Price paid: £ 180
Purchased from: EBAY
Features: The model I have is made in Korea. It is very similar in many ways to a real Les Paul, but for much less money. It has thin frets and a thin neck which really suits me. I don't have small hands, but have found the neck size and layout to be a perfect fit for me. The body is basswood and has a set neck. Two humbuker pickups made by Tokai, and the usual set up of a Les Paul with tone and volume knobs. Its pretty standard when it comes to features as you get what you expect, nothing more and nothing less. No fancy additions, just a basic Les Paul style guitar. // 9
Sound: I am using this guitar for various types of music and keep coming back to it as my go to guitar. I get a great blues sound out of it, especially using both neck and bridge pickups together. I get a great Angus Young sound out of it, and also a great Dimebag tone and Metallic boom! In fact, this guitar is brilliant for every type of music I have tried. Many of my other guitars I use for a particular style. But this little Tokai can cope with anything. I am playing it with overloud TH2 at the moment, and I love it. I know the pickups are not the most expensive on the market, but I happy with them and personally think that as they are decent and flexible it would be a waste of time changing them. Why fix what isn't broken? Overall, I am very happy with the sound of this guitar for all my needs. I can get a twangy blues Drive and I can also get a thick, rich, ass kicking metal distortion. On top of that, this guitar can really scream. This is my go to guitar every time. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: I bought this guitar second hand off eBay. It had already been played with and so I wasn't able to see it straight from the factory. However, it was a gigged guitar and so had the odd little ding here and there. When I got it, I had to raise the bridge a little, and I also changed a lot of the fittings to get a custom look. Ignoring the little dents from gigging, this guitar is flawless. Everything is tidy, and looks high quality. There are no wobbly lines, or gaps, or overlaps. Everything looks measured and fitted with care. I was very surprised with it when I first pulled it out of the box. I had been advised that they were good guitars, but based on the RRP I was expecting a low end guitar, both in feel and construction. What I got was guitar which felt like it should have a higher price tag. I have more expensive guitars which feel cheaper and are less well constructed than this one. There were no buzzes, no annoying little issues. My one gripe is that I felt the neck was a touch sticky with its glossy paint job. I have sorted this a with a bit of wire wool. // 9
Reliability & Durability: This guitar is very solid. It is heavy and possibly some may be put off by the weight. You could certainly knock nails in with it. Previously I have played a few Gibsons, including a Les Paul Custom, which weighed a tonne. I don't think this guitar is as heavy, but it is certainly very solid. I think it will last a long time, even gigging as it is a fair chunk of wood. So far everything has stayed solid and in good working order. I play this guitar more than any other and yet I seem to do more work on my other guitars than this one. It stays in tune for ages and always sounds great. The electronics have not given me any trouble and seem as solid as the body itself. // 10
Overall Impression: I was advised to have a look at this guitar model by a friend who collected Gibsons and Fenders. He had some very expensive guitars, and told me that his beloved Tokai left them all standing. I saw one on eBay for 180 and gave it a go. I have to say that I am so glad I did. I keep coming back to this guitar as I love the look, I love the feel and I love the sound. It suits me perfectly and always leaves me a little disappointed when I play other guitars. None quite match up to it. I have been playing over 15 years and I have been through many guitars. I have had really crappy cheapo guitars and have also owned and played mid end and top end guitars. Finding this guitar was a big thing for me as it is the first guitar I would hate to loose. Personally, I think Gibsons are overrated and certainly over priced. Many people will look at this Tokai and say that it isn't as good as a Gibson, but I (and many others) know they are wrong. These guitars are just as good, and well worth a go at the price. Don't save for an expensive guitar, just get a few of these, one in each colour.
I love this guitar and would be heart broken if I lost it. However, I am well informed that they are all exactly the same in build and quality. So if I lost it, I would be straight back onto eBay and buy another. Do yourself a favour and give one a try. // 10