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  1. Did you have the opportunity to play one? What do you think?
  2. Great job! Looks awesome with the gold staple magnets and unworn gold plating. Like that look, maybe I should get a second one Well... actually you were told right. The Kluson wafflebacks are considerably larger than the Epiphone deluxe tuners. I had to "convince" them to drop in If you have a close look you'll see that I slightly "shaved" them. After all that was more a result of being stubborn than a technical masterstroke But it payed off from my point of view. Seems we basically had the same idea Thanks! Me too: https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/showthread.php?190622-Beauty-of-The-Black-Beauty-The-quot-Alnico-quot-Custom-thread History and nice images galore.
  3. I'm not able to decide if that guitar is a fake or not. However here are some things to consider: • The Elite series started in 2002, and was later relabeled to Elitist (in 2004 I guess) - so it is unlikely that this is a guitar from 2001 if it is a genuine Elitist model. • The serial number would point to 2011 rather than 2001 on an Elitist model (my Casino Elitist serial starts with T1.... as well, and that is a 2011 model made at Terada plant Japan). • The Elitist label is indeed a print and not a sticker: • As an Elitist Casino 1965 VS it should have Grover tuners: The 3-screw trussrod cover however would be correct, see above. On the other hand my other Elite Epiphones have Gibson style 2-screw TRCs that are engraved GIBSON (not Elite or Elitist). Seems they changed the TRCs between models and years.
  4. Two pickups of the same type with slightly higher DC resistance on the bridge PU is the classic way. That's good for a choice between 3 tonal colors with more or less even output on either end. A beefed up bridge PU is the more modern way, considerably more output on the bridge PU, for easier to achieve overdriven sounds. From my experience pickups make all the difference. At least on amplifiers that really get the guitars own sound across the whole signal chain. For example take a Bad Cat Classic, simplest 20W 6V6 tube amp you can imagine, Volume, Tone, that's it. Then feed it with Gibson Classic 57 (CS ES-359), Gibson MHS humbuckers (CS ES-345), Duesenberg Grand Vintage humbucker (Fullerton), Epiphone Probucker (Bonamassa ES-355), Ibanez Super 58 (JSM100), Epiphone 50SR (Elite ES-335) etc., guitar all on 10, no pedals. On paper all these pickups are more or less knockoffs of the famous Gibson P.A.F. pickups, the guitars are all similar ES type semi hollows with center block. But you would be surprised how much difference you hear from the different pickups, even when mounted in the same guitar.
  5. I'm glad you found some useful info in my description. Changing the pickup is pretty simple, especially if you keep the original harness. Just two solder joints and two pickup screws, that's all. The Lollar Staple is a direct replacement for the P90, uses the same braided wire, and is even wound with the same polarity as the Gibson neck P90. Means in the PU switch middle position the Lollar Staple and the Gibson bridge P90 together are hum cancelling.
  6. Just a question: Is that a Duesenberg Les Trem on your 1956 Standard Pro? How does it work? I thought about a Bigsby B7 or B70 on a Vibramate base plate, but I'm a bit scared by reports of people that had serious difficulties to get it to work on an Epiphone Les Paul. The Les Trem looks like a neat and clean solution. I love the vibratos on my Duesenberg Starplayer TV and Paloma anyway. Did you change the bridge? On a Riviera I use a roller bridge with a B7, that works really well. On the other hand Duesenberg uses tilting bridges with an excentric support on the bridge posts. So on a Duesenberg the entire bridge is tilting forth and back when you operate the vibrato.
