Ripoffs of Les Paul ripoffs

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Ripoffs of Les Paul ripoffs

Post by BJG145 »

I didn't take Tokai "Love Rock" guitars seriously until a local player I rate highly showed off his Gold Top a while back. I've since come to realise that some of these are well respected.

I was looking out for one recently, and came across someone local selling a "Gibbo" for £135.

Image

I've said I'll take it, though I won't be able to collect for a few weeks.

I used to be a bit fussy about the name on guitar headstocks, but having briefly owned a couple of nice Gibsons (then selling them again when the credit card started to bite) I'm more happy-go-lucky now.

I've been Googling these, and the general consensus is that they were made in Tokai's Chinese factory, but without Tokai's approval, and turn up cheap/rebranded. Worth a go at this price anyway.
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Re: Ripoffs of Les Paul ripoffs

Post by Wonks »

Looks like it might be struggling on the intonation front given the saddle positions, so the bridge position could be a couple of mm out (though that may be down to the strings). The stop tailpiece looks a bit non-conventional.

Also not quite sure why there's a black mark where the right arm would rest. It's bound to be a poly finish which wouldn't normally absorb stain, and there shouldn't be anything dark under the cherry sunburst if it had worn through. Could be a trick of the light.

But apart from the poorly finished logo, it looks OK. As long as the neck isn't twisted, the frets are in the right place and the neck angle is OK, then it is capable of being a decent playing and sounding guitar.
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Re: Ripoffs of Les Paul ripoffs

Post by BigRedX »

BJG145 wrote: Mon Nov 29, 2021 5:50 pm I didn't take Tokai "Love Rock" guitars seriously until a local player I rate highly showed off his Gold Top a while back. I've since come to realise that some of these are well respected.

I was looking out for one recently, and came across someone local selling a "Gibbo" for £135.

I've said I'll take it, though I won't be able to collect for a few weeks.

I used to be a bit fussy about the name on guitar headstocks, but having briefly owned a couple of nice Gibsons (then selling them again when the credit card started to bite) I'm more happy-go-lucky now.

I've been Googling these, and the general consensus is that they were made in Tokai's Chinese factory, but without Tokai's approval, and turn up cheap/rebranded. Worth a go at this price anyway.

Unfortunately Tokai don't have a Chinese factory. There is a factory in China that makes instruments for Tokai (and others) at the very cheap end of their range. I've had the misfortune to play some of those and they have nothing in common with the classic Japanese Tokais of the 80s other than the name on the headstock. On the whole, as these instruments are no better than the average budget Chinese guitar, they do a huge dis-service to the Tokai name.

Anything by Tokai that has been made in Japan will be outstanding - I've owned a couple of Talbos which were great instruments and performed way above their price-point at the time. For anything not made in Japan, tread with caution and prepare to be disappointed.

My experience of those "bigging up" the mythical "Tokai Chinese Factory" is that they have some cheap tat that they would like to sell at an over-inflated price.
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Re: Ripoffs of Les Paul ripoffs

Post by BJG145 »

...hmm, OK! Maybe MIJ is the way to go then...
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Re: Ripoffs of Les Paul ripoffs

Post by innerchord »

I'm not a guitar nut(!) but I do know that they moved production of their cheaper PRS-style guitars (and SG-style, I think) from Korea to China a decade or more ago, and the Chinese instruments were not the same at all.
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Re: Ripoffs of Les Paul ripoffs

Post by BJG145 »

Here's another possible MIJ LP...any thoughts...?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/154734938659 ... SwqfBhrRFw
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Re: Ripoffs of Les Paul ripoffs

Post by BigRedX »

It might be worth it stayed at that price and you were buying it with an eye to breaking it up selling the parts.

Other than that, while Antoria is a reasonably well-respected 70s name, this is at the cheaper end of their offerings as demonstrated by the bolt-on neck.

IME all the good quality MiJ copies have the same construction as the instruments that they are copying. I personally would never consider a bolt-on neck version of something that was originally designed to be made with a set neck.
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Re: Ripoffs of Les Paul ripoffs

Post by BJG145 »

OK! Thanks for the info... :thumbup:
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Re: Ripoffs of Les Paul ripoffs

Post by Sam Spoons »

Same here, and don't forget that MIJ instruments only became decent during the '70s, before that Japanese guitars were mostly pretty poor. TBF so were many European and US made instruments but they had premium brands as well which the Japanese lacked in the early days.

I wouldn't pay that much for a bolt on LP copy, if you must you are probably as well off buying one of these, it'll be just as good https://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/product/ ... y-sunburst Admittedly the machine heads and pickups probably add a little value.
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Re: Ripoffs of Les Paul ripoffs

Post by blinddrew »

BigRedX wrote: Fri Dec 10, 2021 1:52 pmI personally would never consider a bolt-on neck version of something that was originally designed to be made with a set neck.

I had an Epiphone gold top that had a bolt on neck but that was still a decent guitar. So it can be done.
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Re: Ripoffs of Les Paul ripoffs

Post by Wonks »

A decent guitar maybe, but it’s nothing like a real Les Paul. I had a basic ESP Eclipse (LP type) for a while with a bolt-on neck. A great guitar (if one swapped out the pickups) but not a Les Paul.

I wouldn’t buy a bolt-on Antoria from that era. Much better used copies available.

Also remember that the really good 70s and 80s Japanese copies were almost always for the internal Japanese market. The export models were always of a lower quality. Generally good but not excellent.
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Re: Ripoffs of Les Paul ripoffs

Post by BJG145 »

I think I need rescuing from another ill-advised Japanese LP.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/224848063456 ... 1438.l2649

I'd like something that I can throw in the back of a car for pub gigs and not worry about. But I have a tatty Yamaha RGX A2 I can use for that. Maya...punt or junk?
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