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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:32 am 
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:look: check it out!

There are two new limited edition reissue epiphone wilshires out. The first one is made by the Gibson custom shop in Nashville, limited to 100 pieces, and they want nearly 5K for it - FORGET THAT ONE. Yeah, it is a GREAT guitar a lot like a LP jr - but that price is STUPID. Paying $5 grand for a freeking entry level guitar is nuts. Real Kalamazoo Epi Wilshires from the 60s in good shape can be had in the $2500 range.

The other reissue is a chinese made one, with dual humbuckers, white finish, "batwing" headstock. This is the one I interested in (but no money at the moment). It has a mahogany body and neck, rosewood board, two epi PAF types, two volumes, two tones, tuneomatic (ABR type), block inlays, set neck. It appears to be a screaming deal for $269 including shipping from Musicians Friend. I will likely try to sell something to buy one.

I don't mind doing setup work and changing parts I don't like. I have a mess of pickups at the moment too. This guitar is a lot like the Japanese made Epiphone guitar that was my first "good" guitar that I bought by saving my money. Got it several years old and USED from Goldman's Pawn shop in the 70s. I am pretty sure it was a bolt neck Matsumoku guitar - much like some of the earlier Electras and Univox guitars. I paid around 90 or so bucks for it used in the 70s. It had two humbuckers too, and they were not that good as I recall (hey, I was a kid and it was an early Japanese guitar before the quality greatly improved and reached it's pinnacle).

That guitar is long gone. But I still remember it. It had a bolt-on maple neck, and that "steel reinforced neck - made in japan" bolt on neck plate that they all had back then. It was still a nice guitar, and had VERY LOW action. I put dimarzios in it. It had a weird vibrato bridge on the order of a jazzmaster or something of that nature, and a roller bridge that was not the best. It was 'neck heavy' too because the body was so light. I don't know what the body was - it was painted black.

This Chinese one actually may be a bit better than that one, since it probably has better hardware than the early ones, a mahogany body and neck, and a set neck. It will be better balanced. I expect the pickups will even be better as well. It pains me to recommend a Chinese guitar. But given the price and quality it is a bargain worth considering if you are into cool but different inexpensive guitars. Most electra people will dig that sort of thing. Incidentally, this was made in 2006 for a while, and a red version came out in Canada and Europe in 2007 (I would like one of those). So I think they just buy a batch of them from the Chinese and sell them all, then wait a year and do it again - and call it a limited edition Sounds like a Gibson sort of deal.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:32 pm 
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Thorny be carefull of scarf joints on the neck. I have heard horror stories about Chinees Epi's spontainiously breaking and twisting beyond repair. If you look on e-bong there usualy are 1/2 dozen broaken ones for sale. There was a thread about this on the Matumoku page http://www.matsumoku.org/ggboard/index.php
a while back. Just do a search on scarf joints. This does not mean they all are bad but I would look closly before I bought.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:33 pm 
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You are talking about a scarf joint where the headstock meets the neck? I don't know if it has one or not. It does have a tilted back headstock. I have seen them listed needing repair but broken where the neck meets the body. This is a weak point for SGs as well due to the thin bodies. From my experience, those issues are likely UPS related. My experience with both UPS and Fedex has been terrible lately. But UPS smashed a Dean for me about a year ago now - snapped the headstock off. I don't doubt it can happen though. But there are tons of cheap guitars sold for each expensive one, and the Chinese guitars are the lowest priced ones of the bunch. It stands to reason that there would be more with problems because there are so many more of them made and sold. There definitely could be defects.

I read through those threads. It sounds like there were a lot of broken necked guitars. While I don't doubt scarf joints have their weak points - MANY angled headstock guitars use scarf joints. What puzzled me was that one of the people mentioned that they didn't know of a japanese guitar that used scarf joints. Well, picture EVERY Ibanez JEM and other "wizard" neck Ibanez guitars. I have repaired scarf joints on them. It was an EZ repair - super glue injected into the crack and clamp it down. It was very strong and while it could break again, it likely would not be at that particular point (might be parallel to it though). While gorilla glue certainly is strong, it is thick and can be difficult to clean up. I use super glue generally. It works fine, it is strong, and it cleans up very well with a razer.

Thanks for the tip. If I get one I will let anyone know how it is (good or bad). Price sure is cheap. Reviews have been mostly good.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:38 pm 
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I think the problem has been not with scarf joints, many fine guitars have them, but with the placement and quality of them. I have looked at ones were the joint is in the middle of the neck and short making for a week point. Unless there is a transparent finish on the neck they could be hard to spot. Good luck and let us know how it works.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:47 pm 
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I didn't buy the chinese wilshire with the broken neck, but I found one a short drive away for $200 that was like new so I bought it. The guy must have set it up as it played pretty darned good and was intonated. The stock parts were all of good quality. The pots were the smaller ones, but the 3-way pickup switch looked like the larger gibson type (not the extra cheap block ones all the cheaper guitars usually use). The neck pickup was like a PAF and teh bridge was quite a bit hotter - but they matched each others output pretty well and they were potted. They sounded pretty good.

Since I can never leave anything alone for any length of time, I wound up putting in a set of after market pickups. I did this because I wanted to know how these pickups sounded - and they sounded so good I left them in there. They were supposed to be Rockfield Fat Ass pickups (yeah, that is what they are called). Well, they are dual black coil humbuckers but they have large diameter poles. The stock ones are supposed to have hot windings, but these had "SWC" hand written on the bottom. They were basically "hot" PAF windings, about 9K on the bridge and 8K on the neck. Well - that isn't at all what they are supposed to be. SWCs are their "select wound customs" model - their hot PAFs. So this pickup was a prototype - an FA pickup with SWC windings. I got them from the Artist Rep for the company, and someone had mistakenly sent him prototypes. All I can say is they sound fantastic.

