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Old 12-06-2012, 01:51 PM   #1
MrFlibble
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NGD - dirt cheap fun times

Meant to be downsizing my collection, but I'm a sucker for anything that looks pretty. Luckily this one turned out to be a keeper.

Grabbed meself a B-stock Epiphone Les Paul Studio Deluxe, £170 from Thomann. I can't tell why it's B-stock, my only guess is it was sat on the shop floor for a couple of weeks or something. Bridge saddles are only just starting to show a little tarnishing, otherwise it's utterly flawless - a double surprise, given it's a low-end Epi too. Set up right out the box was pretty poor, but nothing critical. A quick turn of the truss rod and thumbing the bridge down and it's all perfect. Frets are nice and level, nut is cut decently enough.

Spec is:
  • ''Mahogany'' body, i.e. god knows what wood stuck together in ply fashion, with very nice mahogany veneers.
  • Mahogany neck - penlight down the truss rod access suggests this part actually is some sort of proper mahogany.
  • Rosewood fretboard - surprisingly nice, tighter grain than you usually get in this price range.
  • Alnico Classic Plus humbuckers, basically the usual '57 Classic copy that Epi Studio and Standards get but overwound in both positions. Bridge pickup is surprisingly articulate; neck pickup is utterly worthless.
  • Kluson-style tuners - dunno what the gear ratio is, but they feel very sturdy. The Klusons on my 2004 Epi Joe Perry have never given me any problems, so I'm happy to trust these and not replace them. Improvement over the flimsy Grover copies that the normal Studios usually have, at least.
  • Locking Tune-O and stopbar. Seem functional enough. Always nice to have the locking ones over the usual ones which fall off every time you change strings.
  • Full-size Alpha pots and Mylar caps. This one surprised me, I was pretty sure Epi were only using mini pots and ceramic disc caps. Much nicer feel to these, not stiff like CTS pots can be and not completely loose like the minipots are.


Got some custom order Seymour Duncans on the way that will be going in it. I like the stock bridge pickup, but I have no practical use for another medium-hot, warm humbucker guitar. What I've ordered is a hybrid of the Full Shred and Custom designs, with black hex pole pieces coming through gold covers (I always like putting a slightly unique spin on the look of my guitars). Very high output in the neck, slightly low output in the bridge; I'm weird and don't like them to be balanced. I'm going for a significantly brighter and tighter tone. I may also disconnect the bridge tone control for added brightness, since I never use it anyway.
Also I'd just like to add, everyone at the SD custom shop - Seymour and MJ themselves, especially - have been so helpful, I doubt I'll be able to bring myself to buy pickups anywhere else now. It's lovely to just be able to tell a manufacturer directly "I have THIS crap guitar and I want THIS tone" and they just go "we'll wind you something specially for it, see you in a couple of weeks". Of course, I'll update this once the pickups are here and installed.

It's not that exciting, but I know the rules so have the mandatory, arbitrary photos.




Second cheapest guitar I've ever bought and I think it might become my #1 beater. Not blowing my load over it, but it really is a helluva lot better than I was expecting from the low end of Epiphone.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:59 PM   #2
gregs1020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
Meant to be downsizing my collection, but I'm a sucker for anything that looks pretty. Luckily this one turned out to be a keeper.

i didn't know you were a collector.


congrats on the b-stock epiphone!
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:12 PM   #3
dannyalcatraz
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Looks nice- bet that thing will wail once it gets its new pups!
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:23 PM   #4
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I don't know why people rag Epiphone so much. They're solid guitars.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:43 PM   #5
MrFlibble
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregs1020
i didn't know you were a collector.
Well, I say 'collection'. It's only 16 and not like I'm hoarding vintage Gibsons and premium Fenders.
But it's still a lot considering I'm moving and don't really have the means or space to move this lot about. But... well, one more can't hurt, can it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by T00DEEPBLUE
I don't know why people rag Epiphone so much. They're solid guitars.
When they moved from Korean to Chinese manufacture, they definitely took a step back. I think perhaps their reputation is still hurting from that period. I know I was really disappointed in the MIC Epis that were coming out a few years ago and had written off the brand until now. Perhaps they have sorted themselves out. I'll be happy to check out more of them. Still glad I went for the low-risk cheap option, but yeah, I might take another look at their higher offerings again now.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
Well, I say 'collection'. It's only 16 and not like I'm hoarding vintage Gibsons and premium Fenders.
But it's still a lot considering I'm moving and don't really have the means or space to move this lot about. But... well, one more can't hurt, can it?


