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First Time buyer .... did I get taken??
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OakleyVisor
I only know 3 chords


Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:16 pm    Post subject: First Time buyer .... did I get taken?? Reply with quote

Hi, I am new to this forum, and new to Tokai guitars. I am hoping someone can shed some light on what I have just purchased and whether or not, I got screwed in the process.

Here is the deal...I was away from playing guitar for about 4 years and recently picked it up again with the intention of jamming with some friends and possibly gigging with them in the future. I had a Peavey Raptor EXP that I had kicking around here that is ok to use for a practice guitar, but I longed for the tones of a Les Paul. I previously owned a Epi LP Cherry Sunburst on Bird's Eye Maple. (veneer top, ?plywood body?)

SO I sat out on a quest to acquire an Epi Les Paul (can't afford the Gibson name) only to find that in my town, there is only 1 Epi LP that I like, only problem is that it is a lefty. So.. I try the guitar shop across the street, and the salesman there says, "dude....you gotta look at these Tokai's.. Gibson sued them because of the headstocks." So I looked at it and danged if it doesn't look almost IDENTICAL to a Gibson LP with the "open book" headstock...I play it, and it sounds great.. looks great.....

I went home that night and did a bit of research and find that 97% of reviews are all very positive. I check out the models and head back to the guitar shop. When I got there, I explained to the sales guy that I looked them up the models on the internet and was wondering which models he had in stock. He said he wasnt sure, as they just got them in, and was just happy that they had the Gibson headstocks....

Anyway long story short, I bought the guitar b/c I am a sucker, and I wanted a LP.

When I got home I tried to decipher what model I indeed did buy, but all I can for sure figure out is that I have a Korean made Tokai, made in 2003.

It is a solid black, with cream accents. Cream pick guard, cream bindings, cream pot covers on the back. The volume/tone controls are the bell shape (similiar to an epi) Mother of Pearl block inlays, 22 frets, olive colored tuning pegschrome hardware. The truss rod cover has ONE screw in the top of the cover. Pickups are chrome PAFs, on the back of the pickup there is a single letter "L" stamping on the neck pick up.

My concern is that I have bought a guitar with a plywood body, adn I was defnitely hoping to stay away from that.

Can anyone shed any light on this matter?
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ataglanse1960
Plucker


Joined: 12 Jul 2004
Posts: 5
Location: Phoenix

PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:52 pm    Post subject: I have the same one Reply with quote

I saw this guitar on ebay and got it for 4 bills. So I took the chance and just received it hours ago from fedex. Are the control knobs in the wrong position as opposed to a 59 LP? meaning (The top forward knob is the most forward to the neck of the guitar) Check that out...... If so, I have the exact guitar, color and all. I have ordered some grover tuners and strap locks for it and heck, Im a happy camper right now. I just got done setting this thing up and jammin a bit on it. Ill tell ya what. Even tho its a korean made guitar, it's better than the GLP standards I have owned in the past. This guitar actually reminds me of the ibanez copy I bought new in 1975. Wish i still had that one. What did ya have to give for this guitar. Let me know.....i like it...no matter what. Feels good, sounds good. Just lose the tuners and away ya go. Im waiting on one of the Slash models to arrive soon too. I guess I just got in a buying mood after the casino last week. Nice jackpots.....lol...anyway....I hope ya like it as much as I like this one so far... take it easy......Joel
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mr.shiney
Plucker


Joined: 27 Jun 2004
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is simple... Looks good, feels good, sounds good ,...IS GOOD
Cheers
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sun526
Power chords are my friend


Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 33
Location: ohio

PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Oakleyvisor, not sure if you got robbed or not (dont know what you paid) but i do know Epi's are not plywood body guitars. They are veneered tops ie... thin piece of flamed maple or sycamore on a alder or maple top, glued to a 2 or 3-piece mahogany body. Now about that Tokai, I dont know if Tokai has their own plant in Korea,but every major manufacturer uses the Samick plant there to make their import lines(including Epiphone,Fender,ESP, and many others) so it is quite possible your Tokai came from the same plant as the Epiphone line. Kind of like Chevy trucks and GMC trucks same line, diffrent name. These things i know because i used to sell Epi's and once you swap out the tuners(Get Grovers) and electronics(A nice set of Duncans work really nice, try the Antiquities in your Tokai) and you have a great looking and playing guitar that sounds HOT!!!! Alot of folks like to rip Epi's in favor of Korean Tokias when i think they are just about the same guitar. Dont mis-understand me i LOVE Tokais and have a 1984 japan made Love Rock that rivals any USA made Gibson lp. Its just when it comes to the Korean stuff i think its comparing apples to apples. But i tend to ramble, chances are you got a great axe at a fair price. Play the hell out of it and enjoy it and you wont regret it!
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OakleyVisor
I only know 3 chords


Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the replies...

The axe cost about $410 US Dollars.

Still would like to know what model I have... it kinda soounds like a ALS48 but I am not sure... the neck is definitely a set neck, adn looks like it is pretty well put together.... I would sleep alot better if I knew that the body wasnt plywood tho...
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ian
Guitar God


Joined: 13 Aug 2003
Posts: 834
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Oakley ? I think you can sleep easy ?.. I very much doubt if your MIK Tokai has any plywood construction .

Still I should admit I?ve only tried one MIK, just a couple of minutes playing in my local shop; I didn?t examine the construction.

As I?ve said here many times, I have a strong preference for old guitars, & I doubt if I?d ever buy another new one. The older Japanese Tokais either have a solid maple capped top (ie for plain-grained finishes), or a very thin veneer glued onto a solid maple cap (ie for fancy flame-grained finishes).

Since your guitar is black, it definitely won?t have a veneer top. I think it?s 99% sure you have a solid ?-inch maple cap (probably 3 piece), not any plywood.

You said guitar was 2003 model, but sounds like you just bought it quite recently? If you?re unhappy with it in any way, then I?d return to the shop & get a refund. If you decide to change it, I?d recommend a pre-1984 Japanese model ..... ha, OK you didn?t ask for that last bit I know, but thought I?d add it anyway lol .

Best of luck, & maybe keep us posted on what you decide to do ?

Ian.
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sneakyjapan
Guitar God


Joined: 12 May 2003
Posts: 1871

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

didn`t you guys see the Korean Epi thread on the TDPRI site a short time ago? A young lady was in korea recording and somehow the guitar got damaged and she showed pics of the particle board top...
do a search... its still there i`m certain.
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Stormeh
Power chords are my friend


Joined: 06 Jun 2004
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was a fake.. but i don't trust Epiphone or Gibson at all.
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ian
Guitar God


Joined: 13 Aug 2003
Posts: 834
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sneaky - OK, well I always stand to be corrected lol . Nope, never saw that on TDPRI, I'll pop over & take a look (do you think it's a real story? Or as Stormeh says "a fake"?). In one of his now deleted threads I think Loverocker said MIK Tokai has little or no connection with Tokai in Japan ..... I assume he meant it was a tenuous agreemnet to use the Tokai name & designs, but with little or no control over MIK methods & materials? Maybe someone has better info on the MIK operation ?

Ian.
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sneakyjapan
Guitar God


Joined: 12 May 2003
Posts: 1871

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dunno if the story was real or not. She had pics. The thread went on for a bit as many folks had a lot to say... coulda been because she was a girl though.You know... like a feeding frenzy thing.
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ian
Guitar God


Joined: 13 Aug 2003
Posts: 834
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here?s the TDPRI thread re particle-board top (? ?).

http://www.tdpri.com/viewtopic.php?t=20272&highlight=epi

Ian.
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ArthurS
Guitar God


Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 240
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi OakleyVisor, congratulations on your new purchase. I highly doubt your guitar is made from plywood. The specifications on the Korean models say that either mahogany or alder is used for the bodies, and at the price they sell there really is no reason for them to use plywood. Also, Tokai would have a tough time competing with companies like Agile and Epiphone or other cheap brands if they would resort to plywood bodies, so I wouldn't worry about it.

