Chinese Tokai?

Watersilk

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I was looking at Tokai Love Rock's for sale on eBay uk. My idea is to buy a Chinese model to strip and upgrade... when I saw this one for sale for £300. A higher price than I would expect to pay for a good secondhand Chinese model, however this one had been upgraded.

The upgrades were mostly the things I wanted to do, Kluson tuners, VTV CTS pots and better pickups, in this case Gibson '57's. The fretboard looks as though it has been stained, a 3 screw 'Bell' trussrod cover, larger screw for the pickguard, all I had to do was change the original Ping Well bridge and stoptail.

The reason I posted this here is that I don't know what model this is. As usual, the seller didn't state the year or model, when I questioned him about this he said that he bought it new about three years ago and he didn't know which model; in the time it took for him to answer, I missed it!



As you can see, the finish is matt, I can't find a recent Chinese model with a matt finish. I noticed something a bit odd, look where the cutaway joins the neck, is it normal for this to be so low? I checked a Chinese Love Rock for sale on another site and the cutaway looks higher...



Even though these are Chinese models, I would have expected Tokai to be more precise with the body shape, or is this normal?

More images:









The seller claimed that he bought it from Hollywood Guitars and that it is the same as this model, UALS48-MVF. I don't think this is a fake, it's such a low model; I'm just curious!

http://www.hollywood-music.co.uk/tokai-love-rock-matt-violin-finish-electric-guitar/

Perhaps this guitar has been in the shop for a few years?
 

J-Dizzle

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The model number sounds ok.

bear in mind this is an "export" version for Europe & the UK, so dont expect the headstock and body to be accurate.
 

Watersilk

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The model number sounds ok.

bear in mind this is an "export" version for Europe & the UK, so dont expect the headstock and body to be accurate.
Yes, I did consider this, I was bearing that in mind, comparing it to an 'export' model for Europe and Britain, there are differences, I'm now thinking that the Chinese models are perhaps produced in more than one factory...?

There are perhaps three differences I can see from the pictures.
 

luis

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Chinese Tokais are some kind of mistery, I mean there are different specs (some alder,some basswood made). It could be made in two different factories but I don know for sure. I am not fan at all of these, they are low end chinese guitars, If I had to chose one, I would request the ones inspected by Tokai Japan personell.But I would go for a LS-50/60 late 90s-early/mid 2000s second hando, those are good gigging guitars no swaps needed.
 

LeftyF2003

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Chinese Tokais are some kind of mistery, I mean there are different specs (some alder,some basswood made). It could be made in two different factories but I don know for sure. I am not fan at all of these, they are low end chinese guitars, If I had to chose one, I would request the ones inspected by Tokai Japan personell.But I would go for a LS-50/60 late 90s-early/mid 2000s second hando, those are good gigging guitars no swaps needed.
^^ this

By the time you get done upgrading this one you would be better served getting an older one that is already done, and a much better built guitar to boot. Don't build on sand. I've dumped $$ into a lower end guitar and I just ended up with a low end guitar with expensive hardware! :laugh2::wave:
 

Watersilk

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^^ this

By the time you get done upgrading this one you would be better served getting an older one that is already done, and a much better built guitar to boot. Don't build on sand. I've dumped $$ into a lower end guitar and I just ended up with a low end guitar with expensive hardware! :laugh2::wave:
Yes, I quite understand your thinking here, I have worked out the costs and come to the same conclusion. I did buy a Japanese Love Rock though and had to go through all the upgrades anyway to clear out all the Taiwanese junk. I think you have to buy a very high model (Premium) to have something that doesn't need upgrading, they are quite expensive secondhand.

I wanted a guitar i don't have to worry 'too' much about, but still get a decent tone and playability out of it. You can do this with a PRS, so I was thinking it should be possible with a Tokai?
 

Watersilk

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Chinese Tokais are some kind of mistery, I mean there are different specs (some alder,some basswood made). It could be made in two different factories but I don know for sure. I am not fan at all of these, they are low end chinese guitars, If I had to chose one, I would request the ones inspected by Tokai Japan personell.But I would go for a LS-50/60 late 90s-early/mid 2000s second hando, those are good gigging guitars no swaps needed.
Well-made 'cheaper' guitars are ripe for upgrading, they respond well to better hardware and pickups, but if these Chinese models are not well-made, then it's a waste of time upgrading.