FWIW, I one behind you, and not only do I call its collection, everyone else who knows I have them calls me a collector.




(maybe they've heard me play, and "guitar collector" makes more sense than "guitarist"... )
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:48 PM   #7
MrFlibble
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Ha, I'm with you there. I think I'm the poster child for amount of gear being no indication of skill.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:22 PM   #8
T00DEEPBLUE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
When they moved from Korean to Chinese manufacture, they definitely took a step back. I think perhaps their reputation is still hurting from that period. I know I was really disappointed in the MIC Epis that were coming out a few years ago and had written off the brand until now. Perhaps they have sorted themselves out. I'll be happy to check out more of them. Still glad I went for the low-risk cheap option, but yeah, I might take another look at their higher offerings again now.

I personally wouldn't exactly count on that. Even if a low end guitar was perfect, that doesn't automatically mean that all the high end guitars are going to be as well. There is a lot of inconsistencies between guitars and it doesn't matter how good your QC is, you're never going to make the same guitar perfectly all the time, even for the best manufacturers that's true. It's the very nature of building guitars.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE : 12-06-2012 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:28 PM   #9
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nice

and 16 makes you a collector? aw. i think i had 18 at last count.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:11 PM   #10
gregs1020
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i only have 4 of my own and 2 of other people's laying about.

US Customs currently has one of mine, good thing it's not a gibson.

ba dum tshhhh
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:27 PM   #11
Huge Guy
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How many do you have to have to be considered a collector? I have 4 (including a bass.)
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:06 PM   #12
dannyalcatraz
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If you can honestly say, "Man, it's been a long one since I played THAT guitar!" but you have no plans to get rid of it, you're a collector.








Especially if you said that while getting ready to click on the "Buy Now" button on some guitar seller's website.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:12 PM   #13
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It certainly is pretty, I love a white Paul with Gold hardware. The body may be real wood I had a super cheap Paul and it was a 2 piece body, real wood.

I actually don't mind the cheap stuff, I got a Korean Ibanez SA recently for £150. I only bought it because it had a JB and a 59 in it which I wanted for another guitar so I was just going to repaint it. Once I set it up it was nice, well put together no tangible flaws or anything like that once I swap the pickups I'll probably leave it as it is.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:12 PM   #14
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I've got six guitars (not counting my ukelele), I just refer to them as my stash, not my collection, haha. It's all low and middle end guitars, so I can't be a collector, haha.

On topic: That Epi looks pretty sweet and I am VERY interested/curious with regards to those custom pickups, they sound interesting!

And as I read that the neck pickups blows, I wondered about a LP with only a bridge pickup, how would that look/play/be? I know for a 'fact' that a neck pickup (or a bridge pickup) sucks some tone, even if not engaged, so it might unleash even more tone when you remove it? Just a thought..

EDIT: Just remembered the LP Junior, but that's different, that ain't no 'bucker.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:36 PM   #15
nickdohle
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HNGD! For the price, they can be solid guitars. Great platforms for modding.

I remember seeing one at a giant thrift type warehouse with multiple booths. The guy was charging $500 bucks for it. Haha. I did a double take and my jaw dropped.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:09 PM   #16
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Should have seen the deal I got on a MIA Charvel the other week....
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:12 PM   #17
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way to downsize . always cool to pick up a new guitar enjoy.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:15 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyalcatraz
FWIW, I one behind you, and not only do I call its collection, everyone else who knows I have them calls me a collector.




(maybe they've heard me play, and "guitar collector" makes more sense than "guitarist"... )


i am sitting somewhere between 19 and 23. all electrics except for five vintage classicals. i don't even know all i have nor remember what i sold and what i kept. i have a lot of cases in the closet and sometimes find a guitar i thought i didn't have anymore. so i don't really know how many i do have.

i have more of a problem with amps.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:35 AM   #19
dannyalcatraz
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I have not yet sold a single instrument I own.

That may change in 2013...
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:00 AM   #20
trashedlostfdup
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyalcatraz
I have not yet sold a single instrument I own.

That may change in 2013...


as far as i know i have gone through 60 guitars at a minimum in the last eight years. made a lot of money buying and selling and trading.
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