As for the cardboard Epiphone that has been mentioned in other topics: that was clearly a fake. The logo placement on the headstock for instance, was way off, the serial number was incorrect and I've never heard of an Epi having issues as serious as the girl experienced (indicating unusually low quality for an Epi). Epiphone has issued an official statement on their website, where they explain how notorious Korea is for producing fake guitars (referring to some recent raids by the Korean police where counterfeiters were arrested). To further substantiate their claims, they cut up an Epi LP Custom to show no plywood is used in their construction. From what I've read, Epiphone CEO Jim Rosenberg is a great, standup guy and it doesn't seem likely to me that Epiphone/Rosenberg would deceive the public about the construction of Epi's. They have way too much to lose.
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ian
Guitar God


Joined: 13 Aug 2003
Posts: 834
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I read the Epi Cardboard story, and I think the guitar is obviously a cheap fake. In fact I?m suspicious of the whole story ..... reads like a Self Publicity Stunt to me.

Again ? one reason buyers like sunburst, it offers a better chance to see what you?re getting .

Ian.
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sun526
Power chords are my friend


Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 33
Location: ohio

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cardboard epi story is total B.S.(sounds like a nice try to score more gear for free) I do know the construction of the Epi's. (READ MY POST ABOVE) They are NOT plywood, cardboard or any other strange material. Bodies are 2-3 piece mahogany with a 2 piece maple or alder top. I'll bet the Korean Tokais are made in the same plant as i said in my other post. Read Ian's post, Korean Tokais had little or no connection with Tokai Japan. This indicates that Tokai does'nt have a plant there and most likely use the Samick plant to save money on production cost. Has anyone seen the Japan made Epiphone Elite series w/ american electronics and hardware? Any one have info on those? Anyway, I'm sure Oakleyvisor has a 2 or 3 piece mahogany body with a 2 piece maple cap guitar of great quality and not some piece of crap plywood guitar that would have been made in China or Indoniesea. As this is where most, if not all plywood body guitars come from. To check your guitar pull a pick up out, holdthe guitar horizontaly, look in the pick up cavity, do you see several layers of wood running horizontaly? just like you would see if you went to a lumber store and looked at a piece of plywood they would have for construction use. You would still be able to see this even if the cavity is painted, as they dont gloss the the pick up cavity like they do the tops of the guitars and is easy to see. If you still cant tell, scrape some of the finish off the wall of the pick up cavity and look. This should put your mind at ease about your guitar
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sun526
Power chords are my friend


Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 33
Location: ohio

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cardboard epi story is total B.S.(sounds like a nice try to score more gear for free) I do know the construction of the Epi's. (READ MY POST ABOVE) They are NOT plywood, cardboard or any other strange material. Bodies are 2-3 piece mahogany with a 2 piece maple or alder top. I'll bet the Korean Tokais are made in the same plant as i said in my other post. Read Ian's post, Korean Tokais had little or no connection with Tokai Japan. This indicates that Tokai does'nt have a plant there and most likely use the Samick plant to save money on production cost. Has anyone seen the Japan made Epiphone Elite series w/ american electronics and hardware? Any one have info on those? Anyway, I'm sure Oakleyvisor has a 2 or 3 piece mahogany body with a 2 piece maple cap guitar of great quality and not some piece of crap plywood guitar that would have been made in China or Indoniesea. As this is where most, if not all plywood body guitars come from. To check your guitar pull a pick up out, holdthe guitar horizontaly, look in the pick up cavity, do you see several layers of wood running horizontaly? just like you would see if you went to a lumber store and looked at a piece of plywood they would have for construction use. You would still be able to see this even if the cavity is painted, as they dont gloss the the pick up cavity like they do the tops of the guitars and is easy to see. If you still cant tell, scrape some of the finish off the wall of the pick up cavity and look. This should put your mind at ease about your guitar
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