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  • Custom made LP

    Hey guys, I am a new guy here and it is great to see lots of lefties.

    Don't you just hate when an awesome signature guitar of your favorite guitarist comes out, only to find out that they are only available in righty model? The Slash VOS from Gibson and their lack of consideration for all the lefty guitarists gave me an idea: why not just have one custom-made for you? Well, I am not a luthier so making a guitar myself wasn't an option, and ordering a custom-made Gibson would leave a huge hole in my wallet. So I turned to their arch rival from the late 70s, Tokai. Since Tokai is a local guitar maker that is about 1 hour train ride from my place, and having found out that they do take custom orders for about 100$ on top of the regular guitar prices, I was in

    Alright, first a pic of what I am aiming for:
    They have made this one look kinda old and faded out. What I wanted to make is somewhere in between this look and how Slash's 87 LP looked when it was brand new.

    The guitar is still being made, but they were kind enough to provide pictures along the way. First, specs. My guitar is basically a hybrid of LS85 and LS150: 3 piece top with long tenon and nitro finish. Other changes include lighter, faded out violin finish and Gotoh GE103B-T bridge (more on this later).

    With a 3 piece-top like Slash VOS, it is crucial to get the width and placement of the center top piece right. And they did, which can be seen in the first photo they provided shown below:

    The grain on this top looks pretty darn nice too.

    A couple of weeks later, Tokai got back to me with a photo of the painted body with a neck:

    They made a mistake at this point, drilling bridge holes that are meant to be for a righty guitar instead of a lefty... Up until that point, I had specified for the old, ABR type bridge that does not use studs imbedded in the body. Not because I had any particular preference for the vintage type, but just that it was in the original spec. As a solution, Tokai offered installing a Nashville style bridge, the studs for which have a large enough diameter that would eliminate the misplaced holes. Problem solved.
    Last edited by MIN; 03-13-2010, 05:28 AM.

  • #2
    Continuing on.
    A frontal shot of the painted body with holes filled with dowels looked like this:

    The top was gorgeous as was, but I wanted the burst to be a little narrower, which was how it was on the original Slash 87 LP:

    The guitar was already coated with nitrocellulose, but I thought, what the hell, might as well just ask. The worst thing that could happen is them telling me it cannot be done.
    A day later, I get a photo that looked like this:

    The guitar is yet to be coated with nitrocellulose, and that will probably change the color a bit. I think the finished guitar will have a burst which is pretty damn close to what I was looking for. I didn't want it in cherry red, but in Tokai's violin finish which I find has a more antique look and less flashy than cherry.

    So that is where the guitar currently stands at. After nitro coating, installing pickups and other hardware, it will be sent out to me, which should be done in about a week or two. Looking forward to updating you guys with the finished guitar.

    Cheers,

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    • #3
      Yaaaay, you made it MIN! Good to see you here. I gotta say I like the finish on the guitar a lot better now it's been changed to ViolinFinish. Can't wait to see the end result, should be awesome. What pups are you having put in?
      And there's only a $100 upcharge for a custom job? Wow!
      va' sa' du? va' hete' du?
      Originally posted by chilton
      Unfortunately I've got all the guitars I need at the moment.
      www.dutchcassidy.com

      Comment


      • #4
        very nice indeed. I wish I could have my "icon" guitar made in lefty

        but for me it would be about 4 grand --ouch!
        Resident Charvel/Jackson Freak

        http://youtube.com/amimbari

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Olav View Post
          And there's only a $100 upcharge for a custom job? Wow!
          Ya seems a little odd doesn't it? I mean all the photos along the way, the trouble to go through all the communication and such. Who knows what Gibby would have charged for such service.
          The price for LS 85 is about 700$ over here. On top of that I added the following:
          nitrocellulose finish 150$
          long tenon 50$
          custom coloring 50$
          lefty 100$?
          Works out to be about 1000$. One thing I regret not having ordered is one piece body. But, whatever. I don't think the guitar will sound bad because of this.

