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Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Marn99, Feb 15, 2017.
They're great. This one is all mahogany.
Mine got smoother after playing it for a couple of months, but it would have been better if they had better quality control.
I find asking questions in this forum gives good insights from people who own the instruments. Sure, not every response is helpful, but many are. Also, as we all know, not everything on the internet is true -- even manufacturer's specs. I'm not suggesting anything about the link you shared, just defending people asking for information on this forum.
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I'm a fan of Epiphone and own 2 Epi Les Pauls. Just last week I spoke to the guitar tech at Willcutt Guitars about doing some cosmetic changes to one of the LPs, pickup rings, pickguard, poker chip etc. He cautioned me that if I go out and buy Gibson parts they may not line up exactly right and it may end up being a lot more hassle than I anticipated. Furthermore Epiphone parts are hard to find he said.
That issue aside, I have swapped the pickups in the 56 Goldtop model from the P90s (which were fine) to TV Jones T-Armond pickups in soap bar housings. Soap bar sized pickups being essentially standardized, the TV Jones pickups dropped right in just fine.
I find the playability of the nicer Epiphones to be great but I have found the reputation for cheap wiring, pots and switches to be true. I did not replace the switch on the one LP when I did the pickups but a year later it died and I had to have it swapped. The other LP I hardly ever play and despite being a case hermit all this time when I got the guitar out recently the switch was giving me some issues.
A lot of the higher end Tokai's although well made still use a veneer over a plainer maple cap, its what's under the veneer that matters.
I love my Epiphone LP. I put Dragonfire pickups in mine and changed the tuners. It plays great!
"not everything on the internet is true -- even manufacturer's specs."
I was just looking at the specs for Epiphone's Korina Explorer and Flying V, they state:
Historical all Korina (African Limba) Explorer Body
But make no mention of any veneer but looking at them they obviously have veneered tops and backs:
I have a mixed mind about Epiphone. They Make cheap guitars and they make expensive looking guitars.
I am ok with the cheaper ones, as long as they are made of wood, make sound... Once you deal with setup and fret ends... A few years ago I bought an Epi Dot studio, around 200$ new. Nice student guitar, sturdy and easy to play if not great sounding. The satin finish was so dull, thick and ugly, I had to try to refinish it. What I found under the neck finish was the roughest sanding job you can imagine. Like they used 80grit sandpaper and did not even care to flatten the surface.
Epiphone is now producing higher end models priced over the entry lever Gibsons. Sweet looking shiny stuff (think about a bait). I don't doubt these can be good guitars, and they even include real Gibson pickups if you wish to pay for that. So why not? But to believe you know anything about how it was made, or what materials were involved? I don't.
Gibson is another story.
Maybe the op enjoys exercising free speech and dialogue with other people in social settings who may have had personal experience with the guitars in question...
Yes be warned, converting an epi means every single screw or component is Asian sized, and will not take actual Gibson parts, save pickups I guess.
Look at a different way...
Let's say you wanted to build a Les Paul and think about the decisions you would make along the way. Not all Epiphones are like this (some are top notch, really) but MANY modern ones have particular features. What would you choose??
#1: A quarter or rift sawn block of red tight grained mahogany and carve one neck blank from it?
#2: A smaller random board of a whiter varying grained sub species of mahogany & splice it at the headstock & heel to build your neck.
#1: A blank of known rosewood from a consistent supplier.
#2: A cheaper blank of "rosewood" from a bottom dollar supplier.
#1: Jescar fretwire, or another reputable brand.
#2: "Cupronickel Guitar Hard Fretwire" 2 bucks a meter from China
#1: Nickel Pearloid Deluxe Tuners available domestically
#2: "Chrome Machine Head Tuners" 10 bucks from the PRC
#1: Would you put a small steel rod in the truss channel with your nut/threads past the fretboard in the headstock slot?
#2: Would you put a larger metric nut in the truss channel itself below the fretboard?
#1: Would you go with a factory plek job?
#2: Go with with no fretwork or a hand level by the tech overseas?
#1: For the body, same deal, tighter grain less splices of red mahogany.
#2: Varying sub species of mahogany with more splices & possible veneer
#1: Domestically sold chrome bridge & tailpiece
#2: Tune-O-Matic ABR Style Bridge & Tailpiece, 12 bucks from the PRC
I could go on but things like pickups or knobs etc get swapped out all the time anyways. The point is, you can get a Gibson on craiglsist for $500 bucks with all the #1 features. Likely, the $500 Epiphone will have most of the #2 features if it's a Les Paul. But, it will have a fancy looking veneer top with flames, PRC plastic binding and a pound of poly finish. Is that how YOU would choose to build the guitar if you had a choice?? I don't see the point of the Epi Upgrades, but that's just me.
