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About stevo58

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  1. I have a 2015 Studio with single vol/tone. As a decades-long Tele player, I prefer it that way. Four knobs confuse me, and don’t work in the middle position the way I think they should. They can’t work correctly without an active buffer between the pups. I make heavy use of the middle position, and separate controls make it difficult. So I actually prefer the single vol/tone. But it does look a bit hinky. I do love the guitar. I’m not as much of a Tele player as I used to be. I never got along with LPs or SGs or other solid two-humbucker guitars, but the ES works for me. I like the stripped-down look, the black binding on wine red, and I have no issues with the baked maple fingerboard. It’s a hell of a guitar, and I bought it in used-but-like-new condition for about the price of a Sheraton+case+pickups+potswap+etc., so it really was a no brainer. The only thing I changed on it were the tuners, and only because I don’t like Rotos, not because they were inadequate. My current almost favorite of my dozen or so guitars (favorite is an old ES-125TDC). Normally I would replace the pots with sealed Bourns units, but I’ll wait until these start scratching before I do that. That shouldn’t happen for a few years. Adding two controls wouldn’t be difficult, but you would have to be careful to position them correctly, and you would want to ream them to size rather than drill them, to avoid chipping and finish damage. Then you get to install the wiring harness, which, if you never worked on semis before, can be frustrating. Steven
  2. I don’t really have a ‘dream’ guitar - but if I did, it would be a Martin, and I already own it. But if we limit ourselves to what could theoretically be built in QingDao, and if it were possible to custom-order at a reasonable price, I would order like this: Based on a Sheraton, but the neck 3-piece ‘mahogany’ rather than maple (with two maple veneer between the ‘mahogany’). Thinnest possible poly finish. Fralin Humbuckers, Bourns sealed pots, Switchcraft switch/jack. Faber hardware, with hardened steel bushings. Tusq or bone nut. Schaller ST-6K tuners. Simpler headstock. Split parallelogram inlay. Thinner laminate (3-layer? Probably not possible). Jack on the side. Access hatch on the back to get to the wiring harness. That would do it for me. Steven
  3. Oh, wiring a thin line is one of those things that gets easier with practice. The first time might be a disaster, but you figure out how to do it. The advice about playing the guitar stock for a while is good. No one is forcing you to use the split. The current Epi electronic harness is decent stuff. That said ... I have 3 thin lines: an ES-125, a Dot, and a Casino. The newer Sheraton has better pickups, but both of the Epis really benefited from upgraded pickups (I put Fralins in both). As long as I was in there I replaced the entire harness. I use sealed pots in open guitars, because at some point dust WILL start causing problems. It gave me the chance to move to 50s wiring, and find the right tone and bleed values. My free advice: if you play it for a while and decide you want to swap the pickups, pull everything out, unsolder it all, reassemble the old stuff, reinstall it, and repeat a couple of times until you can do it relatively easily. Once you get there, you can put the good stuff in. That way you won’t be learning with the expensive stuff and overheating pots or caps or cursing about getting the neck tone control in that hole. You’ll find what works for you. But if you are going to make the effort, go whole hog and put good pots, switch, and jack in there while you are at it so you don’t have to do it again down the road. Jmho Steven
  4. Apparently Vox, apparently very expensive, and apparently they only sell it with free bonus guitars: https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/best-adjustable-wraparound-bridge-still-pigtail.1179539/ Steven
  5. We all know a Chinese (or Korean) Epiphone is not a Gibson. Poor? It serves its function well. I have a Qingdao Casino. I bought it because I didn’t want to gig anymore with my going-on-sixty-year-old ES-125TDC - it’s getting a bit delicate. The 125 is an amazing guitar; it sounds huge. I didn’t expect the Casino to measure up, and of course it didn’t. How could it? It hasn’t been vibrated for half a century. But I viewed the Epi as a platform and changed everything on it. Vintage-voiced Fralin P90s, pots, switch, jack, nut, bridge, tuners. Everything except the trapeze, the bridge bushings, and the frets. I’m looking at those bushings .... Does it measure up now? No. But close, or close enough. On stage in a bar with a drummer and you won’t hear much difference. It’s fun to play, it looks good, it sounds good, I’m not plunged into deep depression when I ding it, nobody is going to steal it; I don’t have to spend my breaks wondering if my guitar will be on stage when I get back. And it doesn’t have a Brazilian fingerboard, so I don’t have to worry about crossing borders with it (which I do often, living where I do - Germany/Switzerland/France). It sounds wonderful through a tweed for old-school blues. T-Bone, early Freddie - no problem. It’s not a 330. Or a 125 (basically the same thing). But it’s pretty darn good. Even the poly doesn’t bug me - but my hands don’t sweat much. All you HAVE to do is put reasonable pickups in it instead of the crazy overwound stocks. Steven
  6. Where do you live? Rockinger is a good source in Europe (Germany) and there are sources in the UK, too. Steven
  7. I have no problem modding a guitar. I have two Epis, a Casino and a Dot, and both are heavily modified. Tuners, nut, bridge, pickups, pots, switch, jack, even the strap buttons. Replaced the stop on the Dot with a trapeze, and a DeLisle Pentatone will be going in there soon, too. F-hole guitars should have sealed pots, period. I put Bourns 95 (or 82 when I can find them) in open guitars. I have three custom-built guitars which I of course did not mod because I spec’d them exactly as I wanted in the first place. I even modded my beloved Martin OM-21 - Waverlies, Greven pickguard, strap locks, pickup, Buffalo horn pins. I like the Epis. They are my cheapest guitars but they play well and sound good, and get a lot of playing time. Steven
  8. Well, there’s the Tele neck pickup. Depending on the material, a metal cover can reduce highs. It also can function as shielding. Nickel silver seems to be the best. I just replaced the stock pickups in my Casino with Fralins, and although the tone is much better, there is significantly more hum due to the unshielded covers. I’m looking for a solution. Our rehearsal room is in an industrial area and the inductively in our room is sky high. Single coils hum like crazy in that room. Steven
  9. If you replace the tuners with something that uses 10mm posts (like Grovers or other threaded-bushing tuners) be careful when you push the old bushings out. They are likely stuck to the lacquer, and you will probably take some of the lacquer along when you push it out. Guess how I know this. If you have to push the bushings out, do it like this: 1) use a scalpel or sharp fine hobby knife to score the finish under the bushing. This way, any poly you take along for the ride will be limited to an invisible part of the headstock. 2) I used a clamp, an 8mm bolt, and three wood shims for the front side to gently and evenly push out the bushing. My only problem was with the first one I did, before I remembered to score the finish. My Casino was 2 months old when I replaced the tuners with Schaller ST6K. The stock tuners just didn't feel right to me, and I prefer the look of hideous green plastic keystones on Gibson-family headstocks. steven
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