          Comment


          • #6
            O! Now I see, it's a $100 upcharge for a lefty. That makes the mistake they made worth at least $100. They picked up on the mistake pretty quick though and the repainting was done for free too right? Nice service. They really made it up to you.
            va' sa' du? va' hete' du?
            Originally posted by chilton
            Unfortunately I've got all the guitars I need at the moment.
            www.dutchcassidy.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MIN View Post
              Don't you just hate when an awesome signature guitar of your favorite guitarist comes out, only to find out that they are only available in righty model?
              Our how about a lefty player that they make not one or two but about 4 different versions and not one of them is a lefty... Of course I'm thinking of our buddy Jimi!!!

              Anyway, great looking project. The original color didn't look that bad to me. It looked much better than the Gibson "Clown Burst" you see on LP's and EPI's. The price seems to be fantastic too, especially when you consider the upgrades.

              Welcome aboard and definitely keep us updated on the build, I think it's kinda cool to follow the progression.


              As an aside, Guys, are you thinking what I'm thinking??? A connection in Japan with access to Ishabishi and Taniguchi.....Hmmmmm, been eyeballing a '62 RI Tele..

              Enjoy
              Last edited by crawdaddy; 03-13-2010, 07:10 AM.

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              • #8
                Goodness, that is the most ridiculously reasonable price I have ever seen.

                I could not make one in my garage for you for that price.

                Beautiful guitar.

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                • #9
                  Very nice!

                  Looking forward to see the finished guitar

                  Who knows what Gibby would have charged for such service.
                  eerm... you don't want to know

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I can't wait to see the finished product, custom stuff is the shizzlenizzledizzle

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Olav View Post
                      I gotta say I like the finish on the guitar a lot better now it's been changed to ViolinFinish.What pups are you having put in?
                      Actually, the initial finish is also VF. The only thing that has changed is how wide the yellow burst in the center spreads. Somehow the finish appears quite red in the photo but I don't think it really is. And the refinished top appears like honeyburst with little hint of red. In real life I think it is somewhere in between, but a bit closer to the second photo.
                      As for pups, it will be MKII zebra. I will have to see what these sound like. I hear both good and bad reviews. At some point I might replace them with SD Alnico II.
                      Last edited by MIN; 03-14-2010, 12:31 AM.

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                      • #12
                        That's a lovely instrument mate, I bet you cant' wait to hold her. BTW, do you happen to know if they do custom jobs for people living outside Japan?
                        2005 Framus Diablo Custom
                        Carvin SC-90
                        1990 US Fender Strat
                        1987 Greco Les Paul Custom
                        Kramer Pacer
                        1984 ESP 400 Series

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bourikaldo View Post
                          TBTW, do you happen to know if they do custom jobs for people living outside Japan?
                          Not quite sure about that. I get a feeling that they haven't considered offering custom jobs overseas. I mentioned to them that many people in other countries would be interested and I got no response. The website for custom order is http://www.theguitarshop.jp/service/custommade1.html. All in Japanese though
                          One thing you might want to do, if you want a custom-made guitar, is to talk to your local Tokai dealer. From what I've seen, Tokai seems to make tailor-made guitars for dealers quite often. Or just email them and see what they say.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Use translate.google.com to bypass the Japanese. Not brilliant, but will get you a long way.
                            I think they will take orders overseas at the guitarshop, not 100% sure though. I thought of having them do me a '54 Goldtop, but I have a local luthier kinda 50% endorsing the bejeezus out of all my guitar needs now so...
                            (too bad he doesn't do hollowbodies or westerns)
                            va' sa' du? va' hete' du?
                            Originally posted by chilton
                            Unfortunately I've got all the guitars I need at the moment.
                            www.dutchcassidy.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just found out that they do NOT take orders from overseas. Sorry guys.
                              BTW, the guitar was shipped out this afternoon and will arrive at my place by 9:00AM tomorrow morning.

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