  7. Thanks! And yes, I did wet sand and polish the body. Originally it is matte indeed, not even close to an original Black Beauty. I didn't do a high gloss job though, just enough to get the look of an old, well maintained, clean and shiny guitar, that lost the high gloss over the years (again my trusty old well played guitars gave the inspiration). That's what many of the originals look like. Not exactly like my Epiphone of course, but shiny, clean and well maintained. I did not find a single image of an original 1955 Black Beauty that went matte. Fun fact: On the original advertising photo the finish looks more glossy than the actual shipped guitars were: http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Electrics/Les-Paul/Ltd-Ed-Inspired-by-1955-LP-Custom-Outfit.aspx
  8. How does it play? It plays great! Well, but what does that mean in particular? When you pick up and play that guitar, it feels like a comfortable well broken in old shoe. That mostly comes from "rolling" the fretboard edges, and smoothing some sharp edges. For example I smoothed the bridge saddle edges and fret ends, so they feel like they would after decades of playing (as a guide I have 2 guitars I actually did play for the last almost 40 years). The knobs are nicely worn as well. Another thing that contributes a lot to that great feel is the full fret dress and the hand crafted bone nut my luthier applied to the instrument. One word about the neck: You should have a certain preference for fat necks to feel comfortable with it. Fortunately I love chunky necks, so I'm happy with it. How does it sound? A lot different from an Inspired by 1955 in original condition I guess (I played the guitar for 2 weeks in original condition before I modified it). Firstly it has a better, i.e. snappier response. That's probably caused by the bone nut, the Duesenberg steel saddle bridge and the Duesenberg aluminum tailpiece. The bridge posts to adopt from the M8 bushings to the 4mm bridge posts are from ABM. The M8 threaded end that goes into the body, the thumbwheel and the 4mm bridge post are actually machined from one single piece of brass. This seems to result in better contact between bridge and body. Second thing: It is much quieter than in original condition. I shielded all cavities from the pickup switch down to the pot cavity. Also the braided wires contribute to proper shielding I think. The wiring is all new, but I doubt it significantly enhances the sound, maybe apart from the paper in oil tone condensers. I did that mostly for the look and feel, and because it was big fun to set up a vintage style harness myself from individual parts. The most part of the sound comes from the pickups of course. I left the Gibson P90 in the bridge position. It sounds different from real 50s P90, much more output, more edgy. However I like a good rock'n'roll brick for the bridge position. In the neck position the Gibson P90 was far over the top for my taste. I already have other guitars with 50s spec P90 in the neck position, and a P90 wouldn't be the right match for a 1955 Black Beauty anyway. So I went with a Lollar Staple pickup for the neck position. This pickup is absolutely great! How does it sound? Well, think of a 50s Stratocaster neck pickup, the ones with nice sparkly, but not exaggerated high end, good bottom and some overall sweetness. Now think that sound XXL output wise, with a big bottom, I mean BIG :-) That's what the Lollar Staple is. Look at the pickup height, how remarkable low that Staple is set. Well, the pickups are well balanced from the output, the neck PU is just a tad quieter than the P90 on the bridge, so you get that nice jingly sound in the middle position. Now if you compare the pickup heights, and consider they are almost equally loud, you can imagine what output signal the Lollar Staple pickup delivers. All the rest, from buffing the finish, over the Kluson waffle back tuners down to the used look is just for the look&feel, and for the fun getting it there. I really adore the original mid 50s Black Beauties, and was curious how close you can get with a modern guitar that specifically refers to that great heritage.
  9. No comments? Not even about the non-flamed black photo finish? C'mon, you can do better
  10. Great to hear you are finally happy with your ES-335!
  11. As far as I know all made in Japan Elitist Epiphones have poly finish, not nitro. Btw. I own the Elitist Casino, ES-335 and Les Paul Standard.
  12. You can use a humbucker schematic, as long as it is for single wire + ground humbuckers (coils internally connected). P90s are connected the same way. 4-wire hunbuckers are different though.
  13. Guitar with case: Body: Headstock front: Headstock back: Pickups, bridge and tailpiece Knobs, bridge and tailpiece Buffed: "Rolling" the fretboard edges: PU switch wiring: Pot wiring: Here's a great story about the original Black Beauties: https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/showthread.php?190622-Beauty-of-The-Black-Beauty-The-quot-Alnico-quot-Custom-thread
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