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Is this genuine Tokai Goldtop?
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hopeno
Plucker


Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:50 pm    Post subject: Is this genuine Tokai Goldtop? Reply with quote

Hi,

just registered as I bought my first Tokai - today! I have browsed the vintage catalogs and the net but still I am not sure if it is real or not?! Seller told me that it is 1985 model, he was it's second owned.

I would also like to hear your opinion about the value of the guitar.

What seems to be OK:
- Serial number is pressed in the back of the head and says "5027753".
- Right below the number there is black oval sticker that has "50" written on it with gold font.
- One piece mahogany neck.
- Three piece mahogany body.
- Bell shape trussrod cover.

My concerns are:
- No "Love Rock" in headstock.
- Zebra PU's seem to be original (no mark of soldering - see photo of the electrics), but I have seen them in different "order" in other guitars (black poles inside) or covered. I took them out, there is nothing written on the back or in the hole (pics are in the link below).

Guitar is almost mint, although you easily see that it has seen years of gospel rock use

Well, no matter what, now that I cleaned it up and made my own adjustments it is great to play, has almost endless sustain, acoustic sounds are great.





Here are some more pics: http://www.uta.fi/aktkk/tmp/tokai/

Thanks,

Petri (Finland)
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ned
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Joined: 29 Aug 2001
Posts: 1154
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice. Looks like an 1985 LS50 model.

I need to find a new gold top that doesn't weigh as much as my Reborn.
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javelin70
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Joined: 09 Sep 2001
Posts: 820
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks exactly the same as my 1984 TLS-50 goldtop except for the truss rod cover (probably replaced on yours).
I'll have a look at my pickups, the "inner" bobbins are normally the black ones.
Maybe the pickups have been replaced, there should be a sticker on the back of them if they are the original Gotoh's.
My TLS-50 has the PAF's that were used on the TLS-80 model for some reason, it came like that from the factory (I bought mine new in 1984).
It also has a one piece neck (18 degree headstock angle) and a three piece back.
The weight is only ~3kg. I wouldn't worry about the Love Rock text, I've seen it partly gone on a few other Tokais.

Mike
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hopeno
Plucker


Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your comments!

Quote:
except for the truss rod cover (probably replaced on yours)

I phoned to previous owner and he told me that everything is original, right from the shop his friend bought it 1985 .. but you never know for sure.

Quote:
there should be a sticker on the back of them if they are the original Gotoh's

PU's have no stickers or anything on the back. Is it still possible that they are 'original' whatever brand? I mean, as far as I can tell, soldering is so neatly done that if they are replaced, a pro has done the job!

Quote:
The weight is only ~3kg

Mine is light too, I would estimate close to 3 kg - and I like that! My main instruments are PRS CE's that are soooo lightweight .. but with heavy sound!

I paid 500 euros for the guitar, do you think that it was a fair price?

I've had Gibson Les Paul DC 1998, and although it was chambered, this is almost as light to wear but with more meaty sounds! Neck is perhaps a bit clumsier, but it had 24 fret neck. That particular Gibson was perfectly made, but I have seen so many lousy built Gibsons during years that I made a decision not to buy original LP except from Custom Shop. I just sold my friend's Gibson Flying V from 1998, and I did not know whether laugh or cry as I tried to make sense if it was a 'faded' or 'standard' model!! You know, for example, there was a paint crack _inside_ the lacquer, neck paint was spilled over rosewood fretboard, etc. - faulty workmanship everywhere!

One more question (that I see many others have also asked): If I would like to have more low end definition (I play a lot of riffs from the neck position with EAD -strings), which PU's you would recommend - given that I don't mind waiting and the cost is not problem.

I did not like the LP DC stock PU's, but I really do like PRS Vintage Bass (neck), HFS (bridge) and Dragon II Treble (bridge) PU's .. here are sound samples played by the man himself:
Vintage Bass http://www.prsguitars.com/pickups/audio/Vintage_Bass.mp3
HFS http://www.prsguitars.com/pickups/audio/HFS.mp3
Dragon II Treble http://www.prsguitars.com/pickups/audio/Dragon_II_Treble.mp3
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javelin70
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Joined: 09 Sep 2001
Posts: 820
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

500 Euro sounds like a good deal to me, I would never sell mine for that. Did you get the original case with it?

The TLS-50 may have been the least expensive of the 80's Love Rocks but they are really well built.
I picked mine from the distributors warehouse, they had just arrived from Tokai.
I had several to choose from and this one was lightweight and had a great tone and sustain.

