PLEASE EXPLAIN ME ABOUT THE ES-120.

Tokai guitar discussion

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Falcon Rust
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PLEASE EXPLAIN ME ABOUT THE ES-120.

Post by Falcon Rust » Mon Mar 24, 2003 9:48 pm

Hi there,
i am in brisbane Australia,
and looking for a new guitar, i've found TOKAI, now...said this i need help, i need you guys to explain me what is better and what can be change to make a TOKAI ES120 the perfet guitar to keep forever.

I mean, i've read thatt he 1980's models were excellent, what about the actual one?

The PickUp, is Gotoh, worth keeping? better a Seymour Duncan 59?

What about the woods?

Pleasem iknow you have read this messages so many times, i haven't found someone that says, yes, buy it, cause it is better than a Gibson and plays, feels great.
:D
Thanks for your time,
Ciao,
Daniel

kr4dd
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Post by kr4dd » Mon Sep 22, 2003 6:48 pm

Read your post, and I just had to reply to you. I just recieved my new es 120 today, I think it is a great player; everything seemed as it should be. I will probably buy the sun burst next, the one I have now is the vintage natural. I haven't played it but about an hour through a small fender bass amp, I couldn't believe the tone, I have never owned a 335 style guitar so I can't compare at all. I will probably buy another Love Rock Model. I hope to get my marshall out of the shop soon, should be able to tell more then. end Billy

Cybercat
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Re: PLEASE EXPLAIN ME ABOUT THE ES-120.

Post by Cybercat » Tue Sep 23, 2003 1:15 am

Falcon Rust wrote: The PickUp, is Gotoh, worth keeping? better a Seymour Duncan 59?

What about the woods?

G'day Daniel,

A lot of people love the Gotoh p'ups, but Tokai themselves upgraded to Dimarzio or Duncan on their top-of-the-range models.

I've been advised the best I can do (for classic rock, blues etc) is to upgrade to Lindy Fralins. (...although the Duncan '59 was mentioned as a cheaper "second best" for the neck position, still with a Fralin in the bridge).

I will be putting ina pair of Fralins within the next week on my '81 Tokai Love Rock (together with " '50's wiring" & oil-&-paper capacitors), & will keep you posted on the differences etc.

I don't kow what woods they are using now, maybe someone more knowledgeable about current Tokais can answer? I can only say that the wood on my '81 LS60 is excellent, great natural tone & sustain UNPLUGGED, easily trashes new Gibsons Les Pauls in the store costing 4 times as much (...& I tried over 2 dozen of them). 8)

(See my homepage "new pics" for pictures (link below), what a killer guitar it is, I've been gigging 30 years, have an original guitars from the early '60's & I STILL can't get over how good this Tokai is!)

Good Luck with the ES 120!

Bill, Hong Kong.
http://homepage.mac.com/cybercat/

peacock72
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ES-120

Post by peacock72 » Tue Sep 23, 2003 6:50 pm

I read a review in Guitarist UK about a year ago. It was a head to head between the Tokai and a Heritage Semi. Anyway, differences between the Tokai and a Gibson are minimal. Tokai uses a Poly Finish, whereas Gibson uses Nitro. Other than that and the fact that all electronics, i.e. pick ups, electronics, etc.. are made in Japan, construction is very similar to Gibson in regards to woods used, etc.. Guitarist rated the Tokai VERY highly in comparison to a Gibson, especially when you can get one for more than half the price of a Gibson!

Schocker
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Post by Schocker » Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:34 pm

I've said it before and I'll repeat myself now...I've played all sorts of semis and, aside from the variable factor that even the same model of guitar from the same manufacturer plays a bit differently from the next, the Tokais are the best.

The sound they produce, the feel, the build quality...they suit me far better than the Heritages and Gibsons I tried. I have the ES-100, mainly because I didn't especially want the more ornate wood of the 120. I thought I'd let someone who's really into that sort of thing have it!

You said no-one had come outright and told you to buy it. Okay..."Buy it!" If you want a 335-type guitar, you can't get better for the money, if at all.

luis
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Post by luis » Wed Sep 24, 2003 1:42 pm

peacock,about that review on Guitarist,it is very cusious.If you read it you can see how the writer is leaning towards the Tokai all the time on the review...but he preaches the Heritage at the end ,why????

Paladin2019
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Post by Paladin2019 » Thu Sep 25, 2003 2:18 am

luis wrote:peacock,about that review on Guitarist,it is very cusious.If you read it you can see how the writer is leaning towards the Tokai all the time on the review...but he preaches the Heritage at the end ,why????
Are there any Heritage adverts on pages adjacent to the review? :lol:

luis
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Post by luis » Thu Sep 25, 2003 3:19 am

:wink:

loverockerUK

Post by loverockerUK » Thu Sep 25, 2003 5:17 am

null
Last edited by loverockerUK on Sat Mar 13, 2004 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

justin
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es-100

Post by justin » Thu Sep 25, 2003 7:34 am

Daniel,

i just got my new Es100 a couple of weeks back - I absolutely love it! It rules. I loke the pickups, and the wood sounds great - It did take quite a few hours to break it in (and a slight change to the set-up) though now it's getting better and better everytime i play it. Which is nice.

