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  1. Hello Jonathan, No problem for the delay: "better late than never" πŸ™‚ In the last email with Epiphone Customer Service technicians, they excluded to be able to fix the guitar (besides no longer in production), so I was offered a change with a guitar of equal value (not necessarily an Explorer: important point). As I've just written maybe there could be the possibility of a change with the Lzzy Hale model, but I find it a little bit garish (expressing a personal view, "de gustibus") so -as you all already mentioned- the best thing is to forget about the damn issue and play the guitar. When not in use I expose it to the september sun with a cardboard β€œmask” on, hoping the sunbathing will improve a little the difference in color, although at best it will take years. πŸ˜… Oh well, I have time, patience… and many other guitars to play in the meantime πŸ˜‚πŸ˜πŸ˜‡
  2. Well, I actually thought the sunlight darkened guitar finishes, but in this particular case it does the opposite 'cause under the pickguard the color is darker, so here's the explanation. Another thing: after some back and forth emails with Epiphone Customer Service, they offered to send a courier to have the guitar picked up from my place directly. Their repair technicians would check the instrument, and if it was not possibile to fix the issue then they would give me another guitar of the same model, BUT since Lee Malia Explorer are no longer in production, there is the good chance/risk that they give me back a different model of similar value. So before starting all this process, I thought I’d take a preliminary look at the new Epiphone catalogue, so I discovered that, among all the signature models, there is just the Lzzy Hale Explorer, which means this: https://www.thomann.de/it/epiphone_lzzy_hale_explorer_outfit_aw.htm that’s almost comparable, but with all due respect I’ll stick with the Lee Malia, both aesthetically and technically πŸ™‚ So we agreed to ask their techs first (looking at my photos, too) what is best to do. And here end today's news! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‡
  3. Holy moly, what a beauties! 😡😎 Congratulations, they're really stunning. Regarding those little annoying unintentional damages to loved items, trust me: I know the feeling only too well! πŸ˜‚
  4. Yes, of course I played it a little, and I do see your point: sure it’s not serious damage and it does not affect the sound, but you know how it is: the look always goes there. πŸ˜‚ Besides, I like to use my guitars like design objects to be exposed in a special room of my home, full of music and many beautiful arts and crafts objects so, it'd be better if there wasn't that spot on the instrument but hey, even if it doesn’t work out, it's alright. πŸ€— Meantime, on the practical side, I started to expose the guitar to direct afternoon light, shielded by a white cardboard except for the spotted area by means of a circular hole. Let's see what we got πŸ€”
  5. Ceptorman, I already replied to the email, saying that whatever the cause of the issue, this has nothing to do with the "huge discount" the store (by the way an official dealer Gibson/Epiphone here in Milan, Italy) applied to the instrument itself. The selling price is not up for discussion: I could have even omitted the detail. I also pointed out that I was just asking how to fix the problem. This -as a Customer Service- is β€œwhat I expected from them now”. And if, for any reason, it’s not possibile to replace the item, well, I’ll settle for a mere opinion. I will not fail to inform you, don't worry. I'm not giving up. πŸ˜‰
  6. Here I am again: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jjvnpuo8i3mxtlb/Under pickguard_01.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/u6g740e7azzyrb6/Under pickguard_02.jpg?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/o8y6cods9keb9j8/Under pickguard_03.jpg?dl=0 Well, it seems under the pickguard the finish is darker, so I think I'm leaning toward the sunlight damage/lightening. What do you think? What can I do? πŸ€”
  7. OMG, this is a stroke of genius! How did I not think about it before? Thank you: I'll do it now and then I'll post a picture. In this way, we will know better how to act. Thanks again, nice touch πŸ‘
  8. Hello Ceptorman, Well, I sent an email with the pictures you already saw to the Epiphone European Customer Service, giving them all the necessary informations to evaluate the issue. And this is the answer I received just few minutes ago: "Thanks for the pictures.The sticker should have been taken off of course, because now you’re seeing color differences! It does not make a difference if the underside is black or white, the sun/light does its work as well." So they think the problem was caused by the sunlight? Good to know... "As you had the guitar with a huge discount already, I am not sure what you expect from me now. I can send you an Epiphone clip on strobe tuner as a courtesy if you like but then I would need your address and telephone number please." End of email. ??? First of all, the "huge discount" was applied by the store, certainly not from Epiphone. It was the store that gave up to earn more money, not Epiphone Customer Service. Secondly, let me say that I do not like the way it sounds. In my first contact (the form on the Epi website), I only asked if they already have seen such an issue and, according to their experience, what can I do about this. I'm only a customer with an issue, not a beggar. Very disappointed.
