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Epiphone Sheraton John Lee Hooker


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Hi all! I'm a newcomer! Glad to be part of the forum.

 

I use a Sheraton 1962 50th anniversary edition and I'm perfectly happy with it but a few days ago I stumbled across an ad for a John Lee Hooker Sheraton (https://sg.carousell.com/p/epiphone-limited-edition-john-lee-hooker-sheraton-vintage-sunburst-41886082/?ref=likes&ref_referrer=%2Flikes%2F) here in Singapore, where I'm currently based.

 

Now, a good while ago, my dad bought a limited edition of a JLH Sheraton which was part of a limited series made in 50 copies only. Unfortunately, the guitar got stolen and we never saw it again.

 

I'm looking now at the one this guy is selling and I'm trying to find out which edition it is. First of all, the one my dad owned had a signature by John Lee Hooker himself on the label (inside the body) and it had a 50th anniversary JLH writing on the head (engraved in a golden plate).

 

The one this guy is selling is was supposedly assembled in the US, but I've never heard of any JLH Sheratons being made there. Also, the one my dad had didn't have "The Boogie Man" written on the pickguard.

 

I realize that I'm not providing a whole lot of information, but I'd like to ask you... how are those guitars different? I couldn't find much online. Neither Google nor Epi's website offer much if anything.

 

I just want to get my dad a guitar he lost, and as a massive JLH fan myself, I'd like to get one of those Sheratons back in the family. I wonder if those guitars are much different in terms of build, materials, pickups, and if the sound much different.

 

Thank you for any comments and/or answers!

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They were made in japan but assembled in the US from 2000-2005. Gibson mini hums, laminated maple body spruce top i think. The real deal, as good as a modern epiphone can be. Ive seen them listed recently for £10000 which is stupid.

 

Thanks, Matt.

 

I assume you're referring to the one I provided a link for.

 

I've found some pics online.

 

My dad used to have the one with a golden plate post-88397-039086000 1509344664_thumb.jpg

 

This is the one that guy is selling post-88397-026104000 1509344773_thumb.jpg

 

I honestly have no idea which one is better.

Supposedly, the one that guy is selling was assembled in the US.

The one my dad used to have had been built in 1998. I cannot find any info or comparison of those two models. Perhaps they are the same?

 

Also, would you say they sound better than modern Sheratons? Better than the 1962 re-issue?

 

I'd really appreciate further replies.

 

Thanks

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Here is a previous thread on the subject:

 

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/49897-john-lee-hooker-sheraton-limited-edition-models/

 

If you Google "John Lee Hooker Sheraton" you will find at least 4 other Gibson Forum threads on this subject some with an average of about 9 posts.

 

Good luck with your info search.

 

Thanks for the link. Yes, I've actually checked it out before. It looks like "the most famous one" was the edition that was built in Japan/and assembled in the US. I just wish I knew if they really sound any different than the 50th-anniversary edition and if they are any better than the 1962-anniversary edition that came out in 2012.

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I have the exact same AIUSA (Assembled in USA) JLH 1964 Sheraton, and posted about it in the older thread that's referenced above. Only instruments made in the first year (2000) have "The Boogie Man" pickguard, JLH truss rod cover, and signed label. This was changed, as was the serial number sequencing, in 2001 after Hooker passed away. The serial number of the one you are considering is definitely from 2000.

 

The one your dad had was made in Korea, and came with Korean humbuckers (not mini-humbuckers). Essentially, it is no different than the standard Sheraton that was being sold at the time, except for the JLH badging. In fact, the same platform continues to be used to this day, but production has shifted from Korea to China in order to take advantage of lower labor costs.

 

On the other hand, the AIUSA model you are considering is by far the best non-Kalamazoo Sheraton ever produced, and it's build quality is in every way equivalent to a Gibson. The listing is incorrect in one key point: The body was made and also nitro finished by Terada in Japan, and then shipped to Gibson's Nashville facility for installation of Gibson USA pickups and hardware, as opposed to the body being finished in Nashville.

 

The AIUSA JLH 1964 Sheraton was part of the USA Series, which also included the AIUSA John Lennon 1965 Casino. These models were both made by Terada (two versions of each), and should not be confused with the more recent '62 Sheraton reissue & Lennon "Inspired By" Casino.

