tokai is getting just a bit ridiculous

Tokai guitar discussion

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leadguitar_323
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Post by leadguitar_323 » Mon Sep 07, 2009 5:52 pm

Sorry to pick on you Mick, but...

You get this tired story about Gibsons all over the internet - only one in 3/5/7/20 are any good, yeah, yeah... It's called Gibson bashing. All I can think is that those persons must have bought all their Gibsons without playing them first, why else would they have bought a crap guitar?
Well you see, not everyone that plays a guitar knows everything about them and for a while i just took for granted that "hype" surrounding Gibson was all true, not so. Gibson made piles of crap guitars and this is a well known fact. Now i'm talking early eighties here, and out of all the gibbo's i had my 60's SG was the best actually it was sensational and if i was more informed way back then i would still own it. The funny thing was that that guitar had a twisted neck, but still played amazingly well, the guy i sold it too toured America with it and loved it. I bet my 2 custom LS Tokai's are on par with your Historic and cost way less than it as well AND i still read poor reviews on these guitars. Gibson has earned its poor reputation and deserves it. I'm not saying that they are all bad but they are way overpriced and the Japanese guitar builders prove this day in day out. The problem is , i was proud as hell to own Gibbo's and with the poor selection of guitars in Australia back then i had nothing to compare them too. I would also have argued that they were awesome back then as well but now i am much more educated with guitars and the way they are made and should perform, i stand by my previous statement. I have perfect pitch, as i developed my ear it became even more obvious as too the short comings of these guitars. I suppose when the mighty dollar takes a back seat to pride and producing a great product then maybe the consistency will get better. As an example, i showed Ozeshin my Greco LP a couple of months back and it is one of the most toneful resonant guitars i have ever played, if i hold the "D" note on the "D" string {5th fret} it splits into a dual type harmonic feedback, not amazing i hear you say well, it even does it on the clean channel at low volume and if thats not enough, it even does it acoustically.
This still amazes me and it surprised Oze as well, my point, it cost me under 400 Aussie dollars shipped and eats gibbo's for breakfast. The combined cost of my 2 custom Tokai's was under 2 grand and they are both ALL Honduras mahogany. I also know a guy who has played a lot of 50's gibbo's as well and he said that some were fine guitars while quite a lot were pieces of crap and only good for collectors not players. I can tell you that i can tell within a couple of minutes if a guitar is any good even if it is not set up well, good guitars have a certain "feel" or "character" and this is evident as soon as you pick them up, well it is for me anyway, and ask Oze, i'm a fussy pr1ck.... :D Joe has a good point, i have heard that the quality of the Japanese imported LP's are better than the run of the mill US stuff, makes sense when Japan is pumping out quality guitars at a fraction of the price. Oh and by the way i have owned 60's, 70's and 80's Gibsons, there was a lot of rubbish guitars made in this period and yes some good ones.

And Vaporboy, what do you want to know about the fakes, there is now tons of info available and there will be a lot more when we open our site, Almost Tokai.com.

Mick
so many guitars....so little money...

vaporboy
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Post by vaporboy » Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:05 pm

Maybe I'll post some pictures of my 'fakai' and presumeably fake 12 string Ricky copy - both came from Canada about 5 or 6 years ago - both play excellently bye the way.

leadguitar_323
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Post by leadguitar_323 » Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:11 pm

Yeah, post pics, post pics of both sides of the headstock and control layout and so on, as detailed as possible would be great.

Mick
so many guitars....so little money...

vaporboy
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Post by vaporboy » Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:28 pm

Mmm took some pictures and can't see where to attach them, any ideas?

leadguitar_323
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Post by leadguitar_323 » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:30 pm

I down load my pics to photobucket then put your cursor over the pic and a dropdown window appears, go to the bottom link {img code} and click it then right click the link and copy it and paste it in your post.

Mick
so many guitars....so little money...

vaporboy
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Post by vaporboy » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:34 pm

Ok here goes, Love Rock first
Image
Image
Image
Image

vaporboy
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Post by vaporboy » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:35 pm

Now the RG:
Image
Image

leadguitar_323
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Post by leadguitar_323 » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:48 pm

That RG looks nice, what on the back of the headstock on that one?

