Epiphone Specials

scook

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Etlan VA
I’ve been seeing quite a few used Epiphone SGs and LPs selling around here and it got me wondering about trying one out as either a modding platform or “beater” guitar.

Does anyone have any experience with any of these? I’m not expecting them to be on par with a Gibson SG or LP but are they worth modding or as a second guitar? Coming primarily from the Fender world, the bolt on neck for me might actually be a plus when it comes to modding.

Thanks.
 

Dbrian66

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Mount Airy, Maryland USA
I’ve owned both the SG and the Les Paul specials. As long as you keep your expectations in check, they can be great guitars. They will normally need a little bit of fret work and a good setup. Obviously the hardware and electronics could use upgrades, but it’s not necessary to have a good player.
 

Vocalion

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Oct 14, 2019
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Texas
The latest "Inspired by Gibson" versions come with CTS pots and switches, so you'll likely be good to go there. The P90s on my Les Paul Special already sound pretty great to me on the style of music I play, but the guitar is good enough that I expect you'll be able to get the most from a set of replacement pickups for a slightly different sound. Apart from setup stuff and locking tuners (if you're into that - I'm not), I'd be hard-pressed to tell you what I would really want to change.
 

bgmacaw

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Near Athens GA USA
Here's my Epiphone SG Special, purchased at GC a few years ago. Out of the box, it was OK. The plastic nut wasn't cut well, a combination of too high and too low. The pickups were very hot and brash, not what I wanted. The fret work was decent with a few rough fret ends, kind of to be expected. The electronics were good, within spec and decent quality (full size). The covered gear tuners are functional but not smooth.

Beyond a setup and smoothing some fret ends, I replaced the pickups with a SD Seth Lover bridge that I had bought used a while ago and I bought a Guitar Madness Alnico II for the neck. I replaced the nut with a brass nut since I like how that goes with slide playing. I may eventually replace the tuners but it's not a priority right now.

20190520_204755.jpg
 

24 track

Doctor of Teleocity
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Nov 6, 2014
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kamloops bc
I use the epi SG as my beater guitar when i gig , plays great and sounds good , no issues and cheap if i have to replace it, it has uncovered buckers adds to the sound of the instrument
I do have a limited edition white fire bird that one is perfect . cant find much info on the limited editions though
also an Epi dot studio fine ,fine player, again uncovered buckers has a bluey sound , i have never heard on any other guitar
 

24 track

Doctor of Teleocity
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Nov 6, 2014
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kamloops bc
I’ve been seeing quite a few used Epiphone SGs and LPs selling around here and it got me wondering about trying one out as either a modding platform or “beater” guitar.

Does anyone have any experience with any of these? I’m not expecting them to be on par with a Gibson SG or LP but are they worth modding or as a second guitar? Coming primarily from the Fender world, the bolt on neck for me might actually be a plus when it comes to modding.

Thanks.
the SG posted above has the bolt on neck , I did an A/B with a 2700.00 gibby the same model , even my 5 year old heard the difference and liked the epi better ( BTW these were southpaw)
 

Controller

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Montana
My Epi LP P90 Special is amazing for $120. New nut and bridge. The P90s sound great. Nice beefy neck. I highly recommend this guitar.

IMG_20190902_181213537.jpg
 

Chiogtr4x

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Mar 29, 2007
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Manassas Park, VA
2018 SG Pro ( '66 style) I bought on CL for $300 ( I got the case later)

All stock and staying that way-
pickups/pots have come a long way on Epis in the last few years ( I know this all too well from buys in the '90's)

Comfy and a beautiy- not a 'beater' - just inexpensive
 

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northernguitar

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North of Toronto
I ran a Rock program for kids for 15 years and the Specials (the ones that shipped with a junk amp) were often the most common axes, along with Squier Strats. If they were worked on, they could be nice players. If not, they weren’t great for the youngins. Some of the finishing was surprisingly lame. A kid sliced his hand open on a saddle that was knife sharp.
 

charlie chitlin

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Egremont, MA
I have the LP Special I P90.
I've gigged it, used it as a spare, travelled with it, unbolted the neck and stuck it in a suitcase.
It was $99 delivered.
Every time I pull it out at a gig, I end out playing it for the rest of the night.
After cleaning up the fret ends and a good set up, it plays beautifully.
Sounds killer, too.
If it was my only guitar, I'd be fine.
 

stormsedge

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Jun 5, 2012
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E. Tennessee, USA
I have an Epi LP Special Jr I P90 that I rarely play other than to keep in tune. There is nothing wrong with it, I just prefer others in my inventory. I'd be fine with just it. I try to steer the grandkids to it when they are over...but they prefer others too 😂🤣.

Hmmm...I need to try it it with my recently acquired Excelsior...my other P90s sound pretty great with it.
 




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