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sheraton or lucille?


ericlees

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Look at this pic of a Varitone-equpped Gibson. Note the huge access hole in the

bridge pickup cavity' date=' probably to accomodate the Varitone. Methinks the Lucille is

the same and that's how the components are accessed.

[img']http://i277.photobucket.com/albums/kk54/ronnjee/335.jpg[/img]

 

The Lucille (Epiphone's model anyway) has a Les Paul type plate on the back that lets you get to the Varitone and all the pots. Makes it really easy to work on. Mine does have the large opening on the bridge pickup too, but the Epiphone Varitone has a pcb attached right to the switch that may not fit through that hole, I don't think the Gibson Varitone has that pcb attached to the switch.

 

Hopefully this helps.

 

- Jay

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No matter what you do' date=' DO NOT get an ibanez artcore.[/b']

 

I'd suggest the lucille, personally.

Not sure about the stock pups...

 

Care to elaborate on this???

 

I'm in the market for a semi-hollow and was looking at one of their AS103's.....

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I did a little searching for Varitones and discovered that they are made in sizes that will fit through the f-hole. I'm glad to hear that the Lucille has an access plate. They were probably lobbied by the Guitar Techs Against Insanity In Archtop Design (GTAIAD) for that feature. Unfortunately, that organization wasn't extant at the time the Sheraton II was tooled up.

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Care to elaborate on this???

 

I'm in the market for a semi-hollow and was looking at one of their AS103's.....

 

Not sure exactly what he is talking about, but I was looking at the Artcores before I got my Sherry and Dot. I decided against them because of the lack of access to the upper frets. I guess that is one of the main reasons I didn't get a Casino either.

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I was looking at the Artcores before I got my Sherry and Dot. I decided against them because of the lack of access to the upper frets. I guess that is one of the main reasons I didn't get a Casino either.

 

Not to knock Ibanez (they are nicely made guitars and basses) but the fact is that Gibson/Epiphone got the thin hollow body thing right, and everyone else's variations are missing something, if only for the sake of being different. This applies to American Gretsches as well, in my not-humble opinion as a Chet Atkins Country Gent owner for a number of years.

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Not to knock Ibanez (they are nicely made guitars and basses) but the fact is that Gibson/Epiphone got the thin hollow body thing right' date=' and everyone else's variations are missing something, if only for the sake of being different. This applies to American Gretsches as well, in my not-humble opinion as a Chet Atkins Country Gent owner for a number of years. [/quote']

 

Well, I've never owned an Ibanez guitar, so I can't speak of that...but, I do own a Gretsch Country Gent (1966)

and really never compared it to a Gibson. Just felt like they were two totally different "animals," you know? I

love the sound of each, but they're so different (to me), that I felt they complimented, rather than competed

with one another. I DO wish Gretsch had used a better binding material, though. Mid '60's Gretsch's seem to

all have some binding rot issues. Currently having mine rebound. If it "kills" it's "collectibility"...so be it! I have

several "vintage" Gibby's that are as old, or older, and they don't have the same binding problems. So...???

 

CB

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A member named Jerrymac has a varitone in his Sheraton. Here is a picture he published:

 

Maybe he'll chime in and tell us how he got it in there. The Gibson Varitone is not a small unit and uses a separate choke and other components. A more compact version is available from http://www.bigdguitars.com/ but it still won't be a piece of cake to put in.

 

Why don't these companies put an access panel in the back of the guitar?

 

The varitone is a bigdguitars unit, it fit through the f-hole, but my Sherry (MIJ Matsumoku) has pretty big f-holes. I'm not sure if the current Sherrys have smaller f-holes. If you can't fit a full-sized pot (with some room to spare) through the f-hole, you'll never get the bigdguitars unit to go.

 

Some observations, as noted the Lucilles do have an access panel in the back.

 

I have an older Lucille (99 Peerless) and it has a thin profile neck identical to the old Samick made Sherrys. Not the BB Louisville Slugger neck, but I don't know about the newer ones. Be careful with neck profiles, I have played newer Sherrys with the beefier profile neck, so they are not all equal.

 

The Lucille is much more mellow sounding than the Sherrys. After trying several different pickups to brighten up the tone, I found that GFS Means 90s worked the best. Also, the TP-6 fine tuning tailpiece zaps some brightness as well.

 

Hope that helps.

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Care to elaborate on this???

 

I'm in the market for a semi-hollow and was looking at one of their AS103's.....

 

It isn't built like an older(i.e., period accurate for hollow and semi hollow) guitar.

The neck is all wrong, it's evern thinner than a fender neck, and the fret size isn't comfortable.

You want a chunky neck.

Also, the overall "feel" is off.

Never given a guitar back in so little time at a jam.

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If you Really want jazzy tones I would say neither....look at an Epi Joe Pass. If you mean jazz/rock 335 type tones either one will get you there. The Epi varitone isn't that hot to put it mildly and I think the Sheraton is a better value to be quite honest.

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The Epi varitone isn't that hot to put it mildly

 

I used to think that, but I've found using a compressor to minimize the volume drops between the settings has made the Varitone a lot less of a hassle, and a lot more useful. I think it sounds very close to the Gibson Varitone, although I'll admit I've only played around with the Gibson ones in the stores and not through my own rig. Just my $.02 though, YMMV.

 

- Jay

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Is it possible to HotRod the lil'critter? Change caps values perhaps? Like this one http://alexplorer.net/guitar/mods/varitone.html

Or is it one of those we-epoxied-it-to-hide-its-ultra-secret-but-ultra-cheap-if-done-it-yourself-components-jobbies?

 

Sure, pretty basic LC and RC circuits connected to a 6-way switch, the problem is the time involved swapping caps, coils, and resistors to get 5 useable sounds you like.

http://www.flatearthguitars.com/files/Gibson_Varitones.jpg

 

- Jay

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My only experience with a variable position switch was on my EB3 SG bass back in the 60's. Although it had 4-5 positions on it, all but one gave me trebly, twangy bass, and that other one gave me bass so deep that it rattled the windows. A two-position switch would have sufficed.

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I used to think that' date=' but I've found using a compressor to minimize the volume drops between the settings has made the Varitone a lot less of a hassle, and a lot more useful. I think it sounds very close to the Gibson Varitone, although I'll admit I've only played around with the Gibson ones in the stores and not through my own rig. Just my $.02 though, YMMV.

 

- Jay[/quote']

 

The bigd varitone has very useful tones throughout the range where both the gibson and epi vaitones have only a couple good settings IMHO. It's a personal taste thing...but if you are going to have a big honkin' switch on your guitar all of the settings should be useful. You could easily hotrod any varitone with high quality caps and custom values though.......the stock caps used by both gibson and epi are pretty crappy when compared to the bigd as well....this link answers a bunch of questions http://bigdguitars.com/varitonespec.htm

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