Mick
so many guitars....so little money...

vaporboy
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Post by vaporboy » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:53 pm

It says Made in Korea, underneath it has a serial number starting with a J

JVsearch
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Re: tokai is getting just a bit ridiculous

Post by JVsearch » Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:02 pm

vikingblues wrote:I don't see much "Gibson bashing" on the early models which did create that style of guitar - quite the reverse. Much sought after guitars - with good reason.
Most of the people that have played bursts are dead, or they are collectors with vaults. There were only about 1800 made, forget them, there is nothing comparable in the new goods market.
vikingblues wrote:When I see top professional musicians advising the need to try 10 or 20 Les Pauls to get a good...
I just don't believe this - there will be some truth in it, but more exaggeration I think. If you personally have tried 20 to find one that was any good then fine, otherwise it's hearsay.
vikingblues wrote:I'm not anti-Gibson - I've had a Gibson Standard (sold in bad times) that was very very good and was my first real quality guitar, but it was no better than the Tokai LC85 or LS equivalent and its a hell of a price differential.
Well it's been said on this forum many times, that the LS-95 is the best value LP in the world, and to be honest with Gibby's new construction methods (chambering and weight relieving) Tokai are going to kill them. I've never tried an LS myself, but I'll say it again, all my Gibbys were good with no problems, including my 77 Deluxe which, although heavy, was very well made. I guess I've just been lucky, but I am not alone.
vikingblues wrote:To go down the Historic route to get a better tone the price differential gets really silly.
Just the law of diminishing returns, same deal with the high end models from any maker, small production runs are going to be expensive. Worth it? Er, no! And always buy second hand - to my surprise I actually made money on my Historic.
vikingblues wrote:I also tried Gibsons at the same sort of price level as the LC85 - moving into the realms of Specials, Fadeds etc and the tone was far below the Gibson Standard model and the quality of finish and fittings on one in particular was on a par with something knocked together on a kitchen table with old radio parts - very disappointing as I had thought I would one day get another Gibson. This disappointment was a major factor in my looking at Tokais in the first place. If this post sounds anti-Gibson it is probably because of that disappointment.
Fadeds got pretty good reviews? The kitchen table analogy - all just exaggeration, and a typical response for a Gibson hater? You said yourself that your own Standard was good? I'm not bothered by finish imperfections unless they are really bad, but that's just me.
vikingblues wrote:Why should people who haven't tried a guitar built by a supposedly high quality manufacturer be likely to get a "crap" guitar? I would hope a quality luthier would only make and sell good quality guitars! There is no excuse for a guitar costing thousands to be poor quality.
They're not crap, that's the point. However, it's certainly possible to buy a guitar or two from any manufacturer and get a dog, it may play and look all right but sounds poor. They do happen, and it's not a QC issue when you're talking about the high volume production level.

It's pretty well accepted that the factory set-ups on Gibbys were not that great, but not because they were doing them particularly badly. They were set-up to allow the use of smaller strings without having to replace the nut and saddles. Call it a fad or trend but there's this idea that you should set up a guitar the way you like it, Gibson capitalised on that idea and released their product with rough set-ups expecting the dealers to make them nice. This was fine until dealers got squeezed, and now many Gibsons get sold not playing as good as they could. But this is easy fixed.

The bottom line is that Gibson is a corporation that now exists only to make money, the corporation has a monopoly on its brand which is very strong. They are maybe on the way down now, because Gibson USA needs only to be better than Epiphone which they are, and the Historics just need to be better than Gibson USA, and they are a lot better. Any company that tries to produce the volume that Gibson produces will end up around the same quality level. Fender are similar, but I think they have slightly better fret work. That's modern life.

Enjoy getting Tokais for the current prices, because if there's any underlying fairness to a free market system then Tokai should be charging players a lot more and making a lot more money!

I think we've got to agree to disagree.

