LS-120

Area for Tokai's older than 1985

Moderators: ian, ned

Perfect_liberty
Plucker
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:25 pm

LS-120

Post by Perfect_liberty » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:32 pm

Can anyone give me an estimate what is the value/cost of an 80's model LS-120? Veneer vs solid top. For condition, lets say very good to excellent. I see them on Reverb and EBay and the costs vary significantly. Just looking for what would be considered a "good deal".

Thanks in advance!

guitar hiro
Guitar God
Posts: 486
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:28 pm

Post by guitar hiro » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:44 am

value is one thing; cost is completely different.
Below are typical factor$.
Veneer v. solid top = huge difference IMO. So so veneer = cheaper & excellent figured solid = expensive.
Top color will be a biggy too. Cherry aka clown = le$$.
I would say $1600 on the lowest end & $3200/plus to the higher side.
YMMV

Mick51
Guitar God
Posts: 725
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:09 pm
Location: Urbandale, Iowa, USA

Post by Mick51 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:00 am

Solid top LS120s are relatively rare. The great majority of LS120s are veneers with very well matched and aligned veneers.

For a true solid top, you'll have to do your due diligence, and expect to pay a pretty good price when you do find one. For a nice solid top, I would agree that $3 k USD wouldn't be extravagant.

Good hunting.
There is no revolution, only evolution..

Perfect_liberty
Plucker
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:25 pm

Post by Perfect_liberty » Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:57 pm

Gotcha. Thank you both for your input. I’ve done a bit more research and I see what you’re saying - very few solid top 120’s and yup, very expensive. So for a veneer top, they’re gonna run $1600 on the low end? So a decently flamed and decently colored one may run over $2000? And is it generally agreeed that a veneer 120 is still a really good quality guitar? I ask because you can’t get a solid body Gibson Les Paul unless you buy a Hostoric model - and that’s gonna cost about $1k more it seems.
Last edited by Perfect_liberty on Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

guitar hiro
Guitar God
Posts: 486
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:28 pm

Post by guitar hiro » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:35 pm

A (vintage) Tokai LS-120 is only one option, of many different options. Considering the price point range they typically command IMO it is seriously worth looking to other potential options, particularly so if you go with a solid lumber plain top.
It really depends on what specific attributes you are looking for, what attributes you have to have, and what attributes you are willing to not gain when you purchase.

If you are looking for something that is 'vintage correct' then a vintage Tokai LS-120 will get you there, if you purchase a solid top version, with the exception of a long tenon.
No vintage Tokai LS examples that I am aware of have a long tenon.

If the veneer top & the medium tenon are acceptable then I say look for a vintage 120 in the lower end of the price point range. Why? Obviously you will keep more $$$ in your pocket, if you go the 120 route.

I have owned various vintage Tokai LS examples but IMO there are other options that I prefer. These options are typically le$$ price point as the vintage LS examples typically come with a premium co$t

Again; it all depends on what you want, what you are willing to accept, and what you are willing to fore go.

Your actual shipping location may, or may not add on a few extra $$.

Perfect_liberty
Plucker
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:25 pm

Post by Perfect_liberty » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:37 pm

Guitar Hiro: Yes, I'm looking for something more "vintage correct". I would prefer to not buy one with a veneer but I'm trying to stay below $2k. With as many LS 60 / 80's going for close to or above $2k I figured that a veneer 120 model would fit the bill if I could get one somewhere between $1500-1800. And after looking at about every other LP model whether Gibson, replica or vintage MIJ, it seems that it's tough to find one with good woods and good appointments/pickups that can be had under to $2k. And for me, there's something about vintage guitars that just does it for me. If there's another brand that would fit what I'm looking for, I'm all ears.

Thanks!

aroomstudios
Guitar God
Posts: 271
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:01 am
Location: California

Post by aroomstudios » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:34 pm

@Perfect_liberty

You could get a History GH-LSV for way under $2000. These are not vintage though. Made 2000's to 2013 or so. They do have long tenons. I have a 2013 GH-LCV and it is one of the best guitars I have ever seen. I have 10 Les Paul's so i have a lot to compare it to. The LCV has mother of pearl inlays. I think the LSV does also though I am not 100% sure.

https://www.shimamura.co.jp/originalbra ... 201301.pdf

I also have a FGN 20E which is made by the same company Fujigen. They are both great guitars but I would give the edge to the history. It is 300k yen vs the fgn which is 168k yen new.

http://mi.fujigen.co.jp/collection/model_NLC20EMH.html

Both the FGN's and the History's have Gibson braided wire througout. They have switchcraft 3 way switches and jacks. CTS pots, Sprauge Vitamin Q 33nF Caps. The pickups in the History are their own Pu the FGN has Duncan SH4 SH1 or something like that.

