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Steven Lister

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Everything posted by Steven Lister

  1. Fare-thee-well forum brothers and sisters. Open and read the "About Me" comments if interested.

  2. All things, even the good things, eventually end. The question is: "Are we better now than before 'it'?" Yes, I am. As the demands of my music life have increased, time spent on the forum has waned. Now, another crossroads is passed and I have happily chosen the path of musician. But the contracts that provide also bind. And true to life's bittersweet moments of growth, I must now say "fare-thee-well" to my Epi brothers and sisters. A few final words in sinc...

    1. Steven Lister

      Steven Lister

      My remarks won't fit in this box, so open/read the "About Me" tab if interested.

  3. Given RTH's misstatements of my opinions maybe I need to take a moment to clear the air: Nearly every question posted asking, “fake or not?” returns a majority of “fake” replies. Frequently reference is made to how flooded the secondary marketplace (eBay, Kijiji, etc) is with fakes. I don't believe either is generally true. One can imagine a few knock-offs by a guy in a dusty garage somewhere, but a flood of good fakes would require a virtual logistical impossibility --- high dollar equipment, large facility, large stockpiles of wood and hardware, and operational mobility to avoid discovery. But if I'm wrong, and the ghosts really do exist, then my scenario explains how it could function and kept undercover. Flat out I have said over and over “I do not have any proof” --- merely an explanation of circumstantial numbers. Never, ever have I suggested in post(s) that Epi is complicit in any way in the Epi 3rd or EpiMO scenarios (or I would have been banned -- and rightly so – to outer Mongolia until 2525, and that obviously hasn't happened). My scenarios do suggest that Epi needs to review procedures and tighten security at its factories to prevent illegal trade and I have said as much. Further anyone reading into my opinions notions of Epi-conspiracy or Epi-bashing are notions purely of their own doing because I do not hold those opinions or agree with them. The gtgtgt supplied photos appear to me to show an example of an Epi produced guitar that was made-over to appear to be something different from what it was when it left the factory. He says he bought it (“from a trunk” changed later to “on eBay”) at a great low-low price. Okay. I hope it plays great and that he's happy with his bargain. Worst case is we're talking a few quid, guineas, dollars, lira, etc. here. Maybe being burned once trying to score a gem of an Epiphone at below dealer cost will ultimately prove to be a good lesson to some. ...oh and RTH, I'm all for peace, love, and understanding! Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on
  4. The serial number cannot be legitimate. Proof? It's apparent to those who've researched Epiphone's numbering methods based on year, model, etc. The other issue is less obvious and, as you alluded, it cannot be confirmed from photos alone. Now I detest fraudsters and will not make further comment that might be used to steal value from Epi players. That is a more valuable service to this site that trying to "show off" knowledge, am I right? BTW what have you done with Robin the Hood? I miss that guy who used to share and discuss views instead of scoffing at opinions not in line with his own. You don't see me blasting away at your Wiki site (yes it has errors) on this forum. Errors and all it provides another resource that overall is good and adds to the Epi knowledge base. Who of us is perfect? So congratulations on your Wiki and while others may like the new, harsher RTH, I miss ol' Robin the Hood. Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on
  5. WELCOME to the forum CIG! VJr head/chasis mount screws are metric: 5mm diameter x 3cm long, coarse threads (I don't have a pitch gauge but it's the coarse, not fine, pitch) Phillips safety head with small diameter (approx. 10mm) flat washer Any good hardware or auto parts vendor should have this common size. Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on B)
  6. @midiman56 --- hey brother, how's Vegas without a Sahara? Your post brought up a common misunderstanding about guitardater --- that site never updated its database to include Epiphone serial number sequences after 2009 (when Epi switched to the all numeric serial and 2-digit factory I.D. Number). The site returns a “not recognized” for all searches using these serials. I'll PM PeteR about posting an update to the factory I.D. Thread. @Barcham --- spot-on description of guitardater site's shortcomings @ triple gt --- we don't know you yet, so my comments are “cautious” 1. Your guitar is not legitimate – but at the same time it's not likely an out-and-out fake: – it is a pseudo-Epiphone guitar, i.e it never sold through a dealer but it's origin is Epi-ish – could be an “Epi 3rd” but looks to me more like yet another new sub-specie, an “Epi make-over” or “EpiMO” for short (hey y'all, I spot 'em I get to name 'em --- ha, ha, ha) “What is a made-over,” you ask? It's was a low-end Epi when it left the factory, but then a scammer changes certain of its features to make it appear to be a higher-end instrument to sell at a profit (e.g. a legit LP standard becomes a “made-over” '59 LP goldtop with a little new paint, decals, and tweaking). 2. It is a decent mimic – but the problems I see are different from what has been mentioned in this thread (those who know Epiphones can see what I'm talking about upon real close inspection) – and lead me to conclude that your photos are most likely of an EpiMO attempt. 3. Given the photos and the your tone of your posts, I think you're trying to mine this site for expertise for some ill purpose. I do hope that over time you prove me wrong. 4. Bought out of “trunk of car.” Please! You know it's shady (fake, stolen, divorce-swindle, etc). Buy from an EPI/Gibson dealer or it's BUYER BEWARE! Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on
