Up for sale, a 1980 Tokai Love Rock LS-50 OS in 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. Introduced in 1977, the Love Rock is Tokai’s enduringly popular spin on the Les Paul Standard platform. This particular example sports a vibrant Cherry Sunburst finish, PAF-style humbuckers and a round '50s-style neck profile carve.
Loaded with the original pair of Goto (not Gotoh) PAF humbuckers, these pickups visually evoke a Dimarzio Super Distortion, with hex key poles and double cream bobbins, however the tonal profile is notably different, as these Goto pickups meter closer to PAFs in the high 7k ohm range, resulting in a dynamic, open tone that has plenty of top end cut and chime while still pushing a tube amp into singing overdrive. The guitar is also notably lightweight, given its traditional Les Paul tonewood complement of a solid mahogany body and carved three-piece maple cap, weighing a mere 8lbs 14oz. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this Tokai Love Rock is dialed in with 10-46 strings, low action and solid intonation.
The one-piece mahogany neck has a modestly chunky '50s-style C-shaped profile carve at the nut with round shoulders in every register, gaining significant additional heft further up the fretboard, measuring .860” deep at the 1st fret and 1.060” at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard features pearloid trapezoid inlays and medium jumbo fretwire. The frets have plenty of meat with well-rounded crowns, showing only light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 3-9. This guitar plays cleanly up the 24 3/4” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The original carved bone nut measures 1 11/16” in width. The headstock sports an “open book” shape with gold silkscreen “Love Rock” script, and the Kluson-style single line tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The D string tuner arm is slightly bent but entirely functional. The back of the headstock retains the small “50” sticker which indicates the model tier and original price of the guitar in yen when sold new in '80 (¥50,000).
All of the electronics work as they should, and the double cream bobbin Goto humbuckers are wired to a unique original circuit board wiring harness. Chrome-plated hardware includes the ABR-1-style bridge and stopbar tailpiece with just a touch of surface patina. A quartet of amber bonnet knobs, one-ply pickguard, and amber switch tip round out the plastics.
The gloss "OS" Cherry Sunburst finish highlights light flame figuring on the central and bass-side thirds of the carved maple top, with cosmetic wear largely relegated to the back and sides of the body. There are various dings and finish scuffs on the body perimeter and lower bout on the back. The neck profile retains its smooth gloss, with some shallow marks along the profile length, none of which impede the palm while fretting.
A vintage Japanese black tolex hardshell case with aluminum trim and gold plush interior is included.