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Tokai Newbie Love Rock question from a Gibson convert
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shuie
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Joined: 19 Aug 2005
Posts: 138
Location: Louisiana (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:08 pm    Post subject: Tokai Newbie Love Rock question from a Gibson convert Reply with quote

Hi everyone, I?m obviously new here. I?m getting back into buying guitars after a 7 year hiatus.

One of the things I?ve always wanted was a really nice tobacco sunburst Les Paul. I?ve owned some off the shelf Les Paul?s in the past as well as a historic 58 reissue and they really didn?t do it for me. I searched for a flame top Love Rock, but was never able to find one for sale. I?m in the US and this was before broadband Internet.

I went to the local Gibson retailer today and looked at a couple of AAA top Standards and a left the shop empty handed thinking I could do better for the money. I also looked at a ?59 reissue and honestly I think it should have had a better top for that kind of money.

I?ve decided to go and find a nice Love Rock instead of messing with the Gibson stuff. The ?59 reissue was nice, but it just wasn?t worth the money too me. I?m not asking for anyone to give up any sources or anything, but can you guys tell help me start looking for and learning about the different Love Rock models?

Thanks in Advance!
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hans-j?rgen
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Joined: 21 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Tokai Newbie Love Rock question from a Gibson convert Reply with quote

shuie wrote:
I’ve decided to go and find a nice Love Rock instead of messing with the Gibson stuff. The ’59 reissue was nice, but it just wasn’t worth the money too me. I’m not asking for anyone to give up any sources or anything, but can you guys tell help me start looking for and learning about the different Love Rock models?

Hi, welcome to the forum! It seems like you're looking for a high class copy, so the LS320 and LS200 models might interest you. Just do a search on the forum with these terms, you'll find enough stuff about them here including pics. A new LS120F might also be interesting for you, but you would have to ask the seller if it's a solid maple top first, because the catalog description is not clear about that. If you don't mind a veneer on solid maple tops, you can also look for LS80F models.
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INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"
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shuie
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Joined: 19 Aug 2005
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Location: Louisiana (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!

It doesnt necessarily have to be something really high end. I just want a resonant guitar with a nice top. Somethinng I can put a set of Tom Holmes pickups in and be done with. It just seems like you have to pay huge $$$ to get that from a Gibson.
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hans-j?rgen
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Joined: 21 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shuie wrote:
It doesnt necessarily have to be something really high end. I just want a resonant guitar with a nice top. Somethinng I can put a set of Tom Holmes pickups in and be done with. It just seems like you have to pay huge $$$ to get that from a Gibson.

I think you might have to look around for any Les Paul type guitar if it sounds like you want. I've read that there are dogs even in the Gibson Historic series (never played one), so there is no guarantee, and the same applies to Tokai Love Rocks, too. Recently I've compared four of them for quite a long time, and all sounded good to me, but they all differ from each other (one with a set of Tom Holmes pickups). Just yesterday I played an Epiphone Elitist Les Paul Studio copy for 15 min. in a shop , and it wasn't bad either.

Generally I would say the Japanese Love Rocks have the better basics for sounding like a Les Paul because of their specs (woods and hardware), so if you don't have to save money you shouldn't buy a Korean model.
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INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"
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shuie
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Joined: 19 Aug 2005
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Location: Louisiana (USA)

PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much for helping me get started. I did some searching on the 320 and 200 and those seem too fit the bill. Im sure there are others also so I'll keep looking.

Ebay is always the first place i go when I begin a search for soemthing like this, but its the last place i hope I have to buy it from. The online enthusiast communities that ive been a part of for my hobbies have never sent me down a bad pathh and Im glad to be here.

Any words of wisdom for importing a Tokai to the US?
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hans-j?rgen
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Joined: 21 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shuie wrote:
Any words of wisdom for importing a Tokai to the US?

Nothing special, "just do it" ... It seems that U.S. citizens never have to pay taxes on imported guitars, at least I've never read it. So the Japanese dealer price without tax would be what you have to pay in Yen if you're ordering directly from them plus shipping.
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INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"
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shuie
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think my biggest problem is going to be trying to not buy one on impulse now that i know where to look for them
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JSD
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do ya like this one? MIK faded tobacco burst.



