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clarkuss

Korean Epiphones - A Theory

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Pulling up a bit in the scope of the conversation, my idea for argument is that the guitar buyer generally speaking wants to find a diamond in the rough, and that's why some MIK will always be desirable. I've played the MIC sorrento, 62 sherrie, and casinos, and some have been good and some have been ok and some have been bad, but I dont think any of them match my Peerless Sheraton because it's mine and it's unlike any other I've seen in terms of playability and finish. The chinese ones are solid, solid guitars, but as a result are just kind of blah. Hearing the mythology of MIJ and MIK guitars (not just with Epi but certainly fender as well) causes people to want to play older guitars they perceive as either sounding better or simply being different than the new one on the rack. Maybe a result of the vintage guitar market?

 

Also since when do you buy a guitar and not want another?

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While the overall quality control of Chinese Epiphones has improved in recent years and become much more consistent, aside from a few particular models (like the '61 reissues), the specs have clearly been changed for the worse. I recently saw a newer Joe Pass model in a store, and it was not even close to my 2001 Samick. The top had barely any arch at all, and the shape was more squared off from the graceful curves of my Samick. F-holes on many models have been widened, probably to make installation of the wiring harness easier, but they look oddly distorted to my eyes. Woods and finishes are clearly of lower quality as well, though the build quality seems pretty decent.

 

The bottom line is --- it's all about the bottom line. The Qingdao factory was set up so that Epiphone guitars could be made less expensively --- not so they could be made better. Many of the designs have been compromised to that end, so I seriously doubt that the standard Chinese models will eclipse the Korean ones when they are apples-to-apples comparisons. The specialty models that were never made in Korea are a different story --- some of those may become more desirable to collectors as they become less available.

Not doubting that you looked, but aren't a lot of the newer Joe Passes from Indonesia--which brings up the question: how about the Indonesian-made Epis?

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--which brings up the question: how about the Indonesian-made Epis?

I have a '97 Indonesian Epi SG Jr. that is just about as perfect as it could get.

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pardon my curiosity Milod - I may be just having a 'junior moment' but why wouldn't you take $10k for an S100c?

I've probably missed the point I realise.. [confused]

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The original point of this point was really to discuss the fate of 60s inspired models (mainly Sheraton, Casino, Riviera, Sorrento) as Epiphone start to reissue more 60s accurate models.

 

I've played some Matsumoku and Peerless Hollobodies that were just ok... I've played amazing ones. No doubt you can find a good Chinese hollowbody and if it was a choice between something vaguley like a 60s Casino and one with more 60s specs, I know what I would go for.

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if it was a choice between something vaguley like a 60s Casino and one with more 60s specs, I know what I would go for.

 

But wouldn't you also admit that you'd choose one that sounded better to you over one that technically should sound better?

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Not doubting that you looked, but aren't a lot of the newer Joe Passes from Indonesia--which brings up the question: how about the Indonesian-made Epis?

 

I have an Epi SG Junior as well, and it is fantastic. The frets are perfect. It took a set of 8 guage strings with super low action with no problem. Not a buzz to be heard anywhere.

 

I also have an Indo bass made at the Cort factory. This bass is the whip! Top notch construction and finish. Bartolini MK-1 pickups & preamp, Hipshot tuners, brass nut, anodized brass bridge, solid flame maple body (no veneer) and a 5 piece neck-thru with Wenge stringers. The headstock even has an 1/8" flame maple veneer to match the body.

 

The only issue I had with is was the nut was cut too low, so I had to shim it. It knocks the socks off of anything Epiphone has ever had to offer in the bass realm. List was $1200, out the door price was around $800 and I got it for $400 on closeout. Cant beat that!

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Scales...

 

"pardon my curiosity Milod - I may be just having a 'junior moment' but why wouldn't you take $10k for an S100c?

I've probably missed the point I realise.."

 

I got the Guild back when it was a US guitar in the early '70s.

 

Honestly it's the best overall solidbody guitar I've ever hand my hands on. It works well for every kind of music I've played except for bluegrass in a bluegrass band. I've even used it for "old time" although I wouldn't recommend it.

