#1
I'm looking real hard at the new Epiphone Pro-1 acoustics. Being an ol' fart with moderate arthritis in my hands, playing acoustics is often a painful affair, not simply the fingertips but the joints, hand and wrist as well. One of the claims of this new line is that it has a number of features that make playing it much easier. Extra-large frets, shortened scale length, light gauge strings, etc. are all supposed to take some of the pain out of playing.

Early reviews look promising, getting an Editor's Pick from Guitar Player for the Pro-1 Ultra. I'm also looking at the Pro-1 Classic, which is a proper classical version with nylon strings and open headstock.

So has anyone else been looking at these or considered them? I'm intrigued enough to maybe put one on my list to Santa this Christmas.
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
#2
i have wrist problems, and usually play super short scale guitars, often with tomastik plectrum extra lights, which are the lowest tension steel guitar strings i've found.

there are many extra short scale guitars - the taylor GS mini has a 24" scale, and if you want to get extreme, there's a $129 yamaha nylon string at every guitar center with the shortest scale on a guitar you can tune to standard - 21.25". it's very low tension - i have one. i had the steel string version, but i don't care for slender necks, so i sold it.

the Pro-1 is an all laminate guitar, and i've never yet been impressed by an all lam epi. also the scale is longer than the yamaha i mention above and the taylor, as well as many others i know of. i'll try and find one to try out (i live near lots of guitar stores), but i wouldn't expect miracles, although it could be more comfortable for you. for me, i like a shorter scale than 24.75" for comfort.

btw, do you find a narrower neck comfortable? i find it hurts my wrist to hold my fretting hand in the position needed to play on a thinner neck. a wider neck lets me slouch my fingers rather than having to come more straight down due to the lack of space.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Last edited by patticake at Oct 26, 2014,
#3
Thanks for responding. I would imagine trying to find the "sweet spot" in terms of both scale length and neck width is key. Too short of a scale, and I imagine your fingers are going to get bunched up, especially the closer to the bridge you get. Neck width is tricky as well: too narrow, and as you said it can introduce some strained positions. Too wide, however and you may wind up trying to stretch for some chords, again putting your fingers/hand/wrist into awkward and potentially uncomfortable contortions.

Supposedly the higher-end versions of the Pro-1 (the Plus and the Ultra) have solid tops, which should help with the resonance a bit. Even the entry level ones didn't sound horrible for instruments that retail for about $120. The early demo I found on YouTube sounded decent enough, although I think I picked up some buzz on the low strings (then again, the guy was strumming it pretty vigorously, which may account for some of it.)

Keep in mind I'm not looking for a performance-grade instrument. Just something to practice and noodle on without turning my hands into spaghetti after 10 minutes.

Just checked Guitar Center, they'll supposedly be available around November 28.
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
#4
Quote by StarGeezerTim
Thanks for responding. I would imagine trying to find the "sweet spot" in terms of both scale length and neck width is key. Too short of a scale, and I imagine your fingers are going to get bunched up, especially the closer to the bridge you get. Neck width is tricky as well: too narrow, and as you said it can introduce some strained positions. Too wide, however and you may wind up trying to stretch for some chords, again putting your fingers/hand/wrist into awkward and potentially uncomfortable contortions.
Scale length and neck width have become somewhat standardized recently. For large body guitars, IE dreadnought and jumbo, the scales are typically 25 1/2", while the neck widths are about 1 11/16".

4 fret stretches are a bit difficult in the open position with a 25 1/2" scale, but much less so as you go up the neck a bit.

Stringing with acoustic extra light, (.010 to .047), along with a good setup shouldn't prove too difficult to play even with a long scale guitar.

The reason large body acoustics have long scales is to INCREASE string tension, thereby supplying more energy to the soundboard. Which results in more bass and more overall volume from the instrument.

If you're adamant about wanting a shorter scale, then many "parlor guitars" have short scales, but you'll have to compromise some projection and bass as a result of the small body. That said, parlor guitar haves a ton of mid range and so have a good bit of presence.


