We’ve seen a lot of Tokai guitars through the Mixdown office doors, and typically they’ve been great guitars at easy on the wallet prices. This month we’re taking a look at Tokai’s take on the classic SG solid body electric guitar, a shape that’s instantly recognisable and has done the rounds on many a rock album. So slip on your tight black jeans, crank up your amp and let’s check it out.
Out of the case this Tokai SG looks quite the part. Classic Cherry stain in colour with wood grain underneath with a black scratch plate. The nato body and mahogany neck combine nicely for a well balanced guitar that is quite light and well finished. No marks or blemishes to be seen. Under $1000, this SG looks great and comes with a padded gig bag as part of the equation.
Many players love the elongated feel of the SG and this Tokai guitar should satisfy that ideal. Intonation and action seemed good and there were no problems playing in first position or right up the neck with the increased access of an SG obviously helping. Either way you can belt out open chords AC/DC style and noodle all the way up the 22nd fret with relative ease when you want to flex your soloing chops.
Whilst mostly associated with rock, the SG can handle a surprising range of tones, from cleaner blues and jazzier sounds to some brighter atmospheric and indie vibes. Classic SG controls of volume and tone for each pickup work well, letting you get some nice in between tones that can really add to the straight up rhythm or lead sound. Middle position with some extra bridge volume for instance, can take some of the brightness off and add a little mid range thickness for fills and licks. Of course when it’s needed, those vintage rock tones are ready to go if you need to channel some 60s and 70s goodness.
SG = SO GOOD
A Tokai with perhaps a little more versatility then people realise. Plays well, looks right and at its price point it comes as great value. People will get hung up on where it’s made and exact specs, but for mine it’s another solid guitar form the Tokai range that’s worth a look if you’re in the SG market.
Hits and Misses
For the price and build quality, it's hard to fault
Neck: Maple Set Neck
Width at Nut: 43 mm
Pick Ups: 2 x MK4 Vintage Style P90