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Hi all.Just seen Epiphone have bought out the new easy to play pro models.Does anybody have one of these or tried them.They look really nice and sound great on the you tube videos.Any information would be great.Many Thanks

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Okay, I can't speak to new Epi models but - I can speak to the use of 9-42 strings on an acoustic or, more appropriately in my case, AE flattops.

 

I'm sold on 'em as a performer who mostly is doing AE fingerpicking. A lotta guys, even fingerpickin, haven't figured that you don't have to beat on a flattop's strings to have it sound as good or better run through an amp or board, so they're always playing as though playing an acoustic-only in a venue where you hadda holler and bang on the guitar. They probably prefer heavier strings at standard pitch 'stedda either light strings at standard or "regular" strings down-tuned.

 

Secondly...

 

I'm sold on 9-42 for beginner playing. I know most of us went through all kinds of pains learning guitar, but I don't see what's wrong with doing what "we" can to encourage a new player - as opposed to making agony a rite of passage. There's a place for Marine boot camp physical and emotional pressures, and a place for encouraging skill development that the Marine Corps itself recognizes - so why not pickers?

 

m

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I agree that light a gauge would be helpful for beginners. I only play with my fingers and use either light mediums or mediums (depending on how old the guitar, whether it has any kind of neck reinforcement and how lightly it is built). But I guess I am stubborn and refuse to sacrifice sound for comfort. To get the best any acoustic has to give you have to drive the top. The wimpier the string the less vibration going through the bridge and the less sound comes out.

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Zomby...

 

In ways I'd agree but... I've only played AE guitars since the first Ovation AEs broke the barrier of bringing in more or less piezo bridge pickups in the early '70s. I got two of 'em that I still have, one steel and one nylon.

 

The steel string instrument wore 10s - the lightest I could get at the time - and backed up dozens of folks for state fiddling contests and "old time" performances including on radio. (Radio? Yup, using the same mikes on the same stage Lawrence Welk had used back in the live radio days.)

 

That same steel string then was used on some pieces in the "electric" trio that was a country "house band" for a cupla years.

 

My observation then, as now, is that a lot depends on how one is playing the instrument. Given I'm inevitably fingerpicking and running through an amp or board, there's no problem with the 9-42 at all. If I'm "all acoustic" doing old stuff, it's 10s.

 

Then again, I'm utterly convinced that an awful lot has to do with how you're playing. The 9-42 works marvelously on an AE when played with roughly the same technique as one would use on a classical guitar. So I mostly play through an amp/board with light fingerpicking on light strings that allow technique not really possible on heavier strings - and I'll play the same way, same gauges, on my archtops.

 

And... the Gypsy Jazz guitar traditionally has used 9s or 10s both for rhythm and lead.

 

m

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I am all for getting beginners interested in playing a guitar, playing a guitar. Likewise, I like the way many are starting with a ukelele to get playing. And, individual styles certainly warrant playing a guitar on a way that suits the style. But, for me personally,it's all about the long run of playing guitar and learning all it's possible nuances or trying to me that means learning to play loud, so I can also lighten up and play soft. Learning to playing hard, but also playing it soft. Struggling to bend a strong,so that it becomes easy and then being able to bend an easy bend and throw in a quick hammer on/pull off into it for a second cause it's an easy bend. Etc etc. So I am actually of the school of no pain no gain in terms playing the instrument as a life long thang (health permitting). Time will tell if the easier to play guitars produce life long learners or just folks who play something easy and them never progress further. If it's an intro thing to life long learning for those so inclined...then it's a good thang.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

Jazzman Jeff aka QM

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I think this "argument" - it's not a grouchy one, mostly anyway - is similar to that of training people in martial arts.

 

There's the "no pain, no gain" perspective that results in a high dropout rate regardless of age, and only those whose mental toughness or masochism allows a degree of success. The result is a "gotta be tough mentally" group of "successes" whose technique may or may not be worth beans, nor their degree of talent, nor their degree even of skill.

... This group also has a tendency toward joint injuries, many pulled muscles and other training injuries, some of which are career ending. Those who succeed are indeed tough - but tend to drop out in their middle years. Middle-year and later-year beginners simply don't make it past a few months at best unless in exceptional physical condition for their age and a history of ongoing similar activity.

 

Then there's the "ease into it and become tough" school in which things begin relatively easily and with emphasis on proper biomechanics and psychology under stress. The result there is a broader group of "successes" who have more proper skill and technical ability up to their level of talent. They've been trained slowly to handle mental as well as physical stresses and tend better to adjust tactics in "real life" to circumstances.

