Alex Lifeson Epiphone

rbraad68

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So I've had it home all of 20 minutes. I haven't plugged it in yet as it was literally just out of the box and they were starting to tune it up at the shop, so I get to do the initial setup for the most part (that's a plus for me). So far the frets need a polish and the playability needs some tweaking but isn't far off. I'll make sure it works tonight and get into the sounds tomorrow.
The neck is very similar to the Wilshire P-90 I had for a bit that helped fund this one, so I'd say about a '60s/medium profile, reasonably round but not huge.
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No fancy certificates or anything like that (fine with me) just the guitar, wrenches, trem arm, and EpiLite case. The case seems solid enough and reasonably well made. I like being able to sling it on my shoulder like a gig bag but having a little extra rigidity.

In person the colour is a little more iced tea/brown like as opposed to the more red/orange that shows in the pics. A cross between an Epi Iced Tea and Bourbon burst, sort of.
How do you like it man? I'm considering grabbing one of these. I've always wanted a LP with a floyd. The pizeo system how is that sound? There are alot of cool features this guitar has.. I talked to my sales rep at sweet water about maybe switching my order over from the 59 i have been waiting on forever now it seems to this guitar. He told me that they don't even have an ETA on this guitar yet and prob 8 to 12 weeks min on this thing. I am suprised you and a few others have already gotten this guitar!! I could go else where and pick this guitar up but i have the money I paid for the 59 I can use to buy this at sweet water but the thing is... Do I really want to not get the 59 or should I just wait a little while and get both guitars?? Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this guitar once you have had a chance to check it out man...
 

Vicar

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@LSAR Colour looks much nicer in your pics, as you say more brown than orange.
Gradually being pulled in......
 

fry

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So I've had it home all of 20 minutes. I haven't plugged it in yet as it was literally just out of the box and they were starting to tune it up at the shop, so I get to do the initial setup for the most part (that's a plus for me). So far the frets need a polish and the playability needs some tweaking but isn't far off. I'll make sure it works tonight and get into the sounds tomorrow.
The neck is very similar to the Wilshire P-90 I had for a bit that helped fund this one, so I'd say about a '60s/medium profile, reasonably round but not huge.
View attachment 544155
View attachment 544156
View attachment 544157
View attachment 544158
No fancy certificates or anything like that (fine with me) just the guitar, wrenches, trem arm, and EpiLite case. The case seems solid enough and reasonably well made. I like being able to sling it on my shoulder like a gig bag but having a little extra rigidity.

In person the colour is a little more iced tea/brown like as opposed to the more red/orange that shows in the pics. A cross between an Epi Iced Tea and Bourbon burst, sort of.
NOICE!! I’m just not a Floyd Rose guy, but everything else about that guitar is super sweet.
 

LSAR

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How do you like it man? I'm considering grabbing one of these. I've always wanted a LP with a floyd. The pizeo system how is that sound? There are alot of cool features this guitar has.. I talked to my sales rep at sweet water about maybe switching my order over from the 59 i have been waiting on forever now it seems to this guitar. He told me that they don't even have an ETA on this guitar yet and prob 8 to 12 weeks min on this thing. I am suprised you and a few others have already gotten this guitar!! I could go else where and pick this guitar up but i have the money I paid for the 59 I can use to buy this at sweet water but the thing is... Do I really want to not get the 59 or should I just wait a little while and get both guitars?? Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this guitar once you have had a chance to check it out man...
So far I'm loving it. As far as finding one...it seems us Canadians got the first crack at these for once. Being Lifeson/Rush are Canadian I guess maybe that's a factor. There's a few in stock around here. I've seen some retailers listing it as an "exclusive limited edition" but most aren't. If that's the case they won't last long.

I went over it last night pretty thoroughly, stripped it down, oiled the board (it darkened pretty noticeably, unlike my '50s Standard), polished the frets, and started re-stringing/setting up. I'm thinking given the number of these in stock around here so quickly when they were announced and based on the oxidization on the frets these may have sat somewhere awhile as the frets were actually quite gritty when I got into it. I'm still dialing it in a bit and haven't looked at the intonation yet. The neck is pretty dead straight, it could still use a little more relief.

Plugged it in briefly last night and I think I'm going to need a minute to adjust to the controls and get comfortable with them. From what I can tell the piezo is really quiet. I'm not sure if there's adjustment for that or what, I think I'll need to dig up a manual. At the volume levels I was getting before I can't imagine it being very useful, but I can't imagine I was using it right as I'm sure that preamp is capable of providing enough output when used properly. The push/pull for on/off on the piezo seems to be on in the down position and up turns it off, which is to me a sort of "on by default". I'm not sure I'll stick with that arrangement as I see it more as a nice extra. My quick assesment on the "normal" pickups wasn't that there's a huge difference from my '50s Standard but that was at relatively low volume.

I think the value on these is a bit ridiculous (in a good way) now that I look at it. This is the proper GraphTech Ghost FR system as far as I can tell, as pictured on their site including a very nice 37mm brass trem block. Retail on the bridge is $369 CAD, the AcoustiPhonic preamp is another $100, and the EpiLite case retails at $150 around here. By my math that leaves about $583 as the price for a new LP Standard with the Axcess heel, and a cool finish.

I'm able to play a little louder right now, so I'm about to dig in a little further.
 

LSAR

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Have you installed the battery? :fingersx:
LOL, there is one in there and I don't think I actually have any spare 9v on hand right now so it'll have to do until later.

