1980 Tokai Love Rock

The Tokai Love Rock LS-50 is a take on the classic Gibson Les Paul guitar. Released in 1980 this goldtop is modelled on a 1958 Les Paul and features a maple top, mahagony body and Tokai ’57 Vintage MKII humbuckers.

This Tokai ‘Les Paul style’ guitar is in excellent condition for 37 year old dream machine! Tokai modelled their Love Rock guitars of specific Gibson Les Paul models – the LS-50 is based on a 1958 Les Paul. Only the LS-50/60 models were produced as a goldtop.


Guitar features: Serial 0101330 “inkie” / maple top / mahogany body / mahogany neck / rosewood fingerboard / original tune-o-matic and stop bar bridge / original volume and tone controls / replaced jack plate / original tuners / original handmade bone nut / original exposed humbucker pickups

Tokai LS guitars between 1978 and 1985 went through a period of change as American manufacturers began to put pressure on the Asian guitar makers, who were copying the classic American designs for both domestic and international markets. Very little law suits were actually made during the “law-suit” era as often referred too. Tokai called their Gibson copies, Les Paul Model, Les Paul Reborn, Reborn Old and finally Love Rocks from 1980. Like Tokai’s copies of Fender guitars, they went back to the original source to make guitars that were of a very high quality, when US manufacturers were having to reduce production costs.

Details of specific models, their original specification is fairly limited (or in Japanese) so guitar information is collected from multiple sources to try and give the best description and history of the guitar. The LS-50 model is thought to have a three piece top or off-centre seam maple top and a multi-piece mahogany back. From the photo’s you can see its a three-piece mahogany body. This guitar is one of the “inkie” models, where the serial is inked on the headstock, along with a black model sticker, which dates it to 1980. The LS-50 spec also lists a 14º neck angle, goldtop finish, Tokai ’57 Vintage MkII uncovered humbuckers, handmade bone nut, pointed bell truss rod cover and dull tuner finish.

So, what are the issues? There is light to medium wear with a few scuffs and chips with the most notable one detailed in one of the photo’s on the lower inside edge of the body. Please contact me for more images if required. Generally, the fit and feel of the guitar is excellent, as expected from Tokai. When I purchased the guitar, the seller stated that there has been fret filing at the higher positions and they have 85% of life in them. The frets feel clean to me and neck feels a lovely shape in the hand. The fingerboard is very clean and smooth and a lovely deep colour. There’s a little crack on a control knob, but all smooth and functioning. There is currently a bit of fret buzz on the open A string. Like all guitars, it would probably benefit a set-up to suit your playing style. Guitar weighs 8.81 lbs, which I’ve read is what the classic ’58-60 Les Pauls weighed on average. It sounds and feels lovely and sustains forever…(ok, not literally forever before anyone complains of false advertising!).

Guitar comes with a new deluxe fitted hard case.