Tokai LC85S, Vintage White - any good? plus some other opinions needed...


Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
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I've been enquiring on these forums here and there about Edwards, which I am considering as an option for my next Les Paul soonish.

I'm going to most likely purchase it, whatever it ends up being, through Richtone, seeing as they are UK-based. It seems less risky than importing from Japan (but I might consider that as a last resort), and eBay is out of the question, due to something happening that freaked me out last year (no money was taken because eBay spotted something was up, but I got scared and have sworn off buying ANYTHING from eBay since).

Richtone have a good range of Edwards stuff, and plenty of Tokai stuff, both MIJ and MIC. This one caught my eye:

Tokai LC85S Electric Guitar - Vintage White - Rich Tone Music

I know I said I swore off eBay, but there are plenty of good pics there of this guitar:

Tokai LC85S - Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar - White on eBay (end time 09-Feb-11 18:32:13 GMT)

I'm looking in particular for a white one, and Richtone have the Edwards LP 98 in Vintage White, but this Tokai actually looks closer in finish to what I would be after, and costs a bit less. So I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with the Tokai LC85S and whether or not it is any better or worse than the Edwards guitars.

From what I understand from Richtone's website, Tokai's tend to be more "Gibson-esque" than the Edwards in terms of neck profile and the carve of the top:

How are the Edwards Les Pauls and similar models different to a Japanese Tokai?
The Edwards guitars are a slightly more modern take on the Les Paul design. The Japanese Tokai are a more faithful reproduction in terms of their dimensions and pick ups to the instruments of the late 50s by the Gibson Guitar Corporation. The main differences are, but not limited to:

  • Top Carve on the Les Paul Models The Edwards features a modern shaping based on the ESP Eclipse. The Tokai is a traditional top carve found on Gibson guitars.
  • The neck carve on the Edwards instruments is slightly thinner in depth compared to a strict 59 carve as found on the Tokai. The apex of the carve is flattened off a little in our judgement.
  • Pick ups Edwards uses Seymour Duncan or EMG pick ups almost exclusively on their guitars which lend themselves well to a range of styles including modern rock. The Gotoh pick ups used by Tokai are more vintage correct in that they are not overwound, and are perfect for blues based rock.
Apologies for the length of this post and my ramblings, but I would like to know as much as I can before making an informed purchase online. Both seem like great guitars for the money, but I'd like to know a bit more about the Tokai.

I'm also looking at these newer chinese-made Burnys:

Burny Les Paul - White RLC-55RR AWT [RLC-55RR AWT] - £448.34 : Redfish Music, Quality Musical Instruments 01525 370470

Of course the lower price here would allow me to budget for decent pickups, but I'm even less informed still about those, so opinions of those would be welcome as well.


Senior Member
May 19, 2008
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Can't speak for the Tokai but I do have both Edwards and Burny (MIC) customs. I'd go for the Burny, very similar in feel and after the cost of upgrading the pickups will still work out cheaper. Not saying that the stock Burny pickups are bad.

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