Tell Us What Mods You,ve Done To Your Tokai(s)If Any?

Tokai guitar discussion

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stratdeluxer
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Tell Us What Mods You,ve Done To Your Tokai(s)If Any?

Post by stratdeluxer » Sat Oct 26, 2002 8:55 pm

Ok.....You all pretty well know about the many tweaks I've done to my own Tokai....Here's an entire recap... :lol:

2001 LE Lefty Love Rock Korean Gibson wanna be!.....looks,feels,and smells like a 59 LP.... :wink: I really love this guitar and it's getting most of my attention! I own alot of guitars also.....Fender Teles,Strats, GibsonSG,Gibson LP Deluxe etc...

Mods and changes.....

Gibson 3 way switch
Gibson truss rod cover
Switchcraft jack
Gold switch tip(3 way switch)
Gibson Classic 57 Neck pickup (Tweaked pickup heights to taste.....) :D
Seymour Duncan Custom Custom bridge
CTS 500k pots (All 4)
Mallory 150 .022 tone caps
Shielded wire from 3 way switch to the pots and from output jack to switch
Gibson Vintage gold volume and tone knobs...
Bone nut
Tone pots made into "No Load" tone pots w/tone on 10.
Brought action up a bit for blues/rock bends....
D'Addario .010's from the .009's it came with...

I think that's it?

stratdeluxer
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Post by stratdeluxer » Sat Oct 26, 2002 8:58 pm

Whoops forgot.......Might as well get it all listed... :lol:

.001 cap across the neck volume control for highend retention voluming down...

820 pf across the bridge postion volume pot for the same reason...I have alot of versatility on both the tone and volume controls w/out any loss of clarity and no muddy tones....Just a loss in lows as I turn down but that's ok at the lower volume/clean volume settings..

John

John

Paladin2019
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Post by Paladin2019 » Sun Oct 27, 2002 5:35 am

My LS200 is in the shop right now getting stuff done to it (I'm not gonna DIY that guitar!)

Foil-sheilded cavity
Grover tuners (never liked Klusons on Les Pauls - to me, they look too 'SG')
'Hatbox' knobs - can't stand those horrible horrible 'tophat' ones!
Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups - the sound I'm used to, and has the 4-conductor wiring for the:
3 push-pull switches - 2 coil taps and a bridge phase reverser

Might also get that 'treble retainer' mod done, and if I can find one I'll get a Gibson TRC. Anyone know where I can get one in the UK? Can't seem to find any shops that'll supply them.

Skybone
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Post by Skybone » Sun Oct 27, 2002 12:28 pm

What mods?

First things I did to my LS70F when I got it home were a Gibson type truss rod cover, replacing the Tokai standard. Small & petty I know, but it just makes the guitar look loads better IMO. Then install Schaller Straplocks. Then change the strings!

Next up were a Seymour Duncan 59 & JB combination replacing the standard pickups.

Thats it so far.

tokaigeezer
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Post by tokaigeezer » Mon Oct 28, 2002 8:32 pm

I have two Strat replicas, a TST-56 and a Silver Star and I am giving them a good workout to hear how the pickups sound, and so far I am really impressed. They sound like really good Strat pickups in a 20-year-old Strat, which is pretty much what the Tokais are. My favorite is the Silver Star: one of the most resonant Strats I have, even unplugged. The TST isn't quite as ringy as the Silver Star but I think I will keep them both stock, because they will probably just improve with age.

Have already been through the modding frenzy with a Japanese Squire that sounded good to begin with but the previous owner took off the p/u covers and two of the pickup lead wires were snapped. So I read a zillion reviews and I took a flyer on Van Zandts and bought a set that were modded by Dan Torres of Torres Engineering in southern California. They have a mid cut that gives a lot of extra sounds but mainly a boost that is eerily close to Stevie Ray Vaughanville. The Van Zandts are expensive but gave me one hot Strat. Mr. Van Zandt rewound a lot of Stevie Ray's pickups, so that should give you an idea of the quality of the sound.

