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 

NGD Tokai HLS24

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Tokai Forum - a subsidiary of TokaiRegistry.com Forum Index -> Tokai Guitars
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Whittlez
Sus4add11


Joined: 30 Dec 2015
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:33 pm    Post subject: NGD Tokai HLS24 Reply with quote

A quick disclaimer: I originally posted this at a website for general guitar enthusiasts. Here, amidst all the Tokai wonks, I realise parts may sound incredibly obvious and sound like a lot of singing to the choir. The average person here knows all this stuff about Hibiki etc and way more about this stuff than I do, so please consider the audience I wrote it for - the not yet converted.

I ordered this bad boy just a few days ago. It is amazing how quickly EMS moves a guitar across the pacific, through Customs and into our hands.

Based on what I've read on the intertoobs and within the Les Paul enthusiast/MIJ Guitar enthusiast community, there is a wee bit of confusion about the "H" series of Tokai guitars.

I will start with a description of what the HLS series guitars are and where the HLS240 fits within the hierarchy, then the specs of the HLS240 guitar and finally my experience with my particular 2012 HLS240 I now own!

Hibiki is a Tokyo based company commissioned by Tokai to produce historically accurate Super Shop Limited guitar models, among them - Les Pauls. They also do work for G&L, Dean Guitars, etc.

Just like Tokai, and many MIJ guitars, the modelnumber rougly correlates to the list price in Yen, an "S" is used for Les Paul Standards, a "C" for Customs,and an ES for ES335 etc types.

The HLS240 is thus (I am quoting a translation from their website), the "flagship" model of the HLS series and the "best of the flame top models". Remember, I am talking about WITHIN the Hibiki Super Shop Historically accurate models. Tokai itself makes some higher #'d guitars with all sorts of groovy tops with lots of "A's" in them for ultimate cork sniffage.

The HLS240 shares a number of features with its super shop sisters as well as some of it own under this common theme of historically accurate as well as high quality.

(Note: some disagreement as to whether the 2012 HLS240 has a veneer or not. Let's set that aside for the moment. I am thinking probably it does but I'm not sure)...

Specs: Two piece maple top, mahogany one piece back
Mahogany one piece neck

Deeper neck joint
Madgascar Rosewood Fretboard
Jescar Frets
Pickups : two 59+
CTS pots and switchcraft switch and jack
sprague orange drop
HLSVB bridge (Brass saddle)/HLSVY Aluminum tailpiece
super thin lacquer finish advertised as about 1/3 thickness
delrin nut

3.8 degree neck angle (this is very noticeable as it relates to height of the TOM, and the feelof the guitar etc. I love it) vs.a 4.5 degree angle seen in other tokais

18 degree headstock angle

My personal impressions?: it was packed exceptionally thoroughly and came with a hard case, which was nice. immediately upon taking it out, I was struck by the beauty. Pictures do not do it justice. It's gorgeous. Then, I saw a small nick in the lacquer on the back and i

GOT PISSED OFF. THERE's A CHIP IN MY BRAND NEW GUITAR WT#$(#$#($

Then, I remembered this is a used guitar from 2012. It's so close to new in appearance, it slipped my mind that it's a used guitar lol.

It's LOUD and RESONANT acoustically. And no, i'm not implying that has any effect on amplified tone one way or the other (not going there) but it is fun to strum acoustically because it sounds awesome )

The detail, the attention to the smallest details, the frets, the binding etc. are all fantastic.

Upon tightening the strings, I found a bit too much relief, so I adjusted the truss rod about 90 degrees or so and it turned with no hassle.

The action was set at .045" no buzz or anything. Frets look marvelously crowned and plenty of life left. I lowered it to just under .04

I'm (at least with Gretsches... and remember, I'm a Gretsch guy) middle pickup setting guy, so I plugged it in and started there. I strummed a cowboy chord, nice and clean amp setting a little reverb and it sounded a lot like the opening chord strum from Bad Moon Rising... it was way less muffled, ... very articulate and open and breathing but it had that woody warmth to it that you hear in that song.

I don't know Madagascar Rosewood from the Penguins of Madagascar but... it's the best rosewood fretboard I've ever played BY FAR. I'm an Ebony guy with maple as my second choice. I don't like rosewood boards. But this didn't FEEL like rosewood. It feels exactly like Ebony.

The top arch is definitely more pronounced than on the Edwards I received a few days ago.

These 59+ pickups are by far the best Les Paul pickups I've played. I've recently played the Seth Lovers in my ALC130 and the SH1/SH4 in my LTC and these are definitely better pickups. When I bumped up the OD, they never once got muddy and they achieved the most "woodiness" i've ever experienced firsthand, that awesome tone I've heard from some iconic LP players.

Ok, I can't believe I'm saying this, but THIS is my favorite guitar. Easy decision. I didn't think any guitar could overthrow my FSR Duo Jet, but this guitar is AMAZING.

The Edwards guitars are GREAT. But this is sublime and pristine. It's like you've eaten pound cake all your life and somebody serves you Devil's foodcake for the first time.

It's like eating canned tuna and being introduced to fresh ahi off the boat in lahaina.

This is an EPIC guitar.

Just...wow.

I am gushing like a little girl, but that's ok. Seriously, I've NEVER played a guitar like this. I've heard people say "it practically plays itself". and being like - THIS IS MY UNITED STATES OF WHATEVER...

but now I get it.

I did not know a guitar could be this organic and this fluid a link between me and my music. just awesome


https://flic.kr/p/CXWPmd

Btw, anybody have an opinion on the HLC175?

As far as I can tell this is their highest ranked Les Paul Custom..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JVsearch
Guitar God


Joined: 01 Jan 2009
Posts: 2017
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great stuff and HNGD!

These HLS guitars are on my list if I get a chance to buy a newish guitar.

I think there were higher models though, check out this thread:
http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=18852&start=0
_________________
Totally biased towards Japanese made guitars.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Whittlez
Sus4add11


Joined: 30 Dec 2015
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, assuming he did not just juxtapose the digits! - I'm just repeating what the current catalog and website claim - the 240 Is the highest numbered Standard

Either that was not the case when that post was made (2011) or its some kind of 'outside the catalog' and website model

Hey, Gretsch does it with FSRs and I know Hibiki does it with 'lettered' models like the FSR labeled a 'GP' for Guitar Planet
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Whittlez
Sus4add11


Joined: 30 Dec 2015
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Citing:
http://www.hibikimusic.co.jp/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JVsearch
Guitar God


Joined: 01 Jan 2009
Posts: 2017
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whittlez wrote:
Well, assuming he did not just juxtapose the digits! - I'm just repeating what the current catalog and website claim - the 240 Is the highest numbered Standard

Heh, heh - maybe that's what happened!

I do remember back in 2009/10 there was talk about the Hibiki HLS models, and people were saying there was an HLS-360 and 420 at that time.
However it may have been an assumption based on the idea that there would be Hibiki models that corresponded with the current Tokai models at that time.
_________________
Totally biased towards Japanese made guitars.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Whittlez
Sus4add11


Joined: 30 Dec 2015
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen a lit of that going around

For examPle LS model greater than X= lacquer THEREFORE HLS>X = lacquer

That's a fairly common strain of logic but it just ain't so
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 Guitars 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