Epiphone Dot - Korean vs Chinese

Discussion in 'Other Epiphones' started by tolm, May 24, 2011.

  1. tolm

    tolm Bigsby Junkie Premium Member

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    A few years ago, I had a Chinese made Epiphone Dot which - for the price - was a very good guitar. Pickups weren't great, though, so I swapped them out for some Seymour Duncan Phat Cats. However, I eventually sold it as the sound was just a little too thin and the build felt a bit flimsy - resigning myself to the fact that I'd have to wait until I could afford a proper ES335 before my GAS for a semi-acoustic would be sated!

    However, after a recent success selling a Tele for a profit, I picked up this beauty on eBay:

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    It's a 2001 Korean made Epi Dot and it was a bit of a punt but first impressions are that it's much more solidly built than my old Chinese one - feels heavier even - and sounds 'fuller' too, even with the stock pickups which I don't feel the need to change as they sound great. It also appears to have a mahogany neck? It's still not as good as my Gibson LP but if feels much closer and for some songs I actually prefer it to my R8!

    Not having the Chinese Dot to hand for a direct comparison, I could just be unfairly remembering it poorly. Does anyone know if there were fundamental differences in the woods, build technique or electronics when these guitars were built in Korea vs the current version built in China? Or is it just a case of I got lucky and landed a particular good one?!
     
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  2. guysmiley

    guysmiley Senior Member

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    Before I bought my Dot Deluxe, I tested a Studio (which I think was made in China). I could see the neck joint was attached differently. The Deluxe and Standards seemed to be closer to a Gibson, the Studio felt lighter and didn't sound as good. Probably different wood or wood quality. The neck joint looked shabby.
     
  3. AccustomedtoStandards

    AccustomedtoStandards Senior Member

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    The Dot Studio is mahogany rather than maple so that probably contributes to it being lighter since it's a porous vs. a very dense wood. I think the Studio also has hotter pickups, so its definitely less of a traditional 335 tone. I think it's more Les Paul like.
     
  4. hobbyman

    hobbyman Senior Member

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    My Dot is a MIK 2001 model also. It's a great guitar in every way. I read a review on the Epi website about the Dot which was written in the early 2000's, and I believe it states that the necks on the Dots are (or were at the time) Mahogany. I've never had a Chinese Epi, so I can't comment on the differences, but it appears that MIK Dots are great guitars!
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  5. dcooper830

    dcooper830 Senior Member

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    I love Epiphone DOTs.

    I have several Korean ones and several Chinese ones and I really don't notice a difference in quality.

    They're all GREAT!!
     
  6. Telechamp

    Telechamp Senior Member

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    I've got an '08 Chinese Dot and it's a great guitar other than one of the screws on the tuners on the back of the headstock was stripped when I bought it new (I found this after I got it home). Took it back to Sam Ash where I bought it, and they fixed it, so no other problems after that.

    I might swap out the stock buckers at some point tho, but haven't found a pressing need to do that yet..


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  7. paruwi

    paruwi Kraut-Rocker Super Mod Premium Member

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    ^^:applause:

    Most of us couldn't tell where an Epi was made - if it weren't written on the guitar. :D
     
  8. cherrick

    cherrick Senior Member

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    It got really, really cold last winter. I burned everything made in Korea in my wood-burning stove. Kept me nice and warm.
     
  9. Drew224

    Drew224 "Obvious BS Artist" V.I.P. Member

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    I haven't owned them, but I've played as many as I can get my hands on because I LOVE semi-hollows, and I have to concur with that. Quality has stayed about the same, although certain years seem have been a bit tighter. Same with Gibson, actually...
     
  10. paruwi

    paruwi Kraut-Rocker Super Mod Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    :D
     
  11. blamo

    blamo Senior Member

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    this is my MIC dot... love it.

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    the only 335 id consider upgrading it for is a dave grohl sig
     
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  12. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    There's too much worry about where guitars are coming from rather than if they are any good or not. It's silly to think that well-trained Chinese hands would be any worse at running an AutoCad program than Korean ones (or American, Canadian for that matter). I remember taking ribbing for my MIJ LP copy years and years ago. It's a fabulous guitar, far better than I am a player.

    Sometimes this is out and out racism and in other cases sour grapes.

    Shut up and play the damn thing and if you like it, you like it.:):)
     
  13. SexyGibson

    SexyGibson Senior Member

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    I think it would be foolish not to consider where a guitar is built. Not that every plant can't make some good ones, but some just have a better track record.
    Case in point; alot of Fender guys will tell you that mid 80s MIJ models are far better built guitars than the USA models from the same time period.
    On another note; I had a very early Chinese built epi Les Paul that was a great guitar but, since that time, I haven't been as impressed with the Chinese models.
     
  14. Telechamp

    Telechamp Senior Member

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    Nice! Where did you get your Dot with inlays instead of dots and tulip tuners??..
     
  15. blamo

    blamo Senior Member

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    its a limited edition epiphone "custom shop" and I paid LESS than a dot studio for it brand new. got it at a local store here in canada.

    the sticker on the inside reads "Dot ES-335 IT"

    IT = Ice Tea

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  16. LtKojak

    LtKojak Senior Member

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    Looks like Larry Carlton's sig model.

    Me likes! ;)
     

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