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shuie
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Joined: 19 Aug 2005
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Location: Louisiana (USA)

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it a lot. Its gorgeous. Id rather have something in a darker tobacco sunburst, but I would have that color over a cherry sunburst any day.

Thats a newer model, right? Korean manufacture? There is something very similar that I saw on the bay in the ~$500-600 range.

Any pics of the unfaded tobacco sunburst?

Im also looking at an older local guitar. Its actaully the first Tokai that I had ever seen. About 10 years ago, a local amp maker had it in his shop loaded with a set of real deal PAFs. I tried to buy it on the spot the first time I saw it but the guy wouldnt let it go. Ive wanted one of these guitars ever since then. This one changed hands a few times since then and I heard it might be for sale again. I'll keep you guys updated as I learn the details.
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hans-j?rgen
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Joined: 21 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shuie wrote:
This one changed hands a few times since then and I heard it might be for sale again. I'll keep you guys updated as I learn the details.

The other day a guy from the S.F. bay area bought this 1981 Love Rock (unknown model number) for US $200 incl. a Sunn amp, so it seems that sometimes you can still be lucky in the U.S...



http://acapella.harmony-central.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1014839
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INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"
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whitehall
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Joined: 28 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go directly to the source, Ishibashi in Japan. web-shop@ishibashi.co.jp
A new LS90F will run you $850.00 shipped to your door. They arrive in 3 days and they are wonderful guitars. I have found the Korean Tokais I have bought thru Canada to be overpriced and unsatisfactory.
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ian
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Joined: 13 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note that Gibson Les Paul models all have solid flamed tops (no veneer), whereas most Tokais use veneer (except on higher price models like LS200 & LS320), ie thin veneer glued over solid maple cap. Tokai plain-burst tops are all solid of course.

Early LS50 models c.1978-81 have unmatched 3-piece plain tops (solid), but often show surprising figure, mineral streaks & some quilt or stripe ? eBay dealers like Japanoldguitar still regularly sell these at $500 - $600 ? eg see various examples discussed here recently -

http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7330484179&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1


http://cgi.ebay.de/Tokai-Les-Paul-Reborn-Old-1980-Japan-SEHR-SELTEN_W0QQitemZ7345055215QQcategoryZ46648QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


Early LS60 and above have solid 2-piece centre-matched tops, but grain pattern typicaly plain-sawn swirled/pooled figuring (ie less dramatic than early LS50), eg this 1982 LS50 in brown-vintage burst -



If you search previous threads here you?ll find some of us prefer the character of older Tokais ? I?d look at 1980-81 LS50 Love Rock (or LS60 for 2-piece matched) ? just personal opinion of course.

Ian.
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shuie
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Joined: 19 Aug 2005
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Location: Louisiana (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for the help everyone!

The good thing is that I just sold my LPC, two strats, my stingray bass,a nd an amp this weekend so I have money!

The old posts Ive read about Ishibashi are really encouraging. Thats where I'll more than likely go for a new one.

Anybody have a picture of an LS80F or an LS85Q-Matt Finish in the 'Matt Brown Sunburst' finish. These are the two im leaning towards. I definitely want the darker burst, like the old tobacco brown sunburst LPs







Are the actual tops that these guitars get shipped with close to these pics? Im assuming for these prices that the tops are photoflamed or laminate?
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shuie
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Joined: 19 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are the current manufacture Ishibashi guitars different from the current manufacture Korean guitars that I would be able to find in Canada?

Are the Ishibashi guitars still made in Japan? When someone refers to a Love Rock as 'Made in Japan' what guitars are they talking about? Just the old ones, right? I thought all of the current guitars were made in Korea

Oh, and I havent giving up on trying to score the old one that is local to me. I should have some more details on that one by the end of the week.

Thanks again!
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hans-j?rgen
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Joined: 21 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shuie wrote:
Are the current manufacture Ishibashi guitars different from the current manufacture Korean guitars that I would be able to find in Canada?

Sure, they are made in Japan (mahogany neck, ABR-1 bridge, better pickups, probably less pieces of mahogany for the back, exact headstock shape).

Quote:
When someone refers to a Love Rock as 'Made in Japan' what guitars are they talking about? Just the old ones, right? I thought all of the current guitars were made in Korea

No, Tokai Gakki in Hamamatsu, Japan is still going strong.
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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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