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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member Bluuzman's Avatar
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    Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Some weeks ago, I made a comparison of some Historic R8 and R9 Les Pauls versus a 2010 Tokai Les Paul. I was very astonished, that the Tokai was very open sounding and extremely balanced in sound. In my opinion, the sound quality was comparable to the mentioned Historic Les Pauls.

    Did you make similar experience? Does Tokai meanwhile know how to build great sounding guitars?
    BTW, the Tokai costs just one third of the price of the Historic Les Pauls.
    Blues ain't bad


  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Ive only tried a few Tokais from the 70s, so I can't say I've made a side by side comparison.

    -but-

    Comparing one to another is like comparing a Mercedes to a Toyota. Both drive extremely well and are well regarded by most all auto buyers and critics, however at the end of the day one is a Mercedes the other a Toyota.

    Most people on this forum will not "down" anyone for owning whatever guitar works for you, but comparing as a rule is a fruitless endeavor.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Navigator markets that they use Honduran Rosewood for their fingerboards. I think Tokai may use this as well. Honduran Rosewood as a fingerboard is known by luthiers to brighten up the tone of a guitar - it is one of the most characteristic tonewoods out there. I have a Navigator - and yes, they are very comparable to Historics. My 06 Navigator kept most at bay, and forced the sale of some earlier Historics. But I think from mid-2009 on, Gibson has pretty much outdone the high end Japanese clones. Though the best Japanese ones still use a much more vintage-correct finish.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member rockinlespaul's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    What access said.
    Gibson+Marshall=TONE.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    I have a 90's Tokai Love Rock, which is a fantastic instrument. I had to upgrade the pickups, the wiring and the hardware to get the best out of it though. But then, that's what a lot of people do with Historics, right? As far as I can tell the Tokai LS1-R9, the closest model to the Historic R9, is selling in Germany for around $3500 including Lifton case. We can't get one here in the US though...

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member oldflame's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Had a few "Reborn" Tokai's. Before the historic reissues really took off in the late 90's, the high end Greco's and the Tokais were the guitars to have. Set of decent pickups and it was all good. Now, those late 70's early 80's Tokais and Grecos are just too expensive. May as well buy the real thing.

    Anyway, I always thought the Tokai Strats and Teles (78 through to 82) were better than the Lesters. Had a heap of those.
    Missing the real ale.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member J.D.'s Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    +1

    (sad to say) the "lawsuit" Tokai's (Les Paul REBORN and Reborn OLD) of the late '70s were much better guitars IMO than what Gibson was producing at the time and are actually quite good in their own right, but at the end of the day they're not much more than forgeries, hence the lawsuit

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Flying Fish's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by access View Post
    Ive only tried a few Tokais from the 70s, so I can't say I've made a side by side comparison.

    -but-

    Comparing one to another is like comparing a Mercedes to a Toyota. Both drive extremely well and are well regarded by most all auto buyers and critics, however at the end of the day one is a Mercedes the other a Toyota.

    Most people on this forum will not "down" anyone for owning whatever guitar works for you, but comparing as a rule is a fruitless endeavor.
    Actually, more like comparing a Caddy to a Lexus.

    I haven't played any new MIJ Pauls but have recently played a couple of early 80s (and own one) and they are fantastic musical instruments.

    I have played my early 80s beater MIJ Burny side by side numerous times with an exceptional (to these ears and hands) R0 loaded with Vintage PAFs and the Burny holds up VERY well in all respects.
    Last edited by Flying Fish; 08-19-11 at 07:55 AM.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member analogmike's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Andy Latimer's (Camel) "Les Paul" is about the best sounding one I have heard and it's a Burny Super Grade... I have not played one yet but would like to compare one to my historics. Would be nice when I have to play in bad weather or a dangerous place.

    My pedalboard half under an awning last week (I played my '99 R9).

    Regards, mike ~^v^~ aNaLoG.MaN ~^v^~

    Mike at analogman.com

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Flavum's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by analogmike View Post
    My pedalboard half under an awning last week (I played my '99 R9).

    No offense, but that's one of more unusual photos I've seen posted here on the LPF. Sort of like the goop inside a Klon Centaur, but on a much larger scale.

    This emoticon seems appropriate:

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member analogmike's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by Flavum View Post
    No offense, but that's one of more unusual photos I've seen posted here on the LPF. Sort of like the goop inside a Klon Centaur, but on a much larger scale.

    This emoticon seems appropriate:
    Nice, LOL!!!

