Love rock vs "real thing"

Tokai guitar discussion

Moderators: ian, ned

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Post by Guest » Thu Mar 22, 2001 6:33 pm

I've got the Les Paul jones bad. I've been a strat man (and G&L) for years. Our other guitarist recently picked up a Gibson Les Paul Custom that I love. So....I gotta get me one.

However, I cant afford a custom. I'm going to sell some gear and come up with probably $1000.

I've heard some good things about the Japanese made Tokais. How are the similar to a Les Paul standard, how are they different. What's the resale value on the Tokais? I think G&L makes a superiour guitar to Fender...but there's not as much resale value. I'm not sure if I want to go down that road.

So....with a grand do I get a Love rock..or a Les Paul classic or used Standard?

[Anonymously Posted by: 'Ben Moloney']


Post by Guest » Sat Mar 24, 2001 1:09 pm


Someone on the board got a Japanese Love Rocks for $510 + shipping from Japan. The last time I checked on LP Standards they were $1200 +. Depending on the exchange rate you can get a killer deal on a new Japanese Tokai.

[Anonymously Posted by: 'ned']


Post by Guest » Mon Mar 26, 2001 5:09 pm

Ned, I just got a quote back from Yoshi at Guitar Universe. $510 for a LS70F. Plus about $200 for shipping! Shippings pretty darn steep.

I'm interested but I guess the thing that worries me is that I know the Gibson will retain it's value. I never see Tokai's on the block so it's hard to say if you can get your money back. Plus...I've never even seen one in person.
I took the "sight unseen" plunge once with Carvin and wasnt disappointed. However, I could return it for $25.

Anyway, we'll see what shakes out. I'm leaning towards the Love Rock but we'll see what the situation is when I sell my amp and another guitar and have the cash.

[Anonymously Posted by: 'Tommy R']


Post by Guest » Mon Apr 23, 2001 1:51 pm

I have both a Gibson LP and a Love Rock, and I have to say, its pretty damn close between them.

My Gibson is the Studio (circa 96, full body, full trapezoids & Klusons), so there's no adornment on it. Plain and simple Les Paul.

My Love Rock is the Custom. Block inlays, binding front & back, neck & headstock with the flouncy "flower" inlay. It looks like a Les. It sounds like a Les. It weighs a ton like a Les!

It was a third of the price of a Les Paul Custom (which is way out of my "real world" price range!). Can't fault that!

[Anonymously Posted by: 'Skybone']


Post by Guest » Tue Aug 28, 2001 6:08 am

Hey all.....

My two cents here.

Stop wasting your time with these garbage Tokai's.

I speak from experience. I'VE SEEN THE LIGHT. I had a Love Rock back in the spring, and it seemed pretty good. Anyway, I found a REAL Gibson Les Paul Custom at a reasonable price, so I bought it, using the Tokai and some other stuff towards the deal. All I can say is "WOW"!
I was just kidding myself with the Tokai crap. As I'm sure many of you are. They're junk knock-off's. How many times are you gonna find yourself explaining to someone, "Oh, it says Tokai, but check it out, it has the same headstock as a Gibson, and the same finish..." or explaining what a great deal it was because it's a 'copy of a real Les Paul'....or trying to explain the whole 'lawsuit' fiasco....fergettaboutit...
Find an online music store, or a big chain music store that finances guitar purchases over 6 months, 12 months, whatever... REAL Les Pauls aren't cheap, but definately worth it.
Oh...there's an actual resale market for Gibsons, not just the same 6 idiots sitting around talking about acquiring that holy grail Love Rock from 1993......
Oh....and music sellers telling you Tokai's are 'just as good'? Or my favorite...'for my money' anything else, they're just telling you what you WANT to hear. Music sellers are just better at it than used car salesmen or real estate agents....
Off the record, every one of them will tell you not to waste your time or money with them....

Wank away on your replicas...when you're ready to step up to real tone, buy a Gibson.....

[Anonymously Posted by: 'Tony']


Post by Guest » Tue Aug 28, 2001 6:51 am


Thank you for enlightening us all and showing us the light. May I direct you to

[Anonymously Posted by: 'Ned']


Post by Guest » Tue Aug 28, 2001 11:59 am

Hey Ned......

I could have been a jerk about the whole thing and just said "Tokai's suck" like I've seen elsewhere on this forum....
I was trying to be constructive, but whatever...
the next pile of cash you save up for your next Gibson replica, why don't you just set it on fire...same difference as buying a Tokai.

I'm going to go enjoy my guitars now...made by a company with 100 years of experience, and a solid reputation, and a list of famous users long enough to choke a horse......

You can go play your....Tokai.

Later, dude

[Anonymously Posted by: 'Tony']


Post by Guest » Tue Aug 28, 2001 11:40 pm


Look, just forget the badge and look at the guitars. I've got a 98 Gibson Les Paul, a 58 Gibson ES-225TDN, a 91 Patrick Eggle Berlin Pro, a 81ish Tokai Strat plus various other odds and sods.

