Tokai owners (and any1 else!) opinions please

Discussion in 'Other Single-Cuts' started by sorefingers, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. sorefingers

    sorefingers Junior Member

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    Hi - I know some of this has been covered before and I have read thru many posts but some questions persist

    I have bought a Tokai LS98F 2011 model. After a few days assessing it I have the following observations
    1. It's very well constructed & attention to detail is best I've seen
    2. The bridge pickup sounds a little shrill and...well...lacking
    3. the neck pickup sounds great
    4. The other electronics seem sound
    5. it is a very attractive alternative to a Gibson

    I am now wondering about remedies to cure the lack of fullness in the tone in the bridge pup. I like the brightness but there is a lack of body accompanying it. The possible remedies are...

    1. New pickups (Mules, Dimarzio 36th Anniv, Sheptones) but this is ££££££
    2. If this guitar known for being bright (maple cap + a maple veneer) in which case is there another solution?
    3. I have a set of 9's on it and prefer 10's. I think it makes all the difference
    4. The set up is not right. The action is too low/neck relief not right and affecting articulation
    5. Pickup height needs sorting

    But I read somewhere that the MkII PAF bridge pup on Tokais is about 11.5K. This is too high and I can't help thinking this will make the pup a little shrill - plus I like vintage tone and 11.5k is not my idea of vintage. Does anyone know the neck output/magnet type so I can pair it with a new bridge pup?

    Also, why am I asking such long and convoluted questions? :shock:
     

  2. moodyedge

    moodyedge Senior Member

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    6. "Used" pickup.



    11.5k Jesus...Mines 7.7k, unpotted, alnico 2 magnet.

    Id prob put a 7.1k in the neck if I swapped it in mine to match.

    The necks generally a little less than the bridge output.
     

  3. sorefingers

    sorefingers Junior Member

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    cheers duder - is yours a tokai pickup or something else. 11.5K is mental high output imho and only any good for people who enjoy scandinavian death metal. 7.7k is more like it. I read in another pot that MkII's were high output and the bridge pup in mine sure sounds like it.

    I have done a lot of research and would appreciate someone who has a LS98f or similar who has changed the bridge pup to give me their views
     

  4. moodyedge

    moodyedge Senior Member

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    https://bareknucklepickups.co.uk/main/pickups.php?cat=humbuckers&sub=vintage&pickup=stormy_monday :thumb:

    It's a low output pickup and to me is very clean/natural sounding...fat, warm....really barks if you play cleaner and louder through a valve amp and nail the bends. Suits me anyway. The mules are a lot more middy and a higher output..Depends what sort of sound you like. The stormy monday knocked it out the park when I had it fitted. Was exactly what I was looking for. Made my wah pedal sounds 5 times better too!

    I LOVE this pickup. Ive got the standard gibson in the neck and it's a mud fest compared to the bareknuckle...Im going to get one for the neck soon...been meaning to for a while actually. The difference between the gibson pickup and this was night and day.


    :cool:


    Here's a taste....This is all on the stormy monday bridge pickup with a lot varying the volume to change the sound...The tone controls full up.

    MP3 Player SoundClick

    I am using a maxon od808 (from 13sec on) here as a clean boost here which seems to peak the mids a bit and kill the warmth...


    10s to me sound and feel better too. Get some vitamin q 0.22 caps in there too if you havent already.
     
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  5. space

    space Senior Member

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    Ive got a set of Tokai PAFS floating around.
    If you interested LMK
    T
     

  6. sorefingers

    sorefingers Junior Member

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    Nice tone and groovy wig out there amigo. :applause:

    I will check out that pup.

    I don't know though. Maybe I will just get the damn guita set up properly with a set of 10's on it and see how it is......

    Bare knuckle are very good. I had a Mississippi Queen p90 in the neck of a tele once and it was god-like. Never had a humbucker BKP though. Pricey but good and if I am just getting a bridge pup instead of both I can probably do it.

    Cheers mate
     
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  7. moodyedge

    moodyedge Senior Member

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    Also, a set of Seymour duncan 59's can be picked up quite cheap on flebay..Ive had them and they are very good..More modern sounding than the stormy monday but nice all the same. Youd prob get two good used for the price of one bk. Keep an eye out. Two just sold last week for a decent price.
     

  8. stratlt

    stratlt Senior Member

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    1. New pickups - Seymour Duncan SH1b-SH1n ('59) set. Set is cheaper and they are good. Or used pickups.
    2. Maple cap + a maple veneer not the only reason that guitar is bright. There are many additional factors
    3. Of course 10's can make a difference in this situation .. I even would suggest to try GHS Electric Big Core Nickel Rockers 10,5-48 set. If guitar is bright - strings with more nickel can make necessary contrast.
    4. I think that is typical Tokai factory setup and it is okay. The action is low because Sanco frets (Sanco is Tokai frets manufacturer in Japan) in Tokai are lower than frets in Gibson guitars. Some people like it, some not. You can change the setup itself.
    5. Of course if you need it.
    Tokai currently use 2 manufacturers for pickups - Gotoh and Keiyo. Keiyo has about 11,5K, Gotoh about 7,5 (bridge is bit stronger). Tokai LS98F usually has Gotoh pickups.
     

