Thanks to you, I now own this '81 LS50..now my questions

Area for Tokai's older than 1985

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Dogger
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Thanks to you, I now own this '81 LS50..now my questions

Post by Dogger » Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:56 pm

Hi everyone! I started poking around on this forum about a week ago trying to learn more about Tokai guitars since I already knew they had a great reputation here in Canada (seen older Tokais at local Toronto guitar stores for big bucks, ie. Songbird Music). Because of all your great comments posted, it didn't take me long to realize that I had to have a Love Rock! Thanks to Ian's constant preaching about looking for good deals on older models, I decided to take his advice and go the vintage route and try my luck with an old Love Rock sold in Japan. Amen brother!

I bought this from Hiro of Japanoldguitars off Ebay. I noticed from my research on this forum that he is highly regarded and respected so I felt comfortable placing the winning bid on the '81 Love Rock. By the way, I concur, he's excellent!

http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie ... %3AIT&rd=1

Unfortunately it doesn't have the original Gotoh pup :cry: however, if I was unhappy with it, I would have switched to a Duncan Alnico II Pro anyways :wink: I'm very happy about the 1 piece back however I'll have to see it for myself. But I trust Hiro on this.

My question however......

Can anyone tell me anything about the original bridge Gotoh pup? From all the other '81 LS50s I've seen talked about on this forum, the original pups were all exposed double cream coils. And the info in the registry also indicates that the early '80 LS50s were exposed coils (LS Dynamic-II, exposed). Is my pickup perhaps the same one that was used on the older LS50 Reborn models? I can't figure out why my pup has a cover (not complaining though).

I emailed Hiro seeking more info about the pup, and this was his response (you'll have to mind his English)....

"This guitar is all original except for rear pickup. Gotoh PAF is used in LS50-80 from '79 to '82. They are 3 types and their looks are different. Minus screw have 2 types (Old PAF types). Hexangular screw is Dimarzio Super Distortion type. Their 3 types looks are different, but their sounds are all PAF type. The guitar you bought is Hexangular screw type pickups. LS50 usually have Hexangular screw type pickups. Tokai 57 PAF is used in some LS from '83 to '85. MK Pickup is used in Tokais after '90s "

I'm a little confused with his response because of the language barrier and my lack of knowledge on Gotoh pickups. Can anyone provide more info on this pup with perhaps the exact name or model number? Further, can anyone describe the sound of this pup in comparison to other PAF pups?

I haven't received the guitar yet and I'm not very handy so it's unlikely I'll be fiddling with taking the pups out, checking cavities, etc.

Thanks again everyone for this great forum which has shown me the light! Sorry if this post is too long.

ian
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Post by ian » Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:11 pm

Hi Dogger, welcome to the forum, & congratulations on buying what should be a wonderful guitar :) .

Hope I?m not really ?preaching? ? but I do like guys to know that old guitars are often better than new (which is one reason they usually cost more).

The coverd pup is the Seymour Duncan (ie bridge pup) ... neck pup is original Gotoh exposed double-cream (according to Hiro).

OK, I think Hiro is trying to say that early Tokais used various pickups. Early Reborn & Reborn Old used covered Gotoh PAF Mk-1 c.1978-79, although models LS100 & above got Dimarizio?s or Seymour Duncan?s. By 1980 ?81 first Love Rocks used uncovered double-cream Gotohs with slot-head pole adjusters, and also I believe both Gotoh & Dimarizo double-cream with hex-pole adjusters,? then from about 81-82 Gotoh zebra PAF-II with slot-heads,? then c.1983 Gotoh PAF-57 ? dates & fittings probably overlapped a fair bit.

Top will be unmatched 3-piece of course, & back may be 2 or 3 pieces if you look really carefully ... but who cares if it?s a great sounding guitar?

Please let us know what you think when it arrives :-? .

Ian.

Dogger
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Post by Dogger » Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:55 pm

Thanks for your reply Ian. Don't worry, you don't come off as preachy when it comes to promoting the older Tokais. I'm so glad you do it though otherwise I wouldn't have looked at them. If this guitar sounds as good as I'm expecting it to, I'll be spreading the word on the vintage Love Rocks as well.

