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sg-175 vs gibson sg standard or 61 reissue
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Dave_Mc
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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diamond wrote:
JohnA wrote:
Decisions decisions!! Definitely best that you've played them all first, make sure you let us know which one you buy


It's now become a psychological decision...which one he buys is based on his personal psychology.
The next guy who walks into the same store will choose a different guitar, and his comments on all of them will be different.

I see it all day long, I laugh my ass off.
One highly qualified pro guitarist plays 5 Tokais and decides that a particular one is "the one", the choice of the bunch.
The next guy, equally "qualified" chooses a different one...both believe they bought "the one".

Another scenario I see.
Guy walks into a Music Store, they only have one Tokai left in stock, plays it for 30 minutes, pulls out his Credit Card and buys it.
Absolutely loves it, didn't need to play 5, loves the one he bought.

Or.
Play a few, one feels better than the others.
Take the others to my guitar tech, he tweaks the nut and action very slightly, the one that once felt best now doesn;t feel as good as the ones that have just been tweaked.


that's what I'm always concerned about when I try a guitar in a shop. Do I like it more because it's a better guitar, or because it has a better setup, or strings I like more?
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marcusnieman
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the few Gibsons I own is a 61 reissue.... which I've upgraded with Faber components - alum locking tailpiece, bridge with brass saddles. Also put new caps in it, vintage "Les Paul" truss rod cover..... gotta say, nicest playing, sounding SG I've ever played - and I have several. Never played an SG185 or even seen one but I'd imagine it's right up there.



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richmca
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one Tokai and lots of Gibsons. The Tokai is an ES-Custom (high-end spec ES for a special order) and it's nice but in terms of a generic comparison between Gibson and Tokai, I'm not really sure things are so simple that you can say 'Tokais beat Gibsons hands down', or even vice-versa.

I have some Gibson Les Pauls from the 50s, an SG Custom from 1961, and a few of the more expensive custom shop re-issues and limited edition LPs that are between 20 and 2 years old. I also have some low-end Gibsons from the 60s - an ES 125 and a SG-shaped Melody Maker. I occasionally babysit some of my pal's extensive collection of 50's and 60's vintage Gibsons too. So that's a reasonably wide sample of Gibson instruments, and I've come to really appreciate the older stuff. Even the old cheapies like the Melody Maker are beautiful to play. This could be down to being well set up over the years by previous owners, but there is also the magic of old wood, which takes some beating. But the newer ones are damn good too in terms of fit and finish and sound pretty good, with one exception - which is unfortunately a bit of a duffer.

However, I've experienced less than great Gibsons in shops, and even had shop staff saying 'don't bother with that one - it's rubbish.' These were at the entry level of the Gibson range. But then again...one of the best LPs I have is a LP Standard Faded - a really cheap short run LP that Gibson turned out for a while a few years back and occasionally makes in batches to special order. We are talking about $700 or something for these. Admittedly mine was extensively upgraded and set up (with commensurate price hike) by Larry Corsa (cvguitars.com) but it is really a fine Les Paul, and in some respects beats the custom shop ones for depth of tone and response.

So can I say Tokais - dollar for dollar - offer more reliable quality than Gibson? I don't know, having only played a couple of Tokais. Maybe there are disappointing Tokais out there too? I can say that my Tokai ES is not necessarily a better guitar than the early 60s ES-335s I've played, but that could be because I like a well played guitar and my Tokai is fairly new, and stiff. Of course the difference between what you'd pay for a 60s 335 and a Tokai ES is a factor, but that's not really the point I suppose. I'm pretty certain that whatever I paid for my Tokai ES got me a better guitar than a roughly equivalent amount (give or take a few hundred ??) would have got in a low end Gibson 335.
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richmca
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one Tokai and lots of Gibsons. The Tokai is an ES-Custom (high-end spec ES for a special order) and it's nice but in terms of a generic comparison between Gibson and Tokai, I'm not really sure things are so simple that you can say 'Tokais beat Gibsons hands down', or even vice-versa.

I have some Gibson Les Pauls from the 50s, an SG Custom from 1961, and a few of the more expensive custom shop re-issues and limited edition LPs that are between 20 and 2 years old. I also have some low-end Gibsons from the 60s - an ES 125 and a SG-shaped Melody Maker. I occasionally babysit some of my pal's extensive collection of 50's and 60's vintage Gibsons too. So that's a reasonably wide sample of Gibson instruments, and I've come to really appreciate the older stuff. Even the old cheapies like the Melody Maker are beautiful to play. This could be down to being well set up over the years by previous owners, but there is also the magic of old wood, which takes some beating. But the newer ones are damn good too in terms of fit and finish and sound pretty good, with one exception - which is unfortunately a bit of a duffer.

