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Another Ultra III getting returned Was hoping for the best...

#1 User is offline   stumblinman 

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 02:17 PM

Well, after a few days of playing, I realized I can't live with the sky-high action or the buzzing when it's lower, so the Ultra III is going back. I really hoped they would have worked out the issues by now, but it appears they couldn't. Decided to go with the new Prophecy GX in Black Cherry instead. Really disappointed. This is the first Epiphone I've ever returned. Just an absolutely unplayable instrument. Great gimmick, but where the rubber meets the road it just doesn't perform.
Colossians 3:16


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2007 Epiphone LP 100 -Grover Tuners, Seymour Duncan Custom 5 Bridge, Gibson P-94R neck.
2011 Epiphone 1960 Tribute Plus in Black Cherry
2010 Ebony 1956 Les Paul Reissue with P-90's
1976 Epiphone El Dorado Acoustic -Work in progress, gift from Father in Laws closet from his Navy days..
Line6 Pod HD500
Blackstar HT Club 40
Fender Frontman 212R
Marshall 8020 Valvestate 20W

#2 User is offline   brianh 

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 02:49 PM

Not for nuthin' but you could send it in to Epi for warranty repair.

They paid shipping both ways and did a nice rewiring job on my Ultra 339 and I got it back in 9 days.

Plays perfect now.
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
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#3 User is offline   stumblinman 

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 03:22 PM

View Postbrianh, on 17 March 2012 - 02:49 PM, said:

Not for nuthin' but you could send it in to Epi for warranty repair.

They paid shipping both ways and did a nice rewiring job on my Ultra 339 and I got it back in 9 days.

Plays perfect now.

The issue is the nanomag pulls on the strings too hard and makes odd vibrations, so strings rattle when they shouldn't. I was warned, but hoped for a newer one that might have been fixed. Just the luck of the draw I guess. I've sent other stuff to Epi for warranty work, and was very happy. This one isn't worth it though. I'll just get another guitar and spend the difference on a case or something.
Colossians 3:16


-StumblinMan



2007 Epiphone LP 100 -Grover Tuners, Seymour Duncan Custom 5 Bridge, Gibson P-94R neck.
2011 Epiphone 1960 Tribute Plus in Black Cherry
2010 Ebony 1956 Les Paul Reissue with P-90's
1976 Epiphone El Dorado Acoustic -Work in progress, gift from Father in Laws closet from his Navy days..
Line6 Pod HD500
Blackstar HT Club 40
Fender Frontman 212R
Marshall 8020 Valvestate 20W

#4 User is offline   LPDEN 

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:00 PM

Hmm. That's to bad that there are some problems still being noted. The 2 LP U3' I tried at my local dealer were in need of a set-up. Hopefully that is the case for the general issues beingr noted. If not, I'm sure Epi will resolve the issue through their dealers.
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Gibson Electric Guitars:
2012 Gibson Jeff Tweedy SG | 2013 Elliot East Signature Tiki Firebird
FOR SALE: 2010 Gibson Custom Historic SG Special VOS P-90s - Faded Cherry

#5 User is offline   stumblinman 

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 09:28 PM

View PostLPDEN, on 17 March 2012 - 08:00 PM, said:

Hmm. That's to bad that there are some problems still being noted. The 2 LP U3' I tied at my local dealer were in need of a set-up. Hopefully that is the case for the general issues beingr noted. If not, I'm sure Epi will resolve the issue through their dealers.

It's pretty telling that there are serious issues when there's already 8 of them in "used" at musiciansfriend.com. I'm sure Epiphone will eventually fix the problem, but leaving them on the market in their current condition and hoping folks don't mind seems like a poor practice. My first Epi disappointment. Just thought I'd mention it since I've seen so many threads on different forums about it to hopefully bring it to light a little more and get Epiphone to address their manufacturing issues.
Colossians 3:16


-StumblinMan



2007 Epiphone LP 100 -Grover Tuners, Seymour Duncan Custom 5 Bridge, Gibson P-94R neck.
2011 Epiphone 1960 Tribute Plus in Black Cherry
2010 Ebony 1956 Les Paul Reissue with P-90's
1976 Epiphone El Dorado Acoustic -Work in progress, gift from Father in Laws closet from his Navy days..
Line6 Pod HD500
Blackstar HT Club 40
Fender Frontman 212R
Marshall 8020 Valvestate 20W

#6 User is offline   Markini 

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 01:37 PM

I have the original Ultra the first one. Just a fine guitar, did have to replace the nut though. Sorry to hear about the Ultra III issues.

