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NGD - Epiphone AJ-18 SCE

#1 User is offline   OldGuitarPlayer 

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:50 AM

Hi there folks. I have not been here in awhile but recently acquired a used 1998 Epiphone AJ-18 SCE with the old Electar Shadow pickup system. I was wondering if anyone here has owned one and what your impressions of it were or are? Now the guitar plays nicely and has very little wear for a 14 yr old guitar. Here is the problem...when I went to check out the guitar plugged in the D & G strings were much lower in volume compared to the other strings. Upon further inspection it was discovered that saddle was made of very cheap flimsy plastic that was being bent forward and was misshapen due to the stress of the strings pulling on it. Also the saddle has to sit in this plastic insert inside the bridge. After seeing this the shop repair tech made me a new bone saddle under warranty so no charge. After the tech made me a new saddle I tried out the guitar plugged in at the shop and there was a big improvement and all seemed to work fine that is... until I decided to use the guitar on a gig. Of course when I plug in at the gig I get no sound and no signal from the pickup except a slight buzzing noise and nothing else. I am bringing the guitar back in for repair since it's is still under the store's 90 day warranty but I am wondering if any members of the forum have had this same problem with this type of pickup system. I really like the guitar and now with a bone saddle the acoustic tone has also improved as well compared to when it had the plastic one. I just really need an electric acoustic and I was hoping this one would fit the bill.

Here is a picture of the same guitar I snagged off the web since I don't have a camera right now.

Posted Image
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#2 User is offline   mgrasso 

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:16 AM

The AJ-18, in my opinion, is a great guitar.
I have the 12 string version without the cutaway and electrics.
Posted Image


Posted Image


Posted Image

Action is smooth. Sound is booming.
$140 including bag.
I keep looking at e-bay for the electric cutaway version to add to keep the 12 company.
I'm sure your tech will figure out how to fix the electric problem you are having.
Enjoy.

Mark
Electric
'91 Epiphone S-300, Black | '93 Yamaha Pacifica, Natural | '96 Epiphone Casino, VS | '96 Epiphone Sorrento, OR | '97 Epiphone Del Rey, Cherry Sunburst | '97 Epiphone Dot, Natural | '00 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Plus | '04 Fender Nashville Telecaster | '04 Samick JZ-3, VS | '06 Epiphone Emperor Regent, VSB | '06 Epiphone Riviera, Cherry | '10 Epiphone Limited Edition Les Paul SC, TV Yellow | '11 Epiphone ES-355, White | '12 50th Anniversary "1962" Sheraton E212TV, Cherry | '14 50th Anniversary "1962" Crestwood, Cherry

Acoustic
'73 Epiphone FT 135 Cortez | '00 Epiphone AJ 18S-12 NA | '01 Takamine GB | '05 Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500P | '05 Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500MNS | '06 Martin DC Aura | '07 Breedlove Atlas AD25/SM Plus | '11 Epiphone Hummingbird | '12 Epiphone AJ-220S | '14 Epiphone EJ-200sce
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#3 User is offline   OldGuitarPlayer 

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:45 AM

 mgrasso, on 01 April 2012 - 07:16 AM, said:

The AJ-18, in my opinion, is a great guitar.
I have the 12 string version without the cutaway and electrics.
Posted Image


Posted Image


Posted Image

Action is smooth. Sound is booming.
$140 including bag.
I keep looking at e-bay for the electric cutaway version to add to keep the 12 company.
I'm sure your tech will figure out how to fix the electric problem you are having.
Enjoy.



Mark


Wow that is a beautiful 12 string. I didn't know there was such a model. If I could ever find one used around here at a decent price I'd probably grab it too. The AJ-18 SCE wasn't really sold around here at any shops in the mid 1990's that I can recall so I was pretty surprised when I saw one at the used guitar shop. Epiphone electric guitars were plentiful but acoustics not so much.

I am sure the tech will find out what the problem is with the electronics. I really like the sound and feel of the guitar acoustically. It has a woody blues tone which is nice for fingerpicking. Just the right amount of bass and treble. Very balanced tone. It gives great dynamics played either softly or loud. For a 14 year old guitar it has no structural issues that I can see and the neck angle is perfect considering it's age. No cracks on the top anywhere and the back has just the normal wear from rubbing against someone's clothes. There is a couple small dings on the headstock and one small ding in the finish on the top near the binding near the end pin side. The guitar feels nice and has really broken in from the previous player however it has not been abused. The solid spruce top has a nice aged dark color to it and I think the solid top really makes the difference in tone.
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#4 User is offline   LPDEN 

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:50 AM

Two very nice AJ-18's!!! I bet time has really matured the niceness of the sound of those through their solid tops! They both appear to be in excellent shape too. Posted Image
-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
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#5 User is offline   LPDEN 

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:53 AM

Mark, is that a dual truss rod design on your 12-string? I ask becuase some had been made with larger diameter single truss rods.. Not necessarily Epi models, but other brands.
-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
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#6 User is offline   OldGuitarPlayer 

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:55 AM

 LPDEN, on 01 April 2012 - 07:50 AM, said:

Two very nice AJ-18's!!! I bet time has really matured the niceness of the sound of those through their solid tops! They both appear to be in excellent shape too. Posted Image


The one in my photo is not my actual guitar (I don't have a camera) it's a pic of one I found on the web but you are right mine is in really great shape too. I also agree that the maturity of the solid top really gives this guitar some character and sounds "broken" in.
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#7 User is offline   mgrasso 

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:03 AM

I was really surprised with this Epi.Two weeks prior, I missed out on a PR-350 12 string for $99 used at GC (where I got my 18)The PR was another great player with a solid top.Since I was not there to buy, I left without it.It sold that week.
This opened my I and search for late 90's - early 00's Epi acoustics. Especially with solid tops and to my surprise, there seem to be many models that I was not aware of.These have great sustain and just ring.Friends that have Martins, Taylors, even Rainsongs are surprised by Epiphones quality and cost point.Of course I have my luthier setup and replace plastic with with bone. So they play and sound great.


Electric
'91 Epiphone S-300, Black | '93 Yamaha Pacifica, Natural | '96 Epiphone Casino, VS | '96 Epiphone Sorrento, OR | '97 Epiphone Del Rey, Cherry Sunburst | '97 Epiphone Dot, Natural | '00 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Plus | '04 Fender Nashville Telecaster | '04 Samick JZ-3, VS | '06 Epiphone Emperor Regent, VSB | '06 Epiphone Riviera, Cherry | '10 Epiphone Limited Edition Les Paul SC, TV Yellow | '11 Epiphone ES-355, White | '12 50th Anniversary "1962" Sheraton E212TV, Cherry | '14 50th Anniversary "1962" Crestwood, Cherry

Acoustic
'73 Epiphone FT 135 Cortez | '00 Epiphone AJ 18S-12 NA | '01 Takamine GB | '05 Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500P | '05 Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500MNS | '06 Martin DC Aura | '07 Breedlove Atlas AD25/SM Plus | '11 Epiphone Hummingbird | '12 Epiphone AJ-220S | '14 Epiphone EJ-200sce
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