Have another look at the Ebay link, cuz Hiro describes the guitar with the bridge pickup being the Gotoh, and the rear being the Duncan. He further confirms this in his email to me when he states that the guitar is all original except the rear pickup. Unless of course, Hiro is explaining things backwards because of his self-admitted challenge with english. Hmmmm. That thought just dawned on me. However, as far as I know, and I could be totally wrong on this, but I haven't seen Alnico II Pro pickups with covers. IF this covered pickup is the Gotoh, your reply leads me to believe that it's a covered Mk-1 PAF that were typically used on the older Reborn models.

You know what? I just had another look at the rear pickup by enlarging the pic on the Ebay link and I noticed that the pup has the small dots (1 on each side of the bottom pole, the other below the top coil when looking at the pic). I have seen this before on pics of the old cream Gotoh PAFs (with hex pole pieces) so now I think you are right about this being the Gotoh pup. I hope you're right because I hear the neck pups are a thing of beauty. Moreso than the bridge. Then I could change out the Alnico II Pro bridge for a Seth Lover or something else in cream that matches (don't like Alnico II Pro in the bridge).

I can't wait until this mystery is solved. I guess I'll have to wait until the guitar arrives but I now suspect that you are right.

Thanks again!

QuattroSte
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Post by QuattroSte » Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:07 am

Hi Dogger,

The bridge(covered) pickup is the Duncan and the neck is the Gotoh. I just bought an LS50 aswell. It arrived on Monday this week and I got a few hours to play it then had to travel to Warsaw for 2 days which felt like 2 weeks. Can't wait to get home this evening to pick it up again and give it a good blast.

I am very happy with this guitar. Couldn't ask for more as it screams and softly cries. Ahhhhhhhh! 8)

You'll enjoy it when it arrives. Its the wait thats the killer!

spikeymikey
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LS50

Post by spikeymikey » Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:06 am

Hi Dogger, Ian and Quattroste. Looks good to me whatever the p-up's.My '80 LS50 has the hexpole exposed 'Goto' inkstamped type and they sound terrific. This thing has a two piece back and neck - theres and added piece at the heel- and the three piece top(but you have to look closely to see it) but its a superb guitar and rivals my '59 junior playing wise. I think you will be well chuffed with this one when you get it.

Does anyone know if they made any P90 loaded Gold tops with the one piece junior type bridge back in 78 - 81? Now that would be a guitar to have!

Cheers,
Mike.

Dogger
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Post by Dogger » Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:27 pm

Cool. You guys are getting me REALLY excited about this guitar, and Quattro's right, the wait is killing me!

I'm really glad to hear the Gotoh pup is the neck since I've heard amazing things about it. Now what to do about that mismatching bridge pickup. Maybe I'll get lucky and find the matching pup on Ebay. If anyone here decides to switch out their original Gotohs for aftermarket pickups, I'd be happy to buy the bridge, perhaps even both. I've looked at aftermarket pickups and I can't believe how hard it is to find pickups in double cream! It seems Dimarzio is the way to go for those. I've been looking into the Virtual PAF bridge pup and the reviews are very, very impressive. Does anybody here have any experience with that pup? Apparently it's well balanced, it has the PAF vibe but with an added 3D element to it. Sounds very appealing and it's peaked my curiosity.

Now here's a question for you collectors out there. If I was to get another original Gotoh pup for the bridge and I wax potted the 2 pickups, would that devalue the guitar at all? Is it considered a modification? Is it possible to unwax a pickup to restore it to original?

hans-j?rgen
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Re: LS50

Post by hans-j?rgen » Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:52 pm

spikeymikey wrote:This thing has a two piece back and neck - theres and added piece at the heel
If you mean the small added pieces of mahogany on the left and right side of the headstock, this doesn't count as several parts of the neck. A three piece neck is clearly visible throughout the whole length. I once played such a Love Rock in a guitar shop which was the only one I ever met and considered it being a bad sounding Tokai. It also had multiple body parts for top and back.
Does anyone know if they made any P90 loaded Gold tops with the one piece junior type bridge back in 78 - 81? Now that would be a guitar to have!
There is a P-90 goldtop model in the "Early models" catalogue on the main site, but with the standard stop tailpiece and bridge.
ZZee ya, Hans-Jürgen
BLUEZZ BASTARDZZ "That lil' ol' ZZ Top cover band from Hamburg"
INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"

hans-j?rgen
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Post by hans-j?rgen » Thu Jun 23, 2005 5:12 pm

