How did you discover Tokai?

Tokai guitar discussion

Moderators: ian, ned

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:28 pm

How did you discover Tokai?

Post by toomanyguitars » Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:24 am

A friend of mine who was always a great player and who eventually owned a guitar shop knew about Tokais from the early 80s, maybe before. Over the years he had owned just about every desirable guitar there is, but what he played himself was usually a Tokai. I think he enjoyed confounding the expectations of many of his fellow players! I loved the mysterious and slightly funny names like Springysound, etc. and I had to notice that these were particularly good instruments.

Guitar God
Posts: 1542
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:02 pm
Location: AC - Germany

Post by tudor » Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:53 pm

Played guitar for about 40 years now ? stopped by job and different circumstances several times ? I?ve started with Teles and Strats again, but the LPs were my Big Love ? :o

An Epi Black Beauty Custom (MIK) should be the one ? but it was disappointing what that guitar was performing ? I?ve sold it again.

Looking for ?The Real Thing? I was smashed down by the retail prices and ? by accident I heard about Tokai and a guy from Southern Germany who seemed to be ?The Tokai Guitar Guru? - my connection to Gottfried had begun. :lol:

The more pics he provided, the more infos I?ve got from him and the TGF ? I had joined in the meantime ? the more I could see how sophisticated Tokai was producing their guitars ? a deep love had been started. :lol:

Although I?m looking sometimes for the Gibbos ? I?m sure that I never really could buy one !! :-?

I?d would rather buy a Navigator or a High Grade Greco or an ObG - but the Tokai virus ( especially for the old ones ? take a look at villager?s ?79 LS200 Reborn! ) is a ?desease? you are not able to mend !! 8)


Guitar God
Posts: 3727
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:24 pm
Location: Middle of Nowhere.. France.

Post by villager » Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:22 pm

I was lost one day in Ochanomizu, and a Reborn LS-120 showed me the way home...

Guitar God
Posts: 1542
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:02 pm
Location: AC - Germany

Post by tudor » Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:29 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Cheers - KIPPIS - PROST - A votre ... the saki ??


BTW - I have known an old Seaman - he told me that he was somtimes seeing green moons when he was standing on the deck - caused by the green Beck's bottles ... :lol: :lol:

Guitar God
Posts: 209
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2002 9:19 am
Location: New Mexico

Post by tokaigeezer » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:05 pm

I'd always wanted a 70s, big headstock Strat but didn't want to pay silly money for it. I saw a very cool 70s-era Strat copy in Vintage White online at Elderly Instruments, emblazoned with the wacky name of "Silver Star." It looked cool so I called the shop. I asked the saleswoman how it sounded - a few minutes later she came back and said "Well ... it sounds like ... a really great Strat. If you don't want it, let me know, because it's got me thinking ..."

So I bought it and it knocked me out. No more Fenders or Gibsons for me!

Guitar God
Posts: 1871
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 9:56 pm

Post by sneakyjapan » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:54 pm

I came.....I saw.....I purchased.

I only know 3 chords
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 2:52 am
Location: Northern Ireland

Post by Midnight » Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:35 pm

I came across Tokai thanks to a UK guitar store by the name of Regent. This was back in September of last year, 2005. But, they sadly do not deal with Tokai any longer. :(

I was on the look out for a new guitar, I'd been playing for about two years and thought I deserved a new, good quality axe. I owned a Stagg PRS Copy, which was not a very good guitar at all, but it was my first electric and served its purpose. I was starting to lose interest in playing because I wasn't really enjoying it a whole lot, even though I always wanted to play, but I wasn't seeing myself progress a whole lot once I reached a certain level, and it was getting me down, so I decided to get a new axe to reignite my desire to play. I narrowed my search (with the aid of the great forum members over at the Regent forums) down to an SG, and a Les Paul. I was of course looking at Gibson, but I wasn't too happy about the price tags on their guitars so then I looked to Epiphone. I wasn't going to make the beginner mistake again by buying without knowing anything about the guitar, so I registered at the Regent forums and asked around. I was put onto Tokai, who were being talked up on various sites around the internet, not only the Regent forums, for their value for money, and build quality, among other things. I eventually put a line through the choices of Gibson, and Epiphone, and circled Tokai, based on the numerous positive comments I saw for Tokai.

