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  1. #1

    Old Tokai Explorer.

    This is a pretty cool Explorer copy spec'ed from one of Rick Neilsens '58's apparently.

    Sorry for the small shots but 'Imageshack' now want you to pay to get images at a decent size…...







    Body is two-piece mahogany bleached to look like Korina and it's light as feather with great tone and resonance.
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


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  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member J.D.'s Avatar
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    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    Not to go too far off topic, but IMHO Tokai was building better Les Paul's than Gibson in the late '70s. I had a few Les Paul REBORN models that absolutely smoked. I wish I hadn't sold these in hindsight.

  3. #3

    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    I agree - Japan got hold of a lot of good wood back then. I had a '79 'Reborn' also, JD. Very nice guitars.
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


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  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member kwest's Avatar
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    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    Quote Originally Posted by frazettafan View Post
    I agree - Japan got hold of a lot of good wood back then.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Progear's Avatar
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    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    I have a Tokai 1980 LS80 and it's an amazing fiddle.. Better than any reissue I have owned..
    Music for me.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Xpensive Wino's Avatar
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    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    My favorite Strats are all MIJ/CIJ Fenders.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member J.D.'s Avatar
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    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    One of my first electric guitars was an ESP "Traditional" which was basically a vintage Fender Strat replica. It was honestly one of the best sounding Strat style guitars I'd ever played.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Texas Blues's Avatar
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    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    I remember several years ago at Cowtown, in the big dry ditch of Las Vegas and before

    Jesse took over they had some lawsuit guitars.

    A matching pair of a V and and Explorer.

    They looked awesome together.

    I never played them but they wanted big jing $$ for them and I didn't dare touchem'.

    Still, they were waaaaay cool.

  9. #9

    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    I've never tried out a lawsuit V but I hear they are pretty good.

    I don't have any problems with this one, but I heard Explorers suffer from tuning instability due to the string spread across the headstock? Anyone know if this is true?
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


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


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

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    Quote Originally Posted by frazettafan View Post
    I've never tried out a lawsuit V but I hear they are pretty good.

    I don't have any problems with this one, but I heard Explorers suffer from tuning instability due to the string spread across the headstock? Anyone know if this is true?
    Never had an issue with the one I had!

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member DanD's Avatar
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    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    My number 1 Strat uses an early 80s '56 2 piece CAR Tokai body. I don't know what they used for paint but mine has checked nicely. Maybe Acrylic lacquer? IDK but it is an extremely thin finish.

    The higher end Tokai/ESP/Fugi Gen stuff coming from Japan at this time really smokes most of the the US product from that time by both Gibson and Fender.
    "In Heaven all the interesting people are missing."

  12. #12

    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    Yeah, I've had several great Tokai Strats from that era.
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


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


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

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member Dave P's Avatar
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    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    My brother owns a Tokai '58 V but made from mahogany. It's a really nice guitar. I still have a Tokai Love Rock and a Strat.
    Les Paul Forum Founder

    “It is only through inner peace that we can have true outer freedom.” — Sri Chinmoy



  14. #14

    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    Right - got any pics, Dave? I understand that they are very good too - and quite rare.

    I don't know if they did it with the V's but I heard that the Explorers, although made from mahogany, to achieve the correct colour the wood was somehow 'bleached' to make it look lighter in tone, like korina.



    Last edited by frazettafan; 11-14-14 at 03:23 PM.
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


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


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

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member Dave P's Avatar
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    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    I used to have pix but they were lost in a hard drive crash. His is dark mahogany colored. but otherwise looks like a 58 V. I'll have to get after him to dig it out of the dungeon...
    Les Paul Forum Founder

    “It is only through inner peace that we can have true outer freedom.” — Sri Chinmoy



  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member 58Lover's Avatar
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    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    If you look, the bridge pup is closer to the bridge (like it was supposed to be), unlike virtually all imports from Korea and Indonesia. Even Epis.

    To my ears there's diff in the tone

  17. #17

    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    Quote Originally Posted by 58Lover View Post
    If you look, the bridge pup is closer to the bridge (like it was supposed to be), unlike virtually all imports from Korea and Indonesia. Even Epis.

    To my ears there's diff in the tone
    I think I see what you mean. And the overall shape is closer to a '58 than the gibson '70's reissues.
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


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


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

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member oldflame's Avatar
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    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    Had many a 79-84 Tokai myself. Used to hunt them down in the free ad papers back in the late 80's and through into the 90's.Never got my hands on a LS200 though. That would have been a great score.
    Missing the real ale.

  19. #19

    Explorer Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    Quote Originally Posted by frazettafan View Post
    I've never tried out a lawsuit V but I hear they are pretty good.

    I don't have any problems with this one, but I heard Explorers suffer from tuning instability due to the string spread across the headstock? Anyone know if this is true?
    I own a 1984 lawsuit Tokai explorer. Bought new from a guitar shop in London called “ Allbang & Strumit” . It was made to order in 1984. Cost £352 which was a fair bit in those days. Gibson had finally reissued a korina style model with a black scratch plate but it was £900 and I wasn’t that rich then. It is free from any tuning issues and is a great guitar however, it has done a fair few gigs in its 35 years so condition is good to average. It’s solid mahogany but has a lighter coloured lacquer to give it its “korina” finish. I have no idea what it’s worth but I’m keeping it anyway. I will post some pictures at some point.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member oldflame's Avatar
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    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Megawatt70 View Post
    I own a 1984 lawsuit Tokai explorer. Bought new from a guitar shop in London called “ Allbang & Strumit” . It was made to order in 1984. Cost £352 which was a fair bit in those days. Gibson had finally reissued a korina style model with a black scratch plate but it was £900 and I wasn’t that rich then. It is free from any tuning issues and is a great guitar however, it has done a fair few gigs in its 35 years so condition is good to average. It’s solid mahogany but has a lighter coloured lacquer to give it its “korina” finish. I have no idea what it’s worth but I’m keeping it anyway. I will post some pictures at some point.
    That would have been John Gold who sold you that marvelous plank. Great little store that sadly went in the late 80's. John lives in the US now. Any top end Tokai was very difficult to find in the UK back in the 80's. Not many were imported via 'Blue Suede Music' who were the distributor. Mainly because they were pretty expensive. I think the LS 200 was quoted in the '84 catalogue price guide at 900 quid.
    Missing the real ale.

  21. #21

    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldflame View Post
    That would have been John Gold who sold you that marvelous plank. Great little store that sadly went in the late 80's. John lives in the US now. Any top end Tokai was very difficult to find in the UK back in the 80's. Not many were imported via 'Blue Suede Music' who were the distributor. Mainly because they were pretty expensive. I think the LS 200 was quoted in the '84 catalogue price guide at 900 quid.
    Thanks for the info. Great to learn more about that little shop in Covent Garden and sad that it went the way of so many. As I had ordered the Explorer, I had to go to the shop a couple of times and I walked in once to find them all gathered round one guy playing an old Strat which, it turned out; was an original 58’.
    Within minutes they handed it over to me to play. Really nice guys.

  22. #22

    Re: Old Tokai Explorer.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldflame View Post
    That would have been John Gold who sold you that marvelous plank. Great little store that sadly went in the late 80's. John lives in the US now. Any top end Tokai was very difficult to find in the UK back in the 80's. Not many were imported via 'Blue Suede Music' who were the distributor. Mainly because they were pretty expensive. I think the LS 200 was quoted in the '84 catalogue price guide at 900 quid.
    I used to collect lots of those old tokais, had two early 80s LS 200s one i still regret selling...

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Br31iIPnhuR/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

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