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Newly arrived Hollowbodys= YUCK!


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I went to my local GC store yesterday, to get a new cable and check out some of the new stock.

I bypassed the pretty LP's and G400s, already have great specimens of each.

I spent my time on the Hollw/semi hollow body end of the wall, and was pretty much

apalled at what I saw.

Most of the other brands appeared to have at least 1 or 2 "Flagship" guitars hung up,

with modest playing time, I could tell they were mostly quality instruments.

Then I got to the 3 rows of Epis, all Chinese, and 95% Natural finish, witht he exception of

the worn finish(stained only) Dot studios.

I tried a Dot, a Sherri II, a Casino,something with mini humms & a frequensator tailpiece(Riviera?)All through a

Blues Deluxe 40w Vintage Tweed.(Which i'm buying with my tax refund).

The only thing that sounded even good, was a JP Emperor......nice Nat. finish, then I flipped it over,

Made in Korea.

These nat. finishes all looked like they were made of plastic, no grain to the wood at all

the hardware and electronics were dfinitely a step down from the Korean models also.

I asked the salesmen(3 of them, individually) WHY so many Nat. finish Epis at 1 time, and the response was generally,

"we can't GIVE those ugly ducklings away"

One salesman said he'd bought the last Korean Sheraton the store had, and was done with Epi's unless the quality

greatly improves.

 

These jibs-n-jabs were coming from people on commission to SELL these guitars, but the attitude

was pretty much that the quality was so poor, they'd given up.

 

I guess that at this point, i'm feeling the same.

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I think you're being a little harsh, but I do take your point.

 

The "dipped in clear plastic" thing is a problem for me too, with regard to some modern Epis.

 

Truth be told, I do believe that the Unsung MIK Sheratons were much better than the new MIC ones. I've played two naturals side-by-side in my local GC, and the Unusung was simply a much better instrument than the Qingdao.

 

But this is not to say that all MIC semis and hollowbodies are inferior. Folks here seem to love their Riviera P93s. I've seen some excellent Lucilles with EE serial #s too. Neither is this just an Epiphone problem. I looked at some MIC Ibanez Artcores recently, and was not impressed in the slightest.

 

I know that some people here would argue that this argument is fatuous, because they believe that all MIC semis are basically the same because they are made on a CNC machine and assembled identically. I would argue that the Chinese guitars have something in common with guitars produced in any other country - it's possible to get a good one, but it's just as possible to get a bad one.

 

This aside however, I do think you have a valid point. Epiphone do seem to have some consistency issues (in fact, they seem to have been haunted by these for years). The current semis I have seen in guitar stores are not as impressive as they could be, in my opinion.

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It seems that the Chinese Epis are more hit and miss than the Korean models. I had one of the first built Chinese Les Pauls that was a great guitar. OTH, I bought a brand new Chinese model a year and a half ago that had very sloppy workmanship. Since that time i have heard that the Chinese build is improving. I played Slash model at GC a few days ago that seemed top notch. Still in all, I am shying away from most of the new builds.

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Also note the lack of grain in the body in comparison to this back shot of my 2004 Unsung Sheraton

 

sherrie2.jpg

 

To be fair, it seems when the Chinese start making something there is a massive difference in quality control from one item to another. Hence people report getting a "good one" or a "bad one" - once they get the QC sorted you start to see more consistency. The lesson seems to be, don't ever buy the first production runs, wait for a year or so and always play/test the item before you buy.

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Well, I have a fairly limited experience with MIC hollow bodies.

But even with my limited experience, I can see that MIC Dots had (or still have??) some QC issues.

 

in 2007, I bought a MIC ("EE") Epi Dot in Cherry finish (real pretty~).

Upon brought it home, I tried to set up the action to my liking, only to find out that the trussrod wasn't turning in either direction. It was frozen solid!!!

It must've been glued to the neck when fingerboard was glued to the neck...

 

So I took it back to the GC and got another one (another MIC), which was the only Dot they had in stock.

