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What's the best Epiphone for slide guitar?


The_Sentry

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Let's say you're a slide player, or you play slide guitar from time to time. If you were a tone hound, and you wanted the best tone possible out of that slide bar, what kind of guitar would you use?

 

Would you go more for a hollowbody or an archtop (like the nonexistent one in my avatar), or would you go for a solidbody guitar? And, what kind of pickups would you use? Would you set the action a bit higher vs. factory?

 

(and, 2 models off the top of my head....Didn't Duane Allman use an SG? And, what about Johnny Winter's Firebird? Or, a modern player like Derek Trucks?)

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I would use that as excuse to buy:

 

104_01.jpg

 

and find out if I liked slide. Took me forever to figure out I didn't have to use the slide to fret a note.

Play me a song Curtis Lowe, Curtis Lowe

well I got your drinkin money, tune up your dobro

people said he was useless, them people all were fools

cuz Curtis Lowe was the finest picker to ever play the blues.

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Seeing as the shittiest regular guitars make the best slide guitar, probably a flying veewee, LPwee, or a junior.

All I'd have to put a Push/pull(permanent split, pull for reverse phase) in so that I could have that weak single coil tone that makes shitty guitars better slides.

 

As for if I was going for tone?

A Gibson melody maker, les paul junior '57 reissue, or cherry red SG junior.

Why? Because slides work best with one single coil pickup, if you ask me.

 

I'd also get a new nut, for highest action possible, maybe put on a roller bridge(since it's kind of my thing).

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I tend to be in the LP or SG camp, for electric slide guitar. But, anything

can work, well...So, it's really up to you. Some folks like "Single coils," for slide

since they're brighter, usually...but "humbuckers" will work, just fine, as well.

I think, too...it can depend on what you use, for a "slide?" Metal, Glass, ceramic, etc.

I have a little Gibson "Faded" LP double cut (P-90's), that I've often thought about

converting strictly to "slide," setup wise. But, I love playing it so much, I

can't seem to get around to doing that.

 

CB

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In the Lynyrd Skynyrd DVD I have (Freebird, The Movie), Gary Rossington uses an SG.

Although theres no picture here :-k ( http://namm.harmony-central.com/WNAMM03/Content/Gibson/PR/Gary-Rossington-SG.html )

Apparently in 2003 Gibson released a Gary Rossington Signature SG

And he used a piece of a guitar cable to raise the action (According to someone on this site, I asked about it).

 

If its good enough for Gary, its good enough for me.

Seriously though, I would use whatever I thought sounded the best.

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In the Lynyrd Skynyrd DVD I have (Freebird' date=' The Movie), Gary Rossington uses an SG.

Although theres no picture here :- ( http://namm.harmony-central.com/WNAMM03/Content/Gibson/PR/Gary-Rossington-SG.html )

Apparently in 2003 Gibson released a Gary Rossington Signature SG

And he used a piece of a guitar cable to raise the action (According to someone on this site, I asked about it).

 

If its good enough for Gary, its good enough for me.

Seriously though, I would use whatever I thought sounded the best.[/quote']

He also has used a car's radio attena to raise the action.

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When I play the blues jams, I play quite a bit of Thorogood style (slide) blues... And I use an epiphone Riviera... It has kind of a chunky neck so when I raise the action its not so laboring while fingering the frets... I tune normally not to G or D...

 

I own an epi es-295, gibson les paul, gibson es-137 and the Riviera...

 

Out of those guitars the Riviera seems to respond best and you don't have to raise the action quite as much...

 

The riviera also has an insanely good blues tone.... It's the mini buckers... And I have the Gibsons in mine...

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Wow...I have to admit...the answers have been suprising thus far. I would have expected more people to go for the dot' date=' or an archtop with slightly higher action. Shows ya how much I know!!

 

:) [/quote']

 

No, a dot is too fine of an instrument.

 

As I said before, a slide NEEDS to be shitty to be ideal.

I mean, dunk some squier bullet pickups in coffee overnight, take 'em out and dry 'em with a hairdryer then take the reverse wound one, put it in a circuit with no tone, a 500K mini pot (maybe a push/pull for reverse phase), into a good tube amp.

That's your pickup and wiring.

