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New Toy Day! Epiphone Les Paul SL

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Post by Barry Sun Apr 24, 2022 2:12 pm

My local market for Matsumoku instruments generally and Westone in particular has been very dry for a few years now.
So what's a feller to do when GAS rears it's bubbly little head?

Well ya do what ya gotta do, ya know?
  • About three years ago I picked up a Squier Bullet Mustang HH and had some fun with it (LINK)
  • A Couple of years ago for diversion I picked up an el cheapo Ovation which needed repairs (LINK) and (LINK)


But since then, either there were no guitars I liked or, more often, no money to buy the ones I did find! Crying or Very sad 

To relieve the "itch" I decided on the Epiphone SL, which is advertised as the least cost LP ever. By any other name these were Melody Maker clones, and I looked at them when they first came out—USD$99 (CAD$119). The attraction for me was that they had a bit of a Danelectro vibe, including some colourful options. And I loves me a Dano!

On something like this it's best not to wait too long. But I did. And I ended up paying CAD$219 (down from $259!!) which is now the going rate here a year or so after their introduction.  No

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Last edited by Barry on Sun Apr 24, 2022 2:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
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Post by Barry Sun Apr 24, 2022 2:39 pm

So, after the shock of the increase in price, what do I think of it?
Thanks for asking.
In a word, it's terrific! Very Happy

Out of the box it was quite playable, even if the action was bit too high for my arthritic old fingers. Fit and finish were outstanding on such an inexpensive instrument. I was really impressed!

Having read a lot of online reviews I was prepared to have to replace the tuners and wrap around bridge, but they're just fine. The only thing I did replace were the control knobs which were functional but very cheap looking.

As expected the strings were not the best quality (but still OK'sh). Frets were well seated and level (!) but were quite gritty and required a polishing.The fret ends needed some attention and I rolled the fret board edge which was quite square and bit uncomfortable.

A bit of fret board conditioning, new strings, and a spiffy new strap et voila! There she is!

Just great fun to play and those single coil pups have a real power and jangle to them in spite of low DC resistance readings of 3.95 and 3.87, even lower than my Dano's!

Compared with the Squier Mustang this was a breeze to work with. The Mustang had a lot of issues and needed some major replacements and adjustments to get it stable.

This was made in China (factory unknown) and is exemplary quality, compared to the Mustang made in Indonesia (Cort) which had a lot of sloppy work.

Highly recommended for fun, and even for gigging!  So Happy

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
New Toy Day! Epiphone Les Paul SL  Guitar10
GUITARS : https://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: https://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)
Barry
Barry
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Number of posts : 8370
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Post by ExFender Sun Apr 24, 2022 3:31 pm

Iffen ya likes it, ya likes it!  I've been eying a couple of Epi's lately myself (thankfully, just "eying"), but somehow yours does remind me of my first E axe - a Melody Maker.  I traded it for a Strat + $ from the same music store where I got it mainly due to the neck.  It was like handling a cricket bat.
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Post by Barry Sun Apr 24, 2022 4:16 pm

Yeah, the original MM's did tend to have a substantial neck on them. Not my preference either. This SL is just right.

The Chinese made Epiphones are made with outstanding quality control, even on the lower end models.

I also have an Epi LP Studio which is beautiful to play, and sounds even better with the Warman HB-90's I put in her!

When I worked at the guitar store we were often a bit dismayed at the lack of quality control on many of the Gibson's, especially the acoustics. The Epi's however were always great by comparison.

They used to be the butt of jokes but I have no hesitation in recommending Epiphone now.

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
New Toy Day! Epiphone Les Paul SL  Guitar10
GUITARS : https://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: https://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)
Barry
Barry
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Number of posts : 8370
Age : 77
Location : Port Weller, St. Catharines, Canada
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https://legend.barryeames.com

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Post by AriaProII Sat Jun 11, 2022 5:55 pm

The Uncle Matts I see now are for the most part grossly overpriced. Every rarely I see one at a somewhat reasonable price but that is the exception and only rarely. Way back I was attracted to the odd-balls, being Aria, Aria Pro II, Electra, Westone, Washburn and Vantage. These were often inexpensive and easy to find. Not so much any more.

I did pick up two APII RS-Bobcats for under $250 each. I still have one loaded with Wilkinson Hot single coils, the other loaded the same I gave to a guitar friend I've known since I was in my early teens.

These days I track down the present day unsung gems. The Drive Wildfire X series, Crafter Ashland, Crafter Convoy ST, JR Beck, CastleRock, Silvertone and Samick Greg Bennetts. There is only one antacid that works for GAS and that is another set of strings.  Very Happy

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Post by AriaProII Sat Jun 11, 2022 5:59 pm

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Post by Westbone Fri Jun 17, 2022 3:50 am

Have a few Crafter guitars myself, Convoy DX(2) SEG480TM and a couple of the LP junior styles P90 pups. Pretty decent instruments.
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