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Convince me... Why Tokai over a Gibson
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crimsonfire
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Joined: 04 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 3:19 pm    Post subject: Convince me... Why Tokai over a Gibson Reply with quote

It's time to do it, one or the other.

I'm buying brand new and I'm trying to decide between getting a Tokai LC200 or a Gibson Les Paul Custom.

Let's forget about the price and resale value. Forget about the name on the head stock.

Is one better that the other in terms of sound, playability, quality, and etc?

With that in mind, why should I buy a Tokai over a Gibson or vice versa?
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Paladin2019
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Joined: 06 Sep 2002
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Location: Cardiff, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For consistency, build quality, and value for money, Tokai leaves Gibson face down in the dirt. Especially with the Premium lines.

For me it came down to the fact that my LS200 was, and still is, the best guitar I've ever played.
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JVsearch
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're in the USA don't exclude a used Gibson Historic, it will probably cost less than an LC-200, and in my experience of a few Historics they were very nice guitars with good tone woods.

Personally, I suspect that the fret work on a Tokai LC-200 would be better than the standard Gibson production guitars, and probably the wood too. Remember, most Gibson USA production (that is the standard non-custom shop/reissue production) uses weight relieved bodies on most models. If weight is an issue for you, make sure you check the weight before buying anything, as they can all vary.
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marcusnieman
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My simple answer is that you get alot more value for the dollar spent on a Tokai than most any off the shelf Gibson. Better and more consistent build quality. I'm interested in the guitar - not the name.
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Dave_Mc
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Joined: 08 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ +1 (though the tokais aren't as good value as they were with the very strong yen )

I'd also say I'm not sure you can take price out of the decision-making process- for example, there are dearer tokais (and gibsons), so comparing two random models, if price doesn't matter, won't really get you anywhere.
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Diamond
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When the Yen wasn't so strong Tokais were ridiculous value for money, with the current strong Yen Tokais are still excellent value for money.

An LS92 in my country is still much less than half the price of a current Gibson Les Paul STD.

I've compared a Tokai LC98S and a LC98 to a Gibson "Custom".
The Tokais are about a third of the price of a Gibson "Custom" in my country.
If you aren't anal about having the Gibson decal on the headstock then it's a no contest...and I'm not even talking about an LC200, I'm talking LC98.

The LC98 all mahogany wine red model is one of the best Tokais I've played...it's a 'secret' gem.

Here's a photo I took in a music store here in SA, a Gibson "Custom" and a Tokai LC98S lefty.
Interesting, a Gibson "Custom" is supposed to be made in the Gibson Custom shop, yet it has a Nashville bridge unlike all the other Gibson Custom shop models?
Note the vintage correct bridge on the Tokai.

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Mick51
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Joined: 30 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 8:58 am    Post subject: Re: Convince me... Why Tokai over a Gibson Reply with quote

crimsonfire wrote:
It's time to do it, one or the other.

I'm buying brand new and I'm trying to decide between getting a Tokai LC200 or a Gibson Les Paul Custom.

With that in mind, why should I buy a Tokai over a Gibson or vice versa?


Can't and won't address the question you've asked. Your mileage and experience, expectations, etc, won't match mine. Try them, play them, let your ears and your fingers and your mind make the decision. Only you know how you want a guitar to sound and play.

Then, let us know in six months or so what you chose, how it plays, and how satisfied you are. I'm always willing to consider another's experience.
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Diamond
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 2:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Convince me... Why Tokai over a Gibson Reply with quote

Mick51 wrote:
crimsonfire wrote:
It's time to do it, one or the other.

I'm buying brand new and I'm trying to decide between getting a Tokai LC200 or a Gibson Les Paul Custom.

With that in mind, why should I buy a Tokai over a Gibson or vice versa?


Can't and won't address the question you've asked. Your mileage and experience, expectations, etc, won't match mine. Try them, play them, let your ears and your fingers and your mind make the decision. Only you know how you want a guitar to sound and play.

Then, let us know in six months or so what you chose, how it plays, and how satisfied you are. I'm always willing to consider another's experience.


True.
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luis
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We don?t have to convince you, you must be convinced by yourself.
Ask for a friend or people owning a japanese Tokai made in your area, try them and judge by yourself (some people has done so with myself since 8? years ago, I like to help as far as I?m able).
I did so some time ago and I?m here , you are safe with a Tokai, you will end getting from a good to really good instrument, they know what they are doing I can tell you.
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Dave_Mc
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 6:16 am    Post subject: Re: Convince me... Why Tokai over a Gibson Reply with quote

Mick51 wrote:

Can't and won't address the question you've asked. Your mileage and experience, expectations, etc, won't match mine. Try them, play them, let your ears and your fingers and your mind make the decision. Only you know how you want a guitar to sound and play.