So my verdict? This guitar is a FANTASTIC buy for the money. It is a lightweight guitar - weight like an SG, but more attractive and rounded body cuts - more like a strat. It is well balanced, the neck isn't too small (like some guitars like this). I would say the only issue I have with it is that the tuning drifted a little bit at first, but that diminished greatly after a few days. At first I thought it might be the keys (they looked and felt like good quality) but now I don't think that is it. I have heard guys with SGs say that they drift a bit, so I wonder if it has to do more with the thin body. I haven't even changed from the strings this guy had on it yet!

Getting late, and I have to go. But this is a cool guitar - even better than the bolt neck Japanese one that I had in the 70s. Those puppies are going for $500 now! They are not bad, but they are bolt neck, have cheap keys, the pickups are not as good, nor is the hardware in general. I hate that I like a cheap Chinese guitar so much, but I do!

Thorny

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:04 pm 
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Sounds interesting, but I better play darned good becasue it is one ugly lookin' instrument.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:44 pm 
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I don't think it is that bad... But then again the original one I had in the 70s was the first playable guitar I had. :look:

Image

But obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I picked up a Cort Pagelli (PAG1) too - I like it but it is kind of a twisted LP mixed with an ibanez destroyer!

Image

Compare them to some of the electra phoenix models that I also like, and these are looking pretty good. My Phoenix is a red burst, and a wonderful guitar. But I think it hit every branch on that ugly tree on the way down :barf:

Still, I love that guitar - (Thanks Paul !!!!!! ) Now that I have gotten used to it, I kinda like the looks. But not at first.

We all should learn to embrace our inner ugly. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:59 pm 
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Location: Everett, WA
68 Olympic+Duncan mini hums:

Image
Image
Image

The screwed up bridge is currently being replaced with a Gotoh 510. I really need a drill press. Anyway, it's been recently refretted with Dunlop 6100s and plays like a champ. I'm in the market for a set of new tuners, too-hopefully plate mount 6 inline Klusons. I really dig the mini hums as they're nice and aggressive with lots of high mid and a (relatively) tight bass. I'm so glad the plunky singles were gone by the time I bought it.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:05 am 
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NICE! :up:

I had duncan SM3s in a riviera I used to own, and they were very nice. They were hotter than stock minis, but not what I would call a hot pickup. They sounded really full and fat, without being a distortion pickup.

Yeah, you have the REAL DEAL. Wish I did! Very nice. Those Gibson-USA-made Epis are getting the attention they deserve. I know you don't have the all the original stuff, but I would keep it as original as possible as not to decrease the vintage value. That being said, it needs to be in playable condition! You might be able to find original parts someday. I would avoid any drilling into the body to fit metric replacement parts. I bet a suitable current part can be found that will fit and not require modification. Allparts has a good selection of replacement bridges and keys. I have to think LPjr or Special replacement parts would fit that guitar. Might even get lucky and find an original style bridge to fit.

Still, I like my cheapy guitar too. I know, not the same... but it reminds me of my first "good" guitar - the early japanese epi, a black one, it had a vibrato bridge though (kinda sucky), and a bolt neck, and not the greatest keys. But it did play very well despite all of that. This one actually is nicer playing than that one (better keys, bridge, tailpiece, pickups, set neck). I have about $300 total in this guitar - so what are you going to get for that? Not much any more.

Your Epi is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:26 pm 
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I'm not too worried about resale as I'm keeping it for some time, if not permanently. The original Melody Maker singles keep the resale on these pretty low in perfect condition, and it's already been routed for the minis...it's just a cool, quirky player, and I'm happy with that.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:41 pm 
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Premier Guitar magazine - page 34:

http://digital.premierguitar.com/premie ... =texterity

RCSBlues :oops:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:52 pm 
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Long term update - I still have the epi wilshire. I upgraded the bridge to a slightly larger metric tuneomatic (just like I do with the electras), and put on a set of GFS Locking keys, as well as two different sets of pickups. I had a set of custom made rockfield pickups, but right now I have a WCR Godwood in the bridge and a duncan alnico II pro humbucker in the neck. It plays great. I get all kinds of compliments on it. I tried to trade a guy for a bigsby b5 vibrato, but I just missed it. So it still has the tailpiece on it.

So far - no neck problems to speak of.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:05 pm 
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Oh yeah, on that Cort Pagelli - I put in a pair of duncan P-Rails and a couple push/pulls. The push pulls are

down down - full in-series humbucking (pickups are pretty beefy)
down up - single coils, P90 coils are on so it sounds like a P90s
up down - single coils, rails are on so it sounds strat-ish (not quite, but better than most)
up up - parallel humbucking mode - lower humbucking output sounds rather PAF-ish

It works great. I just need to get a set of knobs that look good and work well for Push/pulls.

Also, back on the Epi Wilshire - they came out with models this year that are in the vintage colors (one looks just like the real one posted above) and they have the mini humbuckers in them! They are in the $350 range or so. The old ones (white ones like mine with full size humbuckers are being blown out at around $250 or so. What a bargain. I wish they did them in fender surf colors! I'd like to get one of the mini humbucker models and put a set of duncan SM3s in it, but I will wait till the funding situation improves.

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