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Tokai Korean, any good?

parkerbro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
500
I've seen pics of Korean made Tokais, and they look gorgeous. Has anyone played one? How are they? thanks!
 

Lee Bob

Member
Messages
103
I currently own a Korean made Tokai PRS. Great guitar. It is far better than any other Korean made guitar I have played (Epi, PRS SE) and on par or better than many Japanese instruments (MIJ Fenders). The build quality is great and the stock electronics are quite good. I actually swapped the pickups for an SD C-5/59 set and quickly returned to the stock pickups. They just suited the guitar perfectly. I am currently gassing or a Korean made Tokai Love Rock Custom. Hence why I am selling the PRS copy in the Guitar Emporium.
 

rorschah

Member
Messages
540
Mine's for sale on Ebay right now:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7373753345&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMESE%3AIT&rd=1

I give you the straight scoop on mine and Korean Tokai's in general:

for a Korean guitar, excellent. Significantly better than Schecter C-1. Very LP Custom vibe - smooth, deep, resonant, beautiful. Fantastic sounding for the price. Especially the fingerboard wood - I liked the feel way more than modern standard Gibby necks.

Compared to 80's Japanese products: I think it's the equal of the 80's Ibanez Artist I have, better than one 80's Burny I had, and not as good as another 80's Burny that I played. (Admittedly, that second 80's Burny was as nice as a good Gibby.)

The neck on the Korean Tokai is slim. Slim, slim, slim. Great if you like 335 necks and shredder necks, terrible if, like me, you like big fat old Gibby style necks.

Pickups are alright. For metal and high gain stuff, fine. I would've changed 'em out if I'd kept it has my jazzer.

I got mine for $375. In the $350-$450 range, it's an insane value. Would have been one of my favorite guitars if it weren't for the neck.

Be warned: slim ******* neck.

There's probably somebody out there for whom a shredder neck slapped on top of a fat LP body is the perfect thing. I'm hopin' this baby ends up with one of them.

-thi
 

rorschah

Member
Messages
540
I know the above might have sounded like an ad, but it really ain't. Tokai's a good bargain. Really wish it had a fat neck.

My ratings of LP copies stuff I've owned: played, from best to worst.

1. 80's MIJ Burny Super Real Grade (these run $700-$900 in good condition) (I beleve the top of the line 80's MIJ Greco's are at this level too) (this I dig more than current standard-shop Gibby LP's)
2. 80's MIJ Greco (running $500-$600)
3. Korean Tokai (light, too!)
3. (tied) Ibanez Artist (heavy as sin, but a nice fat neck) (this is the one I'm currently playing) (cost me $375) (good deal for the sound, but maybe not in the doctor bills for my back years down the line. Love that wide neck, though)
3. (tied) regular grade Burny
4. Epiphone Elitist
5. Electra (from the same factory as Ibanez, I believe)
----- big cut-off in quality---------
6. current Yamaha AES620, taiwanese
------another big cut-off in quality----------
7. Korean Burny
8. Current Korean Epiphone

Burny's and such sport the slimmer Gibby neck (60's style), Korean Tokai has the slim-shredder neck, and Ibanez Artist has a wide neck, though not as baseball thick as the 50's Gibby neck. The new Yamaha AS series has an *awesome* fat neck, but doesn't sound quite as nice as my Ibanez Artist.

-thi
 

michael30

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,867
I have a Korea-made Tokai Jazz Bass. There were seven of them hanging on a rack in the store. I tried them all. Two of them were good and five of them were sort of dull and uninspiring. The one I have (one of the two good ones) was better than three MIJ Fender jazz basses which I also tried out during the same week.

The neck is nice, the workmanship is OK, the sound is surprisingly good. A good bargain provided you find the right one.

Michael
 

hour9

Member
Messages
444
Not to hijack the thread but this is kind of related.........

I've heard that many of these Korean guitars are assembled in the same shops by the same luthiers. The same people that put together one guitar make put together another.... If this is true then, there isn't much difference between the brands in terms of workmanship. The only difference would be design of the actual guitars.

This is just what I've been told and I've never been to Korea so I don't know if this is true. Does anyone out there have any factual knowledge about this?
 

1-Take-Wonder

Member
Messages
300
parkerbro said:
what is "burny"?
One of the so-called lawsuit brands made for sale in japan only. They're all over E-bay if you want to see a few.

On the newer Korean models, I've played the J-200 type acoustic and a Love Rock Les Paul. The J-200 was excellent and sounded right. there wasn't a Gibson model around to do a true comparo, but it was a sweet guitar, especially if you consider that you're getting it for a fraction of what the Gib costs. The Love Rock's neck feel was right if you like thicker Pauls, this particular model was PAISLEY so I wasn't really diggin the looks.
 

whitehall

Member
Messages
5,256
The yen is trading pretty low right now, for a little more money you can get a Japanese one from Ishibashi. The difference is night and day.
 

michael30

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,867
hour9 said:
Not to hijack the thread but this is kind of related.........

I've heard that many of these Korean guitars are assembled in the same shops by the same luthiers. The same people that put together one guitar make put together another.... If this is true then, there isn't much difference between the brands in terms of workmanship. The only difference would be design of the actual guitars.

This is just what I've been told and I've never been to Korea so I don't know if this is true. Does anyone out there have any factual knowledge about this?
That's the way guitars are made in Japan. There are a couple of big factories that make 90% of all japanese guitars. The japanese moved their low-end production to Korea to take advantage of lower labour costs, so I'm pretty sure they have the same system there. Kind of like how there are 3 big car manufacturers in the US but a lot of different brands.
 

parkerbro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
500
i've been to ishibashi's site and can only find fender guitars. does anyone have a web address?
 

whitehall

Member
Messages
5,256
Most of what Ishibashi sells is not on their website. The translated pages will drive you nuts. I have bought from them for years and they are first rate. Just email them ( I always use the same girl, Noriko Sada ) and tell them what you want.
 

Robert1950

Member
Messages
3,379
retro said:
I assume these are the Japanese Made Tokais. When I did the conversion, the LS75 came in at $601 Cdn.

Does anyone know the difference between the MK3 and the MK2 vintage 'PAF' pups?

I noticed that the more expensive LS120 comes with a brass saddle and aluminnum tailpiece. MK2 pus instead of MK3. $962 Cdn.

 




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