How to tell a Tokai lc 53/98/200?

Soloshchenko

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Hi mlp experts. I'm just wondering if there are any tell tale ways to tell the differences between the tokai custom clones? I'm interested in adding a custom to the collection but don't know what I'm doing! Lc 53s look exactly the same as 200s to me. What are the key differences to look out for?

Cheers in advance.
 

reborn old

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LC-53's would have two letter prefixes in the silk screened serial #, if it originated from China.
(and no serial # if a pre 2006 model originating from Korea)
In the past basswood was used instead of mahogany. Heritage models from Korea now use mahogany.
Hardware will not be stamped "Japan", plastic inlays.


The following two models are made in Japan, always have 7 digit stamped serial numbers,
and should have "made in Japan" ink stamped on headstock back from 2003 onwards :

LC-98 will have a two piece back and poly finish, ... and Japan made MkIII Keiyo pickups, I think.

LC-200 has lacquer finish over poly. One piece back. US wiring harness including CTS pots and Switchcraft switch and jack.
Better inlay material. Fret edge binding. MkII Keiyo pickups.

For more differences ... modern Tokai catalogs are in English, and list all specs.
If you google "Tokai vol 25" through vol 27, at least one of these will be readily downloadable online. : )
 

Soloshchenko

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Thanks so much for that, looking at your really informative threads I take it this is probably a MIK then?

 

reborn old

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You're welcome.

The 3 screw TRC eliminates it from being made in Japan.

Sorry, I couldn't navigate to view other pics.
No serial # would be Korean
Serial # would be made in China.
The headstock center dimple was made in both countries for export to certain countries.
 

Soloshchenko

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Wow, you should write an illustrated book if you haven't already. Thanks again, I'm learning a ton from this and your other Tokai/MIJ threads.
 

Soloshchenko

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I was wondering about this one? Japanese surely but has an odd trc

 




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