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LS60,65,70etc=Epiphone quality, LS200,320=Gibson quality?

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2002 12:57 pm
by Frank555
I'm an owner of an LS-65 and have a few questions about the quality of these lower grade models versus the top of the line LS200 and LS320.

My LS-65 cost $450 US before the shipping costs, which is equivalent to the cost of an Epiphone. The LS200 and LS320 are between $1300-$2100, similar in price to a Gibson Les Paul.

Is the difference in quality between the LS-65 and the LS-200/320 the same as the difference between the Epiphone and Gibson LP's?
Specifically, I want to know the differences in wood/hardware quality between my Tokai versus the top of the line models.

Reason I'm asking is that most of us are owners of the less expensive Love Rock models, basically the ones with the multipiece bodies and poly finish;yet quite a few claim that even these models outperform their Gibsons with the one-piece bodies and nitro finish.

Are the people who assert this reasonable in their assessment? How much better quality and soundwise are the LS200/320 versus the less expensive models? Because specwise only these models are faithful to the Gibson versions.

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2002 5:32 pm
by ramsale
Frank: It's pretty much a case of trying to get the most for what you pay for. The advantage to the Tokai line is the lower cost of labor and the social importance that the Japanese and Koreans put on producing a product with high quality. The American manufacturers can put out a good quality instrument, and many do, but it's gonna cost more to pay Americans to build and market them. As far as sound quality goes, the materials in the guitar and how well the action is set up is only a part of what is heard when the musician plays. The amp, speaker, venue, and personal technique of the player all have huge impact on sound and tone. I've seen some fantastic players do unreal things on guitars that I wouldn't even THINK about owning, but they are so talented, that the music produced overcomes the instrument's "limitations". So I guess in the end, it's what you like, and can afford, and that SOUNDS GOOD TO YOU that really matters. For resale, maybe the headstock name is a big deal, but for actually playin', get what makes you happy, even if it IS cheaper... The Koreans and Japanese enable alot of us folks without a ton of cash to play some really great guitars. (And drive some cool cars, too...)

Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2002 11:36 am
by Frank555
I understand what you're saying Ramsale, I didn't mean to imply that the cheaper Tokais are not worthy. I'm just wondering how much of a difference there is between the big buck Love Rocks(LS200/320) and mine.

I just dinged my LS65 pretty bad, so much I can't even stand to look at it, so I was deciding on whether to buy the same model, or upgrade to an LS200. Will the improvement (if any) in the sound of the LS200 justify the $1000 difference in price? Can anybody who has played or compared both models give their opinions on how much better the LS200/320 sounds?

Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2002 2:39 pm
by luis
Frank555,wait some days and I will tell you. :-?

Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2002 11:50 pm
by ramsale
Frank: Sorry about your ding in the LS65. I know the feeling, and it hurts. I didn't mean to sound preachy with previous post. In a nutshell I was trying to say that you generally get what you pay for , and that the $1000 bang for your buck might be a bigger bang with Tokai more than with Gibson. Good Luck with the hunt.

Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2002 3:43 am
by cornelius bonobo
Dings are cool. Now did you ding it so bad that the neck fell off, or does it just have a paintwork scratch?
Here's a funny story. Recently I finished making my very own les paul special guitar (from scratch out of bits of wood, not pre shaped parts mind).
Finally it was all assembled and I sent it off to a mate to spray it up and he did a fine job, but the fit of some of the components was so tight, that the lacquer just made it a bit too tight.
Eager to get the thing set up and playing, I set to work removing the excess varich from the cavities using scrapers and a chisel. Then I slipped with the chisel and put a dirty great 6 inch gouge across the back of the guitar. Oooo you should have been there, the air wasn't just blue, it was f*(&%&g blue with the language! Still, you have to laugh. Hope this makes you feel better.


Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2002 7:04 pm
by nakamichi
You just dinged the best LS series guitar. The LS-65 is a one-piece body and neck guitar with a veneer-free maple top, the nearest thing you can get to a vintage Les Paul - apart from the pickups, but we all knew that.

The so-called "higher-end" Tokais are in response to "designer" demand, in other words - appearance.

Do you want to look at it, or play it? Don't trash it, love it. Repair the "ding" and get some Seymour Duncan 59s, that's if you want a replica of the "real thing".