 

It's not the best guitar for everything. My archtop short-scales are better for most, except not in bad weather. My big flattops are better for 'Grass and most "old time." Some smaller flattops work as well or better for "cowboy" and even do some borderline jazz.

 

But the old Guild is the guitar that's backup for anything I'd do electric, rock to country, jazz to blues, in spite of some changes in the #1 for this or that.

 

They aren't making one like that any more. More than that, I've spent around 40 years with her - longer than with my wife and that's 39 years today.

 

So... combine a super versatile and great sounding solidbody that's stable in exceptionally variable climate conditions along with more than a little bit of habit and... yeah, I'm not at all sure that $10,000 would take it. Although... my wife sez she won't go along with my idea to burn all my guitars when I croak. She sez they should go to a school music program.

 

I will admit I'd be looking for the Gibson or Epi "original" of the type of the S100c if anything happened to it.

 

m

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Happy anniversay milod!

 

 

I've got Epis from CHina, Korea and Indonesia, they are all very nice and good guitars. Looking forward to adding a Japanese and American too!!

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Happy anniversay milod!

 

 

I've got Epis from CHina, Korea and Indonesia, they are all very nice and good guitars. Looking forward to adding a Japanese and American too!!

 

Me too! I'd have to say that the Koreans are my favorites, mostly because i've had them for a long, long time and there is a lot of sentimental attachment to them. Quality-wise, my newer Indos and Chinese are a probably a little better though.

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I don't know...I think all the Asian made Epi's are pretty sound, in quality, overall.

Sure, there's always some that are better than other's, but you can say the same thing

about any other mass produced guitar, by any other manufacturer. I prefer the Chinese

Epi's, especially the Semi-hollow body models, now, beccause they are much closer to the

original Epiphone/Gibson shapes, and spec's. There's still a few things, I'd love to see

Epi do, to close the gap, entirely. But, in all honesty, that's probably "just me?!"

I'm just one of those "nut cases," that would love to see totally accurate spec's, maintained,

regardless of country of actual manufacture. But, they're getting there...closer, all

the time. [thumbup][biggrin]

 

CB

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cheers Milod.

 

happy anniversary!

 

our 20th is coming up soon -wives and guitars - when you find the right one, hold on to them [biggrin]

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I've owned a Peerless Casino. One of those really cool turquoise models with factory Bigsby.

The paint was nice and that's about all I can say about it.

The nut was junk, the tuners were awful and the Bigsby was atrocious. Sold that thing in a few weeks' time.

I'll take a modern Chinese version any day.

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Since my last post on this thread, I have bought a second 1990's Peerless-made Epiphone Sorrento...Now have 2, from the same year and factory and they are VERY different guitars. The second one is heavier, the neck feels different - a bit wider - and at this point I have it set up with flat wound jazz strings...

 

I have also just bid on a 2003 Peerless made Casino...actually because the price is very good, if I can get him to throw in a used hard case, and it's exactly what I had been looking for.

 

I do have Indonesian made Epiphones - several acoustics and a solid body Wilshire, all of which are exceptional guitars, far better IMO than their selling price suggests.

 

I seem to have become a real Epiphone fan and supporter over the last 3 years, and I have been selling a lot of my "other" guitars in that time, including a few Gibsons. msp_blink.gif

 

FWIW, I have seen and handled and played a lot of Epiphones from the 60's, late '70's, 90's and current models - They are much better guitars recently = VERY well built with good detailing and much improved electronics - IMO, Epiphone P90's are good as anyone's and better than most, while their humbuckers are slightly different in tone but still great.

 

Overall, the NEWER Epiphones - maybe 2010 and newer, Chinese and Indonesian - seem to be more consistent one to the next over those coming before. Some of the Korean made Epi's might be exceptional, but I think there is more variance in them and some might not be as well made.

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As I'd recounted in another thread, the majority of my experience was with the Korean Epiphones (Saein in particular). Was extremely partial to them because of the nearly flawless construction & consistency.

 

This past spring, I bought a new "Iced Tea" burst Epi Les Paul Standard online. Was interested in trying the Probuckers & the Coil-split options. The asking price was impossible to turn away from, so I pulled the trigger.

