All things guitar, Les Pauls, Strats, Teles, Tokai, Ibanez etc. etc. etc.

Moderators: Slowy, Capt. Black

#840851
Let me start by saying, this is a beautiful guitar. The wood choice, the fit and construction is lovely. As good as the G one, as good as most of the others that are doing the G ones thing.
Here's the set up I used;
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Guitar, lead, Marshall Class 5, fingers.
The guitar has been modded, front pick up turned around, different knobs, aluminium tail piece, in what I believe is refered to as the 'Peter Green' style.
My comparrison instruments;
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1997 stock Gibson Les Paul Standard (yup, the $7K TM ones, winky guy) and a 2000'sish Bacchus Flying V , made in Japan, styled after a 1950's V.
For fit and construction, the Tokai is awesome, much like the Bacchus. The Gibson trails slightly in this with some minor imperfections.
The finish? If the Tokai was gloss (it has a satin finish) it would easily be as good. I get that this is personal preference. It's got a nitro coat and with an hour or so of polishing compound could easily be turned into a glossy monster. It would also have an awesomely thin finish. I like it. It's good but a tiny ammount of elbow grease (and bonding with the guitar) would make it great.
The sound.
I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the pickup being turned, but the front pickup sounds full bodied, slightly honky, and defined. You can pick out clear but powerful notes on it. The back pickup unfortunately loses a bit of output and sounds a touch nasally. Compared to the rest of the guitar, slightly dissapointing. Don't get me wrong, it still sounds good, but it doesn't have the power of the Gibson or the clarity of the Bacchus.
The detail of the Tokai is awesome. Proper footing for the ABR1 style bridge,
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and period correct tuner ferrules,
Hang on, second post.....
#840853
Means it ticks a ton of cork sniffery targets. The neck is what I would believe to think is spot on 59. Comfortable in hand. Volume, but not too much volume. Slightly slimmer than my 2010 Traditional.
Would I want this guitar?

........................YES!!!!!!


But;

I would change the pickups or at very least, the back one. They're fine and functional, but I think with the quality of the wood selection, they should be asking for a little more. This is an incredibly good platform to work on.
I would find the most uninvasive, guitar friendly cutting compound and polish up the body and headstock. Keep the neck satin but the maple cap on those amazing pieces of mahogany really is something special.
For $250 of pickups and 2 hours of finish work, this could be THE definative les paul.
At $1800 + plus the minor work, i'd say it easily out does the ticks in the boxes its Gibson family holds.
Last edited by kdawg2a on Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#840862
Sometimes with a satin nitro finish, because of the satin nature of the finish, it isn't smooth (as it hasn't been sanded. ) when it's shined up, it can have small dimples in it. I wonder if it would be the case with this one?
#840865
sizzlingbadger wrote:Might be just the photo angle but the bridge pickup looks a long way from the strings, maybe that's why it sounds weak.

Possibly, I don't recall much difference in height but maybe a height change might rectify the problem. Obviously, I'm not going to alter another chaps settings but it could work out to a simple solution.
#840866
AiRdAd wrote:Sometimes with a satin nitro finish, because of the satin nature of the finish, it isn't smooth (as it hasn't been sanded. ) when it's shined up, it can have small dimples in it. I wonder if it would be the case with this one?

Possibly. The finish thing is obviously down to taste, the guitar looks and feels great as is. I do think a little polishing would make that top pop (and what a top!!!) and would help the owner bond with the instrument more. There's nothing like polishing a guitar to make you lust for it more!
#840875
Speaking from the experience of setting up Jim's old LP Traditional, it might be different with some pickup height adjustment. He had it playing beautifully, but the bridge pickup was sitting quite low (and the neck a little high). A few tweaks gave the bridge pickup more grunt and the neck pickup more headroom.
#840876
robthemac wrote:Speaking from the experience of setting up Jim's old LP Traditional, it might be different with some pickup height adjustment. He had it playing beautifully, but the bridge pickup was sitting quite low (and the neck a little high). A few tweaks gave the bridge pickup more grunt and the neck pickup more headroom.

Cheers Rob - quite probably this ;-)