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Everything posted by LongMan

  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
  14. Na, it just stays true to the original: Btw. that one, compared to the Epiphone price tag, adds $4000 to the bill for a famous headstock, a can of nitro finish and a "Richlite" fingerboard (instead genuine ebony). Really? I don't know lad...
  15. Did it again, could not resist on this one: ES-355 Joe Bonamassa Standard Outfit. What a great instrument! Epiphone did nail it with this one, I tip my hat to the product designer who did the specs for this guitar. This guitar feels just right from bottom to top: • Craftsmanship, fretwork and finish are flawless. • Setup was spot-on right out of the case, I guess the dealership did a good job on inspection. • Every detail gives the impression of quality: From the 18:1 ratio Grover tuning machines that work smoothly like a hot knife in butter, over the NuBone nut, down to the Switchcraft pickup selector and the Bigsby B70 with Vibramate string spoiler (very appreciated!). Just look at details like the pickguard mount or the imperial bridge. • The ProBucker-2+3 pickups sound great, backed up by the Mallory 150 condensers on the tone pots. • The neck is described as 60s slim taper D profile. Well, not that much compared with other Gibsons and Epiphones that are specified as 60s slim taper. The neck of the Bonamassa ES-355 is a lot beefier than a Gibson Custom Shop ES-345, even more than the beefed up 60/30 profile of my ES-359. It feels more rounded in the middle section, not as fat as my 1955 inspired Les Paul Custom, but significantly thicker than any slim taper I saw on other guitars. Said the other way around: I like beefy necks, and I certainly love the neck of this Bonamassa ES-355! To be honest, this is the first chinese Epiphone where I'm not tempted to change any parts. Everything is just as it should be. Is it expensive? Well, it is not cheap obviously, but worth every single penny from my point of view. And no, it is not a rebadged Epiphone ES-355 that was released a couple of years ago. There are some significant differences: This one has 3-ply top and back, while the old one was 5-ply. This one has a mahogany neck, while the old one was maple. This one has an ebony fretboard, while the old one was rosewood. The ProBucker pickups are a big step up from my point of view. From my impression this guitar is able to close the gap between Epiphone standard models and the Gibson U.S.A bottom line. To end a long story short: I love this guitar, and I strongly recommend to get your hands on one!
  16. On the first glance: Gibson style pickguard holder Witchhead knobs White pickup switch tip Missed anything?
  17. Vertex Ultraphonix: https://www.vertexeffects.com/ultraphonix
  18. Rewiring the guitar with high quality wire may slightly improve the high end, especially if you reduce the wire length to the absolute minimum. On the other hand it will not change the overall sound character, which is determined by the pickups and type of wiring. If you like the sound of the guitar with the stock wiring, and nothing is wrong with the pots and switches, it may be a good idea to leave it as is. Keep in mind that a rewiring job may potentially ruin the resale value of the instrument, no matter how much it improves the sound. Buyers normally prefer instruments in stock condition.
  19. I'm using Elixier Nanoweb in 0.10-0.46 gauge for over ten years now. My experience is very positive, especially on Gibson/Epiphone guitars with 24,75" scale.. New the Elixier Nanowebs do sound a tad less bright than some uncoated strings (e.g. Gibson Bright Wires). On the other hand they hold that sound for weeks, not just a couple of hours like uncoated strings. And honestly I have to say that I prefer the sound of the Elixiers over brand new uncoated string. Some people dislike the slightly slippery or "greasy" feel of the Elixier Nanowebs. For those the new Elixier Optiweb may be an option. They do feel more like uncoated strings, but still should last similar to Nanowebs. I have no long time experience with the Optiweb strings though. Bought a couple of sets recently to try them out, but so far only one of my guitars needed a string change.
