Differences between vintage Love Rocks and Historic RIs?

jlee

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Those that have experience with both care to chime in? Thinking about buying a used R8 and already own a '80 LS80 and a '83 Ls120. Both Tokais have been fitted with vintage bees, proper CTS pots and Manlius and OX4 pickups. Can't imagine the tone getting any better. Is it a feel thing? Or some intangible "mojo" that only comes with having "Gibson" on the headstock? The guitar I'm thinking of buying is a '14, which I've read is a good year.
 

wulfman

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I think you are in the area of diminishing returns for cost. The Tokais will probably give you maximum tone from whatever pickup you put in them. I have a 2011 R8 that is a great guitar but I can't say it is a better one than my 1981 LS-150.
But if you have the cash for an expensive tonequest then there is only one way to find out.
 

adoring_fan107

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Its all subjective. IMO early 80s tokais have been on par or better than historics ive played. Though to another they may not be, probably best to try the R8 in person to judge.
 

Mowgli5555

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You own an LS-120, and LS-80, so that should help guide your decision. I was in a similar position a few years ago, so I look forward to the outcome.

Please let us know how the 14' Gibson plays in comparison to the LS-120. I played a couple Gibson Reissue guitars that were fine instruments, but they just didn't quite sing to me.
Right now, I have a 2016 Gibson SG Standard that is a solid guitar, but it just doesn't speak to me in tongues.

After about 7 SG's including a 65 Gibby Special, I am just looking for something different. It makes me wonder why the LS-120 isnt doing it for you?? Josh
 

jlee

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It's not that the Tokais aren't doing it for me. On the contrary, they are giving me everything I've been searching for in a Les Paul for years. I was just wondering if Gibson Historic had something over the Tokais, other than the history and the Gibson name. I found a '14 R8 with a beautiful flame top and lovely finish for a very reasonable price and GAS set in...
 

Dica

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I have owned probably 10 Tokai Love rocks from 1984-1985.
And probably 15 R7 and R8s.
It was very hard to find a Gibson that sounded as good as the Tokais.

The Tokais have much better electronics compared to Gibsons.
The pots are awesome and I would not change them.

Well I now own two Gibsons a Blackburst R8, R7 GT and a Flametop 1984 Tokai.

What I did was first find bright guitars all Gibsons are not that but most Tokais are.
Well I did the mapleflame mod adjusted the truss rod correctly and lowered the action fixed all the slots and raised the Ohm on the Gibson Pots. (You can modify original pots and raise the Ohm mine are hovering around 600-700k raised from ca 430k)

Now The Gibsons sounds as good as the Tokai.

And il tell you it was not easy to achieve this.
 

Whoopysnorp

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Personally I'd say shelling out a couple extra grand for a smidgen of extra je-ne-sais-quoi that might be entirely in your imagination isn't a great way to spend your money, but smoke 'em if you got 'em, I guess.
 

jlee

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Thanks gents! I very much respect the opinions here. Decided to pass on the Historic. :)
 

elephantrider

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i've played the gibson version of my 2013 tokai ls1xx, and honestly, the
tokai sounded and felt better, in my opinion.

don't discount the mij late model tokai's.
 

jlee

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Yeah, a '02 LS200 was my main guitar for 10 or so years. Was a very modern sounding guitar though. Loud as f**k! Workmanship was off the charts. In the end, I simply couldn't get it to sound the way I wanted after countless pickup, hardware and electronics swaps.

I do have a Elitist Casino from the first run of production that is an ungodly tone machine, as well as a SICK Bacchus Handmade SG and a 90s Burny RSA that is resonant as hell! So, yeah no reason to discount more recent MIJ offerings!
 

mono

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I've had maybe 4 LS-80s and 1 LS-100 from 1979-1980 period, and also owned a 2014 Gibson Murphy historic for about a year. All in all, the Gibson was about 3x the price of the Tokais and did not deliver any better in terms of feel or tone.
 

64F100

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So while on the topic of the Tokais, how come the 84/85 LS seems to go a little cheaper than the earlierst ones like the 79-80? Is there a reason for that other than collector appeal?
 

Mowgli5555

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By 1984, most LS-80 guitars were 2 piece back, and usually no fret edge binding. They may have still been finishing the LS-80 in lacquer around 1984, but I can't exactly recall.

Of course, 79-80 might be the most desirable due to headstock logo changes. Josh
 

jlee

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I've had maybe 4 LS-80s and 1 LS-100 from 1979-1980 period, and also owned a 2014 Gibson Murphy historic for about a year. All in all, the Gibson was about 3x the price of the Tokais and did not deliver any better in terms of feel or tone.
:shock:Wow! Would have expected a Murphy to maybe have a better feel. Good to hear!
 

J-Dizzle

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So while on the topic of the Tokais, how come the 84/85 LS seems to go a little cheaper than the earlierst ones like the 79-80? Is there a reason for that other than collector appeal?
From about 1984 onwards, the specs started to become inconsistent. They are still great guitars but from what I understand you don't quite know what you're getting until you see it in person, whereas with 1979 to 1982 you can buy sight unseen and know what you're getting.

1983 seems to be a transitional year. Normally an LS-80 is a 1 piece back and a plaintop, but my LS80 is from 1983 and has a 2 piece back but a solid flametop like you'd only find on a LS-100 or LS-120. So you can see the specs started to deviate, and by 1984/85 they were deviating even more.

Having said that, there's no way I'd swap my 1983 for a 79-82, as it kicks so much ass. There's no reason you can't find a good one from 1984/85.
 

Dica

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The 1983-1985 have the neck placed in a better position meaning the 16 fret protrudes from the body abit. The headstock on all models are 18 degrees.

To me the earlier once just look wonky. Im not saying that it affects tone it just looks of.

I do not care if they have 2 pieced bodies as it does not affect tone in anyway.
All mine have been Ls50 and Ls60 from 1984-1985.

They used killer wood on all the models.
 

Olds442

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to be fair, an 80's tokai is going to be aged, whereas a new R? probably wouldn't.

my preference is the old tokais over the newer R? guitars. just guitar to guitar, price not being considered.
 

SingeMonkey

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You vintage Tokai guys need to remember that specs became inconsistent *for a period* after '84. Tokais have been very consistent for a long time now. Probably since the late '90s. ;)
 

J-Dizzle

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You vintage Tokai guys need to remember that specs became inconsistent *for a period* after '84. Tokais have been very consistent for a long time now. Probably since the late '90s. ;)
well if you look at the thread title, the OP is specifically asking about vintage Tokais, not modern ones ;)
 


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