So I'm pretty lucky in that I have 4 Strats: the two Tokais, the mutant Van Zandt (an artist friend of mine painted the body: support your local artist); and a 1997 Jimi Hendrix Tribute (lefthanded strung righty) that is my only real Fender product. I actually spent the most on the modded Squire: You can really wind up spending some jack if you keep upgrading things, and then you'll probably wind up keeping it for this reason alone, but then you have what you want. The other thing is that they all sound a bit different and I like that. So for far less than the price of a Custom Shop Strat, I have four that give me a wide range of tones. I had to do some traveling for my job this past month and I've taken the Silver Star in a Fender Deluxe gig bag, with a 6-foot cord, a tuner and a pocket amp called the Smokey Deluxe that all fit into a bag pocket. It's very versatile. I play along with whatever music I can raise up on a Radio Shack World Band radio (flat and packs easily and sounds surpisingly good in a hotel room) plus I can jam anywhere - even in the rental car or at least by the side of the road. I love that Silver Star and I think they are very underrated (no one even knew what it was where I bought it) so while many Fenderphiles may be put off by the large headstock, the Silver Stars are, I think, probably much better than the original Fender CBS-era Strats, some of which are very, very good.

So I will probably not mod them unless something breaks. The only niggle I have with them is the tremelo: the seating where the bar screws in are kinda loose on both, so I don't use them. This makes me work on hand vibrato. My fave tremelo is a Schaller roller trem I put on the Squire; now that works fantastically! Smooth and effortless and gives the tone a good clank on the low E.

At any rate I am now nuts about Tokais: they sound very good stock and are cheap enough (at least right now) to mod them to your taste. I can see what you all have been raving/obsessing about. Long live Tokai!

p.s. I live in northwest New Mexico; hence the "Land of Enchantment" which by and large is true. It's one of the more scenic states in the US ? not a lot of employment opportunties, but it is pretty
Cain't take 'em with you, so you gots to play them now!

tokaiguy
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Post by tokaiguy » Mon Oct 28, 2002 9:58 pm

:o Traded wifes 2001 Tahoe for an H2 today , does that count?

Novosel
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Post by Novosel » Tue Oct 29, 2002 11:34 am

The only mod I've done on my 80's ALS60 flametop is a refret. Not that it needed it at all, but I took it to a tech for some fretwork and decided to take the plunge and try a tall jumbo fret (Stew-Mac #149) because I do a lot ot string bending. The tech did an exceptional job, but I can't honestly say it's made any difference in playability, ease, tone, etc. An expensive lesson to confirm what I already knew - the tone's in your HANDS! This is what's held me back from doing a pickup swap, although I am tempted. Wish I had Stratdeluxer's technical abilities. I may however try one of the new Allparts lightweight tailpieces for supposedly increased sustain.

Oh yeah, I put straplocks on it too.

supernout
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Post by supernout » Tue Oct 29, 2002 1:32 pm

There is one mod I am doing with all Les Pauls I own. Leading in the strings from the tailpieces brigde side like a wrap-around one, but then downward below. It is closer to a 45 degree ideal and increases volume, attack and sustain. Depending on the neck you sometimes have to adjust its tension after that mod. String bending will be a little heavier, but it is worth fighting. :x

I once turned the Pu’s of one LP to 180 degrees, polepieces face to face, resulting in a subtle less muddy (neck) or harsh (bridge) timbre. But I couldn't get used to the looks, I am very sensitive to those things. :(

Usually I change the hardware on let’s say more valuable guitars from chrome/nickel to nickel replacement copies and let it age with some hydrochloric acid. Looks nice and prevents the originals from being worn out.

I do lots of mods to pots and sometimes even Pu’s but there are no common rules, it is always depending on the guitar. If a bridge Pu is loud enough I usually add an additional resistor to the vol.pot for the reason of de-harshing. This mod won’t change the frequency range but decreases the Q-factor of the top frequency. So I don’t have to roll back the tone pot instead. :)
If you can't solve a problem...you are the problem. (shadocs rule!)

stratdeluxer
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Post by stratdeluxer » Tue Oct 29, 2002 9:14 pm

"I do lots of mods to pots and sometimes even Pu?s but there are no common rules, it is always depending on the guitar. If a bridge Pu is loud enough I usually add an additional resistor to the vol.pot for the reason of de-harshing. This mod won?t change the frequency range but decreases the Q-factor of the top frequency. So I don?t have to roll back the tone pot instead"


supernout

Don't forget about how the capacitance of the cable(s) or wireless unit you use and the cable length has on the response you hear....And then of course there's your amp,effects,etc in the equation,and more cables(If any)?... ;o) Always just enough stuff in the way to keep us busy and scratching our heads! :roll:

John

supernout
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Post by supernout » Wed Oct 30, 2002 12:06 pm

