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Bluemans335

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Everything posted by Bluemans335

  1. Have you tried Seth's, Fralins, Burstbuckers (the A2 models, not BBP's), and some of the top level PAF's? They have exceptional rich and clear tones. Since your 'Cheap stock Samick pickups were already 95% of the way there to the sound of '57 Classics', that's all the more reason to try some of the better PAF's (since '57's are up in that price range, or even higher than ome of them). I've had two sets of '57's and sold them both. Just couldn't get the tones I wanted, which are much easier to achieve with other PAF's. I think Gibson puts them in far too many models. They really should use BB's much more often.
  2. Easiest choice in what way? '57's are not in the upper echelon of PAF's. For the money, there's a lot of better PU's, starting with Burstbuckers.
  3. What a beautiful guitar. Epi needs to make a 355 with a Maestro. They look so much classier than a Bigsby.
  4. The is no vibrato/trem cooler-looking than a Maestro, and none with a more comfortable handle. The Alex Lifeson signature 335 has a Maestro and looks great with it.
  5. Well, maybe not. I was around for the crappy Asian guitars of the 1960's and 1970's. Most of them were horrible. I never would have believed that imports could be of the quality that Epi's been doing for more than a decade now. An increasing number of imports are coming stock with much better PU's, including American-made ones, and some have high quality electronics. There's millions of guitar players all over the world today, and they're demanding more and more value. With the internet, musicians are better-informed and more saavy than ever. It's an incredibly competitive market. I expect imports to keep improving in quality until they eventually catch up with American-mades. The Japanese have already done it. It's only a matter of time for China and Korea. Many American-made guitars are priced well above their cost, and that's forcing many of them to offer budget product lines if they want to sell in decent quanities, and those aren't much better than today's imports. The distinctions are getting blurred and will continue to.
  6. I've owned dozens of Epi's over the years and think the Chinese are better. Epiphone's factory, new machinery and tooling, they control the whole process. Now they're turning out the guitars they've always wanted to. The workmanship is very good, and they're much more consistent overall. 1990's Koreans varied a lot, the quality of some just wasn't as good. The grover tuners that Epi's been using lately are excellent, tough and reliable, never had a problem with them. In comparison the 1990's Koreans usually had cheap generic tuners. There's no comparison between the upgraded humbuckers Epi's had the last couple years, to the cheap ones in Koreans. The electronics are better now too (many Koreans had mini-pots). What concerns me about 1990's Koreans, besides the inconsistency and spotty quality, is that 1) a lot of them have serious fret wear; the fret metal isn't made to last decades, and refret jobs are expensive, 2) many have scratches, dents, dings, gouges, chips of finish missing, etc, and 3) the claims of Koreans being better are pretty much the realm of sellers as an excuse to jack up their prices. I've seen some flagrant examples of this on eBay, for guitars that aren't half as good as the current production Chinese models. As more players find out about the high quality and reasonable prices of the new models, they'll wise up and Korean prices will fall. I think just prior to the switch to Chinese production in 2003, the Koreans improved, for whatever reason, but they're still not any better than the Chinese ones. Another plus for 2000+ production (Chinese and Korean) is that there's been so many great limited editions, far beyond the 1990's. I see Epiphone as continually improving their products, and that hasn't stopped.
  7. There is a difference in materials and workmanship, no denying that. But is that difference worth an additional $2,000 or $3,000 to you? That's why Epiphone exists, and why Epiphone sells far more guitars than Gibson every year. Gibson isn't targeting their guitars for the average player, Epi is. For what Epi's cost, you're getting a very good instrument. If you want a great instrument and have the disposable income, get a Gibson. It's just that simple. Everyone's got to balance the priorities in their life: rent, car payment, wife and kids, medical bills, taxes, insurance, etc. Most people can't justify a high-end guitar, or two, or three. There's a number of national/international touring blues bands that use Korean/Chinese import guitars, especially Epiphones. It's nothing to apologize for. I always take my Epi's to gigs and jams, (after upgrading the PU's), and invaribly get complimenmts on my tones, from the audience and musicians. A few are perplexed, as they don't think Epi's should sound that good, but that's an old prejudice. For a $100/man gig at a local bar, I wouldn't even think of taking a guitar and amp worth $4,000 or $5,000. The acoustics are bad in those places to begin with, and a smoke-filled room with lots of alcohol isn't where I take expensive possessions. Everybody's got to decide for themselves what price range guitars work for their situation.
  8. +1. The imports from back then were crap. So many were horrible things. What's available now is so much better in every aspect. And they keep getting better.
  9. You don't lose money upgrades if they're reversible (no drilling or cutting) and you keep all the parts you take off. If you want to sell it, return it to stock condition.
  10. Epi's been converting models over to new PU's over since 2010. Not sure when they did that with Dots, but they had the good PU's last year, and possibly a year or two earlier. I totally agree about guitar makers using good quality PU's instead of the cheap generic ones on most imports. They're buying them in bulk quantities and it doesn't cost them that much more to use better ones. They don't have to be American name-brand ones. The current Probuckers, Alnico Classic Pros, and Alnico Classics are all very clear and articulate PU's, with Gibson-spec materials and sophisticated coil windings (the secret art to making great PU's). Cool thing with Epiphone is that they haven't raised prices with the upgrades. I've had many Epi's over the years, and the current proiduction ones are the best quality and best sounding ones I've seen. I wouldn't hesitate to take one from a music store straight to a gig.
  11. Considering Gibson 335's are almost 10 times the cost of an Epi, it's hard to beat Dots for value. Dimensions, build, etc are similar on both, but Gibson uses higher quality materials and American workmanship. You decide if that's worth the difference in cost to you. Dots are well-made, reliable guitars. Never saw one that wasn't. I've got several Dots, and upgraded PU's in all of them (which you wouldn't need to do on the new models). Most have maple necks, but I have one in natural with a thick 1950's mahogany neck. I put a pair of Duncan Seth's in it, and it's on a level playing field with a Gibson 335 for tone quality. Why spend more?
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