However, I've experienced less than great Gibsons in shops, and even had shop staff saying 'don't bother with that one - it's rubbish.' These were at the entry level of the Gibson range. But then again...one of the best LPs I have is a LP Standard Faded - a really cheap short run LP that Gibson turned out for a while a few years back and occasionally makes in batches to special order. We are talking about $700 or something for these. Admittedly mine was extensively upgraded and set up (with commensurate price hike) by Larry Corsa (cvguitars.com) but it is really a fine Les Paul, and in some respects beats the custom shop ones for depth of tone and response.

So can I say Tokais - dollar for dollar - offer more reliable quality than Gibson? I don't know, having only played a couple of Tokais. Maybe there are disappointing Tokais out there too? I can say that my Tokai ES is not necessarily a better guitar than the early 60s ES-335s I've played, but that could be because I like a well played guitar and my Tokai is fairly new, and stiff. Of course the difference between what you'd pay for a 60s 335 and a Tokai ES is a factor, but that's not really the point I suppose. I'm pretty certain that whatever I paid for my Tokai ES got me a better guitar than a roughly equivalent amount (give or take a few hundred ??) would have got in a low end Gibson 335.
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singemonkey
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In terms of owners' opinions, the Tokais are far more reliable. It's pretty clear that Tokai buyers are more likely to go, "Whoa! This guitar is perfect," while Gibson buyers are more likely to go, "WTF?" when they unbox their guitars.

But saying that, you're just looking at a trend. Tokai is more consistent and careful. That doesn't make all Gibsons crap. It just means you can afford to be a little less cautious with Tokais, and are less likely to be disappointed.

VOS Custom shop Gibsons are pretty generally fantastic guitars - just insanely expensive. Among the factory models, I'm sure you wouldn't have to play too many to find a '61 reissue SG that plays as well, and is set up as well, as an USG185. But I'd guess you wouldn't randomly find 5 that would match 5 random USG185s. It's all going to come down to statistics.

And let's not forget that with an USG185 you pay for Honduran Mahogany which is pure luxury. It doesn't do anything for the quality of the guitar, but necessarily makes it more expensive. So it's not comparing apples with apples value-wise, even though the Tokai is definitely worth the money. If the USG185 was made from African mahogany, it would be way cheaper than the Gibsons.

I'm an African. I'll take African Mahogany any day of the week
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marcusnieman
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

singemonkey wrote:

Tokai is more consistent and careful. That doesn't make all Gibsons crap. It just means you can afford to be a little less cautious with Tokais, and are less likely to be disappointed.



agreed. I'll buy most any Tokai without having ever played it...... not so for Gibsons
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Diamond
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

singemonkey wrote:


I'm an African. I'll take African Mahogany any day of the week


Yeah, pure 2010 World Cup African Mahogany.

Hey!!! Surely guitars made in 2010 using African Mahogany will now be worth more....maybe even more than honduras?
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pages plexitone
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marcusnieman wrote:
singemonkey wrote:

Tokai is more consistent and careful. That doesn't make all Gibsons crap. It just means you can afford to be a little less cautious with Tokais, and are less likely to be disappointed.



agreed. I'll buy most any Tokai without having ever played it...... not so for Gibsons


My take too. I ordered 4 Gibbie R6s before I got one put together properly. 1 even had the tone pots unwired!!!!!!! HELLO!!!

I have seen poor quality control on Gibbies that I haven't seen with Tokai. But the best guitar I played was a Gibson R9 in Shibuya. Go figure.

Love that pic of the girl and the SG BTW.
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Diamond
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pages plexitone wrote:
marcusnieman wrote:
singemonkey wrote:

Tokai is more consistent and careful. That doesn't make all Gibsons crap. It just means you can afford to be a little less cautious with Tokais, and are less likely to be disappointed.



agreed. I'll buy most any Tokai without having ever played it...... not so for Gibsons

But the best guitar I played was a Gibson R9 in Shibuya. Go figure.


