Model identification, Love Rock, one piece back

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Jan 27, 2023
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I recently acquired a 2003 made in Japan Love Rock (03 serial number and made in Japan stamp) and I'm trying to work out what model it is. It's a wonderful guitar and I intend to keep it long term but I'd just like to satisfy my curiosity.

I've spent a couple of days looking at old posts on this great forum (thank you!) but haven't drawn a conclusion.

Colour wise it looks like it is probably Seethru Dark Red (SDR), although it is somewhat brownish red rather than a garish dark red. In the pickup cavities there are no model numbers but in ink it says 9-45 TS. I thought TS corresponds to tobacco sunburst but that seems to be a different colour. This does have a hint of sunburst around the edges though.

Model wise I was thinking it is probably a LS-75f or LS-85f but there seems to be a bit of an information gap around 2003 so I'm not sure.

Pretty sure it has a laminated flame top over maple. And then it has a one piece back (looking end on there is continuous grain). This in particular is confusing as I thought this was only a feature of the highest end models.

Pickups have no stickers but there is some gum residue so they have probably been removed. They are PAF style with braided cables.

Any thoughts welcome on what model this might be!


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Beautiful guitar!

Can you post more pics? Like a picture of the back using a flash? And a picture of the headstock front and back. And a better picture of the code you found. Looks handwritten.


Here are a couple more that I have. I will need to take new photos of the back and headstock back later.

I struggled to get a better picture of the writing in the cavity but will try to take clearer ones.


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Great. Thank you!

Here are pages from the 2003 catalog.

Your color is shown on the double cut Love Rock II.

Not totally sure what it is.

And your guitar has the export dimple, so an ALS or ULS prefix.

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I would look really closely at the grain with a bright light. The seams can be incredibly hard to see in mahogany. Look for a center line or 2/3.

My guess would be ALS70F.

The pickups look like Keiyo MK2.

Keiyo MK2 Pickups
Thanks, I'll have a closer look for a seam. I thought the ALS models were made in Korea though? This says made in Japan in black at the base of the headstock (photo to follow later!)

In terms of colour I think the jury is still out, thank you for your suggestions - I hadn't seen the double cut image.
No, the ALS was made for the American market to deal with Gibson's concerns.

Some were made in Korea, some in China, some in Japan.
Interview with Tokai president Shohei Adachi in 2005.

Q10: What did the additional characters like "A" or "N" in front of the usual "LS" mean in the past? In the 2003-2004 catalog it seems that "ALS" stands for Korean models for the domestic Japanese market, i.e. with the exact Gibson headstock shape. On the other hand the available "ALS" models from Tokai UK do not have the exact headstock, so is there a rule what these additional characters mean or meant? Another example would be "NES" for export models of the ES copies.

A10: In 1980's we sold LS model with modified headstock to the USA, which model number is ALS. So actually A means America and the modified headstock. In 2002 we modified LS body and headstock and tried to sell them in the USA, which model is NLS models. N means New. So NLS model has a modified body and neck. NES model is ES body and a modified headstock. So the body was not modified. So we know there is some coufusion about the model number.
Ah ok, thanks. That makes more sense now. I'm in the UK in case that makes a difference.
Thank you (again!).

I think it must be SDR. It just isn't a vivid red like some of those photos. My pickup cavity photos are probably closest in terms of what the colour actually looks like. It is 20 years old too so the colour may have changed since it was new.
I was thinking the SDR or the HDC. Pictures can be deceptive.

OAK looks too brown, yours has some red in it.

Beautiful guitar.
Yep there's definitely some red.

Thanks for all your help. It is a beautiful guitar and also fantastic to play.

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