Buying Japanese Tokai Love Rock, but I need guidance! Flame maple cap or veneer?? (pictures inside)

Discussion in 'Other Single-Cuts' started by krugerj, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. krugerj

    krugerj Member

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    Hey guys, I hope everyone is well. I've posted fairly recently about looking into buying another Les Paul (previously inquired about a 58 reissue that I wanted to buy, but I think that's fallen through for the moment). More recently than that however, I have started looking into other alternatives to Gibsons purely to save some cost and buy EVEN MORE GUITARS!!

    This brings me to Tokai; I have been looking into buying a Tokai, but being left handed they are very few and far between. Also, the different model numbers are very confusing to me, as I want to buy a guitar that is comparable to their vintage counterpart (which is why I was looking into buying an R8 i or R9). That being said, I have pieced together the fact that for the highest quality Tokai Love Rocks, I need to look for a solid flame maple cap as opposed to a veneer.

    I have found this Japanese Tokai (model number unknown) from 2008 which has a few cosmetic dings and bashes, therefore it is listed at a very good price. Looking at the pickup cavity, it does not seem to have a true flame cap, but I am really not sure about that!

    To the Tokai experts out there, does this look like a higher-end Tokai? Am I wrong, is that a true flame maple cap?

    Cheers and have a rocking day! :)

    $_57-45.JPG $_57-40.JPG $_57-41.JPG $_57-43.JPG $_57-42.JPG $_57-44.JPG
     
  2. villager

    villager Senior Member

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    thats a veneer.
     
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  3. wulfman

    wulfman ABB Fan Premium Member

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  4. El Kabong

    El Kabong Senior Member

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  5. kiko

    kiko Senior Member

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    Aren't these newer tokais made in china?
     
  6. El Kabong

    El Kabong Senior Member

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    Case by case... a good rule of thumb is that if it don't say "made in Japan" it probably isn't...

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. J-Dizzle

    J-Dizzle Senior Member

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    veneer
     
  8. SingeMonkey

    SingeMonkey Senior Member

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    No. They are not.

    Tokai has two completely separate lines of guitars. Japanese made guitars like this one, and a budget line that was made in Korea and is now made in China. That's been the case for many, many years.
     
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  9. loverocker

    loverocker Member

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    Just to add more explanation, in the OP's case, the grain is continuous where you would expect a joint and some variation in the grain patterns.

    But this pic might help others check Tokais. It's from an old LS Relic (short run for the UK only, ISTR). The green arrow shows the position of the centre line of the top, and the red arrows show the joint in the underlying maple. The vertical line and the change of grain direction is pretty easy to spot.

    relicveneer2.jpg

    Just one final thought: I suppose that it's just about possible that there's a veneer top out there which is sitting on maple that coincidentally also has a perfectly centred joint. That'd be harder to spot, but I think it's pretty unlikely.
     
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  10. wulfman

    wulfman ABB Fan Premium Member

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    That is a great illustration of what to look for. The old LS-120's used to have centred joints under the centred veneer top which leads lots of LS-120 owners believe that they have a solid flametop guitar. A small number of the LS-120s did have solid flametops though which makes it that much more easy to believe.
     
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