how's it sound and play?
Besides the annoying situation of the inlays (we are talking about a $2700 guitar after all) fit and finish is great: I don´t know if lacquer really means nitro however fretwork is flawless, the bone nut is really well cut and the guitar arrived with a very low action that almost makes me difficult to play.

In terms of pure sound the Gotoh vintage MkII pickups are OK but nothing more, the original 3 pickups wiring for the 50s Custom not very helpful IMO and as soon as the Coronavirus situation is solved I´m going to change it for a three non master volumes arrangement.

Kenshin1988
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Re: I finally became a more or less proud Tokai owner.

Post by Kenshin1988 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:48 am

Dissapointed to hear that. This is one of the reasons I have not bought a new Tokai. I have heard from quite a few people that modern Tokai just does not have the quality of the 70, 80s and 90s. If I pay near Gibson prices for a copy, it better blow my mind on all levels. Sorry to hear that man.

JVsearch
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Re: I finally became a more or less proud Tokai owner.

Post by JVsearch » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:21 pm

cuthbert wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:13 am
... fit and finish is great: I don´t know if lacquer really means nitro however fretwork is flawless, the bone nut is really well cut and the guitar arrived with a very low action that almost makes me difficult to play.
These are probably the most important aspects of guitar quality IMO. Gibson had some problems at one time where the tune-o-matics weren't positioned properly and those guitars could never be correctly intonated. Not good.
cuthbert wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:13 am
In terms of pure sound the Gotoh vintage MkII pickups are OK but nothing more, the original 3 pickups wiring for the 50s Custom not very helpful IMO and as soon as the Coronavirus situation is solved I´m going to change it for a three non master volumes arrangement.
Yeah I hear you on that, some humbuckers I have on a Japanese Thinline Tele are pretty good clean but not that great dirty.
Totally biased towards Japanese made guitars.

JVsearch
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Re: I finally became a more or less proud Tokai owner.

Post by JVsearch » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:33 pm

Kenshin1988 wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:48 am
Dissapointed to hear that. This is one of the reasons I have not bought a new Tokai. I have heard from quite a few people that modern Tokai just does not have the quality of the 70, 80s and 90s. If I pay near Gibson prices for a copy, it better blow my mind on all levels. Sorry to hear that man.
My LS is from 1982 and has wonky inlays, but I couldn't give a damn because it's a wonderful guitar, and I don't notice the inlays when I play it. You might miss out on a great axe if you're looking for perfection.
However, I guess this desire for perfection has come from people having to buy without being able to see the guitar in person. It's kind of a way to make sure you're getting a good one?
Totally biased towards Japanese made guitars.

#44
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Re: I finally became a more or less proud Tokai owner.

Post by #44 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:18 pm

cuthbert wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:26 am
Image
Nice pair of guitars!
Is it just me, or maybe the picture is taken at just the right angle, but is the angle of the R0 headstock off kilter with the neck?

cuthbert
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Re: I finally became a more or less proud Tokai owner.

Post by cuthbert » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:08 pm

Kenshin1988 wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:48 am
Dissapointed to hear that. This is one of the reasons I have not bought a new Tokai. I have heard from quite a few people that modern Tokai just does not have the quality of the 70, 80s and 90s. If I pay near Gibson prices for a copy, it better blow my mind on all levels. Sorry to hear that man.
I asked a quote for a 1960 Les Paul Custom reissue (the don´t make that model off the shelves) and the answer was $7000, taxes not included, so they are not cheap. The 57 model is about the same price:

https://reverb.com/item/29721044-gibson ... xbzK-u9Kmo

But yes, not so long ago a 57 Custom came for 3000 euros, it was 2011 and I kick myself for not having bought it, but would have known in few years prices would have doubled?

However due to the stellar reputation of Tokai on quality I remained a little disappointed, the busted volume pot is an easy fix, but the inlays are not. Here there is a picture:

Image

I asked explanation to Kurosawa but no answer, they told to enjoy the guitar. There is also a paint leak on the binding on the body, again not something I expected from a Japanese high end guitar, on the other side other details like the bone nut cut are excellent.

Other pics:

Image

Image

I already ordere a bell truss rod cover engraved Love Rock CUSTOM

Image

These are the capacitors, are they oil in paper?
JVsearch wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:21 pm
Yeah I hear you on that, some humbuckers I have on a Japanese Thinline Tele are pretty good clean but not that great dirty.
They are not bad, but lack something in personality...I wonder if the issue is they are covered, I usually play coverless humbuckers because IMO high end and long end are better. I might change for three open coil ´buckers but I am not sure they will look "good" with the Bigsby
Last edited by cuthbert on Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cuthbert
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Re: I finally became a more or less proud Tokai owner.

Post by cuthbert » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:18 pm

Kenshin1988 wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:48 am
#44 wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:18 pm
Is it just me, or maybe the picture is taken at just the right angle, but is the angle of the R0 headstock off kilter with the neck?
No it´s a metter of perspective, that R0 is an excellent guitar with a killer flamed top that you can admire in this picture:

Image

I upgrade the pickups with a DiMarzio 59 and a custom Benson pickup, plus Luxe capacitors and now it screams. The Tokai on the other side being an all mahogany Custom is darker. I am going to order the correct spec knobs, I will probably rewire the three pickups with three master tones and possibly buy a set of locking Grovers as the tuning stability of the Bigsby is sketchy.
Last edited by cuthbert on Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JVsearch
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Re: I finally became a more or less proud Tokai owner.

Post by JVsearch » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:15 pm

cuthbert wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:08 pm
However due to the stellar reputation of Tokai on quality I remained a little disappointed, the busted volume pot is an easy fix, but the inlays are not. Here there is a picture:

Image

I asked explanation to Kurosawa but no answer, they told to enjoy the guitar. There is also a paint leak on the binding on the body, again not something I expected from a Japanese high end guitar, on the other side other details like the bone nut cut are excellent.
I can see how that might be pretty annoying.
Hopefully the guitar sounds great and you'll hardly notice it in time.
Totally biased towards Japanese made guitars.

cuthbert
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Re: I finally became a more or less proud Tokai owner.

Post by cuthbert » Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:01 pm

JVsearch wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:15 pm
I can see how that might be pretty annoying.
Hopefully the guitar sounds great and you'll hardly notice it in time.
I am quite surprised as this is the top of the range Tokai (345.000 yen), they clearly spent a lot of time sourcing a Bibsgy, cutting a bone nut, finishing with nitro, getting ebony (I think this is one of the rare Custom copies with an ebony fingerboard) and then they make such a sloppy error.

Paladin2019
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Re: I finally became a more or less proud Tokai owner.

Post by Paladin2019 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:42 am

Caps are not paper in oil, they're orange drops which I believe are polypropylene.

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