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LS1XX SEB - New series
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Daizo
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Joined: 09 Jan 2005
Posts: 43
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:53 pm    Post subject: LS1XX SEB - New series Reply with quote

Some of you may already know this, but I would like to report from Tokyo that Tokai has launched a new series of Les Paul in January 2005 with a revolutionary body structure called "SEB structure".

There are three types, LS120SEB, LS125SEB, and LS130SEB - LS125 with a laminated flame top and LS130 with a laminated quilt top.

What is new is the body structure made of three layers, maple, mahogany and mahogany. The essense is the middle layer which uses sliiced woods with vertical grain direction rather than horizontal one applied to most of the electric guitars. According to a musical shop from which I received an e-mail, this new guitar really sings and responds. I myself have not tested it because I have not seen it yet.

There is only one Japanese site which shows those three models :

http://www.musictrades.co.jp/instrument/2005/01/019/

If you have not been satisfied with new Gibson, please have a try

Daizo
http://rsdaizo.hp.infoseek.co.jp/Tokai%20Les%20Paul%20page%201.shtml
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ArthurS
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Joined: 30 Apr 2003
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Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool. I think I read about Tokai employing this technique in certain other models as well.

Ironically, this seems awfully similar to the dreaded "pancake" bodies of certain 70s LP. The only difference seems to be that tokai takes the grain of the wood into account, and Gibson didn't afaik. Maybe many of Les Paul purists are wrong about the sorry tonal properties of the 70s "Norlins" Or maybe at least the tone of these instruments isn't just caused by the pancake body.
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Bluesbrush
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Joined: 19 Dec 2003
Posts: 26
Location: AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always thought those Gibson pancake bodies were just a cost cutting exercise. I never thought Gibson introduced it for sound enhancement but I could be proven wrong. My experience was that the pancake bodies were generally heavier and did not sound any better.

I believe that Les Pauls with quater sawn (vertical grain) mahogany and flat sawn maple tops generally sound better so this sort of parallels what Tokai are producing.......although Tokai seem to be placing an addition piece of maple.

Does anyone know if the SEB Tokais are made in Korea or Japan?
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Schocker
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Joined: 30 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Does anyone know if the SEB Tokais are made in Korea or Japan?"

If they're 120,000+ Yen, I hope they'd be Japanese!
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Bluesbrush
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Joined: 19 Dec 2003
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Location: AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they're 120,000+ Yen, I hope they'd be Japanese

I see your point. Well I hope so too but is the 120000 yen the final or REAL price? I dont know how it works in Japan.

In Australia you have retail price and then you have the cash/REAL price. You can get up to 10% to 40% off the retail on new items especially if they are not in heavy demand. For instance a while ago a R9 Gibson Les Paul Historic was "retailing" at $15000 to $16000 Australian.......but the "REAL" buying price would be somewhere between $8000 to $10000 and after negotiation.

Anyone know the buying etiquette in Japan? Do you offer what is on the sales ticket?
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ArthurS
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bluesbrush wrote:
I always thought those Gibson pancake bodies were just a cost cutting exercise. I never thought Gibson introduced it for sound enhancement but I could be proven wrong. My experience was that the pancake bodies were generally heavier and did not sound any better.


They were cost-cutting measures, that's why I called it ironic. Gibson used it to cut costs and purists don't like the pancake bodies at all. Now Tokai is introducing the same thing with one difference (the grain direction) and they offer it as an upgrade

There may be one other difference, by the way: Norlins were apparently very heavy, indicating that heavey wood was used. Newer Tokai LPs are generally fairly light, so they may use more 'resonant' wood than the average Norlin-era Gibson.

Oh, and the SEB's are made in Japan.

Quote:
Anyone know the buying etiquette in Japan? Do you offer what is on the sales ticket?

