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About YerDugliness

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  • Birthday December 30

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  1. I have mod'd almost every guitar I've owned for almost all of my life...here is what I think: If you feel your guitar's tone is lacking, the first thing to change from plastic to bone is the saddle...just be aware that your bridge must be firmly attached to the soundboard...and you will notice a greater difference if your soundboard is solid wood than if it is a laminate product. There will also be a difference in tonal inprovement depending on whether your guitar is rather new and the cells are still full of cytoplasm, or if the guitar has some age on it and the wood has had a chance to "age in", which results from the cytoplasm inside the cells drying up and therefore creating more "resonant space" inside the cells. Imagine the difference in tone you will percieve if you tap a wine glass with thin walls compared to tapping an equivalent wine glass with thick walls...the one with thin walls will ring much more loudly as well as longer...try it! As for the nut, I always change that out at the same time I change out the saddle and with the same product...I like the appearance when both match! Changing out the nut has little, if any, impact on the guitar's tone...but I usually detect better sustain. That is not the reason to change out the nut, though. The real reason I change out the nut is longevity. The wound strings can have much the same effect as a nut-file (which is actually just a very small, precisely sized rat-tailed file), and over time the wound strings will cause the plastic nut to wear the nut slots deeper...and then you need a new nut, anyway, so get both done at the same time, you'll save $$ and the aggravation of having to replace the nut later (...and at a time when it is usually decidedly inconvenient...Murphy's Law is ALWAYS in effect)!!! As for the bridge pins, I agree that there is no impact on tone, volume or sustain...but sometimes bone pins can be problematic because variations in temperature and humidity can cause the wood from which the bridge is made to swell and shrink. If you replace the plastic pins with bone (or ivory, fossilized walrus tusk,etc.) at a time when the wood is at low humidity and the holes for the bridge pins are enlarged (and most of us make sure the bridge pins are pressed into the bridge's holes quite firmly) when the wood from which the bridge is made swells with increased humidity there is a good chance that the bridge can develop splits/cracks from the increased "grip". If you really need to change out your bridge pins, get wooden pins and splitting will not be a problem. As for going to larger size strings, I always notice the increase in volume...but if I need greater volume I just switch to a heavier gauge flatpick and I get greater volume without having to suffer from the increased tension on the neck and the increased wear/tear on the fingertips on my left hand caused by the heavier strings (yes, I am right handed). I haven't even started on the differences these changes/improvements make on guitars equipped with spruce soundboards as compared to cedar soundboards (or even redwood soundboards, with which both my concert grade Hippner classical guitar and my custom shop Breedlove 000 Revival instruments are constructed)...another time?? Gotta admit, though... my favorite guitar, by far, and the one that gets the most play time, is my beloved Epuphone AJ500RC!!! It is still box-stock and I use .011-.053 light gauge strings....changed the strings out just today. Man, I loves me the sound of some new strings!!! Cheers!! "Dugly"
  2. I noticed that Epi makes an "Elitist" version of the Texan. This was surprising to me b/c I thought all of the Elitist offerings by Epi were electric guitars, didn't know they made any acoustic Elitist guitars. ...you'd better have deep pockets, though...I looked at the price....OUCH!!! It's kind of like trying to by a McLaren...if you have to ask about the price, it's too much. Still...I'd like to hear one. I already own one $4,000 acoustic guitar, not sure I need a second. Cheers! Dugly B)
  3. Just remembered something interesting about the guy I mentioned. His name was ******* Joplin...he said Janis Joplin was his 3rd cousin. Not surprisingly, he had a zillion stories about her...sounded like she might have been a bit rowdy (says he with tongue squarely pressed against cheek). Cheers! Enjoy that axe! Dugly
  4. A participant in the monthly Pearl, TX bluegrass jams played a 6-string guitar marked "Epiphone by Gibson". It was an incredibly well made guitar, played easily and sounded great! You are a lucky individual, indeed, to have acquired one! Cheers!! Dugly
  5. Great choice!!! Dings? I don't see no steenkin' dings!!! I like it more than I wanted to. At first all I bought were dreads and then I started moving to less sizable interests and forgot all about GASing for large ones. Sure do like that slope-shouldered look, though. NS=Natural Satin? Not a fan of pickguards, either...but it can be quite easily removed. Did I mention how much i sure do like that slope shouldered shape? Hmmmmmm.... Cheers!! Dugly