But that one had SERIOUS problems with uneven frets, it just was not playable at all.

So instead of risking another Dot with potentially different problems, I just paid $70 to a local tech for fret leveling and dressing.

But man, those two Dots were NEVER supposed to leave the factory if there was any REAL "inspection" in place!!!

 

So every time I see a MIC Epi now, I can't help but thinking about my bad experience...

And I guess Epi's Chinese factory still has some QC problem... So very unfortunate for the company and for us consumers...

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Also note the lack of grain in the body in comparison to this back shot of my 2004 Unsung Sheraton

 

sherrie2.jpg

 

To be fair' date=' it seems when the Chinese start making something there is a massive difference in quality control from one item to another. Hence people report getting a "good one" or a "bad one" - once they get the QC sorted you start to see more consistency. The lesson seems to be, don't ever buy the first production runs, wait for a year or so and always play/test the item before you buy. [/quote']

 

I have always thought about it like this. My Chinese Les Paul, which was one of the early Chinese models, was a great guitar. I have always believed that Gibson probably had their own QC on site at that time and hence the good quality. Later, guys started reporting problems with QC. I tend to think that Gibsons people had already left the plant in the hands of Chinese QC and they were not doing the job as Gibsons own people would have. Lately I hear that the Chinese QC seems to be improving so that leads me to believe that maybe Gibson has sent QC back over to re-train and see whats going on. I could be completely wrong but the up and down QC leads me to believe this.

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Is it just me...or has the Sherry suddenly lost it's 3-piece neck?

 

MIC:

 

 

 

 

With the Korean Unsungs' date=' you can clearly see the 3 individual pieces of wood, vertically up the neck and into the headstock.[/quote']

 

THANK You!!!!! thats what was so odd about it! I couldn't put my finger on it until you mentioned it.

 

I may have been a bit harsh in my origional post, but y'all should have heard the people that are being paid to TRY to sell them.....

I just played a few tunes on my 11/07 Unsung Sherri II, through an amp thats not even a shadow of the one I used at GC........and mine STILL sounds better than any Epi I tried yesterday.

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Changing the sheri neck is out of the question.

I'm gonna try to get in to GC this week. Last time in though, very few epis..

I don't remember seeing anything but a casino.

 

I'm not going to guess about what's going on, you've all thrown down pretty good on that.

But considering their competition doesn't seem to be resting on thier laurels... something gonna give.

 

TWANG

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I would never pay the same price for a chinese Epi than for a Korean made one!!! Sorry, but once a company has a bad reputation it's very very very difficult for them to get it out of our heads! And that's what Epiphone just did! I will never in my life buy a chinese made guitar! (this has nothing to do with racism or anything--->!) :-k8-[:-k=D> =D> =D>

 

These guitars have a strange, steril feel to them! They don't look or feel like real guitars... For me there's definitely a lack in soul to them...

 

Pitty, cause Epiphone WAS one of the coolest guitar makers ever! I will however take a look at the limited edition/custom shop guitars that were manufactured in Korea!

 

 

 

 

Cheers

 

 

Nick

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I'm a mechanic in a Toyota dealer and even two new cars of the same model can feel diferently.
Hahaha, let's open that can o' worms. My '92 MIJ Toyota is miles ahead of my wife's '05 MIC (Canada) Toyota in terms of quality ...... hehheh....j/k.....mostly :-
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I would never pay the same price for a chinese Epi than for a Korean made one!!! Sorry' date=' but once a company has a bad reputation it's very very very difficult for them to get it out of our heads! And that's what Epiphone just did! I will never in my life buy a chinese made guitar! (this has nothing to do with racism or anything--->!) :- =; =; =; =; =;

 

These guitars have a strange, steril feel to them! They don't look or feel like real guitars... For me there's definitely a lack in soul to them...

 

Pitty, cause Epiphone WAS one of the coolest guitar makers ever! I will however take a look at the limited edition/custom shop guitars that were manufactured in Korea!