 

As a teacher of both types of activities, I learned early that one can find early success with the "no pain no gain" style of instruction, but also that after a degree of success, there's a huge dropout rate although there will be a few who stick with it.

 

Just my observations.

 

m

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I learned guitar on electric and there was no pain involved...only frustration with respect to getting my hands/fingers to do what I wanted them to. Several years into it and I started taking acoustic lessons. I don't remember any pain then either.

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The idea for the easy-playing PRO models is a huge step in the right direction for new and intermediate players, IMO. After playing electric guitar for years, I specifically sought out the PR4-E because of the neck style and the fact that you can put light strings on it. I like to noodle around on an acoustic, but I'm not an acoustic player. Even as a player of 20+ years, I find the idea of the PRO models extrememly attractive. And considering the fact that my 4 yo son snapped the headstock off of my PR4-E a couple of months ago, I am now considering one of these PRO models as a replacement.

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That "cheapie" little PR4e IMHO is one of the better bargains from Epi that's seldom given any affection by "serious players."

 

I had one a while and used it for a number of "kid show" programs on stage with a batch of elementary school age kids, a cupla mikes and plugged the PR4e into the board from the stage. Even with the 9s and bare finger strumming to push a bit of rhythm for the muchkins, it worked very well. It's now with a young lady friend who moved away.

 

It made for a marvelous "parlor guitar" and sounded far better than expected when using the piezo, either for my usual fingerpicking or for light strumming.

 

The point with light strings is that they need to be played differently. Period.

 

Also, as noted above, the folks who start electric with 9s will tend to be more gentle even when they perceive they're hammering on the strings. Then when there's a shift to acoustic, their left hand technique is a lot more advanced than a beginner's and can handle heavier strings mentally much better and with less pain - assuming they even want to do so.

 

m

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I guess playing guitars is like most things - you can either ease into it or jump into the deep end. When I was first starting out a "beginner's guitar" meant an action so high you could pass your hands between the board and the strings and tuners that kept slipping. I did not know squat about string gauges and pretty much bought whatever Black Diamonds the local Five and Dime had in.

 

Never bought a guitar new enough to have onboard electronics and only use and have used magnetic soundhole pickups. The compromise here is the pickups read nickel strings far better than the others. So if I have alot of playing coming up where I am going to use a pickup I have to make sure I have the right strings on the guitar. But as far as general preference, I will go no lighter than 12s on the high end no matter what strings I use.

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Yeah...

 

I think my decision for classical was two-fold in that half the folks I knew who played guitar were using steel and half nylon. The only guitar I could finger a chord on in the store was a cheap classical. As noted, inexpensive steel string guitars of that era tended to have heavy strings and high action.

 

OTOH, I did play so much - averaging 6-8 hours a day my first two year of playing - that I also ended up getting a 12 as my first steel string.

 

m

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Waitaminit...

 

If the Epi EL00 Pro is part of the conversation, I just got one a cupla months ago and it did NOT wear 9s.

 

I'm sure mine - gotten at a store an hour or more away but decent folks - wears what is claimed on Sweetwater, 12-52. Way too heavy for how I play although dropped a full pitch (E standard to D standard) it's not too bad for how I play. I have a set of DR Zebra 9-42 sitting on the case.

 

It's a nice little guitar I haven't really had a chance to wring out yet.

 

m

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If the Epi EL00 Pro is part of the conversation, I just got one a cupla months ago and it did NOT wear 9s.

I'm sure mine - gotten at a store an hour or more away but decent folks - wears what is claimed on Sweetwater, 12-52. Way too heavy for how I play although dropped a full pitch (E standard to D standard) it's not too bad for how I play. I have a set of DR Zebra 9-42 sitting on the case.

It's a nice little guitar I haven't really had a chance to wring out yet.

I've yet to change strings on my EL-00 Pro, and it feels quite comfy with the stock 12s - but I almost always go with .011 & .015 on the first & second strings, and will eventually make this change on the EL. A good example of an EL-00 can be one heck of a satisfying guitar & well worth a test spin.

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Yeah, I just got my Epi email on them.

 

Without touching any of 'em, they look like a good set of beginner/haularound guitars of different sizes.

 

Frankly I really believe in the concept, and I'd hope that these will work. It looks as if they're aimed largely at the juvenile market, although potentially a good deal for a knockaround instrument too.

 

My one caveat, though, is that it seems to me that if setup is a horrid problem for guitars shipped into my area, including at times to the one real guitar store, it'd be horrid for grandpa or whomever to buy one of these from the web and then find that either the strings are flat touching the frets or that the action is a half inch high at the 12th fret.

