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  1. You can go to Reverb.com, type in the guitar and see if any are for sale and what sellers are asking. There is some way you can see what they have sold for too but I've not done that.
  2. Any electrical experience? Easy! Put an ohmmeter on the output cable and split the coils on that pickup. Should read around 7-8K ohm and about half that when split. That'll show you if the split is working. Then touch one lead on the metal case of that pickup with the other on the tailpiece, should read 0 and show the pickup is grounded. I got my cheap multimeter at Harbor Freight (in the US) on sale for less than $10, worth every penny.
  3. Touch a wire from the tailpiece to the outside of the metal output jack (grounded part) or the input jack on the amp. Just checking to see if the internal ground wire is good.
  4. From what I can see in your pic the wrench socket on the truss rod looks fine. I can see the bottom flats that look perfect with no damage. Unfortunately, I've learned to have a very low opinion of GC techs, I don't trust them at all and they don't touch my guitars. It is possible the tech himself used the wrong sized wrench or maybe a worn wrench that slipped. It is likely that the tech doesn't know what he's doing and the guitar is fine. If the neck plays OK now he must have adjusted it correctly. I would take it to a small local shop and have a good tech look at it. I saw on their website recently that GC gives a 2 year warranty on the guitars they sell. You could take it back to them and scream until they take it back. What I did was watched a few videos on YT and learned how to adjust the truss rod myself. Watch a few different videos to really understand it, I just checked and found about a dozen good videos. It is very simple and really easy once you figure it out and I've adjusted a couple of my guitars with perfect results. The first I had to adjust was my Gibson LP and I was nervous and very careful to only make tiny adjustments but it is now better than new. Changes in the weather (temp and humidity) can cause the neck to move. Totally normal to have to adjust them once in a while.
  5. If it is a lower-end model and the refinish is factory quality it might not affect the value much at all, at least not in a negative way. I don't think originality makes as much difference at the lower end as it does at the higher levels. There are so many Tributes and Studios out there that a nicely-done refinish might be popular. Those models are bought to be played, not collected. I've got a 2019 Tribute LP with Iced Tea nitro finish. I've been considering adding some red and brown to the sunburst then a few coats of clear and hand polish to a gloss on the front face only, leaving the back and sides in satin. In this case I'd be doing it for me, to have something different and I don't plan to ever sell it so don't care about the value.
  6. The Plus models have the transparent quilted maple tops in one of 4 colors. The sides and backs are satin painted. The Plus has a booster amp built in so there is a 9-volt battery box inset into the back. Others had no amp and no battery. All four pots are P-P, two coil split, one phase reversal and one turns on the booster amp. The most important difference is that the Plus models have the US-made Gibson '57 pickups and sound fantastic. Unfortunately they are not marked. Gibson sells those pickups separately for over $300 for the pair and I got the guitar on sale for $600. AFAIK they were a special run, only made in 2018 and have that date and Limited Edition on the back of the headstock. Guitar Center still shows one in stock, a light blue color that I don't care for. But this shows pics and specs: Epiphone Les Paul Traditional PRO-III Plus Limited Edition Electric Guitar | Guitar Center
  7. GC/MF have a 10% Veteran's discount everyday. All brands so often the only price break on Fender and Gibson and others that are rarely marked down. Not on sale items but good on price drops, even temporary. MF gives 8% in reward points, if you look at it like money that is 18% off everything I buy there. MF also price matches GC (same parent company), they don't always have the same items on sale at the same time.
  8. I'm living on SS so thought that I'd never be able to afford a real Gibson unless used. Saw many advertised but don't really know enough to buy a used guitar in the price range most were listed for. Guitar Center showed the Les Paul Studio Tribute 2019 and I watched it for months. The price got down to $929 (from $1200) and on a whim in June I called and talked with a sales rep. He said yes I would get the 10% Veteran discount and they probably didn't have any new ones but a few stores showed more than one and a couple might still be new-in-the-box. I ordered one and he attached a note to the order stating that I wanted a new one if possible. They only had the Satin Iced Tea Burst left in stock but I like that finish. The virus slowed things down as many stores were closed while I anxiously awaited word of what guitar I'd be getting. I called to check the order about a week later and was told that there were no new ones left and I could cancel if I wanted. The rep told me that many open-box guitars are like new, especially those hanging on the top rows where it takes a tall ladder to reach. I decided to wait and see what I got, I could always return it if not happy. I prepared myself for the worst when I drove to the store to pick up the guitar I had shipped in. A generic box with no Gibson logo told me it wasn't new but I was speechless to find that my guitar was flawless and beautiful. Not a scratch or mark on it, not even a pick mark on the plastic protecting the pickguard. Came in the soft case with all the goodies including the bench pic, wow it is nicer than I'd dreamed! I've had it a couple of weeks now and it is fantastic. I have a dozen guitars to compare it to (no Gibson but Fender, Gretsch, G&L, Epi and Squier) and the build quality and fit and finish and fretwork are as good as the best I own, it is perfect. It is a joy just to hold it in my hands and I love just looking at it. But it also plays great and sounds fantastic! Some here wouldn't like the dot inlays or satin finish or 490 pickups but I love it and it is still a real US made Les Paul with mahogany body and carved maple top. The satin finish neck feels smooth and fast and I like the maple, it is likely stronger than mahogany and the headstock may not break so easily. The body has been weight relieved and it hangs more like a Strat or Tele than my full-body Epi LP. And it still rings forever, the sustain is amazing. To sum it up this is a fantastic guitar for not much money and I recommend it highly. I got mine for a great price ($831!!) and feel lucky to have found it. Performance has always mattered more than looks or style so this model is perfect for me. It's not got the expensive bells and whistles that add cost but the basics and heart are there and I can upgrade the pickups and electronics and tuners if I want. These are still shown on the GC website today if someone wants one. Hard to tell the condition you might get but maybe it's worth a shot.
