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Identifying and questions re: Tokai Love Rock
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michaeld
I only know 3 chords


Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:32 am    Post subject: Identifying and questions re: Tokai Love Rock Reply with quote

I'm brand new here, and will stick around and try to learn or fade away with my head down in shame depending on what I find out from y'all.

I have had a Tokai guitar since around 1988 (give or take a year). Basically, my girlfriend at the time gave it to me on my birthday after I made a comment that I'd like to learn to play guitar, and I knew nothing about it beyond that. It was in a Gibson hard case when I got it, same as now.

The serial number is 4022555, stamped on the back of the headstock. There are no letters or any other designation. But on the back of the headstock, on the machine heads, I saw the name "Deluxe" engraved into the metal.

On the front it says, "Tokai" and "Love Rock Model"

The guitar looks visually identical to the one at the top of this page:
http://www.gbase.com/Stores/Gear/GearDetails.aspx?Item=1926128
with the sole exception being that the pickups are chrome inside the pearl-colored outer section.

Based on what I found here:
http://www.tokairegistry.com/tokai-info/tokai-gibson-models.html

That means it was made in 1984.
* LS models from 1976/77 to 1982/83
* TLS models from 1983 to 1989
* ALS models from 1985 to 1986 or late - US Market only
* LS models from 1995 to present are manufactured in Japan
* ALS models from 1995 to present are manufactured in Korean
* NLS models for North America from 2003 to present

And that means it is a TLS model. But apparently there are several of those, as well.

I hear there are Korean and Chinese versions and knockoffs. How would I know if that's the case with this guitar? Were the knockoffs being made prior to 1988/89? I'll try to take pictures tomorrow and post them if you need to see for ID purposes.

Also, pardon my ignorance (I never DID learn to play, btw, but want to now), but what is so special about these guitars? If mine is some knockoff pos, that's okay. But if it is a piece of art, I'd kind of like to know!!!

Even if it IS a pos, it's still real pretty. The back is clearly mahogany, so the wood is gorgeous, at any rate.

Appreciate anything you can tell me about this guitar.
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Ozeshin
Guitar God


Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 2076

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We need pics of YOUR guitar...it can still be a 1984 LS model as I own a 1985 LS80 MiJ.
I seriously doubt that it's a knockoff but if you want it identified as best that we can we need:
Pics of the inside of the pickup cavities
pics of the underside of the pickups
Pics of the side of the neck(of the binding specifically)
Pics of the inside of the control cavity
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leadguitar_323
Guitar God


Joined: 14 Nov 2006
Posts: 3534
Location: Brisbane Australia

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, first off welcome to our little community..Based on the time you possession of the guitar it indeed sounds like an 84 model. Now to identify it exactly we will need some detailed pictures of the top and back of the guitar, underneath the pickups , and in the front pickup cavity. There should be identifying marks or names on the underside of the pickups and maybe even a model number in the front cavity. The number of pieces of the back will also help, should be 1 or 2 piece back, and also is the top a veneer or a solid top. These joins in the back and the very thin laminate tops are quite difficult to see with an untrained eye. See if you can take some detailed pics.

Mick
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michaeld
I only know 3 chords


Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll take some pics tomorrow and try to post them (my uploader was giving me problems tonite, so I may have to create a temporary guitar pic site on my blog and post the pics there).

I'd really like to learn to play, and if this guitar is truly collectible I may get something else and wait until I "deserve" her. Otherwise, the Tokai will be my plunker.
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leadguitar_323
Guitar God


Joined: 14 Nov 2006
Posts: 3534
Location: Brisbane Australia

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even if its a lower model from 1984 it will be a good guitar, around that time they really didn't make any "plunkers".
Open a photobucket account, its free and then post the "IMG" code under the picture, its that easy.


Mick
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stratman323
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice girlfriend you had in 1988! Are you still together?

If you have had it that long, I would have thought it has to be a genuine Japanese LR. Unless I'm mistaken, the Korean models didn't start till later, & the fakes are more recent still.

Just one thing though. If you want to sell it to raise some cash, fine. If you want to learn to play, even better. But don't do both! If you sell it, then learn to play, you'll probably get to the stage where you regret selling it. Not just because it's a good guitar (I assume - they usually are) but also because it was a present. How many people on here have partners who have bought them guitars?

I think you should learn to play - you have the perfect excuse.



Mike
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stratman323
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:13 am    Post subject: Re: Identifying and questions re: Tokai Love Rock Reply with quote

michaeld wrote:
Also, pardon my ignorance (I never DID learn to play, btw, but want to now), but what is so special about these guitars? If mine is some knockoff pos, that's okay. But if it is a piece of art, I'd kind of like to know!!!