Have you owned, or played a recent Chinese model? If they are poorly made, then I would not enjoy the experience. I have three professional level guitars, so any guitar I buy is compared to these; perhaps, I have just been lucky and my PRS SE, Hamer Slammer and Japanese Love Rock are leading me on to try a Chinese Love Rock; I do enjoy a challenge!

I'm really looking for a guitar that I don't have to worry 'too' much about. Playing in public does worry me; I don't want to chip my Japanese Love Rock, so I just wont relax with it.

If you minus the upgrades on this ALS48, then it costs £100!
 

Watersilk

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Chinese Tokais are some kind of mistery, I mean there are different specs (some alder,some basswood made). It could be made in two different factories but I don know for sure. I am not fan at all of these, they are low end chinese guitars, If I had to chose one, I would request the ones inspected by Tokai Japan personell.But I would go for a LS-50/60 late 90s-early/mid 2000s second hando, those are good gigging guitars no swaps needed.
Here are two Chinese models, the first one is an ALS48, like the model I saw on eBay. Notice these points:

  • The Fretboard: This is very dark like the other ALS48, it looks like it has been stained
  • The pickguard bracket screw: The pickgurad bracket screw is larger and flatter than the front pickguard screw, which is how it should be
  • The control knobs: The control knob closest to the stoptail is quite a bit forward of the stopbar
  • Lower bout join to neck: Body here joins the neck at the 20th fret



This is a higher Chinese model with a mahogany back, maple neck. There are differences...

  • The Fretboard: This is lighter, it doesn't look like it has been stained
  • Pickguard bracket screw: This looks about the same as the one front of the pickguard and also not flat
  • Control knobs: the one closest to the stopbar is level with it, in a different position than the ALS48
  • Lower bout join to neck: body joins the neck at the 19th fret!

The pickguards even look different... ?




I think these models are perhaps made in different factories... ?
 

luis

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I have tried some chinese Tokai LS and SG here (Europe) and they are not good enough for me, they have something left I cannot stand (yes, Eiphones are not enough for me too.... I have tried and owned the whole 2005 levels ranging from 60 to 320 models and 70 one was good enough without changing anything. Every model upscale was worth to get to me (Yes, I currentlyown two LS320s currently and have owned 4 and 1 LS-150). Regarding how a ALS-48 stands live, I attented a Led Zepp show played by lead guitarist with it, and it sounded just so-so, constipated and the notes were flat (not musician fault), I disliked he sound.
 

Watersilk

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I have tried some chinese Tokai LS and SG here (Europe) and they are not good enough for me, they have something left I cannot stand (yes, Eiphones are not enough for me too.... I have tried and owned the whole 2005 levels ranging from 60 to 320 models and 70 one was good enough without changing anything. Every model upscale was worth to get to me (Yes, I currentlyown two LS320s currently and have owned 4 and 1 LS-150). Regarding how a ALS-48 stands live, I attented a Led Zepp show played by lead guitarist with it, and it sounded just so-so, constipated and the notes were flat (not musician fault), I disliked he sound.
Thank you for your reply Luis. There are so many people who rave about what great value for money they are and how good, however, what is their comparison to measure them? Perhaps they have never even played a Gibson USA model. Out of the three Asian guitars I've upgraded, the Japanese 2008 LS85F showed the least improvement; of course, that could be my fault, perhaps I chose the wrong parts?

The problem I have, is that if I have a really nice guitar to upgrade, I'm then frightened to take her to public places in fear of damaging her... :)

I just need an affordable guitar that I can upgrade, then later return to original spec and sell on. The Chinese models looked a real option. Perhaps I should buy a secondhand Korean PRS... The trouble is that they are just too beautiful... !
 

ReZZ

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I have a MIC Tokai UALS 48 and the cutaway joins the neck at 19th fret. It has the same head design but the serial numbers on the back don't contain any letters. The volume knob is located a bit forward at the stopbar.
I had to change tuners and bridge though.
 


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