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2008 Epiphone Sheraton - UnSung Korea

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So the Sheraton Vintage Sunburst my dealer had on back-order arrived and fresh out of the box, it was a Dec 2008 Korean model (UnSung). We were both a bit surprised/confused over this , expecting the distributor to send a 2010 from QingDao China. Apparently this is what the distributor had just received. Stuck at the back of the boat I guess ??

 

Regardless, any known cautions about UnSung Korea? Havent read any horror stories yet, and I assume its no worse than a 2010's from QingDao. I try not to get hung up on where its made, and go with how it feels in my hands (and it feels fine) but if there are known issues on UnSung Sheraton at that time, it would be good to know!

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So the Sheraton Vintage Sunburst my dealer had on back-order arrived and fresh out of the box, it was a Dec 2008 Korean model (UnSung). We were both a bit surprised/confused over this , expecting the distributor to send a 2010 from QingDao China. Apparently this is what the distributor had just received. Stuck at the back of the boat I guess ??

 

Regardless, any known cautions about UnSung Korea? Havent read any horror stories yet, and I assume its no worse than a 2010's from QingDao. I try not to get hung up on where its made, and go with how it feels in my hands (and it feels fine) but if there are known issues on UnSung Sheraton at that time, it would be good to know!

Does it have the 5-piece neck? The older Korean ones usually do, and that's a plus I think.

 

The MIC units are solid mahogany AFAIK.

 

SheratonNeck.jpg

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Does it have the 5-piece neck? The older Korean ones usually do, and that's a plus I think.

 

The MIC units are solid mahogany AFAIK.

 

 

 

Yes is does have the 5 piece neck, but so do the MIC ones. The 2009 specs, which I assume refers to MIC, posted on the Epiphone site, specifically mentions the 5 piece maple neck.

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I don't know, if it looks and feels good and has a 5-piece maple neck, I'd go for it.

 

I'm biased toward the Korean Epis myself, but I have a few Chinese Epis (Casino, 57 RI Jr., P93 and Special SC) that are more than acceptable.

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Regardless, any known cautions about UnSung Korea?

Not at all, I have an Unsung Broadway, and that guitar is built excellent. I guess I would prefer the 2008 korean Sheraton over a 2010 chinese one any day. The korean Sheratons have some nice details. The 5 piece neck was already mentioned. My 2000 korean Sheraton also has the neck binding wrapped around the fret ends, which gives a pretty comfortable feel on that neck (apart from looking gorgeous). Not sure if the chinese ones still have that great fretboard binding. At least from the pictures I've found it has not.

Here are some hi-res pictures available: http://www.musicstore.de:80/en_EN/GBP/Guitars/Semi-acoustic-guitars/Epiphone-Sheraton-II-Vintage-Sunburst-Semi-Solid/art-GIT0000821-003

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Yes is does have the 5 piece neck, but so do the MIC ones. The 2009 specs, which I assume refers to MIC, posted on the Epiphone site, specifically mentions the 5 piece maple neck.

 

Don't count on it...

 

10061501411-detail4-l.jpg

 

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Well, from what I recall, it at least had the 2 strips in the back of the neck, so definitely its at least a 3-piece. I think "3-piece" vs "5-piece" terms are perhaps interchangeable terms?? - dont know. Point it's not one-piece so thats good.

 

Assuming the finish and frets check out on my next inspection, I guess there is really nothing holding me back then. Dealer did say he noticed some frets sticking out a bit which he will fix , and metionrd it needs about 5 minutes of fret dressing .. dont know if that alone is a bad omen, or just normal and a good omen that at least the dealer is proactive to even look for these things on my behalf!

 

The only other variable is the pickups. I know there is no rush to change them, even if they are what some desribe as 'muddy', as al tht mtter is how it sounds to 'me'...and the amp is the other half of the equation re tone, but, I have a new 2010 Epi Dot with likely them same pickups (which I am keeping in for now), so I am quite tempted to change the Sheraton pickups now (and other elecotrnic I guess), so it had its own distinct tone vs the dot (at least to my ears) ...I also kinnda like the notion of putting in a higher quality set on Sheraton just on principle! As its in the store now, heck why not!

 

I gather as a minimium, the Gibson 57's seem to be the default choice. Are there others I should consider?

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Well, from what I recall, it at least had the 2 strips in the back of the neck, so definitely its at least a 3-piece. I think "3-piece" vs "5-piece" terms are perhaps interchangeable terms?? - dont know. Point it's not one-piece so thats good...

 

The Sheraton has a five piece neck, you can count them. Maple - Walnut - Maple - Walnut - Maple (I think the dark strip is Walnut). They seem to only count the 3 pieces of Maple, Epiphone's specs are often all over the place, don't treat them as Gospel.