I'd argue if someone was going through the process from scratch 99% of the time they'd go with the tighter, more expensive & more consistent materials piece by piece. Not that you can't get decent results from #2, but a guitar is indeed the sum of it's parts either way.
I've been avoiding/biting my tongue on this one. You can buy a decent US made Les Paul new for less than $1000. You can do even better used. I just bought a 50's tribute dark back goldtop on clearance for $679.00.
I would never spend $400 on an Epi and than bit by bit put $400 worth of modifications into it. You go down that path and it becomes a nickel and dime money pit that adds up (a lot) over a few months. In the end you have a Chinese guitar with a bunch of personal choices/personal investments that will mean almost nothing should you ever sell it. If you were to sell the guitar would be more valuable if it were 100% original.
I've built guitars from kits. If I ever got the bug to go mod-happy I think I would buy a Carvin kit for $500 and build the whole thing tomy liking.
The band that I was in did about 6 drop D songs. Shine by Collective Soul and Fat Bottom Girls by Queen were my favorites. I bought a flashy Epi to leave in Drop D; it's was $350 and girls always came up and asked about it. I wouldn't put a nickel into that guitar and declare it better. It's very nice for what it is.
Happy (stock) Epi....
I have 5 epiphones I love them all the black dot studio was perfect from the get go , set up sound ,and playability, a 10 out of 10
the white fire bird was an 9 out of 10 I had to get a harmonica bridge to be able the intonation due to the bridge angle ( i could not set it up for left handed with the original bridge)
it still is a great player and intonates very well.
the SG 300 is my beat it up road guitar cheap and sounds oustanding plays very well. 9out of 10
My Sheritan great tone but drifts in tuning , I think temperature sensitive I need to work on that not too serious yet 7 out of 10
the EB3L needs some work Im not entirely satisfied with this yet action, neck set , nothing that a great set up cant cure.
Bottom line I really love epiphones great players that are very resonable a little TLC and proper setup ...they rock , literally
2006 epi Dot. Lots of mods and tweaks over the years. You'll have to pry it from my cold dead hands.
My Tribute plus has a carved maple top on a mahogany body. Great guitar. My 339 Pro with P90's is nothing short of amazing and I walked out the door with it, brand new, for less than 300 bucks. Don't let the naysayers turn you off. There are fine examples out Epi guitars out there.
I have several Epiphone guitars. I do a lot of outdoor playing. I have an early LP100 MIK that I bought years ago to use in some knife and gun clubs with a country band. (chain linked stage etc).
It sounds fine and feels fine (did change picklups to 4 wire Wilkinsons though). I don;t have to worry about taking my Gibson SG out in the rain etc.
Same goes for my Epi AJ220S and my 78 Epi 12 String Acoustic is a totally different animal from today's epi 12.
Epi since it has been part of Gibson has had some great guitars and some junk. I believe they currently have the best selling guitar in existence. LP special II. I actually have a couple of those too.
There are some nice epis and definitely at the lower end they are quite playable compared to a 100 dollar guitar when I was young!
I just want to be clear on something. I'm not an Epi naysayer. Epi's are fine (( think). I just wouldn't put $400 in hopped up parts into a $400 Chinese guitars. I would spend the $800 differently.
I'd say this is sound advice. However, if you find the right $400 guitar, and you put $400 of what you want to upgrade into it, you might come out with something priceless.
I was curious about chibsons I got one for my birthday Cost 310.00 delivered to the door, I spent 150.00 on all original gibson parts pickups, pots, caps, tuners, les paul switch craft pickup switch pull back shielded wire ( thank you Kijiji) and this was the out come , Now I dont profess to anyone owning fake guitars or endorse doing so , but once you have you cannot sell it . this needs to be known that even with the original gibson parts this is not a gibson, (But it looks, plays and sounds fantastic, I got lucky. it does play better than my real les paul)
I wanted to see first hand what the tells for a fake is , now i can spot one from a mile away and I would never buy a gibson on line with out seeing it first and holding it.
I also have a harder time with heavy modding epi's ,with all the sub $1000 Gibson's on the market....I spent about the same on this new including the mods than I did the Epi classic LP I mentioned a few posts back...
One of the very first runs of tributes, added a vibramated B7 and polished up the satin finish to a VOS esque shine....took about 2 hours of elbow grease and made a world of difference....these make Epi LP's a very hard sell IMO. My modded Epi looked and sounded good, but very uninspiring to play.....my 50's Tribute didn't look great but played and sounded wonderful....and after the polish I think she is pretty damn hot....pre polish the top looked flat most of the time unless the light was just right....now it pops from every angle and then some. Just some food for thought.