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 

Help with identifying a Japanese 93 model ?

 
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
mgdew
Guitar God


Joined: 29 Apr 2005
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:04 am    Post subject: Help with identifying a Japanese 93 model ? Reply with quote

Hi,

I am possibly going to be purchasing a 1993 Tobacco Sunburst Tokai (MIJ), is there anyway I can find out what model it actually is ? The gentleman selling is unsure but has owned it since new in 1993, just curious how I would know what to look for ?

Thanks for any advice.

Martin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
QuattroSte
Guitar God


Joined: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 211
Location: Wicklow, Ireland!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pictures would help!

What guitar is it modelled on? Les Paul, Strat, Tele?
What construction? 1 Piece, 2 piece etc
How much originally in 1993? (then check the 1993 catalogs for the JP price)

Basically a lot more information about the guitar is required.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mgdew
Guitar God


Joined: 29 Apr 2005
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

apologies for the sparce info, I do not have much more I am afraid. It is a loverock model.

The pickups in the picture are not with the guitar, its original chrome covered ones have been put back in.

http://www.dewcottrellwedding.co.uk/1993_1.jpg

I have no other information at present.

Thanks for any help you can offer.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hans-j?rgen
Guitar God


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

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He should at least tell you the serial number on the back of the headstock which could confirm the year, sometimes you can even see the shadow of the original oval sticker for the model number underneath it. From that picture it's hard to tell if the maple top is supposed to be flamed or quilted or plain, the color is darker and more reddish than my tobacco sunburst, too, but that doesn't mean much. It's probably a Japanese guitar because of the headstock and truss rod cover. The fingerboard looks dark as ebony, but probably is rosewood, unless it's supposed to be a Les Paul Custom copy. To specify it further a good picture of the back would be necessary in order to count the pieces of mahogany. Even better would be a picture of the empty bridge pickup cavity, then you could possibly tell if it's a veneer or solid maple.
_________________
ZZee ya, Hans-Jürgen
BLUEZZ BASTARDZZ "That lil' ol' ZZ Top cover band from Hamburg"
INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
mgdew
Guitar God


Joined: 29 Apr 2005
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hans,

thanks for your replies; the lack of information is by no means a fault of the seller, he currently does not have the guitar in his possession as it is being serviced and setup ready for sale.

The picture looks more reddy than the actual life colours, I am hoping to obtain more pictures by this weekend when the seller has his guitar returned to him.

I was hoping more than anything that if I went to look at it before buying that I was armed with some information on how exactly to date and identify the model so that before I parted with my hard earned cash I knew exactly what I was buying.

I have no problem in trusting the seller at all, so far he has been very helpful and pleasant, and I am positive it is a Japanese model, just we are both slighly unsure as to exactly what one.

Regards
Martin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ian
Guitar God


Joined: 13 Aug 2003
Posts: 834
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Martin, welcome to the Forum .

Re. info. before going to check the guitar ?

Serial Numbers - guitar should have a 7-digit serial number impressed into the wood on back of headstock ? the first 2 digits give the year, if it?s a 93 model then number should be 93xxxxx ? see here for full list and explanation of dates & serial numbers http://www.tokairegistry.com/tokai-info/tokai-gibson.html Watch out for inked serial numbers (ie as opposed to impressed) ? inked may be fine, but do a search here & check our numerous discussions on that. If there?s no serial then it suggests the guitar is Korean rather than Japanese (may be OK, but big price difference).

Control Covers ? look at the back of the guitar ? Japanese models have black plastic covers (ie control covers), whereas Korean invariably have white covers. Hans-J referred also to the truss rod cover (on headstock) ? your picture shows typical Japanese 2-screw type, however, note that Korean models mostly have 3-screw truss-covers (truss covers & control covers can be changed of course).

Which Model? ? when new the guitars have a little oval sticker on back of headstock (sticker states model number), but stickers are often missing on a used guitar. Look carefully at the maple top ? plain-grained tops are ?always? solid maple, & should be 2-pieces matched along a central seam ? highly flamed/figured/quilted tops are usually veneer on top of plain maple (except on top end models, which have solid flamed top). Lower models usually have 2-piece or 3-piece back, & conversely higher models usually have 1-piece back, but note it?s often VERY difficult to spot the seams (especially on ?darkback? models), best to look at edge of body near rear strap button. Model number may be stamped in pickup cavities. Also, look at the ?pearl? inlays on Fretboard ? on lower models these are often inaccurately cut with rounded edges & black filler around the edges, whereas on higher models the inlay is usually cut sharper with neat edges & little or no filler. Fretboard itself may show more grain & colour variation on lower models, often more uniform on higher models.

Perhaps more important - need to check how it plays, see if action is OK without buzzing or choking, check truss rod is working OK & sight down neck to check bow/relief ? see if bridge or tail-piece seem excessively high or excessively low ? bend the top 3 strings hard & see if it holds tuning ? check any non-original parts/changes ? does it sound good (if not, then check height of pickups...they're often set way too high, or sometimes too low ... very old strings can also sound awful)? Etc .