    Someone threw some garbage bags on my pedalboard while we were playing when the rain came, but two pedals died, one switch and one LED. All fixed up now and the R9 stayed pretty dry under the awning.
    Regards, mike ~^v^~ aNaLoG.MaN ~^v^~

    Mike at analogman.com

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    I've owned both and while the higher-end Japanese Tokai guitars compare (very) favorably to the Gibson Historics, my R8 is the finest guitar I've ever owned.

    That's my $02...

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member oldflame's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by analogmike View Post
    Nice, LOL!!!

    Someone threw some garbage bags on my pedalboard while we were playing when the rain came, but two pedals died, one switch and one LED. All fixed up now and the R9 stayed pretty dry under the awning.
    Suggest shrink-wrap next time.
    Missing the real ale.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    My instructor has a Tokai goldtop with P90's strung with .12 flatwounds. Fantastic sounding guitar. My R8 is a one piece body as opposed to Tokai's 3piece. Nothing wrong with a Tokai, if you can even find one...Better than my R8: no.

  15. #15

    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    I have one of the higher spec (LS80) 1979 "Reborn" guitars and it's a really good guitar. Beautiful woods and beautifully made with a very flamey solid top and a nice pink-lined Cali-girl case. It has a set of Shed "PAF Daddies" in it and it sounds and plays fantastic all for under 1K. I've been offered twice that for it recently but it's not going anywhere soon. Not sure if it's nitro finished (as some say they are) but it's very thin and the guitar resonates and sustains extremely well. The inlays look 'right' and It's one of the few Les Paul's I've owned where you can't feel that goddamn binding 'ridge' on the neck - which is the reason I usually hate Guitars with fingerboard binding.
    Last edited by frazettafan; 08-18-11 at 07:45 AM.
    ................................


    ...............


    ...............

  16. #16

    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Talk about 2 piece backs - the only Tokai Love Rock that I've owned was an LS125SEB - which had a multi-piece mahogany body. The idea with the "SEB" bodies was that sound travels better along the grain than through it, so the center of the guitar was made with wooden blocks with the grain facing the top and bottom of the guitar to transfer the vibrations to the top of the guitar (I think). Just imagine a Jenga puzzle glued together, and that's a bit like the body construction!

    Anyway, the guitar had great fit and finish (as with the Tokai "ES 335" I've also owned), and for about 2/3 of the price of a USA Standard Les Paul, actually compared very favourably, with good quality hardware, fittings and electrics (CTS pots/Switchcraft switch, Tokai PAF Mk II pickups etc). It was an '05 model and had the proper Gibson shaped headstock. Sounded great although not as raunchy as the ceramic 'bucker equipped LP Classic I had at the time.

    And as for customer service, I e-mailed the UK Rep. to enquire about the availability of a pickguard. I received one in the post within days (free of charge) complete with a free guitar cable and some other stuff.

    I've lost count of the number of times that I've read of higher end Tokai owners say that their guitars compare well with Historics, and many claim to have both so should be in a good position to judge (and hopefully non-biased).

    However, on balance and given a choice I would always go with a Gibson over a Tokai, especially if spending a few grand for a Historic level instrument. But if I was on a tight budget then I wouldn't have any qualms about putting a decent sized amount of cash into a Tokai. They've had long enough to get it right when it comes to building Gibson and Fender style guitars.

    Anyway, here's a pic of the Love Rock LS125 SEB (it had a veneer flame top and wasn't nearly as clown bursty as you'd think from this photo!):-


  17. #17

    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluuzman View Post
    Did you make similar experience? Does Tokai meanwhile know how to build great sounding guitars?
    As I said in my post Bluuzman, Tokai have had long enough to perfect the art of imitating Gibson and Fender models, and I know plenty of knowledgeable gearheads who take Tokai instruments seriously, at least as a substitute for the bigger named brands. Some of the cheaper/Korean stuff might be a bit flaky, but I definitely rate their MIJ stuff.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Ok Il bite, I have had some Tokais and Burnys all 1980s stuff.
    And they all Equaled great Historic Les Pauls if not sounding somewhat better.

    The historics are hard to find if you want a bright killer one without the wrapped-in-a-blanket-sound.

    The Tokais or Burnys dont have that. They have a sligthly Brighter more vintagy tone.
    And I have also done this test with alot of different Guitars both Tokai,burny and Gibson.
    And the Result was always the same.

  19. #19

    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    I had a fantastic '81 Tokai LS80 that was better than many Historics I've played. The current Tokais are great guitars -- I'm not sure they're on the same level as a new Historic, pound for pound, but I'd definitely take one of any USA / Standard Gibson model. The problem is that for the price of the higher-end MIJ models you could get a nice used Historic.

    That being said, are we even supposed to be discussing these guitars on here?

