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Who made the most faithful repros of LPs and Strats?
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Sinsonido
I only know 3 chords


Joined: 24 Dec 2004
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 11:02 am    Post subject: Who made the most faithful repros of LPs and Strats? Reply with quote

(Sorry, first post.)

I'm very interested in checking out a Japanese copy of a Fender or Gibby, but I can't really make sense of the prefixes, model numbers and serial numbers and how they relate, or how they are dated and so forth.

I know this is a Tokai-friendly forum, but how do the old Burny or Greco LPs compare with those of Tokai. Were Tokai Strats the best? Has a poll ever been taken here to compare the favorites?

Sorry about the newb questions but I'm just looking for opinions. Chances are that I'll never be able to try the first Japanese copy I buy so I need all the help I can get. Thanks.
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Sinsonido
I only know 3 chords


Joined: 24 Dec 2004
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear crickets chirping.

Would Edwards LPs and Van Zandt Strats be a good step in the right direction? If anyone would care to give an opinion it would be most appreciated.
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ArthurS
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Joined: 30 Apr 2003
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Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My comparison is limited, but I have a 2003 Tokai LS80F, and one of my close friends has an early 90s Greco. I've spent hours on his guitar, and I slightly prefer my Tokai. The neck profile is nicer, but the workmanship seems to be a bit better on the Tokai too: especially the wood selection (very light, resonant wood on the Tokai) and the near invisible bookmatch on the back (quite obvious on the Greco) make the difference.

That said, those differences might just be those particular examples, and I still wouldn't mind having his guitar at all (especially since he only paid around 2/3 of what I paid for my Tokai). Both are fine guitars, and for both brands the higher up the range you get, the better the models get. Billy Gibbons (Love Rock) and Stevie Ray Vaughn both seemed to really like Tokais, but Fuji Gen Gakki produces some excellent guitars as well.
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kherman
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Joined: 29 Jul 2003
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Location: Milwaukee, Wi. USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my experience I find the Hamamatsu products (Tokai, Diodati, others?) having a better fit and finish than the Fuji Gen Gakki products (Orville, Burny, Epiphone, Greco, Ibanez, Yamaha, etc..).
Most noticable in the inlay work.
I've noticed that from my Diodati and from up close pics of Tokai models, that the route and inlay are a pretty tight fit. Very, very little fill.
Where as from many of the Epiphone Elites/Elitists I tried and close up pics of other Fuji made brands, the route always seems to be much larger than the inlay, thus resulting in more fill around the inlay. Epsecially noticable on light colored rosewood fretboards. I know it's only cosmetic. But, it just looks unappealing to me.
Otherwise, play, feel, and tone of the Elites/Elitists have been outstanding.

Kent
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ned
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in the mid 70's Tokai took the classic LPs (56,57,5 and measured them inch by inch to recreate their copies. Not sure how the others did it.

They are all great guitars. Up until recently the Japanese made guitars have been overlooked but I believe the shift to manufacture in Korean and China has placed the MIJ guitars in a better light.

Ned
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gaijin
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Joined: 26 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BACCHUS VINTAGE series is HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended...
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mooncat
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Joined: 03 May 2004
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Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 6:59 am    Post subject: Re: Who made the most faithful repros of LPs and Strats? Reply with quote

Sinsonido wrote:
(Sorry, first post.)
I know this is a Tokai-friendly forum, but how do the old Burny or Greco LPs compare with those of Tokai. Were Tokai Strats the best? Has a poll ever been taken here to compare the favorites?


What about a very early squire? Much better 'copies' than fender could make at the time.
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Paladin2019
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Joined: 06 Sep 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: Who made the most faithful repros of LPs and Strats? Reply with quote

mooncat wrote:
Sinsonido wrote:
(Sorry, first post.)
I know this is a Tokai-friendly forum, but how do the old Burny or Greco LPs compare with those of Tokai. Were Tokai Strats the best? Has a poll ever been taken here to compare the favorites?


What about a very early squire? Much better 'copies' than fender could make at the time.


Yeah, I hear great things about the MIJ Squier series but they tend to sell for quite a lot.
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ArthurS
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Who made the most faithful repros of LPs and Strats? Reply with quote

Paladin2019 wrote:
mooncat wrote:
Sinsonido wrote:
(Sorry, first post.)
I know this is a Tokai-friendly forum, but how do the old Burny or Greco LPs compare with those of Tokai. Were Tokai Strats the best? Has a poll ever been taken here to compare the favorites?


What about a very early squire? Much better 'copies' than fender could make at the time.


Yeah, I hear great things about the MIJ Squier series but they tend to sell for quite a lot.


Indeed, especially the ReIssue models are expensive as hell. I toyed with the idea of finding one with a necl- or body that was made on my birthday (83), but I quickly dismissed that after seeing the prices

Aren't those Squiers made by FujiGen Gakki, by the way?
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tokaigeezer
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Joined: 14 Sep 2002
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Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I picked up a Japanese Squier with an SQ prefix, which makes it 83-84. It was a big headstock Strat style, which gave me the big-headstock jones I still have today. The frets were about worn out so I swapped out the neck for a WD Music Products CBS style neck, rosewood. The only quibble I had with it was that it was made in Fort Myers, Fla., and I live in New Mexico, so the neck warped side ways a little, bowing toward the treble side, although it stayed flat, so the high E string gets closer to the edge in spots. That's what happens when you change the relative humidity from 70 percent to about 30 percent at best. But a good neck overall, fairly thick with good tone.