Quote by StarGeezerTim
Supposedly the higher-end versions of the Pro-1 (the Plus and the Ultra) have solid tops, which should help with the resonance a bit. Even the entry level ones didn't sound horrible for instruments that retail for about $120. The early demo I found on YouTube sounded decent enough, although I think I picked up some buzz on the low strings (then again, the guy was strumming it pretty vigorously, which may account for some of it.)
The 3 Epiphones I'd be looking at, would be the, "Dove, the, "Hummingbird". and particularly the EJ-200. All three are solid tops, the EJ-200 is stereo, but also is what Gibson calls a "super jumbo", or in layman's terms, a big ass, nay, verily humongous, guitar.

Quote by StarGeezerTim
Keep in mind I'm not looking for a performance-grade instrument. Just something to practice and noodle on without turning my hands into spaghetti after 10 minutes.
Here again, the setup is all important for ease of play. And not to worry, for $120.00 you won't be getting a performance grade instrument.

So, for the Dove of Hummingbird, you'll pay $300.00, your choice. There's also our oft recommended Yamaha FG-700 for $200.00. To be fair, the electric version of the FG (FGX-700), is $300.00 that same as the two Epiphones, which should be both A/E.

I'd venture to say you probably could likely have any of them in your hot little hands in a day or two, by ordering online from Musician's Friend. (They're my online store of choice. Your results and opinion may, quite obviously, vary).

As for all laminate guitars, the give of their best sustain and resonance with fresh strings. So, for all intents and purposes, you can milk more string life out of a solid top guitar. I have an all laminate Ibanez, which is quite pleasant sounding, but it must be strung with a brass 80/20 alloy (very bright), coated string set, (for longer life), to give of its best.

Quote by StarGeezerTim
Just checked Guitar Center, they'll supposedly be available around November 28.
If the Epiphone you're looking toward isn't released or is back ordered, I wouldn't hold the reseller to the date they claim they'll have it. "There's many a slip twixt the Chinese guitar factory and the ship".
Last edited by Captaincranky at Oct 26, 2014,
#5
Thanks for all your advice, Cap! I've heard good things about the Hummingbird as well, and the Yamaha has been on my chronic GAS list for a bit as well. I just figured at $120 opt-in for the entry models, I could probably do worse to sample the line. That's only two video games, and I've frittered away more than that on crappy games at times (I'm looking at you, Destiny. )

As far as the availability date, believe me I won't be camping on GC's doorstep on Nov. 27 waiting for this to come in! I do figure, however, the first batch should be in before the Christmas holiday, so that works.

I suppose if I get liquored up enough on holiday rum, I could probably make a cigar box sound pretty good. ROFL!
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
#6
Hey stargeezer, was wondering are you are into astronomy? That's my other hobby(own 4 telescopes).
#7
Quote by rohash
Hey stargeezer, was wondering are you are into astronomy? That's my other hobby(own 4 telescopes).


Hiya rohash, yep...avid amateur since I was a kid (many, many moons ago.) I'm currently down to two scopes. I gave my Meade ETX125EC to my brother when it became too heavy and awkward for me to tote around. The two I have are small aperture (<=100mm), but since most of what I do anymore is lunar, planetary and star cluster observations, it's good enough.

Used to actually make scopes back in the day. I had an awesome homebrew 4" apochromatic triplet yoinked from an aerial surveillance camera. It still had the iris assembly, so I could actually dial down the f-stop if I wanted. Wasn't much to look at, but man could that thing see!

Well, don't want to derail the thread here, but yeah...that's where I got my nickname anyway. LOL
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
#8
Quote by StarGeezerTim
Hiya rohash, yep...avid amateur since I was a kid (many, many moons ago.) I'm currently down to two scopes. I gave my Meade ETX125EC to my brother when it became too heavy and awkward for me to tote around. The two I have are small aperture (<=100mm), but since most of what I do anymore is lunar, planetary and star cluster observations, it's good enough.

Used to actually make scopes back in the day. I had an awesome homebrew 4" apochromatic triplet yoinked from an aerial surveillance camera. It still had the iris assembly, so I could actually dial down the f-stop if I wanted. Wasn't much to look at, but man could that thing see!

