82 LC100: Pickup upgrade

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allthumbs
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82 LC100: Pickup upgrade

Post by allthumbs » Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:44 pm

I have a lovely 1982 Love Rock Custom that is completely stock. Although I've played for many years, I have no real experience with humbuckers outside of this gem. She sounds quite wondeful to me, but lately I've been wondering how much better she could be made to sound.

So , I am appealing to all you pickup-gurus. How much better can she sound if I were to replace the pickups? I don't want to deviate too far from her ancestory but did they not also use DMarzio and Seymour Duncans? How much sweeter would she be with some 59's or Antiquities in her? Is it worth the expense or are the stock pups in her more than adequate?

Thanks - I look forward to hearing your opinions and experiences.

Chris (Allthumbs)

mukuzi
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Post by mukuzi » Mon Feb 13, 2006 8:31 pm

my tokai love rock a 50 sticker on the back has the zebra tokai pafs and i wouldnt change them for anything, i have owned prs, sd and dimazio and original burns tri sonics from the 60`s and the tokai pups are just as nice as any of em

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Re: 82 LC100: Pickup upgrade

Post by hans-j?rgen » Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:10 am

allthumbs wrote:I look forward to hearing your opinions and experiences.
http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=4630

That's my review of several bridge humbuckers in my 1981 LS120. It includes a 1984 Tokai '57 PAF which is probably close to yours. And the higher grade Love Rocks came with DiMarzio PAFs and/or Super Distortions (also in the review) or Seymour Duncan '59s. Until the recent model change the LS320 had Seth Lovers, now the LS380 has J.M. Rolphs.
ZZee ya, Hans-Jürgen
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INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"

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Post by ochay » Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:51 am

I have some Lindy Fralins and they are AWESOME !!!
Guitar Farmer !

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Post by Skybone » Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:30 pm

I can say the same about Bare Knuckle Pickups. I've currently got 3 sets in different guitars, with both my Love Rocks enjoying a set each.

My main guitar is my blue '99 LS70 which is wearing a set of Black Dog pickups (8k neck 10.5k bridge), and are voiced with a pretty prominent mid bias, like a certain Mr Page's tone when he used his LP. As this guitar is quite a weighty beast as well, it gives me quite a dark tone, which is what I'm after, unless I open the treble up on both guitar and amp and it becomes quite bright, but still focusing on the mids.

The other set are Emerald's, which are in my early 80's inked serial LS60, (10.5k neck 12k bridge) and they give a bright, punchy tone, similar to the Thin Lizzy type tone of Gorham/Robertson (hence the name). The fact that this guitar is really light for an LP type guitar, and the grain of the mahogany on the back isn't that tight, helps the tone open out (IMO).

They do a really good range of pickups, humbuckers from PAF type voicing's of around 7.5k, to out and out gain monsters (a 22.5k PASSIVE ALNICO pickup anyone?), as well as single coils for both Strat ans Tele type guitars, and a range of P-90's (soapbar, dogear and humbucker sized). Non UK residents don't pay VAT on them either (which makes them a bit cheaper).

www.bareknucklepickups.com

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Post by allthumbs » Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:09 pm

Hans,

I listened to all your clips tonight. Nice playing (always liked Waitin on the Bus). It's an interesting comparison, given that I must listen to an mp3 through some $40 computer speakers but it is at least consistent I suppose. It seemed to me that the tone fell in to 2 categories, Darker (distortion clone, 57 PAF, P94) and Brighter (AGS, PAF II, Di Marzio). I would have to say that I favoured the 'Darker' candidates but the Di Marzio had something happening that I really liked. As I think you mentioned, the AGS and PAF II seemed kind of ambiguous or bland and I agree.

Do you mind if I put you on the spot a bit and ask your preference? After all, you have many miles on these pups in all kinds of conditions. Heck, list them in order of favourite to least favourite (c'mon).

Also, just to see if I have this right, if I were buying a Love Rock in 82' my pup choices would have been - 57 PAFs (Gotoh), Di Marzio PAFs, or SD's (which one's I'm not sure). Is that about right.

By the way, I snuck a peek at the bottom of my pups last night and there is absolutely nothing on the backs (sigh).

Thanks. You guys are really being helpful.

