Epi SG special P90

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by mrboosh, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. SurfNTurf

    SurfNTurf New Member

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    I think this looks even better in real life. The problem is, they all use the same stock photos on line that come from the manufacturer so it’s hard to get a feel for what one really looks like. So I have a 97 Epi SG junior - it took some finding, tbh. I love p90s, since owning a custom LPJ a few years back.
    Anyway, I really was thinking about getting one of these - especially now I can see the finger board is bound. Sounds crazy, but I have an eye sight condition which means my sight in poor lighting mixed with any sort of glare means I can’t see very well. I’m fine if something is well lit. So I’ve only been playing out with my strat - it’s a maple board with high contrast edge dot markers, whereas the Epi junior is unbound rosewood with the TINIEST of cream edge markers. I sing and play so I only occasionally glance down and because I’m stood at a mic, I can’t really angle the guitar to see the front of the board, so a bound edge with black dots is really going to help me out.
     
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  2. tolm

    tolm Well-Known Member

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    P90s and SGs are a wonderful combination. Don’t have a P90 SG at present but hope to get another one day!
     
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  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs New Member

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    They really are. I've had a number of P90 guitars and I've always found them to sound best (to my ears) in solid body guitars. Not the same in a hollow body or semi-hollow. I love them in Les Pauls (and similar knockoffs) but I can't play those comfortably - I play seated and the leg cut is so far toward the nut that it moves the guitar to the right and I have to twist around to get my picking hand in the right place and to reach the upper frets. SG's were never on my radar until I was looking for a P90 axe again, and it looked like it would be really comfortable to play, with the leg cut back almost to the bridge. So I picked up this Epi and it IS insanely comfortable for me to play. Any neck dive is a non-issue playing seated because your arm over the lower bout counteracts any neck-heaviness. And, the beauty part is it sounds incredible. Maybe even better than the Les Pauls I've tried. I'm gonna check out a couple of used Gibson SG's with P90s, but it's all upside because I love the Epiphone as is, and I'll only keep one of the Gibsons if it's a notable improvement over the Epi. I have trouble seeing that being the case, but we'll see...

    In any case, now I really dig SG's. If I was into humbuckers, I'd probably add one of with those too. But I'm not. I think P90s are as close to hum buckers as I get...

    -Ray
     
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  4. tolm

    tolm Well-Known Member

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    I similarly “lucked in” to SGs ... was a Les Paul player for years but then I somehow ended up as lead guitar in a band and needed better neck access. Always thought SGs were a bit too “aggressive” for me but I absolutely love the feel, ergonomics and sound of them.

    I have retro-fitted my 335 with dogear P90s hence wanted humbuckers in my SG for a bit of variety but kinda miss the raw tone of my old SG Special sometimes.
     
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  5. heffus

    heffus Member

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    Such a cool guitar. If it had a fat neck I'd be all over it.
     
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  6. mrboosh

    mrboosh New Member

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    I agree, I was surprised by the colour when it arrived - with a strong green tint to the Pelham blue... but I love it. The bound neck is a nice touch too - to be honest their isn’t much about it I don’t like.... and I’m fussy with guitars.

    electronics are decent too - has CTS pots as standard - Epiphone have defiantly upped their game with this beauty’s.
     
  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs New Member

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    I'd prefer a fatter neck, but evidently not enough to pay much more for it. I'd ordered a 2003 SG Classic, which has a notably fatter neck, and a 2016 Naked SG, which has a narrower nut and similarly thin neck. They came in yesterday, and after playing them some today, I'm returning them both. All else being equal, I'd probably take the Classic, but I paid $400 for the Epi and the $820 for the classic. And if I kept the classic I'd have to take a loss selling the Epi, so it would cost me probably $500 or more to switch. And there isn't much difference other than the fatter neck. And I'm fine with the skinny neck on the Epi - it's not my favorite neck profile but I don't think about it when I'm playing it and I don't DIS-like it - I just like the fatter neck a bit more.

    So the Classic and Naked are going back and I'm keeping the Epi. My first SG and already my favorite P90 guitar of any I've spent any time with. A very very very good guitar and a fully INSANE value!

    -Ray
     
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  8. iloveparis

    iloveparis New Member

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    My first quality guitar was a '72 SG when I was 18. The weird one with the Les Paul pickguard and the black front control plate. Still, played like a dream. Years later I stupidly traded it in when I bought a nice acoustic (I went acoustic-only for 20 years). When I got back into electric 4 years ago I chose a Fender Mustang because I wanted something different and had never played single coils. And I love my Mustang.

    But this new SG Special seemed too good to resist. I just needed to listen to Live at Leeds a time or two and placed my order (it was sold out almost everywhere!)

    I LOVE IT. Sweet in every way, so hot to look at, P-90s have a wonderful growl and chime. So, here I am :-)

    IMG_0669_sm.jpg
     
  9. mrboosh

    mrboosh New Member

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    I’ve got a sweet spot for those 72 SGs... maybe one day - if the bank balance allows it.

