Edwards vs. Tokai... my thoughts

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

  1. Angus Blackmore

    Angus Blackmore Member

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    My first proper guitar was a brand new entry level Edwards Les Paul which was the lightest, most resonant and clear Les Paul I've ever played!! After 3 years of pure love and affection, our bassist knocked it over and the headstock snapped clean off!!! The luthier said the break was too horizontal and that it would be impossible to fix! Upon inspection the wood did seem brittle and a little porous, hence its zingy tone (however, it could easily achieve that deep Kossof howl with the tone knob down half way).... So what did I do? I don't only went and bought 3 Les Pauls the next month (see signature)!!

    Bottom line, the 108 is my go to axe, period. The Tokai I got used, previous owner a pro gigging musician she treated her like s**t, so the Tokai is the one I use for jams or if I need to travel to dangerous situations (e.g. If it gets stolen). The Gibson stays at home, and although it was hand picked out of all the Les Pauls in the store (under £2.5K) for tone, the other 2 sound better (but not by much). All have low action, my main set up priority. Questions?
     
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  2. GuitarRUSH

    GuitarRUSH Senior Member

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    Sold the Edwards (somewhat regretfully) and have the Tokai for sale as well.

    I had the Tokai set-up this week and it sounds great. Still not as bright as the Edwards, but good tone overall. Cleans up easily with the volume/tone controls. I usually have played with Cleartone 10's, but they didn't take well on the guitar. Put on GHS Boomer 9's instead and it is a lot better!
     
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  3. Lumi71

    Lumi71 Senior Member

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    why did you sell both if you liked them both??
     
  4. GuitarRUSH

    GuitarRUSH Senior Member

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    I'm more of a collector/trader than a player. I seriously was /this close\ to taking the Edwards off the block the day it was sold. If it just had a thicker neck profile, it would have never been up for sale. I really digged the tone I got from the Edwards though. More than likely, I'll be getting another one of those soon, but in better shape than the one I had.

    The Tokai is a really nice guitar. Too nice for me to merely noodle around with. Someone else can appreciate it more.
     
  5. 21stcsm

    21stcsm Senior Member

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    I've owned (just in the last 6 months) 7 Edwards and 4 Tokais

    I OWN 4 Tokais and 2 Edwards

    So I think that in itself says a lot. I just can't IMAGINE selling any of my Tokais

    I think Edwards are GREAT. They just don't seem as 'special'. I realize that is a bit nebulous and I'm sorry but it's a wee bit difficult to distill this down and articulate why I love these Tokais so much

    Quality: the Edwards are very very well done. I did have a problem with an ALS130 cracking completely due solely to small temperature changes but I recognize that's a freak occurrence. Makes me sad but it still plays great! The Tokais are just a step above. Granted we are also talking higher 'tier' guitars so you would expect 'more'

    I've owned all three tiers of Edwards and both customs and Standard

    Tokai?

    LS160
    HLS240 (both very recent production)
    LSS195 (now LSS210)
    SG 175 (now 185)

    I do think Edwards gives a bit more bang for buck. You can get all lacquer in a less costly (retail) guitar and also with Tokai you need a relatively high tier Custom to get an Ebony FB whereas you don't with Edwards. I've never had a Tokai Custom btw

    Sound? I don't think a comparison is fair because I believe tone is mostly
    Pickups and they all have different ones

    However, I'll say nothing is lacking in the tone in ANY of either beand

    I just find myself picking up my Tokais more than the Edwards. The Tokai have a (God forbid I use this word) 'mojo' or something. I don't know what it is, but they just beg to be played!!!

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy another from either company but for whatever reasons rational or not - I'm more of a Tokai guy
     
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  6. GuitarRUSH

    GuitarRUSH Senior Member

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    The previous Tokai I had, had plenty of "mojo". It was an LS90Q. This HLS160 on the other hand, is the hot girl who's a stiff. Just can't connect.
     
  7. Pleximan

    Pleximan Premium Member

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    I've never played an Edwards. I did play a black 1984 Tokai LS for about an hour, one time. It was a sweet guitar. Definitely on par with Gibson in terms of quality. Better fret dressing, and binding work IMO. Play em both, if you can swing it.
     
  8. 21stcsm

    21stcsm Senior Member

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    Well, the 'H' Tokais - Hibiki Super Custom Shop models are a special breed

    Some really like them and the 'normal' Tokais but I have heard commentary from some who simply love the classic Tokais but not the Hibiki ones

    I love both but YMMV

    They are different beasts no doubt!
     
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  9. 21stcsm

    21stcsm Senior Member

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    Fwiw, I'm in the market for Tokai pups. A guy is selling MKII's $100 for s pair on Reverb. I would imagine if you do switch them out you could probably find a buyer for them
     
  10. dmoss74

    dmoss74 Senior Member

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    re: soldering. i have soldered in pickups on strats and teles for years, and even did so on my edwards '56 gold top. no fear...just did it. i did--however--go "blackout fear" when switching out pickups on my historic lp. i had my tech do it.

    but having another cheap lp (not referencing the edwards, nor calling it cheap, i love it: totally different guitar i'm talking about) to swap pickups out--with reckless abandon--now i have no fear of adding another set to the historic, if i ever decide to. which i have no intention of doing for now.

    get yourself a GOOD irion. mine is a 40 watt fixed, not a station with variable wattage, but that wattage seems to work fine, for pickups, etc. if need be, buy a pot (or you probably have one laying around somewhere) to do test runs on.

    my biggest fear was soldering the braided wire to the volume pot, but i'm over it now. in fact, i'm going to install the bb 1&2 in my chapie tomorrow, in a last ditch effort to see if i'll ever use them again. probably not, but it'll keep the soldering chops up, regardless. :)

    and truss rod adjustments can be done in your sleep. even if you're afraid of the nut being frozen, or having no more play, it's easily determined, before you do any real damage.

    if i really understood the relationship between the nut and action, and how to properly gauge slotting, vs reduction, i'd be totally comfortable doing full setups. but i don't, and don't have the files, so it's worth it to me to just have my guy do setups. he doesn't even have to ask me questions anymore. i drop off the guitar(s), and he makes me smile when i pick them up.
     