  9. Just bought an Epiphone Limitied Edition Lee Malia Explorer Custom Artisan I have to say the case candy is very rich. 😎 Oh, and even the bag is premium quality, the Epi logo is not merely printed but embroidered. Anyway, here is the content: https://www.dropbox.com/s/eilr9tylg64gjuz/Epiphone Lee Malia case candy.jpg?dl=0
  10. OMG it's trueeee: you have a good eye, Ceptorman! I thought it was a "bubble" under the sticker that caused that lighter "ring" in the dark spot. But no, the letters of the sticker are almost "printed" over the finish. https://www.dropbox.com/s/pn2npkvahx8zg2h/Letters printed.jpg?dl=0 This suggests to me that maybe the letters (transparent-white color) let some sunlight filters through the sticker itself, https://www.dropbox.com/s/xpdsvx1fdjaoxgk/transparency.jpg?dl=0 ,or maybe the black part of the sticker released some substance over time: really, I don't know. Sure I will try first a strong home cleaner/degreaser (here in Italy the most popular and vigorous cleaner is definitely Chanteclair https://www.chanteclair.it/pulizia-della-casa/sgrassatori-universali) πŸ˜†πŸ˜‚ I've never thought I'd use it for guitars, but it really deserves a try using a Q-tip, better if in a small area usually covered by the knobs πŸ˜€ Let's see what happens...
  11. More photos: back: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lz2sefzp751l0az/Back.jpg?dl=0 it should be noted the hidden single coil front close up: https://www.dropbox.com/s/a6cyggb4vmd82y7/Close_up.jpg?dl=0 I'm not sure but maybe a spot (sure, less noticeable) is around the other pots too?
  12. As promised, here are some photos: back: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lz2sefzp751l0az/Back.jpg?dl=0 it should be noted the hidden single coil front close up: https://www.dropbox.com/s/a6cyggb4vmd82y7/Close_up.jpg?dl=0 I'm not sure but maybe a spot (sure, less noticeable) is around the other pots too?
  13. Ok, the right product has been identified. By the way it's cheap, it's in my country and it could be delivered within one or two days, which is great πŸ˜‰ Now we just have to figure out if the issue could be fixed by chemical (Xylol/Xylene) or phisical (sunlight, steel wool etc.) means. Or both. Meanwhile I think I will begin to remove all the plastic protective films and take a look inside the guitar. Oh, and of course to play it. 😍 Soon I'll show some pictures of the inside... πŸ€“ Let's see how Epiphone has worked this time πŸ˜…
  14. Hello Leonard. Thanks for you kind reply. Actually I was also thinking to a damage caused by exposure to light. What I knew is that UV rays usually tend to darken the guitars finish, but in this case the dark spot is under the area shielded by the factory sticker, as you rightly said. I just checked on Google Maps the position of the store and, in detail, the wall where the guitar was hanged. When I went back to the guitar store the clerk said me it was usually hit by the afternoon light (for how long?) through the glass window. So maybe I could build a simple white carboard/paper mask with a circular hole and place it just over the dark spot, then expose gradually the guitar to the september sunset light with the window open (no IR rays, just UV!). Are you absolutely sure the sunlight usually lightens the guitar top? If unfortunately the finish gets dark, it could be a big mess πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚
  15. Hello again, Ceptorman πŸ˜€ Oh man, the guitar is really a beauty: I own many others, but I'm not tired of admire it. The hearts and curls all over the fretboard reminds me of a medieval lute, the cognac-color top lightens the aesthetics of the instrument emphasizing the gold hardware, that already shows a lovely patina. But the guitar it's not only appearance: oh, no. Gibson pickup (Humbucker & P90) especially designed for this model and an hidden pickup inside the body, so when the HB is splitted or the P90 is selected alone, there's no hum! Brilliant. Premium bag included, and even the case candy is very rich: lots of certificates, sticker, manual and even gold locking strap button too: such luxury! 😍 Sir, I'm on my honeymoon πŸ˜‚
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