Tokai Love Rocks - How Good Compared to Production LPs?

hardys

Member
Messages
1,738
I've been looking at some auctions on Ebay for Tokai Love Rocks. $820.00 shipped seems too good to be true. How do these stack up to real production LPs and EPI Elitist LPs? How's the wood? Are the bodies solid mahogany or sandwiched layers? I'd love it if you could just replace the hardware and electronics and have a reasonably good LP.

Thoughts?
 

JLee

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,790
Depends on the model number. Haven't really followed Tokai guitars since I purchased my LS200 a few years back. The model number represents the price in Japanese Yen as well as serving to distinguish the different models/specs. www.tokaiforum.com
is the best place to learn about Japanese guitars, especially Tokai obviously. I think the lower end Japanese made guitars sport 3 piece backs and possibly 3 piece tops with flame maple veneers for flame top models, poly finish and Gotoh pickups and hardware. Pots and caps are usually the only weak spot on the lower model guitars. Edwards is another Japanese builder to check out. Great guitars and phenomenal bang for the buck. I personally think Edwards is impossible to beat in the performance/price ratio.
 

deoreo

Member
Messages
303
Since the Tokai range runs from inexpensive models to ultra-top-shelf models, it depends.

As already stated poke around at tokaiforum to get a good idea.

I will say that if you compare similar price points from Gibson, and Tokai - the Tokai is a better guitar. IMHO the Tokai LS-50 and LS-60 guitars are far better than a current standard Gibson Les Paul, and the LS-80 on up (LS-120, LS-135 etc...) are better than custom shop Gibson historic models, such as the R8, R9, and R0.

My 1983 Tokai LS-120:
 

indravayu

Senior Member
Messages
1,715
I've been looking at some auctions on Ebay for Tokai Love Rocks. $820.00 shipped seems too good to be true. How do these stack up to real production LPs and EPI Elitist LPs? How's the wood? Are the bodies solid mahogany or sandwiched layers? I'd love it if you could just replace the hardware and electronics and have a reasonably good LP.
I have a 2005 LS-70 (which I think is now an LS-85 - they change the model numbers every couple years as the price goes up) - really great guitar (my guitar tech loves it, too - he raved about it when I first took it in to be serviced by him - he thought it was much, much better than the current Gibsons that he was seeing in his shop). Definitely make sure that you get a Japanese-made model - the Korean-made ones are more budget guitars (comparable to your average Epiphone).

Mine has a 3-piece body - the more expensive models are probably one piece, but I don't know for sure (Tokai makes some very high end models, too, that rival Gibsons in price). It also has a bone nut, one-piece set neck, and rosewood fretboard. You can read specs (under the "Vintage" tab, then LS-85) at Tokai's website:

http://www1.odn.ne.jp/tokaigakki/top/index.html

I replaced the pickups (w/WCR Fillmores), electronics (w/RS Guitarworks kit) and bridge/tailpiece (w/TonePros) on mine and have a guitar that can hang with any current production Gibson. The tone is very thick and chunky and I get great sustain.

- Chris
 
Messages
93
I've fond a brand new LS85S Gold Top on ebay.

How does the new Tokai compare to the old?

Can a new LS85S Goldtop, which seems to been called the LS95S now, actually compare to a Gibson GoldTop?
 

soldersucker

Member
Messages
2,680
Not really a Lester lover but i couldn't pass on this 84 Goldtop for 300.00 used last year.It feels/sounds
every bit as good as any gibson ive played.
 

56_Special

Member
Messages
2,004
Tokai's are great guitars. You really can't go wrong. The lower end ones are great for the money (and sometimes just plain great), whereas the high end ones are truly top shelf.
 

indravayu

Senior Member
Messages
1,715
I've fond a brand new LS85S Gold Top on ebay.

How does the new Tokai compare to the old?

Can a new LS85S Goldtop, which seems to been called the LS95S now, actually compare to a Gibson GoldTop?
Well, the older 70's/80's Tokai's have become collector items recently, so they're getting expensive, and they do have the benefit of aged wood now, so they're probably a little nicer tone-wise.
I have never played an old Tokai, so I can't tell you from personal experience how they compare to the newer ones. All that I can tell you is that my modded LS-70 is a great guitar and holds its own against modern Gibsons - even ones that are twice its price (I paid less than a grand for mine, including shipping from Europe).

- Chris
 




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