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Very disappointed with my new epi LP silverburst


guitarman3001

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Yesterday I received my much anticipated epi LP Custom silverburst from Music123. I pulled it out of the box, looked beautiful. Tuned it up, started playing away and as soon as I went to play some runs on the upper frets, I realized something was very wrong. I couldn't reach the upper frets because apparently, the neck on this guitar is not the same as the one shown on the MF website. They show what I'm assuming is the slim taper neck with the small heel. Instead this one came with a giant heel that sticks out several more frets than the one shown. This makes the upper frets very hard to reach and almost impossible to reach on the low E, A, and D strings at anything above the 17th fret. This is a major problem for me because I'm the lead player for my band and I spend quite a bit of time up there.

 

I've attached a couple of pics for reference. Here is the pic from their website. Notice how close the heel is to the body of the guitar:

 

music123.jpg

 

Now here is what I got:

 

mine.jpg

 

Finally, here is a side by side comparison of the new silverburst next to my other epi LP custom (black and gold one) which I've had for about 15 years and has the same neck as the silverburst they show on their website. The new silverburst is on the left, my old LP custom is on the right. Notice how much farther the heel sticks out on the silverburst.

 

IMAGE_093.jpg

 

 

Does anyone know what gives? Why is Music123/Musicians friend sending out a guitar with a different neck than the one they advertise on their site?

 

I've called M123/MF and emailed them the pics. They have acknowledged that it is indeed a different neck and that the guitar I got is not what's on their site. I also called Gibson but they couldn't tell me anything. I even emailed the guy at gibson the pics but he didn't seem too eager to help me and wouldn't even wait on the phone with me for a minute to make sure he got the email with the pics. I have no idea if he got them.

 

M123 did say I could send it back and since it's not what they have advertised they will even pay the return shipping but that option would be my last resort. What I really want is the guitar that's advertised with the right neck.

 

Does anyone know what's going on? Did epi change the neck style after they took the pictures they gave to M123? Did I get a defective guitar that someone put the wrong neck on?

 

Any insight would be of great help. Thanks.

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quick update. I just spoke to someone else from epiphone and he was patient enough to wait for me to email him the pics. He said he would try to find out what's going on. He also told me that the newer gibsons (actual gibsons, not epis) are coming with the bigger heels. However, I do know that the epi LP Ultra II comes with a slim taper neck, per epiphone's own website, so at least one epi comes with the neck that should be on the silverburst.

 

He also pulled out another gibson a year or two older and that one came with the neck with the small heel.

 

What a mystery. No one knows what guitar is supposed to come with what neck and music123 is advertising guitars that come with the wrong necks.

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Well, firstly, the slim taper profile is a separate issue and is not connected to the size of the heel. Also, as far as Epiphones go, there are no 'right' or 'wrong' necks. Epiphone does not offer neck options the way Gibson sometimes does, and they do not usually even specify the neck profile. The Ultra has a 'set maple' neck and that's all the info they give. TYpically the Epiphone necks are somewhere between a '60s slim taper and a '50s rounded profile. Basically I don't understand why you are comparing Gibson specs with Epiphone specs; Epiphones are not Gibsons and other than general shape there is no relation between the two.

 

I think what you are seeing is differences between manufacturers. What are the letters in the serials of the two guitars? Obviously your older Custom is a Korean-made guitar; is the Silverburst Korean (Unsung/Saein) or is it Chinese (Deawon/Qingdao)?

 

I had a similar experience with the Epiphone G-400 Maestro; the pix on Epiphone's site showed an EE guitar with the knobs arranged in a fashion similar to an SG; the guitar I received was made by Unsung and had the knobs in completely different positions.

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After reading about this yesterday I went looking at Epiphone LP's of all varieties at Sam Ash.

The most recent ones have a larger heel bottom, or Dovetail joint going into the body.

It looks almost 3/4 an inch complete.

I did not see any with short joint like the other pic.

This must be something they've started doing within the last year.

I suppose it may be safe to say Epiphone

'has changed specifications without notice'

which they are perfectly within their right to do.

Sorry it sucks about the reach issue.

