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Discussion in 'Other Single-Cuts' started by GuitarRUSH, Mar 3, 2016.
And acts as a substitute for licorice if you are hungry?
Definitely calms the impudent brain cell or 2.
I think when it comes to comparing Tokai and Edwards it can get a little tricky. The only way to get a fair comparison would be to compare models which are very close in features, etc. I have an Edwards E-LP 130ALS and it's just a wonderful guitar...but it's pretty much the top of line Edwards LP (full gloss nitro, SD Seth Lovers, CTS pots, pio caps, etc) unless you take that big step up to a Navigator. Strangly enough, I actually believe that asthetically the "Edwards" headstock logo compared to the classic Gibson-like "Tokai" headstock logo w/ the very Les Paul-like "Love Rock" just gives a classier more real deal vibe to the Tokais. Crazy huh?
My conflicting emotion is, the Tokai I have is a much NICER guitar. It just doesn't have the mojo the Edwards does. Again, could be all in the pickups.
Nicer doesn't mean better in all actuality. Sometimes the beat up cheap ones sound really good too.
If you are on the fence, I'd consider a few things. How do they sound unplugged? If one resonates and rings clearer, that's a winner. How do they feel when you are playing them with you eyes closed. Feel is a definite criteria for a keeper. Looks are certainly important, but they fall down the list on keeper status criteria.
Edwards and Tokai both make nice guitars, sounds like you might keep both. Give it time and be willing to swap electronics and pickups. That can be the ultimate game changer.
Oh, I've been off the fence. I only have the Tokai HLS up on Reverb currently. Not that it's a bad sounding/playing guitar, but it's just too nice of a guitar for me to hang onto when someone else would appreciate it more.
I'm keeping the Crews KTR and the Edwards E-LP. They are two different beasts.
The Crews is spec-wise, my perfect guitar. Neck profile is thicker. It has a real flame maple top. The humbuckers are lower output, but have great tone. Cleans up better at higher volumes.
The Edwards has a thinner neck, but I enjoy playing it as much. The SD SH-1 and SH-4 are higher output. The tone/resonance of the guitar is killer. Somewhat out of control at higher volumes.
I know what you mean about the Edwards, they're almost too perfect and light to be 'special'. They make me think of a PRS, like a perfectly engineered guitar made by steely eyed techicians in lab coats. My Edwards is better made than either my '14 Trad and my Tokai.... I love em all.
OP- please share your experience with buying from Japan- are there pitfalls to avoid, SELLERS to avoid ? Any other buying tips from Japanese SELLERs ? Is eBay a decent source for good SELLERs ?
I've never done it but am sorely tempted when it comes to buying Tokai, Edwards etc.
There's a thread on "Is buying From Japan Possible Again?". I've tried to buy about 4 guitars from Ishibashi Music and have been turned down every time because of CITES regulations regarding the exporting of any item containing rosewood. MANY sellers from Japan on eBay do NOT own the instrument they're selling but act as middlemen, taking a good chunk of profit for themselves, and there's a thread on this as well.
Jeez. It sounds like even more of a headache than I thought. Have been trying to shop for these guitars stateside but it's obvious the majority of listings are in Japan. I'd buy the right Tokai or Edwards LP now if I didn't have to navigate the security/ shipping/ communication pitfalls.
Trusted seller (I bought a beautiful Greco from him in March) - his English is good and he does the CITES certification for you:
Buying a Custom model Edwards E-LP should be fine (ebony, so not subject to CITES shenanigans. YET).
Also, there's this wonderful thing called Yahoo Auctions Japan, which is like fleaBay, but without the shenanigans. Most of the sellers there aren't into shipping outside of Japan, but there's proxies like Buyee or fromJapan for that.
Some people have had issues with Buyee, there've been a couple of threads on that, and the feedback from fromJapan has been slightly better. So far, Buyee has gone out of their way to take care of me, but I hear that may be atypical and there are other people who've gotten burned on either shipping or other issues.
Also, certain sellers will "get around" that rosewood issue with a don't ask, don't tell policy. They simply leave the fretboard material off the product listing, and it bypasses Buyee's filters (what some people have surmised is "Rosewood" and "Honduran Mahogany." "Honduras Mahogany" gets a pass with a warning since it's supposed to be the plantation-grown Fijian stuff. Anyway, any listing that includes the no-no words are automatically blocked from bidding or purchase). Shenanigans and hand-wringing and "think of the children, save the trees" lamentation and gnashing of teeth may ensue, but from my decidedly limited sample of folks within my social circle what buy stuff from Rising Sun Land, typically U.S. Customs doesn't give rat's ass about anything under, say, and arbitrary declared value of $500 or so, possibly up to $1000. Granted, um... most of my recent purchases have had ebony or maple boards, but they rarely stay at Customs for more than a couple of hours. Then again, I live on the West Coast. I hear Chicago is a bear when it comes to getting stuff through that bottleneck.
Or maybe U.S. Customs isn't up to snuff on the particulars of a specific manufacturer. Have an acquaintance who still buys ObGs from Japan, but he tends to go for the Custom models, most of which come spec with rosewood boards. A couple have gotten "inspected" since CITES, but they've gone through without incident since it's a Custom model and the general thinking is that Customs come with ebony (or richlite) fretboards. Not gonna recommend this as a buying strategy AT ALL, but just saying that SO FAR it's worked for one particular individual.
In any case, if Yahoo Japan Auctions Japan via Buyee or fromJapan isn't your thing, there's always Rakuten, basically the Japanese Amazon, and you're dealing with retailers, not individual sellers. Either through proxy or Rakuten Global.
If nothing else, stay the hell away from fleaBay unless you like navigating that land-mine field, and maybe take a gander at some of the U.S. based Reverb sellers (still relatively pricey) if you're still afear'd of the magical world of Japanese purveyors.
My understanding, from reading the US Dept. of Fish & Wildlife website re: CITES is that for appendix 2 items (all rosewood EXCEPT Brazilian), there are no import certificates required, only export certificates. For bringing Appendix 1 items into the States (Brazilian rosewood), you would need an import certificate. If you click on the "CITES Permits & Certificates" link on this page, the document says this pretty clearly:
What this tells me is that the point of risk is clearing export customs in Japan, not US customs. Once it gets past that point, my stress level goes down. There is still risk that it'll get stuck in Japan, but so far that hasn't been the case. Chicago Customs has been very quick lately, nothing has gotten hung up like late 16 & early 17.
I just suggested Seth Lovers just because higher Edwards models had Antiquities on them (130 models). So you can make a fair comparison.
I'm lucky I got this then a couple of years ago! I didn't really need a third Les Paul, but at £470 including hard case and delivery, it would have been a sin not to. Totally stock, and is the best built of my stable. Sounds and plays amazing, just over 8 lbs and was my number 1 for ages.