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Epiphone DEL REY


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Hello Epiphoniers,


I own an Epiphone DEL REY and I do need to share experience with owners of this limited serie!

Is there anyone playing this baby!??? Here!!!


Actually mine is F98020405

and I am confused about the signification of that serial number :!

F = FujiGen (A great guitar manufacturer in Japan)

98 = 1998 = date of manufacturing

02= February!

0405 = Guitar number 405


Is that right?


The pickups in mine are changed from OBL to EMGs.

In Bridge EMG 81

In Neck EMG 89.

Body/Neck : Mohagony

Fret : 24.

Mecanic : Gotoh.

Head: mapple!


What style do you play with your Del Rey, what are the problems you encountured and what are its strong qualities and weaknesses!!!!!!







Del Rey


Features & Benefits


Scale Nut Length: 24.75"

Nut Wide: 1.68"




Pickups 2 OBL Humbuckers


Hardware Gold


Scale/Nut width 24.75" / 1.68"


Neck Joint Bolt


Neck Material Mahogany


Fingerboard/Inlay RW / Dot


Binding B


Body Material Mahogany


Top Flame Maple

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That serial number analysis is correct' date=' I believe. There are are at least two members of the forum that have Del Rays and they rave about them. I would buy one if it came up locally.


More importantly, if you don't post pics, it doesn't exiist so....




Thanks Brian, I just have to wait a while before posting pictures, as I am online from a public Internet server and everybody is online! Internet speed is horrible (10Ko/s)!


Anyway! I was lucky to get mine and heard rumours about it! They say this Del Rey was discontinued because the serie made in Japan was great quality even compared to Gibsons and expensive RPS (the ones used by C. Santana). The Del Rey was sort of seduction in Japan Market!

The second guitar player in my band owns and ESP LTD Deluxe Standard equiped with EMG 81 and EMG 85 and that is a great guitar (sound, ergonomy and playability); first thing he said when he handled mine was "Wottt, heavy is it!", second thing he discovered is the sustain, he reckoned Del Rey sustain was slightly better than his LTD Deluxe, as just harmonics.

Third thing was the Coil tap excellent for rythm.


Some others say, the DEL REY is found in many studios with custom pickups!


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It appears to mean Fine Corporation' date=' Korea, good catch:





Oh Thanks!


guitaredateproject got it [cool]

You were faster than me!


Anyway! It is a great quality guitar! That is no doubt since Fine Guitars is a remarkable manufacturer!

People are not used to its look, so you like or not! PErsonnaly I love it!

I in the past owned many guitars, fenders, yamaha, aria pro, squier, ibanez, washburn...And this is without exaggerration, the best one!

Well I am not a guitar hero at all and i'd hate to be so! I just play alternative rock, some blues and I am decided to go for Jazz now!


I am not a guitar tech, so I need guidance to know how to improve the quality of the del rey from great to greater!

Now I am done with the pickups (EMGs are just perfect for what I am doing), soon I d go for the 19 volts mod!

Tuners??? Those gotoh ones are fine! But I believe I can get myself better tuners and install them!

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I wish that Epiphone had made the Del Ray again instead of one (or more) of their Slash models. With the Gibson double cut gone' date=' it might have succeeded. I think the error that Gibson made was calling their double cut a Les Paul model when it wasn't something that Les Paul used. [/quote']


You're right man!

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Welcome to the forum Med81.


Nice Del Rey. I love mine.


These are good guitars IMHO. I see that the original pick-ups have been changed out' date=' how do the EMGs sound?


Does the coil tapping still work?




Thanks Mister!


The EMGs sound so great! The EMG81 in the bridge has it from Discrete Rock crunch to Trash Metal; The neck EMG89 has it from JAzz crisp sound to violent clear overdriven rock! The combination of the two gives a sound that I cannot explain. Maybe I should put some records here soon! So they would speak by themselves!


Yea of course! The Coil tap is still working!

It is working on the middle position and the neck pisition! with a boost! The EMG89 has a built-in preamp that requires 9volts battery! When I coil-tap, the preamp is on and the boost gives a crunchier stratocaster sound! And I love it for that!

It is perfect when you play Jazz and that you wanna switch from a clean part of your lead to a crunchy part. You won't need a volume pedal / overdrive pedal! All you need is a good amp! The Emgs are known to shine when you plug to a tube amp!


Check the reviews on www.harmony-central.com to get users feedback!

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"I think the error that Gibson made was calling their double cut a Les Paul model when it wasn't something that Les Paul used."


i'm sure i saw a documentary years ago where he was playing a cherry double cut! anyone know that footage?


Never seen it!!

Maybe one could find the footage on youtube!


Error or strategy! We can't tell [biggrin]


BAck to Del Rey! For me it is a mixture of Les Paul and Paul Reed Smith!

That was a limited serie! As it was a factory manufacturing' date=' some details bothered, like setup and hardware!

the OBL pickups are designed for Classic Rock not more IMO! That is why some people did not like the Del Rey much and expected it to sound like an authentic one century digged wood guitar just because it should have the perfume of Gibson quality! BElieve me many Epiphone guitars blow away Gibsons!!!!


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True enough' date=' but keep it here on this forum, Medi.


They'll tar and feather you at the Gibson forum for such blasphemy. [/quote']



Yeah BRian! They could do that :) lol!

Edition done! I don't be rejected from that forum!!! I am new! Fresh new!

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  • 1 year later...

Except for the fact that it's a bolt on, the Del Ray is a dead ringer for the Gibson Tak Matsumoto signature model, which I have a "custom" of, in black. Sweet stuff, thin body, not that heavy.

Welcome to the forum thewizardofAz.


Where were you able to buy your Tak Matsumoto from, it's apparently only available in Japan?

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I had an early del rey, without a serial number, It was an unusual kind of pink colour. The obl's were awesome. Fantastic guitars and nothing to do with les pauls. I too wish they would reissue and with the full original specs

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  • 10 months later...

Your guitar was made at the

Fine Guitars Plant, Korea

September 1997

Production Number: 0902



I picked up a '97 Del Ray this evening. I would have passed on it since I'd rather have a Gibson than an Epi but this one has Seymour Duncans in it and an excellent top to boot. I paid a bit more than I wanted but the pickups are worth half what I paid, so all in all I think I did very well. I've only given it a few minutes with the amp so far but it's a nice player. The bridge pick-em-up has some get up and go. I need to take this apart, do some cleaning on the hardware and see what pickups the owner chose to put in there. It was on consignment so I didn't have a chance to ask, just play. There's probably less buckle rash on it than my 2010 LP and one ding on the otherside of the binding, but nothing major. For a 15 year old guitar, it's been well cared for though the bridge may take some work to get sparkly again. I'm a happy camper! -Rod-







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I am getting one of these babies this week. One thing I noticed, is this has the knobs together and the toggle to the back. The one I am picking up has the toggle between volume and tone. As well, instead of the OBL's it appears to have nickel covered pickups. Anyone seen one like that stock?

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those del reys are gorgeous looking guitars, i have fancied one for ages.



A question: Is the Del Rey a kind of Epiphone version of the Gibson Les Paul DC?




Btw.: That Gold Top DC is available at a local dealer here, app. €1700 if I remember right.

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  • 2 weeks later...


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