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It's an '85 Love Rock, but which model please!

 
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oldie
Plucker


Joined: 16 Feb 2013
Posts: 4
Location: UK England

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:47 am    Post subject: It's an '85 Love Rock, but which model please! Reply with quote

Hi,

I?m an oldie but a newbie to guitars and the Tokai forum.
From my keen perusal of the forum recently it appears that nearly everyone is a super player ? I hope you all don?t mind helping out a rookie, one with a common interest in the Tokai LP range of guitars.

About 21 years ago my son decided he wanted a guitar for his birthday so I made my first foray into looking at what was available. In a mad fit, despite of not having ever picked up a guitar, let alone played one, I decided to buy a Tokai Love Rock I had seen advertised in Guitarist magazine when I was looking for my son?s guitar.

After a few first lessons, lack of time & money made me put it away and it stayed there until recently. Having decided to have another go at learning to play I dug the Tokai from under the bed. Of course it also revived my interest in it as a guitar too & found the Tokai Registry & Forum when looking for information.

Here I began to learn all about the history of the Love Rock and its predecessors. And the complications about identifying individual guitars!

I have a ?85 guitar (503xxxx), but as to which model . . . well, ?85 appears to be one of the most difficult years of production to pinpoint guitar types. Trust me to pick one from that year!

Picture of said guitar



There are 16 pictures in the album but as I am not sure how to get a link to the album, I will attach links to selected ones as I go along. If anyone can advise me, I'll add the album link later. Perhaps the other pictures are available when one is accessed?

Anyway, it has a one piece mahogany back and neck, a two piece plain-ish (no flame) maple top in what may be a tea/brown/tobacco burst? (cannot find out for certain as these descriptions seem to be easily interchanged)



The back does not have a red tint/finish, more light brown with a slight yellow/olive tinge in some light conditions.



The fretboard is very dark, almost black in some light conditions, and has the ends bound (FEB?) and the truss rod cover is a stepped Gibson 2-screw bell shaped type. The tuners are single ring greenish cream tulip types, marked DELUXE on the back.



There is no sign of the oval model type sticker on the rear of the headstock. There is however signs of a long narrow sticker having been applied to the bottom face of the volute/tenon where the neck is joined to the body (long enough to have said ?Made in Japan??)



I think the headstock rake angle is 18 degrees.



The pickups are covered humbuckers (PAF 57 type?) and the bridge has brass saddles.



The volume & tone pots are hard wired and not on a PCB. The pot cans do not have any markings on their exposed bottoms and have 2 small flat orange coloured capacitors wired across them. The 2 rear cavities are painted semi-flat black.



The selector switch has an orange coloured toggle head. All the body & fretboard bindings, pickup surrounds and pick guard are a creamish yellow.

At first I reckoned it might be an LS60, but having read many threads I am no longer certain. Perhaps it might even be an LS80?

Can anyone help? Your expert opinions please!

I'm so pleased to have found this site. There seems to be quite a lot of interest and pride in owning these earlier Tokai Love Rock guitars and the great amount of knowledge you guys have. Glad to be able to dip my toes into this fantastic community!

Thanks in anticipation . . .
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carl300367
Guitar God


Joined: 03 Dec 2010
Posts: 82
Location: england

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

some one who knows the ins and outs will be able to tell you

IMO it may a higher model purely because of the fret edge binding
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Reborn Old
Guitar God


Joined: 11 May 2010
Posts: 481

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi oldie, welcome to the forum !

It appears to be a very pristine example of an LS-80 from pics and description. What a beauty !

Fret edge binding, and a one piece back are generally very good indicators of an LS-80 plain top model.
Lower models would have multipiece backs and no fret edge binding, usually.

Another thing you can look for are artifacts of the model number decal below the serial number on the headstock.
Even after the black oval 80 decal is gone, you can often still see the number in the glue residue if it hasn't been rubbed off.

Proving that the finish is nitro (rather than poly found on LS-60 and lower models) would be conclusive that it's an LS-80 if or when there is doubt,
but if you thoroughly checked the bottom edge of the back for breaks in grain and are confident it's one piece, then I would say a finish test isn't necessary.

It's worth way more than you paid for it 21 years ago BTW.

Hope this helps .
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felixcatus
Guitar God


Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 1175
Location: Antwerp, Belgium

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That?s a very nice piece you had under the bed for 20 years.

PS welcome to the forum.
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oldie
Plucker


Joined: 16 Feb 2013
Posts: 4
Location: UK England

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys,

Many thanks for the welcome and your comments too of course.

I had originally assumed it was likely to be an LS-50 or LS-60 because of the plain top, missing out on the gorgeous flame tops I see regularly here. The edge binding confused me slightly.

I've had a good look at the back of the headstock just now, in daylight, and unfortunately there is definitely no mark whatsoever left.





Close scrutiny of the bottom strap button confirms the back is one piece as I thought, so I guess I can assume a nitro finish.



