Models of LP style Tokais

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Dec 23, 2022
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Hi everyone,
I have a few questions on LP-style Tokai's.

1. I'm trying to understand the difference between the LS-200F and LS-196 models.
Googling, I see these two guitars are spec'd exactly the same except for 5a flame on the 200F and a plain top on the 196.
Yet it seems the price differences are typically pretty high.
Are there any other differences between these two models?

2. What does Custom Shop mean in the context of a guitar sold by an online dealer?
Does it mean more "premium" woods? Better construction/details?
Because again the specs seem to be exactly the same as production line.

3. If this is not a legit question, I'll erase it (if possible, new to this forum), but does anyone have any experience with Nafiri Music from Indonesia?
They have some beautiful looking Tokai's, but I have little experience buying guitars online and am a bit worried about it :)
(I'm not from Indonesia myself, so I can't just drop by.)

It all depends on the year you are talking about.

Year of mfr often indicated by the serial number.

What are the serial numbers?

“F” refers to flame maple top. Some are veneer. Depends on year and model.

And no idea what that seller means by “custom shop”. Tokai has taken special orders since 1982 at least.
Thanks for your reply!
The serial is 2246458 (at least from the photo of the certificate, haven't seen a clear picture of the back of the headstock).
It should be brand new, still with nylon sticky covers on the pickups (which I guess relates to the 22 of the sn?).
According to both Nafiri Music and Tokai powered by USA Music Import it should be
1 piece African Mahogany back
1 piece African Mahogany neck (up to ears that are seen in the photos)
An actual two-piece top
IR fretboard

Same for 196 but for the plain top.
I actually saw the catalog you sent, but didn't see the 200F in it, at least not in the 2018 or 2018-2019 ones, and I didn't see anything more recent.
I've seen what you mentioned regarding the "flamed maple + maple top" on the LS-212F vs "flamed maple two pieces top" on the LS-390.
But on the website I linked to, the 200F is under the Premium Series together with 196 and 390, and the 212F is under the Vintage Series.
And on that website it says the 212F is veneer + maple top, while on the 196, 200F and 390 is says two piece maple top.
I don’t know much about these newer models.

I have seen Nafiri listing STs.

Here’s a link to a discussion of dealers in Japan:

List of dealers

Also yahoo Japan obviously.
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Thank you for the dealer list :)
What is Yahoo Japan? Is it the same Yahoo that used to host emails and such?
In Japan they have an auction site.

I haven’t used Ishibashi. They are well known and export guitars quite a bit I believe but I haven’t used them.

There are others as Hamamatsu suggested. Just poke around.
The LS 200F should be a solid flame maple top as is a LS 150F, though with a 3A top. Vintage series guitars will typically have two piece bodies, plain tops or a flame veneer and poly finish. Although, the 212F has a nitro finish. There are some plain top vintage series I’ve seen with a nitro finish sold by Klundert on Reverb. I currently have a 212F (2021), 100F (2013), and a LS 60 (1978).

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