The Tokai Guitar Information Source

 

Tokai Gibson Copy Information

Tokai Model Specs & History

This section covers the Tokai Les Paul models built in the Japan factory. The goal is to document the changes over the years for each model.

Tokai Les Paul copy model number prefixes map to years. Currently do not have documentation for 1990-1994.

Date information

DateTokai ModelSerial # Decoding
Early 1977 Les Paul Model1st digit = year
1977 - 1979Les Paul Reborn1st digit = year
1980Reborn Old1st digit = year
1980-88Love Rocks1st digit = year
1989+Love Rocks1st 2 digits = year

Notes:

  • This information applies to all Tokai Gibson copies (V, Explorer, ES, etc).
  • Up to 1989 all serial numbers have a 0 in the second digit
  • Easy to confuse 1980 and 2000 - see above note
  • Third number indicated production run 1=1st run early, 2=second run late in year
  • Les Paul Reborn models: 1977 = 700xxxx, 1978=800xxxx, 1979=900xxxx
  • 1989+: 89=1989, 90=1990, 00=2000, 01=2001, etc
  • All Love Rocks with the "LS" & "TLS" prefix in the model are Japanese.
  • All Love Rocks with the "ALS" prefix are Korean. However, this change didn't occur until sometime in the mid 1990's, around 1995 or 96. Previous ALS models were made in Japan.
  • "A" rule only applies to Gibson & Fender copies.

The following model numbers map to certain years.

  • LS models from 1976/77 to 1982/83
  • TLS models from 1983 to 1989
  • ALS models from 1985 to 1986 or late - US Market only
  • LS models from 1995 to present are manufactured in Japan
  • ALS models from 1995 to present are manufactured in Korean
  • NLS models for North America from 2003 to present

The following model numbers map to certain years.
Tokai Model #Les Paul Year
LS701956 Model
LS70-AG1956 Rare Model
LS100S OR1957 Rare Model
LC60,100 & 1101957 Refine Model
LS50,60 & 801958 Model
LS100,120,150 & 2001959 Model


1979 Tokai LS Spec Chart Here are the specs for the LS models as outlined in the 1979 catalog. Thanks to Scott for having this page translated.

Translated into:
 LS-50LS-60LS-80LS-100LS-150 "Custom Made Only" LS-200 Pro Mdl "Exact Cstm Ordr Only"
Neck/Headstock Angle1 piece mahogany / 141 p mahogany / 141 p mahogany / 181 p mahogany / 181 p mahogany / 181 p mahogany / 18
Finishes*CS, BS, GT, BBCS, BSOS, BS, GT, BB CS, BSOS, CSOS, CS
Pickups   2 Dimarzio PAFDimarzio PAF/Super Dist**User Option
NutHandmade Bone Nut
StringsDahlco Funky Lt Gauge
Top/Back  2 piece carved maple
1 Piece mahogany
2 piece carved maple
1 Piece mahogany
Tiger Stripe
1 Piece mahogany
high-quality electronics
Best Tiger Stripe
1 Piece mahogany
high-quality electronics
Price (in Yen)60,00070,00092,000112,000150,000200,000
w/o case50,00060,00080,000100,000138,000188,000
case10,00010,00012,00012,00012,00012,000

Notes:
*Color: CS=Cherry Sunburst, BS=Brown Sunburst, GT=Gold Top, OS=Old Sunburst, BB=Black
** A Dimarzio Super Distortion is easily identified by hex-shaped pole pieces


Here are the spec for the model numbers, throughout the time line many specs remain the same but the pickup types change. Only Japanese models are covered below.

InstrumentFeaturesSeries DifferencesNotes
50 Series
  • Body: Maple top; Mahogany back
  • Neck: Mahogany-set neck
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups(1999+): PAF Vintage MK3, exposed
  • Pickups(ALS 86): MAR - Michigan Accurate Reproduction, exposed
  • Pickups(early 80's): '57 Vintage MKII, exposed
  • Pickups(1982): LS Dynamic-II, exposed
1999 LS55D has flamed sycamore laminated top In 1999 the LS50/55 had bolt-on necks
Becomes LS60 in 1997
50 series was dropped in 2000
60 Series
  • Body: Maple top; Mahogany back
  • Neck: Mahogany-set neck
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups(1999+): PAF-Vintage MK2
  • Pickups(1986): MAR
  • Pickups(1985): Tokai 57 Vintage
  • Pickups(1982-1984): LS Vintage MkII, exposed
None known Set neck on all models
Becomes LS65 in 1995
Becomes LS70 with Flamed Sycamore top in 1997
2000 LS65 has a 2pc maple top
70 Series
  • Body: Flamed sycamore laminated top; Mahogany back
  • Neck: Mahogany-set neck
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups(1999+): PAF-Vintage MK2
Becomes LS75 in 1997
75Q has a quilted maple laminate top
75S has a maple top
Appears in early 80's then, in 82 only available in gold top.
Reappears in 1997.
80 Series
  • Body: Flamed laminated maple top; Mahogany back
  • Neck: Mahogany-set neck
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups:Tokai PAF 57
Colors: VF, CS, OS, GT, BB  
100 Series
  • Body: Flamed laminated maple top; Mahogany back
  • Neck: Mahogany-set neck
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups:Dimarzio PAF
Colors: VF, CS, OS, GT, BB  
LS150
  • Body: Solid maple top; Mahogany back
  • Neck: Mahogany-set neck
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups:Dimarzio PAF & Super D
Colors: VF, CS, OS, GT, BB
Becomes LS180 in 1995
Becomes LS200 in 1997 with ebony fretboard
LS200
  • Body: Solid maple top; Mahogany back
  • Neck: Mahogany-set neck
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Pickups:Seymour Duncan
Colors: CS, VF, HDC Quilted top in 1995
Becomes LS220 in 1997 only
LS320
  • Body:AAAA Solid maple top; Mahogany back
  • Neck: Mahogany-set neck
  • Fingerboard: Jacaranda
  • Pickups:Seymour Duncan
Colors: CS, VF First available in 1997

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