Ian.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mgdew
Guitar God


Joined: 29 Apr 2005
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the guitar does not appear to have a serial number on the back of the headstock of any form... is that right ???

http://www.dewcottrellwedding.co.uk/1993_2.jpg
http://www.dewcottrellwedding.co.uk/1993_3.jpg

any advice please and I need to decide today whether to buy it..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mgdew
Guitar God


Joined: 29 Apr 2005
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have tried super imposing a picture, and this looks to me like it has some part of a serial number on it ?? I am sure I can see a faint 0...

http://www.dewcottrellwedding.co.uk/1993_serial.jpg

and here are some other pictures, would really appreciate anyones comments... might just be sunlight reflection problems ??

http://www.dewcottrellwedding.co.uk/1993_4.jpg
http://www.dewcottrellwedding.co.uk/1993_5.jpg
http://www.dewcottrellwedding.co.uk/1993_6.jpg
http://www.dewcottrellwedding.co.uk/1993_7.jpg
http://www.dewcottrellwedding.co.uk/1993_8.jpg
http://www.dewcottrellwedding.co.uk/1993_9.jpg
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hans-j?rgen
Guitar God


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

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mgdew wrote:
the guitar does not appear to have a serial number on the back of the headstock of any form... is that right ??? any advice please and I need to decide today whether to buy it..

I would rather stay away from that guitar (and that guy), because to me it looks like a faked headstock (pictures 3 and/or 6, are the same) that has been sprayed over with black color except for the upper edge. Furthermore the guitar now has a different truss rod cover than in your first picture, still a newer "Japanese" version, but already too much creativity for my taste here. The missing or almost missing serial number doesn't help either...

The tuners do not have any imprinted names in a single vertical line like "Deluxe", although this might have changed since the '80s. They also look a bit more massive on the headstock side than mine do (1984 LS 60).

By the way if he bought that guitar new in 1993, I would expect an original Tokai case which this isn't.

On the other hand this guitar seems to be made from expensive wood, the fingerboard might be ebony like I already mentioned or only darkened rosewood, the neck and the back look like one or two pieces of highly figured mahogany and the top might be a flamed maple veneer, probably not solid, or maybe just a photo print (wouldn't change the "flames" while looking at it from different angles). So I'm afraid I wouldn't know what to do...
_________________
ZZee ya, Hans-Jürgen
BLUEZZ BASTARDZZ "That lil' ol' ZZ Top cover band from Hamburg"
INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"


Last edited by hans-j?rgen on Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:43 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
mgdew
Guitar God


Joined: 29 Apr 2005
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hans, thanks again for your assistance. I have asked the seller via email why the truss rod cover has been replaced, he assured me that the guitar does have a serial number on it, something like 930336 or similar, and lots of the details In the pictures are down to reflections.

It does look like a quality instrument even if it was a faked headstock. I am awaiting his replies on the truss rod cover...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ian
Guitar God


Joined: 13 Aug 2003
Posts: 834
Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, well I DON?T see a serial number on that headstock. Yes I see the part you?ve outlined on rear of headstock, but that photo is highly magnified & 99.9% of cases a photo like that would easily show a true impressed serial number. All Japanese Love Rocks should have a clear impressed serial number. But the first Korean Love Rocks came without any number from about 1997 to 2000. If there?s no number then it?s almost certainly Korean.

Also, if it?s Korean then it can?t be 1993, because afaik they only started making the Korean models from about 1997. If it is Korean then someone swapped the truss cover & the cover plates on the back of the guitar, presumably to make it look Japanese.

In particular, the truss-rod cover is modern 2-screw type fitted to Japanese Love Rocks after about 1999 ? but again that cannot be right for a 1993 guitar, because in 93 ALL Love Rocks had traditional bell-shaped cover. Of course, Korean Love Rocks invariably have a 3-screw truss-cover ? but maybe someone switched the cover to make a Korean guitar look like Japanese? Same applies to control covers on back of guitar ? yours are black, which is typical for Japanese (Korean invariably white), however, that?s easy to swap if someone wants to make the guitar look Japanese.

Bottom line ? without Serial Number it?s 99.0% sure to be Korean, in which case someone has switched all the cover plates to make it look Japanese. The truss-cover is wrong for a 1993 Tokai. There were no Korean Love Rocks in 1993, afaik.

What to do? Well I?d steer well clear. But if you really insist, then you just have to get a clear photo of a real serial number (or else buy it cheap as a Korean model of suspicious nature) .

Ian.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hans-j?rgen
Guitar God


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

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where did he buy that guitar new, in the UK?

The edges of the sunburst finish are very dark which I've never seen on a Japanese Tokai yet, but I don't claim to know all available finishes from them.

I also see some sort of transparent glue on the left and right side of the truss rod cover, as if the saddle had been replaced. No Japanese Tokai would look like that, by the way...
_________________
ZZee ya, Hans-Jürgen
BLUEZZ BASTARDZZ "That lil' ol' ZZ Top cover band from Hamburg"
INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
mgdew
Guitar God


Joined: 29 Apr 2005
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that i do not know, I know that he has just had the guitar serviced etc, so perhaps someone has put in a new saddle (nut ?) and that is what you can see, and perhaps the truss rod cover has been altered because of that? I am at a loss, and am awaiting the sellers comments to all of this.

Really appreciate your help with all this guys..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Novosel
Guitar God


Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 244
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to make another observation - the switchtip looks right for Japanese(MIJ - aged amber, MIK - yellowish white); the pickguard looks right ( MIJ has square-cut edge, MIK has bevelled edge), and the plastic pickup surrounds match close in colour to the pickguard, whereas on the MIK model they are two distinctly different shades of cream. But all these items could easiely have been changed (or not )

I'm not sure I've ever seen such "blank" looking fingerboard inlays. There seems to be no swirl pattern in them at all. I don't know if this is indicative of country of origin or not - maybe more knowledgable members could shed some light on this?

But it does look like a fine instrument. Certainly nothing wrong with Korean - as long as the difference is reflected in the price.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
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