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Well' date=' firstly, the slim taper profile is a separate issue and is not connected to the size of the heel. Also, as far as Epiphones go, there are no 'right' or 'wrong' necks. Epiphone does not offer neck options the way Gibson sometimes does, and they do not usually even specify the neck profile. The Ultra has a 'set maple' neck and that's all the info they give. TYpically the Epiphone necks are somewhere between a '60s slim taper and a '50s rounded profile. Basically I don't understand why you are comparing Gibson specs with Epiphone specs; Epiphones are not Gibsons and other than general shape there is no relation between the two.

 

I think what you are seeing is differences between manufacturers. What are the letters in the serials of the two guitars? Obviously your older Custom is a Korean-made guitar; is the Silverburst Korean (Unsung/Saein) or is it Chinese (Deawon/Qingdao)?

 

I had a similar experience with the Epiphone G-400 Maestro; the pix on Epiphone's site showed an EE guitar with the knobs arranged in a fashion similar to an SG; the guitar I received was made by Unsung and had the knobs in completely different positions.[/quote']

 

Thanks for clarifying the slim taper thing for me a little bit. However, I do know that epi uses a slim taper neck on some of their guitars, so it's not exclusive to gibson. Directly from the Ultra II specs. "Neck: Slim-Taper, 12" Radius"

 

 

As for comparing gibson specs to epi specs, I'm not doing that at all even though Epi is owned by Gibson and if you call Epiphone customer service you get Gibson on the phone. Also, my old epi LP came from the factory with a truss cover that says "Gibson". Anyway, that's not the point. I'm comparing epi to epi. The first picture I showed is the picture of the epi SB on the M123 site. The second pic is the epi I received. So, comparing epi to epi the neck they have shown is not what I got. The size of the heel makes a huge difference in playability to me.

 

The silverburst is made in China. Not sure where my other custom was made.

 

All that aside, the crux of the matter is that I bought a guitar that was advertised and shown as having one neck/heel but I got a guitar with a different neck or at least a different heel which affects the playability. The different knob placement you got affects the aesthetics but I don't think it would affect the playability.

 

If I'm not mistaken, there is a similar issue with the prophecy LP GX. On some sites it's shown with a small heel, on others with a large heel.

 

So, does anyone know why it's shown/advertised with one type of heel but the ones shipping out have a completely different one? And is there anything that can be done about it other than returning it if I'm not happy with it?

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'Dovetail'?.............................

"Fixing a hole in the ocean

Trying to make a dove-tail joint-yeah

Looking through a glass onion." - Beatles (of course)

*cough...cough* ...... sorry, just the first thing that pops into my tired, rewired old mind when I see/hear/read the word "dove-tail" ................ carry on

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Thanks for clarifying the slim taper thing for me a little bit. However' date=' I do know that epi uses a slim taper neck on some of their guitars, so it's not exclusive to gibson. Directly from the Ultra II specs. "Neck: Slim-Taper, 12" Radius"

 

So, does anyone know why it's shown/advertised with one type of heel but the ones shipping out have a completely different one? And is there anything that can be done about it other than returning it if I'm not happy with it?[/quote']

 

Where did you find those specs? Music123? Because Epi makes no such claim in either their catalog nor on their website.

 

As to the discrepancy between what you saw and what you got, well, most likely they have a picture of an older Korean-made guitar, and yours is Chinese. It's not unusual for old pictures to be used in these on-line catalogs; even Epiphone has a tendency to use out of date photography on their site as well as in their catalogs.

 

As to the 'Gibson' TRCs, well, all that indicates is that Gibson owns Epiphone. It does not mean that it is a Gibson guitar, although, naturally, that's precisely the misconception they were aiming for.

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If I'm not mistaken' date=' there is a similar issue with the prophecy LP GX. On some sites it's shown with a small heel, on others with a large heel.[/quote']

 

I thought the issue was with joint position, not heel size. Some pictures claim it joins at one point, others are two frets higher.

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Where did you find those specs? Music123? Because Epi makes no such claim in either their catalog nor on their website.

