First Epiphone SG Standard '61 w/ maestro

PeterH

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Hello everyone, I'm new here since I got my first Epiphone SG last week.
IMG_20211123_193418 (2).jpg
I'm still a beginner but after the neck of my first Harley Benton SG had a weird angle I decided to get something nice without spending too much money.
After trying out the a couple of the new inspired by gibson line in a shop I landed on this one,
I was surprised because I never considered getting a tremolo guitar at all.
A bit of Pencil lead in the nut and oil on the bridge works against tuning instability.
The pickups are fine they're very nice for clean tones but the bridge doesn't have that much bite wich I normally prefer but its ok.
People were saying that it looks silly that the beveled edges dont match the rest of the striped veneer but i think its totally fine. I also thought about getting a Batwing Pickguard, since it just looks awesome.
I'd like to hear your opinions/experiences on the '61 Standard mastro version or overall the new Epiphones.

Thank You
 

Go Nigel Go

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That is a nice looking Epi! The only advice I have to offer goes to the pickup sound. Adjusting the pickup height, and the pole piece screws for individual strings is the best place to start. It costs nothing, makes a huge difference sometimes, and is non-destructive (in that it can always be easily reversed if you can't figure it out on your own and need to seek help in the future). Worst case scenario would be getting a different pickup, but even if you do that you will need to adjust the height, so start by doing that with the existing part. Definitely a "problem" with a solution though.

Closer to the strings is not always better, so try both going up and down and see what you get. When it starts to sound better you will know you are going in the right direction, and when it starts to sound worse, go back the other way and find that "sweet spot". Once it sounds as good as it can you will be in a better position to decide if you want to try a different pickup. Odds are though, unless you are looking for a very specific type of output, you will be able to get something you like with adjustment alone.
 

PeterH

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Go Nigel Go

Thanks a lot, I'll definitly try that
 

pancake81

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Some great advice from GNG there, be sure to play around with it a bit you will be surprised what you get. From what i Have heard and seen, the new Epi pick ups have been fantastic. I love the look of the guitar and think you will be pleased with it for years to come. Not exactly a cheap guitar (maybe when compared to Gibsons) and excellent build quality.

One thing I noticed on a recent trip to Nashville is how many professional players I saw playing epiphones, and man they were just getting great sounds out of them. For anyone who thinks they need a Gibson to play in a professional setting or get a professional sound they are crazy. I was really amazed.
 

chilipeppermaniac

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Some great advice from GNG there, be sure to play around with it a bit you will be surprised what you get. From what i Have heard and seen, the new Epi pick ups have been fantastic. I love the look of the guitar and think you will be pleased with it for years to come. Not exactly a cheap guitar (maybe when compared to Gibsons) and excellent build quality.

One thing I noticed on a recent trip to Nashville is how many professional players I saw playing epiphones, and man they were just getting great sounds out of them. For anyone who thinks they need a Gibson to play in a professional setting or get a professional sound they are crazy. I was really amazed.

While not seeing it in person, I have read of pro touring musicians using Epiphone's rather than expensive modern Gibson's or super expensive vintage guitars due to the lesser cost to replace if stolen, lost, damaged scenarios.

Just last week, a friend was gigging in Milwaukee and had to check in his guitars here in Baltimore. The worst thing happened short of total loss. Delta sent his guitars to Detroit.
 

DrBGood

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Welcome and nice SG.

If want to get a batwing pickguard, there are chances that it won't fit. Check that out. Then if it fits, it might not cover all of the small guard screw holes.
 

pancake81

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While not seeing it in person, I have read of pro touring musicians using Epiphone's rather than expensive modern Gibson's or super expensive vintage guitars due to the lesser cost to replace if stolen, lost, damaged scenarios.

Just last week, a friend was gigging in Milwaukee and had to check in his guitars here in Baltimore. The worst thing happened short of total loss. Delta sent his guitars to Detroit.

oh man, that would be the absolute worst.
 

gypsyseven

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Welcome and congrats! Great choice! You‘ll love the Maestro…
If you fiddle around with the pickup height just make sure to write down/remember the actual height. Just in chase you want to get back to start..
 

DrBGood

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If you fiddle around with the pickup height just make sure to write down/remember the actual height. Just in chase you want to get back to start..
Nothing says that the initial height is a reference. It might be the worst to start with. I received a LP Special with the neck pickup pushing on the strings it was so high.

His ears will tell him when and where the height is optimal. That is the only criteria possible and it differs from one player to the next. It is not a complicated or long process, but a fun and revealing one.
 

chilipeppermaniac

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Peter H, welcome to the forum AND to your new EPI SG.