Anyway, I eventually opted for the Les Paul, over an SG. I live over in Northern Ireland, and Regent are based in England, so I would be ordering online with no hands on demo of the guitar, but I felt secure enough in choosing a Tokai, and in dealing with Regent. I ended up with a Tokai Love Rock LS-70F in Cherry Sunburst, and a Hiscox Hardcase. It's one of the most beautiful guitars I've ever laid eyes on, and it plays like a dream. It has a great sound too, but my amp (a Marshall MG15 DFX) doesn't really do the guitar justice, so it's only really got to shine when I've played it through a friends (Kustom) amp. I have honestly yet to find a neck to rival that of my Love Rock, it's just the most comfortable necks I've ever played on. There was literally nothing negative to say about the guitar. In fact if I was to go over it with a fine tooth comb all I could complain about was the disappointing fact that the toggle switch went intermittent without a matter of weeks, but that's just a switch. The build quality, the playability, the sound, and the finish are all top notch.

Guitar God
Posts: 3534
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:49 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia

Post by leadguitar_323 » Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:01 pm

:D My first guitar was a Suzuki LP copy, that was in the late 70's. It wasn't too bad for a starter but badly needed setting up.I went to see my local music store about a set up and it was at this time that i was told about numerous quality guitars coming out of japan.Thirty years later and after several guitars including high end jacksons and a very good gibbo SG i saw a review for a LS 90Q in an aussie guitar mag, I remembered the tokai name from my conversation all those years ago and my curiosity had been awakened. To cut a long story short, I recently bought the LS 180 Hisashi had for sale on e-bay and i have to say they are incredable instruments. I have spent many hours since buying it trying to find its limitations and so far i have only found one and that is not a complaint it's just that i would prefer some pickups with more grunt.
Overall a wonderfully constructed guitar with loads of tone and supurb feel, i doubt i will ever sell her. Long live MIJ guitars :D :D :D :D
so many little money...

Guitar God
Posts: 713
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2002 12:20 pm
Location: So. Cal.

Post by ochay » Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:08 am

Kinda getting tearful eyes here-Stop !!!
Guitar Farmer !

Guitar God
Posts: 365
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 11:22 am
Location: monterey california

Post by TUNAFREAK » Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:30 pm

On the Epiphone sight! I am so glad!

Mark :D

Guitar God
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: USA

Post by ScottA » Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:28 pm

I bought a Tokai ST-62 at a music store in Providence, RI in the late 80's, 88 I think. I had never heard of them before, but I really liked the guitar so I got it. He had some Breezy Sounds as well, but no Love Rocks as I recall. That was my main guitar, on and off, for quite a few years. I remember vague rumors in my youth of Japanese guitars that were "better than Gibsons" and lawsuits to keep them out, but I'm not sure I ever heard the name Tokai until I played that Strat. I bought a 1975 Ibanez LP copy in Cambridge, MA in 1996 and that was my main guitar for a while.

When this internet stuff and ebay got up to speed I just started researching Tokai and got the itch to buy a Love Rock. I picked up a 1983 LS80 in 2003 from Katana and a 1982 LS100 in Ochanomizu last summer. Both fantastic guitars.

The tone quest continues...

Guitar God
Posts: 244
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Post by Novosel » Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:05 am

I first come across Tokai around 1987. Way back in the sixties when I was just a pup, I had owned a sunburst '59 Les Paul, sold it in the seventies (yeah, I know :cry: ) and when I began playing again, I wanted a Les Paul but didn't like what they had morphed into. Around that time I was playing an affordable copy (a Cort, I think), and went into a little guitar shop to buy a case for it. The owner said he didn't have any LP cases, and when I pointed to a black one sitting on a shelf, he said, "There's a guitar in that one already". I walked over, lifted the lid and was stunned. Funny name - "Love Rock" - yet practically the twin of my old burst, so supremely beautiful and well crafted, but I wasn't in the market for a new guitar although it never left my mind...

