And aren't pickups the heart of the tone? Even the P90's in any Junior I've had were microphonic. So there's a huge flaw with the guitars in my mind.
I don't wish to argue either so just a few points. Pickups are NOT the heart of the tone, the wood is and as far as pickups being a "huge flaw" well thats just rubbish, a misaligned neck or a broken headstock are "huge flaws" and i must say that there are piles of people that love the Tokai pickups so thats more your opinion than "a huge flaw". Wax potting pickups is extremely cheap and easy to fix so i think you are being a little melodramatic with your examples. I understand what you are trying to say but you are misinformed as to where "tone" is developed in a guitar. For example, i showed Ozeshin my RR-65 greco, unplugged it has a harmonic feed back on the "D" string at the fifth fret, which is only coming from the wood, granted it sounds better plugged in but this guitar is very resonant and feeds back acoustically, the pickups are just a vehicle for transporting the tone to the amp, they do not create the tone, although they will alter it to a degree and this comes down to,personal preference. Also P90's are single coil pickups and single coils are known to scream under volume. Just a thought, pickups prematurely feeding back is totally different to a pickup going micro phonic..... Which are you referring to? Someone else may like to elaborate on this one...
Aaaaahhhhh! I know I'm not eloquent, or well spoken. But how do I get misunderstood so often? Ah well, maybe I'm just not clever enough to get a simple point across. Here is a loooooooooong and boring story. Maybe it'll make sense.
I wanted to be a little different, so I started buying Tokai Les Pauls years ago. I bought from eBay, I bought from 'koiz', I bought from 'tokaijoe', I bought from US sellers, I bought from Canadian sellers. You name it. My idea was to buy 'a few', pick the best one or three, and flip the others back to recoup as much of my money as possible. I wasn't out to make money, but not to lose my shorts either, Many I resold I lost $100 or so on, and I considered that rental fees.
I ended up with about twelve
guitars. This cost me a lot of money. But some guitars were 'Reborn', others plain 'Love Rock' models. Some had nice tops, some didn't. A few weighed seven or eight pounds, others weighed closer to ten pounds. Some had the circuit board for the controls, others didn't.
The one thing they all had in common? MICROPHONIC PICKUPS!!!!!
Unusable. At that time I was still playing hard rock with a pair of Marshall half-stacks. No pedals, not even a tuner in front of the amp. No JCM2000's either. Either a JMP and a JCM800 mixed or two JCM800's. Just a guitar, a cable, and the amplifier. Nothing crazy. And any volume on the amp past '2' resulted in squealling feedback. I could talk into the pickup if I held the guitar close to my face, and I could hear my voice from the amplifier louder than the PA! It was not tubes, it was not the guitar cable. IT WAS THE PICKUPS!!!!!
Undaunted, I just thought about.....Well, with better pickups, this guitar would be cool. I can't play this guitar right now. Maybe the next one will have better pickups, I'll swap them, and flip the squeally guitar over
! It didn't turn out that way.
At least with a Blues Junior you don't like, it is still usable to record, or do some coffee house gigs with. It doesn't hiss, spit, go snap, crackle, or pop and ruin a performance. That amp has no real flaws other than not appealing to you (or whoever). The Tokai guitars I bought? Useless as is. For me anyway. I did plug them into low gain amps, and they worked. You could still use the guitar as a microphone if you wanted, but at least they didn't squeal away. The guitars were really useless for me, but I saw potential, especially when I saw what Gibson was charging. I didn't go for Seymour Duncan Hot Rails, Invaders, or Full Shred pickups either. What did I get? Low output Gibson '57 Classics, that are advertised as being double wax dipped. Problem solved. I could crank two Marshalls, stand right in front of the amps, and not have any squealing. And I had a cool Les Paul with a killer top that cost me well under what Gibson wanted at that time. The Juniors I had were also bad. Jason Lollar fixed that up in a hurry. Now with that Tokai I have Leslie West tone on a budget. It's really nice.
The point is also reinforced when I mention I turned a few friends onto Tokai, and they
ordered from some of the same people I did. To my utter shock, they also got microphonic pickups
. We just accepted it.
Does this make sense? I couldn't take a stock Tokai Love Rock and play it out. I could take a stock Blues Junior and play out with it right now. And the Tokai guitars dated from the late 70's up to the late 80's, so I didn't get a bad batch.