Tokai love rock dating
Most Ob G flametops are usually quite understated, and any Ob G with a highly flamed or quilted top (the LPQ models) are unusual, and normally veneer. F type pickups, (which are very nice) they are finished in poly not nitro, some Orvilles were issued with Photo-flametops, and K serial numbers were in a different factory to Fuji-gen.
There are some LPQ solid quilted models but again very rare. Orville by Gibson's used the premium wood available to the luthiers. its now generally agreed that these were the Terada factory From early in 1995, Orville by Gibson was discontinued, and in 1998 Orvilles were rebranded as Epiphone by Gibson (Japan).
After 1982 the tokai production numbers and variety of models increased dramatically, and the LS-80 specs varied somewhat, some began to appear with 2 piece backs, and veneer flametops, I only stock the earlier, 1 piece backed LS-80/100/120/150/200, all these have the correct headstock angle, fret Binding, solid tops, (except most LS-120's), nitro finishes, and one piece backs.
The Tokai's were produced by Tokai-Gakki in Japan, but are of a similar quality to the Fugi-gen guitars.
There were no replacements for the Orville by Gibson models, and as such these are becoming very sought after. As these were only produced for 2 years they are rare.
Its important to realise that these were all made when ESP was a small, independent company, it seems that the early production was outsourced to Kasuga, and sometime in the early 80's ESP started to produce navigators in house, around 1984, and the reason that ESP today brands its highest models "Navigator" is due to the fact that, Dating of Navigators to the exact year of production is very difficult, some have no markings, some have serial numbers which mean nothing, or have not been codes can help sometimes..my dating is estimated for most models of LP.
Produced for only 2 years from 1982 to early 1984, these were the domestic Japanese version, only for sale in Japan, the Squire JV were the cheaper export models. The finish on the 115 is all nitro, the 85 body is nitro, and the TL52-95 tele is all nitro finished also.
The Japanese models usually had a long tenon like the 1959 LP's, and are not weight relieved, the US Standard version did not have a long tenon and is weight relieved.
The Orville by Gibson Les Paul Reissue series (LPR ) 1993-1994, were the top of the range Japanese produced Gibsons, they all have stock Gibson USA electrics and pickups, usually nitrocellulose laquer finishes, blank truss rod covers and fret edge binding, and were only made from late 1992 to early 1995, they also tend to have the fattest necks of all the Ob G's.