    Enjoy the new guitar ( it certainly looks like you are)
     
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  10. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs New Member

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    Just finished having my SG Special modded. Basically just converted the volume and tone controls to one master volume and one master tone. I never really bonded with the Gibson four-knob approach and it seemed like overkill to me. I've spent plenty of time playing a tele and love the simplicity of one volume, one tone. Except on strats, where in the 2&4 positions some variation between the middle and either outer pickup is really good to have. When I'm in the middle switch position, using both pickups, I wouldn't mind have a separate tone control for each pickup, but I probably spend more time in the neck or bridge alone and the simplicity of this arrangement is wonderful for those. And I don't really miss the separate settings when I'm in both - I was just initially aware that I didn't have them... And I ALWAYS like having the volume control for whatever position I'm in easily accessible to back off the gain and clean it up a little bit.

    I'm finding myself playing this like a Jr. a lot, just staying in the bridge pickup, and that's way easier with this knob arrangement. But I'm still glad I have two pickups. I just don't see a downside of having both even you use one most of the time.

    A couple little wood plugs to fill the holes and I'm good to go with it.

    -Ray

    [​IMG]0-1 by Ray, on Flickr

    [​IMG]0 by Ray, on Flickr
     
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  11. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Bold move, but I like it. I too am of the two knobs preference.

    Try lowering the neck P90 and cut all bass on the amp, then drive it like the bridge. You might get a liking to it. On all my P90 equipped guitars, the neck pickup is usually about ¼" lower than the bridge pup.
     
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  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs New Member

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    The neck is already about 1/4" lower than the bridge, but relative to the body - not quite as much relative to the strings, which is the business end of things. So I'll try to lower it a bit more and see how I like it. Thanks for the idea.... I do like using the neck pickup for a bit of a jazz tone though, and I'm not sure how compatible this move will be with that. But worth experimenting with...

    -Ray
     
  13. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    You say you don't find use for the middle position. It is one of my prefered when playing clean. Maybe that high neck pup interferes with the almost acoustic tone middle position can give.

    Here's how I adjust my P90's.

    I set the bridge pickup (measured at the pole) height to about two credit card thickness distance from bottom of strings (1/8" or ±3mm). No closer, or magnets will dampen sustain. If it sounds good, I leave it there. Too hot ? ½ turn of each screw at a time to lower it where I want it. Check it clean AND with overdrive. Once I have that one at the sweet spot, I go to the neck.

    Neck tone has to be different from middle position. Many people have neck pup adjusted so it gives the same tonality as middle position. Not good. Neck pup has to be adjusted so middle position gets a quacky tone, kinda Strat like. You'll know what I mean when you get there.

    So, I raise the neck pup until it starts to sound boomy. Notes will seem to be overwhelmed with too much bass. Now lower it a full screw turn and compare it to middle. If it sounds the same, it is still too high. I go on until I hear three different balanced tones out of the three switch positions.

    Take your time, it's worth it. Do it a second time to make sure you really found their sweet spot. That's a fun adjustment and it is by far the cheapest modification you can do to a guitar and probably the one that has the most drastic effect on tone.
     
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  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs New Member

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    Thanks man, this is great advice. I played around with it last night and I definitely have three distinct sounds. I seem to hear a bit more strat / quack in the bridge than the middle position with P90s and these are no exception, even after playing with it. I guess because I associate a thinner but funkier tone with those strat positions (particularly #2) and that's there in a bridge P90 and then the middle tends to fill it out some. But I'm not too concerned with that - having three useable positions that sound good to me is the main goal and I seem to be there. I'm sure I'll fine tune as I go.

    Appreciate your help,

    -Ray
     
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  15. ChaseB

    ChaseB Well-Known Member

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    The new versions with the new finishes are stunning! I have the 50th anniversary model from 2011. The Epiphones are actually closer to vintage spec than the Gibson models, especially in regards to the pickup spacing. Also the Gibson versions have some goofy beveling on the horns that causes the pickguard to not line up just right.
     
  16. KungFuRamone

    KungFuRamone New Member

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    I am sorely tempted to get one of these.

    How is the intonation adjustment? Maybe a silly question, but I've never had a guitar with a lightning bolt wraparound bridge, and I'm not sure what to expect.
     
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  17. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Real easy to adjust with the two small grub screw. If you can show patience in adjusting it, it will pay off and give you good intonation.

    Always adjust those tiny screws WITHOUT tension on string, if not you'll destroy the bridge threads. Retune between each adjustment.
    Start with low and high E, then go back and forth between the screws. When you move one end, the other moves a little too.
     
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  18. KungFuRamone

    KungFuRamone New Member

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    Good tips, thanks! Think I might have to get one now...
     
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  19. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Me, too, but where will I hide it from my missus?
     
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