An ES-335 has been high on my wishlist for a VERY long time. Tried some Gibsons and as usually you have to go thru a bunch of them to find a decent one. Tried some Heritage and liked them but there was always something that didn’t tickle my fancy. One of the best ES-335s I ever played was the old Tokai owned by my friend Wilfried. I WAS plugged into a Dumble when I was playing it but the feel of the guitar was killer and the tones amazing.
So when a Tokai ES-120 popped up on a classifieds sites here in Belgium, contacted the seller and talked a bit about it. He bought it in 2005 and it never left his house, was in near mint condition. Although it originally came with Gibson Classic 57s, he replaced those with Peter Florance Voodoo ’59 pickups. I know these and loved them in a fat tele I had, so this was definitely a plus. And then there was the color, my favorite color for an ES-335 is natural and this one was indeed a natural with flamed maple front, sides and back. The price was right as well so my GAS was thru the roof.
I checked it out in person and only needed 5 minutes to fall in love with it. I was afraid the neck might be to much but it has a very nice medium C neck, just like my Tokai LP. Acoustically is sounded very full and balanced which was a good sign for things to come when I plugged in. The pickups needed some adjustment but other than that it played and sounded amazingly good. So I took it home, plugged it into my ’73 JMP and jammed for 2 hours.