Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Riffster

New Guitar Day - modded and pics added

Recommended Posts

I've wanted a small block ES-335 for a while but having 5 Gibbys including an R8 it is hard to justify expensive guitars even if I can easily afford them.

 

So when Epiphone came out with a version it was just a matter of time, I went to the brand new GC and got this.

 

These have been reduced from $450 to $400, in addition I got lucky and qualified for the deal GC has this weekend where you get $10 per $50 you spend on an eCertificate. So after tax and minus the $80 I am getting back I got this for around $350.

 

The guitar is made well, good fit and finish with a nice dark board. I lowered the action and feels real nice. I am happy and my wife loves the look.

 

DB59E0EE-28EF-4B94-8349-2F0EA9871A70_zpsb7akjjnq.jpg

 

33D7D596-921B-46B7-93B1-01E84419E634_zpsuvsjmjrj.jpg

 

41CBAD29-A9DE-4612-A349-5D3133361629_zpswtonsrdw.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing wrong with a good Epi...

 

Sometimes the electronics and pups can be a bit crap in cheaper guitars, but that's easy enough to fix.. as long as it plays well and you like it, that's all that counts...

 

Happy rocking man [thumbup] :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats a beautiful guitar! I prefer a red finish on my guitars as well. I have heard some really good reviews on the Epiphone hollow bodies. Sounds like you got an incredible deal. Enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats, Riffster, HNGD! [thumbup]

 

Looks darn nice with the crown and small block inlays - love them.

 

Report about the coil split options, please. I am curious about these.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have two recent Dots myself. One cherry, one sunburst.

 

The current pups and electronic stuff - pots and wiring and switch - seem to be of pro quality. Three-four years ago - I forget which - Epi made some pretty significant upgrades.

 

I find both eminently playable for the physical geometry involved.

 

Some folks can't help themselves and choose to mod the guitars, but likely would do the same with a Gibbie 335.

 

I'll admit that were I to have the time to mess with it, I might consider some old TV Jones type pups or even p90 types on the sunburst, but leave the cherry as is for 90 percent of whatever.

 

Then again... if it ain't broke...

 

m

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks guy, the guitar sounds great stock, no mods or pickup replacements on this one, ok, I never leave anything stock so maybe a few minor tweaks.

 

The two minor things I will change is the caps and the knobs, I prefer reflectors and I think the guitar would look nicer.

 

As for the pickups they sound like a mellow version of the classic 57 but definitely in the same vein, they sound great through my Mesa, they are staying. I need to play with pickup height and the pole pieces to dial in better clarity but they are fine pickups. they fit the voicing I want on this guitar.

 

Milod, you are right, the electronic have full size pots, I bet they are Alphas which is a good brand.

 

Capmaster, the split pickup sounded a bit weak to me, maybe you could say vintage. I have another guitar with coil split but that humbucker is a GFS copy of a Seymour Duncan JB, when split the output of a single coil is pretty good. Maybe this is a reason he pickups on the Epi sound weak in comparison.

 

Very nice guitar for the price but...there was a blonde and inspected that one and was not as good as this Cherry, the blonde one had goopy poly, messy fretboard, super chunky neck, etc no way I'd buy that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, the only one thing I did notice is that the two middle strings at the 4th fret bum out, that means the 5th wire is a bit high. Being that is only one fret it should be easy to fix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks guy, the guitar sounds great stock, no mods or pickup replacements on this one, ok, I never leave anything stock so maybe a few minor tweaks.

 

The two minor things I will change is the caps and the knobs, I prefer reflectors and I think the guitar would look nicer.

 

As for the pickups they sound like a mellow version of the classic 57 but definitely in the same vein, they sound great through my Mesa, they are staying. I need to play with pickup height and the pole pieces to dial in better clarity but they are fine pickups. they fit the voicing I want on this guitar.

 

Milod, you are right, the electronic have full size pots, I bet they are Alphas which is a good brand.

 

Capmaster, the split pickup sounded a bit weak to me, maybe you could say vintage. I have another guitar with coil split but that humbucker is a GFS copy of a Seymour Duncan JB, when split the output of a single coil is pretty good. Maybe this is a reason he pickups on the Epi sound weak in comparison.