  7. Another thought = = = amp kits You don't have to build them..., you just have to know somebody I finally took this route and have a killer amp for acceptable $$ (around $1,600 all-in for a tweaked custom plexi that I paid a cohort to build -- I could have done it for even less but anybody who has read my posts over the years knows I hate building gear). Link here to one good source if interested (there are others) ---> amp kits link BTW the link is to the "tweed" line b/c I thought it the best match for Altair, but other kit versions are there just click away. <and don't panic Epi dudes, I still love and use my VJr. V3s -- just not exclusively> Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on
  8. I doubt that any amp under 500 Euro will do everything you want --- that's the trouble with low budget gear, its a big compromise. To stay under your price, consider either used or a bottom end "mod-to-suit" unit (like a VJr. V3) plus pedals/effects. Plug into everything that comes your way (okay, maybe not everything, use some judgement - ha) and have fun with your search. Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on B)
  9. What if: the wood used is so bad that it breaks a high % of time no matter what the packing? Wouldn't that explain the "why"? I really don't believe that is true. But, given that other fragile items (TVs, glass, etc) ship from China and most arrive okay in styrofoam, this is beginning to look like the type of "problem" that has an obvious but unspeakable answer. Ruttin welcome to the forum..., maybe some commiserating will ease the pain Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on B)
  10. ...or maybe "Why does this keep happening?" Let's put it to Jim R directly and see if he cares to comment. Manufacturers must lose a small fortune replacing these and why...? It's no mystery at this point that shippers ape handle the goodies, so why do companies still ship without proper headstock support Guitars should be detuned and packed with soft foam wrapped headstocks in hard cases. Anything less is just asking for what is shown here. Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on B)
  11. I'll try to assist (but it's after a long show so I could have this bassakwards): -- higher gain pre-amp valves give more clean headroom and mellower tone -- lower gain power valves distort faster for dirtier tone. It sounds counter intuitive at least I think that's why I remember it that way but double check before buying. RSDx has the brand thing right -- Ruby (and Groove Tubes and xxxxx...) are just rebranded. They don't manufacture but they do charge more! Labels don't say what the valve will do --- that depends on how it was made materials etc. and in any case you need the numbers to know ballpark performance (the rest depends on each particular amp). BUT if you buy from a good dealer (I'll recommend Virginia Tube Audio b/c they do it for me) they'll test the valve and can/will give you the specs and sell you any brand by the specs if you ask them. Hope that helps. Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on B)
  12. Clean(er) headroom is so easy with the VJr. A 2 valve change --- no soldering required. Swap your preamp valve for a Tung Sol gold pin 12AX7ECC803S or go even cleaner with a 12AT7. Try a JJ EL84 in the power valve socket. Other brands can work also but these have proven clean results with several EPI forum VJr users. Want to clean it up even more? -- plug in a Danelectro EQ peddle (incredibly cheap $25). Still want more? -- do the C4 mod -- no cost, just cut the C4 capacitor connection to the board. You can always just solder it back if it's too clean :blink: The Bit Mo mod seems like such a crude hack to fix a simple headroom issue (if that's your only concern). Luck to you DiveBand (I empathize completely with your screenname) and WELCOME. Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on B)
  13. If you power-on this valve amp without a speaker load, you are in serious danger of instantly frying an OT. Count your blesings if yours is still okay. By all means plug a speaker in before power-up again. There has been a valve can/retainer rattle problem reported on VJr. Try removing the spring loaded wire retainer and the tin can from the valves. Try replacing the valves with known good ones. Something could be loose inside and there have been noises reported coming from a bad valve (usually the EL84). Aside from that, check/tighten all screws holding the transformers (and anything else) on the board. If you still have roar then you'll likely need a voltage tester and skills to sort it out. Be careful in there --- voltage is high enough to put out your lights if you grab onto the wrong circuit BE SAFE ---- USE WOOD CHOPSTICKS to prod any suspect component! Luck to you and WELCOME to the forum. Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on B)
  14. 5000 posts but 4899 in forum games..., yer kidding, right? And may I add ---- now with these lame Good Conduct/Reputation scores..., ...just more forum politics steeenckin' on our boots. None of it means nothing --- each post must stand or fall upon the content therein. Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on B)
  15. If what you're really trying to say is this is proof that "Epiphone knows its guitars are crap" ---- you're pizzin' in wrong pool Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on B)