 

A three piece neck would be like this Gretsch:

 

rancherTuners.jpg

 

 

Since different woods react differently to the elements, the strip acts as an anchor for the 2 or 3 pieces of Maple.

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the Gibson 57's seem to be the default choice. Are there others I should consider?[/b]

 

Just starting to explore, but I see already there are plenty of humbucker alternatives re replacing Sheraton stock pickups, ie


  1.  
  • Gibson 57
  • DiMarzio PAF
  • Dimarzio Air Classic
  • Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro
  • Seymour SH1/TB 5910b

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Just starting to explore, but I see already there are plenty of humbucker alternatives re replacing Sheraton stock pickups, ie


  1.  
  • Gibson 57
  • DiMarzio PAF
  • Dimarzio Air Classic
  • Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro
  • Seymour SH1/TB 5910b

 

Found an interesting list on the PAF Wiki site

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My 3/08 Unsung Sherri is a top of the line guitar in every respect, outstanding quality in fit/finish.....playability.....& tone.

You may well want to give the stock p'ups a fair shakedown before yanking them out, I wanted a good moderate "vintage type" tone, and thats exactly what they produce.

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I thought the "three piece" neck terminology for Epi meant:

 

Piece 1 - Headstock

Piece 2 - Neck

Piece 3 - Heal

 

At least that's how I've been seeing all the Quindango Epi's.

that I've owned. Also a Korean '56 GT that was built in 2009.

 

The "five piece" is as shown on the older Sheraton that run

the length of the neck.

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I thought the "three piece" neck terminology for Epi meant:

 

Piece 1 - Headstock

Piece 2 - Neck

Piece 3 - Heal

 

At least that's how I've been seeing all the Quindango Epi's.

that I've owned. Also a Korean '56 GT that was built in 2009.

 

The "five piece" is as shown on the older Sheraton that run

the length of the neck.

 

Splicing the headstock and heels are just ways of using less wood and thereby saving money. It also made things easy for Asian manufactures, who would just add different manufacture's headstocks to their standard necks. It's also one of the reasons Sheratons costs considerably more than Dots, those five piece necks were not a standard run.

 

The original Korean made Sheraton II was more like the late 70s / early 80s Matusmoku Sheratons than the original Gibson made Sheratons. Multiple piece necks were a Matsumoku trademark, and the early Samicks looked like carbon copies. By 1986, Matsumoku was going bankrupt, and Epiphone needed a new manufacturer. The way I figure it, they took a Matsumoku Sheraton to Samick and said make us some of these. From Wiki:

 

Many Matsumoku built guitars, including Epiphone archtops, utilized a 3 piece maple neck with the center section's grain oriented 90 degrees from the side wood. This created a very strong neck not prone to splitting or warping. An often used variation of this is the 5 piece neck with two thin trim strips of walnut or ebony separating the 3 sections. Matsumoku made many neck-through-body solid body electric guitars and basses, most with 5 piece necks.

Not that Matsumoku invented the 3 piece neck, it was a feature used on many high end guitars going back to the days before modern truss rods. Gibson adopted the 3 piece neck on their 1970s Les Pauls:

LP_tuners.jpg

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You may well want to give the stock p'ups a fair shakedown before yanking them out, I wanted a good moderate "vintage type" tone, and thats exactly what they produce.

I dont disagree at all with this apporach, but having juts brought home a new Epi 335 Dot, with the same pickups (I assume), I wanted to get a different sound for the Sheraton. As ell, while "tone" is a perosnal taste, so may Epi users swap out the pickups ( mainly for Gibosn 57s), so I thought I would do that from the get go.

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Pete.R - thanks for the clarification.. I gather the Gibson 57 open coils are black only....so for aesthetics, re other gold hardware, I guess the gold covers might be a better choice than the open coils. Haven't seen many sheratons with the open coils (based on some limited searching) ; perhaps thats why.

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Splicing the headstock and heels are just ways of using less wood and thereby saving money. It also made things easy for Asian manufactures, who would just add different manufacture's headstocks to their standard necks. It's also one of the reasons Sheratons costs considerably more than Dots, those five piece necks were not a standard run.

 

The original Korean made Sheraton II was more like the late 70s / early 80s Matusmoku Sheratons than the original Gibson made Sheratons. Multiple piece necks were a Matsumoku trademark, and the early Samicks looked like carbon copies. By 1986, Matsumoku was going bankrupt, and Epiphone needed a new manufacturer. The way I figure it, they took a Matsumoku Sheraton to Samick and said make us some of these. From Wiki:

 

Many Matsumoku built guitars, including Epiphone archtops, utilized a 3 piece maple neck with the center section's grain oriented 90 degrees from the side wood. This created a very strong neck not prone to splitting or warping. An often used variation of this is the 5 piece neck with two thin trim strips of walnut or ebony separating the 3 sections. Matsumoku made many neck-through-body solid body electric guitars and basses, most with 5 piece necks.