 

The Terada factory also made Epiphone's Elitist line of hollowbodies, and continues to still produce the Elitist Casino (an Elitist Riviera was also recently made for the Japanese market). There was an Elitist Sheraton produced, and as good as it is, the AIUSA JLH Sheraton is superior.

 

Hope this all works out for you, and I'd be happy to answer any further questions if I can.

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I have the exact same AIUSA (Assembled in USA) JLH 1964 Sheraton, and posted about it in the older thread that's referenced above. Only instruments made in the first year (2000) have "The Boogie Man" pickguard, JLH truss rod cover, and signed label. This was changed, as was the serial number sequencing, in 2001 after Hooker passed away. The serial number of the one you are considering is definitely from 2000.

 

The one your dad had was made in Korea, and came with Korean humbuckers (not mini-humbuckers). Essentially, it is no different than the standard Sheraton that was being sold at the time, except for the JLH badging. In fact, the same platform continues to be used to this day, but production has shifted from Korea to China in order to take advantage of lower labor costs.

 

On the other hand, the AIUSA model you are considering is by far the best non-Kalamazoo Sheraton ever produced, and it's build quality is in every way equivalent to a Gibson. The listing is incorrect in one key point: The body was made and also nitro finished by Terada in Japan, and then shipped to Gibson's Nashville facility for installation of Gibson USA pickups and hardware, as opposed to the body being finished in Nashville.

 

The AIUSA JLH 1964 Sheraton was part of the USA Series, which also included the AIUSA John Lennon 1965 Casino. These models were both made by Terada (two versions of each), and should not be confused with the more recent '62 Sheraton reissue & Lennon "Inspired By" Casino.

 

The Terada factory also made Epiphone's Elitist line of hollowbodies, and continues to still produce the Elitist Casino (an Elitist Riviera was also recently made for the Japanese market). There was an Elitist Sheraton produced, and as good as it is, the AIUSA JLH Sheraton is superior.

 

Hope this all works out for you, and I'd be happy to answer any further questions if I can.

 

Hi bobouz! Thanks a million for such a deatailed and informative answer! Appreciate it a lot!

 

1) You mentioned that those JLH Sheratons should have a signature on the label (aside from the Boogie Man thing on the pickguard) yet the seller claims there's none. Odd or not?

 

2) You said that the one that has a 50th anniversary label is essentially no different than any other Sheraton made in Korea at that time. I assume, thus, that the 64 AIUSA is significantly better? Or is it too much of an assumption to make?

 

3) Similarly, I assume those JLH Sheraratons are much better than 1962-reiusse anniversary Sheratons? The one I have comes with Gibson mini-humbuckers but was made in China.

 

4) If you were to pick one now, which one would you pick (I'm guessing it'd be the AIUSA one) and how much would you say they are worth? I'm trying to negotiate the price with the seller.

 

5) Last but not least, would you say any other Sheraton or (Gibson) would be wastly superior to that one being listed?

 

Thanks again! Hope to see your insights again.

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Will try to give you some quick answers, as it's getting late here!

 

-Yes, with the serial number he's given, I'd expect to see the signed label. If the seller can email you a photo of the label that you can post here, it might lend a clue as to why it's different. My serial number is later than his, and it has the signed label with JLH's picture. One thing to note about that signature - it's actually a reproduction. I've compared it even to the one your dad had on the earlier model, and it's consistently identical - every single time.

 

-The AIUSA model is light years ahead of the Korean version in build quality, pickups, and hardware. The hardware on the '62 reissue will be better than the Korean version, as it does have the same Gibson mini-humbuckers, but the AIUSA will have superior build quality in the body. I can tell you that the neck on the AIUSA model is one of the finest necks I've ever played - immaculate workmanship equals an extremely fast & light-touch feel. I would definitely pick this version over any other Pacific Rim Sheraton ever produced. Note: There was a limited-run Sheraton produced by Gibson in Nashville in 1994. From what I've seen of it in photos, the AIUSA version appears to be a more accurate reproduction, but I have never had one in-hand to evaluate.

