~ Production dates for KOREAN ALS Love Rocks ~

Tokai guitar discussion

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Reborn Old
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~ Production dates for KOREAN ALS Love Rocks ~

Post by Reborn Old » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:36 pm

I'll be first to admit this is an ambitious post based largely on limited catalog info and on too few MIK example pics, but it's a start that hopefully other members can build on for dating and/or reference purposes, and hopefully help members who think they may be dealing with a fake.

Dates are approximate and subject to change.

No genuine MIK Tokai models have or had serial numbers
outside of possibly 2006 Fine Corp "FC" or "F" prefix models
if these were in fact produced in Korea and not China,

(2003-05 Dillion produced "unauthorized Love Rocks" had clear cello
serial # rear headstock decals) ... see last pic at bottom of this post.

Certain MIK (made in Korea) attributes can help date your Love Rock within one of 4 production categories. The main ones being TRC (truss rod cover) differences shown in the pic below and possibly a MIK headstock stamp after 2002.

If your MIK TRC doesn't look similar to one pictured below, you may be out of luck, but control cavity routes may help where a TRC has been
replaced.

Later MIC (made in China) models ALL have/had serial numbers and other features differentiating them from Korean examples.

Most if not all Korean Tokais were designated for export purposes and have a center dimple headstock style.
All featured alder or laminate body and maple neck construction.
Rare examples with open book headstocks were likely destined for countries that didn't have patent infringement concerns.

Image
--------------1995 ~ 1997 ALS------------------------ ~ 1998 to ~ 2000 ALS---------------------------mid 2000 to 2005 ALS-----------------------2003+ MIK ink stamp-------


1995~1997* two screw pointed bell TRC, ALS + ALC series catalog intro in 1995 had 3 models: ALS-36 bolt on neck + ALS-42, ALC-48 fixed neck.
1998 catalog: ALS 48 and higher alder models with set necks, ALS 42 + lower alder or laminate body models.
Pearloid inlays and rosewood colored fret boards often found on set neck models. (may be actual rosewood... couldn't verify from pics)
opaque plastic instead of pearloid found on most bolt-on neck models.

~ 1998 to early 2000 three screw pointed bell TRC. Model specs appear to be otherwise unchanged.

mid 2000~2002 three screw arch shaped TRC introduced. Model specs appear to be otherwise unchanged.

2003~2005 three screw arch shaped TRC specs appear to be unchanged outside of introduction of "Made in Korea" ink stamp on headstock back sometime in 2003 or possibly 2004, pic #4
(same as is MIJ ink stamp introduction on 2003 Japan models) until the end of documented MIK production.

Whether or not Korea continued Tokai production after 2005 and used serial numbers similar to Chinese ALS models, may be difficult to prove or disprove at this time.

Control cavity pics for various types:

1995-1999 ALS with pointed TRC
Image


mid 2000 to 2005 ALS with arch shaped TRC
Image


2009 Made in China ALS
Image


Dillion unauthorized Canadian export
Image

The Dillion cavity is different from others in that the cable channel and jack hole are at diagonal corner opposites (this pic was somehow flipped 180* on it's vertical axis), while Tokai ALS channels always route to the left side lobe and the jack hole is always in the right side lobe.
Arched TRC cavities have a flat routed right side lobe.
That flat is longer and follows route curvature, on the 2009 made in China example.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Catalog vol-18 1995-1997 LS-45 + LS-50 models + Catalogs vol-19 + 20 1998 + 1999 LS-50 + LS-55 models were all made in Japan but can be easily confused with early 2000 MIK models. They share the same style of 4 screw bolt-on neck, same 3 screw pointed bell TRC, but were nevertheless produced in Japan.
External differences from MIK examples are mahogany neck and back construction instead of alder or laminate with maple necks. I believe most 1995-1999 MIJ bolt-on models have open book headstocks and necks aren't scarf jointed. I haven't found an export dimple MIJ headstock example of these yet.
Other MIJ differences include typical MIJ control cavity routes with all 4 cavity lobes routed flat and Japan stamped hardware. MIJ bolt-on neck base models were discontinued after 1999.
Note that on these MIJ 1995-1999 bolt-on neck base models , the nut shape is sloped rather than rectangular in profile, and made of bone instead of plastic:
Image
----------------------------------------------------------------

2008 ALS China headstock posted for comparison purposes:
Image


2003-2005 Dillion unauthorized Tokai serial # example:
Image
Last edited by Reborn Old on Fri May 10, 2013 5:08 am, edited 19 times in total.

Diamond
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Post by Diamond » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:23 am

Excellent info, thanks for sharing.

Luckily I haven't had to deal with the history of the MIK and MIC stuff as I only got involved in 2009/2010...and since then it's been relatively simple, they all have the CH serial and little gold 'Made in China' sticker.

