"Made in China" Epiphones: Any experiences...

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by E5RSY, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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    ...good or bad?

    Thanks,
    RSY
     
  2. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    Aren't most all of them from China?
     
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  3. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just ordered a Casino, made in China. I'll let you know.
     
  4. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a Wilshire re-issue that was Indonesia. Have they moved everything to China?
     
  5. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    I own two currently, and have had more MIK EPis than I can count. Still have several.

    In the beginning, QC was all over the map and MIK stood out as way better. It seems that Epi has really dialed in production. My current 2017 MIC G400 1966 Pro SG is a better feeling and sounding guitar than the 7 or 8 MIK SGs I've owned over the years.

    My Epiphone Century 'Inspired by 1966' one p90 thin hollowbody is also great. No issues.

    I have had my hands on a couple of recently produced 'losers' but that happens with any manufacturing at any price point.

    I will note that all the MIC models I have seen lately (not all the models necessarily, just the ones I have looked at) have a three piece neck. There is a scarf joint of sorts on the headstock and usually another one down where the neck fits the body.

    I think Epi has figured a sweet spot between quality and where to save a little $. Want a one-piece mahogany neck? Buy a Gibson. Don't mind saving a bunch of $ and not noticing your three piece neck while playing? Buy the Epi.
     
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  6. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    Most regular production models are MIC, but I believe you get some Indonesia in there, my 'Inspired by 1962' Sorrento is Indo, but that is a 2012 model.

    My 2016 Century in MIC.

    Lucked into a late production 2014 Sheraton that is MIK, which is weird since I've seen Sheratons from 2012 MIC.

    The first series of MIC Sheratons I saw did not have the distinctive 5 piece laminated neck, instead opting for a neck like you find on a Casino. But they sorted that out since.
     
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  7. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Tele-Afflicted

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    I tried a couple of Casinos. I wanted one. They're all okay for the price. I wont buy one new, used would be a good deal. But If I cant find one used, Id be happy to spend for a new one. I dont really care for the Les Pauls and solid bodies, I want the hollows and semis.


    Hey backporchmusic, is there any chance you would do a review of your 1966 Century? Im just waiting for funds and for stocks to turn up in a dealer near me. Are they good? hows the sound of the P90's? Also are the P90 pickups in standard size and can be swapped for a different P90?

    thanks!
     
  8. WireLine

    WireLine Tele-Afflicted

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    I’ve had a ChiCom Les Paul for quite some time. Body wise as good if not better than any recent Gibson. Replaced all electronics and pickups, and it’s a better instrument than any similar configuration, including limited edition Gibsons I’ve encounterec lately
     
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  9. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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  10. Gigante_Miguel

    Gigante_Miguel TDPRI Member

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    O have a Dot that's made in China and it's a great guitar, the finish is beautiful and durable and it plays and sounds great.
     
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  11. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Meister

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    These cheap little dudes are pretty sweet. I had a pretty big thread on them over the holidays and many people concur. Sound samples in that thread, too.
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    [QUOTE="Hey backporchmusic, is there any chance you would do a review of your 1966 Century? Im just waiting for funds and for stocks to turn up in a dealer near me. Are they good? hows the sound of the P90's? Also are the P90 pickups in standard size and can be swapped for a different P90?

    thanks![/QUOTE]




    I'll give you a solid (hopefully) but brief summary. First--P90 sounds good, even has braided ground wire. Replace? Not necessary, but I'm sure something better could be had. Is it worth the money to upgrade? Up to you. I imagine it's sized normally. Producing a one-off pickup is not really what Epiphone is going to do with a MIC guitar.

    Build quality is great. No issues at all on mine, and I ordered blind online. The new ones are spec'ed with a pau ferro fretboard. My 2016 (NOS at this point I guess, just got it new from a mail order shop this week) has a rosewood fretboard.

    Acoustic sound can be warm and woody or almost uke-like if I strum with my fingernails.

    Both fretboard and bridge were a bit dry, used lemon oil on them and now both are a nice dark color. Fretboard is so dark it is almost black, and I even cleaned it up with naptha to remove any dye before I oiled it.

    Frets seem a medium jumbo almost--larger than I would imagine on a 'real' 1966 model.

    The nut--is weird. It is reportedly Delrin, which is a type of plastic. The consistency is not super hard--it's kind of gummy for lack of a better way to describe it. The nut slots were not sloppy but were not cut deep enough by the factory, so I filed them down to where they should be and now the 'feel' isn't as hard and tight.

    The Delrin--most would jump to get rid of this in favor of bone or something, but with the rosewood bridge I think its adds a very light dull thunk which is good to me. My 1969 SG Standard had factory saddles that were similar and it was one of the best sounding guitars I've ever had--or heard.

