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Les Paul Reborn
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james
Guitar God


Joined: 29 Jan 2002
Posts: 294
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2002 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just tried out an old Les Paul Reborn at Andy's in Denmark Street, London UK. Flame top, zebra pickups, Les Paul Reborn logo on the headstock, "RETROSPEC" (?) written on the truss-rod cover. Played and sounded fantastic, despite being quite beaten up and even when compared to a 5K Gibson reissue (honestly actually prefered it). So why didn't I buy it? An asking price of 1800 GBP (2500 USD) is why. I know they're rare but one went recently on ebay for about a third of that price. Still, if there are any rich Tokai-heads out there, go get it.....
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james
Guitar God


Joined: 29 Jan 2002
Posts: 294
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2002 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In fact it looks exactly (apart from the pickups) like the one in the pictures posted yesterday by Jannis Panagou on the Registry!
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TommyR
Power chords are my friend


Joined: 04 Nov 2001
Posts: 30
Location: Cardiff, Wales

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2002 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope that they're including the original hardshell case for that price! I think the one on ebay last week was an LS-50 - has a three piece maple top. Jannis Panagou's looks like an LS-80 or above as it's a flame top. For that price you could get a flight to Tokyo, a night out clubbing, pick up an old Tokai from a shop in Tokyo and still have change for a Taxi back home from Heathrow (unless the customs want to speak to you as you go through the green gate).
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james
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Joined: 29 Jan 2002
Posts: 294
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2002 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No it didn't have the original case, although they would include a new Gibson one. I'm sure someone could get it for a couple of hundred quid less for cash and I would much rather have it than a new Gibson LP Standard (about the same price now in Denmark Street), but the whole point of buying Tokais has always been about getting the same (or better) quality without actually having to pay through the nose, so even if I could afford it I'm not sure I could have brought myself to do it! Its quite ironic to see one going for that kind of money though! But you're right: a night out in Tokyo sounds like a better option!
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NPH
Power chords are my friend


Joined: 28 Feb 2002
Posts: 28
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2002 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I also tried out the guitar and after using my patented method for Guitar shop try outs, got the price down by quite a few hundreds of quids. So I had to have it. When I tried it in the shop I went through some naff tranny fender, but when I played it through my Marshall at home it just sang! The pickups sound great and for once I will not be changing them. The sound compares very favourably with my Gibson LP custom and is much better than a 2001 Love rock. I am now very happy and have sore fingers from playing all weekend.
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loverockerUK
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2002 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

null

Last edited by loverockerUK on Sat Mar 13, 2004 10:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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james
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Joined: 29 Jan 2002
Posts: 294
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2002 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi NPH,

I knew someone out there would try it and not be able to resist!
I must admit they did offer it to me for quite a bit less too, but I still couldn't justify it. Thats not a criticism by the way, as I thought it was one of the best guitars I've ever played, just a personal thing. Congratulations anyway! A few questions if you don't mind:

Am I remembering incorrectly or does it have 'RETROSPEC' on the trussrod-cover? If so has anyone out there seen this before?

Is it a solid top or is that flame-top a laminate? I guess you could see if you remove the pickups.

Is there anything else on there to determine which model it is? A number sticker, or code in the pickup cavity?

I'm sure everyone would be interested to see some pictures of it if you get the chance. Anyway, enjoy it!

Cheers

James
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NPH
Power chords are my friend


Joined: 28 Feb 2002
Posts: 28
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2002 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, James. I have not yet yanked out a P/up but will as soon as I change strings (which won't be too long,the only reason I am not playing it now is I am at work)I will let you know what I find. I have opened up the control cavity to check the wires. The pickups are four conductor with the red and white wires paired and capped with a neat rubber coating. Black and green go to the pot (am I turning into an Anorak as I type)Plus trebble bleed capacitor between volume and tone. No serial number found yet.
And could I apologise to LondonBarrys dog. I had no intention of causing it to suffer any guitar related kicking
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james
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Joined: 29 Jan 2002
Posts: 294
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2002 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like those may be replacement pickups. Peter can probably confirm, but I wouldn't expect to find four-condictor wire pickups in there. Also, unless my memory has completely gone, the pickups were uncovered zebras, which I believe were only to be found on the LS-50, which your guitar ain't cos its got a flame-top (now who's an anorak! ). I guess the covers could have been removed, but I reckon when you pull them out they may turn out to be Seymours or DiMarzios. Of course, I could be talking crap here and have my facts all wrong....

