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1981 Tokai LS-60 Love Rock = ?What Should I Expect?
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guitar hiro
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:03 pm    Post subject: 1981 Tokai LS-60 Love Rock = ?What Should I Expect? Reply with quote

I recently purchased a 1981 Tokai LS-60 Love Rock model but I don't have the guitar yet.

I assume it is in original condition as the guitar looks to be near pristine.
From looking @ photos the solder in the control route looks untouched.

One thing that looks off are the pickups as they have open (reverse) zebra bobbins.

The 1981 catalog has the LS-60 pictured with double white bobbins.

If the pickups in the guitar are actually original, what should I expect the no cover (reverse) zebra pickups to be?


EDIT:
I did locate another LS-60 with what looks to be the same open (reverse) zebra bobbin pickups but it is a 1984 example; three years later than the 1981 example.
On the 1984 example it has a sticker on the pickup bases showing 'TOKAI '57 PAF MODEL'
Also, just looked at the 1982 Tokai catalog which has the LS-60 pictured with the open (reverse) zebras.
The '82 catalog list these pickups as MkII pickups.
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Last edited by guitar hiro on Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mono
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can tell you are excited.

You are just going to have to wait and see.

I agree, zebras are most likely not original so could be absolutely anything in there! The good news is that wiring and pickups can always be changed 👍
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brokentoes
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have any pics or link to the original ad ??
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guitar hiro
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mono wrote:
I can tell you are excited.

You are just going to have to wait and see.

I agree, zebras are most likely not original so could be absolutely anything in there! The good news is that wiring and pickups can always be changed 👍


not so much excited as just curious. My opinion is the pickups are most likely original, considering the solder points (all) look unmolested in the seller pics.

I did a search here @ the TF and I went through an extreme amount of info: one person stated their 1982 LS-60 had the TOKAI '57 PAF MODEL pickups that they thought were original to the guitar.

I guess I am most curious about the condition of the guitar. The photos imply the guitar is an 'under the bed' & 'crazy clean' example that was left hidden away for decades. As previously noted it looks pristine.

The top finish is BS but the back is cherry. I have seen earlier (than 1981) LS-60 examples that were BS top color that had 'brown' backs & not cherry. This one seems 'odd' in that respect.

I guess the thing that is most curious is the top which is very flamed & includes a bit of birds eye on the large/upper bout. The top could pass for a LS-100, or LS-150; no kidding.



brokentoes wrote:
Do you have any pics or link to the original ad ??


I copied the seller photos but I don't have a photo host.
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wulfman
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like a mismatched top to me which might have been left on the woodpile. Nice looking guitar though.
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guitar hiro
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is what I guess is a 1982 example LS-60 with what looks to be the same type open/no cover (reverse) zebra pickups.

The listings states PU: Original LS-Hot x 2

https://www.digimart.net/cat01/shop61/DS04632294/

This LS-60 has a very plain looking top & is quite clowny to boot.
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guitar hiro
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wulfman wrote:
It looks like a mismatched top to me which might have been left on the woodpile. Nice looking guitar though.


Hi Harold, sounds like you are familiar with the guitar/listing. The seller listed only seven photos, none are that great but were good enough to make a judgement call. Three of the photos show the top but only the photo that is a close-up of the tail piece, bridge, and lead pickup shows up the flame in the lower top half. In this photo the top looks like it could be well matched as the flame in the lower top half looks like a near mirror image of the upper top half.

I thought the ending price would be much higher than where it ended at, particularly for such a clean example with such a great looking solid top.
I put in the minimum bid allowed & no one else bid after my bid. I certainly did not expect to have the winning bid.
I found out it weighs in at 4.10 kg aka 9.02 lb. Not light but not heavy, just average.
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guitar hiro
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 1981 LS-60 BS should be in my hands by next Wednesday, barring any shipping/customs issues.

Once here I can check the (reverse) zebra bobbin pickups to see what they actually are.
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guitar hiro
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1981 LS-60 arrived this afternoon & I had the opportunity to check the pickups, which are now no longer a mystery but other questions have now come up.

The pickups have brass looking/brass colored bases with the word GOTOH embossed/die stamped into the bases.
The bases have the 'short' ears, not the flat ears I have seen on other Tokai pickups ink stamped 'made by goto.'
These GOTOH embossed bases also do not have the 'long' ears as seen on the 'TOKAI '57 PAF MODEL.'
I have never seen these GOTOH embossed/die stamped, short ear pickups before but then I am not as familiar with vintage Tokai as I am with vintage Greco examples.
Anyone with the experience with Tokai pickups that is willing to chime in, please do so.