 

Very nice guitar for the price but...there was a blonde and inspected that one and was not as good as this Cherry, the blonde one had goopy poly, messy fretboard, super chunky neck, etc no way I'd buy that.

 

Thanks for the info, Riffster. Glad you are fine with the tone. [thumbup] Guess I would also be fine with the split options.

 

As for knobs, I would replace them, too, but with Speed Knobs which I think are the finest for pulling pot switches. Tastes may be different... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, the only one thing I did notice is that the two middle strings at the 4th fret bum out, that means the 5th wire is a bit high. Being that is only one fret it should be easy to fix.

Good luck for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have two recent Dots myself. One cherry, one sunburst.

 

The current pups and electronic stuff - pots and wiring and switch - seem to be of pro quality. Three-four years ago - I forget which - Epi made some pretty significant upgrades.

 

I find both eminently playable for the physical geometry involved.

 

Some folks can't help themselves and choose to mod the guitars, but likely would do the same with a Gibbie 335.

 

I'll admit that were I to have the time to mess with it, I might consider some old TV Jones type pups or even p90 types on the sunburst, but leave the cherry as is for 90 percent of whatever.

 

Then again... if it ain't broke...

 

m

 

 

 

 

 

I agree. Epi semi hollows were always something to work with and with the pickup improvements they really sepped things up.

 

I have an Epi Dot which I got prior to the pickup improvements. Its a really nice guitar but I swapped out the pickups and it really came to life. I still should sitch out the pickup selctor switch on that one yet.

 

Then in December of 2012 I got a new Epi 339 pro and that thing was ready to go right out of the box. Pickups were great. Left em in. Still like them and no plans to swap em out. I like the single coil tapping aas well. Its one very versitle guitar and really great deal for the money I think. I sincerely think Epi really has something with there semi hollows they make/sell. THey are a great deal for getting a great guitar for very reasonable price and I think they are Epiphones best thing they have going right now. Riffer. You won't regret getting that Epi. If you do, I'll eat my shorts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I played one of those at SamAsh awhile back... And I couldnt believe how heavy it was....... Other than the fretboard needing some conditioning and a fret polish...... It was a nice player

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, that's something I did not mention, it is heavy for a semi-hollow, heavier than my R8.

 

The fretboard on mine is nice and dark, it looks perfect and I am sure it will look nicer after a pass with Fret Doctor.

 

Further down the road I may install a Tusq XL nut since they are cheap and so easy to install.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, that's something I did not mention, it is heavy for a semi-hollow, heavier than my R8.

 

The fretboard on mine is nice and dark, it looks perfect and I am sure it will look nicer after a pass with Fret Doctor.

 

Further down the road I may install a Tusq XL nut since they are cheap and so easy to install.

The cheap nut which came stock on my Epi Tribute LP performs better than some of my stock Gibson nuts did. My Epi's fretboard is also dark and nicely grained. I removed the dye it had come with using vegetable gun oil, and it was just as dark under it! [biggrin]

 

Considering body size, the weight of your ES-335 PRO might be quite right for a nice balance I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on the new fiddle.

 

I own an ES-335 that I really like. When I heard some boutique pickups that I really liked, I looked for an inexpensive guitar to put them in. A local luthier was getting an Epi Dot in to sell on consignment, and this seemed like a great opportunity for me. The guitar was relatively new and in very good condition. It had sat un-played in its case for over a year, and when I got it, some of the frets had become raised. After the luthier leveled the frets, the guitar was really nice in every way. Fact is, I couldn't tell much difference between it and my 335. For whatever reason, it didn't play quite as well as the 335, but then, nothing does, IMO. I liked the stock pickups very much- I got some great sounds out of them (not '57 classic quality, but still very nice)- but because the whole reason for getting that guitar was to house the new pickups, that's what I did. I didn't regret replacing the pickups, but I'd have been happy with that guitar with the stock pups. Those Dots are a great value and a quality instrument. I was very pleasantly surprised. IMO, that guitar is every bit as good as a Gibson ES-330 (I installed some P-90 type pickups) for less than one-fourth the price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice guit, what does the workmanship on the inside look like? I've played a few cheaper semi hollow's, for example the prs se and a couple had rough patches of wood on the inside

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This one looks impeccable inside, I used my telescoping mirror to look inside and other that a few lose wood shavings it looks great.

