EM-1 Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 06/28/2010 category: Electric Guitars
Epiphone: EM-1
With a stunning ebony finish, a double cutaway body made from premium alder, hard maple used for the new 'SpeedTaper' satin-finish neck and a pair of hot open-coil humbuckers (700T/650R) supplying the beef and the bite, the EM has never looked as mean or sounded as mental.
 Sound: 8
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.3
 Features: 7.7
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) 9 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.6
EM-1 Reviewed by: phillipssg, on september 18, 2007
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Features: I don't actaully own this guitar, it is one of my mates guitars (for the sake of this article, my mate will be known as Wallace), although I play it regularly and practically know it inside-out! I believe it's the new black 2007 model. It features a double cutaway body made from premium alder with an ebony finish. I found the feel and playability of the 24 fret maple neck to be surprisingly nice, it just goes to show that looks can be decieving, the body is shaped in such a way which means the 24th fret on the high e string is accessible without any problems, so it's frickin easy to shred some solos on the higher notes! // 8

Sound: I near enough fell in love with it as it is ideal for playing riffs and solo's as the pickups have beasty distortion, and I usually play it through a Fender Frontman amp, not exactly the best amp in the world but it portrays the distortion very nicely, it's nice and metally. But saying that, Wallace is the chord master, as he's more of a rhythm guitarist and it sounds near enough as good when playing clean chords. But the only drawback I found with the clean sound was that the low E string sounded as though it had a slightly bad distortion on it and it didn't sound 100% clean. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I haven't really looked that closely at the body and the finish, but I can tell you that the action was low, there was no fret buzz to be heard and to be honest I felt cery comfortable playing Van Halen's Eruption and I could play the finger tapping parts with ease. I own a Epiphone G310 and the neck on that was fitted on very slightly at an angle, but the thing that stood out with this guitar was that everything seemed to be in ship shape and looked as though someone had taken time to build it to perfection, that's how neat everything looked on it. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I'm pretty sure this guitar would withstand live playing although Wallace hasn't played it Live. The strap buttons are solid, so the guitar doesn't faff around everywhere when your trying to play. I'm sure this guitar can easily be played Live as a solo instrument, due to the warm crisp sound of the distortion. // 9

Overall Impression: If Wallaces one were stolen, I'm sure he would definately buy a new one, it plays very well and sounds very nice, especially for solos/metal songs. The only thing that I would like installed on it would be 2 tone and 2 volume pots as it only has 1 tone and 1 volume. Overall it's got the sound and looks of a hard metal guitar, but is fairly versitile and can play lighter and softer songs as well. // 9

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overall: 6.6
EM-1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 18, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 250

Purchased from: Gallins Guitars

Features: The guitar was madde in Indonesia. 24 frets at last count, all of which are easily accesable thanks to a double cutaway. One advantage of this guitar.The guitar looks like a bass guitar rather than an electric. I've really gone of how this guitar looks. Black finnish, but picks up finger prints, smudges easily, and are very easy to see. Two humbuckers, a volume nob and a tone nob. Came with gig bag, but thats a given now days. // 6

Sound: I generally use a micro cube to play it however I also use a Laney owned by a friend of mine. Can't remember the model. I find the sound has the potential to be great, but it doesn't respond well to certain amps, tone frequently suffers, and its hard to get a decent distortion. Its not noisy, and I never have feedback issues. The sound is extremely bright. Sounds awesome on chorus/flanger. I can't get a sound that good out of any other guitar. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: The action which I assume was factory set up, is rediculously high. Its like a classical guitar, which is kinda what attracted me to it in the first place. Still I've allways wanted to lower it, just never got around to it. The nob on the pickup selector is notoriously dodgy, and frequently falls off. I lost it for about two years then put it back on, and fell off in another two weeks. Other than that the guitar is quite solid and amazingly reliable. // 5

Reliability & Durability: Does stand up on gigs, and have and would continue to play it live. Great for finger picking as I accidently discovered. Strap things are awkwardly placed on the side, but that doesn't create many issues. Finnish seems durable, its an epiphone, so you know they've got the basics right. // 10