Allthumbs

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Post by Peter Mac » Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:22 pm

Hi Allthumbs,

i am kinda curious as to why you think you have an LC-100 and not an LC-60. There are a few slight differences between the 2 models and the LC-100 is quite a rare guitar. Do you have any pics of the baby? I would love to see them.
In terms of pickups, i would consider the fact that the same pickup in the LC will sound different to an LS model. The reason being the LC models do not have maple tops so are not as bright as the LS model. You may want to find pickups that are a little brighter or glassier than normal.
i prefer the Duncan SH-4 'JB' model as it can also be coil-tapped and the harmonics are simply awesome.

regards
Peter Mac
The world will not end today...because it is already tomorrow in Australia.

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Post by hans-j?rgen » Wed Feb 15, 2006 4:25 am

allthumbs wrote:It seemed to me that the tone fell in to 2 categories, Darker (distortion clone, 57 PAF, P94) and Brighter (AGS, PAF II, Di Marzio). I would have to say that I favoured the 'Darker' candidates but the Di Marzio had something happening that I really liked. As I think you mentioned, the AGS and PAF II seemed kind of ambiguous or bland and I agree.
It's interesting that you would list the '57 PAF "on the darker side", because all previous users have reported that they think it's too thin, too harsh etc. I also thought that when checking them in my LS60, but as you can see (or hear in this case), a different guitar can change that. It has a tendency to sound thin because of lesser bass response and that canny characteristic, but as I wrote I think they will work out fine in my ES-335 copy, too.
Do you mind if I put you on the spot a bit and ask your preference? After all, you have many miles on these pups in all kinds of conditions. Heck, list them in order of favourite to least favourite (c'mon).
Yeah, "winners and losers"... ;) I wasn't kidding when I wrote that I can't name any definite winners or losers. For example the P-94 bridge pickup is still in there, and I like it very much, especially the sound of their middle position and simply the fact that it differs from my LS60 with Shaw PAFs.

The main reason why I recorded all available pickups and uploaded them to my homepage was to give the forum users a basis where they can decide on their own if this or that pickup is something they would consider for their own guitar and "sound in their head". I also wished I would have had some more alternatives like the other pickups that Tokai used in the past and now.
Also, just to see if I have this right, if I were buying a Love Rock in 82' my pup choices would have been - 57 PAFs (Gotoh), Di Marzio PAFs, or SD's (which one's I'm not sure). Is that about right.
I think the '57 PAFs came a little later (about 1984), but I have no idea how they would differ from the normal 1982 Gotohs, sorry. DiMarzio PAFs and Super Distortions were still standard for the LS120 and LS150 at that time, and the Seymour Duncan '59s were only available in the LS200. And this were the catalog specs back then, so it might have been different on special order models, too.
ZZee ya, Hans-Jürgen
BLUEZZ BASTARDZZ "That lil' ol' ZZ Top cover band from Hamburg"
INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"

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Post by allthumbs » Wed Feb 15, 2006 8:42 am

Peter Mac wrote:Hi Allthumbs,

i am kinda curious as to why you think you have an LC-100 and not an LC-60. There are a few slight differences between the 2 models and the LC-100 is quite a rare guitar. Do you have any pics of the baby? I would love to see them.

regards
Peter Mac
Peter,

I don't definitively know that my guitar is an LC100 - I arrived at that 'assuption' after researching what I could here a couple of years ago when I bought her. I'll describe her for you and if you have any questions or information I'd welcome it. First off, aside from the serial number stamped on the back of the headstock there are no other markings that I can find (in cavaties, on pickups, etc.). I bought it used and the seller gave me a hang tag with the correct serial number on it but it also said "LS120" (the guitar is definitely a Custom). Outwardly, she is wine red with gold hardware, with that rather unusual inlay on the headstock (kind of a floral burst with two little vines underneath), and binding over the fret edges. Definitely a one piece neck and one-piece back. The jury is still out on whether the top is one or two piece (Under a magnifier I believe that I can see a seam but I had a friend who is very 'good with wood' examine her and he believes that the 'seam' is in my head and that he can trace the grain completely). The tenon travels under the neck pickup cavity. I would say that the fret board looks more like rosewood than ebony but it is darker and has a tighter grain than any other rosewood fret boards I have seen. I've not seen a lot of ebony so I'm not sure. Hmmm ..what else ...