 

I keep thinking of some 10-12 year old anxiously awaiting that marvelous guitar and ... it shows up absolutely unplayable to the kid's everlasting disappointment.

 

m

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:unsure: The new models are "Pro-1" not to be confused with previous/current models with the "Pro" suffix.

 

 

Indeed.

 

The PRO models are mostly named after Epiphone's new pickup model, thought the acoustic versions seem to be more about upgraded electronics systems that are NOT related to the PRO pickups. I guess that is their version of PRO for acoustics.

 

But yeah. The PRO-1 series isnt even electric, except for the Ultra, which isnt really related to the solid body and archtop Ultra models in regards to the type of electronics.

 

And none of these are related whatsoever to the Epiphone PRO model superstrats from the early 1990's.

 

Cornfused yet?

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I think it basically a marketing tool/label. Trying to convey the instrument is of a professional grade. Funny thing is my EL00 actuay does play like a professional grade instrument,on par with my numerous Gibsons, Kazoo-made Epis and NY Epis in my collection. Can't speak about the other Pro or Pro 1 models-haven't tried 'em.

 

Jazzman Jeff aka QM

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I'd agree...

 

That little EL00 is a marvelous guitar for what it is. It ain't a D28 or J45. The problem is getting respect for the smaller guitars is kinda a cultural "thing" that only a dread is worth playing. The big arguments on "quality" tends to be about the big body guitars.

 

Meanwhile back at the ranch... the medium and smaller guitars often are much more appropriate for a given guitarist and his style of music and performing.

 

m

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When I started playing guitar in 1962 no one had such things as 9's or 10's for any guitar I can recall . All I ever saw were Gibson strings and Gretch and what fender had to offer which were quite expensive for me at the time . I used Black Diamonds and we used to sub the wound G with a B.

 

My very first electric was a Harmony rocket with three pickups . Later in the mid 60's I got a new Country Gentle Man it was a heavy guitar and was not quite the sound I was after. Then I got a new Casino and Man that was it , it had all I needed. I got my first acoustic which was a model EJ160 Gibson I think that was the model number the one the Beatles used . I liked it a lot then got a Gibson 12 string also a great guitar.

 

At the time I used what ever strings that came stock on those guitars . I tried 9's and 10's but could never get the feel for them . On acoustic now days I use 12-53 and the three strats I built 13-58 and like a bit higher action . I have a 2004 Seagull S series Grand that came with 12-53 and this sort of so so Epi AJ100 that has 12-53 and now this EL-00 pro with 12 -53 so that works fine for me. I just never had a light touch , I can play lightly on the strings I have or dig in just a bit on acoustic any more than that I get buzz on the strats I can dig in as hard as I want with the wide tall frets and get no buzz.

 

The only other acoustic I ever had that had a pickup was a Fender Stratacoustic but it did not sound good unless played through a SS amp . All I have now are two tube amps I built so I'll see how the EL00 Pro works with one of those.

 

I tried a few acoustics since the mid 90's I hadn't had an acoustic since the late 70's . One was this Fender Auditorium size close in size to a folk guitar it was mid priced $400 something on sale at GC for half price . It was ok at first since I hadn't had an acoustic for some time but it never did sound great and sort of lost it's tone after a year . I can't recall if it had a ply top or solid top. It didn't buzz it just had this dead sound past the 7th fret. I got the stratacoustic right after hoping it would be better and still had the Fender acoustic but sold them both. I then got a AMI 12th fret at the body parlor guitar that was a 2004 model almond had a ply top but it sounded great. I really wanted a 14th fret neck so soon after I got the Seagull Grand yet it did not sound as open as the AMI. I sold the AMI which at the time was only $219 new with the tan AMI gig bag shipped and kept the seagull grand. Then in 2009 I wanted one acoustic that had more bottom so I got the AJ100 , it's so so it was never setup right Gibson sent me a new saddle so I could get the string off the frets , it sounds fine for what it is. All this time I was looking at the Gibson Blues King yet it was so far out of reach cost wise and then came the EL-00 EPI . Looked at these for years and looked at other offerings what little they stock around here. I finally got one last friday and it's pretty nice . It fits my style of blues and finger picking fine and is made a lot better than the AJ100. I would say for the price the EL-00 Pro is a better guitar than the seagull and the Seagull which has no electronics is close to twice the price now days. I can't recall what I paid for mine when I got it in 2005 with a seagull hard shell case included something like $460 . The seagull has a solid cedar top yet the sides and back are laminated hard wood so it's similar in that respect to the EL00 . They both have sealed tuners that work very well. I just think comparing the seagull and the EL00 that EPI did a bit better job fit and finish wise. Don't get me wrong the seagull is a nice guitar and since I got mine they have improved on certain things improved the bridge and other things not visual. Each has it's own sound and are quite different in that respect. If I only had one I would choose the EL00 . It has more bottom and a more bluesy tone to my ears. I can't say how well the EL00 will hold up compared to the Seagull that has 11 years on it and still holding .