 

-Price is a tough one. I paid $1300 for mine, which I considered to be an absolute steal in 2013. I'd be pretty comfortable paying $1800 for one today, but I've seen asking prices well above $2000.

 

-As for whether any other Sheraton or Gibson would be vastly superior, the answer is no. The AIUSA Sheraton is absolutely as good in overall quality as any other Gibson ES model using a similar body style.

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Went back to look at the pictures this morning, to see if I could make out anything regarding the label being different from other first year AIUSA-JLH examples (or is the label missing?). When I use the link, the photos are no longer coming up for me. I also notice that the listing was first posted in January 2016. That's a long time for it to be sitting on the market, and I'd wonder why.

 

Nothing can substitute for an in-hand assessment, but if you cannot do so, I'd at least make sure you've got reasonable return rights if you are not fully satisfied with the instrument. Personally, I never purchase a guitar online unless the seller has a straightforward return policy.

 

Oh, and when discussing purchase prices, I was referencing examples in excellent to near-mint condition. The one I purchased was near-mint, with only a few tiny marks on the headstock from string changes (tarnished gold hardware is virtually a given, but can sometimes polish up nicely).

 

Edit: Noting a comment made in post #2, the top of this instrument is not spruce. It is a 5-ply maple laminate.

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Went back to look at the pictures this morning, to see if I could make out anything regarding the label being different from other first year AIUSA-JLH examples (or is the label missing?). When I use the link, the photos are no longer coming up for me. I also notice that the listing was first posted in January 2016. That's a long time for it to be sitting on the market, and I'd wonder why.

 

Nothing can substitute for an in-hand assessment, but if you cannot do so, I'd at least make sure you've got reasonable return rights if you are not fully satisfied with the instrument. Personally, I never purchase a guitar online unless the seller has a straightforward return policy.

 

Oh, and when discussing purchase prices, I was referencing examples in excellent to near-mint condition. The one I purchased was near-mint, with only a few tiny marks on the headstock from string changes (tarnished gold hardware is virtually a given, but can sometimes polish up nicely).

 

Edit: Noting a comment made in post #2, the top of this instrument is not spruce. It is a 5-ply maple laminate.

 

Hello bobouz!

I got this pic yesterday: post-88397-041296800 1509439546_thumb.jpg

Looks like there's some kind of reproduced signature after all.

I'll write more in a few hours. Lots of things on my plate right now.

Thank you!

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I have mine out to compare, and the one in the photo you've posted is identical.

 

The signature & JLH pic are both there, and the serial number is stamped in the same manner - so, everything looks right!

 

Thanks bobouz!

 

I appreicate it that you spotted how long the guitar has been listed. It had escaped my attention. I don't think there's anything wrong with it but it does make me wonder. I will check it out personally.

 

Anyhow, I wonder, how do you think those Epi's fare against modern Gibsons ES335 Studio?

 

Cheers

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I wonder, how do you think those Epi's fare against modern Gibsons ES335 Studio?

Haven't seriously looked at any new Gibson ES models in the store since purchasing my ES-330 VOS in 2012, so I can't speak to this question with any recent hands-on experience.

 

I can tell you that the Epiphone's mini-humbuckers will have a different tone compared to the ES-335s full humbuckers (typically '57s). They tend to lean a bit in the direction of P90s, which I like a lot.

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Haven't seriously looked at any new Gibson ES models in the store since purchasing my ES-330 VOS in 2012, so I can't speak to this question with any recent hands-on experience.

 

I can tell you that the Epiphone's mini-humbuckers will have a different tone compared to the ES-335s full humbuckers (typically '57s). They tend to lean a bit in the direction of P90s, which I like a lot.

 

Thanks, bobouz!

 

I'm also looking at a very interesting piece of axe now. Apparently, it was made between 1986-1988. On the headstock, it says "Epiphone by Gibson". The seller claims that those models are very rare.

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The Samick "Epiphone by Gibson" is virtually identical to all the other Korean Sheratons. There is nothing rare about it, but nothing wrong with it either. Just don't get fooled into paying a higher price! Btw, the humbuckers from this era are quite frequently described as muddy. Conversely, Korean P-90s typically did a better job of representing the tone of a Gibson-made P-90.

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