Tokai or Edwards LP?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Disco Scottie, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. Disco Scottie

    Disco Scottie Member

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Location:
    Longwood, FL
    This is for the Japanese LP experts (Lestercollector, I'm looking at you... ;))

    I can get an Edwards LP for around $800. I think I can get a Tokai LP for somewhere around $1200. Is the Tokai going to be worth the extra bucks, or is the Edwards a better value (since it comes stock with Duncans)?

    Just for point of reference, this will be my first LP-style guitar since the late 80s. I've owned a '71 Custom and an '85 Standard, and since '91 I'm a PRS guy with four currently in the house. I've had an LP jones for a while, but I don't want to go to Historic levels for such an itch-scratching. I'm essentially looking for a quality Gibby vibe at a reasonable price.
     
  2. AlexF

    AlexF Member

    Messages:
    961
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    manchester england
    Hi, not lestercollector, but hope you dont mind me butting in,
    if you are talking about new Tokai Japan vs Edwards and there is that price difference, its the Edwards hands down. Actually I am fairly (but not absolutely) sure that they are the same guitar with different logos and as you say, Edwards come with SD's stock. If you are talking older Tokai, it would still be the Edwards for me, unless it is an LS 100 or higher.
    Al
     
  3. currypowder

    currypowder Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    376
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I have no experience with Tokai's. However, I just purchased a new Edwards Jimmy Page LP about a week ago. Between the weight (very light, just over 7 lbs.), the tone, and the quality, I'm very happy with it. Granted, it's a few hundred more than a typical Edwards LP, but I'm glad I purchased it.

    I purchased my Edwards from Katana guitars. I bought it on Friday, he shipped it on Monday and it was delivered on Wednesday. I was not really expecting it until the following week. As most everyone here knows, the wait between the purchase and delivery of a guitar can be excruciating. Very seldom is one delivered several days earlier than expected. It was well packed. I would certainly buy another axe from Katana.

    Greg
     
  4. Lestercollector

    Lestercollector Supporting Member

    Messages:
    272
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Arizona
    Scottie:
    You are really asking two questions here: Which is a better value?, and which will hold or gain in value?

    The quality of the ESP Edwards is Fantastic, the dish in the top is very deep, and the electronics are great! The necks tend to be a bit chunky, and they can be a bit heavy. (not all mind you, just the ones I've owned) It is a true value for the money at $800-. Will it hold or gain in value like a Tokai? I don't think so because the Tokai's that are going up in value are the "Made in Japan" ones from the late 70s to somewhere around 89 or so.
    So it's like comparing a vintage guitar to a new guitar.

    As for the Tokai, I would need to know (as AlexF said) the model Tokai that you would get for the $1200-. Is it a Reborn? Reborn Old? LS-100?
    I could see that price for a Reborn (Im asking $1100- for my Reborn) As I stated above, the "Made in Japan" late 70s to 89 or so are the collectors pieces, for the most part, those are the ones that will go up in value regardless of the model number LS-50 - LS- 120 etc..
     
  5. Disco Scottie

    Disco Scottie Member

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Location:
    Longwood, FL
    Good to hear... that's who I would be getting my Edwards from as well!
     
  6. Disco Scottie

    Disco Scottie Member

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Location:
    Longwood, FL
    I'm really more concerned with the "better value" side. I don't buy for investment/recouping purposes, so how much it's worth in five or ten years isn't a factor here. I guess my question is more along the lines of, if I buy Edwards now, and I play Tokai down the road for comparison, will I be wishing I had spent more for the better quality from the beginning? Is the overall build and mojo that much nicer with Tokai?

    Oh, and to clear up which Tokai I'm talking about, it's the LS150. There's a UK shop that has really good pricing right now, and I can get one shipped in that $1200 range. If I go Edwards, it'll either be a cherry sunburst or the all-black Custom copy. Would there be any major quality differences between the Edwards Custom and Standard models?
     
  7. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

    Messages:
    2,187
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Location:
    MD
    (This might be long-winded, but I'm sorta snowed-in here so I have the time to type away :))

    There really shouldn't be much quality difference between the Edwards Standard or Custom, but they do offer two different finishes: Poly & Nitro Lacquer. Obviously the lacquer ones are a bit more expensive, but I don't believe they're much different. I haven't played a Tokai LP in many many years, but as others have suggested they can be fantastic. However, in the end I chose to go with an Edwards (E-LP-105LT/RE...the "Jimmy Page" relic'd one) as to me it was the best deal out there. I personally bought mine through Ishibashi (www.ishibashi.co.jp) & I have nothing but praise for them, but many here have bought through Katana & have had great experiences as well. Now, I did end up paying less through Ishibashi, but I also had to wait for them to order the guitar from ESP first which took a bit of time. I wasn't in a hurry though so it worked okay for me in the long run, but ymmv.

