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Elitist Riviera: Worth the wait


mmad dog

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Hey all.

 

I've been looking for a riviera for years on and off. Played a vintage example years ago for a few minutes. My wallet was not up to it, but that guitar left an impression. Not easy to find. I was actually looking for the MIK Riviera with minihums, when I came across a CL ad for an Elitist not terribly far away.

 

So headed over and checked it out yesterday. First impression: heavier than the vintage Riviera, heavier than my old ES-335. But not too heavy. Second impression: Big, roomy neck. Edges a bit sharp, not rolled that much, but it really is comfortable. Third impression: even set up with action too high on the bass side, it played REALLY easy. Strung with .11s, old, felt like .10s. 30 seconds in, my mind was made up. Plugged into his DRRI for a bit, got just a taste of the minihum sound.

 

Back at the shack, new strings on and string height adjusted, this pretty red guitar impresses. Plugged into my Allen Encore head and 1x15 cab, it's the exact set of Riviera sounds I've been chasing for years. Could not be better. I've had some really cool semi-hollows pass through my hands because they basically couldn't compete with my old ES-335. This one can. A near perfect player, obvious quality in build and materials.

 

Guess it's official. I'm an epiphone fanboy. Have a MIK casino (love it) and an Epi LQ Les Paul (love that one too). So be it. This guitar was worth the long wait.

MD

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Bob:

 

Interesting. I didn't know the specs. Part of why it feels roomy is my old 335. That guitar is a '66, has the 1 9/16 at the nut neck. Never much bothered me, but it is narrower than the 1 5/8 tele necks I'm mostly used to.

 

My MIK casino measures close to 1 5/8, a touch wider. The Riviera measures just about 1 11/16. It feels roomier than the casino for sure.

 

MD

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Part of why it feels roomy is my old 335. That guitar is a '66, has the 1 9/16 at the nut neck.

MD - That would certainly make your Riviera feel roomy! I have two '66 guitars with the 1-9/16" neck, and actually I've found that the depth & taper up the neck can considerably differ from one guitar to the next, making some highly playable & others difficult.

 

The Elitist Riviera is a fairly rare bird as you know, and a great find. Congrats & enjoy!

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Bob:

 

You're right about that. More than width goes into how a neck feels. My '66 ES-335 feels rather amazing. Narrow yes, but the proportions are just right. And thanks to all on the Riviera. I am feeling quite lucky today to have found it. Such alive and cool sounds out of this thing. Can't wait to get it out on a stage somewhere!

 

MD

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  • 2 weeks later...

I can't seem to rustle up a camera. But found a pic of an identical riviera. Mine looks just like this one:

 

896c1d49-f572-43e8-bdfc-afec05ee34a1_zps3e759840.jpg

 

Took it to a long rehearsal yesterday. Outstanding pickups ... I couldn't be happier with the sound. Here's a litte taste, a Bubby Radcliff tune:

http://soundclick.co...cfm?id=12679487

 

MD

 

Cool looking guitar with a nice binding and frequensator. Fine playing too, sounds greatmsp_thumbup.gif

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