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LS 145S Review and Photos
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Johny642000
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Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:00 am    Post subject: LS 145S Review and Photos Reply with quote










First off, I must apologise for the photos - I'm not much of a photographer - not much of a guitar player too, some might say, but that's another matter altogether...

Anyway, some of you might have seen my thread before Christmas when I'd just bought this guitar from Hisashi and had promised a full review and some pictures.

Full Spec can be seen on the following link:

http://www1.odn.ne.jp/tokaigakki/products/premium/ls/ls160s/ls160s.html

Total cost of the guitar was:
?570 for the guitar itself including HSC.
?70 EMS from Japan
and a massive ?130 customs and VAT bill courtesy of HMG
Total Cost: ?770 - the same as the street price of a GLP Studio here in the UK.
The longest delay was clearing customs but I still had the guitar 7 days after first ordering - Hisashi had despatched the guitar as soon as my paypal payment had been confirmed. The guitar was very well-packed and also was in its case - so I didn't have any worries about damage.

My photos don't do justice to how beautiful this guitar is. The quality of the one-piece back and the grain of the mahagony are just superb to look at and feel. The fit and finish are also absolutely perfect. I've always been very impressed by my other Tokais build quality (LS75Q, ES130, Breezysound ATE50, Hardpuncher) but this, from their Premium series, is amazing - especially when you consider the final price is less than half the cost of the equivalent Gibson.

The fretboard feels a bit wider than my 75Q but the neck has quite a shallow profile so it is very comfortable and shouldn't be unplayable for anyone with smaller hands. The guitar came with a factory set up and so far I haven't made any adjustments as intonation and string height seemed just right for me. Tuning stability is also absolutely spot on.

Strumming acoustically the guitar is not the loudest I have heard but there is a really nice balance to the sound.

However, plugged in is where this guitar really shows its quality. The pick-ups are top notch. On lower gain settings, there is a lovely, musical growl which is perfect for crunchy chord-work. On higher gain settings, there is plenty of punch - and you can still get plenty of lead guitar squeal - but combined with more clarity than a humbucker-equipped guitar.

My own musical tastes are 1st generation punk such as the Clash, Pistols, etc and for this, it's perfect, though it will obviously appeal to anyone looking to play blues and classic hard rock, etc. Due to the punch and clarity on my lead settings it will also make a great recording guitar as you can still achieve great distorted tones but which will cut through a mix better than most humbuckers on the same gain settings.

To sum up, beautiful guitar, fantastic fit & finish, playability is as usual with Tokai spot on and great sounds. Also, thanks to Hisashi for a great service.

John.
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Johny642000
2007 LS145S
2006 LC180S
LS75Q, ES130, Breezysound, Hardpuncher
1980 Silver Star SS48
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stratman323
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful. Thanks for the review. That's one of the few LPs that really tempts me...

Mike
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twinfan
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Joined: 31 May 2007
Posts: 218

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great looking 'hog on the back and neck!
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settebello
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Joined: 20 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats.Absolut stunning.

Volker
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honeyboy
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Joined: 25 Jun 2007
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Location: Houston, Occupied Republic of Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd marry it if it can cook.
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rossl
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Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice guitar! I am looking for a LP with P-90's. Never played a Tokai. I just found this forum and I'm trying to learn more.

I own a few Gibsons (and Fenders), since Gibsons are getting more and more expensive, I'm consdering alternatives. Also I'm not 100% I wll like the P-90's.

Does the Goldtop "color" look like a correct Gibson shade , it's hard to tell form the pictures?

Are the newer Tokai's as nice as the older ones? I've read a lot about the older ones, but not so much about current ones.
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tudor
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Joined: 05 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks John ...

Nice GT and a superb review ...

Roger
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Stone Free
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Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Posts: 91
Location: T E X A S

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Re: LS 145S Review and Photos Reply with quote

Johny642000 wrote:

To sum up, beautiful guitar, fantastic fit & finish, playability is as usual with Tokai: spot on and great sounds.


