Tokai Forum - a subsidiary of TokaiRegistry.com Forum Index
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Beauty of the Veneer

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Tokai Forum - a subsidiary of TokaiRegistry.com Forum Index -> Tokai Sightings & eBay Alerts
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
ochay
Guitar God


Joined: 24 Sep 2002
Posts: 713
Location: So. Cal.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2002 6:31 pm    Post subject: Beauty of the Veneer Reply with quote

I was just catching up on a some gossip in the Classified section and some downright meanspirited coments made about a fellow Tokaier* Apmech*-What a crock ! All of these self appointed Tokai Experts

Ned I challenge you to put it to rest !

1)Come out with some picture proof of actual Veneer tops-so every one can see for themself's how to check and what to check for. As far as love rocks go..

2)What exactly are you doing with all the guitars registered in your registry?? Help Me ??? I started to look thru and just gave up??You have compiled a great list of Tokai's on your registry-but for what??
A real Springy Sound or GoldStar Sound will have exact matching numbers on the neck Butt and on the body itself.

3)Alot of the LoveRocks and Strat Tokai's sold in Europe did not conform with the info put out here-as they never stopped selling the lawsuit models-your buddies over there can attest to this-1990 -91 & 92 were great years for our European buddies and they got some KILLER Flametops/Customs/ Standards-They were sold in German Music Stores as real Flametops?? Whatzup??.
Help Ned or ????




Also like my some of my fellow eBayers I feel that this site is great-but really lacks concrete picture evidence and numbers as to the authenticity of lack of proof
_________________
Guitar Farmer !
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
supernout
Guitar God


Joined: 26 Sep 2002
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2002 4:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Beauty of the Veneer Reply with quote

1) First is to divide photo flame and real flame veneers. A top that will change its 3D appeal from different views of angle does not mean necessarily that it is a true one layer (a.k.a. solid) flame top made of two bookmatched pieces. It could be a veeer as well but certainly not a photo veneer.

Examine both pick-up cavities and try to detect the vertical splitline by looking at the rear of each cavity. First of all it should match exactly the horizontal splitline that bookmatches the two pieces on the top surface. If it does not or if you cannot detect any splitline it is definitely a veneer top. Sometimes you need to sand off parts of the finish around the middle area inside the cavity walls. The two pieces of wood will separate each grain much better after moisten it a little. I did this quite relieable procedure after buying a Tokai LS offered as a true flametop. But proving that by pictures would need a high resolution closeup camera, almost impossible with standard digitals. X-raying the guitar would be an additional help, but I am not sure if it works apart from having the equipment.

Tokai has been always regarded as a quality MF company so I would not assume that Tokai laminated two-piece veneer tops upon three piece main tops like other asian e.g. korean guitar brands. I refinished a few black LS-60 from the early ’90 and they had always two-piece tops and a cherry red sealer, speaks for itself. Not to forget that it takes lots of efforts to match the veneer top splitline exactly with the main top splitline just to make people think it is a one layered solid top. I saw a lot of veneer tops including other japanese brands with slightly rounded edges after taking off pickups, but this is no rule only experience.

The relieable sources for me are the tokai catalog descriptions and comments of japanese people who seem to have a little more knowlegde and experience than a few of the sometimes over-enthusiastic tokai owners around here. I have never read any LS-80 description that stated a solid flame top but I would not doubt the existence, if a seller states it in an auction and even insists on it after questioning two or three times. Would I buy it? No, just because I do not feel safe with it. My problem, I cannot blame the seller.

2) I totally agree with you. I still have not found out what the registry is good for either. Far too many confusing comments. The more this site grows the more difficult it is to separate useful and precise information from the rest. IMO a useful information should include detailed descriptions of construction, wood, hardware, electrics, letters and numbers and so on… Why should not we start and compare our Reborns.

The reasons for me and probably for others as well not to publish any detailed pix of tuners, circuit-boards, cavities or pickups and so on, are simple. First is I never give any rights of my properties away, even if it is just the right of a picture I shot. Far more important to me is that I don’t want to see those things happen again after Duchossoir and others published their precise documenations of the old originals Fenders and Gibsons. You can say that it has been a great help for people identifying their guitars but on the other hand it still opens doors for people who fake at least parts for completing originals and sometimes not only parts, think of pre-CBS Fenders e.g.
Only one Tokai example is that since it’s known that you can separate the origin of a Tokai LS by the number of TRC screws some sellers swap all the covers to reveal a korean. Others change the model designation stickers…
Tokai prices of the so called golden era raised and will raise in future, no doubt about it, and the reason that we don’t come to see any LS-200 reborn flametops is that they are already in hands of collectors who do not care about great sites like this. But is it then scientifically satisfying to question the existence of reborn real flametops just because we never had the opportunity to see or play any? It is proved by ads that those HQ guitars were manufactured even at that time.

I have drawn lots of information from the catalogs on this site and a few pix on the guitar section and I am really thankful for that opportunity. But I have learned as well not to overvalue statements some people give.

Enjoy your Reborn as I do mine!

_________________
If you can't solve a problem...you are the problem. (shadocs rule!)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Mac
Guitar God


Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 1060
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Guys,

quite a lot of speculating here....