:)
Totally biased towards Japanese made guitars.

JVsearch
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Post by JVsearch » Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:17 pm

leadguitar_323 wrote:I have perfect pitch, as i developed my ear it became even more obvious as too the short comings of these guitars. I suppose when the mighty dollar takes a back seat to pride and producing a great product then maybe the consistency will get better.
This is the biggie for me with Gibson - fret fall away, and yes, totally due to a money making mentality. Bacchus, Tokai, Edwards, Fender - all have better fret positioning than most Gibsons, and sound sweeter. It's a small thing but very important once you can hear it.
leadguitar_323 wrote:This still amazes me and it surprised Oze as well, my point, it cost me under 400 Aussie dollars shipped and eats gibbo's for breakfast. The combined cost of my 2 custom Tokai's was under 2 grand and they are both ALL Honduras mahogany.
Today's values please or else it doesn't offer a meaningful comparison to new prices. Also, good light mahogany is almost extinct now, and we will soon look back on the 90's as (maybe) another golden age!

I still think Gibson aren't as crap as people say they are. :)
Totally biased towards Japanese made guitars.

leadguitar_323
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Post by leadguitar_323 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:45 am

Today's values please or else it doesn't offer a meaningful comparison to new prices.
These are current prices and i actually paid less than 2 grand, having good contacts help. One is a 2003 model and the other is a 2002 and i have bought both around 2 years ago, so not a great difference in price, same with the Greco, its a RR-65 with dry 1982 pickups and it was under aus $400 shipped, it has some "character" but it plays and sounds awesome. My last word on this is that if i thought the Gibbo's were better guitars and better value i would have 5 of them, i have none....

Mick
so many guitars....so little money...

vikingblues
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Re: tokai is getting just a bit ridiculous

Post by vikingblues » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:54 am

JVsearch wrote:Most of the people that have played bursts are dead, or they are collectors with vaults. There were only about 1800 made, forget them, there is nothing comparable in the new goods market.
Gibson made some great guitars a long time ago - so now we have to forget about them? Makes sense - they obviously can't be expected to keep up the quality! I think Gibson did manage to produce many more good quality guitars than the 1800 you refer to, and we ought to be able to use those produced when Gibson had a good reputation for quality as a benchmark.
JVsearch wrote:
vikingblues wrote:When I see top professional musicians advising the need to try 10 or 20 Les Pauls to get a good...
I just don't believe this - there will be some truth in it, but more exaggeration I think. If you personally have tried 20 to find one that was any good then fine, otherwise it's hearsay.
I'm afraid that's what some people have said. I am not going to waste my time, money and effort trying 20 guitars to find a good one when the cost of what is being sold screams at me that the quality should be good. I had a good go at trying some but I'm not willing to go past half a dozen or so as I think the manufacturers and shops have a duty of care to sell product of a quality equating to the price.
vikingblues wrote:I also tried Gibsons at the same sort of price level as the LC85 - moving into the realms of Specials, Fadeds etc and the tone was far below the Gibson Standard model and the quality of finish and fittings on one in particular was on a par with something knocked together on a kitchen table with old radio parts - very disappointing as I had thought I would one day get another Gibson. This disappointment was a major factor in my looking at Tokais in the first place. If this post sounds anti-Gibson it is probably because of that disappointment.
JVsearch wrote:Fadeds got pretty good reviews? The kitchen table analogy - all just exaggeration, and a typical response for a Gibson hater? You said yourself that your own Standard was good? I'm not bothered by finish imperfections unless they are really bad, but that's just me.
So now I'm a liar - thanks friend. My personal experience is EXACTLY as stated. Very disappointed - I loved the Gibson that I had and I was gutted at having to get rid of it - sorry, but I am NOT a Gibson hater - it would have been such an easier task to find a guitar if I was - why try all these Gibsons if I hate them?. OK, agreed about imperfections not being important, but that one I mentioned was worse than imperfections - the kitchen table was NOT an exageration - I couldn't believe it was a Gibson when it was put into my hands to try. (I have built several guitars myself so I know what crappy build is first hand - I would have been ashamed to sell one of my self builds in that state).
As far as reviews goes apart from getting a general impression I'm not much interested - it's how the guitar sounds and feels to you as an individual that matters. In this case my ears wanted to be elsewhere and not listening to the guitars I was playing - total contrast to the gibson I used to have when I could enjoy just hearing one note from it.
JVsearch wrote:However, it's certainly possible to buy a guitar or two from any manufacturer and get a dog, it may play and look all right but sounds poor. They do happen, and it's not a QC issue when you're talking about the high volume production level.
Sorry I can't accept that. If high volume production equals poor QC and bad product being sold then we're in deep s**t with the food manufacturers. I work in food manufacture and the bigger we have got the more important QC has become and the less we have been able to risk bad product.
JVsearch wrote: Call it a fad or trend but there's this idea that you should set up a guitar the way you like it, Gibson capitalised on that idea and released their product with rough set-ups expecting the dealers to make them nice. This was fine until dealers got squeezed, and now many Gibsons get sold not playing as good as they could. But this is easy fixed.
So dealers don't do their job. Has anyone at Gibson considered that maybe they need to amend how goods leave the factory so as not to put off prospective customers? I agree that we should all be able to do set up jobs on guitars - I see more evidence that this is happening but there are still far too many posts on guitar forums from people that do not feel able / confident to do this and from people who advise for every problem to use a guitar tech. I'm happy to tweak the set up and do this whenever I get a new guitar but I think the set up in the shop should be pretty near right already. One of my major local guitar shops refuses to give out Allen Keys as they claim their guitar tech has "seen too many disasters". They're more than happy to take more money from you for their guitar tech to do a set up though. Not a game I'll play with them.
JVsearch wrote:The bottom line is that Gibson is a corporation that now exists only to make money, the corporation has a monopoly on its brand which is very strong. They are maybe on the way down now, because Gibson USA needs only to be better than Epiphone which they are, and the Historics just need to be better than Gibson USA, and they are a lot better. Any company that tries to produce the volume that Gibson produces will end up around the same quality level. Fender are similar, but I think they have slightly better fret work. That's modern life.