Then, let us know in six months or so what you chose, how it plays, and how satisfied you are. I'm always willing to consider another's experience.


agreed
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crimsonfire
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 12:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Convince me... Why Tokai over a Gibson Reply with quote

Mick51 wrote:
Can't and won't address the question you've asked. Your mileage and experience, expectations, etc, won't match mine. Try them, play them, let your ears and your fingers and your mind make the decision. Only you know how you want a guitar to sound and play.

Then, let us know in six months or so what you chose, how it plays, and how satisfied you are. I'm always willing to consider another's experience.


Trust me, If I could try one firsthand, I would have. I wouldn't even bother posting this question here. I live in Los Angeles and NONE of my friends and NONE of their friends have a Tokai. In fact, they all snicker at the thought of some guitar called a Tokai being able to match or even be better than a Gibson.

Oh yeah, I'm also a lefty. Tell me, if you were a lefty, how easy would it be for you to find super quality lefty guitars to try out? It's not like I can walk into a Guitar Center, pick up a R8 and play it to my hearts content. So NO, I can't "Try them, play them, let your ears and your fingers and your mind make the decision."

This is why I'm asking those who have experience firsthand with Tokai's. I want to gather as much honest input/opinions as I can so that I can make the right decision for myself. The Tokai or Gibson will be the ONLY expensive guitar that I will ever buy.

I DON'T have multiple guitars like those of you here. In fact, I only have an Epiphone Les Paul Custom. I play for fun, I don't gig or anything like that, but I still want to have an excellent guitar, for my own personal enjoyment. The bedroom rocker.

I like the Les Paul Custom, and Tokai makes a version of this guitar. People who own them say that they are on par or better than Gibson's.
That's why I'm here, yeah, I have enough money to buy a Gibson, but if there is something better for a fraction of the price then I'm definitely going to consider it. I could careless about the name on the headstock. All I care about is the sound and quality. If the Tokai really does sound just as good, if not better than a Gibson, then my choice is an easy one to make.

I will ask again, why a Tokai over a Gibson?


Last edited by crimsonfire on Mon May 28, 2012 4:34 pm; edited 2 times in total
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jonah65
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i bought a beautiful looking transamber gibson les paul standard secondhand on e-bay, my dream guitar. i listened to it via youtube and thought it sounded fine, on its arrival i was totally underwhelmed, a lifeless non resonating plank of wood. i sold it.
the tokai ls 80 (2003) i now own, is without doubt far superior sound wise. the build quality on the gibson was allright, but imo no better than the tokai.
the current ls 150's seem to be the one to have at the moment.
it's a tough decision to make, but bang for buck, i'd go for the tokai myself.
try asking the same question on the mylespaul forum.
by the way,s/h gibson-?1400
s/h tokai -?450
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bluesyrat
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Joined: 17 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

c'mon crimsonfire! Get an LC Tokai, you'll be astonished!
If no one around you has it, you'll kick out them!

To say all the truth, it seems that the issue concerns more having to talk about that guitar with your friends who are all Gibsoned...

We don't have to convince you, it's enough you read the amount of posts from Tokai satisfied! The same echoes that have drawn you here...
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Johny642000
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a Tokai fan so my opinion is biased....

But if you are interested in the higher end customs then I can recommend. I have an LC180s and it is a wonderful guitar. New in the UK it would cost around ?1400

To get the same specs, long tenon, non-weight relieved body, etc I would have to go for a Gibson custom shop VOS model which in the UK is over twice the price at ?3300

I'm surethe Gibson is a wonderful guitar and I am not a Gibson knocker for the sake of it but, everything being equal is it twice the guitar? No!

As other people have said on this forum, I would buy a Tokai unseen, as I would a Bacchus or a Navigaotor, etc - I have that much confidence in the quality - in fact, all my Tokais I bought this wy, the last 3 from Japan and I have yet to be disappointed...

But would I buy a Gibson unseen? Based on others' feedback that would not be a wise thing to do...

Honestly, give a Tokai a try...

Best wishes,

John.
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crimsonfire
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen videos on youtube where people were comparing the tone of stock Tokai's to that of a Gibson and the Tokai seems brighter. I think that people were comparing the Tokai LS models to the Gibson Les Paul standards.

Would you guys say that your Tokai's sound brighter, when compared to a Gibson Les Paul?
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