Tokai LC230 S - Planning to buy - Some Questions?

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NunoJBSilva
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Tokai LC230 S - Planning to buy - Some Questions?

Post by NunoJBSilva » Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:54 am

Hi all.

Hope you're well.

I'm planning to buy my first Tokai. The one my eyes are on is the LC230S BB. I've always love Gibson BB's and my favourite player being John Sykes I had a natural tendency for these guitars. I don't have the cash or the desire to spend over >4k £ for a new guitar or 2k £ on a used Gibson.

I was looking for alternatives and went from Schecter, to ESP/LTDs. the LTD EC1000 caught my eye but after earing it online it seems a bit bright and not really how I was envisioning it. So I landed on Tokai's.

I never payed more than £800 for a guitar and I'm planning to give myself a premium guitar without going into bankruptcy :).

I'm planning to pull the plug on the LC230S (after I try it) but I would like, if possible, to get some opinions.

1 - Which model of Gibson custom do you think the tokai is closest to?
2 - What are your opinions on this guitar? Does it worth the £2k price tag?
3 - I had a look LC136S which is similar? Does the LC230S stand for the different price tag?
4 - I was informed that the LC230S weight around 3.9kg/8.6lbs while the lc136S is 4.3kg/9.5lbs both full thickness, no weigh relief. A very light general opinion is that the thicker the more gibson y fat crunchy hard rock sound you get . But I'm assuming the wood quality on the lc230s should be better therefore more sustain, etc
5 - PAF mk2 pickups? What are they similar with regarding other famous pickups? Do they stand right for that Heavy Hard Rock sound? Let's say close to the 1987 album from Whitesnake


Thanks in advance.

messer
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Re: Tokai LC230 S - Planning to buy - Some Questions?

Post by messer » Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:25 am

I feel like you might end up disappointed about your next buy. Mostly because you are not thinking about quality/price ratio enough ;D But you seem to buy into "heavier body = bigger sound", "wood quality = better sustain", "are MK2's good?" etc.

Most pro musicians hunt for light Les Pauls and avoid heavier ones. If you have two guitars with comparable tone, the lighter one is always better for your back and comfort.

MK2's (more vintage spec) and even MK3's (hotter) pickups are "good enough". MK2's are a great starting point.
There's no reason to think about changing them, until you try them out with your amp/cab combo. Then for example after lots of tweaking pickup height / amp settings, if you want a tad different voicing / brightness / clarity / warmth on a neck pickup, then that's a reason to experiment and look for a change. Or maybe you want to do Jimmy Page middle position "quack" with T-Top on the bridge pickup. Or Green's out of phase tone. It all depends on what tone you want.

You really shouldn't listen with your eyes, price tags or opinions of other people. Try squeezing everything you can out of MK2's using your ears. Then you will know if they've fulfilled your expectations or what direction to take with a pickup change. Also you will train your ear.
MK2's are doing their thing very well, so it won't be an "upgrade", it will be a "change".

Experimenting with pickup changes is really in the realm of classic tones with real tube amps with sparse use of effects.
If most of your tone character comes from a long signal chain of effects or if you are using modelers, then you have a lot more tone shaping options than just your amp's EQ section. So kicking out MK2's makes even less sense.

If I were to buy another Tokai guitar, I would get one with a nitro finish. For me Tokai means great quality control + good woods at reasonable price, so I would definitely go for a flame/quilt top, so I can see the woods that I've paid for ;)

Harima_San
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Re: Tokai LC230 S - Planning to buy - Some Questions?

Post by Harima_San » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:21 am

Messer has actually killed it with a very profesionnal response that will be impossible to top. I can just bring my point of view and strenghten what he was saying.
1 - Which model of Gibson custom do you think the tokai is closest to?
Tokai LC230s bb should be of the premium line. Meaning this is Custom Shop master grade instrument. From what I know the last time I checked, Gibson didn't offer such quality in their lineup right now.
2 - What are your opinions on this guitar? Does it worth the £2k price tag?
Tokai is EXTREMELY good at making guitars in this "entry custom shop price zone". No other builder offers custom shop Master grade quality instruments for 2k, unless the guitarmaker is your stepdad and you can have it at factory price.
3 - I had a look LC136S which is similar? Does the LC230S stand for the different price tag?
They are similar in looks, not in quality. On the LC136, Tokai tryed to offer a Custom looking Traditional 2017 concurrence. So you will have concessions in the making.
4 - I was informed that the LC230S weight around 3.9kg/8.6lbs while the lc136S is 4.3kg/9.5lbs both full thickness, no weigh relief. A very light general opinion is that the thicker the more gibson y fat crunchy hard rock sound you get . But I'm assuming the wood quality on the lc230s should be better therefore more sustain, etc
Those are all forums opinions/masturbation and can be discarded as a whole, because their is no scientific fundation on such claims. Guitars are a whole package, their making is an art form. You will not be able to feel a difference between two guitars of the same type with a 300-400gr weight difference. Care of the make, quality of materials and pickups types are much more important than a few gramms.
5 - PAF mk2 pickups? What are they similar with regarding other famous pickups? Do they stand right for that Heavy Hard Rock sound? Let's say close to the 1987 album from Whitesnake
Can't say for sure. But they are definitely a honest pickup to come with a high standard guitar. I have swapped mine, for obvious reason, and didn't regretted it. But I know other that have let their oem pickups on the guitars and didn't regret them either. Especially with pickups it will be your taste that will shine through. For each guitar and guitarist, there is a good pickup, that will match every of your desires. It's more of a sidequest in your research of your own sound.

At least, what is important/central to your relashionship with a guitar, is your own feeling, and how you will be able to express yourself on the instrument you choose.

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