  9. On Jan 1 I decided to learn to play guitar. It's something I've always wanted to do but found reasons to put it off. Now I'm retired, have the time and stopped making excuses. Two of my brothers and all of my best friends play (mostly guitar) and I ran sound in the '80s so know the basics. I've gone a little crazy and collected quite a few guitars already. My advice (for what it's worth) 1. Listen to as many styles/types as you can and decide what sound you want and what type of music you want to play. There are a million videos on YT demonstrating the sound of guitars to help you decide. Wear headphones. 2. There are some videos listing the "four guitars everyone should own", usually the Tele, Strat, Les Paul and ES335. Each of those has a distinctive sound that is unique to that instrument. All 4 are important in the history of electric music. 3. I wanted the "classic" sound so bought a Strat with 3 single-coils and a Tele with 2 single-coils, IOW I didn't want an HH Tele or HSS or HSH Strat because they probably won't have the exact sound I expect. Jimi, Eric and Stevie all played Strats with SSS pickups. Later I will buy some with non-standard configurations. 4. I have 3 guitars made in China (two Epis and a Squier) and 5 from Indonesia (two G&L, two Gretsch and a Squier) and believe the Indonesian models are superior. All of these were from $250-$400 (on sale) and all are great guitars for the money. I know you can't make a blanket statement (like all XXXXX guitars are better) but in those I own the Indo are perfect and all 3 Chinese have small flaws, but they are still 98% perfect. Just My Opinion. If you want a Fender, the Mexican (MIM) models are fantastic at around $700 new. Many great players use them, gig with them and agree that they are probably the best bang-for-the-buck in the industry. It is hard to tell the difference between the $700 MIM and the $2000 American versions, they're that good. The G&L Tribute series is around $500 (less when on sale) and worth a serious look because they're almost as good as the MIM Fenders for less money. The G&L MFD pickups sound incredible because they were invented by Leo Fender. All G&L guitars, even the imports, have pickups made in the US. Gretsch Streamliners ($450-$550) are fantastic if you want a semi or hollowbody, I love the two I own. I'm living on SS and have to pinch my pennies so watch for sales and haven't bought any guitars I didn't get a discount on. But you'll see that most retailers sell everything at list and that amazes me. I've signed up for Guitar Center and Musician's Friend sale emails and have bought mostly from those two because they seem to have the most frequent and best sales. I just ordered a Gibson Les Paul Tribute and it hasn't shipped yet. It will be my most expensive guitar and I can't wait to hear how it sounds and how it compares to what I already own.
  10. The treble bleed circuit is a great idea and I would add it to anything that doesn't have it. To me this is a necessity. But the others aren't necessary but cool to have. Some like the single-coil sound and phase switching and others don't. My Epi LP has both and I do like them and they do add other voices that will make your guitar more versatile. I have a twin-HB Squier Telecaster that has 3-wire pickups that can't be split so I'm replacing those pups. An HH Tele with coil splitting should give me a nice tele twang along with the full-range HB sound. Search on youtube, there are bunches of videos demonstrating these options.
  11. I bought a set of locking Grover tuners off ebay for $70 a set (for black) and they are perfection. As to the pickups you'll just have to research youtube and try some to find the sound you want. Start with some less expensive imports first, I've known lots of players who were happy with them. You don't always have to go with the name brands (at $100 each). I don't like the really cheap Amazon sets but the GFS from Guitar Fetish are popular and many seem to like their sound. They make good wiring kits too, and sell them for decent prices. I'm planning to get a set of their HB-sized P-90s for my Epi SG. Guitar Fetish sells lots of bridges and tailpieces too. https://www.guitarfetish.com/
  12. Another quick point: the pots in these Epis are not the best quality. My new guitar shipped with a faulty push-pull tone pot and the shaft came completely out when I pulled it. I called Epi customer service and they sent me a new pot (and GC will change it when I schedule the repair). The pots are the small cheap ones that come in less-expensive import guitars. Eventually I'll replace mine with better quality pieces.
  13. Thanks for the comments! Sadly, this model is not part of the new 2020 lineup.
  14. No, I don't think they sell replacement parts. You can find some pieces/parts on ebay as people disassemble guitars to sell separate pieces. But very few of them are really "Epiphone" parts, most are generic and not made by Epi. For example, I ordered a black pickup selector switch off Amazon that is exactly like the Epi part, so exact I'm sure it's the same switch from the same factory. While Fender, Gibson and G&L are famous for making their own pickups I believe the Epis are made in some generic Chinese factory. I replaced many of the pieces on my LP (to black it out) by ordering them from Amazon and the bridge/tailpiece (an exact replacement) from Guitar Fetish. Every generic piece is as good quality as the Epi original. I show before/after pics in this thread:
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