  16. Are the strings any good? Strings are just common wire from big spools that someone wraps a nice little ball end on and then puts in fancy little packages. Most wire is made in China or India --- for a list, take a look here: wire manufacturers listings How often do we "get what we pay for?" Sometimes I buy generic or store-label products. Most equal or are superior to the Big LOGO brand (because it's often the same Kellog's corn flake in a XXXXX box). So we're paying a premium to Big Logo..., to spew propoganda back at us to buy even more..., and that's really about all. So did you buy a fake, or did you buy the very same wire? Clearly you paid Big Logo price markup -- b/c you thought you bought a D'Addario. But how do you know that a D'Addario is anything other than a D'Acheerios? What makes it better if the wire is the same China/India made wire? I'm not saying counterfeits are okay. I am pointing out that buying LOGOS is a fools bargain (and it's a foregone conclusion that somewhere someone -- right now it's those savy Chinese -- will prey upon all ye who art foolish). Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on
  17. Maybe your understanding of "mod"-ification and "restoration" are not accurate? I know some folks who work with antique motor cars, you know the kind they sell at the Barrett-Jackson auction. These people are purests right down to the correct markings on bolts (yeah, what "normal" person would have thought there even was such a thing, right?). As explained to me, any swap of incorrect aftermarket parts -- even if the swapped parts are of superior quality to the original ones -- is a modification, and that "mod" reduces the car's value. Restoration then, requires usage of 100% original NOP (new-old product i.e. new parts from say Mercedes that were never before installed on a car) or OOP (old-old product) that has been cleaned/repainted etc. Usage of any different brand or type, even higher quality parts is a big no no to these guys. If the term "mod" as it applies to guitars ( or other) was a carry-over from this purist crowd, then the answer lies within the above example. Or, to fit your case, they would tell you that putting a Switchcraft jack in place of the original crappy Korean one is a mod and your guitar is worth less (even though you made a qualitative improvement). Hey, go figure, huh? Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on
  18. ronskie, for your benefit and everyone worldwide, make direct contact with Epiphone/Gibson and involve them in this open transaction. If it's for real, it's almost too good to be believed --- and the best damn evidence Epiphone/Gibson ever had handed to them --- a black and white paper trail, identifying shipper, shipping points, dates/times, and parcel number. In case anybody missed any of it, here it is again: BLOODY FREEGIN' EXCELLENT WORK Ol' CHAP! With that info and the name of the Amazon seller that you are in contact with, Epiphone should be able to easily investigate and finally close that back door of their factory --- if they care to do so. It's your guitar (for now) but given the situation, I recommend waiting until Epiphone and Amazon instruct you as to what they want you to do. They may want to inspect the evidence more closely. Why defeat that by sending it back quickly? Granted that at best, photos are so imprecise. In this case thay are of poor quality and little practical use, except they are adequate to raise multiple red flags – all of which point to yet another EPI 3rd to my eyes. ronskie, as a reward for this excellent lead, I make a motion that Epiphone give you your choice from their current catalog a brand new authorized LP Standard (or better). While the scoundrels may figure out a new way to beat the system again tomorrow, this may very well cause a screeching halt today. Again, congratulations, terrific work! Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on
  19. Yo fellas, you're not listening closely to what's being said here. james_edward has observed/photo-ed a "fake" LP Custom allegedly bought from an authorized outlet – Kijiji (that's like Amazon to us Canadians) --- but despite it's flawless outward appearance, apparently it's a “fake” aka EPI 3rd. IOW – and what we're on the track of nailing down – is that some authorized dealers may be selling substandard EPI 3rds (but the quality is such that it goes unnoticed at the point of sale). My advice to anyone looking to buy a high risk LP Custom is: 1. buy in-person, never online, even from authorized dealers 2. check the guitar thoroughly ---- not just aesthetics but look inside the cavities (let their set-up person remove covers/pups to show you and if they refuse, walk on) ---- to verify body material, electronic authenticity, quality of work, wiring, solder joints, etc.) 3. make sure you receive a sales receipt in case something becomes apparent later on that you may have missed in your haste to buy and play your new baby. Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on