 

I had a Casino that cost me twice the price of this guitar years ago and it was made in Korea and it had a lot of glue runs inside, even the oval sticker that goes inside was glued very sloppy.

 

No doubt I lucked out with the ES-335, it is a keeper, I am really happy with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An update on this guitar. A bunch of samll tweaks and mods.

 

As I mentioned before some frets were high, and I mean extremely high to the point the string vibration would get choked when fretting. I used the Epiphone guarantee and the high frets were fixed by a reputable guitar tech here in town so thanks Gibson for making it right.

 

Still there was something not working well, I measured the radius at the neck and noticed the E string was off, it was not sitting all the way in in the saddle since the notch is a V shape. I filed the notch and now the string sits in a way that it gets that 12 degree radius.

 

Still, there was something off with the action, I could tell when playing notes on the A string, it had to be the nut, no big deal I was planning on replacing the nut with a Tusq XL (best improvement on a guitar for the $9 it costs).

 

Sure enough there was a problem, the nut came off easy with a simple tap from the side. The issue was that the nut channel was routed too deep and also seems to have chipped the wood on either side of the truss rod channel. What I suspect was happening is that the plastic nut was bending down under string pressure because it was only supported on its ends.

 

I added wood filler and sanded flat, replaced the nut for a perfect fit and more resonance and action.

 

5C606C6C-95D3-43F9-B39C-DFCFC9E13099_zpsiuoih9pi.jpg

 

FB72770E-29DD-40DA-B197-A5385D94426B_zpslro4x4zq.jpg

 

7A9B79E3-29A5-4D37-A1C9-A0282B1D4454_zpslldsemhw.jpg

 

 

One cosmetic issue I had is that the neck pickup was tilted since the slope of the top of the guitar added to the slope of the pickup ring tilts the pickup too much making it look odd. I sanded the ring to reduce the slope and now the pickup sits perfectly and looks great.

 

605C0F74-DDE0-4373-B9B3-A75FB2590726_zpski0nwkfm.jpg

 

9AD645C4-34F1-44FA-81F6-4BD7C3F2C147_zpskmqbotst.jpg

 

Electronics:

 

The pots have good tapers, I took them out to measure them and I was pleasantly surprised by the tight tolerances in all of them and the fact that they are Made in Korea. No need to replace them.

 

EB40BBBC-AD4E-4E60-8EBD-A6CF068A0F1A_zpsxh6otf0d.jpg

 

F5E598D2-8BBA-478D-AC9D-4741A684C39F_zpsn8iliopg.jpg

 

AF660316-BAF6-47EB-82B1-C173F63D26D2_zpsctucyjju.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I replaced the capacitors with Orange Drops 0.022uf on the bridge and 0.015 on the neck. Great change especially on the neck pickup with that 0.015 cap, I can dial in great tones and with the tone rolled off all the way the guitar produces that nice woman tone.

 

Moving on to the cosmetic stuff, black switch tip that I already had, reflector knobs, pointers and a more robust beveled washer for the input jack so it does not come lose as easy. Also the obvious short pickguard to replace the stock long guard. I drilled the holes and beveled them myself, turned out great.

 

BBA0C159-211A-4174-BE37-5F65D60D17F7_zpswsiqywlo.jpg

 

3812C5F8-CAAD-4A33-AB80-5C6E3C354BE6_zpseryc3jyi.jpg

 

9A4F27C8-4B98-40B1-9086-8EBB5BB27F17_zpshvwhmeo6.jpg

 

Fingerboard oiled with Fret Doctor

 

7072D713-BD40-4747-B036-1D36A4F54EC7_zpsnszsxraw.jpg

 

The before and after pics may not look dramatic but the guitar plays and sounds a lot nicer.

 

Before

 

DB59E0EE-28EF-4B94-8349-2F0EA9871A70_zpsb7akjjnq.jpg

After

 

50D64AD0-E5A6-452B-9EA6-9DE0FC510158_zpsgxfkkgm9.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...