Price paid: $ 1860
Purchased from: Ikebe Gakki
Sound — 8
What makes this guitar different from any other guitar is the sound, and it definately comes from its aluminum alloy body. Each note resonates inside the hollow body, which not only gives it a metallic quality, but allows the sound to sustain longer than any wooden body. The guitar comes with a H/S/H set up, but the sustainer requires only the size of a single coil. Therefore, a blank pickup cover is placed below to accomodate the humbucker size. I might add that there is room for 3 humbuckers, so any combination of pickups can be done as by changing the holes in the pickguard. The stock humbucker and single coil, as well as the sustainer are great but a bit on the noisey side. When you order, an option of L-250 and L-500 is available. When the sustainer is not in use it acts as a pickup, and the sound is not all that special. All pickups sound pretty much the same throughout the 5-Way Switch. The Fernandes sustainer and the GK-3 are fun addons in the limited addition. Lots of sounds can be produced. A big dissapointment is that there is no tone control.
Overall Impression — 9
This has always been one of my favorite guitars. It is uncomparable to any other because it is so unique it creates its own category. It is not classy but its definately not cheap either. To me it is an expensive toy that is to be played like a toy. This guitar is suitable for all styles simply because you can make it sound like anything the way you want it to. It has so much potential. Having it shipped from Japan I took the risk of buying the guitar without testing or even seeing it, but it wouldn't have made a difference. Everything is as I hoped it would be. If you are looking for something different, give the Talbo a try.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I say it would be able to take quite the beating. Major mishaps could cause the body to dent due to its nature, but I doubt this will ever happen. The finish will probably come off quicker than those of wooden guitars. A problem may arise if you are looking for original factory parts, because unless you live in Japan it would be a hassel to have it sent internationally.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar is without a doubt high in quality. Time and care has been taken to build this guitar. The neck feels much like a Les Paul, but the body feels like a Stratocaster. The metallic colour gives a nice touch to the overall appearance. The other thing unique about the Talbo is the shape. You won't find this shape anywhere. Some people dislike it, but I tend to like it very much. It is very comfortable and smooth. It is a bit heavy though, due to the material. The only minor adjustment I had to make was the string height to fix the buzz. As a side note, the Talbo is fully customizable and Tokai takes custom orders.
Features — 10
The Talbo is an original model made by Tokai. The name stands for [T]-[Al]loy-[BO]dy, which describes its unusual cast aluminum alloy body. This limited edition is created by Talbo Secret Factory. The model is based on the A-140 Talbo, but includes such modifications as Fernandes Sustainer and Roland Synthesizer. Finishes for the limited addition includes platinum blue/black/red, mid night black, and alumi clear, with matching headstock. These guitars are order made, so it usually takes couple of weeks to assemble, and they are only assembled in Japan.