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Leonard McCoy

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Everything posted by Leonard McCoy

  1. Still, I find it important to correct false information. The Epiphone wiki is as much guilty of serious blunders and inconsistencies as Epiphone themselves were in their ads and catalogues back then and even today.
  2. Sentimental value aside, I would base that decision on what condition the rest of the instrument is in. Seven-hundred bucks is a lot to shell out for repair work, but it is a Cortez which usually do sound sweet. They go for about 1-1.5k these days, and considering they're all over 50 years old by now, they have all had, or should have, some kind of repair work done and plenty of blemishes to show for.
  3. My luthier filed down the nut of my lefty Inspired by Texan (2014) quite a bit, as it was getting replaced anyway, to find out what material it was made of and why the nut slots were incorrectly carved height-wise. Long story short, when filing the nut down it smelled like bone to him and to me as well. Probably synthetic bone, I wager; same goes for the saddle.
  4. To add to j45nick's reply, the following images should help visualize the various neck types.
  5. For a laminate, I'd recommend the fabulously sounding Epiphone Performer ME, which can be had these days second-hand for relatively cheap. http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Acoustic-Electric/Performer-ME.aspx
  6. I've only ever heard good things about the Epiphone Performer ME. It's certainly a very intruiging guitar...
  7. The action of your EJ-200SCE seems indeed a tad high at the nut, especially concerning the treble side; 12th-fret action seems nominal. Gibson's official acoustic specifications are as follows: 1st fret treble side - 1/64" (0.396875mm) 1st fret bass side - 2/64" (0.79375mm) 12th fret treble side - 5/64" (1.98438mm) 12th fret bass side - 7/64" (2.77812mm) If a file doesn't do the trick, a luthier definitely would. Before you do anything, though, I'd recommend to properly adjust the truss rod first and recheck the string heights.
  8. This thread is way too old to be revived. But to chime in, the best Epiphone acoustic remains the SQ-180 Neil Diamond.
  9. 12/64" at the 12th fret is indeed too high, making playing higher up the cane difficult. Gibson's acoustic specifications are as follows: 1st fret treble side - 1/64" (0.396875mm) 1st fret bass side - 2/64" (0.79375mm) 12th fret treble side - 5/64" (1.98438mm) 12th fret bass side - 7/64" (2.77812mm) Given the truss rod is perfectly adjusted, the angles of attack for lowering string action are the following: the saddle: a sanded-down saddle to lower, or one supported by shims to raise, the action is usually a quick DIY fix. the nut: a properly carved nut with the correct slot height for each string has a huge impact on string action. Usually requires a luthier to do so. the bridge: in some cases a luthier can ever so slightly carve down the bridge a tad to correct string action that could otherwise, by fixing the nut or saddle, no longer be corrected much. I don't think that after sanding down the saddle there's much else you can do by yourself. Contacting a luthier is my recommendation. Luthier work of any kind has become very affordable these days.
  10. The nut and saddle of the Texan seem to be either bone or -- as is the case with the SJ-200SCE and my secret suspicion -- imitation bone. To be fair though, my luthier filed down the nut quite a bit to find out, and it smelled to him like bone would. Anyway, the original nut of my left-handed Texan is currently being handcrafted anew by my luthier. The reason for that is that Epiphone used a standard, right-handed nut on this left-handed guitar: they just glued over the string slots and tried to reshape them for lefthand use. As you can imagine, that didn't work out so well: the action of the bass strings at the first fret is so low that with properly adjusted truss rod and even with .013 strings (which she came with) the open low E string buzzes strongly when picked; whereas the action of the treble strings, especially the high E string, is too high, making barré chords extremely difficult to play at the first couple of frets even for me who is relatively tolerant of that. I'd like to mention, though, that all this isn't out of the ordinary for a lefty. From my experience, the production runs in general for lefthand acoustic guitars are often subpar to their righthand counterpart, not only in this case with Epiphone. Fortunately the rest of the guitar, including the saddle, is in top shape and I'm more than happy with her overall. I can't wait to get her back from my luthier.
  11. I imagine the mic might be in the way when playing with a pick.
  12. I just corrected an error in my inital post. The neck of the SQ-180 ND is actually much, much narrower at the first fret. The guitar features a traditional bone nut that is cut to a mere 1.56 inches, not 1.65".
