Bacchus G-Player

Bacchus G-Player

Year: 2008

Made In: Japan

Specs: Ash body, maple neck, maple fretboard

Electronics: Van Zandt Blues single coil pickups

Controls: Volume, tone, turbo blender, five-way switch

I make no bones about my admiration for Bacchus, I’ve yet to play one which was anything less than stellar. This one, probably one of the few whiteburst guitars in existence, is no exception.

Shortly after selling my trans-white Fender documented elsewhere here, I was on the hunt for a new strat and, seeing this trans-white beauty in Japan, had no hesitation in snapping it up. I had played another G-Player here in Ireland, amazingly enough, and was confident it would fill the gap nicely.

In terms of construction, fit and finish, it is flawless. The beautiful ash grain is clear up to the edges of the body where the burst fades into solid white. It really is a very tasteful finish. The rest of it is pretty nice too. The action is low, the Gotoh bridge holds tunes well and it’s supremely comfortable to play. The body is slightly scaled down from the regular Strat size. Being honest, it’s quite a step up from the Fender it replaced. As ever, with Bacchus, it’s what you already know, just a little better.

Unlike most strats, all three pickups are routed through the first tone knob. The Turbo Blender, as they call it, is the second tone knob. This is a pot which blends in the neck pickup when the bridge pickup is selected and vice-versa, giving you a very respectable Tele type tone on demand.

The only change I have made was replacing the SC-1 pickups which came as stock. Perhaps it was due to the ash body combined with maple neck, but I felt it was just a little short on warmth. I installed a set of Van Zandts which took care of that. They’re a great set of pickups and really delivered the sound I was looking for.

This is the real deal.

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Tokai ES-130

Tokai ES-130

Year: 2008

Made In: Japan

Specs: Maple body top, back and centre block, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard

Electronics: Tokai PAF-Vintage MK2 Humbuckers

Controls: Volume x 2, Tone x 2, three way pickup selector switch

I had never really considered a 335 type until I got to play a Tokai ES-120. Then everything changed.

These are truly fantastic sounding guitars, there’s not much more needs to be said beyond that.

By the time I got around to picking one up, the ES-120 had been replaced by the ES-130. I believe they’re pretty much the same specification. It’s a great player which sets up very well. The neck isn’t overly chunky and plays faster than it should. Overall, it’s a great, versatile guitar which easily stands shoulder to shoulder with any of its peers.