A couple of months later, I went back to that shop to try out some amps. When the owner said, "What guitar do you want to use?", I just smiled and pointed to that black case still sitting on the shelf. Long story short, the amp stayed and I left with a new old stock '84 ALS60 flametop. Twenty-two years later, I still have it.

Guitar God
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:48 am

Post by mlivingstone » Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:19 am

Sorry for coming in so late on this one but I've been offline for a few months now.

The first I heard of Tokai was in the late 70's early 80's when Harry Baird's music in Belfast started importing them. Our local guitar hero Jim Armstrong started regularly gigging with a Love Rock and Springysound to give his original 58/59 Burst (can't remember which now) a rest (tried to blag a drunken strum on the burst once when the Pound club was closing down and the only drinks they had left were Carlsberg Special and vodka - not a good combination - however I digress!).

A few years ago I was in another Belfast music shop and the owner told me that Jim had semi-retired and had sold the 58/59 Burst for god knows how much but had replaced it with an off the shelf Love Rock.

No better recommendation from the once third best guitarist in the world - apparently! ... ction=edit

Guitar God
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:20 am

Post by funkynassau » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:27 pm

Being a lefty, my choices are limited, and I'd been looking around for a lefty electric. I researched eBay and found a lot of different brands but dont recall any Tokais. I visited my area music stores and found the usual Strat knockoffs that the young teens at the music school play. They didnt appeal to me. I kept in mind my teacher's advice not to settle, dont buy something just so I can buy something, be sure I want it.

One day my husband and I went into a music store and there was the Tokai, it had the body shape I wanted, it was a lefty and electric! I loved the look of it. So we talked to the owner a fair bit and I learned about Tokais. I then researched them on eBay and various websites and ask my musician friends, not many actually know much about them, tho my teacher thinks highly of them.

Back to the store, and I played it for 90 mins or so and asked a pile of questions and got my answers. In the end I bought it. That was just last week and so far I am really loving it. It's beautiful and it sounds sooo nice and it's easy to play. I have a guitar lesson tomorrow and I cant wait to see my teacher's face when I show him my new baby!

Funkynassau :lol:

Guitar God
Posts: 483
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:15 pm
Location: uk

Post by Rossi » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:33 pm

MMMMM I dont like the normal things in life, i like to be different now.Why should i pay just for the name and now they are just riding on it, ok in the early days Fender & Gibson were the main ones for heavy rock which was the kind of music i played back then in the late 60s.In the 70s i was on tour and i played a 1959 white strat,they were the guitar for me strats,ive owned about nearly every mainstream make of guitar and a few you have not heard of,one was a WEM 5th man,and with playing for 40years ive had a few guitars and ive played with some legends in my time.In the late 70s early 80s all my mates were raving on about Tokai Strats,but i didnt buy one or try one :cry: .I was now playing a Gibson SG and a Gibson Goldtop.Then i bought one of the 1st Levison Blades RH4 made in switzerland nice guitar everything you ever wanted out of one,with a ebony fretboard, but like we all do i sold that one aswell :lol:.I still had one or two guitars i gigged with.I was on E-Bay last year looking at guitars and i came across VILLAGERs E-Bay site,well i remembered id heard of Tokai on my travels in the early 80s so i gave Villager (MARK) a phone call,Nice guy we had a good chat and i thought (This guy nows his MIJ guitars),so i bought a 81 LS-80 off him and later a LS-120 what can i say thats not been said about Tokais i now have 6 Tokais and ive just discovered a guitar called a Fenix made by Young Chang like Tokai they will be the next one on the move up. 8)

Post Reply