FB45 review by Tokai

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.8 (8 votes)
Tokai: FB45

Price paid: $ 547.17

Sound — 9
I have had this guitar for 6 months so I really have had chance to get into it's sound. It simply sounds amazing, hard to believe at this price. No idea whos pickups Tokai use but they are mellow, warm and just a little bit microphonic (in a nice way). In my time I have had over 20 electric guitars, some much more expensive than this, and I am very happy with the quality of sound on this guitar. It naturally has a lot of sustain, and a lovely 'twangy' 50's sound which is fantastic for bluesey rock. I play many styles including Indie and I am always happy with the bright tones I produce. I rarely use any effects and mostly play clean, which does seem to suit this guitar but it also rocks well. Not as muddy as a less paul but much more warmth of tone than a Strat or tele, say in between a tele and les paul.

Overall Impression — 9
The Firebird is a tricky guitar to copy (even the originals were not that good). I have played some other coppies and they have been real dogs. This is a good, playable guitar and sounds like one twice the price. If you can Live with the neck heavy weight distribution and the unpracticle shape then this guitar should inspire. I love the twangy bright yet warm sound, and personally I think it's one of the sexiest guitar shapes ever.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I no longer gig but I would have no worries with this guitar. It seems so solid I would only worry about dropping it on my foot (it's quite heavy). I have used it a lot at home and so far nothing has fallen off. Might think about replacing the tuners at some point but for the price it still stays in tune.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar seemed pretty well set up when I got it and in 6 months has stayed so. Don't think you can adjust the pick ups much but I wouldn't bother. Reasonable finish with only a few machine marks on the neck and a little rough in the 'step' on the face of the body but these are really minor flaws.

Features — 8
Sunburst Firebird copy made in Korea. 22 frets with deep chunky neck. Solid Basewood body in nice two colour sunburst, gloss finish, set neck with rosewood looking fretboard. Offset firebird style body, two 'mini' humbuckers, fixed gibbo style bridge, 2 x tone, 2 x volumw controls. White 3 ply scratchplate with red firebird type logo. Schalleresk tuners reversed headstock (not behind like on original firebird). No gig bag or accessories.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    South, obviously. North Korea doesn't make shit and even if they did it wouldn't find it's way to another country because of trade embargos and stuff.
    Tokai uses Gotoh pickups. The pickups in your firebird are Gotoh MkIV. Korean Toakai's are nice enough to play but they all have very minor finish flaws...usually on the headstock and where the neck joins the body. I've owned a MAde in Japan Tokai LP copy for over 20 years and it's brilliant...better than the LP reissue standard that I own.