Without a doubt, the worst made and setup was the Gibson Les Paul. The binding doesn't sit properly in the groove routed along the fingerboard, the frets are way to high and their edges too square, the knobs sit too high above the surface, and there are loads of other issues. God only knows what Gibsons from the 70s must have been like! The 58 ES-225TDN is a completely different beast - obviously made in an era when Gibson cared about construction, fit and finish. Even now, there's only some minor binding shrinkage in one of the curves - I'll bet dollars to donuts the Les Paul won't last as well.

The best made and most playable is the Patrick Eggle - handmade in England, but still cost less than Gibson.

My point is that the badge has little to do with it. Like certain other Japanese guitars before (e.g. the Yamaha SG-2000), Tokai established a quality reputation with the 80s Strats, this didn't come out of anything other than great guitars. Dismissing Tokai out of hand due to Gibson bigotry seems a bit sad.

By the way, there's a reason why Gibson (and other US brands) has "list of famous users long enough to choke a horse": they pay for them. Find out why Carlos Santana junked his relationship with Gibson all those years ago. Brian May wanted to use a Patrick Eggle, but Guild said "oh no, you don't" so he doesn't (at least, not publicly). Artist relation spending is vital to Gibson, because, er... well, sorry mate... it helps persuade people like you to spend lots of extra $$$$ on their guitars! C'mon, this isn't rocket science, it's marketing 101.


[Anonymously Posted by: 'barry']


Post by Guest » Wed Aug 29, 2001 1:09 am


I don't care what the logo on the guitar says as long as it's a good guitar. Gibson makes good and bad guitars, Tokai sometimes also get it wrong but not as often as many other manufacturers. In the '80s I bought a Love Rock simply because it was better than all the Les Paul's I'd tried. I still own it 17 years later, does that tell you anything? I have played LP's since then but no one has been better than my Love Rock. I also have four other Tokai's, would I have bought them if they were crap? Not a chance, I bought them 'cause they are excellent guitars! I've been playing for 30 years and I've owned a bunch of guitars but my favorites still are Tokai. And no, I haven't owned a Gibson but I've owned a '64 Fender Telecaster and a '65 Mustang and also Aria, Ibanez, Epiphone (not today's korean crap), Hofner, Yamaha, Schecter, Music Man, Hohner, Shadow, Washburn and many other electrics, most of them really good guitars.

In the latest issue of Fuzz guitar magazine in Sweden they have tested an LS-70 Love Rock and they find it to be an excellent guitar also. The price in Sweden is approx. $1300 and they think it's cheap for a guitar of that quality!

[Anonymously Posted by: 'Mike']

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Post by nakamichi » Tue Sep 11, 2001 5:00 pm

Gibson is ripping us off precisely because "it is a company with 100 years of experience, a solid reputation and a list of famous users long enough etc., etc". Like one of the previous posters I'm also a lifelong "Strat" player but was horrified when I discovered that my new USA Standard Strat (?560 - not US dollars) had a veneered body and crap, plastic-bobbin wound pickups. To get anywhere near my old 1967 model (why did I ever sell it??) I replaced almost everything - body, pickups, machine heads - all that's left is the neck, scratchplate and hardware. Are you telling mr Gibson don't get up to the same tricks?

I am confident that my LS-65 is a faithful replica of a 1965 Les Paul Standard because the Japanese have the attention to detail, the know-how, skill, experience and materials - don't forget the Japs were "finishing" musical instruments hundreds of years before Gibson. Maybe that's why MANY people prefer to have a Japanese guitar? You won't find veneers or plastic pick-up bobbins on those!

I replaced the pick-ups with Seymour "Pearly Gates" which I bought because the store assistant assured me it was the only weak point on the Tokai. I can hear VERY LITTLE difference in sound/sustain etc. from the Seymours over the stock Tokai PAFII pickups.

"Kingsxman" wrote he never found Tokais "on the block". I guess that's because most people who own these guitars don't part with them.

It's REPLICA not a COPY and as such will always be a valuable instrument. Forget the Gibson hype, guys, hype = expensive.

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Post by nakamichi » Thu Jan 10, 2002 4:24 pm

Come on guys - argue a bit! I didn't mean to stop the thread. I warn you though, I'm powerfully built (like my Tokai).

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Post by tokaiguy » Fri Jan 11, 2002 6:21 pm

My Japanese Love Rocks are right next to my first issue LesPaul Classic from 92 and my Custom shop 59, I prefer the Love Rocks because as replicas go they are dead on !!Same with my Japanese SG and hunting and "stealing" them is what makes them unique! Tokai Japan hasn't made any goofy Sg's , God knows Gibson has! My Japanese Strats are correct in detail( 12th fret markers, pickgaurd screw placement)more so than my Fender reissues. Bottom line I Love all my guitars But the Tokais are special because its like a treasure hunt and they blow minds when people think they know what you got and they don't. I would like to get a MMlimited Korean just to fill in that slot , I hear great things bout them . I got room in my world for all of the makers It's stupid to get snobbish about this. I saw Clapton play a crap Gibson SG thru a Magnatone amp at a club in Dallas in 84 with Lonnie Mack and yet I have a friend with a 58 plaintop and a Marshall 1960 Bluesbreaker and Clapton was getting a better tone with the "Crap" set-up than the real 58!!This guy also has a 58 Korina V ...same thing ! Is it the wand or the Magician? Keep it going Guys , and Thanks again Ned! Peace my Brothers! Tokaiguy

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