Tokai has been making instruments for over 60 years - electrics, acoustics, basses, replicas, and their own models (as well as quite a lot of outsourced work making instruments for other manufacturers) has seen them cover a heap of ground. Diving into the LP styled shapes they have a number of models at a range of prices with the ALS-48 sitting comfortably under $1000.
From their Traditional series, the ALS-48 ‘Love Rock’ is an LP styled solid body electric featuring a flamed sycamore laminate top with a basswood back. Featuring maple and rosewood for the neck and fingerboard, and with a number of burst colour options, this little baby runs ‘Vintage Flame’ as its colour scheme (brown and cherry sunbursts are also available). Originally known as the ‘Les Paul Reborn’ in the late ‘70s, this model soon thereafter became the ‘Love Rock’ as it continues today.
MORE OR LES
Tokai do a great service to the classic LP shape with a clean single cutaway. Solid, but not too weighty, its Vintage Flame finish really lets the flamed sycamore shine through with the burst looking spot on. The finish, binding and edges look and feel super smooth giving this Love Rock a classic LP vibe. Both humbuckers sounded clear and full for those big rounder tones on the neck pickup or some edgier attack when you flick to the bridge. I used the ALS-48 on a few tracks of a recording I was working on at the time, and was more than satisfied with its tone and balance, blending in nicely with some single coil electric tones and acoustic guitar. Even after some considerable bashing, the tuning held up well too (which can often be a slight hassle with LP styled instruments). As a player the neck has a little width to it which felt great when holding onto chord shapes or big bends. It’s not a baseball bat styled monster though, so even those with small hands should be fine.
Price, looks, sound – all big ticks here. Looking and sounding every part of plenty of its much more expensive competitors, the ALS-48 really hits the spot. Great for typical LP styles such as rock and blues this Love Rock can also handle round, warm jazz tones, big fat dropped tuned distortion and even some rootsy twang in between. Want an LP but can’t muster up the dollars for a higher priced model? Definitely check out the ALS-48.
Hits and Misses
Neck has a bit of chunk
Pickups aren’t as lively as some pricier LP types