Let me state for the record that the reason Ned started this site was to accumulate and compare Tokai info from around the world to spot the differences you refer to. So people who worked for Tokai or their Distributors would be able to share their knowledge with those didn't.

1) There is no exact way to spot a solid flame top from a veneer. In my experience, the veneer seems to be more perfect than a solid....if that makes sense. The veneer will still 3D to a degree but the photo-flame is usually very flat and too even. I have not taken apart photo-flames but I have done many Tokai veneer. In MOST cases, the maple cap DID NOT line up with the book-matched veneer top - the join line of the cap was sometimes 1" (24mm) to the right of the centre splitline.
I will say one thing - there NEVER was and never will be an LS-80 with a solid flame top in any year.

2)I found the guitars registered to be a great help in finding the serial number patterns for the LesPaul/Love Rock series. The big problem is that most Tokai owners have bought the guitars used and so the original year is not available to put against the serial numbers. It seems that prior to 1982, all Tokai used a 7 number system but sometime after that, the Fenda replicas started using "L" and "pre-L" serial numbers. Unfortunately, they did not correspond with manufacture years. Most of the other markings ( I believe) were from the guys who made the bodys and necks - like a quality control mark.

3) It also seems Australia and Europe did not get the altered headstock Tokais like the USA did. Probably because the lawsuit threat was primarily about protecting the US market. For once you bloody Yanks did not get the better deal

The reference to KILLER flame tops is an interesting one though. The vast majority of these would have been LS80's or LS100's with veneer tops.
If Tokai made 1,000 LS guitars a month, only 20 MAY have had solid flame tops (LS120 - LS200) and most of these would have been kept in Japan. They were just too expensive to Import unless there was a definate order for one. The 1984 LS200 sold for AUS$2800.00 whereas the 1984 Gibson LP Std was AUS$3,000. The Gibson had a better resale value than the relatively unknown Tokai so it was huge battle to try to change the musicians thinking...a battle that Tokai did not win. It's taken nearly 20 years to gain acceptance for the quality axes that they are.

Those murky first years and the transition years do make for confusion and there may be no firm way of dating yet..but the more people contribute, the closer it gets.

Keep the Faith

PS: There is a Goldstar/Springy/SilverStar headstock I.D. page at the website that should give a helpful idea as to the age.

Peter Mac
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
supernout
Guitar God


Joined: 26 Sep 2002
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Beauty of the Veneer Reply with quote

Hi Peter,

1) You are the boss! Just one question. Does it mean that every LS-80 (apart from the GT’s) or LS-100 has a laminated veneer? Aren’t there any with solid, let’ say poor or mild flame around? Just a question, I surely don’t want to lead into a –what is flame- controverse.

2) For the reason of knowing the year of mfg. this site is indeed a great help, but apart from the serial or headstock you can categorize guitars to certain years by changes of e.g. hardware markings or stamps like final prospect versus double tokai or LS lightweight versus heavyweight bridge-tailpiece construction and so on. Why not registering every accesable helpful information. It would not only be easier to classify our guitars to certain years but helpful as well regarding to the originality of certain parts of the instruments. So I will examine my Reborn and register it these days.

3) I have seen several Goldstar strats with altered shaped headstock on Ebay/Germany and sometimes U.K. except for the custom editions, which had the original shape and some additional upgrade modifications as far as I can remember. In opposite to the LS models the strats have never been that highly regarded here. During late ’80ties to early ’90ties most of the strat players prefered the first JV-Series (Europe = Squier, Gold Label) apart from the Fender pre-CBS originals due to the outstanding combination of quality wood (alder, sometimes ash), warm tone and U.S.A. Pu’s. Unfortunately I have never had the opportunity to compare these JV’s with Tokais in A/B.

P.S. So many people in this and other forums are enthusiastic about the tone of their instrument. What about leaving a link to a soundfile. Embarassing or what?

Keep the face
_________________
If you can't solve a problem...you are the problem. (shadocs rule!)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Mac
Guitar God


Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 1060
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2002 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Supernout,

some good points here,

1) The first LS80's LP & Reborns had solid maple tops - but not flame maple. Flame maple has to be quartersawn to bring out the pattern. If you were to cross-saw (as regular maple is) you may get some mild flame or birdseye effects on some parts of the top but not the tigerstripe that is desirable. Curiously, the LS-100S had a solid mahogany top - not maple. My point is that any 1983-up LS-80 or LS-100 WITH stripeyflame has a veneer top. This is also because of the economics of flame maple - it is very rare, very expensive and has to be recognised before the maple log is cut up. You would only use it on the high-end models.

2) Any info you can contribute can only help further the cause.

3) I remember when the first AST series was released with the altered headstock and thankfully we did not have to import them to Australia, we stuck with the vintage style headstock. To this end, we did not get the SilverStar series either. Our models were all classed as TST. I believe the extra "A" or "T" was added to the models to signify an export model whilst the domestic Japanese models retained the 2 letters only.

man, if this keeps going i'll have to write a book.....

