NGD: Upgraded Epiphone Dot

Discussion in 'Other Epiphones' started by musicmand, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. musicmand

    musicmand Senior Member

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    I finally went ahead and bit the bullet a couple days ago- I traded my unused Hayden Mofo 15 amp for a 2007 Epiphone Dot Deluxe with the following upgrades: Gibson 57 Classic pickups, bone nut, upgraded Grover tuners, Bigsby trem, strap locks, and the neck has been professionally stripped and refinished with oil (I think oil, anyway). Came with a leather strap and a hard case.

    The Bad: I play 10's, so you wouldn't think it would be THAT big of a deal... but it's set up for 9's, which doesn't work well for me. I hit too hard, and the angle of attack I use is causing all sort of buzzing, both strings against the fret, and hardware in general. I think the stock bridge is the main culprit. I may drop some wax into the tune-o-matic to get it to quiet down, or a higher tension of string might take care of it. I'm not sure I can just throw 10's on there, though, because it appears the nut slots are cut deep and narrow. Don't want to split the nut. If I'm being picky, I'm not a fan of the knobs - they aren't quite in the right position to get to immediately without worrying about hitting the pickup selector. It's not terrible; as a Les Paul guy, it's just enough to pull me out of what I'm doing for a split second. They're also a bit stiff - I need to see if the knobs are pushed too close to the body or if the pot itself is too stiff. Time will tell if it would be worthwhile to swap them out for speed knobs.

    The Good: Good golly, this guitar sounds great, even with the 9's. The thickness I've come to expect from the 57 Classics, and I know as soon as I get heavier strings on it, it'll be even better. Plays really well (I do have to adjust my playing technique to keep chords in tune, but I think that's mostly due to the string gauge), sounds amazing, and is really comfortable to strap on. The extra weight due to the Bigsby shifts the center of gravity back significantly, so the neck feels absolutely weightless.

    I'll use it for two different band practices tonight, and that'll really be telling - so far I've only used it through a clean SS bass amp and through my #1 amp without the pedalboard. At church tonight I'll use it through my Fender Mustang III, and after that at my own band's practice I'll run it through my full pedalboard to see how it stacks up against my Gibson LP (with uncovered 57 Classic and BB3 pickups). Have a gig Saturday, so practice will tell me if I can rely on it for the gig this weekend.

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  2. dennis g

    dennis g Senior Member

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    Congrats. I'm thinking your gonna really like this guitar. It really can "do it all". And switching from 9's to 10's should not be that big of a deal. I only use 9's on my Tele, because that's what it came with, but for my Dot, it's 10 - 46's.
     
  3. musicmand

    musicmand Senior Member

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    It's really fascinating how much of a difference there is between my LP and the Dot - both with 57 Classics in the neck. The Dot is MUCH darker, which gives the feeling of a lower output pickup. It's also possible that these ARE lower output as well. Hard to say. There's an incredibly vintage tone to it that's hard to really pin down. It can rock, but it really shines with cleaner tones.

    I used it with my Fender Mustang III for church band rehearsal Wednesday, didn't like the combination at all. Fed back like crazy, and just didn't sound satisfying. I used it with my "A" rig (pedalboard > Traynor YCV40WR) at my rock band rehearsal later that night, and liked it moderately better, but it was too dark for our pop-rock material (except, strangely enough, the tunes that I'd normally use a clean Stratocaster on- I really liked the fullness on those).

    So Saturday's local festival rolls around - my rock band plays second on a bill of five; my church band plays third. So I use my normal Les Paul/Strat combo for the rock band, but on the same "A" rig, I used the Dot for the church band. Again, it was shocking how different the tone was when the only thing that changed was the guitar. I found myself playing different licks, inspired by the guitar (which is really the main reason I like having multiple guitars).

    I think I may hang onto this one for a while. :)

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  4. Mitchey75

    Mitchey75 Member

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  5. HCRoadie

    HCRoadie Senior Member

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    Congrats. I love my dot. Mine has the stock pickups in it, and it is one of my darkest/mellowest guitars. But that is its thing. That does NOT look like professional work on the neck. But as long as it feels good in your hands, ENJOY
     
  6. musicmand

    musicmand Senior Member

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    I know the guy at the shop who did it (assuming, of course, that the previous owner is telling me accurately) - he's more of a tech than a luthier for sure. I'm just shocked, knowing the thickness of Epiphone's finish, that I can't feel the transition at all.
     

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