Neck, well, intonation being on is better, but since slide's played in G or D often, using a short scale (1/2 scale or 3/4) is good for comfort and tone. The action on cheapies is generally high as the hills. Body wood really doesn't matter in these cases.

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No' date=' a dot is too fine of an instrument.

 

As I said before, a slide NEEDS to be shitty to be ideal.

I mean, dunk some squier bullet pickups in coffee overnight, take 'em out and dry 'em with a hairdryer then take the reverse wound one, put it in a circuit with no tone, a 500K mini pot (maybe a push/pull for reverse phase), into a good tube amp.

That's your pickup and wiring.

Neck, well, intonation being on is better, but since slide's played in G or D often, using a short scale (1/2 scale or 3/4) is good for comfort and tone. The action on cheapies is generally high as the hills. Body wood really doesn't matter in these cases.

[/quote']

 

So Ian, is this a case for a Special II that's been left out in the sun for 3 months?

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About 4 months ago I bought a Dunlop metal slide and took the plunge. I had a 15 yr old Korean single humbucker solid body (not even wood – I’ve said before it was someone’s chemistry experiment) that I put a GFS vintage 59 in, left the action standard, tuned her up in open D and have been having a genuine blast every day since.

 

Terrific tone through VJr. V3 and custom 2x12 (Cannabis Rex and Peavey Blue Marvel). I have a push pull pot ready to put in for split coil phasing to see what this might add. Maybe this weekend’s project. Not ready yet to take my slide act public, but maybe soon enough at my rate of advancement so far.

 

My point is – if my solid body whatever cheapo special sounds this good, then I think that with a little skill you can play slide on just about anyEPIthing ----

---- I’d bet Bo Diddley’s old cigar box guitars would be freegan’ tremendous!

 

Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to slide on:-"

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The one time that my band played a dual gig with the Allmans, Duane was playing a '59 Les Paul tobacco sunburst. That was in 1970. I forget what Dickie was playing at that time, he later settled on a goldtop. There are early pictures of Duane with a cherry SG, and I think there are some pictures around where he played a Strat.

 

These were the really early days when the Allmans first got started and were recording there first album at Capricorn, which was about 3 blocks up the street from the club where we were house band at that time. We were teenagers and the ABB was looking for a place to practice. The club owner made a deal with them to let them practice there if they played for free one weekend a month. Our band was fortunate enough to be around to meet those guys.

 

I play a little slide on the Paul and the Strat, but I haven't tried anything to raise the strings. I just use a light touch at standard height. A compressor helps quite a bit with sustain.

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If you want a cheapie guitar that has a great slide tone try a Dano U-56 with lipstick tubes! Great slide tones! Also the secret to slide technique is to use your fingers and not a pick! If you use a pick you are totally isolated from the guitar with the slide and the pick. All the greats,Duane,Derek etc...etc... play with their fingers.

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This is an interesting question. In my opinion, by far the best Gibson for slide guitar is a Firebird - nothing else comes close. One issue here, of course, is that a Gibson Firebird (reverse) has a through neck - in other words, the body is really just two mahogony "wings" that have been glued on to the sides of the neck. See: http://www.gruhn.com/articles/firebird.html

This, of course, creates massive sustain which in turn contributes to a wonderful slide tone. Modern Epiphone Firebirds (along with the recent Gibson Firebird Studio) have traditional set necks - does this mean that the slide tone is compromised?

 

Not really...when Gibson abandoned the reverse Firebird in the mid-'60s for the non-reverse model, those guitars also turned out to be great for slide guitar - so perhaps the through neck isn't the be all and end all. Firebirds just naturally lend themselves to slide.

 

I haven't tried one of the new Epiphone Firebird Studio models as a slide guitar, but I think you might be impressed. My one slight reservation would be the full size humbuckers, in place of the Firebird's traditional mini-hums...Still strikes me as a fine instrument, however:

http://epiphone.com/default.asp?ProductID=264&CollectionID=18

 

By the way, if you want to see and hear the greatest slide guitarist to ever use a Firebird, take a look at this. I admit that he does look a little rough around the edges at this point in his career, however...(still plays wonderful slide in this clip though).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeuHUWpUaIw

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