Peter Mac
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
supernout
Guitar God


Joined: 26 Sep 2002
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exact, "A" abreviates altered and "T" traditional. Isn't it a brilliant suggestion, Peter? Try to falsify!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Novosel
Guitar God


Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 244
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys...regarding headstock shapes and added letters:

I have an 80's Love Rock ALS60 SN#402XXXX that has the dimpled headstock as opposed to the clean Gibson open-book style. It was purchased new in the U.S. Does this mean only Jap imports had this altered headstock shape? And does the "A" prefix mean it was for the American market? It's shown in the 85-86 catalog (with a decidedly Californian-looking background), although mine has Tokai 57 PAF's instead of the listed MARS pickups.

I think this registry could be an awesome place to catalogue this stuff, but Ned needs to commission some anal-retentive detail-oriented accountant-type who would salivate about going through all the collected minutae and putting it into some kind of useful order. An interesting undertaking.

I used to think about taking my dovetail saw to that annoying little dimple on the headstock, but my wife has always stayed my hand, saying the LR might be collectable someday. My wife...I think I'll keep her!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Peter Mac
Guitar God


Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 1060
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2002 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys,

Again another piece of confusion concerning the "A" prefix.
(I like the 'A" for Altered and "T" for Traditional idea - it works.)

The original "A" series were MIJ and built to the same quality specs as all the other series. (see 1985 SRV catalog) I would say that sometime in the 90's, they were discontinued due to poor sales but revived when the guitars started to be made in Korea. The two types have different headstock decals and only the MIJ have serial #'s.(apparently)

Novosel, I gotta agree with your wife. I would always prefer to buy an unaltered guitar than one that was someones test-bed (pickups excluded).
The more original you keep it, the better it holds it value.

Peter Mac
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
ramsale
Guitar God


Joined: 27 Mar 2002
Posts: 193
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2002 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second that emotion. If it isn't stock, then someone had an idea for an upgrade which may, or may NOT improve the original instrument. I like to do mods that are easy to "undo" if the need arises. (It often does.) One pet peeve of mine is additional screw holes ANYWHERE visible to the cosmetic surface. If someone wants to go nuts drilling for treasure under a pickguard, or behind a neckplate, let 'em go at it. But leave the exterior alone, fer gosh sakes... (The sight of too many holes on the headstock leaves me pretty cold...)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
supernout
Guitar God


Joined: 26 Sep 2002
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The original "A" series were MIJ and built to the same quality specs as all the other series. (see 1985 SRV catalog) I would say that sometime in the 90's, they were discontinued due to poor sales but revived when the guitars started to be made in Korea. The two types have different headstock decals and only the MIJ have serial #'s.(apparently)"

Hi Peter,

The early MIJ "A" series had altered headstock shapes probably due to copyright reasons regarding to both, strat and les-paul models. Mid '80 ALS seemed to have the "dimple" moustache headstock top and 14 degree headstock pitch. Sometimes Tokai changed specs each one or two years. The earliest info on 14 versus 18 degrees is stated in the vol. 4 '81 catalog. LS 50 and 60 have 14' pitch and above models 18'. Did you know that? I don't even know if this difference would be visible.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Mac
Guitar God


Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 1060
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2002 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys,

Did you know the reason was Gibsoon used the 18deg headstock til 1960. When the LP was re-offered in 1968 it was given a 14deg headstock, neck volute, 3-piece neck, etc, etc. until the early 90's when they went back to 18deg.

Now, as the LS-50 and 60 tend not to be exact replicas of the 1959 LP, Tokai can use the 14deg headstock and still be accurate.

Oh yeah, the reason for the 18deg angle was string tension and tuning - the reason it changed was too many broken headstocks.

Where did you see the Vol 4. 1981 catalog????

Peter Mac
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
supernout
Guitar God


Joined: 26 Sep 2002
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2002 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew it and after exhumation of my Gippson '74 LP-special and a '77 deluxe I must admit there is indeed a visible difference to 14 degrees. But I didn’t know it regarding to Tokais (shame on them ), because my ‘89/’90 made Loverock LS-50 or 60 w/2-piece top and 3-piece body has definitely 18deg headstock as well as a ’78 Reborn LS-60 and another “older” solidflame Les Paul Model. Maybe they changed lower-model headstock pitch to 14deg by introducing “loverock” in 1980 and went back to 18deg later in mid to end ’80. confuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu...sing.
As I said, they change, re-change, and change again. Do you still want to write a book? Lifetime job, probably.

I think I downloaded the info from the catalog section but I’ll check it out.

ramsale, don't forget that additionally drilled holes reduce the weight of the guitar.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ramsale
Guitar God


Joined: 27 Mar 2002
Posts: 193
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2002 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The spec on my Heritage LP headstock is 17 degrees. They seem to make a big deal about that being THE original design, but what's a degree or two among friends? I know a repairman/luthier that says the reason for the change was the previously mentioned headstock breaks. I guess they were not up to taking much abuse. Guess we just need to treat 'em like a fine lady... (No battered women jokes here, please...)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Tokai Forum - a subsidiary of TokaiRegistry.com Forum Index -> Tokai Sightings & eBay Alerts All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group