  11. 21stcsm

    21stcsm Senior Member

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    That's funny

    You are the exact opposite of me. I have no problems/fear/worries about using files on nut or saddle slots, but I've been hesitant about doing any solder work.

    However, I've finally decided to make the plunge and buy a soldering iron. I will practice on a beater I have first!

    Btw, I picked up some really nice files from Amazon.

    I've picked up several tools from them and been very happy. I could not live without the ruler I got from them that makes it super fast to measure string height, fret height, saddle depth etc.

    I'm a huge Gretsch enthusiast, but (except for Tru Arc and Compton) as a rule, Gretsch bridges frequently do not match fretboard radius so it's a given that I'm filing saddles. And as many now, most guitar manufacturers underfile their nut slots (for obvious reasons), so that's another place to use them.

    I can't IMAGINE owning guitars and not being able to do truss rod adjustments. It's just not cost effective to pay a luthier to do stuff like that with two dozen guitars.

    Imo, the most important rule is... baby steps. Make very small adjustments and let the neck settle before making another one. WAY better to be far more cautious than necessary.

    I'm a total stickler for getting the action right (and low enough) and without truss rod adjustment... forget it.
     
  12. dmoss74

    dmoss74 Senior Member

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    truss rod adjustments (to me) are static, and repeatable. the saddle and nut adjustments are where the rubber meets the road. botching up one, without taking the other into account, can lead to an infinite loop of heartbreak. saddles more so on acoustic guitars. on most electrics (even three saddle teles) saddles are pretty easy.

    the thing i have to get down is whether to just file down the nut slots, or lower the whole shebang. but i don't own proper files, anyway. if i did, i'd just naturally gravitate towards filing. but i know i have had guitars that had too much filing, where a full bottom shaving would have been a better choice. same thing when i bought a replacement bridge for an lp i sold. i just let him file the slots. if i had tried it, i very easily could have screwed the pooch.

    you can learn to solder ruining two dollar parts. you screw up a faber bridge, well, you get what i mean.

    that's where experience (that i don't have) comes into play. and i'm really paying my guy to deal with that aspect. and in that (and all other phases of setup), he's expert. he does this for a living. i do it on weekends, because i have someone to take care of the lawn. :)
     
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  13. 21stcsm

    21stcsm Senior Member

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    Oh yea. Saddles on an acoustic are way outside my wheelhouse

    Several of the times I did saddles they were Embiematic replacement saddles for a synchrosonic

    So if I screwed up, it was one Embiematic in a set. Very minimal cost

    They all Worked out fine fortunately

    Also... I've never done a Faber bridge so I have no idea on them but every bridge I was filing the saddles on if you screwed up a saddle - you can just replace the saddle. It's not ruinous to those bridges. Just change out the saddle
    I checked...

    Many Faber bridges have removable/replaceable saddles...

    Groooooovy

    Faber® Saddles | Product Categories | FaberUSA
     
  14. Lumi71

    Lumi71 Senior Member

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    you have to try an old Greco:naughty:
     
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  15. 21stcsm

    21stcsm Senior Member

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    Oh, no doubt!

    I have a 1980 Greco Ace Frehley
    a 1984 Greco PC98K (my only trem equipped LP)
    a 1990 Bolt on neck RR Greco
    and a 1987 Greco Burst unknown make that just rocks my world

    Grecos are awesome!
     
  16. Its Luke

    Its Luke Premium Member

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    Go with the one that sounds "perfect" after all we are trying to make music here, am I right? :)
     
  17. guidothepimmp

    guidothepimmp Senior Member

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    Aint that the truth. My charvel is a testament to that :thumb:
     
  18. 21stcsm

    21stcsm Senior Member

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    can anybody recommend a good 'how to' video in pickup swapping / soldering etc on YouTube etc?

    My Tokai pickups arrived and Iain going to put them in my Aria

    Stoked!!
     
  19. dmoss74

    dmoss74 Senior Member

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    you can search youtube, but pickup swapping is easy. just follow the leads. get a good 40 watt iron (25 bucks at home depot), and get the one with the chisel tip. the weller has three tips in the package.

    take a good look (or photo) of what you have, un-solder those leads, then pull the new wire in, and re-solder where they were. that iron i'm talking about has three leds on it, which makes it easier for soldering in the cavities of lps.

    if it's the general skill of soldering you are worried about, there are plenty of online tutorials. or, go get a two buck pot, and test your efforts on that, first. the main thing you want to avoid with soldering is cold joints. if what you've soldered has a dull finish, you're doing it wrong. :)

    it's really not difficult at all, but you could use a needle nose pliers, or a forsep to help you place wires.

    make sure you tin every wire (and the iron tip) , before moving forward, and you could use some flux on pots, when you're going to need to have to do "pool" connections.

    don't cut your leads. affix them, then pull the excess back into the routes.

    oh, and get a good (another 30 or 40 bucks) wire stripper. not the cheap five buck ones. the ones that look like lineman pliers. they are indispensable, especially if you have to strip a little braided wire. or any wire, for that matter.
     
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  20. jimmyjames

    jimmyjames Senior Member

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    ...and try to get solder that still contains lead, so much easier to use :)
     
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