Since I have had the opportunity to assess the guitar in person I now have other observations about this example that are not adding up; in a good way.
The maple top is nearly 'over the top' and is IMO way above the level of a LS-60. I'm seeing LS-100 & LS-150 territory here.
The clear coat seems to have (small) issues in two different locations that tend to suggest a nitro lacquer finish, as I have never seen poly do what I am seeing here.
As mentioned in an earlier post, basically every example of a BS finish I have seen also had the brown colored back; this one has the cherry colored back.
The finger board has a distinctly non linear grain most associated with Brazilian, and the coloration in places is dark red, to black, and with extremely small pores.
Needless to say I am looking at what is IMO an anomalous example.
I'm wondering if I located a 'unicorn.'
To be continued.
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brokentoes
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a normal LS60 form 1981 to me. They had nice fretboard wood. Not Braz though. Does it have the circuit board for electronics ? Maybe check for nitro if you think its a refinish or a higher model.
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guitar hiro
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

brokentoes wrote:
Sounds like a normal LS60 form 1981 to me. They had nice fretboard wood. Not Braz though. Does it have the circuit board for electronics ? Maybe check for nitro if you think its a refinish or a higher model.


thanks for the reply: From my (limited) experience with vintage Tokai LS examples, both personal & documented examples I have seen online, this one does not seem to me to be, "a normal LS60" from "1981." I will extrapolate.

(1) the maple top is completely covered side to side, end to end, with flame, figure, and birds eye. The top is nothing short of 'over the top' and could easily pass (IMO) for a LS-100, LS-150, even a LS-200 level solid top. This is not (IMO) what one would expect a maple top from a "normal" LS-60 example to look like; again, IMO.
(2) As far as the fret board lumber: I don't believe it is anything other than typical 'rosewood' but the long grain/linear/annual ring grain is not at all typical for what one witnesses on typical Tokai finger boards from the era. The grain is quite irregular, non leniar, with color variations alternating from a very dark red to black. The pores are very small, similar to Brazilian, yet there are (IMO) too great a number of pores to classify as Brazilian. Also, the 'board does not feel like Brazilian under the fingertips. Having said that, the visual of the finger board could (IMO) easily pass for Brazilian. It is a point of interest; nothing else.
(3) The control route does contain what looks to be an original Tokai type circuit board, replete with all solder points that look to be unmolested, in my best estimation.
(4) I will be checking the finish with acetone & also with a different (secondary) 'lacquer' thinner some time soon to determine what the finish coat may be. Two forms of solvent 'check' will IMO be better than one form of solvent check. I prefer to be thorough.

No matter what I may, or may not conclude concerning this particular (vintage) Tokai example, I am certainly glad I was fortunate enough to have the winning bid & to obtain ownership. This example certainly has to be one of the most intriguing & anomalous examples that I have encountered in many years. I feel pretty fortunate at the moment to have something in my hands that seems to be such a mystery, and at the same time is no doubt a prime example of why we are all here @ the TF & members of this great forum.
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wulfman
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen in the past beautiful LS-60 with a great figured top that was made from two completely mismatched maple pieces.

Guitar Hiro, many words you write, but pictures you do not post.

Can you show us what you are seeing?
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brokentoes
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's always exceptions to the rule. That is rule # 1.

I have a 1981 Tokai LS120 that is spec'd for a flamed veneer top. You can imagine my dismay when i found it to be a solid flamed maple top. All that quality veneer tone that i love was not to be. You think you are getting one thing and you get yet another. Surprise !!

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wulfman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://yamauchi63133.wixsite.com/hikidaore/tls60-texture-matched-top-1983

Good example of a nice mismatched LS-60. Bonus top!
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guitar hiro
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Harold, Going back to what I said in my forth post concerning the seller photos & the top: It was difficult for me to have a really good understanding of the true nature of the top by viewing the three photos that had any image of the top but good enough to make a judgement call.
After viewing the guitar in person your idea proved to be correct: the top is not book matched but looks to be flitch matched with pieces from the same board. For me this is a bonus as I have always been a fan of flitch matched tops; they seem to have more character than a true book match look.

As far as photos: I believe I told you some time ago, and I recently discussed with Marcus, I don't have a photo host. I used to use PhotoFucket & have a ton of pics there but a couple, or three years ago they wanted $399 to continue using their service. I took two photos of the LS-60 yesterday; a photo of the embossed GOTOH image on the pickup base & a photo of the 'short' ears on the pickups. These are just for reference.

Thanks for posting the clowny LS-60 with the great flitch matched top.
The top on mine has a similar character but seeing a guitar in person can be so much more impressive.
I bet that clowny LS-60 looks three, or four times better in person than that photo.
I know my BS example does. Maybe five, or six times better.

I did discover one item that is going to have to be corrected: Every single fret end is slightly elevated & can chew-up some flesh. This fact alone could easily account for the fact that the guitar is a 38 year old example that looks like it is nearly new. With the fret ends posing such a danger to a player's hand & fingers I don't believe the guitar is playable in any practical sense. I will be taking the Tokai to a couple of local luthiers soon to get an opinion on the situation with the fret ends.
This is yet another anomalous feature of this example. I have seen guitars with a fret end here, or there with this issue but to have both ends of every fret on the entire guitar to have the issue is IMO other worldly.
Someone at Tokai really dropped the ball when they did the fret job on this thing.
Not only that but someone also let the thing go out the factory door like this.
That speaks very poorly of Tokai, IMO.
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Last edited by guitar hiro on Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:21 am; edited 3 times in total
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