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1979 Tokai Les Paul Reborn LS-50 Goldtop Darkback Vintage Guitar w/ Gibson 61 PAFs, Case


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Up for sale, a 1979 Tokai LS-50 Les Paul Reborn complete with the original Lifton-style hardshell case and loaded with a pair of Gibson 61 Burstbucker PAFs. Widely considered to be among the finest Japanese “lawsuit” Les Paul iterations, this is an extremely early example, introduced in 1978 as an exceedingly faithful iteration of the LP platform. In 1980, the headstock nomenclature was quickly changed to Reborn Old to avoid any further legal implications from Gibson, and shortly thereafter to its current name, Love Rock.

The classic tonewood complement of a mahogany body, maple top, mahogany neck, and bound rosewood fretboard yields a resonant, lively acoustic response with plenty of natural sustain; an ideal platform for the upgraded ‘61 Burstbucker PAF humbuckers. Described by Gibson as “a classic voice with added power and top end,” these Alnico V humbuckers are big and bold, with authoritative, sparkling trebles, bold lows, and tailored mids for optimal clarity in all pickup positions. Lightweight at just 8lbs 2oz, this LS-50 has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.

The mahogany neck has a substantial "50s-style" C-shaped profile carve with full shoulders and ideal heft, measuring .885” deep at the 1st fret and .985” at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard features pearloid trapezoid inlay, and the medium jumbo fretwire benefits from a level and crown, exhibiting no wear. This guitar plays cleanly up the 24 3/4“ scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod, and the replacement nut measures 1 11/16” in width. The headstock has Tokai's very early and quickly abandoned “Les Paul Reborn” script, and a substituted set of Kluson-style tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch, with lightly greened keystone buttons.

All of the electronics function as intended, and the original circuit board wiring harness has been swapped for a more traditional harness with full-size pots and green chiclet tone caps. Plastics comprise the cream pickguard, amber switch tip, and quartet of gold bonnet knobs. The no-wire ABR-1-style bridge still has plenty of shine, while the stopbar tailpiece has lost much of its plating.

Cosmetic wear on the gloss Goldtop finish includes buckle rash on the back and a number of dings, largely limited to the back and body perimeter. The top, by comparison, presents cleanly. The neck profile retains its smooth gloss, with a scant few shallow marks along the profile length that have no impact on playability.

The original Tokai-branded Lifton-style brown hardshell case is included.