I think Gibson export their very best guitars to Japan, to avoid embarrassment.
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Dave_Mc
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marcusnieman wrote:

agreed. I'll buy most any Tokai without having ever played it...... not so for Gibsons


same here.

the gibson fans will say if you play 10 you'll likely find a really good one. That's true, but if you ask me every (or at least, the vast, vast majority) guitar at ?3000 should be really good. Other manufacturers manage it with far cheaper guitars.
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karppi
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave_Mc wrote:
marcusnieman wrote:

agreed. I'll buy most any Tokai without having ever played it...... not so for Gibsons


same here.

the gibson fans will say if you play 10 you'll likely find a really good one. That's true, but if you ask me every (or at least, the vast, vast majority) guitar at ?3000 should be really good. Other manufacturers manage it with far cheaper guitars.


Well, I have played about ten to fifteen historic reissues and now I have one of them. Best LP I have ever played or owned. They all were different and of course there is relatively wide variation in Gibson custom shop models and I must say that to me this is more an advantage than a disadvantage. That makes room for matters of different tastes. Now you can, someday, find the one and only guitar just for you.

With Tokais it goes like if you saw one, you saw them all. An average Tokai LP is perfectly finished, it is flawless in its price range, it is clean as a surgery operating room. On the other hand you might describe it tasteless and boring. It is like Japanese car, clever and economical.

Yeah, I have had many Tokais and I am sure that I will buy them more in future and my car is very boring Japanese family model So, no offence, just one different view angle for this discussion.
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singemonkey
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah. But no ones taste runs into crap custom shop Gibsons. I do think their flame-top historics are more varied in appearance than recent Tokais - which is a good thing for them. But variation in quality is to no-ones benefit.

But besides a few odd complaints, the historics seem to be good, quality-wise. Just expensive.

As to the perfect LP, I think there's some taste involved. But a lot of it comes down to the resonance of the back wood, I think. And that comes down to the particular slice of mahogany used. So there should be just as many solid backed Tokais that sing acoustically as VOS Gibsons, I reckon.

It would always be ideal to be able to play 10 or so before choosing - if you want one of those "magic" Les Pauls.

I'm pretty sure though that you won't get that from factory Gibson LPs with heavy mahogany and chambered/weight-relieved backs. Certainly my (solid-backed) LP Deluxe doesn't sing like my Tokai.

So I don't think because Tokai doesn't make LPs in clown burst or that are just rubbish that it makes them boring and pedestrian. Yes, the flame tops should be a little less consistent than they are. But the consistency of fit and finish is exactly what you want. You can put your own dings in it later.
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karppi
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

singemonkey wrote:
Yeah. But no ones taste runs into crap custom shop Gibsons....


I agree with that of course. I have never met a crap custom shop Gibson here in Finland but as I said, my experience is pretty modest. It would be very interesting to know the serial numbers of those bad ones. Anyone? Plexitone?

And yes, to me the "magic" LP means strrroooonggg and resonant acoustic sound from solid wood body, '58 style not so bookmatched plaintop with faded darkburst but not too dark burst, and thick but not too bulky neck It was not easy to find one by Gibson but unfortunately it was impossible to find one by Tokai.

You can call me a Gibson fanboy now, but that is not the story. To me Gibson as a manufacturer doesnt give the guitar any extra value.
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JVsearch
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pages plexitone wrote:
I ordered 4 Gibbie R6s before I got one put together properly. 1 even had the tone pots unwired!!!!!!! HELLO!!!


You must be quite an unlucky person...

My own R8 was a great guitar, and the limited experience I've had with 4 or 5 other Historics was positive. Yes there was the odd fault in fit and finish, but that is meaningless when it comes to playing the thing and checking out the tone. Also I couldn't give a shite about small faults in the fit and finish if the guitar sounds good.

And to be honest, if you look hard enough you can find the odd fault in guitars from every maker. There have even been examples on this very board where supposedly great guitars don't work out. Add in the internet effect where people are now expected to chuck down a lot of money based on photos and sales puff... things aren't going to get any better than right now for new guitars.
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Dave_Mc
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

karppi wrote:


Well, I have played about ten to fifteen historic reissues and now I have one of them. Best LP I have ever played or owned. They all were different and of course there is relatively wide variation in Gibson custom shop models and I must say that to me this is more an advantage than a disadvantage. That makes room for matters of different tastes. Now you can, someday, find the one and only guitar just for you.

With Tokais it goes like if you saw one, you saw them all. An average Tokai LP is perfectly finished, it is flawless in its price range, it is clean as a surgery operating room. On the other hand you might describe it tasteless and boring. It is like Japanese car, clever and economical.

Yeah, I have had many Tokais and I am sure that I will buy them more in future and my car is very boring Japanese family model So, no offence, just one different view angle for this discussion.


yep, that's also a fair enough way to look at it.

I should point out I'm talking more about the standard range gibsons, I've never been able to try a cs one.
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