1958 Korina Flying V
Silverpack, on april 13, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: € 380
Purchased from: thomann.de
Features: - Korina body, rosewood fretboard, mahogany neck
- Two Alnico Classic humbuckers (neck and bridge), that you can alternate with a 3-way toggle switch
- One volume knob for each pickup, and one Master Tone knob for the whole sound of the guitar
- LockTone Tune-O-Matic StopBar bridge
- The fretboard has 22 frets, and the neck has a Slim Taper "D" profile
- Two finishes : Ebony or Natural (I've got an Ebony one)
- Manufactured in Japan (well I think so, since the serial number has no letter)
The instrument is an Epiphone reissue of the original Flying V models that came out in 1958, and were distinctive for their unusual shape and their korina wood. I chose it because I love the look of it, and I wanted a Gibson-type second guitar with a humbucker combination. The lack of a vibrato or of another knob allowing to alter the tone from the guitar itself may disturb some players, that could feel limitated. But it's fine for me. // 7
Sound: I'm playing this axe through a Marshall MG100 DFX. The clean tone of the neck pickup is classic Epiphone/Gibson. It's really pure, round, and well-defined. This pickup has the right sound when I want to do some blues, reggae, or soul. I used to cover Neil Young's "Heart Of Gold" with my former band, and I would play it as the second guitar with my steel bottleneck, and it was lovely!
The combination of the neck and bridge pickups is the one I prefer. It's the most versatile combination of the guitar, since you can deeply change the tone by adjusting the two volume knobs, having access to a lot of mid-ranges (that seem to come also from the korina wood). The bridge pickup is really "piercing" and expressive. Since I'm a sucker for rockabilly, this pickup fits perfectly the kind of clean tone from this musical genre, and it's also nice for funk.
Whatever the pickup I use, I tend to let the Master Tone knob on 10, in order to have a more defined guitar tone. But from time to time, the nice thing is to reduce it a lot, and obtain a nearly acoustic-like sound, that could fit really well pop-folk progressions.
Now, let's have a bite on distortions! I have two distinct distortions on my Marshall amp, but I mostly use my Boss DS-1. When you use a high-gain distortion, the neck pickup has that dirty punk/garage sound, and the bridge pickup makes you sound just like a raging Gary Moore or Eddie Van Halen. A lighter distortion is perfect for hard rock or Chicago blues. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The neck is a bit thick (well, nothing unusual for Gibson-type guitars). The Flying V shape itself makes the instrument not really well-balanced. The headstock tends to fall a little bit and you have to compensate with your arm. Still, even with that balance flaw, the shape of the body makes a full and easy access to the 22 frets, and makes it a great and comfortable instrument for soloing (even if hardcore shredders may feel limitated by the lack of more frets).
The lower side of the "V" (which rests on your leg when you're sitting to play) has a 21 centimeter gum bar, that gives great grip between your leg and the instrument. That way, you can use the guitar when sitting as well than when you stand. // 7
Reliability & Durability: The guitar is a real sturdy Epiphone. I accidentally knocked it a bit several times, and it has no scratch. I had it for almost two years, and the Ebony finish is intact. The golden hardware tends to fade away and lose its shine, but it can be fixed and cleaned with the right material when you're changing the strings (honestly do it, if not, it will get dirty with fingerprints).
I used my Flying V for like three gigs now, and I'm glad I did, since it's a reliable instrument that really delivers all of its full power on stage. When you have it in your hands in front of an audience, you understand why this guitar shape became such a symbol in rock'n'roll! // 9
Overall Impression: My favorite genres are traditional heavy metal, rockabilly, and blues. My two main influences are Ritchie Blackmore and Jimmy Page. I like this guitar a lot, I never lost the pleasure to pick it up. The weight and balance it has never prevented me from having stage presence, though I'd recommend anyone planning to buy a Flying V to first try instruments that are shaped that way (you have to know if you can feel comfortable with it). I heard this reissue is now out of production, but it was ever lost or stolen, I'd do anything to find another (and also kick the hell out of the thief, hey!). It really suits my personality and the kind of sounds that inspire me.
