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newbie seeks buying advice

 
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gbenson
Plucker


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 8
Location: Queens

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 8:22 pm    Post subject: newbie seeks buying advice Reply with quote

Hi just found this forum. I had no idea there was so much (too much? ) info on these!

What I want is just a nice solid Japanese Les Paul copy with nice wood and good craftsmanship. I'm not familiar with what years to look for or models to avoid.

I have up $500 to spend (if I REALLY like it, I may be able to swing 500+Japanese shipping).

Would like the following: MIJ, light weight ( can an LP be 7 or 8 lbs?), 60's slim taper mahogany neck (not maple), bright, clear pickups. I'm flexible on the pickups as I do my own wiring and can change them if needed. I have a great luthier who can do good setups and cut nuts well, so I really want good wood, a bridge that is drilled in the right place, a neck that won't warp, etc.

One guitar I saw and really liked was the Burny LP Standard with the chambers in it.

sorry for the long winded explanation ...thanks in advance!
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hans-j?rgen
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Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 1740
Location: Hamburg, Germany

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, welcome to the forum! Well, I would also like that kind of guitar for only $500... I guess you know that you would probably have to look for used models then, because a new one at that price is most likely build in Korea, Vietnam or China?

Concerning the '60s neck I don't know if other Japanese manufacturers built them, but at least Tokai never aimed at that version according to the existing catalogs. It either was '58 or '59 with a few exceptions of a '57 model.

About the weight: yes, there are Les Pauls and copies around 8 lbs, very few even under that if you're talking about normal solid bodies, not chambered or with weight relief holes.
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gbenson
Plucker


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 8
Location: Queens

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the welcome, Hans

oh yeah, it would be used.

I like the shape of the newer Epiphone necks (Dot, LP Special, etc) and was hoping I could find something similar. I don't know the exact shape, but it's a pretty thin profile. I don't want a huge fat back, my fingers aren't that long.

I also wanted to add that although I like the classic LP style and look, it doesn't have to be historically correct.

I'm reading more and more posts about guys buying Korean or just crappy LP's that were advertised as something else. Is there a certain era of production I should look for?
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hans-j?rgen
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Joined: 21 Feb 2005
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Location: Hamburg, Germany

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gbenson wrote:
I like the shape of the newer Epiphone necks (Dot, LP Special, etc) and was hoping I could find something similar. I don't know the exact shape, but it's a pretty thin profile. I don't want a huge fat back, my fingers aren't that long.

In Tokai (or Gibson) terms that would mean a '59 profile then. It depends on the year and model if it has one or not, e.g. my 1981 LS120 does. By the way, the '58 isn't unplayable for smaller hands, I have them, too, and still like my 1984 LS60. In fact you can adapt to the different profiles quite fast.

Quote:
I'm reading more and more posts about guys buying Korean or just crappy LP's that were advertised as something else. Is there a certain era of production I should look for?

All Korean or Chinese (probably Vietnamese, too) guitars come from very few huge factories which make them for many different brand names (like the Japanese factories in the '70s and '80s). The Korean Tokais are no exception to that rule, but this doesn't mean they must be crap, because the CNC machines cutting the bodies and necks work exactly the same in each country.

The difference between those and MIJ guitars is usually found in the wood and hardware which must cost more than cheaper material. That's why it's hard to find a new $500 MIJ Les Paul from any manufacturer. The lowest Tokai model would be the LS70 which Ishibashi sells for 56,000 Yen (~ $500) plus shipping and taxes (additional ~20%). But this does not have a '59 neck nor is it very light which are the features you pointed out as being important.
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ZZee ya, Hans-Jürgen
BLUEZZ BASTARDZZ "That lil' ol' ZZ Top cover band from Hamburg"
INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"
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villager
Guitar God


Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 3502
Location: Middle of Nowhere.. France.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

same as hans said..
maybe a history (fugu-gen custom shop..v v nice)
but dont know if anyone did 60's neck ...
also you may look at greco's for around $500 necks were all 50's style though and dont go pre 1980 greco unless your a fan of pancake bodies..
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gbenson
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Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 8
Location: Queens

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the tips.
Hans, I think you're right about getting used to the neck profile. The good thing is that I've been seeing alot of Burnys and Grecos listed as having a "60's" profile, so at least it won't be a huge fat back.

what's your take on this auction, for example? I'm going to try and hold off for a nice solid (non-figured)sunburst, but the quality of this one seems OK, based on my limited knowledge... just want to see what you "Pros" think of a typical auction.

anything stick out to you as good or bad?


http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7356312297&indexURL=1&photoDisplayType=2#ebayphotohosting
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gbenson
Plucker


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 8
Location: Queens

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh yeah, look at this one, too. I like the color a little better.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7355974604&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

it says late 80's 90's. Is that a good era for Burny?
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hans-j?rgen
Guitar God


Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 1740
Location: Hamburg, Germany

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gbenson wrote:
Hans, I think you're right about getting used to the neck profile. The good thing is that I've been seeing alot of Burnys and Grecos listed as having a "60's" profile, so at least it won't be a huge fat back.

That's right, but you never know if this is just the ebay seller using this term or a true manufacturer specification. For example yesterday forum user Buckwild sold his ESP/Edwards Jimmy Page Les Paul copy, and if ESP is serious about that, it should have a slim taper '60 neck, maybe even with thinned profile around the 7th fret.

I'm afraid I can't tell you much about the Burny auctions you've listed, because I've never seen them in real life. The flamed maple one seems to have a veneer (because it also has a 3-piece back), although the seller claims a solid bookmatched maple top, and thus is comparable to a mid '80s Tokai LS50 or LS60.
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ZZee ya, Hans-Jürgen
BLUEZZ BASTARDZZ "That lil' ol' ZZ Top cover band from Hamburg"
INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"
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villager
Guitar God


Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 3502
Location: Middle of Nowhere.. France.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it will be veneer...no biggie... they sound the same to me...
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whitehall
Guitar God


Joined: 28 Jul 2004
Posts: 298
Location: Annapolis

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You would do better to go to some local stores and play some guitars to see what you like. As to the sellers, that first one I don't trust at all. I don't care what his feedback says. He has another burny on ebay with a big crack down the body that he says is the paint. I asked him if that was not the case would he refund the purchase, he said no.
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gbenson
Plucker


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 8
Location: Queens

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have many places to go around here to try out good MIJ guitars, so I kind of have to trust my instincts. But I know what you mean about some of the bloodsucker eBay sellers. there's a few who frequently sell these guitars and I'll be avoiding them. I think they're greedy and feeding off the frenzy. "You don't like it? Well, thousands of others pay through the nose! Ha ha!!!"

but then there's alot of other frequent MIJ LP sellers who have very very good feedback and policies. I'm guessing they have better stuff anyways.
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hans-j?rgen
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Joined: 21 Feb 2005
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Location: Hamburg, Germany

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Concerning the neck profile on Burny Les Pauls I found a posting by theskywolf yesterday with pictures of his model, and he wrote it would be a thin neck. The pictures also seemed to prove that his guitar was supposed to be a 1960 copy because of the volume and tone knobs.

http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=3517&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15
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ZZee ya, Hans-Jürgen
BLUEZZ BASTARDZZ "That lil' ol' ZZ Top cover band from Hamburg"
INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"
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gbenson
Plucker


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 8
Location: Queens

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very interesting. thanks. I hear good things about the VH-1's.
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