Submitted April 6, 2017 by Johannes Labusch in New York, NY
"Happy happy happy with this guitar"
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Let me add my enthusiasm to everybody else's. This guitar is an amazing value, even if you've seen and played affordable instruments made in China before. Not only did the guitar arrive without the blemishes or problems I anticipated (paint job inside the f holes), it plays great and is really well set up, which seems to be a relatively recent improvement for guitars from China. I think I read somewhere that Epiphone does their setup work for these in the US. Whether that's true or not, there's nothing that seems to need work, unless I might change to thicker strings at some point. Let me talk about the ice tea burst for a moment. I was really worried, because I had seen this guitar on Youtube and some other places, looking very red on the outside and very yellow in the center. The finish on mine is lovely. It's a rich, dark caramel brown around the border, which smoothly blends into a golden yellow. It doesn't look quite as gorgeous as on this website, but I like it a lot. It's a pleasant change from the usual vintage sunburst. While we are talking about looks: The faux Kluson tuners work well, but don't look that great. The grey plastic is flat and has no transparency. Easy replacement. I think I'll go with the nickel-plated Grovers with tulip buttons. I love the choice of the black speed knobs. Generally, all design choices are right on this one: The small block inlays are the right step up from the humble dots, but don't seem garish or over-the-top. Similarly, the good old fashioned "flowerpot" on the headstock appears in all its noble understatement. True, the huge Epiphone headstock has always been a bit of a joke; but at least it's not the horrendous abomination that keeps design-conscious players from settling for one of their Les Pauls. It's just weirdly out of proportion, with its massive extension over the top tuners. Sounds: I didn't think I'd need or like the coil splitting capability, but it's very welcome as a spunky rythm sound. I usually keep the coil on the bridge PU tapped, with the volume rolled off a bit, then engage the neck PU for solos in humbucking mode. Bang! Massive volume jump, and the amp suddenly gets tickled into overdrive. Middle position yields rich, sweet sounds for strumming or subtle single-note lines. Neck shape: flat but round, very comfortable without the weird flatness you find on Casinos for example. For me, a player who sits down a lot and is most at home on acoustics, the huge lower bout is perfect. The guitar sits snug in my embrace, no strap necessary, no slipping, and you can feel its resonance with every chord. You know, there is something to be said for relying on a tried and true design when buying an affordable guitar. The 335 has been a main staple for all these years because it just works. I'm not going to claim that this is every bit as good as a 3500$ Gibson. The finish is very shiny and sort of plastic-y, far from a subtle nitro laquer. But the differences are astonishingly small, most of them are cosmetic, or have to do with the mojo, the way you feel while playing. That can be important stuff. But if you want those gorgeous semi-acoustic humbucker sounds at a budget price, you can really, really achieve that goal, thanks to Epiphone. It's crazy to me that this guitar costs less than a Telecaster made in Mexico. But it's a good kind of crazy!
Semi pro, songwriter, acoustic and electric guitar, some bass, vocals
singer-songwriter stuff, bluesy, folksy.
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