Price paid: € 339
Purchased from: Dirk Witte Music Store
Features — 9
My Epiphone Dot was made in 2014 (in Indonesia), contains 22 frets (made of rosewood) with of course Dot inlays. The neck has a '60-ies profile, made of mahogany. I chose for the beautiful cherry gloss finish and must say that the sunburst version also looks beautiful. The top is laminated maple. The body style is designed after the famous Gibson ES-335 and I love the fact that it's semi-hollow.
The bridge style of the guitar is Tune-O-Matic, but I've seen versions where the bridge is attached to the bottom of the guitar (most likely for a Bigsby or whammy bar). I also like this guitar because the fact that it contains two tone knobs and two volume knobs, making the three way a switch make a lot of difference! You can make a dark sound or just very bright by just playing with these four knobs. The pickups are amazing, these are Alnico classics (which are standard for an Epiphone), these can even be replaced with Gibson Classic '57s is desired, because this guitar is worth it. The tuners are Grovers, which always have been my favourites, a friend of mine owns an Epiphone Les Paul, with the classic tuners (which are mostly on the official ES-335) and compared to these tuners mine never detune, when I travel with it (in a rockbag) all I need to do is a quarter at most.
I bought this guitar plain, without anything, but what do you want for € 339? One thing I don't like about the guitar is the fact that the Epiphone logo fell off after a few days, although it just a piece of plastic it makes your guitar look like it's manufactured too fast.
Sound — 9
I used to have multiple Stratocasters, this because they are made for a lot of styles, but I never thought it made my music "my" music. So I watched a few of my guitar heroes (including Peter Hayes (which plays a Gibson ES-335) and was sold due the fact it looks fantastic and sounds so. I sold my other electrics to make room for this guitar and never had ANY regret, this guitar fits "my" style perfectly. I mostly play own songs on the lead channel of this guitar (bridge pickup) and play songs like "Hotel California," "Love Burns," "Bohemian Like You" and I notice that (on these kind of songs) my guitar sounds harder (and better) then my friend his Fender Mustang (1965). My amp at home is a Marshall 5210 (1985) with a footswitch for the boost and clean channel, it really sounds great in my opinion. I used to have a cheap Fender amp and I compared the sounds which are a world of difference (maybe because of the reverb). The pedals I use make this guitar sound even better; Boss TU-3, Ibanez Tubescreamer Mini, Boss OS-2, MXR Carbon Copy (delay with modulation), Electro Harmonix Holy Grail (reverb) and a Boss RC-3 (loop station). The problem with most semi-hollows and distortion drived pedals make the amp give noisy, although I haven't tried another distortion pedal. The Carbon Copy and Holy Grail make this guitar and this setting fantastic for solo's and riffs, I can only say I really love this guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When I bought this guitar, it was already at a low action, makes it perfect for barré, this guitar also works perfectly for other tunings. But because of the low action the guitar doesn't work that well for slides (buzzes the frets), at Dirk Witte they offer to change the action for you in one year after purchase, they even made it lower and better for my playstyle. The pickups are great, they are nice but the front pickup seems a little loose, I don't know if this is the problem with all Dots. There is just one thing which is really annoying, the jack input is loose and you can turn it but after a while it's loose again. The guitar looks stunning but if you take a good look at the painting inside the F holes you notice it's sloppy, this doesn't annoy me that much but at a real Gibson ES-335 this would never happen.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have played live with this guitar and it's really fantastic, I never take a spare guitar with me even if it can break down. I trust this guitar with my life, just a reason to take another one is because it's heavy and if you play like 3 hours you feel it in your back. The hardware on the guitar is great, the Alnico's sound fantastic, but if I need to replace them I would put in Gibson '57s Classics because, yeah their Gibsons. The strap buttons are big, this makes it hard to put a strap on it, which is great because it won't fall off that fast, I always put on strapblocks by Fender, just in case. The cherry finish is great and I'm sure that it will stay on it forever.
Overall Impression — 9
I mostly play rock, indie and pop songs and it works fantastic, you can play with the tone and volume knobs and it makes it the best of both worlds, I would recommend you to go the shop and find it out yourself. I've been playing like 4 years and got this guitar a year, after a year I still have no regrets and I don't understand why people would pay like 5 times more for a real Gibson, this guitar is amazing and does deserve some credits for that. If it gets stolen I would go to Dirk Witte and order the exact same one with cherry flavour, I love this guitar and would never sell it because I see it as my first real guitar (Squier Stratocaster aren't my thing sorry!).
I compared this guitar with a few others; Epiphone Casino, Epiphone Sheraton II (beautiful headstock) and a Hagstrom Viking, these were all like 100 euros more expensive and didn't really sound better in my opinion. I love this guitar! :D I'm really a fan of old semi hollows (Vox Cheetah, Fender Coronado, Fender Starcaster and of course the Gibson ES-335), but I don't want to pay over 2000 euros to have one. Try this guitar and you won't have any regrets! :D