I friend of mine was interested in buying a Tokai from Ishibashi in Japan. Sent a mail there and got the following reply. I quote directly from the mail he got:
I also recieved a mail a couple of days ago from another guy who was about to order a Tokai from Ishibashi and had read here on the SD forum that I had ordered mine from them as well. He asked about the quality, finish etc on the Tokai that I bought last year from Ishibashi. Because he got the a similar reply when he mailed them. Here's a quote from the mail he got:First of all, please understand our situation. We do not sell any Tokai
guitar at our stores. We have carried it only in case a customer wants.
We will quit to handle any Tokai guitar in the end of this month because
of chronic shortage of their products and quality problems.
Tokai does not have any LS85 in stock. An order in advance is always
required for it. Excepted arrival date is unknown. Possibly, you will
have to wait for 2-3 months after you place your order. Our best price
is 68,000 Yen. It comes with a soft case.
Shipping cost of them is 16,000 Yen.
Anyway, this month is the last chance for an order of Tokai. If you
purchase a Tokai guitar from us, please place your order soon and complete
payment by the end of June.
Also, we have often seen finish problems for current Tokai products,
including a scratch or a dent or a rough paint work. We cannot accept
returning for reason of such problems.
Somethings seriously wrong over at Tokai... are the about to quit the business!? Quality issues out of nowhere?! Maybe someones got more info on this.Firstly, please note our situation. We do not have any Tokai guitar in
stock. We handle it only in case a customer place an order.
Secondly, a craftsmanship of Tokai is not superb. We have often seen a
dent or a scratch or a defective finish work on their guitar although it
just comes from the manufacturer. We do not accept returning for those
The craftsmanship of Tokai used to be good. The current products are not.
We have repeatedly advised Tokai to improve the quality but there has
been no improvement.
Tokai does not make their guitars in a large quantity. Also, we obtain
a Tokai item through a supplier. We cannot choose a good one from a few
units. To sell a Tokai item bothers us.
Those are reasons why we do not sell a Tokai item at our stores