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Everything posted by bobouz

  1. For the most tonal variety: Do not pass go, do not collect $200, move directly to a P90 Casino!
  2. The non-Hooker AIUSA Sheratons were only available for one brief period. The Hooker model was being discontinued, and Gibson blew the remaining guitars out the door through MF, minus the JLH labels. They went for $1000 (actually $999), and really were quite the bargain. All of that said, your Elitist Sheraton is a wonderful guitar, and like the AIUSA, the body is made by Terada in Japan. Seeing as these also are no longer being produced, consider yourself a lucky guy!
  3. Well, something is not jiving here. The guitar looks like the John Lee Hooker Sheraton USA model that was closed out minus the JLH moniker (and sold for $1000). The headstock, logo, and mini-humbuckers all look right. The body on that model was made by Terada in Japan and shipped to Gibson for assembly & electronics. A VERY nice guitar, if that indeed is what it is. Now here's the problem. The serial number corresponds to a 2003 guitar made in Korea by Peerless. So what gives? The Peerless company would certainly be capable of making such a guitar, but if it's truly made by Peerless, the value is going to be less than a Terada made Sheraton.
  4. FWIW, a single pickup vintage Casino with a headstock repair is currently selling for $2100 at Elderly (it's been there a while!). Two pickup versions always go for considerably more. If I really liked the one you have & the seller were willing to take closer to $1000 off for the repair, then it would be worth considering if I planned to keep it. Had a 1919 Gibson 'A' mandolin for many years with a new headstock to replace one that had broken off. Wonderful instrument - should have kept it (but did manage to get all my money out of it later in trade).
  5. bobouz

