#1
I don't know if this has already been discussed here:

I just went into a new guitar shop and I was amazed that these guys had a nice stock of brands and models, the opposite of "regular" stores that always have the same Fender-Gibson-Squier-Epiphone-Ibanez things to offer.

There were lots of Schecters, rare Jacksons, etc. but what catched my eye were the Tokai guitars. I knew that Tokai was one of the "lawsuit" brands and that their copies of Gibson/Fenders were among the bests (at least the japan made) but I never saw an actual guitar.

So here they had several Les Paul and SG models. The guy told me these were the Korean made Tokais (the "budget" series, for around 400-500&euro but at least the look and finish were very impressive. They looked like real Gibsons, excluding the logo and the "Love Rock" model print of course.

I was not able to test any though (I will next time) but the guy told me they were much better than official Epiphone, china-made copies. Even the headstock shape is like Gibson's, while Epi's headstock is not devilish at all.

As for the price there is no difference (and Epi LP is around 450&euro, I would like to know which is best from a quality perspective, in your opinion.

Myself, I would choose Korea over China, but let's see.
#2
its worth paying a little more for the Made In Japan Tokai's, cos thats when they really shine. Ive played a Korean Tokai, yes its good for the money if its well set up, but the Japanese are so superior...
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#3
If I were to choose between my Epi and a Tokai again, I'd easily choose the Tokai.
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#4
Quote by YoHendrix
its worth paying a little more for the Made In Japan Tokai's, cos thats when they really shine. Ive played a Korean Tokai, yes its good for the money if its well set up, but the Japanese are so superior...

+1

also, bear in mind that the newer Tokais are made in China, they've moved there from Korea (so either the dude in the shop is lying or they have a lot of old stock which needs to be sold). The higher end ones are still made in Japan, though.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#6
not really, in the UK and europe LTDs are really expensive (relatively) while MIK tokais aren't too bad in price (if you can still find them). though i'd agree that holding out for an MIJ tokai, if you can stretch at all (with disposable income- don't spend this week's rent on it, but if it just means not getting drunk for a couple of weeks...), is probably worth it.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Feb 19, 2009,
#7
I haven't played an Epi but I've got a MIK Tokai and she's gorgeous, tough enough to have coped with weekend commuting on the train and tube for the last 5 months and stupidly easy to play. Not having played an Epi I couldn't recommend either way, but I don't think you'd regret buying a Tokai.
#8
So Tokai is the best option, as long as it is not China-made.

For the place of manufacture, do Tokai put stickers on the back (as Epiphone) or is it printed?

Just to be sure before buying one. I don't like "made in China" stuff.
#9
I've got a MIK Tokai, I can't really have an opinion on it considering i haven't played many guitars... But it is brilliant, and i prefer it to my friends RR3.. :]
#10
Tokai beats Epiphone in every way, even the MIK. But I second the option of waiting a bit more and getting a MIJ.
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#11
My Tokai is Korean, and it kicked shit into the Les Paul Studio.. so i'm sure the Japanese one will arserape a Standard.
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#12
And given the options... what is best? an LP standard or an LP custom? I really like the custom as the one Billy Duffy used for Cult's "Sonic Temple" cover. I saw him playing one (Gibson) live and that guitar is beatiful.
#13
Quote by dynamo0
So Tokai is the best option, as long as it is not China-made.

For the place of manufacture, do Tokai put stickers on the back (as Epiphone) or is it printed?

Just to be sure before buying one. I don't like "made in China" stuff.


sometimes... tokais can be difficult to decipher.

generally speaking, the japanese ones say made in japan on the back of the headstock (for the gibson copies) and, if you're lucky, just above the heel joint on the back of the neck for the fender copies.

also, for the gibson copies, if the truss rod cover uses 2 screws, it should be japanese, while the chinese and korean ones are 3-screw.

some pics (thanks to richtone music):

http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/ebay/ls85fhdc8.jpg (japanese one, 2-screw trussrod cover)

http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/ebay/ls85fhdc9.jpg (made in japan, printed on back of headstock)

there's the link to the guitar, just in case you're interested: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Tokai-Love-Rock-LS85F-Electric-Guitar-Heritage-Cherry_W0QQitemZ250376707871QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Musical_Instruments_Guitars_CV?hash=item250376707871&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1700|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318

here's a chinese one:

http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/ebay/lc53b7.jpg (3-screw trussrod cover)
http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/ebay/lc53b8.jpg (made in china, on a sticker, on back of neck)
link to the guitar: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Tokai-LC53-Les-Paul-Custom-Electric-Guitar-Black_W0QQitemZ370145494634QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Musical_Instruments_Guitars_CV?hash=item370145494634&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1700|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318


the tokai registry forum is the best place to get this info, they know a lot more than i do, and what i do know i've invariably picked up there. http://www.tokairegistry.com/ (the registry has some info and you can get to the forum from there too)

hope that helped a little
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?