Enjoy getting Tokais for the current prices, because if there's any underlying fairness to a free market system then Tokai should be charging players a lot more and making a lot more money!

I think we've got to agree to disagree.

:)
I can agree to disagree on this. This is why I feel I have to shop around with the less well known brands.

I'm just disappointed and jaundiced by it all. That's why I sound so angry. :)

leadguitar_323
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Post by leadguitar_323 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:08 am

Hi JV, listen mate there's no need to label anyone because they had a bad experience with Gibson, if i wanted to i could get you plenty of info on poorly built Gibson LP's. Actually there is a story on this forum somewhere that was written by a Gibson rep and it was all about how hard it was to pick a good guitar from the ones he was selling for Gibson. Out of a whole stock list he had delivered to a shop there was only One guitar that he said he would own and it was a junior, none of the standards were any good at all, also i bet they all sold to guys that thought they were awesome as well, doesn't mean they were. And what about the rocker neck joints Gibson used on its guitars for years, some SG's didn't even fit properly in their cases because of bad neck angle. I don't "hate" Gibson at all and i doubt Viking blues does either, all we want is great guitars that don't cost an arm and a leg. I have handled piles of MIJ LP's and so have a lot of guys on this site and i have never played one before i bought it and i have never had a dud.....I wouldn't risk this on Gibbo's simply because of their quality control, sure they are finished well, most of the time but i want players and mine are all keepers..
Don't get so defensive its a well known fact that Gibson produced some shocking guitars all in the name of profit, thats a fact and they still produce lemons, throw in the cost of these guitars and i just can't justify them at all.

Mick
so many guitars....so little money...

vikingblues
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Post by vikingblues » Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:01 am

Thanks Mick. Yes, I don't hate Gibsons - I was really happy with the one I use to have and I thought I could find that happiness again.

Your post was much better argued and briefer than mine. Too much steam coming out of my ears. :oops:

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