  6. Sounds like you may have run across an AJ500RC and/or an AJ500RCE. They sound like similar guitars...maybe one with a cutaway/pickup combo, the other strictly acoustic...but they aren't. Diffences arise in tonewoods, with the AJ500RC having a cedar soundboard and the newer AJ500RCE having spruce, IIRC. Both use Indian Rosewood for sides & backs. Large differences arise between them regarding the neck...the AJ500RC neck joins the body at the 12th fret and the AJ500RCE joins at the 14th fret...and the heads are quite different, with the AJ500RC having a "slot-head" and the AJ500RCE having the more common "peg head". The neck on the AJ500RC is a thicker "V-neck" design, whereas the AJ500RCE will likely be a thinner/faster neck. The body shape is different between the two models, too, with the AJ500RC having a "Southern Jumbo/slope shouldered" shape and the AJ500RCE having the more square-shouldered upper bout characteristic of dreadnought models. If the shop owner is right about the history I believe it's likely that at least one of them is an AJ500RC. I own one and frequently mention that it is my favorite steel string guitar, so of course it gets my highest recommendation. Having said that, though, the Masterbilt line of Epiphone's are very well made and highly regarded acoustic instruments, so you would not go wrong with either model...and that $400/$300 deal is one I would jump all over before someone else realizes what a steal/deal that is!! Please let us know how you resolve this dilema...wish I could run across deals like this! Cheers! Dugly
  7. Have you tried a heavier pick yet? Cheers!! Dugly
  8. While I like my Planet Waves humidifier, I have found it much easier to just set the butt of my guitar on the toilet lid, with the guitar leaning back against the tank (sometimes I use a floor stand on the toilet's lid to make it more stable), while I take a steamy shower. I close the door to the bathroom and when I'm done showering I leave the guitar in the bathroom to absorb as much of the humidity in the air as it will. Whenever possible I leave the guitar in the bathroom for an extended period of time...over-night if possible, or at least 8 hours, just to allow it to humidify. I've never had a problem with any of my solid wood guitar pieces splitting. My Planet Waves sound-hole humidifier is used when I travel with my guitars. Cheers! Dugly B)
  9. If I had to guess I'd say Sitka Spruce...it's not only plentiful, there's a ready supply growing right here in the U.S.A....in our upper northwestern states. Here is what AGF had to say (hard to tell if there was a consistent consensus): http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=154613 Cheers! Dugly
  10. For the most part, manufacturers put model and/or serial numbers on the guitar in places other than a paper label...the paper labels are known to get "lost" now and then. The most common place to find the model and/or serial number is on the neck-block, a block of wood inside the body at the place where the neck joins the body of the guitar. Try shining a flashlight into the body of the guitar and look up towards the neck joint...there should be something there. If not, we're going to need photographs. Most of us use an online photo-hosting website to store our photos...post the "IMG" code into a post on this thread and we'll be able to see the guitar; post other "codes" such as an HTML code or some other code and the chances aren't too good. Cheers! Dugly
  11. I own a Breedlove 000 Revival...custom shop order with master grade redwood ssoundboard, ziricote sides and back, koa bindings, and a full "grupo" (to use a bicycling term) of West African Hard Ivory for nut/saddle/bridge/endpin and strap button. It is a true piece of visual art. Yes, it was as expensive as many, if not most, Gibsons, but it was a retirement present to myself when I retired after 32 years in public education. It's hard to play, but I think I can remedy that by going to lighter gauge strings. I think the factory setup needs some fine tuning, too. It has an incredible voice! Cheers!! Dugly
  12. Google JLD bridge doctor, they have a screw attach model and a brass pin model. They are a device designed to keep the soundboard from "lifting" at the bridge from string tension. Does it look familiar to what you found inside the body of your guitar? Cheers!! Dugly
  13. I'm a bit confused, folks...but maybe not? Is it possible there is NO AJ-54me? I searched, but found no info on that model...but, then, Epiphone does discontinue models rather regularly (when I joined this forum Elitist electrics and my AJ500RC models were available...now most, if not all, are discontinued). Was the AJ54me a previously available model, or did somehow the label misprint with "45" digits transposed? Just curious... Thanks! Dugly
  14. DAMN, those look HOT!!! My first guitar was an f-holed archtop. It was given to me, and for good reason...the neck needed to be reset so badly it would not stay in tune beyond the 5th fret. I must have given it away because I no longer own it, but for the life of me I can't remember where it went. I looked on Sweetwater...they are mid-priced, verging on affordable...and they gave me GAS with their cool vintage look and great sound (being juiced up at the factory is an added plus). Cheers to Epiphone for this series!!! Dugly
  15. I am fortunate to have one of the Masterbilt AJ500RC's. This guitar puts my expensive, custom made Breedlove and all my other steel-string guitars to shame, it's not only the best (IMHO, of course) tonewood combination (cedar soundboard/rosewood sides and back) and is of all solid wood construction, but the width of the fretboard and the scale are absolutely perfect for me. The sound is very well defined and it plays much louder than would be expected; the only problem it has (and all cedar topped guitars have this problem) is that when driven hard the sound tends to get a bit "muddy"...thank goodness it is such a cannon, it doesn't need to have the dogshirt played out of it just to get volume. It's an out-of-production model, so I don't expect it to win any popularity contests, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone who owned one have anything but praise for this model. If you find one at a reasonable price (my "new" price from Sweetwater was under $600) by all means take the chance and get it...if you don't like it and it's intact, I'll certainly buy it from you...they are THAT good! If I can manage to bring Photobucket to it's knees, perhaps I can post some photos of this oldie-but-goodie! Cheers! Dugly B)
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