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#22368 by scarletrust
Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:47 pm
Taj, you sound like a spokesman for Epiphone! :lol: JK.... I wholeheartedly agree with you. Personally, I'm a Strat guy, but it's the same thing with Fender. I only get Mexican Strats because they sound and play great for the price. I just can't justify the $800 difference in price to get an American one. (BTW, never get a Squier) I owned a Gibson Les Paul Studio at one time, and I didn't care for it. I could've got a high quality Epiphone for the price of that thing! The Epiphones are perfect for the working musician. Gibsons are a luxury.
AJ, I'm with you on the necks. The fat, "baseball bat" necks KILL my left hand.
Oh, yeah....don't get the Epi's that say "Special." Not good. I think they meant "Special" as in "Special Olympics" :lol:

#22373 by Hauptmann
Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:09 pm
Hey, hey, ScarletTrust! Nice to hear from ya. A post or two higher, I was pushing the Agiles! I've played, but don't own an Epi Studio/Custom. Mine are all limited's - the 3 Birdseyes, and a black and white '67 re-issue "V". They all sound great (was considering a pup change on one or two, but decided they didn't need it), and have the smoothest necks of almost any guitar I've ever played (I have 4 Schecters, a Gibbie mahogany Studio, a Gibbie X-plorer '76 re-issue, a couple oif Hamers and a B.C. Rich Exotic Classic Mockingbird). The Gibson LP Studio sounds great - I love it, and I enjoy the understated beauty of the mahogany (I'm a wood guy at heart - I like to SEE it). On the other hand, it's the low-end of the Gibson LP line, and that's clear from the equally low attention they pay to the neck - meaning poor filing of the frets along the neck edges - they snagged frequently till I filed them down myself. The Epis in contrast, seem to always be dressed perfectly smooth. I don't know why Gibson, which likes to live off its name, can't be bothered to care enough to at least smooth the fret ends to a "no snag" level, considering the neck is one of the most important parts of the instrument.... I like my Studio - but it could've been made much better with very little extra effort or expense - and that's what annoys me with Gibson. An $800 guitar is still not in-expensive, yet I have to file down the snags myself, when a $600 Epi neck is silken smooth. That's the same cavalier "why should we give a sh*t?" attitude that lost the US market to Japanese cars way back when.
BTW, I used to have a natural blonde USA ('1980) Strat that was absolutely killer, but like a dummy, I sold it back when I went to live in Japan for a few years. Could kick myself hard for that! HAven't owned a pure single coil since (I don't count coil tap splitters)

#22436 by Starfish Scott
Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:48 am
Scarlett,

Have you ever played a jap strat? I won't even touch a Mex, i have a few but they suck. The American is like a no frills version. The Jap strats are unreal.

I got one off of eBay for 160$. It's a Jap, 1954 RI made in 1970. (I think that's even pre-CBS?) And the thing is unlike any I ever played before. If something happened to it, I would commit seppiku.
Last edited by Starfish Scott on Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

#22442 by scarletrust
Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:21 am
Captain Scott wrote:Scarlett,

Have you ever played a jap strat? I won't even touch a Mex, i have af ew but they suck. The American is like a no frills version. The Jap strats are unreal.

I got one off of eBay for 160$. It's a Jap, 1954 RI made in 1970. (I think that's even CBS) And the thing is unlike any I ever played before. If something happened to it, I would commit seppiku.


No, I haven't. I've heard so many good things about them over the years, but I didn't know you could find them so cheap anymore. Are they still in production for the American market? How are the necks? I'm a real stickler about the neck. V-shape is out. I've seen some sweet looking Japanese Strats on eBay from a seller called Guitar Gai. I think he sells those nice ones that were made in Japan for the Japanese market. My Mex Starts have always done me just fine, but I sure wouldn't turn down a Japanese model! 8)

Oh, well. This is a thread about Epiphones anyway....sorry :P
#22456 by Hauptmann
Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:11 am
This eBay fellow does indeed sell imports made in Japan - though he has a fairly limited inventory - he gets a certain number, but that varies with their availability. He also has an actual website, which offers a good history on both the Japanese Fenders, and Gibson models made over there - and the periods they were commercially available in the US market (briefly). With Fender, this was primarily when the California plant changed hands and the Mexican plant wasn't up and running yet - the only thing Fender could get a hold of were the Japanese made guitars.
On an aside, sort of like the Agiles sold by Rondo Music all over eBay, there's a Music store chain (in that sense more like Guitar Center) in Japan, that is having its own LP and SG copies made overseas, but with fancy dressings, and selling them in their stores alongside US Fenders, Japanese Fenders, and US made Gibsons (but no Epiphones).

The Romaji (roman letter) spelling for the self killing ceremony word, is Seppuku, by the way. Otsukure sama deshita. I lived and worked in Japan for 7 years.

#22468 by Starfish Scott
Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:08 am
Don't buy one on how it looks, try it before you buy it.

Mine is a v-neck and it sounds so sweet, i think it self-tunes.

It's always been JAP, USA, MEX when dealing with strats.