Mike
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hopeno
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Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Did you get the original case with it?


Nope, just bulk (but old) hardcase.

Quote:
they are really well built


I totally agree, at least this one!

But perhaps I change the PU's .. I am considering H?ussel HB-Vin+ Gold to bridge and HB-Vin N Gold to neck. As a Finn I live near Ruokangas, and his PU's are also really cool (http://www.ruokangas.com/). Any comments/experiences/suggestions?
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javelin70
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Joined: 09 Sep 2001
Posts: 820
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

H?ussel are supposed to be very good, I wouldn't mind trying a set myself. Can you get them in Finland?
Otherwise try www.rockinger.com, the price is 97 Euro for black bobbins and 115 with chrome covers.
I would stay away from a hot pickup in the neck position, they almost always sound muddy.
The H?ussel pickups you mention seems like a good choice. I also prefer a slightly hotter bridge pickup.

Mike
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joukov
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Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Posts: 280
Location: Helsinki, Finland

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopeno, I quess you knew this:

awarded pickup specialist Harry Haeussel, who exclusively builds the Ruokangas pickups by hand in Germany.

...so Ruokangas pickups are H?ussel pickups.
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hopeno
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Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Hopeno, I quess you knew this:


Yes, I talked to him today .. and learned that availability of golden Haeussel models is at the moment zero but his own golden 'matched pairs' are in stock. I might sound stupid, but now I am fixed to idea that they need to be golden but I will visit him soon and play both classic and fusion to learn also about the sonic difference. He told me that although Harry makes his PU's too, they have different properties.

Do you or anybody else have any experience with aforementioned PU's on Love Rock?
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luis
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Joined: 15 Sep 2001
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Location: Spain

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a '85 with double ring turners?
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mike martin
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Joined: 24 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i had a 1985 ls70 flame with double ring tuners aswell and they were originals as it didnt look as if the screws were ever out also it had fret edge binding, i think anything is possible with early tokais
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hopeno
Plucker


Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to hear that! I checked that ALL the screws seemed (at least to me, 'Sherlock Petri') to be unopened, so I am not worried.
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luis
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting Mike. So double ring turners are not a key for dating....
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javelin70
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Joined: 09 Sep 2001
Posts: 820
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a look at my TLS-50 goldtop and the inner bobbins are the black ones.
It also has single ring tuners and the Tokai truss rod cover (slightly different from the bell shape).
Are your tuners stamped "Deluxe" at the back? They should be if they are the original ones.
The quality of the TLS-50 still amazes me, the reason I bought it in the first place was that I couldn't find a decent Gibson LP at the time (1984).
Most of the LP's I tried were late 70's and early 80's, the TLS-50 was better than all of them so I bought it.
I had never heard of Tokai before, they had just started selling them in Sweden.
The next year I bought a Goldstar strat and I'm still playing Tokai's 22 years later .

Mike
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hopeno
Plucker


Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mike,

Quote:
It also has single ring tuners


I have nothing at the back of my tuners, but of course someone might have replaced them .. but as the picture above also shows, they seem to be old and nontampered?!


Quote:
and the Tokai truss rod cover (slightly different from the bell shape).


Does anybody know if the different truss rod covers have identical screwholes? This one has no extra holes, so the cover is original or it has been changed to similar type cover ..

I have owned many (and still own four) older PRS guitars. My 1989 PRS CE 24 has totally different specs (neck shape, neck woods, headstock, neck plate, serno inked, tremolo hardware, etc.) compared to my two other CE's (1992, 1993). I emailed the factory and they told me that it is first or second production year model and the components were to change in the later models. So it is genuine, but differes from later CE's.

I wonder if mine is not a genuine Tokai, what are the options? I mean, do you have any idea who might have made such a high standard copy? I recoded initial song demo with mine today, and I need to tell you that this is suberb sounding (although I am going to chance the PU's) and very playable instrument!
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