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I need help to differentiate between these 3 Tokai Es Guits
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Lesblues
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Joined: 17 Jul 2008
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Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:39 am    Post subject: I need help to differentiate between these 3 Tokai Es Guits Reply with quote

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/New-Tokai-ES-MC1B-Tobacco-chikiy-Neck-Flame-Block-Inlay-/390249336896?pt=Guitar&hash=item5adcac5040#ht_4549wt_905

http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/products/the_tokai_es135_electric_guitar_is_a_high-quality_tokai_japan_rendition_of_the_335_style_guitar_it_features_high_quality_consruction_and_a_tone_to_die_for.asp

http://www.donmack.com/guitars/jazz-guitars/tokai-es175-premium-electric-guitar

The only differences I can make out are that the one from Richtone does not state that the neck or the fretboard is made from Honduras sourced wood. or mention what the guitar's finish is.

Hishasi says his fretrboard is Honduras Rosewood. and the guitars finish is lacquer

And Don Mackrill says his neck is Honduras Mahogany and the finish is laquer. This one also mentions "3way Toggle SW POT : CTS SWITCH : Switchcraft CONDENSER : Sprague Orange Drop JACKS : Switchcraft"

My questions are:

Is lacquer and nitro the same thing?

which is right - Honduras Rosewood fretboard or Honduras mahogany neck and does it make a huge difference to the quality of either if the wood comes from Honduras?

The situation is, I have a big birthday coming up and my good lady has offered to buy me a Tokai Es. I have been hankering after one for a long time and really fancy the block inlays. However I would be pushing my luck asking her to pay the price DonMacs are asking (and anyway that one has Dot inlays) but I might get away with the one from Hishasi. RichTone's one is out of stock but can be found elsewhere for a similar price.

Help me out here guys, what makes these guitars different from each other, if anything?

Thanks
Les
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Diamond
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guitar #1 does not have a honduras mahogany neck, it is nitro/lacquer.
Vintage Series specs.

Guitar #2 also doesn't have a honduras mahogany neck, it's also nitro/lacquer.
Vintage Series specs.

Guitar #3 is a current ES185, top of the range ES series.
Honduras mahogany neck.
Premium Series specs.
Brass saddles, aluminium tailpiece, switchcraft switches, Sprague Orange drops, etc.
Nitro/lacquer.

The honduras mahogany neck looks exactly like the other two necks, and makes no difference to the tone of the guitar.
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Lesblues
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diamond wrote:
Guitar #1 does not have a honduras mahogany neck, it is nitro/lacquer.
Vintage Series specs.

Guitar #2 also doesn't have a honduras mahogany neck, it's also nitro/lacquer.
Vintage Series specs.

Guitar #3 is a current ES185, top of the range ES series.
Honduras mahogany neck.
Premium Series specs.
Brass saddles, aluminium tailpiece, switchcraft switches, Sprague Orange drops, etc.
Nitro/lacquer.

The honduras mahogany neck looks exactly like the other two necks, and makes no difference to the tone of the guitar.


Thanks for the info.

So am I correct in thinking that Hishasi's and RichTone's are essentially the same guitars. And the only difference between those and the Premium specs are the Honduras Mahogany neck, the Brass saddles, aluminium tailpiece, switchcraft switches and the Sprague Orange drops? Am I missing something here, it seems like a big price difference for not much difference in guitars. Excuse my ignorance.

What does HLS-VB Bridge and HLS-VT Tailpiece mean?

If I'm correct that the two Vintage series guitars are the same, there certainly wouldn't be any point in importing from Japan to the UK as it would cost more for the same gutar.

Thanks again for your help.

Les
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Diamond
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hishasi's model names are bizarre, not sure what the point of that is.

Yes, the two Vintage Series guitars are the same.
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dombat
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not the same:
Richtone's has not an open book headstock (horrible dimple)
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Diamond
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: I need help to differentiate between these 3 Tokai Es Gu Reply with quote

Lesblues wrote:


Hishasi says his fretrboard is Honduras Rosewood. and the guitars finish is lacquer



Nope, no ES series fretboard is made of Honduras mahogany...they're all rosewood.
The only honduras mahogany used on any Tokai ES series guitar is the neck of the ES185...and it's irrelevant, makes zero difference to the playability or tone of the guitar, and it doesn't look any different to regular mahogany either.

You live in Scotland, my advice, buy from Richtone.
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Lesblues
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: I need help to differentiate between these 3 Tokai Es Gu Reply with quote

Diamond wrote:
Lesblues wrote:


Hishasi says his fretrboard is Honduras Rosewood. and the guitars finish is lacquer

You live in Scotland, my advice, buy from Richtone.


I would, but the guitar is out of stock!
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Lesblues
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dombat wrote:
Not the same:
Richtone's has not an open book headstock (horrible dimple)


To be honest, dimple or no dimple, I don't care. it doesn't make a difference to how the guitar sounds and I think both guitars look amazing.
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BLAM
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Joined: 17 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw that Japanese eBay Tokai ES and wondered how it fit into the product line. Unfortunately there aren't many dealer stocking these guitars near me so I'm probably going to wait until Richtone have got a few more in stock and then pay them a visit.
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Diamond
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the guitar has Tokai on the headstock and the model number is ES135/142G/145S/155/160/185 then buy it without even playing it...they're not as good as the Gibson/Ibanez/Yamahas, they're better.
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singemonkey
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why is no one mentioning that the first one's an oddity? It has rare fret-edge binding (the binding comes up over the fret ends as the name suggests, as is standards on Gibsons with bound necks). So that might be a factor to some buyers.

Also it has block markers like a mid-60s 335 - that you'd only normally see on a Tokai ES160.

So it's not as straightforward as it just not having the premium features of the ES185.
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Diamond
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

singemonkey wrote:
Why is no one mentioning that the first one's an oddity? It has rare fret-edge binding


True...good point.
Special order with fret edge binding.

IMO, fret edge binding is pointless, it certainly doesn't help/improve the playability of a guitar, in fact many Gibson guys I speak to say it's more of a PITA than anything else...and it will be removed with a re-fret.
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DaveWW
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The one you are discussing is a custom order by hisashi. Probably because he knows we all like FEB. The newer members should note that hisashi is a member here.


Dave
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Lesblues
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaveWW wrote:
The one you are discussing is a custom order by hisashi. Probably because he knows we all like FEB. The newer members should note that hisashi is a member here.


Dave


I guess you mean me as I don't have many posts to my name? I do know Hisashi is a forum member but I didn't think I had said anything that could cause offence. I certainly hope I didn't.

Les
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DaveWW
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Les, no I didn't mean you had said anything to cause offence. I just thought that quite a few people here may not know he's a member as he hasn't posted for a long time. Hisashi is certainly very knowledgeable on tokais and other japanese brands a a very reliable seller.

Dave
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