  20. #20
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    [/quote]
    Really cool 71, looks the part IMO. Needs the pick guard though...

  21. #21

    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by J.D. View Post
    but at the end of the day they're not much more than forgeries, hence the lawsuit
    I know this is a long dead topic, but if anyone reads this, I want to say this: this is so wrong. A forgery suggest that the item looks like the real thing but is inherently of a worse quality. Forgery also suggests that the item cost less to produce, involves a lot of corner-cutting and the sole purpose of it is to trick people into paying way more than this item is worth just because it looks like the real thing. A forgery is a form of fraud.

    But it's not the case with these guitars! These guitars are made with high quality in mind, to be great guitars on their own and not to trick their owners. When one sees a Tokai guitar in a shop, they know they are buying a Tokai guitar, not a Gibson guitar, so they know what are paying for and what they are getting for their money. They may be visually identical to Gibsons, but they clearly indicate that they are not Gibsons on the headstock.
    Plus keep in mind they started producing these so-called "lawsuit" guitars at the time when Gibson didn't make good quality production Les Pauls, so you can't call these companies frauds because they offered guitar players great production (that is non-custom shop) instruments that they could not get from Gibson at that time.

  22. #22
    All Access/Backstage Pass Progrocker111's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrius D View Post
    Plus keep in mind they started producing these so-called "lawsuit" guitars at the time when Gibson didn't make good quality production Les Pauls, so you can't call these companies frauds because they offered guitar players great production (that is non-custom shop) instruments that they could not get from Gibson at that time.
    Oh, classical myth about bad quality Norlins.

    Dont forget too, that many of these lawsuit copies were in fact copies of the Gibson 70s era Les pauls with 3 piece necks and pancake body for example, especially in late 70s.
    Last edited by Progrocker111; 08-18-15 at 02:55 AM.
    My diagnosis is: Hiwatt and Norlinphilia

    1971 Gibson Les Paul Custom
    1972 Hiwatt DR103, 1972 Hiwatt SE4122

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member shred's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    I'm gonna go ahead and agree with Progrocker111... As someone with an extensive experience of Norlins and recent Historics, I've got nothing but good things to say about Norlins ---especially the early years... Norlins can hold their own


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  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrius D View Post
    I know this is a long dead topic, but if anyone reads this, I want to say this: this is so wrong. A forgery suggest that the item looks like the real thing but is inherently of a worse quality. Forgery also suggests that the item cost less to produce, involves a lot of corner-cutting and the sole purpose of it is to trick people into paying way more than this item is worth just because it looks like the real thing. A forgery is a form of fraud.

    But it's not the case with these guitars! These guitars are made with high quality in mind, to be great guitars on their own and not to trick their owners. When one sees a Tokai guitar in a shop, they know they are buying a Tokai guitar, not a Gibson guitar, so they know what are paying for and what they are getting for their money. They may be visually identical to Gibsons, but they clearly indicate that they are not Gibsons on the headstock.
    Plus keep in mind they started producing these so-called "lawsuit" guitars at the time when Gibson didn't make good quality production Les Pauls, so you can't call these companies frauds because they offered guitar players great production (that is non-custom shop) instruments that they could not get from Gibson at that time.
    It's a minor point in the whole argument but I disagree with this interpretation of 'forgery'. This may be your interpretation however it's not the generally accepted, or dictionary, definition.

    A forgery is a fake. It's an attempt to create something and sell it as something it is not. A replica which has the Gibson name and overall appointments, which is marketed as an original Gibson is a forgery. The sale itself is the deceit and punishable act but the item in question is a fake/forgery.

    The quality of the item doesn't come into question.

    If someone duplicates a well known painting, it's not called a replica. If someone duplicates a Les Paul, it is called a replica. They're eventually the same thing, just called something more acceptable.

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member Thomas/Sweden's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Just want to say that I own vintage and new Tokai's and they are great sounding, playing LP style guitars, just like the recent years Historics I have. The luthier has done a good job on all of them, except for the 2013 Tokai LS116F which was great out of the box and the 2014 R9 Honeyburst which was setup very well by the seller.

    1978 LS100:

    Last edited by Thomas/Sweden; 08-18-15 at 11:22 AM.

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member J.D.'s Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls


  27. #27

    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    I've always thought this guitar (tokai?) through a small cheap amp sounded great.
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x34...tar_shortfilms

  28. #28

    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    I have a 1979 Reborn LS60 that I gutted , and rewired 50s style , top notch pots/caps etc. Also swapped out original pickups with old Seth Lover / BB2 bridge . This thing rings off the hook !

