Japan Made Les Pauls - which brands are best?

james...

Supporting Member
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2,798
People who have played a good amount of these, which ones are consistently really good? I'm talking Edwards, tokai, burny, greco.... Or any others.. I've Owned an orville. It was good. Better than an epiphone. Probably not quite as good as a good gibson.
 

thrashmetl

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4,430
The best bang for the buck right now if you're looking for something with a more substantial neck, '59ish, not too big not too small, are either the Bacchus Classic Series or the Epiphone LQ Series (not Elite/Elitist).

I have a Bacchus LP and SG from the Classic Series, now discontinued for a few years, and it is absolutely on par with any Gibson Standard I've ever played.
 

'59Fatburst

Supporting Member
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733
I've owned and played a ton of Japanese LP style guitars and my favorites have always been the Burny RLC series. They're well made, play and look great, have a great vibe and have the traditional headstock. Plus, they're priced pretty reasonably...For now.
 
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268
The new Burny RLC line is fantastic (vintage ones are great, too). The 55 model is the entry version made in China - very nice guitar for the price. Going up the line, the 115 is still made in Japan and flat-out rules. The feel, construction and sound are top notch. 115 stands for the price in yen (115k).

Now, that's the "custom" line. If you dig a burst instead of the black/gold look, I recommend the RLG series from Burny/Fernandes.

Same deal - model number corresponds to the price.
 
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vbf

Silver Supporting Member
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4,931
I recently waded into the MIJ LP pool with an Edwards E-LP-120CD/QM and could not be any happier with it. A few years ago I had a Gibson LP Custom 68 RI and the Edwards very much reminds me of it. It's a marvelous instrument! Here's some pics:












 

guitarnut_1

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1,983
I think the specs of a high end Tokai model are close to a Gibson Historic (one piece body and neck, solid maple top, nitro.... still the mahogany used is african "mahogany", which is not a macrofilia... e.g. different plant and different species.). Still, I think you can't go wrong with a good Tokai, but the high end models are pricewise close to Gibson Custom Shop...

FWIW I did have a Burny LP custom and it was built very well, but I think the body was massively chambered (very light!) and the pickups were complete crap. So bare those 2 things in mind.
 

bob-i

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8,776
I've had my Edwards LP for 10 years now, I wouldn't trade it for anything, simply a great guitar at any price. I've only done setups twice in 10 years. All I do is keep fresh strings on it and play.

I've played others, some good, some really good.

 

telelion

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2,682
Nice guitar blues. I have a late 80's Burny that is surely equal(I think) to the best of the current non custom shop Gibsons.

If I were you James(OP), I would go vintage MIJ. That is my specialty and I've played vintage, CS, boutique, etc. and they are the best bang for a serious quality instrument for let's say one fourth or more of the price. If you're interested this has about as much info as is probably known on the subject. I clicked it on the Burny page but the whole site is great.

http://www.japanguitars.co.uk/burny info.html
 

Mark Kane

Gold Supporting Member
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3,740
From '78 thru '93 you could probably by a better Japanese LP style guitar on a one to one basis. Since then though not so much. The historic line changed all that. To,get an equivalent LP now the Japanese guitars will cost just as much and won't say Gibson on the headstock. That's just the way it is.
 

bob-i

Member
Messages
8,776
From '78 thru '93 you could probably by a better Japanese LP style guitar on a one to one basis. Since then though not so much. The historic line changed all that. To,get an equivalent LP now the Japanese guitars will cost just as much and won't say Gibson on the headstock. That's just the way it is.
Really? I paid 89,000 yen for my Edwards 10 years ago. My research shows that today I would pay ~100,000 yen today. In US$ that's $660 and $810. Show me a Gibson LP custom for $810 today.
 
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268
From '78 thru '93 you could probably by a better Japanese LP style guitar on a one to one basis. Since then though not so much. The historic line changed all that. To,get an equivalent LP now the Japanese guitars will cost just as much and won't say Gibson on the headstock. That's just the way it is.
Nonsense.
 

Mc Tanza

Member
Messages
236
I think the specs of a high end Tokai model are close to a Gibson Historic (one piece body and neck, solid maple top, nitro.... still the mahogany used is african "mahogany", which is not a macrofilia... e.g. different plant and different species.). Still, I think you can't go wrong with a good Tokai, but the high end models are pricewise close to Gibson Custom Shop...

FWIW I did have a Burny LP custom and it was built very well, but I think the body was massively chambered (very light!) and the pickups were complete crap. So bare those 2 things in mind.
The high end Tokai models use both Honduras mahogany for the body and neck and Brazilian Rosewood for the fretboard. So it's actually the other way around: The Gibson Historic ones are close to them spec wise.
 

guitarnut_1

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1,983
The high end Tokai models use both Honduras mahogany for the body and neck and Brazilian Rosewood for the fretboard. So it's actually the other way around: The Gibson Historic ones are close to them spec wise.
Probably the top of the line models which cost as much as a Gibson historic... althou I am not aware of a CURRENT Tokai model that uses real macrofilia mahogany.... and for all we know, Gibson uses real honduran mahogany on all the historic models (probably grown in Fiji, but still the same plant!) African "mahogany" is not real mahogany, it is similar, but that's a different plant.
 

guitarnut_1

Member
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1,983
Would a Tokai Love Rock be considered high end?
You'd have to look at the exact model number LS120, LS50, LS260... whatever. The higher the number, the higher the model. Love Rock means it's a Les Paul... nothing more.
 

Last

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4,279
I've refinished a Burny and it had the thinnest maple cap I've ever dealt with.

It was a nice looking veneer on the other hand.
 

zztomato

Supporting Member
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11,410
There are so many good copies it would be hard to pin down the best. Within each brand you'll have a scale of quality and features. The numbering system is popular with most manufactures- like with Tokai LS-50, 60, 80, 100 120. I think there are some great bargains on the used market for recent mid quality LPs - Edwards, Bacchus, History, Tokai- all great guitars that will easily compete with mid level Gibson but for much less money.
 




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