#7 User is offline   Blueman335 

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 03:24 PM

View PostLPDEN, on 17 March 2012 - 08:00 PM, said:

The 2 LP U3' I tied at my local dealer were in need of a set-up.


But's the case with most guitars in a music store, regardless of price.

#8 User is offline   LPDEN 

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 05:53 PM

View PostBlueman335, on 19 March 2012 - 03:24 PM, said:

But's the case with most guitars in a music store, regardless of price.


I agree, but this store is a semi-large mom & pop and they are generally pretty good about not putting guitars out with first checking them over unlike Guitar Center.... They did get them right though after some customer in-store feedback.
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Gibson Electric Guitars:
2012 Gibson Jeff Tweedy SG | 2013 Elliot East Signature Tiki Firebird
FOR SALE: 2010 Gibson Custom Historic SG Special VOS P-90s - Faded Cherry

#9 User is offline   Aethyr 

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 06:17 PM

View Poststumblinman, on 17 March 2012 - 03:22 PM, said:

The issue is the nanomag pulls on the strings too hard and makes odd vibrations, so strings rattle when they shouldn't. I was warned, but hoped for a newer one that might have been fixed. Just the luck of the draw I guess. I've sent other stuff to Epi for warranty work, and was very happy. This one isn't worth it though. I'll just get another guitar and spend the difference on a case or something.


I originally thought that might be the case, but it doesn't make sense. There have been two previous models in the Ultra line. Both had Nanomags, none had this problem. Also, if that was the case, EVERY guitar with a Nanomag would need to be adjusted. Mine didn't. Seeing as it was a B-Stocked one, it might have received a setup at Thomann that got rid of the issue before it got to me, but I seriously doubt that and it doesn't really change the fact that Ultras CAN play well - it's not a "failed experiment" since it has already succeeded in the past. It smells more like a problematic batch to me.

I can't really fault you for getting the GX though. Unless you NEED one of the gimmicks on the Ultra III, then there's really no need to get one over the Prophecies.

#10 User is offline   sdcruiser 

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 02:02 PM

View PostAethyr, on 19 March 2012 - 06:17 PM, said:

I originally thought that might be the case, but it doesn't make sense. There have been two previous models in the Ultra line. Both had Nanomags, none had this problem. Also, if that was the case, EVERY guitar with a Nanomag would need to be adjusted. Mine didn't. Seeing as it was a B-Stocked one, it might have received a setup at Thomann that got rid of the issue before it got to me, but I seriously doubt that and it doesn't really change the fact that Ultras CAN play well - it's not a "failed experiment" since it has already succeeded in the past. It smells more like a problematic batch to me.

I can't really fault you for getting the GX though. Unless you NEED one of the gimmicks on the Ultra III, then there's really no need to get one over the Prophecies.


For what it's worth, I think I was the one that first came up with the nano mag being too close to the strings. The effect is commonally called stratitis. On my Ultra III, I proved it a number of ways to myself before I went to the extreme move of detaching the nano and tucking it into the chamber to play without the nano. Nothing other than this fixed it. And that includes nut work and fret leveling. Each proof that I applied reduce the fret buzz (really more like a rattle) considerabably. I don't think Gibson or others really believe me but my nano is now 3 mm lower and the buzz is gone. It's a great guitar in my opinion and if you can ignore the extremely high action or the fret rattle that's great for you. But the improvement was dramatic for my guitar.

I see there could also be a polarity issue and I'm hoping to at least check mine out with a Schatten polarity checker rather than send it back to Gibson. I doubt that the polarity is out on my Ultra III.

I also had an Ultra II and even with fret work it had really high action and some fret buzz. But I put up with it until I finally grew tired of playing it with the high action. Wish I could get that one back....the nano would be lowered right away, lol.