Hi John,

I usually switch a lot between bridge and neck Pu and most imortant to me is a matched Pu set regarding to volume and overall frequency response. In other words : bridge has to be perfect and neck has to kill. I own about 20 guitars now and long ago I have finished with the idea to buy replacement Pu’s just for the reason of having a matched set. The capacity of the guitar cord and anything behind affects both Pu’s equally, so it won’t solve the problem as such. :cry:

This spring I have had enough time to go a little into detail and measured all the different Pu’s I own with a multimeter and a recorded logsweep cd in terms of resistance, induct(ance)ivity, capacity, top frequency and Q-factor of top freq. It has helped a lot to understand the correlation between magnets, coil wire diameter and length. There seem to be absolutely no myths about it. :roll:

The warm sound of my early sixty Fender pre-cbs single coils is supposed to be caused by a -due to mfg. or aging- chemical reaction between the wax material and the altered thinner insulation of the coil wire. Each one reads coil capacity values distinguishing completely from newer or older versions, which are built similary. By knowing the values I could simply imitate the sound using a good standard single coil with an additional capacitor. So playing with resistors and capacitors is definitely less expensive than buying overpriced replacement Pu’s. :)
If you can't solve a problem...you are the problem. (shadocs rule!)

Paladin2019
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Post by Paladin2019 » Tue Mar 02, 2004 6:33 pm

*bump* for continuous modders, new members and people who've not posted yet 8)

I think I'll take this opportunity to scare myself and do a stratdeluxer-style definitive rundown of the LR's mods - the latest of which were done by me (in flat contradiction of my DIY comment above!).

2001 LS-200 from GS Universe

SD Alnico II pro pickups (reverse zebra neck, black bridge)
Grover 18:1 rotomatic tuners
Schaller straplocks
Vintage gibson style truss rod cover
Amber hatbox knobs
Tone Pros ABR-1 replacement bridge
Tone Pros tailpiece studs
Gotoh aluminium tailpiece
Foil sheilded electronics cavity
USA 3-way switch
Cream switch tip
2 CTS 500k audio push-pull pots (volume controls - each acts as a coil tap for its corresponding pickup)
2 Allparts 500k audio push-pull pots (tone controls - neck tone controls bridge phase, bridge tone wires both pups in series with neck in front)
500pf silver-mica capacitors in parallel with 130k resistors across volume controls for treble retention
Audionote 0.022uF paper/oil capacitors for the tone controls (the hardest part of re-doing the electronics was getting these muthas to fit into the cavity!)
Finally - D'addario 11 guage strings.

Wow - that's a LONG list, I don't want to think about adding up the cost :o I just wish I could play well enough to justify all that...

The hardware (except tuners & bridge) was done by me, as was the electronics (minus pickups). I'd never attempted anything more daring than a replacement switch before I re-wired the cavity so when I stripped it out, put it together and found out it worked it was the most satisfying thing I've done in years! Well, actually it din't work at first but 10 minutes later I realised I'd left the bridge volume control on 0 :wink: :D :D :D

ned
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Post by ned » Tue Mar 02, 2004 8:13 pm

Thought I would add.

CTS is sending me 11 pots (8 500K, 3 250K) and I will be changing the complete electronics on my current MIK Goldstar. This will lead to a How-To and of course sound examples before/after.

I am also waiting on a MIK Love Rocks to perform the same task.

I will go through the pots and measure to ensure true 500K/250K for the volume controls - tone is less import.

Second step will include new pups but I wanted to only change volume and tone controls first to isolate any difference those changes may have.

Ned

Paladin2019
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Post by Paladin2019 » Tue Mar 02, 2004 8:39 pm

Good work there Mr Ned - Personally I found the new caps/pots 'opened' up the tone nicely and increased overall clarity. I was really surprised - I thought pots were pots and caps were caps but the difference good quality components can make is amazing. Not many people seem to consider upgrading these bits; I guess out of sight really is out of mind. For the cost involved you really can't go wrong, but they can only add to what's already there - they won't make dull tone into great tone.

From what I hear it's the pots that make the most difference (can't comment, I upgraded both at the same time).

A little note, the threads on the CTS pots I bought (500k long shaft audio taper push/pulls) were too big to fit through the original holes, which had to be reamed out a bit. Also their increased shaft length meant I had to use another nut on the thread inside the cavity.

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Post by Micky Mojo » Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:05 pm

Any pics available Paladin?
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Paladin2019
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Post by Paladin2019 » Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:43 pm

Micky Mojo wrote:Any pics available Paladin?
I've got a few upddated pics knocking about but I'll save posting them here until I get a shot of the electronics cavity - I'll do it as soon as I get home tomorrow.

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