    New ES 339

    Kenny, when I purchased my 339 last year, I was fortunate enough to be able to choose from three in stock (between two GCs). One sounded great, while the other two paled by comparison, I kid you not. Luckily the winner in tone also had the best overall playability as well. Earlier this year, the same experience played out (literally) when purchasing an Elitist Casino. Three were in stock at the same store (not a GC). Once again, one had a superior tone & playability (and the other two also had slightly twisted necks!). Lastly, about four months ago, I purchased a Martin OM-1. Once again, there were three in stock between two GCs. This time, the tone was pretty close on all three, but the playability on one was far & away better. Moral of the story: No matter who the builder, each guitar will be different, and you are far better off if you can play before you buy. That said, if the guitar you're after simply never shows up locally, going the mail order route is really not a scary proposition, as long as the return policy is similar to MF's. I have done this once, and it was a breeze. Just be prepared to eat the shipping!
  6. I have a '09 Elitist Casino and a '04 Korean Peerless Casino. The Elitist has better overall build quality and the Gibson made P90s, but the Peerless version also has it's own unique tone & feel, so I've decided to keep it as well. You might choose to keep both or just one, but really, don't get too hung up on the visual-vintage details. After all, these are simply overseas factory guitars, no matter what country they're being pumped out of. Btw, the now discontinued Lennon-USA version did not originate in the USA as noted in the above chart. The body was built by Terada in Japan (the same folks that build the Elitists) and then shipped to Gibson for electronics & final assembly. It is definitely the closest to true vintage specs, and is widely considered to be the best of the Casino reissues.
  7. Can only tell you for sure that I'm very pleased with the tone & build quality of my natural finish '06. The earlist Memphis produced hollowbodies I recall playing around '02 were rather shoddily put together, IMHO.
  8. FWIW, I've heard it said a number of times that Epi's P90s were improved around 2003, and that their P90s in general hold their own quite well when compared to other brands. Of course, all of this is incredibly subjective, as noted above. Also agree that this one component (the pickup), by no means tells the final story in your sound. That job, more than anything else, is left to your amp & speaker.
  9. I've generally put a small amount of superglue on nuts to keep them in place. No big deal, it should still pop right off. Protect your fretboard & put a flat item against the front of the nut that can be struck lightly with a hammer, and it should pop right off without taking off much, if any, of the surrounding wood. If you doused it heavily with superglue, that's another story & I'd probably leave it alone.
  10. This particular model is still made in Korea, but who knows what factory Epi is now using. Go to Sweetwater's Guitar Gallery and you can view three that are currently in stock (note the "made in Korea" on the back of the headstocks). As for which year is better, the earlier Samick made stuff is highly regarded, but so are the later Peerless built versions. Some believe the pickups were improved on the later Peerless models (around '03 I believe). I have a '04 Casino made by Peerless, and the build quality is quite impressive.
  11. Same with my '06 335, but no COA, just custom on the case. Makes no difference, imho, since there's really no "custom" work going on here. Even more so with the 339. I've got the case, COA, sticker on the back of the neck & custom shop serial number, but these are all just assembly line guitars. The only thing that matters is whether or not you get one that puts a smile on your face when you play it!
  12. Try taking it to an authorized Gibson/Epi repair shop, and see if they'll go to bat for you. You can look up locations on-line.
  13. This is an interesting issue. There have been a number of samples of this model pictured at Sweetwater.com with both painted and unpainted F holes. Personally, it really bugs me to see sloppily painted F holes, and apparently it bothers you a lot, too. If you can still return it, you might consider doing so & then look for a nice example with unpainted F holes. If you're unable to find one in stock locally, Sweetwater lets you view pics of each guitar & you'll be able to check out the F holes, wood grain, etc. Also note that the F holes on the Elitist Casino are unpainted, so that might be another option.
  14. Although I love natural finishes & am fortunate enough to have a 335 with one, Gibson's upcharge for natural & custom colors seems a bit over the top. As far as wood selection, my red 339 has beautiful pieces both front & back that could easily have been selected for a natural finish, so it's probably more a matter of being able to extract a greater degree of profit from the sale. Interestingly, Martin does just the opposite by charging more for sunburst finishes.
  15. Indeed, there are things more important than the finish. This summer I purchased a Elitist Casino with a finish flaw on the headstock (a ripple through the logo when held under direct light). I'd been thinking about buying this model for quite some time, and finally found three in stock at one store. This particular guitar stood out above the other two in tone, playability, and overall choice of woods. Unfortunately, I'm a picky son of a gun & noticed the finish flaw. In the end, it still came home with me, and I'm glad it did.
  16. Had a '72 Gibson Heritage Custom acoustic marked as a second. A very nice guitar, and there was no visible flaw.
  17. I am a satisfied Elitist Casino owner, but have to say that the USA version (even though the body is made by Terada in Japan like the Elitist) is considered to be a cut above the rest & is probably worth the extra money. That said, a good Elitist will get you pretty darn close, but they do vary in tone. I was fortunate enough to sample three Elitists together, and only one seriously spoke to me.
  18. The sad thing is that Gibson will just ship it out & try to sell it with that sloppy workmanship. If they still marked guitars as seconds & sold them at a discount, that would be perfectly reasonable (and the right thing to do).
  19. Yes, the Songbird should be the same as the well-regarded MIK Peerless Casino, with a different headstock.
  20. The EP-90 pickup is used in both the Elitist and IBJL. You might try calling Gibson's customer service & explain your circumstances. Maybe they'll sell you one at a good price. The bridge & neck pickups are both labeled EP-90, so you'd want be specific re the bridge unit.
  21. There's a lot of variation in Gibson's nitro over the last decade. I currently own or have owned a lot of Gibson electrics & acoustics from this period as well as some from the '90s. While all have been kept in the same environment, some have developed checking cracks while others have not. Some on the body, some on the headstock, one acoustic around the bridge, some with very straight cracks, some with the squiggly old look - there's no rhyme or reason to it. If you wait for it to occur naturally, you might get a pleasing effect, or you might not. My advice would be to have a pro do it, like Gord Miller, or trade for one that already meets your ideal vision. If you try it yourself, you'll most likely decrease the value of the instrument.
  22. This thread makes me feel a lot less guilty about owning fourteen guitars! Only one happens to be an Elitist: a natural finish Casino. As for why the Elitist Casino is still being made, I would guess that it is precisely because it is the only one that sells well & is significantly profitable.
  23. I believe the run of blue studios I referred to in 2004 produced 250 guitars. Yours may be similar in number, and you might never see anything else about it, other than stumbling upon a photo someday from another owner. Shortly after getting my '04 blue studio, I happened to take a trip to Nashville, and there was another new one sitting in Gibson's store near the Opry. Aside from that and a photo from a fellow who bought one in Canada, I've never seen another.
  24. Buying a guitar you haven't played with a "no return" clause is just asking for trouble. Steer clear of this one.
  25. If you're near Portland, take it to Char Guitars (charguitars.com) to be assessed. He is an authorized Gibson repair site & has a very good reputation.
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