I was told by someone in the shop that the factory that makes them in japan is actually the same one that does the epiphone elite series. Those guitars retail around ?1500 and the ES100 was ?800 plus it doesn't have that elongated headstock! Don't know if that's true about the factory being the same, though regardless the tokai guitar is fantastic.

I haven't played any of the old ES guitars from the 80's or anything, though have played many 335s and this is the best of them all. I would not trade my ES100 for anything - not a gibson or anything in that equivalent price range.

Hope this helps.
Last edited by justin on Thu Sep 25, 2003 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Paladin2019
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Post by Paladin2019 » Thu Sep 25, 2003 8:40 am

loverockerUK wrote:Don't get me started on the quality (sic) of Guitarist's editorial. :evil:
I've never bought a guitar magazine. The big advert/good review syndrome should be enough to put anyone off but the topics discussed are so subjective that it's almost impossible to get anything useful apart from street prices out of them.

A bit like film reviews really.

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Re: PLEASE EXPLAIN ME ABOUT THE ES-120.

Post by Cybercat » Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:05 am

Cybercat wrote:
Falcon Rust wrote: The PickUp, is Gotoh, worth keeping? better a Seymour Duncan 59?
(snip) A lot of people love the Gotoh p'ups, but Tokai themselves upgraded to Dimarzio or Duncan on their top-of-the-range models.

I've been advised the best I can do (for classic rock, blues etc) is to upgrade to Lindy Fralins. (...although the Duncan '59 was mentioned as a cheaper "second best" for the neck position, still with a Fralin in the bridge).

I will be putting ina pair of Fralins within the next week on my '81 Tokai Love Rock (together with " '50's wiring" & oil-&-paper capacitors), & will keep you posted on the differences etc.
Put the Fralins in last night, plus replaced the cheap tone capacitors with a NOS Sprague "Vitamin Q" .01 cap on the neck p'up tone, and a Hovland "Musicap" .022 on the bridge.

Left the rest of the circuit-board alone on advice from my luthier friend, as apparently the soldered-in Nobels brand pots Tokai used back in '81 are substantially better than currently easily-available pots like Dimarzio, CTS, Alpha etc.

The guitar sounds much more 'toneful" than before, clearer & better than with the original Tokai(Gotoh) p'ups, espescaily when the tone & volumes are not 'maxed out" - THe Vitamin Q gives an almost 'vocal' quality to the neck p'up when the tone knob is not maxed to 10, & also getting a really nice rhythmn sound wityh a volume of 3 on the bridge p'up, & spinning up to 10 for endless violin sustain (only tried so far through my little Laney LC15R practice amp).

Backing the tone off to zero on the neck p'up & playing loud high up the neck brings out Clapton's "Woman Tone" and there are also loads of other "Beano album" sounds galore to be had. String definition in chords is better, and it never gets muddy at all.

Best of all is discovering again & again favorite 70's rock sounds coming out all over the place.

Mmm nice! 8)

Will report more fully after a few live gigs.

Felipe Nacif
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Post by Felipe Nacif » Tue Sep 30, 2003 6:59 am

I've got a ES120, mine is called UES120, but only because a small bump on the top of the headstock, made for the UK market.

I liked the Gotoh pickups, but I decide to try a pair o Seths I had around, plus CTS pots and Orange drops.

The guitar siimply smokes now! It got a huge tone with 011s, the neck is very beefy, and the tone is also very very clear.

I'd have a very hard time trading it for a 335. The workmaship, altough not like my LS320s, it's really good. The finish is nice, and mine is pretty light for a 335. I'm really impressed by the overall quality, specially tonewise with Seths.

Two thumbs up!

drt
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Post by drt » Tue Sep 30, 2003 10:41 am

To Falcon Rust

I think it would be very difficult to compare new (90s, 00s) Tokai guitar to Gibbo, as you know. But if you are looking at early 80s ES 120, I would say difenite to Tokai. I actually own 81's ES150, actually called ES150J. It is a piece of gem. I belive it is flag ship model made at the time, (unless oder build one exist). My one is 2sb colour, but top is full of birds eyes, incredible indeed. Furthermore, neck is solid mahogany and have very nice feel, from instant I gripped, I realised this is hand shaped, cutted. Modern Tokai is poly indeed, but my one is laquer finish and have absolute great confort. So my advice would be, find early 80s guitar or order directly from Tokai. Prom presious thread, there are advice on pic ups, anyone tried Gibbo's burst bucker or 57? Someone said Duncan is semi decent but would it be better thatn Gibbo??? Any suggestion (regarding to position as well) will welcome.

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