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1978 Tokai Reborn LS50 Vintage Electric Guitar Ebony First-Year, Japan, Love Rock


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Up for sale, a 1978 Tokai Les Paul Reborn electric guitar in excellent condition and in perfect working order. Circa 1977, Tokai began making exacting replicas of Gibson electric guitars and basses, widely known as "lawsuit guitars,” despite no lawsuits actually taking place. Tokai's version of the Gibson Les Paul model, named the Les Paul Reborn, was introduced in 1978 and is considered the pinnacle Tokai Les Paul iteration. By 1980 the name was changed to Reborn Old, and later to its current name, Love Rock. Made with the utmost care and craftsmanship, tonewoods on this first year Reborn include a select two-piece African mahogany, a two-piece maple top, and a one-piece African mahogany neck capped with a bound rosewood fingerboard.

Acoustically, this guitar has a present, lively tone with excellent sustain, qualities which translate faithfully through the original pair of PAF-style humbuckers that meter in the mid-7k ohms range. Plugged in, the bridge pickup channels snarly, round tones with plenty of cut, while the middle position has a balanced rhythm voicing, especially with the neck pickup rolled back just a touch. The neck position humbucker has ample fullness and warmth without sacrificing detail, providing a great lead sound and a richness that lends itself to complex chord voicings. Weighing 9lbs 8oz and professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this Tokai Reborn is dialed in with 11-48 strings, low action, and solid intonation.

The solid one-piece African mahogany neck has a '50s-style C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulder and a full feel, measuring .880” deep at the 1st fret and .940” at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard features the original medium jumbo fretwire which retains its full factory height with well-rounded crowns, showing light, uniform wear beneath the strings on frets 1-2, with wear extending more faintly beneath the plain strings until fret 4. The rosewood fretboard features pearl trapezoid inlays and cream binding, with the "50" model tier designation stamped into the rosewood beyond the last fret. The original bone nut measures 1 11/16" in width, and on the headstock, the Tokai-branded Kluson-style single line double ring tuners with pearloid tulip buttons are intact and turn smoothly. The headstock face has unusual clouding of the gloss, partially obscuring the Reborn silkscreen and Tokai inlay.

All of the electronics work as they should, and the original circuit board wiring harness has been upgraded to a more traditional harness with vintage-spec 500k USA-made CTS pots. The chrome hardware has plenty of shine, including the ABR-1-style bridge and corresponding stopbar, with light surface patina on the bridge pickup cover and stopbar. Cosmetic wear on the gloss Ebony finish includes a few light pick scuffs across the strum path, light finish scratches on the back, one ding on the bass-side lower bout on the back, and a few additional minor marks on the lower bout body edge. The guitar has zero cracks or repairs, and this is a straight, well-kept example, emblematic of the best '70s Japanese-made LPs.

An ESP gigbag is included.