I'd recommend this to rock players that enjoy to do some other styles and who want a classy-looking guitar (and remember that classy doesn't mean show off). If anyone wants to ask something about it, please let me know, I'll be glad to answer you. Hope you enjoyed the review! // 9
1958 Korina Flying V
rapajara, on may 11, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: C$ 545
Purchased from: Long and McQuade
Features: It was made in the year I bought it (I'm fairly sure 2011) and I'm not exactly sure where it was made. It has 22 jumbo frets, rosewood fingerboard and a Korina body with a mahogany set in neck. Sports a Tune-O-Matic bridge and 2 volumes and one tone. It has a three way selector switch with 2 Alnico Classic Humbuckers. Also all the hardware is gold and the tuners are grovers along with a string thru body bridge. It's a Flying V style of body (of course) and really didn't come with many accessories at all, just this poster of some Epiphone guitars and a manual. Little disappointed with the lack of some sort of accessory like a case but it's okay. // 9
Sound: I play a lot of blues and rock and frankly with a good amp this guitar sounds pretty good. The Korina body really makes the notes resonate and the tone is pretty clear. My only beef, is that with a bad amp, you might as well be playing a tissue box with rubber bands on it. The tone is muddy and sloppy and swampy unless you have a nice clean amp. At first I ran it through a Fender G-DEC Junior and it sounded bad, but once I put it through a Blackstar Club 40 it sounded miles better. Overall the tone is pretty mellow, not that bright, you can make it sound brighter by cranking the treble and mid up and turning the bass down a bit on your amp. The neck pickup sounds good for almost anything but is a little dull, the bridge sounds good too and is great for harmonics. most of the time I use the middle position, it gives the best of both worlds and sounds the best for me. Also the two volume knobs can be used for a Killswitch (Tom Morello Style). Also it sounds nice and smooth with a Wah pedal, mine is a Vox Wah but any Wah should do. Overall pretty good tone. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was built but there are a few flaws. First let's start with the good. The neck is solid and the fretboard can put up with a good playing with. Also I didn't have any problems with pickups cutting out or any real hardware issues. Now for the bad. First of all the strap buttons got Extremely loose and fell out even at times. However this is an easy fix, all you have to do is take the button out and put a little glue in the hole then screw the button back in and it shouldn't move anymore. Also the output jack on the guitar gets abnormally loose and needs to be regularly screwed back in but that's just something you have to deal with and not a huge deal. Also (again not a big deal) the gold coloring on the pickups started to fade off in-between the strings after some playing on the bridge pickup which just looks a little sketchy but it doesn't effect playing. The one biggest flaw with this entire guitar, is that it is Horribly unbalanced. After playing with the guitar for a while one gets used to it but it is still a nuisance. The neck is much heavier than the body making the guitar fall forward whenever you let go of it. Otherwise the guitar is built fairly well. // 7
Reliability & Durability: The guitar has a very solid construction, I've even dropped it a couple times by accident and it's perfectly fine. It stays in tune very well as well and would stay in tune for quite sometime after being tuned, so I would gladly use this live at a gig without a back up. Also the paint shows no signs of scratching off or anything. The only thing is that the gold color on the pickups may start coming off but it's not a huge deal cause the pickups will just turn silver. Only other thing to be wary of is the strap buttons which come out easily, cut can also be easily fixed with some glue and the output jack needs some regular maintenance. // 9
Overall Impression: This guitar is extremely versatile and I would recommend it for any playing style. Personally I play a lot of blues, rock and sometimes metal and it works great. I've been playing for 2 years, so I'm not hugely experienced but from my observation (my friend has a 1,750 dollar Ibanez) it's a very good guitar for it's price. It goes the distance and I would keep it for as long as I could. The thing is, in the amount of time I have had this guitar, I have become much better at playing (1 year) and I think it might be a good idea to get myself a nice guitar if this one was to become horribly out of commission for whatever reason. If it's an easy fix I'd do it, but if it's "totaled" so to speak then I would get a different guitar. I bought this guitar mostly because of the unique shape, but it turned out to be good anyway. The thing I hate most is the lack of balance (Very neck heavy) but other wise I love everything about it. I also own a Blackstar Club 40 which this guitar sounds great through! I also have a Squier Affinity Strat (my first guitar!) and an unidentified antique acoustic guitar that I bought for 50$ from an antique store (it plays!). You don't have to take my word for it, but I think it's a good guitar. // 8