Not that Matsumoku invented the 3 piece neck, it was a feature used on many high end guitars going back to the days before modern truss rods. Gibson adopted the 3 piece neck on their 1970s Les Pauls:

LP_tuners.jpg

 

Correct. But now 3 piece necks use scarf joints to join the neck to the headstock and heal. Your picture shows the 3 pieces are running vertically with each other. Not that one is better than the other. But to the buyer - make sure you understand how the neck is made, so you know what you're buying.

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Correct. But now 3 piece necks use scarf joints to join the neck to the headstock and heal. Your picture shows the 3 pieces are running vertically with each other. Not that one is better than the other. But to the buyer - make sure you understand how the neck is made, so you know what you're buying.

 

If you read "three-piece neck" in a description, it is referring to the kind of construction in jerrymac's picture, not a neck with a scarf-joint. Virtually every Epiphone would be described as "three-piece" otherwise, as the majority are made with a joint between the headstock (though they are more carefully hidden these days).

 

What you're seeing in the picture is a kind of construction also found on fine archtops, when a maple neck is desired for tonal reasons. Since maple is an unstable wood, builders traditionally laminate it lengthwise (and sometimes reinforce it with contrasting walnut strips). This time consuming process is different from the kind of construction you are calling three-piece, which, as jerrymac pointed out, was invented to save time and money.

 

To the best of my knowlege, there's no name for that kind of neck, other than scarf-jointed. I can understand why you'd call it three-piece, as usually they are also built with a heel extension, in additon to the seperate neck and headstock pieces, but that's not how the term has been used historically.

 

Manufacturers will always tout a one-piece, three-piece, or five-piece neck, as these descriptions are meant to indicate quality. Theat's a matter of some debate, but that kind of constuction certainly adds to the selling price of the guitar! Manufacturers are almost always silent about a scarf-jointed neck, as this type of construction is thought of as slighly inferior, acoustically. The exception is Taylor, who make a point about using a kind of joint between the neck and headstock of some models as a manufacturing efficiency. Classical builders also join the headstock to the neck (but not with a scarf joint). Traditionally, this was done to facilitate easier repairs.

 

The reason a scarf-jointed neck is sometimes thought to be of lesser quality than a one or three/five piece neck is that the (roughly) horizontal joint is thought to interrupt the energy from the string vibration as it runs down (and up again) the neck. A one-piece neck is thought to conduct this energy most efficiently, since there is no joint between the nut and the where the neck connects to the body. Since the joints in a three/five-piece neck run with the strings, the string energy is thought to be impacted less adversley. You can argue for days about the the impact of neck construction has on tone, so I won't venture an opinion either way. In reality, a lot has to do with the quality of the wood used in the construction (scarf-jointed necks are typically found on budget instruments, and budget wood is used in making them), as well as the quality of workmanship when making the joint (to save money on labor, budget guitars have to made more quickly, which leads to hit or miss construction), as well as they type and location of the joint. As I've described, excellent instrumrnts have been made with jointed, one-piece, and three/five piece necks.

 

Red 333

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If you read "three-piece neck" in a description, it is referring to the kind of construction in jerrymac's picture, not a neck with a scarf-joint. Virtually every Epiphone would be described as "three-piece" otherwise, as the majority are made with a joint between the headstock (though they are more carefully hidden these days).

 

Red 333

 

 

Here's one described as 3 piece neck. http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ETS2NAGH

Yet, when you go to the pictures, it certainly looks like a typical scarf joint

and not like jerrymac's.

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Here's one described as 3 piece neck. http://www.sweetwate...detail/ETS2NAGH

Yet, when you go to the pictures, it certainly looks like a typical scarf joint

and not like jerrymac's.

 

It's because they're still using Epiphone's stock description. Which wasn't even accurate to begin with!!! The fact that you can get a Sheraton with a 5 piece neck or one with a one piece neck with a scarf joint and both are called a 3 piece neck should tell you something.

 

Bottom line, if I ordered a guitar that advertised a 3 piece neck and got a one piece neck with a scarf joint I'd send it back. And a Sheraton should be a Sheraton, they shouldn't have different specs because they were made in different factories.

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It's because they're still using Epiphone's stock description. Which wasn't even accurate to begin with!!! The fact that you can get a Sheraton with a 5 piece neck or one with a one piece neck with a scarf joint and both are called a 3 piece neck should tell you something.

 

+ 1 on that.

 

Jerry, did the Sheraton have a 5-piece neck in the '60s, or did it have a mahogany neck like an ES 335?

 

Red 333

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