John, you are going to love that guitar. I am a Strat guy primarily, but my LS145S has become a favorite. It does everything well: blues, rock, jazz, ... . I changed the knobs to gold tophats and also put on a Gibson Historic TRC (fits perfectly as the holes are drilled the same as a Gibson).

Enjoy!
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Johny642000
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Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 193
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:03 am Post subject:

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

Nice guitar! I am looking for a LP with P-90's. Never played a Tokai. I just found this forum and I'm trying to learn more.

I own a few Gibsons (and Fenders), since Gibsons are getting more and more expensive, I'm consdering alternatives. Also I'm not 100% I wll like the P-90's.

Does the Goldtop "color" look like a correct Gibson shade , it's hard to tell form the pictures?

Are the newer Tokai's as nice as the older ones? I've read a lot about the older ones, but not so much about current ones.


Rossi - in answer to your questions from this thread and the other one you've contributed to...

The Goldtop colour on my LS145s to my eyes looks a bit deeper and darker than the Goldtop colour on the vinatge series goldtops, e.g LS75 GT or LS85s

I've got 4 vintage series Tokais all built in the last 4 years and the quality, playability is brilliant. When buying this guitar I knew I would have been delighted with an LS85S but just thought I'd go that extra mile this time and try out a Premium model and I am very pleased I did. This guitar will be with me for life!

The economics of buying an LS85S vs an LS145S for me living in the UK:

LS85S from Richtone = ?549 plus ?10 p&P plus another ?15 for a decent gigbag or ?45 for a case.

LS145S from Hisashi - all in ?770 including EMS shipping, UK customs & VAT charges, plus Tokai HSC.

I felt the extra money was worth paying out for something that will give me a lifetime's pleasure.

As for your decision, I think whatever you choose you will be very happy. I've given you a very positive review on an LS145s and you'll find equally good reviews around on the LS85S.

In the past, I've bought a couple of guitars from Richtone and they're great people and offer a great service. My one experience of importing from Japan has also been nothing but positive.

Availability - ordering through a dealer like Richtone as already mentioned in previous threads, you might have to wait 3-4 months of longer for an LS145S (or 160S as it now is). Hisashi had my guitar in stock and ready to go just at the same time as the money was burning a hole in my pocket.

So there you go - I don't know if that helps you or gives you further things to weigh up, but anyway, good luck in your search and final decision.

All the best,

John.
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2007 LS145S
2006 LC180S
LS75Q, ES130, Breezysound, Hardpuncher
1980 Silver Star SS48
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leadguitar_323
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Joined: 14 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you guys aware that there is a "review " section on this forum ?

Mick
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leadguitar_323
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OOPS, reviews for anything other than Tokai.......

Mick
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Johny642000
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Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries, Mick!
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Johny642000
2007 LS145S
2006 LC180S
LS75Q, ES130, Breezysound, Hardpuncher
1980 Silver Star SS48
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stratman323
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just won this LS85S Goldtop with P90s on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=180209933558&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=008

I'll go and collect it in a couple of days. I thought I'd see how I get on with it, since I'm not really used to LPs - if I love it so much that I want something even better, I could always sell it and get a 145 later. If not, seems like a fair price to me.

What's the verdict? Have I made a good buy?

Mike
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leadguitar_323
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Joined: 14 Nov 2006
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Location: Brisbane Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mike, i was looking for the serial no to identify its year of construction..
Is it normal for this model to have no serial no..
Mick
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skalie
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Joined: 15 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

leadguitar_323 wrote:
Hi Mike, i was looking for the serial no to identify its year of construction..
Is it normal for this model to have no serial no..
Mick


On my "LS85S Goldtop with P90s" the serial number is "stamped" into the headstock, I think it's probably there, just can't be seen due to the lighting in the photo.

Congrats stratman, you're going to love that guitar.
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