 

The seller stated that it was from the Indonesian factory. I tried not to have any expectations one way or the other & figured I'd return it if I didn't care for it, or felt it was not up to the quality of the Saeins I'd had in the past.

 

Truthfully, it's one of the nicest Les Pauls I've ever played, never mind owned. Fit & finish are Class A, the Probuckers may not be Gibson, but they're damned nice in a band-mix (single-coil & humbucking both). The electronics are noiseless, no crackles, pops or scratchiness. Still haven't opened it up to see whether they're alpha of full-sizes because it really doesn't matter to me. For the first time, I bought an Epiphone that I have not customized, modded or tampered with in anyway. Doesn't need it.

 

Likewise, outside of threads such as this one, I don't really give a thought to where it was made. Again, doesn't matter to me.

 

Did I just get lucky or is this the current trend for Epiphone production? I have no way of knowing, but I'm still mightily impressed & pleased with this instrument.

 

Of course, YMMV, but there it is...

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As I'd recounted in another thread, the majority of my experience was with the Korean Epiphones (Saein in particular). Was extremely partial to them because of the nearly flawless construction & consistency.

 

This past spring, I bought a new "Iced Tea" burst Epi Les Paul Standard online. Was interested in trying the Probuckers & the Coil-split options. The asking price was impossible to turn away from, so I pulled the trigger.

 

The seller stated that it was from the Indonesian factory. I tried not to have any expectations one way or the other & figured I'd return it if I didn't care for it, or felt it was not up to the quality of the Saeins I'd had in the past.

 

Truthfully, it's one of the nicest Les Pauls I've ever played, never mind owned. Fit & finish are Class A, the Probuckers may not be Gibson, but they're damned nice in a band-mix (single-coil & humbucking both). The electronics are noiseless, no crackles, pops or scratchiness. Still haven't opened it up to see whether they're alpha of full-sizes because it really doesn't matter to me. For the first time, I bought an Epiphone that I have not customized, modded or tampered with in anyway. Doesn't need it.

 

Likewise, outside of threads such as this one, I don't really give a thought to where it was made. Again, doesn't matter to me.

 

Did I just get lucky or is this the current trend for Epiphone production? I have no way of knowing, but I'm still mightily impressed & pleased with this instrument.

 

Of course, YMMV, but there it is...

 

I have 5 Epi acoustics and a Wilshire all made in Indonesia - fantastic guitars, every one...I also have several Korean made '90's Epiphones and I find they are very good, but they have a lot of variations between them, far more so than the Chinese or Indonesian Epis I own....which is probably due to manufacturing techniques...but the detail and finish is exceptional on newer Epis, period.

 

 

 

 

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the detail and finish is exceptional on newer Epis, period.

 

 

 

you got that right msp_thumbup.gif

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I can understand the consistency being better with modern Epiphone electrics being made in their own factory in China. I don't own one, but it makes sense. I think the quality of the Korean ones depends a lot on the factory in which they were made. My '93 G-400 was made in the Samick factory in Korea, and the woodwork and finish are phenomenal. As mentioned before in this thread, the electronics and tuners were garbage and have since been replaced. My Indonesian-built Caballero is pretty poor in build quality in comparison to the old G-400. It plays great, but the finish has numerous flaws. I'm glad to hear the new Chinese ones are generally well made and accurate.

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I just purchased an '02 Les Paul "Deluxe" made in Unsung Korea. It is the first Korean Epiphone I've owned. I must say it's of very high quality. Looks, plays and sounds incredible.

 

Faded....

 

 

post-17550-023544400 1413388029_thumb.jpg

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I would have given a "blanket" endorsement of any Korean made guitar over Chinese, but after picking up a Chinese made Masterbilt, I am impressed indeed. The Chinese know how to make guitars and it's all about quality assurance and following the design to the letter.

 

Bravo China [thumbup]

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I had a beautiful Casino Sunburst from the peerless era and it was great. But, I'm very impressed with most of the Epiphones I've ran in last few years.

Great guitars tight build quality, feel great, sound great...just do a good set up and play!

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