Overall Impression: I play classic rock (zeppelin, van halen)and occaisonaly metal. The guitar is not really suited to my style of playing, but I do use it sometimes. What it is good for are the distortion/chorus heavy songs, which often occur in 80's rock and grunge. On the the grunge note, its sounds great for that... garagy (spelling) feel. Because of its brightness you can also play the indy shit that people have started playing en masse, but it looks more like a metal guitar. I've played it for abour 4 years, and since it doesn't look like giving out, will continue to play it. Good beginner guitar, and good for someone with specific tastes. But you'll want something better, and more versatile in the long run. // 6

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overall: 9
EM-1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 28, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 115

Purchased from: Gear4Music

Features: This guitar is meant for one thing. Simplicity. Mine was made in Indonesia. Built in 2007 & 2008, its a relatively new guitar. Before this it was built early nineties and through the eighties, by both Gibson (As M-III) and Epiphone (EM Series). The earlier models actually look so much better, but I've never had the chance. Anyway, it has 24 frets, solid Alder wood with a maple neck and rosewood fretboard, with classic Dot inlays. Headstock is a non-reverse shape, which makes it difficult to find a modelled case. Being a double cutaway and due to its shape, its relatively small too as a body, so height-wise its about the same height as a Les Paul custom. The hardware is chrome, all Epiphone branded, 1 volume, 1 tone and a 3 way pickup selector. Passive pickups and quite a high output (as it would have been in the eighties) for that classic shredder and solo-ist. There is no included accessories, but like I say, simplicity. // 9

Sound: My music style ranges from neo-classical, metal, blues and even funk. The Epiphone and its pickups play neo-classical, metal, blues and even funk relatively well. Through a Fender FM212R (inexpensive but good starter amp) On clean its sounds nice, little muddy, but thats due to the Amp's EQ settings. On distortion, its nice. Chords and evne those little riffs sound intense. On more distortion, you're there. This guitar was made for solo-ing, for scales, even for shredding. I also find that playing on the rhythm pickup on clean sounds beautiful for blues and funk, just turn done the tone a bit. Light distortion for blues too. If you're that solo-ist or shredder after a inexpensive guitar for your needs, this is it. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was great coming from epiphone. The bridge was not set up, but I didn't expect it to be. After some minor setting-up and a slight truss-rod adjustment (I like mine the slightest bowed) it was ready. The pickups (as I expected also) were not adjusted. They both came at a Standard height and their poles were not fine tuned. For action I can't complain though, bit high for my liking, but for any metal solist/shredder you'd lower it anyway. All the routing was spot on and it was even shielded. For the price you can't go wrong. After a while due to heavy use (I love the thing) the tone control became loose, in a shorted time than I expected, but easily fixed, apart from that its really good. Its finish is a nice gloss in ebony colour. Its rather a dark guitar, but (I'm thinking about this my self, but buying another one) take off the paint, give it some colour, customise it. Like I have said a few times, you can't go wrong with the price of this thing, so spending a few hundred more on it with a custom paintjob and replacement pickups, its your own lovely custom for a few hundred quid. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I used to play live with this baby non-stop. It withstands it so well, unless you're drunk and snap a string, whoops. The hardware over the course of heavy gigging for a year stayed spot on. These days the bridge's chrome has worn a bit, its copper underneath. But overall, cracking reliability. The strap buttons are pretty good too, but I'd still like to get some straplocks for this thing, I've yet to. I've dropped this guitar a few times in gigs, and the worse which has happened is nothing. It all stays spot on, in tuning, intonation and strength. Can't go wrong. The finish does well too, stays as it is, just oil your fretboard! Its also a very dependable guitar, over that full year I didn't have another guitar to hand, and it did well. // 9

Overall Impression: As I've said, I play metal, classical, blues, funk and even rock. This does well for all of those genres. Less funk, but I prefer single coils for funk anyway. I've been playing about 5 years now, I own the amp above (after maybe a marshall, I've played through loads, also: they sound nice through Marshall amps!). I own a Gibson ES-335, and the fretboard quality compares. I own a Fender Telecaster custom, and the quality compares. I own an Ibanez SAS36-FM and the quality compares. I own a Les Paul Custom built, and the quality compares. Epiphone did a fine job with this guitar, even if it might not suit to some people's tastes. For those it does and even for begginners, its a spot on, inexpensive, great quality, nice sounding guitar. I'd recommend it every time. Shame it has been discontinued. // 9

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