    The strings that shipped with it were crap, and 11s to boot, wound third. They kind of snagged in the slots of the Delrin nut as well. I put on 10s with no wound third and I prefer the feel now--but it has lost a bit of snap that many archtop players like. 10s are more mellow and don't resonate the top as much. That's fine, my p90 does the job of picking it up anyway.

    If you have any specific questions, I'll see if I can answer.
     
  13. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    OP: What type? Solid? Hollow?
    I agree with above.
    Gummy Nuts. Not a huge deal.
    Tuners: Iffy but often ok.
    Some models like Joe Pass etc I've seen some pretty iffy looking construction. Multiple pieces of wood , rough edges, etc.

    If buying a semi or hollow consider some of the old Korean made ones that even had Gibson on the headstock. They are revered as pretty good guitars.
     
  14. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Meister

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    I just inherited a 2009 MIC Epi Les Paul Custom, and it's surprisingly good. Brought it home, broke in new strings, did a full setup and it plays like a dream and holds tune very well. Maybe because I didn't play it much while Dad owned it and it's new to me, but I'm spending more time with it than I expected.

    The only flaws in the build are a spot at the neck joint where the paint around the binding isn't quite right (for all of about 1/8"), one edge of one fret that's barely noticeable if you run a finger across it but not enough to call rough and knobs that wobble a bit when you rotate them.

    There is one other thing that has a story behind it: Dad bought this guitar because he wanted something solid (and therefore quiet) to play jazz. He did plug it in sometimes, and the pickup switch would never switch in the bridge pickup. He didn't really care because he always used the neck pickup, had it tilted for minimum treble and turned the tone control way down. When I opened up the cavity, there was this kind powdery/pasty white stuff inside and stuck to various places including the switch contact that I presume was there during manufacturing. That took some contact cleaner to get rid of and now it works.

    But yeah, good guitar.
     
  15. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Tele-Afflicted

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    This is good news, I've never had a guitar with P90's but I really want one, in a form of a Casino (335 shape really hits the spot in my heart) or a thinline tele, or a Goldtop Les Paul with P90's..







    Thanks so much! I really want one.. Ive been looking for alternatives but this is the one I want. 25.5 inch scale is true?

    Yeah, bone nut is always a first to be installed in any guitars I have.. dont really care for rosewood or pau ferro, I like both. :)

    I also would change this into a normal 11's without wound G. I play 11's in all my guitars and all my guitars are 25.5 inch scale or near that and I like to put heavier gauge on full scale guitars for a little bit of fight and grit to the tone.

    This review just solidified my next purchase.. I wanted to get a Gretsch but I already had one before so I want something different and this fit the bill! I'm pretty sure I'll be the only one who will use it for the genre I want to use it for, so it would really give off a unique tone.
     
  16. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    Probably buffing compound from finishing it.



    Yes, I measured and it is a 25.5 scale. It's the one spec that put me off but I got a great price, so the Guild T50 will have to wait.

    Plus, I prefer a 24.75 on guitars I play more aggressively. A strummer/picker like this, 25.5 works fine for me.
     
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  17. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Meister

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    There’s a lot in here, too. I hadn’t seen OPs October thread before. Good stuff. Link below.

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/welp-t...-these-little-babies-are-back-on-sale.893879/
     
  18. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

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    I have 2, a epi plus top standard honeyburst from 2009 and a Epi 56 goldtop in black with p90s from around 2011. Both decent playing guitars but I just don't play them. When I feel like playing a les paul I play my Gibson les paul Traditional, a Bacchus blp classic or a Greco eg500. They are nicer guitars all round.

    The Greco and Bacchus mij's each cost me less than either of the epi's.
    If I was in the market for a cheaper Les Paul standard i'd be looking for a Greco from the late 70's early 80's or its equivalent in Burny or Tokai rather than a newer epi.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  19. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just got a Ltd Ed JLH Zephyr, that's a MIC Epiphone - I have only had it for a little over a week, but so far I'm perfectly happy with it - sounds great plays great.
    If I were really nitpicking, those are the only things worth mentioning: tiny finish flaw at the end of the neck (and I mean teeny-tiny), the pau ferro fretboard and bridge came rather try, and the action was set waaay to low when it arrived. Also, it came with a bridge compensated for a wound G - but with really light (9 or 10s) strings with a plain G...
    Oh, and part of the "JLH outfit", as it is called, is the cheapest, flimsiest strap I have ever seen - but maybe that was period-correct for this model?

    But as I said, it sounds great, and plays really well (once I raised the action and changed to fatter strings).
     
  20. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Tele-Afflicted

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    One more though, is this sound accurate to yours?

     
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