 

As to the discrepancy between what you saw and what you got' date=' well, most likely they have a picture of an older Korean-made guitar, and yours is Chinese. It's not unusual for old pictures to be used in these on-line catalogs; even Epiphone has a tendency to use out of date photography on their site as well as in their catalogs.

 

As to the 'Gibson' TRCs, well, all that indicates is that Gibson owns Epiphone. It does not mean that it is a Gibson guitar, although, naturally, that's precisely the misconception they were aiming for.[/quote']

 

Here ya go.

 

http://www.epiphone.com/default.asp?ProductID=290&CollectionID=6

 

And I'm not opposed to them using old pictures but the difference in heels has a BIG effect on playability. It's not just an aesthetic or cosmetic change. They're showing a guitar with a certain expected playability but shipping one that is limited in playability because of the change.

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I thought the issue was with joint position' date=' not heel size. Some pictures claim it joins at one point, others are two frets higher.[/quote']

 

Like I said, "if I'm not mistaken". I may very well be mistaken on that one.

 

Anyway, makes no difference to the issue I'm having.

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Ah, the Ultra-II. Apparently it has a different neck than the old Ultra. Riiight. Grain of salt time.

 

I understand your disappointment and I see how it is more than an esthetic concern. Unfortunately it's just one of the pitfalls of online ordering. There's no way you can expect the seller to provide you with pictures of the actual guitar you will receive. The really sad part is that it sounds as though this bigger heel is going to be the new standard for Epi LPs.

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Ah' date=' the Ultra-II. Apparently it has a different neck than the old Ultra. Riiight. Grain of salt time.

 

I understand your disappointment and I see how it is more than an esthetic concern. Unfortunately it's just one of the pitfalls of online ordering. There's no way you can expect the seller to provide you with pictures of the actual guitar you will receive. The really sad part is that it sounds as though this bigger heel is going to be the new standard for Epi LPs.[/quote']

 

I hope that's not the case and maybe they have one with a small heel kicking around a warehouse somewhere but if that's the case, I'm definitely going to voice my displeasure with Gibson/Epiphone and with MF.

 

I went by GC earlier today during lunch to look at the neck heels on the epis they had in stock. Most of them were the big ones but they did have one with the small one. It was a standard, not a silverburst, but now I'm thinking I should go snatch it up since it may be a dying breed. The last of the Epi LPs with playable upper frets!!!!

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I just bought a new ultra II and it is specified as a slim taper neck and a profile of 12 and it does in fact have the small heel that you are looking for. I see what you mean and I feel for you. I have the same preference. I would send it back and go to a GC and look through their stock. See if all silverbursts have the large neck heel. If so, I think that music123 is using a different guitar in this picture, it could be a number of models, and could be of any age!!! hope this helps.

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So, I know this is an Epi forum but since it's starting to look like all of the epi LPs other than the Ultra II are now going to come with the crappy heel that gets in the way, what other companies make decent LP clones? How do guitars like Agile and Michael Kelly compare?

 

Sadly, because of the change in heels, epiphone has probably lost me as a customer for life unless they go back to the old style.

 

And that's actually pretty sad because epi has been my favorite guitar for most of my playing life. I'll continue to treasure the one I have but definitely won't be buying any new ones or recommending them to anyone, at least not to anyone who's looking for a LP.

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Well I just sold an Agile Al-2800 blue quilt top. I absolutely loved the guitar and its finish and set up were Waaaaay i mean waay better than this $700 epi I just got. It really makes me sad because this is the most valuable guitar Ive ever had and it doesnt compare (fit and finish) wise to my $280 agile. The reason I sold it may not be an issue for SOME, but those mahogony agiles weigh a ton well more like 14.5 pounds. this is no exageration i wieghed it on more than 1 scale even though it wasnt hard to believe. the body of this guitar is just over 2" thick at the edge so even thicker at the arch, the maple cap is a 1/2" thick too. maple and mahogony are some of the heaviest woods. If you stand up with this guitar you will soon have a sore shoulder and a sore back, not kidding, Im 6'1" and 175lbs, and phisically fit, so gauge it on that. I sure miss the neck on that thing though!!!!

