#1
I have been GASing for a Japanese made LP in the vein of Tokai, Burny, Greco, Orville, Edwards, etc. but to be honest there are a large variety of them on the market. Mainly I am looking through eBay as most GC and GC used do not carry them.

Question is: What to look for? What to stay away from?

I know that these companies are still (?) producing guitars now and while they might be of quality they are generally not the highly regarded instruments that are sought after.

Any info would be appreciated and hopefully this can help others as well. Thanks!!!
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, SG standard, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#2
I only know Edwards and Electra (Korean) to be making really good stuff right now (I own an Electra, shit's the bomb-diggity). No experience with the vintage LP clones myself outside Ibanez.
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#4
Thanks guys. I was aware of most of those, although Ippon turned it up a notch. GAS ensued.

Still though, with the plethora of model numbers and types are there years to stay way from or models (i.e. Yamaha has the SL400, 500, 700S, etc. Are they all amazing). Applying this to my limited, but decent knowledge of the SBG/SG Yammies I know that the 1000/2000 are superior instruments but the 500, 700 and 800 are all great as well. I think of it as a Studio compared to a Standard.

Now my knowledge of Tokai, Greco, Bacchus, etc is limited at best, but I know there are some gems in the bunch.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, SG standard, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#5
I have an Aria Les Paul, an El Maya, an Orville and a Greco.

The Greco is the best of them all. It´s from the late 70s and they even got the fret-nibs right. It really is a 1 to 1 copy, plays, sounds and feels right.

With Grecos though, you have to be careful. They produced quite a few copies with bolt on necks and those suck!

El Mayas are extremely rare and well built guitars. They´re beautiful and you can tell that looks were very important to them. They´re a bit weaker than Greco on the hardware and electronics.

My Aria is great but it´s the only one without an open book headstock. The Aria plays and sounds great but somehow doesn´t have a 100% Les Paul feel io it, for lack of a better explanation.

The Orville is nice but lacks the details the Greco has and had to get new pick ups to make it sound like a Gibson.

I used to own a Tokai Gold Top from the late 70s. Must have been a rare lemon because the fretwork on the frets higher than the 12th was pretty mediocre. Sound and looks were of course pretty good but I sold it because at the time I didn´t feel like working on the frets. I also can´t say much about the original electronics because when I got it there were DiMarzio PAFs in there already.

Summary:

out of those I know something about I´d keep my eyes open for a Greco. The fact that they usually sell for less than Tokais, Orvilles and others helps.

Hope that helped!
#6
If you are looking for a Japanese LP, the ESP Eclipse I is a great guitar. I like it better than the Eclipse II. I ordered a full thickness Eclipse I from Germany a few years ago. Cost a ton to ship but was definitely worth it. It has a bit more modern look than Gibson and ESP addresses a few flaws that Gibson still has like the headstock neck angle being too thin.
#7
That was helpful information about Greco guitars. I have mainly been looking at Grecos, Burnys, Yamaha SL/SG and Orville (Orville by Gibson).
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, SG standard, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#8
one of the biggest problems is that if you're not really into them, it can be difficult to tell different models apart, and the prices can vary quite a bit from high-end to low-end. and some of them make their cheaper instruments outside japan, and again if you don't know what to look for it can be hard to tell.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#9
Quote by Dave_Mc
one of the biggest problems is that if you're not really into them, it can be difficult to tell different models apart, and the prices can vary quite a bit from high-end to low-end. and some of them make their cheaper instruments outside japan, and again if you don't know what to look for it can be hard to tell.

Agreed.

Part of the education process short of actually auditioning them is to check the various forum discussions over at:
http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/
http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/index.php?s=
http://www.tokaiforum.com/

You can also check various eBay sellers from Japan. Most of them are very particular (proud) about specifying the country of origin and condition. Right now, I see a bunch of nicely-priced MIJs.

Good Luck!
#10
^
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#11
Thank you! That is a good starting point, if anything. I enjoy more knowledge on guitars so this will be helpful. I appreciate the guidance!
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, SG standard, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#14
No expert but I think off memory some of the Greco explorers were chambered...assuming this is the case with the LP copies in some instances too.
#15
What a coincidence!! I had been searching for lawsuit era's LPs and teles this morning, and then unintentionally bumped into this thread at noon.

There are quite a few ebay sellers from Japan offering these beat up; 60~90 US$ MIJ lawsuit models that are quite tempting actually. But I agree Dave_Mc here, rookies like me can get into trouble because of compulsive decisions.

I've got a Japanese friend that wouldn't mind bringing me such a gift when she come back. The sight of a vintage Burny or Ibanez LP or tele never fails to make me drool :P

Any recommendations?
#16
The only thing that gets me is the fact that shipping is $130, give or take. Some instruments are leaving a lot to chance, it might be worth the risk but not sure how eager I am to find out.

@aozen; where are you finding these sellers? Only ones I have found on the bay have their guitars marked around 500-600 USD. Then again I am searching for the more common MIJ guitars. The whole "lawsuit" guitars doesn't do it for me. It doesn't necessarily mean its a quality instrument, it just means that Gibson was aiming to sue based on copyright infringement.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, SG standard, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#17
There is a particular seller who carries an amazing bunch of items, but sometimes asks for suspicious price tags like this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BURNY-LS-38-Flat-Top-Les-Paul-Type-FERNANDES-Black-World-Ship/111716383298?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D33873%26meid%3Dd791d42447df47f7ae86c6a7c6c4fecb%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D111715315848

As I said above, if you've got a native Japanese acquaintance at hand who is willing to do such a favor, life would be much easier. Unfortunately, my friend I mentioned earlier knows nothing about guitars so yeah, this would be a huge risk.

Anyway, I know I generally have very low standards of whether something worth it or not. So feel free to completely ignore my post
#18
Matsumoku built a bunch of them under many different brand names in the 70s and 80s. There were often 3 levels of quality: bare bones with a bolt-on neck (nearly unplayable), player quality with a set neck (similar to today's LP Studio) and top quality that played and sounded better than top shelf Gibson guitars of that era. Quality hardware, set neck, quality finish, and binding on neck and body usually set the top quality guitars apart. No serial # and no proven pedigree usually means they won't appreciate much over time like a true Gibson has.

I have a "Memphis" JP 335 from 1979 that is an excellent guitar but has not gained much value over the years. I would have a hard time paying more than $500 for anything other than a Yamaha or Ibanez with serial # and pedigree though. Excellent players from Epi, Hamer, Ibanez, PRS SE, can be bought all day long for $300-$400 on CL. eBay shipping cost tips the scales too high for me in most cases to be worth taking a risk on a guitar I could not play first.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Oct 27, 2015,
#19
^this is where I am at now. I am trying to be somewhat intelligent about my GAS now. If it were down to it I would end up buying a SG1000/2000, etc. of some sort. The risk vs. reward for some of MIJ guitars is iffy. There are some that are priced in the $900-1100 range and at that, I'm sure they are amazing, its not worth the risk. Others may take the leap, just not for me.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, SG standard, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13