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About jamesmickanen

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  • Birthday 10/28/1978

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  • Location
    San Jose, California
  • Interests
    Epiphone and Gibson electric guitars, particularly black/Ebony Les Pauls and Sheraton IIs. Fender amplifiers, Rancid, and The Cramps.
  1. My 2006 Korean Sheraton II was preowned scored in a trade for my old 2006 Chinese Epiphone Les Paul Standard. The previous owner installed Planet Waves auto-trim locking tuners and I assume all hardware as I have not seen many Ebony Sheraton's with chrome hardware. I love my Sheraton! It's fun to play and I find myself playing it more often than my other three guitars. The locking tuners are a first for me but I have grown to appreciate them. They're good, not as great as some would like you to believe, but well worth trying out if you're in the market for tuning keys to see if it's for you.
  2. Yes, I finally had the opportunity to test drive a 50s Tribute this past weekend. Though a fine piece of Gibson craftsmanship, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with the overall finish and the feel of the neck. The company may have been able to cut costs by applying less coats of nitrocellulose but it leaves the guitar with a matte finish rather that a high gloss finish which I prefer. Likewise, the neck felt very different due to less coats of lacquer being used. The profile was okay but I did not like feeling numerous partially exposed grooves in the wood all along the neck. I compared the 50s Tribute to an Epiphone Les Paul Standard since I used to own one (now own a custom) and found that the Epiphone neck felt bigger even though it was labeled as having a 60 s profile slim taper. I tried out a number of Gibson Les Pauls from a Special to a Standard with a couple of Studios in between for good measure while cross referencing them in comparison to an Epiphone Les Paul Standard. When it was all said and done I found that I still prefer the Epiphone Les Paul (Custom) Black Beauty 3 that I currently own over any of the Gibson Les Pauls I tried out that day as far as appearance, performance, playability, and overall feel. Don't get me wrong, I still want a Gibson Les Paul, either a drop dead gorgeous Studio or a Standard Gold Top (or equivalent). I'm just trying to narrow down the features and specifications that I like and don't like in preparation of that special day when it comes.
  3. Nothing wrong with the stock Grovers, never have had any problems with any of the Grover tuners I have had. My desire for the vintage "tulip" style tuning keys is purely for aesthetic reasons. Yesterday, I was happy to learn that Grover offers said style while I was drooling over some 2016 Gibson Les Paul '50s Tribute Gold Tops online.
  4. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback.
  5. The last time I used an electric drill on a guitar... the result wasn't pretty. R.I.P. Washburn Lyon series Strat copy (my first guitar)
  6. Thanks for the reply. I have read more than a few product reviews where people have had to alter one set of holes or the other. I will likely take the same route as you when the time comes and let a pro handle it.
  7. I was wondering if anybody out there has had any problems when trying to upgradie their Epiphone Les Paul's tuners from the stock Grover tuners to the vintage style mint green tulip shaped tuners (Gibson, Kluson, etc.) regularly seen on Gibson guitars? I am interested in putting Gibson Modern Gold Machine Heads w/Metal Buttons on my Epiphone Black Beauty and I don't want to take anything for granted assuming that Gibson specs are one in the same with Epiphone.
  8. My Epiphone siblings; a Les Paul Black Beauty 3 with 6-position toggle upgrade, and Sheraton II with aftermarket hardware upgrades (Planet-Waves locking auto-trim tuners, chrome bridge, Stopbar, and pickup covers, and black bell shaped knobs). And I had to add a current family photo of my humble little collection which includes a completely stock 2011 Korean Gretsch G5120 in addition to the aforementioned Epiphones. The Gretsch has "Gretsch re-designed dual Coil pickups" which sound pretty sweet to me. I think they would fit in well among any rock genre. Much respect to those of you with the sizable collections. My school of thought regarding my own collection is to not have more guitars than talent. And, with a wife and four human children, 3-5 guitars is all the wife will allow. You know the mantra - happy wife: happy life.
  9. Oh glorious day, success! I've been granted membership!

  10. Oh glorious day, success! I've been granted membership!

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