As I understand, new mid-end Tokais (LS70, 80, 85 etc) generally sell for around 10% under list price.
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ned
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Joined: 29 Aug 2001
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Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like they are using the Sound Stream technique and apply it to Love Rocks - very cool. Here is a review of the Sound Stream with some technical info on how it works.

http://www.tokairegistry.com/tokai-info/tokai-soundstream-t2-review.html

Ned
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tokaiguy
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Joined: 09 Sep 2001
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The funny thing about guitar "Snobbery" is that all it would take to make a 70's Les Paul with a pancake body, three piece plain top, maple neck with volute the most desirable guitar in all the world would be for the next Clapton, Page, Beck or Cobain to have a huge record with one! I bought my first LP{ an SG 61' with the wacky sideway vibrato} in 1964 and paid $250! In 74' I paid $150 for a Jaguar in olympic white, bound neck and matching headstock...every one wanted a 3 bolt Strat with the huge headstock! Think of all the garage bands in the old days {the 60's- 70's} that started out with a Sears guitar {Dano/ Harmony} and amp that couldn't wait to upgrade! Then Page makes a few great records with one and look at how "Wonderful " an instrument it becomes! Have you seen the price of a Tiesco reissue these days? I guess the old saying is also true for the guitar..." It aint the size of the wand, it's the Magician" TG
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tokaiguy
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Joined: 09 Sep 2001
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TG Hey Ned, Gotta say that the Sound Stream method with the mahogany center sounds very interesting! Would the Tok guys send you one to review? You know that would be very wise of them to have the moderator of this ever expanding comunity review the new products! Just a thought!
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Schocker
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Joined: 30 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Anyone know the buying etiquette in Japan? Do you offer what is on the sales ticket?"

I'm only speaking from the experience of buying via the net and spending (too many!) hours looking at Japanese guitar websites but it seems to be the case that if you take a guitar such as a Tokai ES-120 (nice!), the 120 can be converted into the list price, ie, 120,000 Yen.

A web dealer like Ishibashi normally offers a standard discount of 20%, which takes us down to 96,000 Yen. We would also avoid paying tax that the Japanese would on this; however, we'll get stung with import duty (and VAT in the UK), which applies to the cost of the instrument AND the shipping. Shipping to the UK is normally 16,000 Yen and the duty+VAT is 20.5%... Australia may be better but I suspect most countries are pretty strict when it comes to paying duty.

Webshops like Apollon Music and Rock Inn both seem to offer discounts of 20%, too. However, whilst Rock Inn is a great site for looking at pictures of wonderful Japanese guitars and getting the specs, they don't exort, so it's reference only. Apollon Music does exort (and sometimes sells on eBay) but I've only dealt with Ishibashi, who were great.
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Daizo
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Joined: 09 Jan 2005
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Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 2:40 am    Post subject: Street price Reply with quote

Currently, there is one example in Yahoo Auction (Japan), which sells LS130SEB at Yen 98,000-, roughly 20% lower than the list price. I sent one question to the seller asking its sound. He wrote back "it is so resonant that it would be more suitable for modern music.".

The below new page shows side views of the guitar.

http://www.h-s-g.co.jp/cocosound/tokai/ls130seb%20vf.htm
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Bluesbrush
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Joined: 19 Dec 2003
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Location: AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotta say that the Sound Stream method with the mahogany center sounds very interesting!

You really have got to give Tokai the thumbs up for creating something different, interesting and innovative. First carbon fibre, FRP and aluminium bodies and now SEB!
Thank goodness for something different to the traditional "stick of maple four bolted to an alder slab". Just how many different guitar makers can put a different headstock sticker on it and call it their own??
I think the SEB has the making of something different. The theory behind it sounds right and it sounds to me like it could work. Even if it doesnt sound like a vintage les Paul it might have its own voice and therefore could find a place in my garage.
CANT WAIT TO TRY ONE.

ps. I think it would cost more to piece together a quartersawn mahogany inner body with slab sawn top and back than the traditional one or two piece job. IMO this aint no cost cutting exercise.
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Lacroix
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll get LS125SEB VF in two weeks. I'll post short review.
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luis
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Joined: 15 Sep 2001
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lacroix,have you got that SEB guitar?I'm interested in your review.
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Lacroix
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I'm sorry I forgot
Frankly speaking, I took this guitar in my hand some hours before Customer bought it.
The weght is as usual, quality - better then series lower LS-1xx IMHO.

Sound - sustain as usual ( I mean- great , but attack more faster than at ordinar LP and general sence that guitar's sound is more bright and rich. I even achive sound close to strat with Laney LC30II. But using tone knobs it's possible to tune original sound of LP. And with distortion it sounds better than my LS-85Q (more clear).
So if you're not LP purist, the SEB series guitar is a very good choise.

Please sorry for my English, all written above - IMHO, because I had no enough time.
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