It's nothing magic - they just used quality materials, they assembled them properly, they used classic designs from the 50s & 60s & didn't make the mistake of trying to improve them like Gibson & Fender did back in the 70s, & finally, their quality control was very high. The Japanese can often be perfectionists, which is why these 80s beauties have retained their quality & maybe even improved over the years.
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michaeld
I only know 3 chords


Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys, I'm back and I have pictures - just couldn't post them here (I've got to "fix" my uploader). I figured it was quicker to just post the pics to something that worked.

I posted 10 pics of areas that were recommended. Hope I got the right angles and whatnot.

Just click the link -
http://menofissachar.wordpress.com/2009/03/14/tokai-love-rock-model/

and it will open a new window so you can see the guitar and type your comment at the same time.

I'm not planning to sell the guitar. If I find out it's genuinely valuable, I would probably not want to haul it around to lessons, and so would get a mid-range acoustic and then "graduate" to the Tokai.

My girlfriend back then was actually one of the crazier (and in the running for 'craziest') girlfriends I've ever had. She had her REALLY GOOD moments, and then she had her REALLY BAD ones. But no, we split up about 1989 - which is how I know that I've had the guitar in my possession since no later than 1988 (because we were together for at least a year after she gave me the guitar).
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leadguitar_323
Guitar God


Joined: 14 Nov 2006
Posts: 3534
Location: Brisbane Australia

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry mate, those pics show a little but are generally too small. At a guess i would say its a 1984 LS 80 just like Ozeshins....actually it looks almost exactly the same except Oze changed his tuners. excellent guitar.

Mick
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michaeld
I only know 3 chords


Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leadguitar_323 wrote:
Sorry mate, those pics show a little but are generally too small. At a guess i would say its a 1984 LS 80 just like Ozeshins....actually it looks almost exactly the same except Oze changed his tuners. excellent guitar.

Mick


GAAAH! I can redo the pics if they're too small for ID purposes by re-inserting them this time as "large" rather than the "medium" I chose the first time.

I actually took them in 10mp, but used an editor to "shrink" them down.

An LS 80, huh? I'll have to find out what that means!

The funny thing is that I always thought the Gibson Les Pauls were the big deals. Frankly (knowing nothing about guitars) I always thought that it was just some "cheap Japanese imitation."

Now I've read that at least quite a few people think the Tokai guitars were better quality than the Fenders they were "copying."

I'll redo the pics (probably take me about 15 minutes) and repost.
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michaeld
I only know 3 chords


Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I made them bigger. Unfortunately, that's as big as I can make them without retaking them (and to think I thought I was SMART for reducing the image size)...

Go to the same link:
http://menofissachar.wordpress.com/2009/03/14/tokai-love-rock-model/

and thanks for looking and for informing me of what I've got.
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leadguitar_323
Guitar God


Joined: 14 Nov 2006
Posts: 3534
Location: Brisbane Australia

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually its not a matter of if they were better, they are better, Generally Gibson don't even come close to the "value for money" these guitars represent. Unless you are buying a top of the line historic {and Tokai's high end stuff is just as good and cheaper} you won't find anything comparable from Gibson. The problem with Gibson is there was a long period of poor quality control and some very poor quality guitars were produced. No such problems with our Japanese friends....
Your guitar {if it is a ls80} was sold new for 80'000 yen {about 800 US}in 1984 so it wasn't a cheap guitar, Oze has been gigging with his for years and he loves it.


Mick
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Ozeshin
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Joined: 13 May 2006
Posts: 2076

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+100 Mick



Last edited by Ozeshin on Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:51 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Ozeshin
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Joined: 13 May 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only difference between your guitar and mine is that in 1985 they stopped putting the controls onto a circuit board...mine doesn't have one.
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michaeld
I only know 3 chords


Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ozeshin wrote:
The only difference between your guitar and mine is that in 1985 they stopped putting the controls onto a circuit board...mine doesn't have one.


Ozeshin,

Being a guitar god (and btw, at this point anybody who can pick up a guitar and play ANYTHING is a guitar god to me - and I genuflect accordingly) tell me what you like about the LS80 (can I assume it's official, and I have an LS80?).

This guitar has seen VERY little combat, having been tucked away in its case for the overwhelming majority of its life.

I had it restrung about 5 years ago by a professional, and he told me it was a real nice guitar. So I assume everything works. I suppose I should probably have it restrung again before I get into this? I probably practiced on it for a total of about 2-3 hours, but it has been several years.

One thing: I've got a missing fingertip on my right index finger (and I'm right handed - and yes, btw, it DID hurt when it got smashed off) just above the upper joint. I would therefore need to learn to play with a pick. How much of a downer is that for me?

Also, in terms of learning to play, where did you guys go? Private lessons? A class? A DVD instruction program? A DIY book? Just learning to strum chords?
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