  9. SingeMonkey

    SingeMonkey Senior Member

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    My buddy got an LS92 from about that era that didn't have Mk IIs. Mk IIIs maybe? Just check that they are MK IIs.
     

  10. Thomas/Sweden

    Thomas/Sweden Senior Member

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    I recently got a LS98 F and I think the MK II's sound pretty good. I use 10's medium action and don't think it's too bright sounding but then again I like 80's sounding stuff and Asian girls.
     

  11. stratlt

    stratlt Senior Member

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    That guitar has 3 piece back?

    LS98F (LS85F in 2009) always equipped with MkII pickups.
     

  12. drugprowlingwolf

    drugprowlingwolf Senior Member

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    Tiny strings and low action make my guitars sound too plinky and thin.

    I would start with a setup and playing with pickup heights. If that doesn't work there's a lot of options for a great bridge pickup you can go with a cheap Alnico V (Duncan 59) for more of a 60s Gibson tone, or a cheap Alnico II (Dimarzio 36th, A2P). Personally I'd have something wound for it. I've had stellar results with independent winders.
     

  13. Olds442

    Olds442 Senior Member

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    brass saddles can take some of the shrill out of a bridge pick up.

    just a thought.
     

  14. ezra1

    ezra1 Senior Member

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    change the cap on the bridge pup.
     
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  15. Matty

    Matty Senior Member

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    Turn down the treble.
     
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  16. slapshot

    slapshot Senior Member

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    so matty can give short concise answers :shock:
     

  17. sorefingers

    sorefingers Junior Member

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    Put10's on it, raised the action a tad. Total night and day. Forgot how much I hate 9's. So much difference in just one level up. Also, tone control is there for a reason. I am not n such a stew now, but might end up changing pups after A/B it with mates gibson 57's. Thanks guys. :)
     

  18. El_Greco

    El_Greco Senior Member

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    MKII's on my LS90 both sound great, nothing shrill about the bridge...
     

  19. reborn old

    reborn old Senior Member

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    Yahoo Japan always has Keiyo MKII pickups for sale.
    I see them occasionally on TF classifieds when members upgrade.
    The 11k Ohm variety of Keiyos have little to offer beyond various degrees of FUZZ like distortion.
    My 11k pup was out 5 min after I received the guitar. :D
    SD 59's or Classic 57's are definitely a step or two up from Keiyos if you can afford them.

    You can always adjust pickups downwards if you go back to using lower action for same string to pole piece spacing.
    Russian PIO caps (ie-K40Y-9) will give brighter treble than your Orange Drop caps but should also offer less blanketed lower ranges when treble tone is turned down. YRMV

    Gotoh was the manufacturer used for vintage Tokai pickups, but I somehow thought Keiyo
    was the only pickup manufacturer used for modern Tokais (Other than Holmes on LS-540's).
    I have had high + low resistance MkII's on the same Tokai, same as sorefingers, and bobbins, pickup bodies and bases + wiring were all identical. Seems unlikely if Tokai was using different pickup manufacturers during the same period. :hmm:
    Can you tell me who or where you got this info from ? Thanks.
     

  20. stratlt

    stratlt Senior Member

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    First of all, Tokai do not always share this kind of information, even to dealers. :) I can be wrong about Tokai LS98F (Tokai LS100F in current catalogues), but...
    As far as I understand they use 5 different humbucker models for its LS/LC guitars.
    1. Mk3 for current LS75 (cheapest version, 3 piece backs, made by special orders for some markets. Those guitars are not displayed on Tokai catalog or website). Link:
    TOKAI LS-75(LS-70)/BB Musamaailma Oy
    Here is a picture of pickups from LS75.Sticker hiding Gotoh logo, but still it is visible through the sticker. This picture come from tokaiforum...
    [​IMG]
    2. MK2s - According to Tokai No27 catalog and web site they are used in LS95, LS100F, LS107Q, LC107 and probably for "special price models" LS150F-3A and LS200F-5A
    3. MK2 - According to Tokai No27 catalog LS130F, LS135Q, LS160, LC195s, LC200, LS260
    4. Seymour Duncan SH55 Seth Lover for LS420
    5. J.M. Rolph pickups for LS540 (Holmes they are not used for a long time).
    I am sure that they use the Keiyo, but on Gotoh pickups website is their list of partners: Fernandez, Dinah instrument, Tokai Gakki, Kanda Shokai, Sugigitazu, Japan Institute for violin, other
    Here's link to the Gotoh pickups website (via Google translator so not everything is correct, but the partners list is visible):
    http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http://www.gotoh-pickups.jp/company/index.html&usg=ALkJrhhE2gxSHRZYscYseglQRLRHiSE6RQ
    Finally, I will check pickups on LS98F from 2012.....
     

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