I'd love to post some pics but I'm not sure how to.

Allthumbs
Last edited by allthumbs on Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by allthumbs » Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:01 am

Hans,

Maybe 'darker' wasn't the best term - perhaps 'less bright'. I agree that my PAFS sound a bit thin and brittle (tho I didn't really here the same in your samples) and that is why I would consider upgrading them. I've heard good things about Fralins as well as the Bareknuckles but I'd really like to stay true to the time and the Tokai 'vibe'. I don't have a particular sound in my head that I am trying to achieve. I guess that I am trying to make my Tokia sound like the best 82' Tokai that it can (so... maybe the 59's?).

Great fun, thanks

Allthumbs

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Post by hans-j?rgen » Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:52 am

allthumbs wrote:I guess that I am trying to make my Tokia sound like the best 82' Tokai that it can (so... maybe the 59's?).
The Seymour Duncan '59 has a tendency to sound boomy in the neck of a normal Les Paul with maple top. And since you really seem to have an all-mahogany winered LC100 (see the 1982 catalog on the main site), that wouldn't be the best idea in my opinion, because such a guitar will rather sound darker than one with a maple top. So two old DiMarzio PAFs would probably get her going, and they are not as expensive as new boutique pickups these days either.
ZZee ya, Hans-Jürgen
BLUEZZ BASTARDZZ "That lil' ol' ZZ Top cover band from Hamburg"
INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"

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Post by luis » Wed Feb 15, 2006 2:28 pm

Main difference between LC60 and LC100 is the finguerboard.If it's ebony made then it's a LC100 but it's tinted rosewood then it's LC60. I had two Burnys one LC60 and one LC80 and LC60's finguerboard was pale(there was something telling not being real ebony...),altough because rosewood can darke with time passing by it can be tricky....

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Post by allthumbs » Wed Feb 15, 2006 4:47 pm

hans-j?rgen wrote:
allthumbs wrote:I guess that I am trying to make my Tokia sound like the best 82' Tokai that it can (so... maybe the 59's?).
The Seymour Duncan '59 has a tendency to sound boomy in the neck of a normal Les Paul with maple top. And since you really seem to have an all-mahogany winered LC100 (see the 1982 catalog on the main site), that wouldn't be the best idea in my opinion, because such a guitar will rather sound darker than one with a maple top. So two old DiMarzio PAFs would probably get her going, and they are not as expensive as new boutique pickups these days either.
That sounds like a good recommendation. You're right about the mahogany-on-mahogany as well - not as 'snappy' as the maple top. Even with the existing setup it's hard to balance the tone as the neck pickup gets deep real easy.

If I can't land any old Dimarizos, do you have any idea how well the new ones stack up?

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Post by allthumbs » Wed Feb 15, 2006 4:52 pm

luis wrote:Main difference between LC60 and LC100 is the finguerboard.If it's ebony made then it's a LC100 but it's tinted rosewood then it's LC60. I had two Burnys one LC60 and one LC80 and LC60's finguerboard was pale(there was something telling not being real ebony...),altough because rosewood can darke with time passing by it can be tricky....
Yeah, I'm not sure on the fretboard - it's a tighter, darker grain than my other rosewoods but as I said I haven't seen a lot of ebony. What is certain is that the body is on-piece and the neck is one-piece - from what I understand to be characteristics of the 100 and not of the 60. Regardless, she looks and plays fantastic.

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Post by hans-j?rgen » Thu Feb 16, 2006 1:06 am

allthumbs wrote:If I can't land any old Dimarizos, do you have any idea how well the new ones stack up?
The Virtual PAFs get good reviews at the moment, also the Virtual Hot PAF for the bridge position. I haven't tested them myself though.

Maybe you should first figure out if there's a real problem with the original Gotohs like "always too muddy in the neck" or "overly bright in the bridge" before starting switching pickups. Normally the Gotohs are said to be very good neck pickups, because they are not on the heavy side. If you still would like to have something clearer there, you might even consider humbucker sized P-90s like me. :)
ZZee ya, Hans-Jürgen
BLUEZZ BASTARDZZ "That lil' ol' ZZ Top cover band from Hamburg"
INDIGO ROCKS "Down home rockin' blues. Tasty as strudel"

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