 

 

 

 

Cheers

 

 

Nick

[/quote']

 

The Eastmans are pretty good guitars (MIC), and fit right where the Elitist Dot goes now that the latter is gone.

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I would never pay the same price for a chinese Epi than for a Korean made one!!! Sorry' date=' but once a company has a bad reputation it's very very very difficult for them to get it out of our heads! And that's what Epiphone just did! I will never in my life buy a chinese made guitar! (this has nothing to do with racism or anything--->!) :- =; =; =; =; =;

 

These guitars have a strange, steril feel to them! They don't look or feel like real guitars... For me there's definitely a lack in soul to them...

 

Pitty, cause Epiphone WAS one of the coolest guitar makers ever! I will however take a look at the limited edition/custom shop guitars that were manufactured in Korea!

 

 

 

 

Cheers

 

 

Nick

[/quote']

 

Well there are some good MIC guitars out there.

After years of inconsistent quality, Fender seems to be doing some things right with the Squier line. The Classic Vibe series are really nice.

Recently I checked out 2 identical and new 2008 MIC G400's. I have to agree that the "dipped in plastic" thick finish of the guitar is a definite turn off. It felt like a toy finish, not a wood finish. There was a definite difference in how they felt versus a used 1996 Samick G400 that I almost bought a few days earlier. The Samick had a thin poly clear finish over a dark cherry stain. Sound wise they were pretty much equal although I couldn't properly A/B since the Samick was in a different store that did not carry new Epi's.

I would have bought the Samick/Epi but it had a severe input jack crack that required repair and the store would not negotiate on price since it was a consignment sale. I'm still looking for an Elitist SG though.

Anybody got one for sale?

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Man, that's so disappointing! I had such high hopes, for Qingdao! And, with a "dedicated factory," the quality Should go UP, not down. Sounds like Gibson needs to keep American Inspectors on site (if they're not, already..after this)! With most modern factories using CNC, the difference would seem to be "wood," and "human" error (or lack of caring) in any bad instruments, leaving the factory. I too, am the proud owner of a Riviera P-93LE and it was one of the reasons I had such high hopes, for the Chinese (Quindao) instruments, as it's amazingly good, in both build and finish. So, as I have stated here previously, I was hoping that would be the case for all other (standard production) models, as well. BUT...First Impressions are a very hard bells, to unring! So, the Riviera P-93LE, will be the one and only "Chinese" guitar, I will own, unless they (consistantly) get their QC act together. There is, when you think about it, NO excuse for poor quality, coming from a "dedcated" Gibson owned/managed facility in ANY country...period!! So, I (for one) will be looking for used but not abused "Elitist" Epi's.

 

Very disappointing...but, maybe "You get what you pay for," is more true than ever, these days??? ;>b

 

CB

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My Riviera doesn't seem to have any issues. It was MIC. If yours is a keeper' date=' I wouldn't worry about it.[/quote']

 

+1

 

Ignore all the naysayers who would have you believe that every MIC guitar is total crap.

 

"All Chinese made guitars are crap" is as useless a generalization as "all American made guitars are amazing."

 

It's your guitar. If it performs to the standards you expect/desire, then where's the problem?

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I've been aching for a hollowbody for a while now' date=' but I haven't seen an Epi that does it for me, especially the newer ones. They just look too...artificial. Too plasticky.[/quote']

 

I could make some alternative MIC suggestions from other manufacturers, but that would probably just provoke extreme howls of outrage and derision from some quarters (especially from one individual who monikers himself after an early-20th century group of comedic male siblings). Guess you'll just have to go ahead and order a Gibson ES-335 or, at a pinch, a Heritage...(but that might be pushing it).

 

However, if you're not one of those lucky people who doesn't have to consider price when buying guitars, then you might like to cast around for a used Elitist or Korean Sheraton...Or a Samick Artists' Series. Or one of the earlier Washburn HB35s (from the days when they were still made in Japan).

 

Or just go out there and try lots of guitars (irrespective of where they were manufactured). Who knows what you might find?!

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