  20. Over the years for every photo posted of a Black LP Custom alleged to be a fake, someone has always been able to post photos of a known legit one that had the same "flaws/flags" as the alleged fake. The flags signalling a fake (knob alignment and diamond inlay being the top two flags on the list) do not necessarily equal fake. The reason for that is EPI's quality control is such that misaligned knobs and inlays (and most of the other flags) are common to some degree or other on genuine EPIs. EPI to be sure should be credited with an assist in counterfeiting of its own products, even if inadvertently, through EPI's inconsistent QC. As to serial #s, they are everywhere -- in stores, classified ads, backstage, in the many factories EPI has used over the last 10 years, and online. A thief wouldn't have any problem at all finding out what a legit # is and looks like. Putting serial # decoders online is a public service -- it brings the general public up-to-speed so that they know as much/more as the thief. james_edward it sounds like you know woods and you were the only one there (who's talking). It would not surprise me at all to know that a all/part MDF body made on EPI's CNC machine found its way to a "legitimate" market dealer/source (Kijiji or other). That is exactly what I say happens with EPI 3rds. And it is for that very reason that I would dearly love to have had proof/photos of the neck tenon, back of the pups, wiring inside the cavities. As a buyer put out, you were understandably upset, I guess that I was just lamenting that you had not stopped being in buyer mode and gone into inspector mode and taken these next steps (even asking to see a copy of the sellers receipt) and then posted the results to have proven true the theory of EPI 3rds. Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on
  21. One fact we all know and agree on --- the EPI Black LP Custom is the #1 "funky" model. What we can't nail down is: does "funky" = fake or some other possibility (and there are several). Given the near perfect outward looks of this one, I'm going to question a little bit the OP's fake-o-meter methodology. Scratching the dielectric coating inside a cavity could have resulted in a false positive. Manufacturers use their most flawed wood stock to make painted body instruments. Which means that wood fillers and other cut-corner methods are employed especially where the flaw is in a hidden location like inside a cavity or under a veneer. Wood grains often have weak spots primarily from knot holes that can yield an MDF or sawdust-like residue if attacked with a scraping tool. Or the same yield at a poor joinder of multiple pieces/strips where the "mahogany" is glued together to form the "solid body". In short, instead of racing to judgment, I submit that what the OP discovered was not the sure-fire positive fake-r-oo check out that he raced to conclude but rather real good cause to dig even deeper (pull a neck PUP for a look see at wood and electronics, etc.). And james_edward, I do agree with the "in-house" schenanigans theory. I coined the term "EPI 3rds" to describe the ones that do flow from EPI controlled shops --- you can take a look back at my old posts ('08-09) discussing why these are not "fakes" in the true sense of the word. I can't prove a word of it, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. Don't sweat it, EPI hasn't banned me... yet. Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on
  22. Jack White and John Lennon are so much alike in many ways..., incredibly: -- in touch with their inner-artist -- multi-talented to the point of genius -- multi-instrumentalist and even on some less-than-popular instruments -- conversant in roots music culture and how that translates to making modern music better -- diverse with talents that span musical genres and also into other artistic forms such as theatre/film -- repulsed by conventional wisdom as a dictator of career paths -- willing to do what they feel is important instead of what A&R says to do -- in tune with "pop culture" and how to exploit it (marketing) -- poor taste in women as mates! Jack W. didn't inspire me to play guitar --- I had been at it for a few years already --- but his Stripes work did put me on a path to turn pro, so I do share a great deal of appreciation for him both as an artist and as a motivator to some of us who needed to see music careers with a fresh new perspective. Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on
  23. Petros your avatar set-up begs the question "why ask us?" Invite Angus over for afternoon "tea" and get the word direct from the man himself. I say D-A-M-N! While the two of you are discussing medical uses, he may even share his Marshall tweaks and other signal chain tricks that you will want if in-the-ballpark isn't close enough. Good luck. Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on:-"
  24. Exactly right, again. But, here's the thing: When time is money and spot-on results are added up --- for some of us a $250-400 play-it-like-it-buy-it deal may seem "high priced" but it is really the better financial option at the end of the day. As for kits/builds, wonder how many novices plomp $50-100 and end up 8 hours later with a noise bomb? Okay, okay so I really do hate working on gear (as I've said over and over...). But it's good when we explore all sides so every player can find the best fit. Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby...., I'm going to play on:-"
  25. True. But when you know what "your tone" needs and why' date=' and you need a compressor, then you really do need it (did I just say that?). wiggy --- to your question: "which analogue compressor is quiet and CHEAP?" --- I would ask/add, what about good? --- and that quiet/cheap/analogue compressors may be white elephants. CHEAP/good is the trouble spot. In my experience, cheap compressors all fit into m-theory's equation of best left out of the chain enntirely. OTOH great compressors cost $$ ($250-450 US), but the return (if you need compression) is an investment well made. duane v had a thread up quite a while ago with some essential compressor info in it -- he was looking to buy, and did -- maybe a search will drag some useful info for you? Hitting every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm still playing on:-"
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