How are vintage Tokai Ls-120s going for more than ESP Navigators?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Dumo, Jan 10, 2008.


  1. Dumo

    Dumo Supporting Member

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    There's an '81 Tokai going for $2k+ and I've seen two, "like new", Navigators go for $1,600ish lately. Are the old Tokais better or are Navigators just unknown to people? I've heard Navigators are some of the nicest LPs out there. Anyone own or played both?
     
  2. hackenfort

    hackenfort Supporting Member

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    Vintage, which IMO is $$$$=HYPE
     
  3. dspblues

    dspblues Silver Supporting Member

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    Not sure... I think the Tokai's you're talking about aren't their top of the line, but the Navigators are. If I were looking to spend a little money, I'd probably be looking for a Tokai LS-320 or 360. Not sure what the equivalent Navigator is, but I think they are at most $2500. It's a lot for a Gibby knock off, but I hear they are far better than the R9's.
     
  4. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    He's talking about an '81 LS-120. That may well have been top of the line back then. The number refers to the price in yen. Taking inflation into account, a LS-120 would have been a very pricey guitar in '81. I'd check over at the Tokai registry. It's not surprising that an '81 LS-120 would go for more than a new Navigator.
     
  5. Dumo

    Dumo Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I realize that $1,200 back in '81 was some scratch but are they that good or just a collector's item? If I can get a high end Navigator for the price of Gibby Standard it seems like a no brainer to me. Anybody played both?
     
  6. dspblues

    dspblues Silver Supporting Member

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    Ah, ok... didn't know they did that w/the model #s. Thanks for the info.
     
  7. deoreo

    deoreo Member

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    I nearly bought a 1981 Navigator, see the thread about it here:
    http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=8370&highlight=navigator

    I then bought this 1983 Tokai LS-120:
    [​IMG]

    It is better in every possible way, compared to the Navigator....(heck.... even compared to a Gibson historic...YMMY...yada-yada ;))​

    Old Tokai stuff is amazing - I also have a 1984 Tokai TPB-64 - A clone of a 1964 Fender P bass, that is just flat out awesome, too.​
     
  8. Dumo

    Dumo Supporting Member

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    Nice board and top!
     
  9. dspblues

    dspblues Silver Supporting Member

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    Wow, that's pretty.
     
  10. Jason_86_951

    Jason_86_951 Supporting Member

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    The LS120 in 1981 would have cost 120,000 yen.
    At the time $1us was around 220 yen.
    So about $545 US, which modified for inflation would be $1200.

    The LS120 was not the top of the line, even back then. Still a nice guitar though.
     
  11. deoreo

    deoreo Member

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    thanks guys! -It actually sounds, and plays better than it looks, too.
    I got it from a seller in Germany, and it was PLEK'ed recently, before sold, so the frets were like new when I received it.

    The early Tokai LS guitars are some of the best LP clones out there, and while I love my '83, I feel that the 1979 LS-120, and LS-200 are the best Les Paul clones....period...IMHO.

    Check out a few of them here (not affiliated with the site, they do have some cool guitars, though):
    http://www.japanguitars.co.uk/page 6 Tokai.html
     
  12. Jason_86_951

    Jason_86_951 Supporting Member

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    This beauty will be showing up at my door tomorrow.
    2006 LS-165
    [​IMG]
     
  13. greuvin

    greuvin Member

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    I have never played the navigator, but I own an '80 Tokai LS-120 Reborn (with commensurate playwear). It's my player. Tokai made an LS-150 and LS-200, but the 200 was special order for artists only so very few of those were made. Doubt we'll ever see one here. I've only seen the LS-150 once on a japanese website. Squirt!!!!:rotflmao

    Pics here...
    http://www.gbase.com/Stores/Gear/GearDetails.aspx?Item=1703644

    PS. No comments on my asking price please. The price is such because I'm keeping it forever.
     
  14. reddgeetarzan

    reddgeetarzan Supporting Member

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    Do all these have the long neck tenon? That Navigator you showed didn't appear to have one....
    These are nice guitars, but I'd still buy the Gibby over the Tokai if they were both $2500!!!
     
  15. jbbusybee

    jbbusybee Member

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    That looks great. I ordered an Edwards ELP 130 LTS RE, which looks like it's stuck in customs, I'll post photos when it arrives.
     
  16. 58gasman

    58gasman Member

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    The early 80's Tokai's had a medium tenon. I think the top of the line Tokai's started getting the long Tenon around 83 but don't quote me on that.

    Personally, I owned an old Tokai and while it weighed a ton was one of the best sounding Les Paul style guitars I have played.
     
  17. buckwild

    buckwild Silver Supporting Member

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    WOW!!!! Where did you get that?
     
  18. currypowder

    currypowder Silver Supporting Member

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    I have the almost exact same guitar, 80 LS-120 Reborn Old, and a newer 03 LS-320 (that I actually bought from Tommy, thanks again). These are 2 of the best LP's I've ever played, and neither of them are going anywhere (I toyed with selling the 120 but came to my senses). The LS-120 has upgraded electonics and pickups (Wolfetone Marshallheads) and weighs about 8.5 lbs. It just seem to respond better to slightly hotter more aggresive pickups. The LS-320 is dead stock (Seth Lovers) and is basically an R9 with Brazillian Rosewood Fretboard. Neither was cheap, but both were well worth what I paid for them. I've been through a few Gibby historics, and I keep coming back to these 2.

    The 120 has a medium tenon and the 320 has a long tenon.

    The 120

    [​IMG]

    And the 320

    [​IMG]
     
  19. greuvin

    greuvin Member

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    Curry, you DO have awesome taste in gitfiddles.:AOK
     
  20. hank

    hank Member

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    Currypowder, I still hate you!!!! ;):drool
     

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