As to a serial number, I'd expect to see one on the back of the headstock, Gibson style.

Let us know...
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NPH
Power chords are my friend


Joined: 28 Feb 2002
Posts: 28
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2002 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The geezer in the shop did actualy have a look at the pickups when he set it up for me, and they are not Dimarzios. The name of the company is on the bottom apparently but it is no one I have ever heard of (probably why I cant remember) They also say PAF on the base plate so they are this comanys version of Gibsons P/up made for Tokai (?) The soldering looked very neat and original so I doubt they are newer than the guitar but I could be wrong. As soon as I take one out I will let you know.
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james
Guitar God


Joined: 29 Jan 2002
Posts: 294
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2002 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whilst tucking in to my lunch it occured to me that the top end models, the LS-150 and LS-200, did have DiMarzios and Seymours respectively (although they were covered), so I was going to suggest that you guitar might be one of these if the soldering looked untouched, but if they're neither then who knows? The solid top would be the clincher: if it has one then its a one of the above (although Peter mentioned an LS-120 with Tokai pickups, so see my 'Love Rock Construction' thread). Either way its a rare and great guitar - Barry, I might need to borrow your dog
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loverockerUK
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2002 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

null

Last edited by loverockerUK on Sat Mar 13, 2004 10:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Peter Mac
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 1060
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2002 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi james,
The 4-wire pickups could be Seymours as he is one of the few manufacturers that use it - and the wiring colors are correct for his pickups.
The control cavity is interesting as Tokai used 2 different set-ups. Low-end models were put onto a curcuit board but high-end models were made with big black capacitors with little orangy bands on them between the pots.
The top is hard to notice if it has the veneer as it is only "waffer thin" but usually the plain maple underneath is not bookmatched so the line doesn't appear to travel all the way to the mahogany.
The guitar sounds absolutely brilliant and I think you got an excellent buy - maybe not a bargain, but who cares. Get some blisters on them fingers.

Peter

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NPH
Power chords are my friend


Joined: 28 Feb 2002
Posts: 28
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2002 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiya people.
I have some more info regarding my Les Paul Reborn (LPR) Tokai if you want it, as I finaly got to take out the pickups last night during a string change. (This entry could bang on a bit, so grab a cup of something lively and settle down)
From the top.
The guitar looks exactly like the pics Jannis Panagou has posted except it has Zebra coil pickups. The wear patterns are almost an exact match except on mine there are two small patches above and below the pickup selector that have worn through the finish.
The headstock is as shown in those picks with "Retrospec" written on the truss rod cover. The black finish on the front of the headstock is fading and you can see the grain of the Mahogany through the black which gives it a dark brown look in some lights.
There is no serial number on the back of the headstock, body or in the control cavities and no model number on the fretboard. The tail Piece has "Gotoh Japan" on the underside.
The pick ups are 4 conductor and use the same coulour code as Seymour Duncan (black, green, red and white) The pots are not on any form of circuit board and are mounted to the body direct. The treble bleed capacitor is a large flat round one, orange in colour with 473 and 022 on the face in very small type that I had to squint to see (They always told me it would make me go blind)
On the base plate of each pick up is stamped the name Haeussel with each having an additional sticker saying "Haeussel PAF VIN B" on the bridge P/U and "Haeussel PAF VIN N" on the neck.
(excuse me while I take off my anorak, it's getting a bit hot in here)
The top would appear to be a laminate as the bookmatch line does not go all the way through the maple cap.
That's about all I can tell you for now. It looks like this guitar is a Korean LPR, as it has no model or serial number but I know very little about the history of Tokai production. Maybe the "Retrospec" branded LPR's were the Korean version made at the same time as the Japan ones as a cost saving alternative. I leave it to you Tokai experts to fill me in on that one. All I know for sure is I have a 20(ish) year old guitar that is well played in, Looks great, sounds fantastic and I love it!
Cheers
Nick.


[ This Message was edited by: NPH on 2002-03-06 09:36 ]
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james
Guitar God


Joined: 29 Jan 2002
Posts: 294
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2002 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nick,

Give us the detail, we love it!

I think we need some other owners of Reborn-era LP replicas to take a look at their guitars for comparison.

Not sure about the Korea idea - I thought Korean Tokai production was a recent phenomenon (?)

Anyway, as you seem to have an unhealthy interest in capacitors, you might like to take a look at Mike Needham's very detailed pictures of his Springy Sound strat on the Registry's picture page. You can clearly see a nice orange cap with 473 on it!

James
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