  13. If we believe what's printed on the packaging, then the J-200 strings are slowly wound on top of having silk wraps on the end, both of which don't find mention on the Masterbuilt packaging. As to whether there are differences in wire diameter for the core and winding between the J-200 and Masterbuilt strings, we can but suspect.
  14. I Love My Dog is among my favorites of all time! I'll get to his early stuff eventually (First Cut Is the Deepest, I Love My Dog, and so forth) once I have the three great acoustic albums of his transcribed in the main. I'm almost two-third through already. His oeuvre his expansive, to say the least.
  15. It can't be denied that the wine-red J-45 received favorable reviews and sports phenomenal sound. In fact, this goes for all the less expensive Gibson models when compared to their pricier brethren. Excepting custom models perhaps, there is virtually no difference in the quality of workmanship or materials used between least and most expensive Gibson; they all come out of the same factory, assembled by the same craftsmen. The name tag used (e.g., signature models), brand marketing (iconic J-200), and any other extras make the price. If you'd love a J-45, the wine-red one is as good as any.
  16. The switch to the rich and full sound of Gibson Jumbo strings was the right thing to do for my small-jumbo Epiphone. Had my local luthier had Gibson strings I would have settled for them right away while he was setting up the guitar. To my ear, the Elixier PB strings sound as if they are, for guitar strings, never at their 100% in terms of tonal performance -- more like 80%ish; with Elixier one trades in tonal performance for string longevity. I have, however, not meddled with their Mediums, only their Lights and Ultra Lights in various forms (PB, Nanoweb, etc). If you put on your brand-new J-200 strings, you're going to notice a krass difference in sound right away. And in my experience the Elixiers never break in. In hindsight, Elixiers are more the type of strings I would fit onto Ovation guitars (if any) or if I wouldn't be playing guitar on a frequent basis.
  17. May your New Year's resolutions carry you through the year. My resolution is to fully transcribe Cat Stevens' acoustic greats with the original chords and riffs. And I'm well on the road to doing that over at https://catstevensguitar.wordpress.com (which see). Happy New Year to everyone!
  18. It's kinda ironic that I couldn't wait to rip my brand-new Elixier PB (Ultra) Lights off my baby (SQ-180 ND) to replace them with J-200 PB Lights.
  19. If that's really your action at the 12th fret, it's extremely on the low side, and I'm honestly surprised the guitar's not constantly buzzing for you. Nonetheless I'm glad your DIY efforts worked out as they did. Major work in terms of string action can also be achieved by replacing the nut of the guitar, but that'd require real craftsmanship or the aid of a professional hand.
  20. I can but agree, even though good luthier work is very affordable nowadays. The simpler things like adjusting the truss rod or sanding down the saddle a little one can easily do by oneself if one is so inclined. How high exactly is your action now at the 12th fret treble and bass side (top of fret to bottom of string)?
  21. Did you try the Gibson J-200 strings? They, too, sport silk-wrapped ends, and are slow-wound on top of that. I have .012 gauge of those on my small jumbo, and they sound fantastic. I have yet to try the Masterbuilt Phosphor Bronze Premium strings on my Epiphone Texan. Gibson strings are made to their specifications at the D'Addario factories.
  22. Epiphone produces some amazing guitars, it's more a matter of finding the right one for you personally. Your short list of candidates looks pretty solid already. And while I'm enarmored by the 2014 Indonesian-made Inspired by 1964 Texan, I wouldn't disregard vintage Epiphone models that are no longer in production. Sometimes they are cheap to pick up and offer amazing sound and playability.
  23. The thickness of the strings itself has no effect on the action of a guitar, since no matter how "thick" the string it lies equally flat on sattle and bridge; in other words, the distance from fretboard to string underside always remains the same. For example, .013" strings are only minisculely thicker than .012" ones. Higher string tension or string gauge (e.g., lights vs. mediums) can have an effect on action however, as it puts more pressure on the neck often requiring a re-adjustment of the truss rod, which you can do by yourself. For the EJ-200 I'd start with .012" J-200 Gibson strings, with the aim to finally settle on medium-gauge .013" strings to get the most sound out of the big jumbo.
  24. The strings' packaging informs us that the J-200 strings are slowly wound and silk-wrapped at the end. As to whether there are differences in wire diameter for the core and winding between the J-200 and Masterbuilt strings, we can but suspect. Gibson, however, probably won't tell us.
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