Lowering the nano does affect the output level of course but for me it was the price I chose to pay to be able to keep this guitar.

#11 User is offline   LPDEN 

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 11:09 AM

View Postbrianh, on 17 March 2012 - 02:49 PM, said:

Not for nuthin' but you could send it in to Epi for warranty repair.

They paid shipping both ways and did a nice rewiring job on my Ultra 339 and I got it back in 9 days.

Plays perfect now.


That's good to hear, Brian!
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Gibson Electric Guitars:
2012 Gibson Jeff Tweedy SG | 2013 Elliot East Signature Tiki Firebird
FOR SALE: 2010 Gibson Custom Historic SG Special VOS P-90s - Faded Cherry

#12 User is offline   okieflyfisher 

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:42 PM

I had the Ultra II and it was a great guitar. I didn't however like the slim tapered neck. It was very fast but just too slim. Too bad on this issue for the new Ultra III.

#13 User is offline   sdcruiser 

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 09:12 PM

View Postokieflyfisher, on 22 March 2012 - 09:42 PM, said:

I had the Ultra II and it was a great guitar. I didn't however like the slim tapered neck. It was very fast but just too slim. Too bad on this issue for the new Ultra III.


I had the Ultra II and that neck was a bit fatter than the Ultra III. I even had fret work done on it but it always buzzed too much for me and sold it.

I tried an ES339 ULTRA and noticed that the action was extremely high. It had a lot of distance between the strings and the nano and even the neck humbucker was backed off a lot and tilted down from the strings at the neck. Looks to me like they are doing this to lessen the nano effect that causes a lot of the fret buzz with the Ultras. I played it but the neck was also fatter than the LP Ultra III and with the high action was not much fun to play, at least for me. I do like the thin neck on the Ultra III and the finish, like the Ultra II, is really smooth and fast.

#14 User is offline   LPDEN 

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 09:14 PM

I didn't think the neck specs were changed between the II and the III... I'll have to compare them next time I'm in the music shop...
-LPDEN----------
Gibson Electric Guitars:
2012 Gibson Jeff Tweedy SG | 2013 Elliot East Signature Tiki Firebird
FOR SALE: 2010 Gibson Custom Historic SG Special VOS P-90s - Faded Cherry

#15 User is offline   stumblinman 

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:35 AM

Guitar has been shipped back. Decided to get Epi LP Tribute Plus instead in Vintage Sunburst. Already have another guitar with hotter pickups, so no need to double up. Plus the pickup combo along with the other features seemed like a good fit for what I intend to use it for. Backordered, of course, so the waiting game begins!

Also, when I started this thread, there were 8 used at musiciansfriend.com and now they are up to 11. Never seen such a high number of returns.
Colossians 3:16


-StumblinMan



2007 Epiphone LP 100 -Grover Tuners, Seymour Duncan Custom 5 Bridge, Gibson P-94R neck.
2011 Epiphone 1960 Tribute Plus in Black Cherry
2010 Ebony 1956 Les Paul Reissue with P-90's
1976 Epiphone El Dorado Acoustic -Work in progress, gift from Father in Laws closet from his Navy days..
Line6 Pod HD500
Blackstar HT Club 40
Fender Frontman 212R
Marshall 8020 Valvestate 20W

#16 User is offline   stumblinman 

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:56 AM

Picked up my Tribute Plus today. I'll post pics and update info after I've played it a bit. Hard to put it down to take time to do that other stuff, it's too damn nice to play. Don't regret dumping that POS Ultra III at all.
Colossians 3:16


-StumblinMan



2007 Epiphone LP 100 -Grover Tuners, Seymour Duncan Custom 5 Bridge, Gibson P-94R neck.
2011 Epiphone 1960 Tribute Plus in Black Cherry
2010 Ebony 1956 Les Paul Reissue with P-90's
1976 Epiphone El Dorado Acoustic -Work in progress, gift from Father in Laws closet from his Navy days..
Line6 Pod HD500
Blackstar HT Club 40
Fender Frontman 212R
Marshall 8020 Valvestate 20W

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