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Don Everly SQ-180


Bob Isaac

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don_everly_sq-180.jpg

 

I have just picked up a Don Everly SQ-180. This one has his signature on, and that is not shown on the Epiphone Wiki. The serial number is either 88110052 or 98110052. Anyone decipher this please? This is it before getting cleaned and having a new set of strings. I think the strings are as old as the guitar.

 

Bob

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Your guitar was made in

Korea

November c.1988

Production Number: 0052

 

Yes this was on eBay UK and the seller was only an hour drive away so I was able to come to a deal that was better for both of us. eBay and PayPal fees are a killer. There was another on eBay UK the same time but without the siggy. The Epiphone Wiki shows as many reissues of this as the Gibson Everly J-180, it is nuts, the only differences being the wording and logo used in the headstock.

 

With the strings that were on it it had quite a low tone but they were old, 11's or 12's, not sure. But it did have a good sound. It will sound better after a good clean and new strings.

 

I put Fret Doctor on the fret board and that has made a difference and used Virtuoso on the body. Still some areas that are dull and need some work, but most of the body has a good shine, and only one small chip and one small scratch on the back. For an '89 it is in remarkable condition.

 

Bob

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Your SQ-180 was made in 1998. Prior to that year, Epiphone hadnt used the traditional elongated headstock on their guitars since the 1960's and a few Japanese models in the 1970's. 1998 was the year they began switching back to that design, mostly with the AJ Series and several other models. The "Gibson" truss cover is another tell. From 1986-1989 you most likely will not see that particular cover. As well, those years were the "Epiphone By Gibson" models with an open-book headstock. The open-book headstock continued on this model without the "E by G" inlay for another year (1990).

 

For some reason, Epiphone shows the Clipped-ear headstock on all of the SQ-180 production years except for 2006. This may just be a case of them using older stock photos, but unfortunately, I had to build the wiki info around this, so it obviously isnt 100% accurate in that regard. Because of all of the releases of this model, it was quite confusing to sort out for the wiki.

 

As far as the signature on the headstock, the only other SQ-180 I could find with this was another 1998 model. Not sure why- or if there were other years with the signature, Nothing of the sort shows up in the catalogs or the press site photos.

 

 

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Many thanks for clearing this all up, it is very confusing. The problem identifying the serial number is that the first digit is partly worn and you can only see the top, so is it 8 or 9. From what I could see it looked very much like the top of the 8. Had there been another 9 there then it would have helped.

 

Bob

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I want so bad to take a hair dryer to that thing and liberate that soundboard. Sorry, I feel better now. :blink:

Despite the large pickguards the Gibson Everly J-180 puts out a good tone, but unique. Yesterday I missed a chance to pick up a '94 black Gibson Anni that had no pickguards at all. Would have loved to hear the difference.

 

Bob

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I'm sorry Bob,

 

When I look at that thing, all i can see is Yosemite Sam. I have 3 EJ-200's, and I pulled & replaced the pickguards on all of them. I don't pick or strum above the soundhole, ever, so I don't feel the need to protect that area. I can't imagine that all that plastic and sticky stuff can help the sound, but if you like the tone.....take it and run!

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  • 1 month later...

I doubt it will make a huge difference. What strings do you have and do you want a warm or bright tone?

 

Bob

 

Bob,

 

Not sure who made them. The guy who sold it to me put mediums on it that is all I know. It just sounds lifeless unless I am really strumming on it. Finger picking is what I like to play. I was gonna play it for a bit to see if it helps loosen the strings up but I'll probably put some lighter strings on it before I make any saddle change. I think the saddle that is on it is plastic, so I know that doesn't help matters. The nut is black plastic so I will change that eventually, but not right away.

I really like the way it looks though, the double pickguards are really hard to distinguish. There is a tortoise shell look but it is not nearly as pronounced as other examples I've seen. The size is just about right , not as big as my Jumbo and not a Dreadnought size.

 

I guess I am hoping for a warmer tone, it sounds kind of flat and dull. I don't want it too bright I already have that on my Taylor. Just a nice warm tone to strum and pick. If I change a bunch of stuff and it doesn't work out not a big deal. I just thought I would inquire to the folks here to find out what they might think.

 

Definately love the guitar though.

 

Bman

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Is this the 1996 issue with the black pickguards? You might want to consider Gibson J200 phosphor bronze 12's or the Gibson Masterbuilt Premium 12's.

 

Bob

 

Bob,

Thanks for the response. The pickguards are very dark but not solid black. There is still some "tortoise" veining visible. Hope this helps. BTW I still am going to switch the saddle material and pins. It will also improve the look of the instrument. If it helps the sound I will be even happier. I'll give the strings a try, never really like the Gibson strings but it is a small investment for the sound quality.

 

Bman

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Well I finally got around to replacing the plastic saddle with a bone compensated saddle. I also replaced the plastic bridge pins with some purty bone pins with an abalone inlay. I kept the same strings on so I could make an honest comparison. I have to say I was surprised at the difference this made. Sustain is improved, clarity, crispness and a pronounced "sweetness" in tone. This change really makes this guitar sing. The bone pins look really nice, I don't know if it changes much in in of itself but I like the look. Overall for a $25.00 improvement I am astonished at the change.

 

Next up some Grover nickle "keystone" tuners to replace the cheap ones that are on it now. I probably will get the nut replaced down the road but for now I just want to play it. I may adjust the truss rod too see if I can squeeze a bit more out of the action.

 

Pretty happy right now. Hairdryer schmaredryer....

 

Bakerman

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Interesting, I might try this on one of mine. Why did you choose the compensated saddle and not a plain one?

 

Bob

Bob,

I have a compensated saddle on my Taylor. No other reason, I think I still need to sand it down a bit still the action is pretty high. Sound has improved dramatically to my ears.

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