    My friends with VOS LPs have been very impressed . I Can't afford a CS , so I am very happy .... picked it up locally for $700 CDN .








    [IMG][/IMG]


    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by tonedrip; 08-18-15 at 10:04 PM. Reason: spelling error

  29. #29

    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by Classic View Post
    It's a minor point in the whole argument but I disagree with this interpretation of 'forgery'. This may be your interpretation however it's not the generally accepted, or dictionary, definition.

    A forgery is a fake. It's an attempt to create something and sell it as something it is not. A replica which has the Gibson name and overall appointments, which is marketed as an original Gibson is a forgery. The sale itself is the deceit and punishable act but the item in question is a fake/forgery.

    The quality of the item doesn't come into question.

    If someone duplicates a well known painting, it's not called a replica. If someone duplicates a Les Paul, it is called a replica. They're eventually the same thing, just called something more acceptable.
    Okay, I agree, but you're missing a very important detail: these guitars did not have 'Gibson' on their headstocks and they had whatver brand name that was producing them. So while they were using Gibson design, they weren't trying to fool people into thinking they are buying an actual Gibson.
    In your analogy with paintings this would make a difference. When someone forges a painting, they also forges the artists signature in order to sell that painting for more just because it's the original thing. But if someone just paints a replica painting and signs with their own name, then everyone knows it's not the original and no one is tricked into buying something they didn't expect.

    As for the quality of the item... how can it not come into question? Of course lawyers fighting against forgeries don't care about the quality of the item, so it never comes into question. But for users of things, it matters a lot. If you buy a fake Rolex, you are not only buying a forgery, you are also buying a watch that's inherently of a lower quality than a real Rolex.

  30. #30

    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by Progrocker111 View Post
    Oh, classical myth about bad quality Norlins.

    Dont forget too, that many of these lawsuit copies were in fact copies of the Gibson 70s era Les pauls with 3 piece necks and pancake body for example, especially in late 70s.
    There's more to it than the number of pieces.

    As for Norlin era Gibsons being good... I can't comment on that, I just want to point out that there are people who complain about them. The same way people complain about modern Gibsons. What that means is that Gibson guitars (Standard range) aren't of consistent quality, and they weren't in the Norlin era either. That's why a lot of people didn't like them.

  31. #31

    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    You guys need to realize that classic dictionary definitions of forgeries don't apply to guitars. Guitar designs are not copyrightable. If Fender and Gibson could copyright their designs, there wouldn't be so many other guitar makers. Or they would come up with some of the other weird shapes like they came up with in the sixties and which people didn't like. A guitar is not about the visuals - it's about how it works in the first place.

    If we're talking about forgeries, what about Charvel guitars? They're Stratocaster forgeries. Now they're owned by Fender, but back in the day they weren't. But no one points that out. Why? Because they did some minor modifications, like fitting a Floyd Rose and adding one more fret? That's nonsense - they were 'forgeries' in almost the same sense as Tokais were. I said 'in almost the same sense' because I'm aware that Tokais went one step further and tried to make it visually identical to a Gibson. And that's their only fault: it's not that they took Gibson's design, but that they meticulously replicated the guitar visually.

    In guitar world, most things are copies. You wouldn't have superstrats if Stratocaster design was copyrighted. You have to think differently when it comes to guitars.

  32. #32

    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by Overdriver View Post
    I have a 90's Tokai Love Rock, which is a fantastic instrument. I had to upgrade the pickups, the wiring and the hardware to get the best out of it though. But then, that's what a lot of people do with Historics, right? As far as I can tell the Tokai LS1-R9, the closest model to the Historic R9, is selling in Germany for around $3500 including Lifton case. We can't get one here in the US though...
    Hello Guys,
    i'm a recent owner of a '79 LS-80 TOKAI Reborn.. All original Parts and i'm very happy with this guitar but i think it can do more.
    I'm thinking to change the electronics parts and the pick ups but i don't know witch could be the correct options.




    I would like something near the P.A.F. tone...

    Could you tell be about our opinion ?

    Any of you has experienced a change in electronics and pickups in a similar guitar?

    Thanks u in advanced and sorry for my horrible english.

    LDB

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    If you want to kill of some of the blanket sound in the historics you could put in vintage Tokai humbuckers.
    That says something about the quality of the tokai pickups.

    I just bought 2 sister Tokai Love Rocks from 1984, 12 serials apart a put grovers on one of them as the Klusons were dying.
    That made a small improvement but all my Tokais are getting grovers.

    With the heavier headstocks the sustain and response increase a tiny bit in a already whipsnapping responsive guitar.

