Price paid: € 215
Purchased from: Thomann (Germany)
Sound — 8
Only had the guitar a couple of days so not really experimented with the range of sounds I can get, but on first listen looks like a nice range of sounds can be achieved. I'm using an old Yamaha JX40 transistor amp which has seen better days so not the best platform to judge the pups really. But even so, I like what I hear so far. Definitely sounds a lot different from my Strat. A nice change actually. Ok, so the pots are a bit scratchy and the tone pot doesn't really do that much, but I'll be changing them anyway. So no biggy. Noise wise (white noise), virtually none. And the little there is is probably due to my amp. No hum of course. Tested against an old CRT monitor I've got lying around. Put the guitar right up against it. Not a peep. Seems Epiphone have put some decent bucking pups on board. For anybody whose interested the protective polythene covers that are over the pups say: - Designed by Epiphone USA - Alnico Classic Magnets - Double Vacuumm Waxed - Enamel wire Anyway. Proof of the pudding. Here's a sample of how the guitar sounds on the bridge pickup. (a little bit of reverb and chorus on the amp here). Recorded straight from my amp's headphone socket to my PC:
Overall Impression — 8
Been playing seriously (again) for about the last 4 years. I play anything from jazz, blues, rock. Even reggae if the mood takes me. This guitar sounds as tho it'll be able to handle all those styles no problem. Yeah, I'd buy the Dot Studio again without a doubt. Especially at the price I paid for it. Yep, a "little money" well spent I reckon.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Only play at home myself. But I'd say physically that the guitar could take a good bashing. Pretty solidly put together. Never use a strap so couldn't say if the strap buttons would do their job. But easily replaced if they don't. I'd definitely replace the volume and tone pots tho.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Set-up wise: Came with heavier gauge strings (10s or 11s) than I normally used to. The intonation was bang on. Action about 1mm on the 1st string at the 12th fret, 2.5mm on the 6th string at the 12th fret... So a bit high. Basically, the bridge was set way too high towards the bass end. But brought that down to give an action of 1mm to about 1.5mm from 1st to 6th string... With no fret buzz at this height. The plastic nut needs a bit of work tho... A bit high on the 5th and 6th strings. Will be replacing that anyway. The finish on my guitar was almost flawless, a couple of little blemishes around one of the f-holes and a little pin-head sized ding between the saddle and the bridge... Otherwise all good. Frets were perfect... Smooth with no burrs or sharp edges. One of my tunning pegs tho is slightly out of line (the 5th string) so that the 6th string almost touches the 5th string peg... Only about a half mill clearance... But again no biggy really. I can live with that. Overall I'd say the guitar is pretty well made, especially considering the price I paid for it. (215 Euros/175). If you're on a tight budget and looking for a half-decent semi-acoustic then you could do a lot worse than the DS. Yeah... A "John Lennon 1965 Revolution Casino" or a "JL 70th Birthday Casino" would probably be better... But you'd need a second mortage for those. LOL. Spend a couple of hundred on the Dot Studio and you can still keep the house and get a nice little axe into the bargain... Oh, as for the lack of fret markers on the front. (Yeah, I know. Crazy. The "Dot" Studio has no dots). LOL. I kinda thought twice about that before buying the DS. But then I thought I can always add those later. Turns out I won't now. Only had the guitar a few days and already I'm used to the lack of front markers. The dots along the side are just as easy to use (after a few hours playing). In fact, playing my Strat now seems weird with the markers. Think I'll take them off. LOL.
Features — 8
2012 Epiphone Dot Studio archtop semi-acoustic. (Made in China). Purchased from Thomann (Germany). They were the cheapest I could find online. Only took 2 days to arrive too. I'm in the UK btw. - Worn Vintage Sunburst satin finish - Tune-o-matic bridge - 22 medium frets - Mahogany body, maple neck, rosewood fret-board - Grover tuners. Stay in tune pretty well even after serious string bends. - Alnico humbuckers This is my first ever review of a guitar so probably won't be that great. But here goes anywho.