Do Tokai Love Rock's really compare to R9's?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Occam, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. Occam

    Occam Member

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    The higher end Love Rock's that is. I just played a really nice R9 and I just absolutely love the neck on it...it's amazing how much better you can play when you're had is more comfortable. I haven't played an R9 in years but I don't remember the neck being this beefy, it was a thing of beauty. Like a lot of folks I can't afford the price tag of the Gibby right now...I've heard a ton of great things about the Japanese Love Rock's especially the top of the line models (I can't recall the model #'s right now) but if the wood and construction really compares to the R9's I think I'm all there...I'll worry about the electronics later.
     
  2. Mark Kane

    Mark Kane Silver Supporting Member

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    The LS320 is very comparable in overall quality.
     
  3. whitehall

    whitehall Member

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    I would always rather have the Gibson. I've owned 4 tokais and found it close to impossible to get rid of them. If you live outside of the USA that's different. Look on ebay under completed items.
     
  4. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    Were they LS320's?

    Matte had one that was impressive as hell. Did not pale at all next to his R9s.
     
  5. peacock72

    peacock72 Guest

    Check out www.tokaiforum.com. Lots of info on Tokai's. Love my LS200 to DEATH! Wasn't as crazy about the pickups, but that's been squared away. The LS320 has Seth Lovers I believe. Wiring, caps and pots are top notch...bumblebee caps, CTS Pots, etc... I think aquiring a new LS320 would cost you as much as a used R9 though, and used LS320s rarely come around.
     
  6. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    I don't know much about Tokai - where are they made?
    Are they all the same quality or are some high-end, others budget (and how does one tell)?
    Thanks for any insight...
    Will check the Forum mentioned above.
     
  7. hans-jürgen

    hans-jürgen Member

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    The neck is one of the best parts in my opinion on all Tokai Love Rocks. I have a 1981 LS-120 with a '60 neck with fret binding which is very comfortable for my rather small hands. My LS-60 from 1984 has a '58 large neck which also plays fine, but is a bit harder to play for a longer time because of its profile, not its quality of craftsmanship.

    The LS-320 comes with Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers, so it's probably unnecessary to change them. But as this is a custom shop model anyhow (takes three months after ordering like the LS-200, too), you can define the finish and the pickups, too. At least this is true for new models from the Tokai UK site:

    http://www.tokai-guitars.co.uk/custom.htm

    More info can be found on www.tokairegistry.com and its forum.
     
  8. Occam

    Occam Member

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    Hans....thanks for the link. I didn't know they made paisley guitars as well....it's a bit odd but I think something unique like that might be cool.
     
  9. hans-jürgen

    hans-jürgen Member

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    Yes, they have a lot of different finishes available, also in the past, e.g. copies of the Duane Allman darkburst or the Dickey Betts cherry red over goldtop finishes as well as the one for Zakk Wylde. They offer original series with modern shapes and construction techniques, too, e.g. a sort of pancake body where the middle part serves as an improved transport for the sound waves through the body.
     
  10. Occam

    Occam Member

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    How do some of the other Tokai's compare to the LS320's? I'm also curious about their 335 copy.
     
  11. hans-jürgen

    hans-jürgen Member

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    The general consensus is that older Reborns/Love Rocks from the late '70s to mid '80s made in Japan are all very good, some say that the newer ones made in Korea can be good or bad (only lower version numbers anyhow). The version number has always been a simple price tag in Yen x 1,000, so a 1981 LS-100 has of course more expensive features than a 2005 LS-100 (pickups, wood, finish, fret binding etc.). The ES models are also very good guitars, I once played a natural ES copy in a shop which was great, and the buyers of new models also agree on that in the Tokai forum.
     
  12. loverocker

    loverocker Member

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    Just remember that Korean Love Rocks have as much to do with Japanese Love Rocks as Epiphones have to do with Gibsons. :) They may be great bargains, but not one Tokai luthier has touched them.

    For Japanese guitars, I don't think Tokai has a true Custom Shop, but the top-of-the-range models are done by proper luthiers with lots of hand crafting, and so there's some scope. This is my LS-320 with a mild flame 1-piece top (after a very long wait):

    [​IMG]
     
  13. peacock72

    peacock72 Guest

    Here's a pic of my LS-200. Pics don't do it justice. The finish is actually darker than in the pics, more like "Honey Burst".
    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/peacock72
    Never tried a LS320, but the LS200 is amazing. Workmanship is so amazingly clean and it plays like butter. I wasn't crazy about the Gotoh pickups. They were far from bad, but I wanted something with a bit more vintage character. They seemed a bit flat. Loverocker, that LS320 is amazing! That top has a lot of character.
     
  14. JSD

    JSD Member

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    While that may be true, technically speaking, the Korean made Tokais are made under licence and are a well made guitar and a great value, not to mention a better guitar than the Epis...:p

    BTW, those are some nice one you guys got there....;)

    [​IMG]
     

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