    I would keep the original pickups and do NOT change the pots as Tokai pots are far better than anything you can get a hold of today.


    Also not all historics have the blanket sound going by my experience.

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member DanD's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    I tend to agree that the pups in older late 70s early 80s model Tokais are very good. I've owned several and never felt the pickups were lacking in any way.

    An '80' model designation means that it's advertised price was 80,000 yen or ~ $800 US. That was quite a chunk of change in 1979.

    In comparison to like models in the late 70s I'd take a '79 Tokai '80' Strat clone over any '79 Fender Strat I've ever played.

    LPs tended to be better than Fenders during this era but the Tokai LPs were usually much lighter and built closer to vintage spec the American LPs.
    "In Heaven all the interesting people are missing."

  35. #35
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by albatros1980 View Post
    Hello Guys,
    i'm a recent owner of a '79 LS-80 TOKAI Reborn.. All original Parts and i'm very happy with this guitar but i think it can do more.
    I'm thinking to change the electronics parts and the pick ups but i don't know witch could be the correct options.




    I would like something near the P.A.F. tone...

    Could you tell be about our opinion ?

    Any of you has experienced a change in electronics and pickups in a similar guitar?

    Thanks u in advanced and sorry for my horrible english.

    LDB
    I tried various boutique and non-boutique pickups in my Tokai Love Rock, but settled on Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers.

  36. #36
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    The vintage and modern high end Tokais are great, but the modern low- and mid-level stuff is pretty average. I would still choose an Historic over a vintage or modern high end Tokai.

  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member Schneidas15's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    I have a entry level made in Japan LS100 Tokai at home - which is on par (if not better) with any US production Gibson I've ever owned.

    So coming from that, I'm currently looking at high end Tokai's and came across this one on Ebay, which the seller claims even uses Honduran Mahogany as well as Madagascar Rosewood:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tokai-Love-R.../141907236825?

    What do you think? Worth it? I might make him an offer as it's just out of my price range though...
    Last edited by Schneidas15; 02-19-16 at 07:48 AM.
    '97 Fender USA Yngwie Malmsteen Strat
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  38. #38

    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Haven't played a new one. But I have a 1980 burst replica that was build at Fuji Gen. And to be honest, that kicks major a.. .

    I've compared it to a lot of custom shop Gibsons and the fact is: I liked mine better! It sounded much more open, dynamic and had that certain shimmer. I've recently A/Bed it against a 2015 R9 and a True Historic as well as CC models. The Gibsons couldn't stand a chance. And you have to consider that mine has a really thick poly and a short neck tenon.

    But rumor has it that these old Japanese models have incredbly great and old wood, especially the mahagony. Pickups generally were crap, but Change the electrics and you have one fine guitar.
    1980 1959 Les Paul Sunburst replica (Japan)
    2009 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop R7
    1997 Orville Les Paul Custom
    1977 Gibson ES 335
    1969 Fender Stratocaster
    1968 Fender Telecaster

  39. #39

    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    I have spent hours on listening to live recorded 1957-60's burst and have had the opportunity to play a 1960 burst.

    I've also put a lot of effort and money to get my No.1 into vintage burst territory (vintage long magnet PAF's, Centralab pots, Bumblebees, studs, tailpiece, ABR-1, round core Ni strings, etc.) and people say I'm close. I tested several PAF's and Patent No's before I settled on a set.

    To sum it up, I thought I knew this area quite well. Still, when Doug and Pat aka "The Doug and Pat Show" compared a number of guitars in a blind test (think it was a Heritage H-150 Les Paul, a 70's Tokai, a real deal burst and a 58 gold top) I actually guessed that the Tokai was the burst

    Lesson learned? Not sure, you tell me...

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Historic Les Pauls vs. Tokai Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by matt1981 View Post
    Haven't played a new one. But I have a 1980 burst replica that was build at Fuji Gen. And to be honest, that kicks major a.. .

    I've compared it to a lot of custom shop Gibsons and the fact is: I liked mine better! It sounded much more open, dynamic and had that certain shimmer. I've recently A/Bed it against a 2015 R9 and a True Historic as well as CC models. The Gibsons couldn't stand a chance. And you have to consider that mine has a really thick poly and a short neck tenon.

    But rumor has it that these old Japanese models have incredbly great and old wood, especially the mahagony. Pickups generally were crap, but Change the electrics and you have one fine guitar.
    Maybe you just prefer cheap Japanese tone?
    I have a preference for USA guitars. I find your post as having found something you like. I'm sure I would prefer my USA Gibsons. I've compared many, way different conclusion.
    "I'm the last of the Independents, Public Enemy number 1"

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