The basic tone of the Squier was good but not great. Swapped out the pickups for Van Zandt Blues with the Torres Engineering middle boost switch. Now it has serious Strat tone - very clanky lows, shimmering highs and the mid boost for manly authority. Easily nabs Stevie Ray sounds. Also put in a Schaller roller tremelo which gave it some nice singing overtones. It already came with a triangular Mitsubishi auto brass plate epoxied under the bridge (a la Steve Vai, I think), so that gave me the cheap excuse to get creative with it. But I wasn't finished. Gave it a four-bolt plate, took the three-bolt plate (that was inscribed "Waco Wallace" by a previous owner) and screwed it onto the front with sheet metal screws (looks cool) and had an artist friend (Mar Heifner) paint colorful snakes, lizards and a war pony on the black top (with auto paint), plus a flamingo on the headstock. Few months back I added my name on the headstock in Ransom Note font decals that you press on with an orange stick. Not unattractive in a mutant kinda way. Also has a Sharpie signature on the headstock back by Smokin' Joe Kubek, who broke out in a big smile when he saw it.

So there's really not much of the Squier left, but being as it was a three bolt, CBS head Strat, it wasn't as if it were as collectible as a JV-prefix reissue, which are starting to get expensive. This mutant is the best sounding of all my Strats, including a Fender Hendrix Tribute Strat, and four Tokai Silver Stars (which are better than Fender Japan, in my opinion). Currently saddled with a handmade black leather strap with conchos for a fake desperado look, although it also looks sharp with a Planet Waves purple lizard motif strap.

Dan Torres likes early, noncollectable Japan Squier Strats for his pickup mods, which gave me the inspiration, I suppose. I also discovered I am addicted to CBS-era headstocks. I think they give a Strat a bit more beef. Torres' midboost mods are genius in my book - not cheap, but lots of usable sounds. Squiers are good platforms to get crazy on. It sure has been fun customizing it. And it ain't for sale. So make your own!

So in answer to your question, Sinsonido, early to mid-80s Japanese Squier Strats are very good, as good as or better than USA Fender products made then, but the Tokais are better than Fender Japan overall, IMHO.
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Sinsonido
I only know 3 chords


Joined: 24 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so far for all the responses and suggestions. I hope you will keep them coming.

Well, my first Japanese guitar is currently in transit. It is an Edwards ELP-90LTD, in maple sunburst. Hopefully this will suffice my need for a good LP copy for the time being. I will be running this through a BF Vibrolux, with a Fulltone Fulldrive II for some classy OD. Wish me luck.
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whitehall
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Joined: 28 Jul 2004
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Location: Annapolis

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm a lefty ,so supply for us is pretty limited. I've never played a lefty Tokai lp so I can't comment. However I have owned tons of guitars for the last 30years and must say that alas , there is no substitute for a good Gibson. I like the Orvilles and the OBG's- ( Orville by Gibson ) they are both very close. I like the Greco's a lot also. I find all of them to be hit or miss, for instance I have never owned a Burny that I kept for any length of time. I won't buy any of them- greco, burny or orville- past 1987.
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ochay
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:26 pm    Post subject: strat here -strat there-strat everywhere Reply with quote

I have had probably every Jap model lawsuit strat that was ever made, The ones that stick as an everlasting memory are Ibanez 70's Challengers, Tokai L series Goldstars(rosewood fingerboards) and last but least and Rareist on my list Greco Super Power/Spacy sounds with Maple fretboards. I could go into each one but they all bring back vivid memories like that blond haired chick I saw selling hermet crabs several years ago in Pacific Beach-just can't forget her

I'll always remember and never forget !!!
That's all I have to say about that....
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munkieNL
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Joined: 10 May 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for Strat copies, 80s Fernandes The Revival are nice too, not up to par with the better Tokais but nice. Jap Squiers are nice too but especially the SV series are getting collectable and expensive, some are more expensive than USA strats used! Also consider strat like guitars by brands like Schecter, Blade, Valley Arts, MXG. Maybe not cheap but good value for money.
As for LP copies, early 70s Ibanez with set neck, NOT the later ones with the bolton neck. Maybe Fenix, early 90s Korean copy. I just got a Richwood ES335 copy brandnew for 279 euri incl. VAT, surprisingly good guitar from China. Easily as good as an Epi Dot or even a Sheraton. A RW LP with set neck and nice flame veneer top goes for 300 euro new here in Holland. That?s cheaper than a used Epi.
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Watto
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Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Posts: 62
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tokaigeezer wrote:
I picked up a Japanese Squier with an SQ prefix, which makes it 83-84. It was a big headstock Strat style, which gave me the big-headstock jones I still have today. The frets were about worn out so I swapped out the neck for a WD Music Products CBS style neck, rosewood.


What did you do with the sq neck,I'm looking for one for my home made project

Watto
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