Here is a brand that I've grown to like. While scouring the web searching for info to do these reviews, Tokai has popped up numerous times and people just seem to sing praises of them. They seem to make good quality for money guitars and that is exactly what beginners are looking for. Anyways, today's review is of a Tokai FB45, a Gibson Firebird copy.
Features: 22 frets on a rosewood fretboard and a 24 3/4" scale. The body is made of alder, and the neck is made from maple, so it's a wee bit brighter than your average Firebird, which is made from mahogany and walnut. A set neck, which is different than your neck through that you get on a Firebird as well. It's finished in a gloss gold which was only made in 2004 I believe, so I suppose it adds to the rarity. Tune-o-matic bridge, and your normal 4 controls (2 volume 2 tone) and the one selector Switch for the two mini humbuckers. Standard Kluson-style tulip tuners, which is different than the banjo tuners on the Gibsons as well. // 8
Sound: The mini humbuckers are brighter than regular humbuckers but darker than single coils. The neck pickup was extremely bassy, and I wasn't really satisfied with that tone, since it sounded like the tone control had been turned down even when it was on full. The bridge pickup was also a lot lower in volume than the neck pickup as well, but after a few tweaks it sounded great. I suppose it isn't the most versatile guitar in the world, and it doesn't do heavier styles very well. The clean tones are better than what I've heard in other guitars. I suppose the best thing about this guitar is the amazing tone I can get, it's just one of the tones I've been looking for for a long while. The sustain is amazing. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up alright from the factory. Not great, but not bad either. The pickups were set quite badly however: the neck pickup was set so that it sounded as if the tone control had been turned down, and the bridge pickup didn't even have half the output of the neck pickup I'm not sure if that was the factory or just by the way the shop set it up though. The action was good, there was no fret buzz and it's still quite low. Other than that, everything was alright, and only required minor adjustments. // 7
Reliability & Durability: This guitar would withstand live playing quite well I think. It's a sturdy thing, and it does take a lot of bumps without denting. The strap buttons are solid, and the controls and Switch are high quality, and they look as if they aren't going to break soon. The only gripe I have, and this is a big gripe: the tuners. They are horrible. They fall out of tune quite easily, and it's really annoying. They look a lot cheaper compared to the rest of the guitar and I feel as if it's just something on a guitar that really shouldn't be forgotten about. It does stay in tune however after a bit of fighting, but it isn't really good enough. I think if you're going to get this guitar, you might have to change the tuners. // 6
Impression: This is a good-for-money guitar. It plays great and isn't expensive. If you are looking for a lighter kind of sound, this might very well be your guitar. // 7