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About iankinzel

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  1. MIJ Epi's of that era use very different serial number formats...I've seen either a five-digit format with no letters, a six-digit format with no letters, or a stamped-in serial number with "MADE IN JAPAN" underneath. Assuming this particular piece is genuine, it looks like a '95 MIK made at the Fine Guitars factory.
  2. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ENL59ADBNH--epiphone-1959-les-paul-standard-outfit-aged-dark-burst Looks like the 1950s Standard with a faded finish and a pair of Gibson Burst Buckers (plus hard shell case). With the way it seems like everything's been getting derailed this year, it's nice to have some little material comforts to look forward to. 😁
  3. Bouncing off of what Yorgle said (which is VERY good advice, BTW), another idea could be to lightly sand the finish to give it a "faded" look. I find that that helps make the burst finish more subtle, with a more gradual transition from the edge color to the center. If you want my honest opinion on hardware, there's usually not really anything wrong with the stock hardware that comes on newer Epiphones (say, since 2010 or 2012 or so) - especially if the stock tuners are Grovers. Are you having any specific issues? Like, if you're having tuning issues, I think the nut would be the primary suspect. If you do a lot of bends and you're finding it hard to keep in tune afterward, a roller bridge is another thing to consider.
  4. Epiphone's been teasing us with a new Wilshire/Crestwood-type model for a looooooong time now. Remember when they were supposed to be coming out with the three-pickup model in ivory white? Not saying it won't happen, but there could be a lot of different things going on.
  5. It wouldn't shock me if the fretwork on the early-run 2020 Epis wasn't up to snuff. When I worked in guitar retail, my store wouldn't see stuff from NAMM until May or June. Having stuff in the hands of customers in February shows that Epiphone was committed to getting the new lineup out the door as quickly as possible. I've generally been quite happy with the fretwork of my Epi's from about 2010 going forward (of course, excluding the cheapest ~$99 instruments or whatever). And I suspect that once the urgency of getting the new lineup onto store shelves has died down, the QC procedures will be less rushed. For what it's worth, the worst fretwork I ever had was also on the most expensive guitar I ever had (a 2012 Gibson SG).
  6. Agreed that the reputation of Czech-made Epi LP's is mostly mystique. Today we think of Czechia as a modernized, highly developed, highly skilled European economy, but that wasn't the case at the time when the Bohemia Musico-Delicia factory was producing Epiphones. In the 1990s, the Czech Republic was just a few years removed from being part of the Soviet bloc - just years removed from being a command economy, with most production in the hands of highly inefficient state monopolies. (The Bohemia Musico-Delicia, coincidentally, had been one such state monopoly). While Czechia today is a powerhouse for manufacturing exports, in the '90s Czech exports were much smaller and mostly consisted of raw materials (lumber, coal) and intermediate goods that would feed into German manufacturing. Due to low labor productivity, low wages, and low tech know-how, the Czech Republic served the same role for Europe in the '90s as East Asia served the US. The Czech economy has come a long way since then, of course, and now its exports are mostly higher-valued consumer and capital goods. But that's today in 2020, over two decades after the last Czech-made Epiphone.
  7. Les Paul Custom All-mahogany body, transparent walnut finish Chrome hardware w/Bigsby HHH: Dimarzio PAF set in N & B, Dimarzio Bluesbucker in middle
  8. Like you, OP, I picked up an Epi Les Paul Custom Pro that also has the coil taps. I found that I got more out of the coil tap feature once I stopped thinking of it as "Strat/Tele mode," and started thinking of it as "clean chicken pickin' mode." The coil-tapped Sheraton won't sound like a Tele, but it will cover much of the same stylistic ground quite well.
  9. Let's say hypothetically that you had the chance to design your own signature guitar. What would you come up with? If you want to create a visual, here are a couple sites you can try (feel free to suggest others). If you just want to type out a description, that's cool too. http://www.frankmontag.com/sc_guitar.htm <- LP-style http://www.frankmontag.com/sg_guitar.htm <- SG-style http://tctwp.com/kisekae/ <- Various (scroll down) I'm looking forward to seeing what people come up with! Here are two concepts signature Les Paul Custom models I've thought up: #1 - Mahogany Burst All-mahogany body, mahogany neck with ebony fretboard Gold hardware, including Grover tuners Pickups: Seymour Duncan Seth Lover set (neck & bridge); Phat Cat neck (middle position). Controls: neck volume, middle volume, bridge volume, master tone; you can switch between the neck & the bridge like a regular two-humbucker LP, and blend in the Phat Cat P90 as much or as little as you want. Gloss finish in transparent...sunburst? Tobacco burst? Tea burst? I dunno. Since the finish shows off the mahogany underneath, I call it the "Mahoganyburst." #2 - "Custom Deluxe" Mahogany body, maple cap, mahogany neck with ebony fretboard Nickel hardware, Grover tuners, Bigsby trem + roller bridge (though the website doesn't have a roller bridge option) Pickups: Gibson "Deluxe" style minihumbuckers (neck & bridge); Gibson vintage-style Firebird neck pickup (middle position). Controls: same as above - n/m/b volume, master tone; switch between n/b, blend in the middle. Matte finish in flat black.
  10. What everybody else said. All the oddities/quirks/imperfections you see are standard for the era (part of the reason why I laugh whenever people talk about MIK Epis being the "golden age"). One thing I always look for is the headstock shape. I've noticed that the earlier MIKs have rounder, less defined contours on the headstock compared to today's Epis. Case in point, compare this (MIK): ...with this (MIC): Sure enough, your guitar has that distinctively rounded-off MIK headstock.
  11. Going off of what Robin The Hood said, this is not the Custom Pro - it is the older Custom, and in this case likely a Korean one based on the tuners (unless those were aftermarket replacements). The main difference will be the pickups & electronics; this guitar, the Custom, will have the older Alnico Classic pickups, which are alright but IMO don't hold a candle to the Probuckers on the newer Custom Pros. That being said, if you like the way that guitar plays and if you can get it at a good price, you can swap pickups/electronics for not a lot of money and have a good player on your hands.
  12. Before changing anything, I suggest you think carefully about this: do you currently find that there's something missing with that guitar? Is it something specific, or is it more like "I see all these other guys online upgrading their parts so I wanna try that too"?
  13. Yeah, one thing I notice on the body is that the treble-side cutaway looks awfully tight. I wish that the horn would flatten out more, like on the '66 Wilshire.
  14. I was curious about people's thoughts on the new DC Pro model, especially the neck.
  15. To be honest, "Slimtaper D" can mean a lot of things. For instance, both the Epiphone Les Paul Custom PRO and the Les Paul Traditional PRO are advertised as having a "SlimTaper™ 'D' profile" neck. However, if you try out 10 Custom Pros and 10 Traditional Pros, you will find that every single Traditional Pro has a thicker neck than any Custom Pro, and the difference is quite noticeable. The neck on the Traditional Pro will also be much more round than the Custom Pro.
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