1958 Korina Flying V review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.3 (22 votes)
Epiphone: 1958 Korina Flying V

Price paid: C$ 545

Purchased from: Long and McQuade

Sound — 8
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.

Overall Impression — 8
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.

Reliability & Durability — 9
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.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
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.

Features — 9
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.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Is it a good guitar for hard rock/metal like metallica, ozzy, van halen, slayer, etc.? I need something with a crunchy tone.
    I have the natural Epiphone Korina Flying V as well as a Gibson '67 reissue. The Gibson is much more resonant and full, to the point that I am not sure what the advantage of Korina wood over Mahogany is supposed to be, aside from the awesome looks. My '58 has a real nicely bookmatched maxi-veneer (mini-cap?) of korina over a few chunks of glued Korina underneath. It looks fine though. I replaced the bridge pickup with a used Gibson pickup from a Gibson Les Paul Custom, so the pup cover was already gold, had a slight lived-in look and added nice mojo and sweet tone - still not as fat as the true Gibson though, again I think its the wood tho alot of better electronics could be swapped in to prove me wrong. I also think the neck tenon is more deeply set in the '67. If you compare them side by side you will see what I mean. I have one more mod planned for my Epi - a white Flying V truss rod cover from a Gibson so yeah it will say Gibson as well as Epiphone on the headstock. Then my poor mans version of a $15,000 '58 Korina V will be complete };=D
    This is a incredible guitar for its value! THe best I've owner so far! Check out my demo of this beautiful beast!
    Had this guitar since 2005 as my first guitar but its been sitting in a cupboard for the past few years as I now have better gear. I've just taken it out and intend to fix it up as its pretty worn out, and the first port of call is to install a SH-4 JB in the bridge. The posters above are correct about the stock Epi pickups, they're pretty bad. They have a decent amount of output but they're ridiculously muddy even through my Orange RV50 head. At higher gain levels the sound just falls apart. The neck is great though, you can get good speed from it and reaching the 22nd fret is easy due to the glued on neck. The pickups will do if you're just starting out, and I couldn't have asked for a better entry level guitar. I still love it to pieces to this day, hence why I'm going to put a lot of work into it because it just plays great even if the pickups are a bit shoddy. Just spend the 100-120 on replacing the pickups and you've got an axe for life.
    I have one of these too, I bought it used. I upgraded the pickups for an EMG 81-85 combo and it sounds like a ton of bricks. I put this axe through so much abuse (the reason why I bought it) and it still sounds great. Once, I dropped it while in it's case on the side walk and beleive it or not it did even not go out of tune. I literally bang on the body and it still holds it's tune. I must add however that my guitar seems to have some differences from the Korina Flying V Epiphones I have read about. For example, the serial number begins with a "B" which seems to indicate it was made in the Czech Republic. When I changed the pickups, I saw that that the wood did not have a veneer, the grain I saw at the surface was the same grain as the interior of the guitar. Furthermore, my guitar has no rubber pad for sitting playing which I find kind of odd because the specs say otherwise. Seriously, I have so much fun playing this guitar it's insane. If the new Epiphone Flying V Korinas have the same specs as the one I have, I agreee with jonathanfarrow2, "change the pickups and you have an axe for life"!!
    I´ve got an Czhech built korina -58, i must say that this one is close to the Gibson, if not better. The chinese ones are not even Close to the czhech. If you guys find an old czhech BUY it, you will not regret it.