 

So there you go , my long story.

 

One thing I would like to see on acoustics is a choice of a bit taller and wider frets without having one custom built or re fretted.

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When I started playing guitar in 1962 no one had such things as 9's or 10's for any guitar I can recall . All I ever saw were Gibson strings and Gretch and what fender had to offer which were quite expensive for me at the time . I used Black Diamonds and we used to sub the wound G with a B.

 

My very first electric was a Harmony rocket with three pickups . Later in the mid 60's I got a new Country Gentle Man it was a heavy guitar and was not quite the sound I was after. Then I got a new Casino and Man that was it , it had all I needed. I got my first acoustic which was a model EJ160 Gibson I think that was the model number the one the Beatles used . I liked it a lot then got a Gibson 12 string also a great guitar.

 

At the time I used what ever strings that came stock on those guitars . I tried 9's and 10's but could never get the feel for them . On acoustic now days I use 12-53 and the three strats I built 13-58 and like a bit higher action . I have a 2004 Seagull S series Grand that came with 12-53 and this sort of so so Epi AJ100 that has 12-53 and now this EL-00 pro with 12 -53 so that works fine for me. I just never had a light touch , I can play lightly on the strings I have or dig in just a bit on acoustic any more than that I get buzz on the strats I can dig in as hard as I want with the wide tall frets and get no buzz.

 

The only other acoustic I ever had that had a pickup was a Fender Stratacoustic but it did not sound good unless played through a SS amp . All I have now are two tube amps I built so I'll see how the EL00 Pro works with one of those.

 

I tried a few acoustics since the mid 90's I hadn't had an acoustic since the late 70's . One was this Fender Auditorium size close in size to a folk guitar it was mid priced $400 something on sale at GC for half price . It was ok at first since I hadn't had an acoustic for some time but it never did sound great and sort of lost it's tone after a year . I can't recall if it had a ply top or solid top. It didn't buzz it just had this dead sound past the 7th fret. I got the stratacoustic right after hoping it would be better and still had the Fender acoustic but sold them both. I then got a AMI 12th fret at the body parlor guitar that was a 2004 model almond had a ply top but it sounded great. I really wanted a 14th fret neck so soon after I got the Seagull Grand yet it did not sound as open as the AMI. I sold the AMI which at the time was only $219 new with the tan AMI gig bag shipped and kept the seagull grand. Then in 2009 I wanted one acoustic that had more bottom so I got the AJ100 , it's so so it was never setup right Gibson sent me a new saddle so I could get the string off the frets , it sounds fine for what it is. All this time I was looking at the Gibson Blues King yet it was so far out of reach cost wise and then came the EL-00 EPI . Looked at these for years and looked at other offerings what little they stock around here. I finally got one last friday and it's pretty nice . It fits my style of blues and finger picking fine and is made a lot better than the AJ100. I would say for the price the EL-00 Pro is a better guitar than the seagull and the Seagull which has no electronics is close to twice the price now days. I can't recall what I paid for mine when I got it in 2005 with a seagull hard shell case included something like $460 . The seagull has a solid cedar top yet the sides and back are laminated hard wood so it's similar in that respect to the EL00 . They both have sealed tuners that work very well. I just think comparing the seagull and the EL00 that EPI did a bit better job fit and finish wise. Don't get me wrong the seagull is a nice guitar and since I got mine they have improved on certain things improved the bridge and other things not visual. Each has it's own sound and are quite different in that respect. If I only had one I would choose the EL00 . It has more bottom and a more bluesy tone to my ears. I can't say how well the EL00 will hold up compared to the Seagull that has 11 years on it and still holding .

 

So there you go , my long story.

 

One thing I would like to see on acoustics is a choice of a bit taller and wider frets without having one custom built or re fretted.

 

These Pro Models are cool and if it helps people to take up the hobby cool. I'd love to see Epiphone put time and thought into an entire masterbuilt line with a full dred acoustic, electric and then the cutaways. I truly believe they can make as good as if not better than Martins Taylors and Gibsons.

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I've got a Dove Pro. Love it, sounds great both plugged and unplugged. Great workmanship, attention to detail and wood selection. Had a setup done even though the factory settings weren't bad. It blows me away what you can get for $300.00!

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