    AFAIK the LS150 comes with a solid flamed top so if that's a must for you then that'd be the way to go as I believe most of the Edwards flame top guitars are real wood veneers over solid maple (you'd be very hard pressed to tell though). In terms of relative quality between the two brands...well Lestercollector probably will be able to answer it best from personal experience. However, I did inquire with Ishibashi when I was still trying to decide between Edwards, Tokai, & Bacchus and from what they said it's pretty much a toss up in that department. So, I went with the Edwards as to me it was the best buy for my money, but overall you probably won't go wrong no matter which way you go. Just don't forget to post pics when you get it. :D

    On a side note: I was at GC this past week buying a case for my Edwards (got a KILLER deal on an SKB :)) and they have a real Gibby Jimmy Page LP there for sale. I didn't get around to trying it out, but I had my Edwards with me (checking for fit in the cases) and even the sales guy I was talking to at the time was shocked at the similarity. Now, don't get me wrong I'd trade the Edwards for the Gibby in a hot minute, but it definitely made me feel quite secure in my decision to get this guitar.

    Some pics of my Edwards here fwiw: http://community.webshots.com/album/473711002WinYrl
     
  8. gassyndrome

    gassyndrome Member

    Messages:
    1,546
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Location:
    sunny Australia
    I'm sure some other Tokai buffs will correct me if I'm wrong, but if your buying a Tokai from England I'm pretty sure it will come with an altered (not Gibson open moustache) headstock right? Have you checked?

    My Jap ES-120 has the correct headstock and it makes all the difference in regards to the 'cool factor'.:cool:
     
  9. Lestercollector

    Lestercollector Supporting Member

    Messages:
    272
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Arizona
    :AOK I would go with the Edwards for the money
     
  10. Dizzie

    Dizzie Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Tokai. You get the benefit of a history of good-to-great LP copies. The last time a played a LS150 was a while again and I remember it being great. Felt most solid of the many LP copies.

    Edwards...more flash than substance in most cases. Very thin veneer flame top if not photoflame on many models. I wouldn't let $160 of pickups be the deciding factor. Remember that ESP gets SD pickups for virtually nothing and can throw them on any ESP brand because of ESP's relationship with Duncan.

    I think they are overpriced, but there are some great looking Epi (Japan) Elitist out there. Veneer tops also though.
     
  11. Lesterman123

    Lesterman123 Member

    Messages:
    129
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I was recently in Japan and played both Edwards and Tokais, both guitars are great, the JP Edwards model is fantastic, but in the end I had to go with a Tokai LS-150 hands down.
     
  12. Disco Scottie

    Disco Scottie Member

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Location:
    Longwood, FL
    By "flash" are you referring just to the veneers? Or are you saying the rest of the instrument is not up to snuff? So far the Edwards fans are winning the battle in this thread... :)
     
  13. utterhack

    utterhack Member

    Messages:
    3,075
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Location:
    SF: Mission
    Just for the record, the Elitists rock SOLID maple tops, NOT veneer. Long neck tenon too, for those keeping score at home.

    Serious quality for the buck, if neither as HAWT nor as versatile as the Edwards Page. I like the plaintop, m'self.
     
  14. Lestercollector

    Lestercollector Supporting Member

    Messages:
    272
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Arizona
    Scottie:
    Here's another way to look at it. Value wise, $800- for the Edwards is a good price. Value and investment wise, the Tokai LS-150 if you have the cash. In the end, both are great guitars, but the Tokai will go up in value and the Edwards may not, but it will always be a good value guitar.

    Or you can be like me and just buy one of everything over time...
     
  15. Lestercollector

    Lestercollector Supporting Member

    Messages:
    272
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Arizona
    I respectfully disagree:
    Edwards are known for the top quality craftmanship, finish and deep dish top, and regardless of what ESP pays for the SD pups it's still a $160- value to the buyer. I've owned just about every Japanese LP Clone out there and the ESP Edwards is great quality for the money.
     
  16. AlexF

    AlexF Member

    Messages:
    961
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    manchester england
    I would go Edwards if it is a purely playing choice, given the price difference. You will not be disappointed by the Edwards quality.
    Al
     
  17. valcotone

    valcotone Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,690
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2002
    Location:
    Canada
    I agree. I've got an Edwards P90 Gold Top and it is killer. Thick maple top on that one (no thin veneer) and good chunky neck. Plays very well and sounds great!

    Edwards all the way!! Here 'tis:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. currypowder

    currypowder Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    376
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Skil,

    That's sweet. Katana put one just like that up on ebay late last week. It was light, too, at just over 8 lbs. It was there for about 8 hours before someone snagged it. I was just too indecisive. I definately want one of those and will keep my eyes open when another one is put up.

    Greg
     

Share This Page