1999 LS100 ?

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Feb 14, 2023
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Hello all, I have a few Tokai Love Rocks, a LS90VF from 2008 and a 1992 LS65 ( although still not sure about that one as it has LS-2 in the pickup cavity ). No representation from around year 2000 so when I saw this Love Rock at a reasonable price. I bought it thinking it was a plaintop LS60 and when it arrived I actually put it aside while I was working on another guitar. Got it apart this weekend and much to my surprise, its a LS100. An off catalogue model from what I can determine. Original owner must have wanted a plaintop with higher specs than the LS60 model I suppose ? From what I can tell, these are the upgrades to the regular LS60 : CTS pots, Cloth wire for the switch to pot wiring, polystyrene capacitors, CP-2 ? pickups ( they measure 7.47 and 8.36 ), Gotoh Bridge and Tailpiece, 2 piece back with really good matching so it looks like a 1 piece, 2 piece solid maple top, unusual tuners ( check the photos ), and most interestingly, is what appears to be "long tenon". The tell tale square routing is only present in 2 of the 4 cavity locations, and maybe that was done to allow for the different tenon construction. ? Its a nice 8.5 pounds as well so not a boat anchor. Put some EB Primos on it and once I made the usual adjustments for action and intonation, it came to life beautifully. Played it through my old Garnet "Deputy" and it really nails old school loud and clear overdrive. To say I'm happy is a bit of an understatement. Are there many of the off catalogue models out there ? Anyone else get one of these nice "surprises" ?


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Wouldn't it would be rather odd for someone to bother with cloth wire as an upgrade ? And those CP-2's are somewhat maligned so why not go with something more boutique ? I'm quite sure this is a factory guitar - even the frets only have a little wear. From what I understand a few years later Tokai offered a "Pearly Gates" limited run, not that this is one of those but its almost as if someone was considering what the spec would be for something like this. Maybe a special shop order to demonstrate what a custom order would look like ?
The year of this guitars manufacture seems to go against conventional thinking but hey, this is the MIJ experience isnt it ? I almost snagged one of the Reborn Old reissues sometime last year - just got out of my price range unfortunately. The real Reborn Old have gone up a lot lately so not likely going to pickup one of those anytime soon. Maybe after I thin out the herd and have some money to go shopping haha
We can date the CTS pots if you have a better pic of them.

I can see the second digit in the year, "0". And the 25th week of that year.

Screen Shot 2023-03-05 at 1.35.11 PM.png

That might confirm or eliminate if the mods were done when it was made?

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Your month code is 11 on your guitar. So presumably November 1999 (assuming serial numbers go on at the end of production).

If the pot code is from June of 2000 that would be within the realm of possibility of them pulling a guitar off the line and modding it.

If it is June 2010, then obviously it would point to a later mod.

Btw, the Keiyo pickups that I have seen first show up a little later than 2000.

Tokai Humbucker Models & Resistance

The ones I have documented are from around 2003 (CP-1) and 2008 (CP-2), but obviously they could have begun before the examples I have found. I just haven't seen any.

So I am curious about your pot date.
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I just noticed that it even has "100" penciled in the bridge pickup cavity.

I have never seen electrical tape on wire from the factory.

Screen Shot 2023-03-05 at 2.01.05 PM.png

With all the scuffing in the control compartment, I am leaning towards an after market mod, pending the date code on your pots.

What country are you in by the way?
Not at home at the moment, but I am in Canada and I did import this guitar from Japan. The scuffling could be attempts at repairing that particular pot - the post that connects to the cap has been soldered back on to the base of the pot. I'll probably replace that one at some point. Also there is a slight wobble when turning that pot - may have taken the brunt of an impact ?
I'll check the pot code when I get back home
The electrical tape is actually a piece of shrink tubing - I use that stuff when I am concerned about a signal wire shorting to ground possibly. Better than a piece of electrical tape.

But there seems to be even more mystery - the pot code has A500K ( DC resistance of the pot and audio taper I believe ), "INCH" which is kinda odd, plus the 0251 at the end which would suggest end of 2002 if the dating convention still applies. So somehow this factory serialed 1999 LS100 sat somewhere until the end of 2002 ? Seems a little unlikely but the model tagging plus the upgrades sorta make that seem possible ? Or it was a prototype that hung around somewhere at the factory until someone decided to try out a plaintop with those specs ? Or someone bought a LS60 plaintop that was tagged with a LS100 stamp and handwriting and brought it up to what they thought were LS100 specs ?

And I've never seen this type of "Kluson" style tuners either.

In the end I'm not too concerned - it plays great and has a great vibe so its not that important. Just was curious if anyone had seen this.


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Wild. Those are tuner buttons are similar to open Grovers on Martin style acoustic.

Or Waverly butter beans.


The mystery continues.
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Just to throw something else weird out there, 1999 is during the period Tokai was making guitars for Fender.

The elongated tab routs remind me of Fujigen routs. Tokai would have been well aware of Fujigen construction methods in this period.

Just wondering if they were experimenting with things on your guitar?

Lots of odd features for sure.

Sorry I am not more helpful. It is a mystery.
Tokai made some models out of catalog when a guitar or chain shop asked for. I recal about 2003 a LS130 model with a very short life with some higer specs over the regular LS70 but below LS200, remeber there was not LS150 until 2005....

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