The fact I got mine cheaply was due to the fact that the guy who sold it didn't know what it was. I think I would be hard pressed to even find another, let alone buy it.

#22831 by mistermikev
Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:55 am
I special ordered an Epi ES-295 about five years ago... still have it. I bought the thing for that p-90 jazzbox sound... but I expected it to play "ok".
When I got it I checked it over and no finish flaws or anything... played it a bit and all seemed ok...
about three or four days later I discovered that I had a few high frets where the body met the neck. This resulted in some buzzing and even note change at the 15th fret on the high e. So I called gibson and they sent me to a luthier in chicago... they finish filed the frets and gave it back to me...
and the thing was perfect. Better than nine out of ten guitars I generally come across walking into gtr stores.

This is a company that stands behind their product.
Far better value than a REAL ES-295($5k)... but will never be as valuable.

#25222 by Dddonnie
Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:41 pm
I have an '88 squire strat...it was TERRIBLE when I got it, with the infernal buzzing like a ground was loose or something. Took it to the shop...changed the way it was wired so many times...still buzzed like something was out of phase or ungrounded.

I eventually just bought a whole setup...pick-guard, switches, pups...& replaced it all, but with reg strat elec's...now I LOVE it. Didn't cost too much ( but I have a friend w/ a music store - that helped - got it at cost ).

Plus, I think the black on black pick guard looks so much classier than the white on black standard...heh heh heh

#25239 by Starfish Scott
Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:54 pm
I have to admit that the Japanese make a mean guitar. Completely better than most. Mexican stuff (pickups in particular) are to be discarded and replaced.

I have a friend who loves Mex strats and he was ready to trade me a small car for one of my Jap strats. (sorry, not happening)

#25242 by sanshouheil
Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:22 pm
I had EMG-HZ's placed in the forward two positions on my Mex. and left the double at the bridge. she is a Deluxe Series black with a chrome pick guard with rosewood finger board and big block mother of pearl looking inlays. :D

#25993 by mistermikev
Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:17 pm
since we're drifted to the topic of inexpensive strats...

don't mind the mexi strats... the tex mex was awesome. had great p/u's too. sometimes you have to tweak the neck, adjust the bridge/action, redo the nut... but you'll get that with a mass produced guitar.

the best cheap strat I have ever seen is the squire pro tone series(about $400 new). these are made in korea (supposedly at the cort factory)... they competed so well with the jap stuff that fender stopped producing them almost immediately.
here's a pick of a thinline tele...

http://www.tdpri.com/telephoto/data/549 ... t_tl12.jpg

#26227 by badnomad
Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:25 pm
It's been years since 'Made in the USA' meant quality.....this is why Gibson and US-made Fenders are way overpriced for their quality. Epiphone, (except for the low-end Chinese crap) is made in Taiwan, in the Samick factory......They make more than 80% of the guitars in the world today, however, having said that, the quality control is only as good as the comissioning company is willing to pay for. I tried several Epi Les Pauls, Gibson LP's, and ended up buying an LP knockoff from Rondo Music. It had better fit and finish thant the epi, and better playability than either the Epi or the Gibson. Same materials as the Epi and Gibson, and it turns out that it came from the same factory as the Epi.....only complaint was the pickups......but that was easily remedied, and for a lot less than buying an Epi, or Gibson.

#26411 by AJ6stringsting
Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:20 am
badnomad wrote:It's been years since 'Made in the USA' meant quality.....this is why Gibson and US-made Fenders are way overpriced for their quality. Epiphone, (except for the low-end Chinese crap) is made in Taiwan, in the Samick factory......They make more than 80% of the guitars in the world today, however, having said that, the quality control is only as good as the comissioning company is willing to pay for. I tried several Epi Les Pauls, Gibson LP's, and ended up buying an LP knockoff from Rondo Music. It had better fit and finish thant the epi, and better playability than either the Epi or the Gibson. Same materials as the Epi and Gibson, and it turns out that it came from the same factory as the Epi.....only complaint was the pickups......but that was easily remedied, and for a lot less than buying an Epi, or Gibson.


I've seen them Rondo L.P.'s , they seem pretty good, Agile does another good copy of the Gibby. I own over 10 guitars, my faves the home assembled guitars that I order and slap together....some times my Gibsons, Fenders, Jacksons and Kramers get jealous :)

#26412 by badnomad
Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:45 am
I know what you mean......I own an Agile LP 12-string from Rondo, and I'm waiting for a doubleneck 6/12 from a guy up here who is doing a similar thing to Rondo, except his guitars are even better. This guitar has a flamed maple top, with an an abalone 'Tree of Life' inlay running down the length of both fretboards.....The workmanship is just gorgeous, and they play as good as they look.

#26485 by badnomad
Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:53 am
I also own a Japanese Fender Strat 12-string.....now that is one sweet guitar, I agree that the Jap Strats are way better made, however, I still don't like the single-coil P/U's, especially when they market them as 'vintage', just so they can up the price. When I can afford it, I'd like to replace them with the Seymour Duncan Rails, of the stacked humbucker type. I figure this will also give a better response across all 12 strings, than the round pole-piece style.

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