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As good as Gibson???
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silverstrat
Plucker


Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:32 pm    Post subject: As good as Gibson??? Reply with quote

I just recently found out about the Tokai, Greco, Orville and Burny Guitars apparently all made at the same plant in Japan or were back in the day.

Question: I'm looking to get something that is real close if not Les Paul quality but for a lot cheaper. Can any of these get me there? or is the quality just a little better than an Epi?

Thanks in advance.
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Overdriver
Sus4add11


Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 40
Location: Costa Mesa CA USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:39 am    Post subject: As good as Gibson??? Reply with quote

My Love Rock is better than nearly all Gibson Les Pauls, let alone Epiphones, I've ever played. The only change I made was to put SD Seth Lover pickups in it. I bought it in the UK. It's clearly based on a '60 Gibson Les Paul Standard with the tomato soup burst finish and the '60 Gibson headstock shape (not available in the US). It's impossible to make it sound harsh......well, I hope that helps
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Skybone
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Joined: 04 Dec 2001
Posts: 504
Location: South Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most Japanese factories made 2 or 3 brands only, not all of them. I believe that Ibanez made Greco, Fernandes made Burny and Edwards, the Gibson Japan factory make Epiphone and Orville's, and I'm not sure if Tokai make any other branded instruments.

IMO, Tokai's and all the other MIJ LP replica's are better value for money than any equivalent Gibson, and that the Japanese factories know about Quality Control and have pride in their workmanship. More than can be said about Gibson and Fender.
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luis
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Joined: 15 Sep 2001
Posts: 2305
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FujiGen Gakki made guitars for several brands as Ibanez,Greco,some Burnys.
Tokai do its own brand,but it makes other brands as Fender Japan as Ned pointed here some time ago and I can say it's correct.
But some brand ordered their guitars from several makers,depending on eras and specifications.A clear example is Greco: early ones were Matsumoku made,then FujiGen and then... who knows.

Enjoy a Tokai if catch one,you'll never regret it!.You only have to get the "correct" one(according your needs)....
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shuie
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Joined: 19 Aug 2005
Posts: 138
Location: Louisiana (USA)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its all relative.

Which Gibson? Most of the Japanese copies were never meant to be on the same level as something like the current Gibson Historic so don't get caught up in comparing them.

Don't buy anything on impulse either. You have a lot of options. Hang around here and learn about the various Japanese guitars before you decide to buy one. If you are in the US, you are going to have a hard time finding a Japanese copy to try before you buy so learn as much as you can before you put any money on the table.

One thing to remember is that the reputation that a lot of the Japanese clones have deservedly earned comes mostly from the fact that up until recently they could be readily bought for A LOT less money than a comparable Gibson. They become less of a value as they get more recognition in places like Vintage Guitar Magazine and ebay prices climb towards Gibson levels.

This is just my opinion, but for anything under the price of a used standard production non historic Gibson, Id rather spend my money on a Japanese clone. My cutoff is $1500 for an LP style guitar. Anything $1500 and over, Id rather spend my money on a used R7 or R8. I will never buy another new Gibson.

Good luck.
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bruno
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Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 675
Location: Portugal/Set?bal

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well shuie I agree with everything you said except one, I believe the new tokai line, from ls-135 to above, can easily compete with the gibson historic series... IMHO
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shuie
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Joined: 19 Aug 2005
Posts: 138
Location: Louisiana (USA)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough. I've never played an LS135.

How much do they sell for? Nitro finish? Electronics? Details?
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bruno
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Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 675
Location: Portugal/Set?bal

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll post more details when I get my ls-145s this week and photos...

but these guitars have:

deep neck joint
nitro finish
cts pots
switchcraft jack/switch
bone nut
one piece mahogany backs (make that honduras mahonagy on higher models)
2 piece maple (or flamed maple on higher models)

these are just some of the specs that make these guitars go in the same market spot as a historic would in my opinion
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shuie
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Joined: 19 Aug 2005
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Location: Louisiana (USA)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks.

Price?
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TUNAFREAK
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Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 365
Location: monterey california

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had many gibsons in my time and I can asure you that a good Tokai like the LS 150 or ls 145s is more than equal to most of the $3,000 stuff gibson is hawking. One piece backs, deep tenons, vintage electronic paths, nitro finish, aluminum tailpiece and something gibson only does once in a while, true craftsmenship. THese guys out gibson gibson, just like Lexus out does Fords. They are flat out a better value in every way. Just go down and pick up a gibby and be carefull no to get slivers in your hands after testing the finish. The only way they beat Tokai is in the courts. If you could sell them side by side Gibson would have to come way down on prices and way up in quallity. I will never buy another gibson untill they get their ^&*( together.

Just my two cents worth.
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sneakyjapan
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Joined: 12 May 2003
Posts: 1871

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edwards is part of the ESP family which makes Navigator, they had a Proceed line a while back, Grassroots is their MIC series and Progauge is their MIK line. LTD fits in there somewhere too. ESP was building the Seymour Duncan line up until last year, they have been dropped from the 2006 ESP catalog and there is a one page insert in the 2006 Duncan P`Up catalog with very few models compared to years past. Don`t know who is making the new Duncans but it could be PGM as they have an excellent reputation for quality...if you saw a Van Zandt you`d know what I mean.
There are other factories here as well, two that I know of are Devisor that make Momose, Bacchus, Riverhead and Brian which is their MIC series as is the Bacchus Universe...they also had a bacchus junior for a while.
PGM is another company that builds the Van Zandt line of guitars as well as Moon. They may be involved in other brands as well.
Ornettes is another company that makes their own guitars, Atlansia yet one more.


Last edited by sneakyjapan on Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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silverstrat
Plucker


Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do the new models rival the gibsons or just the old ones like the ls150. I assume you would buy a new love rock over an Epi? What model is good?
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bruno
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Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 675
Location: Portugal/Set?bal

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this as been covered, but check the topic about the 2006 catalog silverstrat and you'll see what we mean... over an epi??? that's not even questionable. Over a gibson? Any day.
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Didsomeonesaylespaul?
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Joined: 05 Nov 2005
Posts: 148
Location: Northern Arizona

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are 3 Gibsons in this picture, all the others are Japanese Clones. Most were purchased before the prices started going up. I keep telling myself that the vintage market will level off.....but I think I'm wrong on that one. Get a Japanese Clone before they hit the roof...
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bruceboomstick
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Joined: 21 Dec 2005
Posts: 391

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "lower" end MIJ Tokais - LS65,70F, 85Q (using UK designation) are equal (if not better) that the "lowar" end Gibsons (LP standard). Whereas the 150 and above equate(or exceed) all of the higher end gibsons.

The rule is very much look at what what you are paying for a Tokai, double it and whatever Gibson that buys you is the Gibson equivalent.
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