Edwards SA-125 archtop vs. Tokai ES-110 archtop

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by GuitarRuss, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. GuitarRuss

    GuitarRuss Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Hi there, I'm trying to decide between these two guitars, both are about the same price. Has anyone had a chance to compare these guitars?

    The 110 is the same guitar (as far as I can see) as the 120,130,135 and 155 except it doesn't have flamed maple, fancy fretboard markers and such, so if you've compared the other models, I'd like to know.
     
  2. willis lee

    willis lee Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Location:
    phoenix ,arizona
    curious as to why you choose these 2 guitars out of all the archtops out there ? can i see pic's ,and what are the prices ? i've been a player and collector for 30 years.
     
  3. GuitarRuss

    GuitarRuss Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    http://www.espguitars.co.jp/edwards/sa/E-SA-125LTS.html

    http://www.gitarrentotal.ch/node/934
    http://www.bmusic.com.au/prod4797.htm

    I've seen far better pictures posted here of these - there's one in this thread: http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=396070&highlight=tokai+335

    Both are very beautiful guitars with real attention to detail. Many users really love the necks on these guitars and often say they are equal to the real 335's or that they aren't better just different. They are both around $1000 plus shipping which is very reasonable for a guitar of this craftsmanship.
     
  4. devilrob1979

    devilrob1979 Member

    Messages:
    3,126
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    Mill Creek, WA
    Is the Tokai laminate? If so that's going to be your biggest difference as the Edwards aren't.
     
  5. GuitarRuss

    GuitarRuss Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    The Tokai is laminate. Some say that's better because the original 335's are too. I don't know about that, and would prefer to judge it on tone alone. I would be inclined to think a solid top would resonate better and in my experience guitars that are louder acoustically usually play better through the pickups.
     
  6. Vintage-tone

    Vintage-tone Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    623
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Location:
    Scottsdale AZ,Paris, EU
    Are you sure they d make a solid carved top on such a cheap instruments ???
    That sounds a lil odd .
    About every solid top 335 shaped axes I ve tried was sounding from crap to pretty F..ing far from a 335 ...
     
  7. hank

    hank Member

    Messages:
    1,729
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    My Tokai ES-130 is up to par with any Gibson 335 and I've had them all. I'm sure the Edwards is good. If you want a 335 clone, I'd go with 335 specs. The laminate part of the 335 is part of the deal. It's part of what makes a 335 happen.
     
  8. HRydarcik

    HRydarcik Member

    Messages:
    927
    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Solid tops are much more prone to warping and cracking...laminate tops are more stable.
     
  9. GuitarRuss

    GuitarRuss Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Thanks for that information. I'm currently living in Taiwan and have had problems with cracking on my bouzouki due to extreme moisture and temperature changes. I don't want to risk that with my new guitar.

    I pulled the trigger and ordered a cherry-red Tokai ES-125 it should be here next week. Man I can't wait! I'll let you guys know what I think. Thanks for the input.
     
  10. HRydarcik

    HRydarcik Member

    Messages:
    927
    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    I have a natural Tokai ES 120...great guitar...I prefer it over the 1997 Gibby 335 or 2000 Heritage 535 I owned....congrats!
     
  11. pacomc79

    pacomc79 Member

    Messages:
    1,517
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    The Cherry Red 125 is my favorite because of the mid 60's small block inlay. Let us know how it goes with ordering and shipping.. I want one too.
     
  12. GuitarRuss

    GuitarRuss Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    So my guitar arrived a few days ago. It arrived in great condition with perfect finish, no flaws or dings in a nice hardshell case. I have really been enjoying the feel of it and the variety of tones that I can get out of it. The pickups are quite nice, but I have to do some A/B'ing between guitars outfitted with other pickups to get more of a clear idea.

    The guitar sounds fantastic. I'm quite happy with the feel of the neck. The frets are really, really well done. I'm still getting used to the big change from a strat scale length but I played my first band practice with it the other night and it went really well. It sounded great with a bit of dirt and really pretty clean too. I played through a Fender Vibroverb and it was a nice match for clean tone and breakup. I play my first gig with it tomorrow night so it'll be trial by fire for the Tokai.

    The only thing that I didn't like was that the nut was cut way too thin. I don't know if they cut them all for guys who play 009's or something but even the 010's that came on the guitar were getting held up in the nut. I went to a local guitar shop that had nut files and regrooved them at 013, 17, 24, 34, 46, 56 so that I have the option to put on some serious jazz strings. I usually play 011 - to 56, but will try out some heavier gauges with this guitar. I know it's standard to have to set up your guitar but, I still think it's crazy not to file the nuts wider because so many people will assume the guitar can't intonate because it's pinching at the nut - giving the brand name a bad name.

    Another small annoyance was that the plaster dust covers for pickups were hard to get off, and got stuck along the sides so I had to raise the pickup all the way to get the plastic off. Nothing big, just took me 15 minutes to find the screwdriver and do it.

    These little things aside, I'm very happy so far. The case seems to be high quality, the guitar gets a lot of oohs and aahs from both players and non-players and it sounds great too. The versatility is the biggest thing though - Blues, Jazz, Rock 'n' Roll, Surf, Reggae, Rockabilly are all quite natural on this guitar.
     
  13. duaneallen

    duaneallen Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    OC/LA
  14. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

    Messages:
    15,571
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    In The Basement
    [​IMG]

    The pics I've seen of this posted here were beautiful. I'd like to find one used.
     
  15. GuitarRuss

    GuitarRuss Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Okay, I'll take some pictures soon. You guys are a bunch of guitar fetishists!
     
  16. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

    Messages:
    15,571
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    In The Basement
    And???
     
  17. GuitarRuss

    GuitarRuss Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    And... it's awesome! What can be more beautiful than a really well made guitar (besides a beautiful woman)?

    I played my first gig with the Tokai last night and it was great. I had on new strings - Eric Johnson .11's and they were quite nice. However, the Eric Johnson strings seemed to need more stretching than some other strings so I had to really yank on them between sets and then they kept their pitch through the second set quite well. The guitar sounded huge and I could get a nice range of tones.

    The only upgrade I'm considering is the volume pot for the neck pickup. The neck pickup is fairly dark to begin with and it quickly rolls off too much treble when I turn down the volume on it. I don't mind the roll-off on the bridge pickup because it is still has enough treble when it's turned down.
     

Share This Page