Well, don't want to derail the thread here, but yeah...that's where I got my nickname anyway. LOL


Cool! My scopes are all newtonians, a 16", 10" and 5.1"(tabletop) dobs and an 8" newt on an EQ mount. I definitely know what you mean by heavy and awkward to tote around. LOL Globulars are my favorite target. Guitar is definitely a less expensive hobby.
#9
Quote by StarGeezerTim
Thanks for all your advice, Cap! I've heard good things about the Hummingbird as well, and the Yamaha has been on my chronic GAS list for a bit as well. I just figured at $120 opt-in for the entry models, I could probably do worse to sample the line. That's only two video games, and I've frittered away more than that on crappy games at times (I'm looking at you, Destiny. )

As far as the availability date, believe me I won't be camping on GC's doorstep on Nov. 27 waiting for this to come in! I do figure, however, the first batch should be in before the Christmas holiday, so that works.

The "Pro 1, got a wonderful write up in Guitar Player Magazine this month. It's an "Editor's Pick", even.

Anyway, they ship it with acoustic ultra light strings, (as I suggested you could do with any acoustic as a work around for pain issues). However, it is short scale, (24.75" same as a Les Paul).

The top is solid, but the street price is quoted at $329.00, so I don't know when "$120.00 was worked into the equation, or how it attaches to this guitar.
#10
Quote by rohash
Cool! My scopes are all newtonians, a 16", 10" and 5.1"(tabletop) dobs and an 8" newt on an EQ mount. I definitely know what you mean by heavy and awkward to tote around. LOL Globulars are my favorite target. Guitar is definitely a less expensive hobby.


Amen to that! I'd hate to sit down and calculate how much I've spent just on eyepieces over the years!
#11
Quote by Captaincranky
The "Pro 1, got a wonderful write up in Guitar Player Magazine this month. It's an "Editor's Pick", even.

Anyway, they ship it with acoustic ultra light strings, (as I suggested you could do with any acoustic as a work around for pain issues). However, it is short scale, (24.75" same as a Les Paul).

The top is solid, but the street price is quoted at $329.00, so I don't know when "$120.00 was worked into the equation, or how it attaches to this guitar.


The $330 version is for the "Ultra" version of the Pro-1, which features a cutaway and preamp electronics. There's a middle-of-the-road "Plus" version listed at $220 that is a traditional dread design, and then two entry-level instruments; an acoustic and a classical that run $120 each. The only difference I can see between the entry and the Plus is the latter has a solid spruce top, compared to a "spruce select" which I suppose is marketing-speak for a laminate.

The Classical only comes in a natural finish, and has nylon strings and a slotted headstock.

I'm drawn to the Trans Blue myself, looks kinda smexy.

Pro-1 Acoustic
Pro-1 Classical
Pro-1 Plus
Pro-1 Ultra
#12
Well, I'd also go for the trans blue.

The $110.00 price bump for electronics is fairly typical for guitars in this price range, and the cutaway is very often included in the package.

Many all laminate guitars sound fairly good, until you get next to a similar solid top model.

GP mag also provisionally denounced the sound of this guitar as "jangly". This would also be true of another dread, cutaway or otherwise with such light strings on it.

They've probably modified the top braces to get as much bottom end out of the guitar as possible. It would likely be foolhardy to increase the string gauge in an attempt to get more natural bottom end out of it. (Not that you would).

With that said, I'd buy the "Ultra" version, or go home.

With electronics, you have the potential of reinforcing the bass easily, and adding ambiance effects just for the sheer heck of it.

While it, (at times), seems to grate on the purists here, I won't buy an acoustic without electronics, and all my acoustics, (IMHO), sound better plugged in.
#13
I wouldn't mind a more full-bodied sound, but then again my priority is approachability (that is, an instrument that will somewhat compensate for physical limitations at this stage in my life, primarily arthritic hands.)