Dogger wrote:Now what to do about that mismatching bridge pickup.
Keep it? :wink: Maybe you should at least play that guitar and pickup for a few days before buying a new one. Maybe the Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro is the perfect combination at the bridge. If not, you can always sell it for a reasonable price.
I've looked at aftermarket pickups and I can't believe how hard it is to find pickups in double cream! It seems Dimarzio is the way to go for those.
That's because DiMarzio has patented the double cream look, so other manufacturers can't or won't use it anymore officially. Some call it differently though, and Seymour Duncan also delivers them if they have covers. So maybe you should take them off yours first, or rather peek through an empty screw hole from underneath the base plate.
I've been looking into the Virtual PAF bridge pup and the reviews are very, very impressive.
I using an old DiMarzio PAF from ~1978 at the moment and like it very much. The descriptions of the new Virtual PAF read similar to what I hear with mine, but I didn't test them personally.
Now here's a question for you collectors out there. If I was to get another original Gotoh pup for the bridge and I wax potted the 2 pickups, would that devalue the guitar at all? Is it considered a modification? Is it possible to unwax a pickup to restore it to original?
I think Tokais are made to play, not to collect, that's one reason I like them. So I wouldn't worry too much about an imaginary "collector's value" for original Gotoh parts on my Tokai. :wink: If your pickup squeals, wax it in case you like the sound, if it doesn't, don't wax it. Unwaxing is probably hard and not worth the trouble.
ZZee ya, Hans-Jürgen
BLUEZZ BASTARDZZ "That lil' ol' ZZ Top cover band from Hamburg"
INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"

bolero
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Post by bolero » Thu Jun 23, 2005 11:13 pm

fwiw I've been really liking Wolfetone PAF replica's as pickup upgrades; small business, total handmade quality pickups. I've been getting the "legend" model, which is his clone of a '50's PAF


I have a mix of duncan ( pearly gates, '59, duncan custom, plus gibson stock 496.....and the original gotoh/tokai pups ) and these sound the best by far. I just ordered another set for my '81 love rock 8) I tried a pair in my Heritage & it sounds amazing, so I'm sold on them.

I have a bit of a beef with dimarzio because that whole copyrighted cream-bobbin thing is bogus.

spikeymikey
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LS50

Post by spikeymikey » Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:45 am

Thanks Hans -J, my guitar has the little added bit at the heel - not the 3 pieces longwise - I know what you mean on that. Ta for the info on the goltops.
Mike.

Dogger
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Post by Dogger » Mon Jul 11, 2005 11:19 am

Sorry for taking so long to update ya'll but I received the guitar from Japan a couple of weeks ago (only took about 5 days for shipping but customs was $172 CAD, OUCH!!!). The construction of this guitar is incredible. I've looked at the back very closely and I do believe it's a one-piece back as Hiro (Japanese seller) said. I suppose he should know, he's a fountain of knowledge when it comes to Tokais!

Anyways, to describe the sound of this LR, it's bright sounding which is exactly what I had hoped for since my all-mahogany Les Paul Custom is the darkest sounding guitar I've ever heard and I wanted another Les Paul type guitar that had "bite" for leads. Only a maple cap can give you that bite. And boy, does this baby have bite!!! It sings, especially through my Marshalls. I absolutely adore the neck pickup but as I suspected, I'm not impressed at all with the Duncan bridge pickup so it's going to go. I picked up these Gotoh pickups on Ebay over the weekend and I'm hoping they're identical to the pup that's in the neck position of my LR (I haven't pulled it out yet).

http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie ... %3AIT&rd=1

They look the same (double-cream with hex pole adjusters) so I imagine the bridge pickup will do the job and I'll have another neck pup for spare or perhaps another guitar. I thought this was a great price for both pups! Do these pickups look familiar to any of you guys? It has "Gotoh" stamped on the bottom, not "patent applied for by Gotoh" which I've read other members talk about.

I'm very happy with this purchase and I can't wait to wail on this baby once I change out the bridge pickup!

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