Hi!

Discussion in 'Welcome Wagon' started by ShaolinCat, Feb 10, 2021.

  1. ShaolinCat

    ShaolinCat New Member

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    Hi

    After years of playing acoustics and single-coil guitars it was finally time to get my first mahogany-body, 24.75" scale humbucker-equipped guitar

    Finding a decent Les Paul seemed fraught with problems, PRS are mostly 25" and don't really appeal, so here I am with a new-to-me Korean, Unsung-built Epiphone Vintage G400 from January 2005!

    Looking forward to sharing the ride with you (and maybe somewhere along the way working out how to embed images into my posts, or at least get the attached images to have the correct orientation :hmm: )
     

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  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Welcome and congrats ! You couldn't have found a better SG and yours looks like it's brand new.

    What you have is a Vintage G-400 that is the closest to a Gibson SG Epiphone has ever gotten. Only produced for 3 years.

    Features that make it different from the regular G400 are:
    - one piece neck with wings added to the headstock, just like a Gibson
    - long neck tenon joining the neck to the body
    - cream neck binding
    - gold inserts on the headstock
    - no veneer on either faces of the body

    I've had 4 of that model and kept one.

    Here's Epiphone's publicity when it came out.

    Pub.jpg
     
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  3. ShaolinCat

    ShaolinCat New Member

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    Hi

    Thanks for the welcome and for the info on the guitar! I'm really enjoying it - my first Gibson-style guitar :smile:

    guitar 2.jpg

    guitar9.jpg

    Your comments are very kind though I have to admit it's not quite new condition (and it also needs a good clean and some fretboard conditioning!)... when you get close there are a few little 'features' which it's picked-up over the years but just small things and nothing bad. I'm its second owner. Its first owner did play it so the frets have a bit of wear, but these things aren't museum pieces and that's what you are supposed to do with them! It either weighs 6.8 or 7.1 pounds depending on which scales you trust, which seems reasonable to me

    Yes, the one-piece neck, rosewood fretboard with cream binding and gloss black headstock with gold/abalone type inserts are really cool: it gives the guitar a very classy feel and the construction seems pretty good with everything smoothed down and finished nicely and no glaring faults that I can see. I also like the chrome fittings which contrast with the wood and look better than nickel in this sort of application to my mind. Even the wiring doesn't look too bad with fairly thick wires and shiny solder joints: no crackles from the pots and no problems with my switch or jack plug either - I'm a little suprised people recommend changing the wiring on these guitars but maybe I'm missing something

    guitar14.jpg

    It definitely has a one-piece neck (no scarf joint and a 1-piece heel) and also I can't see any wings on my headstock (photo below). Just for fun I see the headstock isn't quite symmetrical as the lower part of the hour-glass is higher on one side

    headstock3.jpg

    For a while I was pretty sure that my one had veneer on the front and back: partly because I don't see any obvious joins on the front or back and I can't imagine it's a 1-piece body (and there's a visible line on the bottom edge of the guitar that suggests at least a 2-piece body, though no corresponding line on the neck edge)... however when I look in the control cavity, the wood grain of the untreated wood seems to match the direction and patterning of the exterior wood, which suggests there isn't any veneer. *confused* :hmm:

    I'm attaching a few photo as I don't really know anything about wood and maybe again I'm missing something obvious

    I've sent a question to Gibson asking whether my guitar has a veneer top or not. They seem helpful and they've already told me that the wood it's made of is most likely either Nato or Nyatoh, but they aren't sure on that point as they don't have detailed records

    control caverty1.jpg

    front grain 2.jpg

    front grain 1.jpg

    rear grain.jpg
    top edge3.jpg

    back edge.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2021
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  4. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    There is no veneer on your guitar. They introduced venner on SG's in 2006 or 2007. Funny that the base of the headstock is assymetrical. That makes it unique I guess.

    They were very good at matching grain on the body, same for the headstock wings. See some of mine.

    IMGP1232_tonemapped.jpg

    Nice body.jpg
    Wings

    Serial.jpg
     
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  5. ShaolinCat

    ShaolinCat New Member

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    Thanks for the info and for the images - interesting to compare

    That's a very pretty guitar of yours and it seems very clean and free of dings/dents!

    It looks like it's made in the same factory as my one, but 21 months earlier

    Your's is a more chocolate shade of brown than mine, I guess they changed the stain they were using

    I did wonder if the assymetric thing on my headstock was deliberate in order to reflect the tips of the two 'horns' being assymetric, in a subtle bit of design... but it was probably just a Friday afternoon and the guy (or girl) was thinking about what they was going to do over the weekend and then 'ooops' :smile:

    The Kluson tuners on your guitar are aftermarket? I like the look of the Grovers on mine and they are very smooth, but I know they are heavy. Did changing your tuners make much difference to the neck balance? I did wonder if heavy chrome-dome knobs on the pots would shift balance backwards a bit (and mess with the pots' bearings) but I like the 'sixties' vibe of the knobs that it has on it along with the chrome hardware, and the neck dive on mine is pretty slight and not really an issue for me anyway (I started out on classical guitar and those things dive like crazy if you balance them on your right leg!)
     
  6. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Those are two different guitars you see. Look at the grain. The first one is a 2003, the darker second a 2005 with a U05016270 serial, probably much closer to yours. I also had two 2004 Cherry Reds. I kept one of those and polished it.

    170430 2-.jpg

    170430 3-.jpg
     
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  7. ShaolinCat

    ShaolinCat New Member

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    Beautiful!

    These Vintage models really are splendid-looking guitars
     
  8. laza616

    laza616 Active Member

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    Great beautiful guitars boys. Also welcome to the forum
    I wanna add, that the assymetric headstock shape is pretty nice feature, i like it.
    If there were 10 same guitars and one was with this assymetric headstock i would have bought this one. It sort of remind me a guitar custom made for a Customer. I have seen some guitars made by luthiers here that had these kind of bewels and assymetric things,all to make play on the instrument more comfort and easy.
     
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  9. JensG

    JensG New Member

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    These "SG Vintage G-400" came in either worn brown (often reddish) or worn cherry (pale/pinkish) finish and are indeed great guitars. They were the predecessor of the "faded" Epiphone SGs from China, which have a veneer and are cheaper than the polished ones. Those "Vintage" models from Korea were more expensive than the glossy ones when new and are instantly recognizable by their neck binding.
    They were built in the UnSung and SaeIn factories (serial number starting with U or I respectively). As for the wood: Epiphone publicity (website) always simply said "mahogany". The one pictured on the Epiphone website had a distinctive stripey wood grain which is clearly not a veneer but running through the bevels of the body, looking like a Japanese Epiphone "Elitist" or "Elite" SG from Fuji Gen, and these are made from Khaya, or "African mahogany". I asked an employee of UnSung Musical Instruments about the wood of my UnSung SG from 2005, and his answer (in 2007, two years after they stopped making them) was "Nyatoh". The grain on mine looks more like plain (un-striped) Khaya, as do many others. In fact, the grain looks a lot like many Gibson Les Paul Specials/Juniors and SGs from 1959 to 1964...
     

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  10. JensG

    JensG New Member

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