My secondary goal is to have something that can be played at "bedroom" levels, as I live in an apartment and don't want to disturb my neighbors. I have a decent-enough amp (Vypyr 75), but even with my electric I often practice unplugged just to keep the levels down. So while I'm not one of the "purists" you allude to, for me plugging in an acoustic would be a rare occasion indeed.

I figure I may just get one of the entry models to noodle on, see if it lives up to the hype, and if I'm satisfied I can always follow up in 6 months or so with the Ultra, and keep the standard model for taking up to camp where I'll be a little less anxious of it picking up a stray scratch than I might be with a more expensive instrument.
#14
Quote by StarGeezerTim
I wouldn't mind a more full-bodied sound, but then again my priority is approachability (that is, an instrument that will somewhat compensate for physical limitations at this stage in my life, primarily arthritic hands.)

My secondary goal is to have something that can be played at "bedroom" levels, as I live in an apartment and don't want to disturb my neighbors. I have a decent-enough amp (Vypyr 75), but even with my electric I often practice unplugged just to keep the levels down. So while I'm not one of the "purists" you allude to, for me plugging in an acoustic would be a rare occasion indeed.

I figure I may just get one of the entry models to noodle on, see if it lives up to the hype, and if I'm satisfied I can always follow up in 6 months or so with the Ultra, and keep the standard model for taking up to camp where I'll be a little less anxious of it picking up a stray scratch than I might be with a more expensive instrument.


Ever considered a classical? They're much quieter. The nylon strings are much easier on the hands and fingers, plus a wider neck(2" nut) which makes it easier to play, at least to me(no scrunching the fingers). The sound is a little soft for strumming rock or country songs but it's do-able.
#15
Yep, in fact I'm torn between the Pro-1 Acoustic and the Pro-1 Classical (same price.) Of course, at $120 a pop, the both of them would cost less than many single acoustics, even used. The nut isn't quite as wide as some classicals (only 1.75") but still plenty wide from the looks of things. I don't want to go too wide; I have somewhat stubby fingers.
#16
Better you can find your neighbour who good in this Epiphone Pro-1 guitar for accompanying with you. Therefore you can practice together for a best result. All the best!
#17
So have these actually landed yet? I know they're supposed to be out, but I have yet to eyeball one. Local GC sales folks just shrug and say "They should be in soon." I'm beginning to think they may be like Bigfoot, only folks have actually seen him.
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
#18
Quote by StarGeezerTim
So have these actually landed yet? I know they're supposed to be out, but I have yet to eyeball one. Local GC sales folks just shrug and say "They should be in soon." I'm beginning to think they may be like Bigfoot, only folks have actually seen him.
I think I "told you so", on the availability issue earlier in this very thread.

My experience in finally being able to get my EJ-200SCE, (Natural, left handed), was fairly miserable and annoying.

The dealer began advertising them moths before the projected delivery date, which Gibson forced them to stop doing. I found this out in response to a nasty Email I sent to Gibson CS.

They told me they would be arriving in mid July, (the 14th to be precise), and the natural version was available on that date! However, the "Vintage Sunburst" LH model, wasn't in stock for nearly a month.

So in conclusion, "I told you so". In the meantime, you might try Emailing Gibson with your concerns.

I suppose it might be said, "there's many a slip, between the Indonesian guitar factory, the ship, and the hip"
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 6, 2014,
#19
Hi All
Dont know whether anyone's looking at this thread still, but I've just taken delivery of the basic Pro-1 in natural. Only had a couple of hours with it, but there's my thoughts...
I decided to order the guitar as a living room noodler based on the few reviews scattered about. The finish is superb, and the fretwork is as good as any other more expensive guitars that Ive got. Bear in mind though that I dont buy super high end, usually middle of the range.
I was most worried about the tone, with those super light strings. Obviously I will eventually replace those strings with the next gauge up BUT, the tone out of this piece of laminated driftwood is astonishingly good, bearing in mind its limitations. Its true it does err towards jangly, but I quite like that. Its superbly bright and amazing for blues etc, as well as a bit
of cowboy strumming. I'm very pleased with it.
Last edited by Wacker2611 at Jan 27, 2015,