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Unread 02-15-2010, 11:20 AM   #61
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the steve: i just thought so because a couple of different people, have told me so. the owner, and some other people i know. I just believed them.

and the other guy (forgot your name, too lazy to check, srry!!): why do you think i should keep it? if i can sell it and try and get a nicer guitar, why would i keep it?

Thanks

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Unread 02-15-2010, 11:23 AM   #62
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So by "research you've done" what you meant was "what people have told me"
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Unread 02-15-2010, 11:32 AM   #63
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So by "research you've done" what you meant was "what people have told me"
yep lol
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Unread 02-15-2010, 11:51 AM   #64
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As far as the MIJ, my memory is really vague, I had read something somewhere a few years back about some of the Epi Les Pauls from what I believe was the early 90's being made in japan, and they had that Gibson shaped headstock, although I think it is slightly different. I thought that meant it was MIJ, but it was mentioned in this thread that some early Korean made ones had that too...? I do remember seeing a couple on ebay back then that were advertised as being MIJ, and as I remember, they sold for a significant amount more than their korean counterparts.. If it were mine, I would loosen the strings and pull off the bridge to look underneath (or maybe slide a small mirror under it). If it said "japan", I would bet it is MIJ, as the Korean mfr's I think seem to have always used korean made hardware. I think if it had nickel plating on the hardware, it would indicate MIJ, as I think Korean axes pretty much used chrome. The pickups might also be a clue - markings on their bottom. Also, don't all or most Korean guitars after a certain year (?) have "Made in Korea" along with a serial # stamped or printed on the back of the headstock?

I don't think that these were products of the earlier "Epiphone Japan" era, but simply guitars that Gibson contracted out to a japanese mfr, just like they contracted Samick, Cort and whatever Korean companies.

I think if I had it in front of me, I could probably make a fairly educated guess by general fit and finish; i.e. thickness of the finish, the detailing of the binding and such, look of the hardware, and whether the head / neck had one of the scarf joints used a lot by Korean mfr's.

I am curious about this now... keep us posted.

Oh yeah, at some point, you will have to "shut up and play yer guitar", but it is a guy thing - I call it gear fetish, and I think most mens suffer from it to some degrree. It applies to any hobby that men have, it is where the acquisition and care of the gear becomes more of the hobby than the actual activity the gear is for. My brother in law is a poster child for this, I don't care if it is golf, motorcycles, hunting, fishing, boating... He will spend more time "playing" with the gear than he actually spends in the activity. For example, I've seen him spend 2 hours cleaning the Harley before taking a 1 hour ride... Gotta refinish the gunstock, (or order that anniversary edition Browning) before the next hunting trip
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Unread 02-15-2010, 12:03 PM   #65
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Tom,

Here's what I've found over the last few days of reading. You might find it interesting. The first issue of the Epiphone Les Paul Standard was made in Korea and featured the Gibson-style headstock. Imported Epiphones began their Korean manufacturing days in the mid-1980s (according to Epiphone's website). From what I've read from some other forums and sources is that some Epiphone Japan models continued in the early/mid 90s, but these were made for the Japanese domestic market, not for import. I would wager that if the original owner bought this guitar new in the United States in 1989, then it would have been one of the first issue MIKs.

It may be worth noting that the MIJ headstocks were exact copies of the Gibson headstocks. Based on the camera phone pic Chups posted earlier, the headstock on this guitar does feature the open-book styling, but appears to be slimmer overall: Here's a couple pictures from the forum I linked to earlier:

Epiphone Japan headstock:


Epiphone Korea headstock:


I realize the latter is upside down, but the dimensions of the headstock seem very apparent to me in their differences.

Also, here's a full body shot of one of those early MIK LP Standards:


It sure looks like a dead ringer for the guitar Chups posted here:


If the colors don't match, Epiphone also made this model in a honeyburst. The honeyburst has more of a brownish/red along the edges fading into an orangey-yellow color.

Finally, here's the 1989 Epiphone catalog page featuing the Les Paul Standard model:
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Unread 02-15-2010, 12:19 PM   #66
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Interesting. It seems that I may have been misinformed. That slightly tapered shape headstock is indeed the one that I thought was an indication of MIJ. It certainly does look a lot nicer than the newer Epi headstock shape...for whatever reason, I hate those.

