Japan vs Korea ...

Tokai guitar discussion

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little-odgie
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Japan vs Korea ...

Post by little-odgie » Sun Jun 06, 2004 12:22 pm

After the recent discussions about MIJ and MIK models, their relevant plusses and minusses, and materials etc I'd like to tell all about my recently aquired MIK ALS50S Goldtop. (Yawn!) :o

I bought the guitar specifically to gig with a new band because it fitted the general band image thing, and the crowds we play to can be a bit on the enthusiastic side ... I own Gibsons but I'm not risking them.
Admittedly I've made a couple of changes; I've put Grover tuners on because I like the guitar to stay in tune for more than half a song. I changed the bridge because the saddles on the original one were seemingly designed to remove skin from the outside edge of player's right hands. I installed a DiMarzio DLX (DP154) in the bridge position because some of our lights interfere with single coils and I like the fuller tone of a humbucker into valve amps. I set up the dreadful action and neck - and here's a thing, why do factories and stores let otherwise reasonable guitars go out into a competative marketplace set up so badly?? - once sorted it played fine, low enough for me and buzz free. Now I have a reasonable instrument that does what it says on the tin, all for under 400 quid (that's pounds sterling for the benefit of our American colleagues!). Epiphone ... no thanks. MIJ Tokai?? Well, inquisitive soul that I am I went down to the local purveyor of fine things and had a serious look at one. They are lovely - don't they play well?? - but for what I want it for I'm happy enough with the MIK Goldie for now. As I say, if I want to play a Gibson I have 2 to choose from, but I'd rather play the goldtop than my MIA Strat, or indeed the Tokai Breezysound I bought on a whim about a year ago. It's a personal thing. I think that maybe that's what this rant all about ... each guitar is an individual case, like each of us is an individual player, and I think it's unfair to down MIK Tokais simply because they weren't made in Japan. That's elitist. Alder bodies and maple necks have done well for Fender for over 60 years, and while I agree the build on some MIK guitars is none too fantastic, the build of this ALS50S looks alright to me (although the old x-ray vision isn't what it used to be since the incident with the kryptonite) I have to say that the finish on the LS70 I tried out left a bit to be desired - tuners were screwed on a bit wonky (same cheapo tuners as the MIK?? They sure look to be.) and both edges of the neck binding were very, very sharp when I ran my finger along them. Played nice though and with a bit of attention it will be a fine guitar. With a bit of attention. Honestly. For over 700 quid that sucks. For the same money you can have a Gibson Les Paul, albeit the Studio model. But it will have Gibson on the headstock, and it will be made in the USA, home of the electric geetar. By the way, I also own a Yamaha SG from the late 70's - now that WAS a guitar that panicked the boys in Kalamazoo.

So what'll it be? A slice of history? Want some cream with that too? Or will you settle for a comfortable playable guitar that sounds good, doesn't stuff the bank account and won't break your heart when it gets trashed during a gig. Hmmm ....? :wink:
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Paladin2019
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Post by Paladin2019 » Sun Jun 06, 2004 12:26 pm

MIK could probably overtake MIJ as the number one in quality & value for money if they stopped making the arse-end of the american/japanese company lines.

The own brand cort and samick guitars are fantastic, especially in the higher price brackets.

Stormeh
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Post by Stormeh » Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:05 pm

Oh yeah those Cort guitars are fantastic! the only korean made guitars i would take to a gig without a backup.

kherman
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Post by kherman » Sun Jun 06, 2004 2:41 pm

Stormeh wrote:Oh yeah those Cort guitars are fantastic! the only korean made guitars i would take to a gig without a backup.
Have you tried the Brian Moore iM 2000 series?

Awesome guitars. made in Seoul, Korea.
By Cort maybe?.
The Conklin Groove Tool line is quite nice as well.


Kent

kherman
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Post by kherman » Sun Jun 06, 2004 2:43 pm

I think it's unfair to down MIK Tokais simply because they weren't made in Japan. That's elitist.
No, that's Epiphone(Fuji gen), not Tokai, that makes the Elitist.

;) :P


Kent

little-odgie
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Post by little-odgie » Mon Jun 07, 2004 1:43 am

Fnaaarrr!! That's humourist!! Or is that the bone in your arm!!?

Anyway, I've just had a look at the Cort website ... man, those guitars may be lovely to play but with the exception of the enticingly named "jazz box" and the strat2 they are horrible to look at. Buy a Jem. Yeesh. :D
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henry.rollins
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Post by henry.rollins » Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:12 am

I have a tokai nightwing thats made in korea, it plays amazingly, far far better then any gibson sg i've played, i get tired of guitars very easy and have got through about 40 in the past 2 years but this isn't going anywhere.

Paladin2019
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Post by Paladin2019 » Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:16 am

Stormeh wrote:Oh yeah those Cort guitars are fantastic! the only korean made guitars i would take to a gig without a backup.
I wouldn't take anything without a backup. Strings can break on anything from an encore to a PRS. :wink:

kherman
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Post by kherman » Sun Jun 13, 2004 6:37 am

Remember when there was a time one would not even think of buying a Korean guitar. Heck, there was a time when they would'nt buy a Japan guitar.

Times have changed.

Kent

PHANTOMLORD
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Korean SG

Post by PHANTOMLORD » Sun Jun 20, 2004 11:08 am

I just bought a Korean Korina SG on Ebay (buy now) for ?100 -Seymour duncan at the bridge too. Now unless Korean Tokais are on par with Tawainese Squires then I couldn't be a happier bunny. :wink:

tokaiguy
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Post by tokaiguy » Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:46 am

I have both a MIJ and a MIK 61' SG replica and I really prefer the MIK! The tone is deadon Cream "Wheels of Fire". It's a great guitar. I have had it for 4 years and it's only problem was a broken string last week! 8) TG

peacock72
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Post by peacock72 » Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:13 am

I used to have a 2001 LE Love Rock and now own a LS-200 Love Rock. Loved the MIK after swapping pickups. It was a light and very comfortable guitar. Well made, with a few minor construction flaws that weren't a big deal considering it's origin. Sounded great and looked fantastic and I got a good share of compliments on both the tone and looks. Compared to the LS-200 it kind of came off as a decent "copy" rather than an amazing "replica" but for the price difference what do you want. It was still a great guitar!

little-odgie
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Post by little-odgie » Wed Jun 23, 2004 6:50 am

Aha!! So it's not just me that feels that MIK Tokai doesn't denote inferior in every way! For the record, I've just put a DiMarzio DP162 into the neck of the Goldtop and we truly have lift off! Defeats the object of having P90's at all but it'll do 'til I get me one of those LS70's mit der violin finish. I'm actually going to sell a Gibson V '67 reissue to fund the Tokai. Might even look for an older model on ebay ... stay tooned!

Thanks for all the feedback!

lee
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