PS they discontinued the History GH line in 2015 or so. The SH line is half the price of the GH line.

PS I got my history GH-LCV a few month ago on Ebay for $1140 shipping included to USA from Japan with the original history HSC which is a really nice case.

Perfect_liberty
Plucker
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:25 pm

Post by Perfect_liberty » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:27 pm

Aroomstudios:

Thank you. I'll check em' out!

peacock72
Guitar God
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 10:32 am

Post by peacock72 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:28 am

A used Crews Maniac Sound KTR is also a great value. I have a 2012 plaintop Standard that I purchased for $1400 plus shipping. Neck is 30 year air dried mahogany. Rest of the woods are newer growth. Very light and resonant guitar. Excellent hardware, full nitro finish and amazing pickups. I play it as much as my ‘83 LS120 and ‘80 LS80. Higher end Crews come with solid flame tops and aged mahogany backs. Top of the line have Brazilian fretboards, but will cost as much as a Historic. Neck profiles are ‘58 style and mine feels like my LS80.

aroomstudios
Guitar God
Posts: 271
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:01 am
Location: California

Post by aroomstudios » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:52 am

Forgot to mention the History's have Historic wood. 300 year old wood from a Japanese lake or something. Both the history and FGN have lacquer finishes. They also have something called CFS (circle fret system). The arc of the frets has a very small bend as you go up the fretboard. Makes the intonation better as you move around the guitar.

I have heard the Crews are good. Never got one though so I cannot compare them to the Fujigen made ones (History/FGN).

guitar hiro
Guitar God
Posts: 486
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:28 pm

Post by guitar hiro » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:32 am

aroomstudios wrote:Forgot to mention the History's have Historic wood. 300 year old wood from a Japanese lake or something. Both the history and FGN have lacquer finishes. They also have something called CFS (circle fret system). The arc of the frets has a very small bend as you go up the fretboard. Makes the intonation better as you move around the guitar.

I have heard the Crews are good. Never got one though so I cannot compare them to the Fujigen made ones (History/FGN).

Some of the timbers that have been used for History guitars have come from the Great Lakes, sunken timbers, submerged for two, to three centuries.
The Great Lakes are not in Japan. :roll:

--------------------------------------------------

I have two Crews examples, both Terada built, and both from different lines, thus different price points.
IMO these are both excellent guitars. :)
Last edited by guitar hiro on Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

guitar hiro
Guitar God
Posts: 486
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:28 pm

Post by guitar hiro » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:37 am

Perfect_liberty wrote:Guitar Hiro: Yes, I'm looking for something more "vintage correct". I would prefer to not buy one with a veneer but I'm trying to stay below $2k. With as many LS 60 / 80's going for close to or above $2k I figured that a veneer 120 model would fit the bill if I could get one somewhere between $1500-1800. And after looking at about every other LP model whether Gibson, replica or vintage MIJ, it seems that it's tough to find one with good woods and good appointments/pickups that can be had under to $2k. And for me, there's something about vintage guitars that just does it for me. If there's another brand that would fit what I'm looking for, I'm all ears.

Thanks!
don't know the specifics concerning PMs & lower post counts but I PMed you, FYI.

AFA neck profiles go:
There can be variation within individual product lines so, when someone makes a blanket statement concerning neck profiles being XYZ, then that is suspect info IMO.

brokentoes
Guitar God
Posts: 1698
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by brokentoes » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:40 pm

Price also depends on where you live. If they can be sourced locally vs. imported the price can be far more reasonable. I have a solid topped 1981 LS120 that i could never have afforded to import.

Perfect_liberty
Plucker
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:25 pm

Post by Perfect_liberty » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:48 pm

Broken toes: Gotcha. I’m in Phoenix so local transactions work for me. Is you 81’ LS120 for sale 😉

brokentoes
Guitar God
Posts: 1698
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by brokentoes » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:35 pm

I'm not exactly local to you as i'm in another country. For you i would mean something already in the U.S., no crossing borders etc..If you don't have to have a flame top model a vintage LS80 should do pretty much anyone and some LS80's do have killer flame tops. I think the rarity of the LS120's play a part in the pricing. Sourcing a quality vintage LS80 in the U.S. should only probably run at most $1500, if you want one tomorrow you'd have to pay more obviously. Guitars are cheaper in the U.S. and the market can only bear what it can bear and actual Gibson's can be had for cheaper than the rest of the world. In Canada i got my '81 LS120 for cheaper than a used lower end Gibson.. i paid 5X less than a comparable model Gibson. It was a no brainer.

$1500 - $1800 U.S. will buy yourself into a hell of a good Vintage MIJ Guitar. I'd figure out your EXACT requirements for what you prefer and then narrow things down by brand. You can afford to be choosy.

Post Reply