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Ok this is not a 1957 Gibson LP Custom Reissue but...

wulfthar

New member
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
36
...close enough.

Tokai KLS345BB, three pickups, Bigsby, nitro finish, ebony fingerboard with binding OVER the frets.

90914196_3057456357644470_7515025005046923264_n.jpg


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Nice case too, even if not historically accurate:

91923018_3057456247644481_1896094865658216448_n.jpg


Coil split and unknown (paper and oil?) capacitors:

91177006_3059738257416280_4601935678161289216_o.jpg


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Funky flower on the headstock.

91829788_3057273300996109_8129941086337499136_o.jpg


Here with my R0...overall it´s a very nice guitar, besides the giant neck, but alas Tokai doesn´t make ´60s reissues for what I understand.

I don´t find the pickup wiring much useful, I assume I should resolder the pots as three non master volumes or adopt the magic 6 positions switch. The Gotoh MkII pickups are OK but nothing special, and due to the B7 being not the best in tune vibrato I might also switch to Grover locking tuners.

I understand this is mainly a Gibson forum but I hope some members will appreciate this Japanese clone as well.
 

Aloha_Ark

Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
122
Always good to own more than one example of a guitar. Have you been able to date the Tokai?

One of the unusual things other sellers have done to their MIJ guitars is to swap the pickups for Gibson ones. This can be expensive, but you can try '57 Classics or T-tops. Doing it on a Tokai LP Custom (or any custom) can get expensive since you need 3 pickups, with the middle one being a pain to acquire. I've had good experience with a T-top in the neck position of a Greco LP (not custom) clone.
 

wulfthar

New member
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
36
Always good to own more than one example of a guitar. Have you been able to date the Tokai?

One of the unusual things other sellers have done to their MIJ guitars is to swap the pickups for Gibson ones. This can be expensive, but you can try '57 Classics or T-tops. Doing it on a Tokai LP Custom (or any custom) can get expensive since you need 3 pickups, with the middle one being a pain to acquire. I've had good experience with a T-top in the neck position of a Greco LP (not custom) clone.

Hello the guitar is from 2018 and I bought it new from the shop who placed this special order. For the pickups it´s a little early, the Gotohs are decent and I was thinking about Dimarzio PAF 36th anniversary or something custom order, John Benson made a good job with my R0 bridge pickup.

I am undecided if to go with uncovered humbuckers on this guitar due to the aesthetics of the ´57 Custom.

However the next incoming upgraded are a bell shaped truss rod cover engraved Love Rock and correct bell shaped knobs with gold pointers.
 

metropolis

Active member
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
306
due to the B7 being not the best in tune vibrato I might also switch to Grover locking tuners.

Looks great! I would start by checking the nut and bridge are cut correctly and lubricated before looking at locking tuners. Speaking from experience of 2 Bigsbies!
 

wulfthar

New member
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
36
Looks great! I would start by checking the nut and bridge are cut correctly and lubricated before looking at locking tuners. Speaking from experience of 2 Bigsbies!

Thank you, I have seen Gretsch are the best tuned Bigsby guitars and they have locking tuners. In this guitar the saddle are VERY WELL cut, but of course it´s not a roller bridge. The nut is bone and it´s also well cut...also I am an 80s heavy metal guitarist so I dive bomb a lot!:yah:yah:yah

Can I get that in a hard tail? Looks like a complete winner !!!

So, this guitar is a KLC345BB, that means a special order from Kurosawa Gakki, that is a franchise of musical instruments shop. In short you can get it just from them. In the paperwork it is specified that the base model is the regular production Tokai LC230S, that goes for 250.000 yen (list price) but should be a traditional maple/mahogany sandwich Lesp...ehm Love Rock:

http://www.real-standard.com/stock/tokai/lc230sbb_1941503/lc230sbb_1941503.html

This one in comparison to the base model has a B7, one additional Gotoh MkII (decent pickups, I would rate it better than a BB but slightly inferior to a 57 classic) , and two push pull split switches.

https://reverb.com/item/16865425-tokai-klc320bb-1840542-3-94kg-order-model-ebony-fingerboard

Kurosawa also had another custom made KLC320BB, but I don´t know how much it changes in comparison to the base model, perhaps it has a one piece mahogany body like this one. However again it´s a K guitar and it appears it has been discontinued, of the 345 they had two piece, mine is serial number 554, the other is 555.

So, if you want a correct rip...ehm replica or an all mahongany Custom with three pickups, you can just contact these guys, otherwise the LC230 model is readily available. For my side I always wanted to get a R0 Custom, but I wasn´t inclined to spend $7000 for a new one, besides the funky inlay this Tokai ticks all the boxes: mahogany body, 3 pickups, ebony fingerboard, nitro finish, binding over the frets...to be honest I´d rather not have the B7 but to the rarity of these guitars I decided to get it. Right now it is slowly growing on me...it has a peculiar spongy feel I have never experienced before.
 
Last edited:

rockabilly69

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
2,725
Thank you, I have seen Gretsch are the best tuned Bigsby guitars and they have locking tuners. In this guitar the saddle are VERY WELL cut, but of course it´s not a roller bridge. The nut is bone and it´s also well cut...also I am an 80s heavy metal guitarist so I dive bomb a lot!:yah:yah:yah



So, this guitar is a KLC345BB, that means a special order from Kurosawa Gakki, that is a franchise of musical instruments shop. In short you can get it just from them. In the paperwork it is specified that the base model is the regular production Tokai LC230S, that goes for 250.000 yen (list price) but should be a traditional maple/mahogany sandwich Lesp...ehm Love Rock:

http://www.real-standard.com/stock/tokai/lc230sbb_1941503/lc230sbb_1941503.html

This one in comparison to the base model has a B7, one additional Gotoh MkII (decent pickups, I would rate it better than a BB but slightly inferior to a 57 classic) , and two push pull split switches.

https://reverb.com/item/16865425-tokai-klc320bb-1840542-3-94kg-order-model-ebony-fingerboard

Kurosawa also had another custom made KLC320BB, but I don´t know how much it changes in comparison to the base model, perhaps it has a one piece mahogany body like this one. However again it´s a K guitar and it appears it has been discontinued, of the 345 they had two piece, mine is serial number 554, the other is 555.

So, if you want a correct rip...ehm replica or an all mahongany Custom with three pickups, you can just contact these guys, otherwise the LC230 model is readily available. For my side I always wanted to get a R0 Custom, but I wasn´t inclined to spend $7000 for a new one, besides the funky inlay this Tokai ticks all the boxes: mahogany body, 3 pickups, ebony fingerboard, nitro finish, binding over the frets...to be honest I´d rather not have the B7 but to the rarity of these guitars I decided to get it. Right now it is slowly growing on me...it has a peculiar spongy feel I have never experienced before.


I have three Gretsch Bigsby guitars, and only one has locking tuners, but the other two stay in tune fine. Lubricate everything in the string path and make sure to properly stretch the strings before blaming the Bigsby for bad tuning.
 
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