I am inclined to disagree with anyone who bad mouths the looks of your new guitar. Short of converting it to a Derek Trucks sig copy, (non operating trem for tuning stability) your guitar is perfect as it sits, minus fine tuning the output adjustments of the pickups to suit you. One thing you may not know that often happens with SG's is that many times they have a relatively balanced output reading on the 2 pickups, so this leads to a more powerful sounding neck pup and a weaker sounding bridge pup. In getting just the right recipe for outputs, that leaves us to either adjust the neck pup almost as far down as it can go, and then adjust the bridge pup as far up as needed to get close to same volume settings on both volume pots.

If this works for you, then you got it whooped. Other times, people will get a pup for the bridge that is hotter than the neck and do likewise with adjusting them to match up how they like it and get them closer to same volumes no matter which position the switch is in.

ONE more thing that you are now not going to experience with this SG vs your Harley Benton, the covered pups with trim rings will level out your bridge pup. On mine and most every uncovered pup SG, the bridge pup is usually tilted such that the angle is not parallel to the strings. Little shims of card stock, foam and a number of other tricks are usually the methods used to level the pup.



I also am not sure what you mean here,
People were saying that it looks silly that the beveled edges dont match the rest of the striped veneer
 

PeterH

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pancake81

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Probably when the veneer is very contrasty like this one.


It's funny, when these first came out it really bothered me. It just stood out like a sore thumb, especially like on the example you provided. For some reason as time has gone on I actually don't mind it. It looks kind of neat really. It would have been neat if they made it thicker (1/2 thickness) like the y do on the SG elegance etc. Just a high grain piece on the top half and a plain piece on the bottom. Mahogany on mahogany.

It juped out so much at first because we were not familiar with it. Then the "photo fame" rumour got everyone concerned. Now that we know it is a thin veneer, I am not offended.
 

pancake81

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On another note, I really wish Epiphone would release a sideways Vibrola SG! I dont want to drop the coin on a Gibson one, as I don't think they are the best design, but man they are cool. I would purchase an Epiphone version without hesitation
 

plankton

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I actually was just playing one of these new Epis with the Maestro in a shop about an hour ago. It was my first time using a guitar with that style of vibrato and personally I didn't care for it, but I'm not someone who uses that very much anyway.

I find some of the new transparent finishes to be fine and some that look awful. When there's a big difference between the top and bevels it just stands out, looks like a purposeful two-tone finish which I don't care for. Likewise when the veneer has that really stripey look to it it's just not for me, but some of the new ones are fine.

I have a 2020 Epi SG Special with P90s in pelham blue and it's a fantastic guitar. It is a step above the older Epis I own in terms of fit and finish, and I really can't fault it in any way. The only change I will probably make is swapping the linear taper volume pots for audio and adding some treble bleed circuits.
 

PeterH

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I actually was just playing one of these new Epis with the Maestro in a shop about an hour ago. It was my first time using a guitar with that style of vibrato and personally I didn't care for it, but I'm not someone who uses that very much anyway.

I find some of the new transparent finishes to be fine and some that look awful. When there's a big difference between the top and bevels it just stands out, looks like a purposeful two-tone finish which I don't care for. Likewise when the veneer has that really stripey look to it it's just not for me, but some of the new ones are fine.

I have a 2020 Epi SG Special with P90s in pelham blue and it's a fantastic guitar. It is a step above the older Epis I own in terms of fit and finish, and I really can't fault it in any way. The only change I will probably make is swapping the linear taper volume pots for audio and adding some treble bleed circuits.

The P90s of Epiphone are the most gorgeous guitars at that price point. I like both the shiny finishes on the Specials as well as the matt ones on the Classics.
The only thing that kept me away from getting one is the P90 pups itself they didnt really convinced me playing with distortion.
 

DrBGood

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The only thing that kept me away from getting one is the P90 pups itself they didnt really convinced me playing with distortion.
Really ? They are so clear and have such good string definition. But sure, you can't set your amp & effects the same as with humbuckers or single coils.

What is it you didn't like ?
 

plankton

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The P90s of Epiphone are the most gorgeous guitars at that price point. I like both the shiny finishes on the Specials as well as the matt ones on the Classics.
The only thing that kept me away from getting one is the P90 pups itself they didnt really convinced me playing with distortion.

I love the pickups in mine, and I almost always have some level of distortion when I'm playing. I don't change any of my amp or effects settings when switching to them either. But everyone is different. :cheers:
 


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