I'd still look at the hardware though, to be sure. I did read in a Fender history book, something about Fender having some serious quality issues with korean mfr's, when they were first sourcing stuff there, and they had to switch to a different source....dunno, there may be some similar stories in Epi's history. What I remember reading, from what I would have thought to be a credible source, was that some of the Epis from that era were MIJ.
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Unread 02-15-2010, 12:22 PM   #67
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Interesting. It seems that I may have been misinformed. That slightly tapered shape headstock is indeed the one that I thought was an indication of MIJ. It certainly does look a lot nicer than the newer Epi headstock shape...for whatever reason, I hate those.
I agree completely about the headstock. I've largely steered clear of Epiphones not because of build quality issues (perceived or otherwise) or brand recognition, but because I think their current headstock is ugly. This old tapered headstock or the Elitist headstock are both shapes that I would feel comfortable with on stage.
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Unread 02-15-2010, 05:10 PM   #68
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now the real question i have is whether i should

a) sell this for 400, sell my other strat pickups, try and save a little till i have like 600, then go shopping for a used lp studio, or

b) keep this, isell my strat pickups, upgrade these pickups.

opinions?
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Unread 02-15-2010, 05:12 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Chups01098 View Post
now the real question i have is whether i should

a) sell this for 400, sell my other strat pickups, try and save a little till i have like 600, then go shopping for a used lp studio, or

b) keep this, isell my strat pickups, upgrade these pickups.

opinions?
C) stop worrying and play.
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Unread 02-15-2010, 05:25 PM   #70
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C) stop worrying and play.
I do not get why ya'll are saying to quit "worrying" and just play. I'm just trying to get the best guitar I can. How does that mean i'm not playing enough. Yeah your right it does take time out of my potential playing time to type on this site, but how do you know how much I play? Who knows, I could've just done steve vai's thirty hour workout without sleep or something haha.
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Unread 02-15-2010, 05:35 PM   #71
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so i traded, and i freaking love this thing. i like the sound so much more. and the sustain is amazing. and it stays in tune like a mad man
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Originally Posted by Chups01098 View Post
now the real question i have is whether i should

a) sell this for 400, sell my other strat pickups, try and save a little till i have like 600, then go shopping for a used lp studio, or

b) keep this, isell my strat pickups, upgrade these pickups.

opinions?

If you " freaking love this thing" why sell it? Why not keep it and play it. If you like the sound, why change p'ups.

BTW, I picked up a Gibson LP Studio for $400 cash a week ago. Cash talks in this economy, people need money and are selling great instruments for a song on Craigslist right now.
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Unread 02-15-2010, 05:51 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Chups01098 View Post
I do not get why ya'll are saying to quit "worrying" and just play. I'm just trying to get the best guitar I can. How does that mean i'm not playing enough. Yeah your right it does take time out of my potential playing time to type on this site, but how do you know how much I play? Who knows, I could've just done steve vai's thirty hour workout without sleep or something haha.
Because time with a guitar will tell you whether you should sell it or not.

Whether it needs a new pickup or not is really up to you.

You seem to be freaking out about the materialism of the guitar.

I would probably hold on to it and play with it, until I had money to fill out the difference for an LP that you know about.
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Unread 02-15-2010, 05:58 PM   #73
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If you " freaking love this thing" why sell it? Why not keep it and play it. If you like the sound, why change p'ups.

BTW, I picked up a Gibson LP Studio for $400 cash a week ago. Cash talks in this economy, people need money and are selling great instruments for a song on Craigslist right now.
yeah i definately love it more than my strat haha. and i dont like the sound that much. Its too muddy which is why i thought change the pickups.

and yeah on craigslist you occasionally get a deal like that, so i might sell mine, then just play my acoustic for a while till i find a nice deal like this.
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Unread 02-15-2010, 06:42 PM   #74
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Is it too muddy, or is it your rig?
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Unread 02-15-2010, 07:23 PM   #75
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yeah i definately love it more than my strat haha. and i dont like the sound that much. Its too muddy which is why i thought change the pickups.

and yeah on craigslist you occasionally get a deal like that, so i might sell mine, then just play my acoustic for a while till i find a nice deal like this.
I thought my LP was sounding kinda muddy. I was using the same amp settings as I was using for my Strat. After a bit of tweaking (added more top end, ad cut out a smidge of the bottom) it's sounding rather nice.
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