From reading other threads I now know that the only other possible markings may sometimes be found inside the neck pickup cavity. I haven't stripped out the pickups. The strings are still those which came with the guitar all those years ago - and it was put away tensioned in tune, 21 years ago!

Although I have now purchased a new set of Ernie Ball Regular Slinky 10-46 (hope these are suitable for a novice plucker), I am uncertain, after all these years, about taking all the strings off together & subjecting the poor old neck to a sudden drastic removal of tension. Anyway, I guess until I decide to sell it (heavens forbid!!!!) the actual model number is of no real consequence. I shall be replacing the strings, but doing it one at a time.

Would anyone know exactly which pickups are fitted if it is an LS-80? Are they the Tokai '57 PAF Vintage Mk2? Are they good performers worth keeping as is?

What is the significance of the lack of PCB for the pots? Was the PCB assembly for earlier or later production, or, cheaper or more expensive models?

Reborn Old, there are a few little scuffs and dings, but generally it certainly is in excellent condition for an old lady of 27, helped no doubt by the long 'rest' period. Although there are marks on the back, as can be seen on the pictures, the finish has not been scratched or worn away anywhere. The only damage I wish had not happened is the small triangular depression on the headstock face. The previous owner said he caught it on something sharp when he gigged it. Small price to pay.



On the subject of value, what would an LS-80 in this condition make today? I think I may have paid about ?200-240/US$300-360 (here in the UK) back in 1992 or so - actually a quite bit of money for me then.

By the way, when I was looking through the Registry, I noticed that all the '85 Love Rocks in it are either 502xxxx or 503xxx - none were 501xxx. Has anyone else noticed this, or have I just missed those in my scan? If I'm right, the '1' for early year production and '2' for late year production rule appears to have been changed for '85 - yet another anomaly?

Thanks everybody
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Reborn Old
Guitar God


Joined: 11 May 2010
Posts: 481

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No harm can be done to the neck by taking all strings off short term.
Leaving the neck untensioned for weeks or more, might cause it to be pulled back slightly by the truss rod.

Pickups are likely Gotoh 57 PAFs and will have little black stickers on pickup backs.
They are average sounding pickups, not bad, not spectacular.
After 1982 they were commonly used in LS-50 through LS-80 models.

LS-150 and 200 models didn't use PCB's and I'm not sure what year they were discontinued for LS-80's, possibly in 1985 or 1989.
A few PCB's have been found in early '90s models. Wiring rework in your control cavity might suggest PCB was removed by the original owner.

5023553 - 5033731 is the current documented serial range for 1985 LS models. There are no 501xxxx examples.

Your LS has appreciated in value approximately 5 fold since your purchase.

Hope you enjoy your beautiful guitar !


Last edited by Reborn Old on Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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oldie
Plucker


Joined: 16 Feb 2013
Posts: 4
Location: UK England

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Reborn Old.

Up to 5 fold increase? Wow - if only I'd been able to buy a handful of these guitars back then! I'll have to take extra good care of it. I certainly am enjoying it very much indeed.

I'll get round to lifting the pickups sometime now I know it is not a problem taking all the strings off. However, as I'm only a newbie plucker I don't think I'll be able to appreciate any PU change so will keep the originals at present.

I was about to enter my Love Rock into the Registry (as an LS-80) but thought I better ask what finish you think I should refer it as? Can entries be edited later?

One thing though, I don't seem to be able to 'work' the registry to make it display say, only Love Rocks. Despite using the top first 3 white boxes I can't find a 'Search' button or any means to start the search. What am I missing? Also, would be good to have been able to search by Serial Number too.
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oldie
Plucker


Joined: 16 Feb 2013
Posts: 4
Location: UK England

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Control cavity shows no sign of mods having been done (see earlier picture) - another '85 anomaly?!! Must be one of the earlier LS-80s without the PCB if late '85 is when they were first dropped.

Assume PCB is a lower cost option.
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Barks67
Guitar God


Joined: 01 Jan 2011
Posts: 271
Location: Leeds UK

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All I can add is that 1985 is indeed an odd year, spec's wise, for Tokai.

My 1985 Love Rock does not have FEB but has a two piece solid maple plain/slight flame top, one piece back, 18* headstock angle and Bell TRC.

So it's supposed to be a LS50 as its a poly finish - though with better wood specs and 18*headstock.

http://s650.beta.photobucket.com/user/katbarks/library/2%20Tokai%20Guitars?start=all

Check out the serial number btw. Pretty close!

I notice you are UK too - there is another member here who also has a UK purchased, non export model (as in proper headstock) from the same year with spurious specs.

Is there any significance in the plain inlays as to model specs Tokai gurus?
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Sigmania
Guitar God


Joined: 14 May 2012
Posts: 484
Location: Asheville, NC USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you have the original case? If so, can you post pics? Thanks!
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