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About HarpBoy

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  1. My Valensi is an '08. I bought it new that year. The serial # on mine starts with 080522. I was one of the early contributors to that thread on the Epiphone forum that started decoding the then new serial # scheme. I think factory 22 is (or was) Peerless. One thing is certain: my Valensi is not your garden-variety Epiphone. The quality of fit and finish, and even of the body wood, is very high quality. It has a very nice quilt front and back that is not Ibanez-esque veneer. You see the same quilt on the inside when you look through the F-holes, as you do with the figured 335s.
  2. Congrats on a beautiful guitar. I've owned my Valensi since 2008. It is a beautiful, well made, wonderful-to-play guitar. I used it for two years in a Jazz quartet with flatwounds, and for blues, rock and R&B. I love it and won't ever sell it. Mine has a really nice quilt front and back. Everyone who sees it or hears me playing it makes positive comments. I had just sold a Rickenbacker 330 a couple of months before I came across the Valensi (wasn't really that taken with it) and came across the Valensi in my local Long & McQuade. Bought it on the spot and haven't looked back; I love it in a way that I never did the Ric. Factory 22 is in Korea, as you know; I've speculated that it might be the Peerless plant because of the high quality, attention to detail, etc, but I don't know for sure. It appears that the Korean semi's and hollowbodies were made in a different plant than the MIK solid bodies (typically Saien and Unsung)had been. All I know is it's an outstanding guitar that's not being made anymore. Cheers.
  3. HarpBoy

    Satin 61 SGs

    Ya, I was noticing that, CB. That's a great look. Nice to see them moving in that direction. If they made that one with P90's I'd almost certainly be caving. I have a 60's Tribute, which I love, but those curves would be my undoing.
  4. My lovely Epiphone Valensi Riviera:
  5. Either that was a whole lot of relatives, or they don't remember that night.
  6. I own a Nick Valensi sig Riviera, but when I bought it I didn't even know who he was. I just loved the guitar, and especially the P94s. I could change the truss rod cover and nobody would ever know it was a sig model, but my guess is 99% of people who came up and looked at the guitar wouldn't know what "Valensi" on the TRC meant. "Oh, this must be a jazz model. That's an Italian word, right?".
  7. We Canadians will have been drinking (legally) for 2 or 3 years before we turn 21!
  8. No doubt about it; Jack Long's rental business model was a stroke of genius. They've been doing it for fifty years and counting!
  9. No confusion here; I was just calling you on your implication that anyone that owns one of the recent models doesn't own the "real thing". You have an old one, others have new ones, both the real thing. I have a reissue of a classic Traynor amp; it's as real a thing as the original.
  10. The "real thing"? So the one you have now is a fake? What you mean, I think, is what an older one is like, do you not?
  11. No guitar manufacturer calls out changes in their design or components routinely, unless it's something that they want to specifically identify as a distinguishing feature, ie a body made of a special wood, or some lame marketing ploy (I'm looking at you, "bumblebee caps").You can always find the detailed specs for the product in the fine print, and this is the way it's always been. That's not "sneaking it in hoping no one will notice" as if they're trying to cheat their customers. That's the standard lifecycle of manufactured products. Jeez.
  12. I think you weren't paying attention: he said he couldn't go a penny over $800. And also wanted P90s. Or were you just trying to make a point? (I'm guessing you have a Standard, right?)
  13. Well, I'll share my experience with my SG 60s Tribute: I wasn't planning on buying a new guitar when I walked into my local Long & McQuade, but I go by regularly just to see what's new. Guitars with P90s always catch my eye because they're my favorite pickup. Right at eye level on the wall was this nice SG with P90s, in what appeared to be a flawless satin finished red. I plugged it into a Fender '57 Deluxe reissue, noodled for 10 minutes, took it to the counter and took it home. This was in March of last year and up until then I hadn't heard of this model, but I was smitten. 10 months later I still love it; it is my go to guitar for gigs. I also have an American Standard Strat and a really nice Epi Valensi, but I just love the SG for it's feather weight, sweet, sweet neck, and of course those glorious P90s. I was also taken by the gorgeous satin finish against my forearm. I'm not kidding. I love it; it's perfect. That being said, the gig bag sucked. It was just barely big enough to get the guitar in there. I promptly located an SKG molded case for it. Mine has a two piece body with the seam exactly down the middle, and the wood really nicely matched to the point that without examining it closely you might think it was one piece. However, from subsequent inspection of others I've come across since then, I realize that many are so ugly (uneven paint, glaringly mismatched, multi-piece lumber and rough finishes) that I've concluded that mine was just dumb luck that I stopped by the store when I did. I don't think they're all like the ones I saw after buying mine, based on both what I've read and a few I've seen, but a lot of them seem pretty rough. And of course, I suspect that even the ugly ones probably play really nice because they are made on machines that are very precise at reproducing things, so the necks should always be great and the P90s speak for themselves. These are, after all, budget guitars that offer a great player for a good price. They also allow Gibson to use some of their lower grade wood, and there's nothing wrong with that. I know for fact that the margins on these guitars are relatively low and so Gibson can't realistically spend the same amount of time on them that they do on their higher-end product. I think we tend to be kind of hard on Gibson, and Henry J in particular. We need to be realistic about our expectations, and also how business works. Quality problems, if they become systemic, eventually sort themselves out because the market always forces manufacturers to do so or get out of the business. To be objective about it, I don't think, if I'd been in the market for a budget Gibson in the sixties, I could have found a new special or junior (the budget models) for the equivalent of $815 2011 dollars. And I suspect those early instruments were pretty rough in general compared to today's budget guitars. I've also bought high end guitars from other manufacturers (Martin, for example, and a Seagull Artist) that showed signs of, um, hand-work, shall we say? This is not something unique to Gibson; all North American manufacturers are facing the same pressures. I saw one Martin recently, and not one of the cheap laminate models, that had what looked like black magic marker streaks under the finish on the back that were several inches long. The bridge on my own started lifting after about six months, a sign that not enough glue was used when it was put together. The costs of raw materials and American labor are skyrocketing; something has to give or we need to be prepared to pay what will feel like exorbitant prices to be able to maintain the good ol' days. Play on.
  14. Google "King of the Blues" and it should show you Guitar Center's tracks for their annual blues competition. These are really high quality and you should find something you like. Cheers.
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