  20. My WildKat Studio does nicely fit into the Gibson ES-359 case. So the ES-339 case is probably worth a try. Btw.: Thanks for bringing up that topic, I was looking for a WildKat case as well, but did not think about trying the ES-359 case I already own. One item less on the shopping list :-)
  21. Bringing up this old thread again because I just finished the modification of my Wildkat Studio. Now why modifying it at all? Because it has a lot of features I like, and some I did not like that much. Pros: • The overall look and semi-hollow construction • Body size and shape • Neck shape and width • It has P90 pickups • I like the stop-tailpiece version Cons: • It was neck heavy • It sounded plain dull, compared to a couple of other P90 guitars I own (Epiphone ES-339 P90 with Kloppmann SB-52 PUs, Epiphone 1955 Les Paul Custom, Duesenberg Starplayer TV Hollow) • The wiring scheme was way too complicated for my taste Here's what I did to my Wildkat: • To cure the neck-heavyness I changed the Grover Rotomatics for Grover V98N open tuners. To fill the big holes in the headstock I used sockets that are 10mm on the outside and 6,5mm on the inside. • Pulled the original wiring harness. It's amazing how much cable you can stuff into a single guitar.... I ended up with over 10 feet after I pulled everything out (note there are running 3 or 4 wires in parallel): • For the new harness I decided to keep things as simple as possible. So I made a Tele-style wiring with single Volume and Tone pots. The wiring goes PUs -> PU switch -> Volume -> Tone -> Output, straight forward. 2 of the original pots are now superfluous. To get the right pickups right was a bit tricky. The original pickups are wound way to hot for my taste, the neck PU reads 11,7k and the bridge PU 12,2k DC resistance. I wanted a full and round sound, with open high end, creamy distortion - not the bite of a modern P90 like in the 1955 inspired Les Paul Custom. This guitar should go in direction warm jazz tone, or a creamy bluesy crunch if you dial up the gain on the amp. For that purpose, and given the straight forward wiring, most of the aftermarket P90 with AlNiCo 5 magnets and 8,5-9,5k were still way overdone for my taste. Finally I came across the Lollar P90 dogears in 50s wind specification. These have de-gaussed (weakened) AlNiCo 2 magnets, and the spec sheet reads 7,1k for the neck and 7,4k for the bridge PU. This is even less than the underwound AlNiCo 5 P90 that Lollar offers. What can I say? The Lollar 50s wind P90 did nail it! The sound of these in my Wildkat is spectacular, exactly where I wanted it. On the clean amp channel you get a warm full jazzy sound with well balanced low end, and lot of sparkling top end. If you slightly roll back the volume on the guitar it sounds almost like an acoustic. On the drive channel with moderate gain you get a nice creamy distortion. Increasing the gain the thing starts singing nicely. And even at higher gain you still have a a lot of dynamic control, that 50s wind PUs do not compress the amp the way a full powered AlNiCo 5 P90 does. First thought: No way this is the same guitar... For good measure I also added a TUSQ nut and an ABR style quality bridge that was left over from another project. The look of the black PU covers is a bit odd on the first sight, but the pole piece spacing of any aftermarket P90 seems to be different from the slanted Epiphone neck P90. On the other hand there are other Epis like the 50ths anniversary Casino that also features black P90 dogear PUs. At least this plastic covers will not cause any microphonic effects. Hope I did not hurt anybody with this modifications :-) But it is so much more joy to play now...
  22. May I ask if you got the Dot or ES-335 Pro? I fully agree that the Dot is a great value, a colleague of mine got one recently and could not be happier. I love bound necks, in the same color as the body binding if possible. From that point of view the Dot did never cause that full GAS attack with her black fretboard edges. When the ES-335 Pro came out I almost pulled the trigger on it, if only it were available here. Looks great with the creme bound fretboard and the Gibson style pickguard, at almost the same price as the Dot. In the end the Sheraton 50th anniversary became available, and that ended all discussions This one is on par with the standard Gibson ES-335 from my point of view. (The Nashville Custom Shop VOS editions are another cup of tea though).
  23. I guess it still looks woodish, seems the flash light has brightened that up and gives the impression of brushed aluminum.
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