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What are the modern Tokais like?
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austin
Power chords are my friend


Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 30
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:53 pm    Post subject: What are the modern Tokais like? Reply with quote

I'm looking for a white Les Paul at the moment and having owned a 79 Reborn in the past I'm tempted to get a Tokai but are the modern ones any good? I'm guessing they won't be anywhere near the spec of the vintage models but are they worth buying or not as don't want to waste my cash?
I found these on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Tokai-ALC-53-Love-Rock-White-Les-Paul-Custom_W0QQitemZ270526135841QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Musical_Instruments_Guitars_CV?hash=item3efc9d3e21

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Tokai-LC53-Les-Paul-Custom-Electric-Guitar-Vint-White_W0QQitemZ330361959603QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Musical_Instruments_Guitars_CV?hash=item4ceb1b74b3

Any opinions?
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fogboundturtle
I only know 3 chords


Joined: 14 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thoses are MIC Tokai. Nowhere close to the MIJ one.
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austin
Power chords are my friend


Joined: 24 Jun 2009
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Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

not worth bothering with then?
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fogboundturtle
I only know 3 chords


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you are better off with a real MIJ Tokai.
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JVsearch
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Joined: 01 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You get what you pay for... cheap = cheap.

But I'm a guitar snob and would never buy a Chinese made guitar!
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Ozeshin
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JVsearch wrote:
You get what you pay for... cheap = cheap.

But I'm a guitar snob and would never buy a Chinese made guitar!

Around 50% of my collection is Chinese built.
If you're a newbie who doesn't know chipboard from Mahogany then you can be led astray...but I've been playing for 40 years and I know what i like.
I have a Mahogany bodied explorer(MiC) that beats the Chinese built Epi and Tokai versions hands down.
To write off ALL Chinese built guitars as crap is not just snobby...it's downright ignorant.
If you know what constitutes a decent guitar then there are bargains to be found.
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singemonkey
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Joined: 19 May 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Older Tokais have a reputation. But if they're any better than the modern made-in-Japan models, there must be choirs of angels singing every time you open their cases.

I just got a MIJ Tokai LS150 (now called an LS160):

http://www1.odn.ne.jp/tokaigakki/products/premium/ls160.html

This is a truly stunning, alive sounding guitar made to 50s Les Paul spec. The old ones may be better, but there can't be much in it. At the shop where I had it dropped off, one of the shop guys was playing it. He was gob-smacked. He said, "this is the best Les Paul I've played in my life."

It's certainly the best I've played in mine.

I get the impression that the availability of the cheap, Chinese Tokais, has fed this rumour that they're no longer quality guitars. Not to say Chinese ones are junk - just that they presumably don't inspire the awe that greets MIJ Tokais (old and new).

This couldn't be more false. If you get a MIJ Tokai, you will not be disappointed.
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RocknBlues
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Joined: 22 Dec 2008
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Location: Sunshine Coast, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi austin, welcome to the forum,

Let me first say go for the MIJ tokai, if your on a tight budget go for an LS92 or LS98F if you were after a flame top and can pay a little more.

I own a MIC love rock as well as a MIJ model which is much better quality of coarse, but the MIC model is not all that bad, it actually is a much better guitar than the Epi les paul studio that I owned when I bought the MIC love rock, It walks all over the Epi in every aspect.
Sure some have issues with the finnish but overall the build quality is pretty good.
But having said that still go with MIJ they are magical
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stratman323
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:35 am    Post subject: Re: What are the modern Tokais like? Reply with quote

austin wrote:
I'm looking for a white Les Paul at the moment and having owned a 79 Reborn in the past I'm tempted to get a Tokai but are the modern ones any good? I'm guessing they won't be anywhere near the spec of the vintage models but are they worth buying or not as don't want to waste my cash?


The situation is the same as it was back in the 70s & 80s - the real bargains are the entry level Japanese guitars. The more expensive ones have extra bells & whistles, but the basic MIJ models are as close to the early Tokais as anyone can reasonably get in 2010. With a bit of luck, they should age as well as the early guitars did.

However good the Chinese stuff might be, I still reckon Tokai should protect their name by calling the MIC stuff "Fred by Tokai" or something, like "Orville by Gibson" or "Squier by Fender" - it would help to differentiate between the original MIJ stuff & the budget range.

OK, it's not a LP, but this is a 2007 ES130 - does it look like standards have dropped?



Mike
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JohnA
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Joined: 02 Mar 2007
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Location: Leicester UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ozeshin wrote:

To write off ALL Chinese built guitars as crap is not just snobby...it's downright ignorant.
If you know what constitutes a decent guitar then there are bargains to be found.


Definetely!! The Chinese made Burny's are great, Edwards are doing most of their manufature in China and they build some amazing guitars. If you look at the quality thats coming out of China today and compare it with what came out of Japan in the early '70's, the Chinese stuff knocks spots off it!

At the moment the higher-end Japanese models are still better than the cheaper Chinese ones, but give it a few years, the Chinese are catching up fast!!
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JVsearch
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Joined: 01 Jan 2009
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Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ozeshin wrote:
JVsearch wrote:
You get what you pay for... cheap = cheap.

But I'm a guitar snob and would never buy a Chinese made guitar!

Around 50% of my collection is Chinese built.
If you're a newbie who doesn't know chipboard from Mahogany then you can be led astray...but I've been playing for 40 years and I know what i like.
I have a Mahogany bodied explorer(MiC) that beats the Chinese built Epi and Tokai versions hands down.
To write off ALL Chinese built guitars as crap is not just snobby...it's downright ignorant.
If you know what constitutes a decent guitar then there are bargains to be found.


Hey, buy as many Chinese made guitars as you like, buy the ones that I don't want!

My preference is to have 2 or 3 really nice guitars rather than 6 or 7 that are a bit average. Life is too short, and we all need some way to narrow down the hundreds of choices available to us. In the end I don't care how good they are or how good they're getting, or whether some people on here believe they are the new collectables of the future. My own purchases of Japanese guitars have satisfied me (for now ). I will come round to buying Chinese guitars once they are in the ascendency and have bankrupted Tokai, Gibson, Fender etc, in the meantime you can buy all the developmental guitars along the way.

As far as Edwards goes I'm ideologically opposed to buying them for reasons that are already on record and don't need to be repeated here. It's just another way of eliminating yet another "me too" product that frankly, I find boring, like most consumption.

I didn't say Chinese guitars were crap, I said they were cheap - this is not the same. Why would I buy a new Chinese guitar for $500 when I can get a second hand Japanese one for $800?
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austin
Power chords are my friend


Joined: 24 Jun 2009
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Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies guys. I'm not a newbie to guitars, I own a couple of Gibsons and an Epi Wilshire but I don't know anything about the modern Tokais, hence my question. I had a 79 Reborn so I know the quality of those but unfortunately I had to sell it when I was short of cash. What I'm after is an arctic white Les Paul and I'd seen those MIC Tokais on Ebay that I linked to. By the sounds of it they're not going to be what I'm after so how do I know which are the MIJ ones to find a white one?
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fogboundturtle
I only know 3 chords


Joined: 14 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You want to look for an Tokai LC98S.

http://cgi.ebay.ca/TOKAI-LC98S-Snow-White-Made-in-Japan-BRAND-NEW-mint_W0QQitemZ270527046754QQcmdZViewItemQQptZGuitar?hash=item3efcab2462
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cryptozoo
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found the new MIJ Tokais to be of very high quality.
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Mole Man
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Joined: 16 Nov 2007
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Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well both my ES130 and LS150 (both built in the last five years) are excellent guitars and stand comparison with the best guitars I have.
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