Edwards vs. Tokai... my thoughts

Discussion in 'Other Single-Cuts' started by GuitarRUSH, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. GuitarRUSH

    GuitarRUSH Senior Member

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    Here's a quick overview of what I've found about an Edwards E-LP 98LTS and a Tokai HLS160VF, both I got recently from a seller on eBay in Japan.

    The Edwards: $500 (used, very much a "player's guitar")

    [​IMG]

    The Tokai: $1400 (historic series, mint, not a scratch on it)

    [​IMG]

    This may seem like an unfair comparison, but here's my thoughts...

    My arbitrary categories:

    Look/Feel - Tokai wins hands down. It's freakin' beautiful! Looks and feels most like a "real" Les Paul. I said in my NGD posts, that the Edwards looks more like an Epiphone while the Tokai looks more like a Gibson, if that makes any sense. The Tokai's carve of the top, the finish, the little things like pickup selector placement/size in the upper left horn. The Tokai has a fatter neck profile, which I prefer. Even then, I can play just fine on the Edwards' neck.

    Quality - Tokai wins hands down. You can tell the difference in the craftmanship. You can definitely tell the difference in price. The binding and fret work on the Tokai is perfect. The Tokai also feels more "solid", heavier and maybe a little less resonant (not necessarily a good thing).

    Sound - Edwards wins hands down. After toying around with the pickup heights on the Tokai, the difference is clear: the Seymour Duncan JB/59 combo just sounds better for my style of play (hard rock/blues) than the lower output humbuckers in the Tokai. The SD's are just much "juicy", soulful, if you will. The Tokai's are just more mellow, even when the pickup height is raised.

    Keeper - Still not sure, but so far I'm leaning towards the Edwards. It was cheap, it sounds great, and I don't have to baby it. The Tokai would be a case queen and I just don't get the same lively vibes from it that I do from the Edwards. I could do a pickup switch, I guess, but I rather not go through the trouble. And I'm sure someone would want it stock if I sold it anyways. I shouldn't like the Edwards more, but I just do. Kind of like the hot girl (Tokai) who is seemingly a "stiff", and the cute girl next door (Edwards) that you just gel with.

    So, I might be a little crazy, but as of right now I'd pick the Edwards over the Tokai. :shock:

    Your comments are most welcome.
     
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  2. brokentoeswalker

    brokentoeswalker Senior Member

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    Go for the Edwards, if you enjoy the Edwards more and feel like the Tokai is too nice to play why bother ??
     
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  3. luis

    luis Senior Member

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    So, for a fair testing you have to put the same pickups in the Tokai and then compare because you may not like regular Tokai PAFs. In my experience the Love Rock wins some extra when putting the pickups I like or I think will suit the particular guitar.....

    Or, you like light "Single Cuts" instead (I gues s Love Rock would weigth inbetween 4-4,5 kg.?). I have two really ligth Tokais, one LS and one LC in a 3,6 kg. range I love them but I also love my 4,35 kg. LS too, each one has its own character....
     
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  4. jay1williams

    jay1williams Senior Member

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    Nice review!

    The 59/JB combo sounds great in almost anything :thumb:
     
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  5. GuitarRUSH

    GuitarRUSH Senior Member

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    Like I said, considering all the qualities, I should like the Tokai more. Heavier weight, beautiful looks, fatter neck. Just the sound wasn't there.

    And I never said it was a "fair testing". Just a straight up A/B comparison. I'm not a luthier by any means, so having the same pickups in them was out of the question. I'm sure the Tokai would benefit greatly from a hotter set of humbuckers.

    Who knows, I might wake up tomorrow and love the Tokai more and end up keeping it instead. Right now though, I just dig the sound I'm getting out of the Edwards more.
     
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  6. ChrisK

    ChrisK Senior Member

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  7. GuitarRUSH

    GuitarRUSH Senior Member

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    I'll think about it replacing the pickups in the Tokai, but also didn't want to put a whole lot of more money into it either.
     
  8. luis

    luis Senior Member

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    I would try a Seth Lovers set, I guess you would love them according to my experience.
     
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  9. GuitarRUSH

    GuitarRUSH Senior Member

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    More "testing"...

    The Edwards neck pickup, the SD '59, is a lot brighter than a normal LP neck humbucker. In fact, the guitar itself is a good bit brighter sounding than the Tokai. Less of the usual Les Paul muddy tone. Body weight on the Edwards is lighter, so might have something to do with it.

    Tokai is little more "controlled" on both pickups. Still a very nice tone, just different.
     
  10. Matty

    Matty Senior Member

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    If you like the pickups in the Edwards and the neck/look/feel of the Tokai you'd be nuts not to swap pickups. :shock:

    And as far as it being too nice to play. Bollocks, it's a guitar. Play it and ding it up like your'e meant to. :cool:
     
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  11. GuitarRUSH

    GuitarRUSH Senior Member

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    Not a bad idea! I might get a quote from some local shops here on a pickup swap.

    My fear is, if the intangibles of the Edwards (wood, weight, etc.) makes a difference in the tone.
     
  12. Matty

    Matty Senior Member

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    Get yourself a soldering iron, it's an easy job. :thumb:

    It will make a difference for sure, but you'll never know if you don't try. :dunno:
     
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  13. jay1williams

    jay1williams Senior Member

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    You MUST try it otherwise you'll always have that nagging on your mind: What if?

    Edit - Before I started coming to this site, I din't know what a soldering iron was - now i swap my own pups and pots at will, set up my own fiddles and have even done 2 fret levels and re-crowns - just ask questions what you're unsure of - the crew here is top notch
     
  14. dsmcl77

    dsmcl77 Senior Member

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    If I had to buy and another LP style guitar, it would be an Edwards again.

    Plays good, sounds good, looks good, priced good...
     
  15. GuitarRUSH

    GuitarRUSH Senior Member

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    Darn you guys, trying to make me work more and all. I fear soldering irons and truss rod adjustments.
     
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  16. 'Hege

    'Hege Senior Member

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    Seriously, nothing to fear in either case. There are several amongst the esteemed group here who would be happy to give you step by step directions for either issue.
    'hege
     
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  17. sjk

    sjk Senior Member

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    That would be a bad move on his part, he already said he likes hot pickups like the JB's lol! Jb is 17K and the Seth lover is in the low 8K. JB's are very hot but if you like that they are very nice sounding pups. That said I really like the Seth Lovers and lower output pups.
     
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  18. GuitarRUSH

    GuitarRUSH Senior Member

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    I'm going to put some new strings on the Tokai to see if that makes a difference. I can handle that job, at least! ;)
     
  19. Axeman16

    Axeman16 V.I.P. Member

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    completely agree.

    comparing a jb to a vintage output pickup is like comparing apples to oranges. not even worth the comparison.
     
  20. Sp8ctre

    Sp8ctre Senior Member

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    I'd rather install PUP's or adjust a truss rod...I HATE putting strings on!!!:shock:
     

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