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So' date=' I know this is an Epi forum but since it's starting to look like all of the epi LPs other than the Ultra II are now going to come with the crappy heel that gets in the way ...[/quote']

 

I doubt it's a problem with all new Epiphone LPs.

 

What's the first letter in the guitar's serial number? The large heel necks may well all come from just one factory.

If it's EE, I'm a bit disappointed though.

 

 

It by the way looks a bit like the heel on the Slash signature LP with the long tenon .. maybe that's what it's all about! :)

Large image: http://www.epiphone.com/press/P_SlashNeck.jpg

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Finally' date=' here is a side by side comparison of the new silverburst next to my other epi LP custom (black and gold one) which I've had for about 15 years and has the same neck as the silverburst they show on their website. The new silverburst is on the left, my old LP custom is on the right. Notice how much farther the heel sticks out on the silverburst.

 

Does anyone know what's going on? Did epi change the neck style after they took the pictures they gave to M123? Did I get a defective guitar that someone put the wrong neck on?

 

[/quote']

 

That's quite a discernible difference. I wouldn't be happy with that one either.

 

As pointed out. What you see/read isn't always what you get. The Epiphone website is quite notorious for the inaccuracies in their specs. I'd take it back to 123 and demand a refund.

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I doubt it's a problem with all new Epiphone LPs.

 

What's the first letter in the guitar's serial number? The large heel necks may well all come from just one factory.

If it's EE' date=' I'm a bit disappointed though.

 

 

It by the way looks a bit like the heel on the Slash signature LP with the long tenon .. maybe that's what it's all about! :)

Large image: http://www.epiphone.com/press/P_SlashNeck.jpg

[/quote']

 

Yes, the serial # starts with EE. I went to GC at lunch and almost every epi LP had that large heel. They had one epi lp standard with a smaller heel and right next to it they had an identical one but with the bigger heel. I didn't look at the serial #s but I can only assume the one with the smaller heel was one of the older ones.

 

no one can seem to tell me what's going on. Not Music123 or gibson. Gibson said they'd check with epiphone in china and see what they could find out.

 

The thing is, obviously at one point they did make the silverburst with the small heel since there IS a picture of it on the website. Something changed at some point and now they're essentially selling a different guitar than what is advertised. If it was only a cosmetic change, it would be ok, but when the playability is so completely different between what is shown and what they send out, that imo is a different guitar.

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The images on the Epiphone or the MF/GC/M123 web pages are not always the images of the current production.

They are usually Photoshop edited to better fit the descriptions and sometimes you can tell - take a look at these two images of different guitars from MF:

 

j2.gif

 

My friend works as an assistant to a photographer and does some product photography himself. He gave me some tips how to shoot my guitars, one of them was "shoot every piece of chrome separately and later paste them in the picture with PS". So much for authentic images...

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Ah' date=' the Ultra-II. Apparently it has a different neck than the old Ultra. Riiight. Grain of salt time.

 

I understand your disappointment and I see how it is more than an esthetic concern. Unfortunately it's just one of the pitfalls of online ordering. There's no way you can expect the seller to provide you with pictures of the actual guitar you will receive. The really sad part is that it sounds as though this bigger heel is going to be the new standard for Epi LPs.[/quote']

 

I must have lucked out. My '05 (EE serial number from Qing Dao) joins the body, viewed from the top of the fingerboard, at the 16th fret and the heel (flat part) of the joint is 3/8" measured from the body out to the end of the heel. It looks like the picture on the right. Mine is an '05 Epi LP Custom Plus Flametop. It is actually more playable than my gibby studio since it has a slim neck and the Gibby has a fatter neck. Both play really well, but I have short fingers and like the slim taper better. That said, I can reach the last fret with my pinky, although play is much easier up to the 19th fret. Past that I feel stretched. Playability at the 15th fret position is fine (blues scale played from 15th to the 18th).

 

Sweetwater offers actual photos in multiple views of actual in stock serial numbers on many of their guitars. I first noticed this feature in a Guitar World ad and went to the website to check. That 's a good selling point.

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