Reborn Old
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Post by Reborn Old » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:00 am

Thanks !

jonah65
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Post by jonah65 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:08 am

Well done reborn, this will be of great help for the many newer guys getting
into Tokai's. The potential minefield in buying a used Tokai must put a lot of
people off.
I've not tried a Chinese Tokai, but own a great Korean TSG, and would deffinately recommend one if on a low budget.
Best thread so far this year.
:D

luis
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Post by luis » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:09 am

Thank you very much for your great info Reborn! You did a great job.

Now it takes to chinesee ones too, I have seen C serial, 6 digits serials (rare).....

marcusnieman
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Post by marcusnieman » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:39 am

Well done!

Reborn Old
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Post by Reborn Old » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:26 pm

Thanks guys.

I'm hoping MIK Tokai owners will share pics for each category. (especially 1st + 2nd categories, which seem to get posted less frequently)

I would love to speak with anyone who has 1998 and/or 2000 paper or PDF editions of Tokai catalogs also. :wink:

rayspang
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MIK

Post by rayspang » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:54 pm

FYI: most, if not all of the "unauthorized production" MIK Loverocks have a one screw TRC

LoveP.A.F
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Post by LoveP.A.F » Sat May 18, 2013 1:54 pm

Tokai Love Rock ALS-48 made in Korea 1995

Based on all the info I got, it should be the First Run of this model from Korea

-Thin neck, short tenon one piece set neck, the bridge and tail fits the Epiphone dimensions, the electronics are some very small 500 K pots with small shiny green capacitors, pearloid inlays and rosewood fretboard; no serial number to be found, nor a country of origin stamped on a guitar.

This guitar was exported from Korea to Finland, than sold to a Pizza baker working in an Italian Pizzeria in Finland in 1995; after e few years the owner returned to Italy with the guitar and finally sold it to me in Croatia. (2 owners)

Image

The Guitar has a particular sunburst (kind of Larry Carlton Orange/Yellow sunburst), incredible sustain (measured unplugged you can feel the vibrations on the headstock and here some sound for 20 seconds; and 32 seconds of sustain though an amplifier with no gain and feedback).
It is a dream to play, particularly if you have small hands and short fingers; the action can be set at 1.9 mm at the 12th fret on the low E string, and 1.2 mm on the higher E string without fret buzz

Some Pictures:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Here two clips how it sounds:

Neck pickup: https://app.box.com/s/rbd90b4hhaasd8vufk07
Bridge pickup: https://www.box.com/s/w81mco12xovcyeapqlqx

Credits for the backing tracks to Guitarbackingtracks.com
Thanks to Reborn Old that helped me with the model identification and with confirming the Origin of the Guitar

Cheers!
Last edited by LoveP.A.F on Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Reborn Old
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Post by Reborn Old » Sat May 18, 2013 8:30 pm

Thanks again for your contribution Gianni.

Nice playing on the linked MP3's BTW.

Diamond
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Post by Diamond » Sun May 19, 2013 3:38 am

If I told you this was a 59 LP, the tone would be impressive. :D

Just a LS48 and some great fingers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SPHc7dxeUY&feature

LoveP.A.F
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Post by LoveP.A.F » Sun May 19, 2013 8:55 am

They are indeed great guitars... I just can`t stop playing it.
...I prepared a set of new CTS pots, PIO caps, new wires, a bone nut, a Faber bridge... but I changed my mind... I`ll live it as is; I`m too afraid it will ruin the tone or sustain.
Will keep the parts for another guitar.

Now it buggers me how good the old Japanese models are if this korean one sounds and plays so well :roll:
( I`m becoming a Tokai addict :D )

muccax
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Post by muccax » Sun May 19, 2013 2:00 pm

great work :D :D
i love the ............... MAKE IN KOREA ...... :D :D on the dillon made guitars :D :D :D

TokaiLoveRock
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Post by TokaiLoveRock » Thu May 30, 2013 9:49 am

Can you help me date my guitar?

I've got Tokai Love Rock ALS 48 for left-handed guitar.

Here are the pictures:

Image

Image

Image

Image

The serial number on the back of the headstock is: 9060987.

"Tokai uses a seven-digit serial number usually pressed into the back of the headstock for the Gibson model replicas. Love Rocks use the first digit of the serial number for the year, 10XXXXX=1981 and starting in 1989 Love Rocks use the first two digits for the year, 89XXXXX=1989. Reborn models use only the first digit for the year, 800XXXX = 1978.
There is a major exception to this in that some "Reborn Olds" (very rare) and "Love Rock" models have inked serial numbers on the reverse of the headstock (often referred to as "Inkies"). These guitars are, it is generally agreed, from 1980 (00xxxxx and 01xxxxx) and 1981 (11xxxxx) although there are those who would disagree with this"

Taken from Wikipedia

Does this mean my guitar was made 1990?
Was it made in Korea, China or Japan?

Reborn Old
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Post by Reborn Old » Thu May 30, 2013 7:42 pm

I believe you were advised in a different post that it's probably 2009,
and made in China
If it had a stamped serial number that is embedded, instead of inked on the surface only, and "made in Japan" features, then it might have been 1990. :wink:
Other than Custom Shop models, Special editions and unauthorized Dillion copies (none of which started with "9"), Korean models didn't have serial numbers.

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