I just spent the last hour or so screwing around with it and tweaking the pickups a little. Now that it's relatively dialed in, it stays in tune quite solidly (even with a bit of trem use) and I'm really liking it. I've had fully floated FRs in the past a few times but usually blocked them off eventually or traded them on for something else. I plan to make use of this one, and I think it'll hold up well.

I did some comparison with my '50s Standard and identical settings. The bridge pickup definitely has more bite than on the '50s, I like the difference. Otherwise it's hard right now to make a fair comparison as the '50s standard is strung with EB Cobalt's right now (Cobalt's are much more treble-focused). I didn't notice the difference at low volumes yesterday but it's significant. The Lifeson is definitely a "faster" playing guitar, in that it's very easy to move up and down the neck. Where the '50s gets a bit thicker towards the higher register in a noticeable way the Lifeson is pretty consistent right to the heel. It fits my hand perfectly, and both the pickups and neck profile lend themselves nicely to either cleans or fairly high gain.

The control layout becomes familiar quickly once you start getting into it. The tone works as you'd expect (by design it only works for the magnetic pickups, your only piezo control is the volume). The volumes do the same, and the coil splitting is what it is...useful for those that want it, though generally not something I use much. I'm really not sure I'm sold on the piezo yet, but again I'm sure I just need to keep playing with it and learn it a bit better. On the "acoustic" amp mode on my Katana I can't tell a great deal of difference between it and the neck pickup, and it actually handles gain reasonably well. Whether clean or dirty it definitely adds a nice layer to the sound when kicked in alongside the regular pickups, and the tone when run along with both pickups coil split in the middle position is pretty nice as well.

I need to try this thing with two amps for sure. I do want to hear that dual output put to use.
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Thing is as well...this thing has the Spirit of the Radio. In that, it picks up local radio stations...I guess all that wire acts as an antenna of sorts?
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The only shielding seems to be on the covers for the trem cavity and preamp. I could see me adding more down the road.
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Also: I was told Alex Lifeson will be doing a live stream/interview/online session of some description with Long & McQuade at some point in the future, so that may be worth watching for.
 
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rbraad68

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OK guys i pulled the triger i'm officially off the 59 list and on the Alex list. guitar is paid for i got it for 819 dollars plus tax. I tried to get more knocked off the price but the guy wouldn't budge...
I love this thing!!!
I did some comparison with my '50s Standard and identical settings. The bridge pickup definitely has more bite than on the '50s,
Anyways you mention you are comparing the 50's standard to the alex tone wise? What yr is your 50's cause the 2020 50's like i have came with the pro buckers 1 and 2 so your going to get more bite outa the alex cause it has pro buckers 2 and 3 in the guitar. I find that the PB 3 is hotter than the PB 2 that should be in the bridge of your 50's... Thank you for your thoughts on this guitar. I can't wait to get mine. I figure I can always buy a 59 husk if I feel the need for another 59....
 
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rbraad68

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WOW that is ALOT OF WIRES!!! There is no way i am going to be able to deal with that peizo thing being on with the push pull in the down pos!! I will deff have to reverse that. Don't understand why they would wire it that way...???
 

LSAR

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WOW that is ALOT OF WIRES!!! There is no way i am going to be able to deal with that peizo thing being on with the push pull in the down pos!! I will deff have to reverse that. Don't understand why they would wire it that way...???
I'm thinking that's Alex's preference. He's often running through both jacks as I understand it. A big part of the Rush sound in studio has often been multiple different combined guitar tracks such as a main overdriven signal with a an ES or LP alonside a clean strat or clean acoustic to thicken things up (so the internet tells me). I saw a live rig rundown recently from a few years back where it seemed like he was doing something sort of similar using the dual outputs on his LPs. Maybe I'm wrong though, I don't know for sure.

My '50s is a '19. I didn't realize the ceramic one is in the neck on the Lifeson. Seems weird, but I guess it matches the 496 he uses on the Gibson's. I had it in my head that I was working with the same neck pickup and a ceramic bridge pickup, for some reason I didn't look in the pickup cavities while I had the strings off on this one (usually I do, if only to document). The '50s is due for fresh strings before too long so I look forward to swapping some regular strings on there soon and doing a more equal comparison.
 

rbraad68

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yeah mine is a 2020 50's standard in gold. these are the pups i pulled out of it. Notice they are the pro buckers 1 and 2.. I should of given them a chance but i had already bought a set of SD pups to put in it. I actually sold these PB's to a member of this site. Not sure if i'm going to regret it or not but atleast they are going to a good home....

****edit****
You know that Alex guitar has alot of shit crammed into it!! I just might have met my match when it comes to replacing shit!! This will prob be the first guitar ive gotten in a long time that im going to leave stock!! LOL way to complicated for me!!!!
 

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LuthierVandross

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Talked to my sales rep today about switching my order to this guitar here.. he said 8 to 12 weeks min wait time.... sweet water....
They still haven’t shipped the ‘59? Man.... I used to like Sweetwater. Especially when they’d put candy in with your order.
The good ole days.
 

Deftone

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They still haven’t shipped the ‘59? Man.... I used to like Sweetwater. Especially when they’d put candy in with your order.
The good ole days.
I just got some candy in my order from Sweetwater...?
 

LSAR

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yeah mine is a 2020 50's standard in gold. these are the pups i pulled out of it. Notice they are the pro buckers 1 and 2.. I should of given them a chance but i had already bought a set of SD pups to put in it. I actually sold these PB's to a member of this site. Not sure if i'm going to regret it or not but atleast they are going to a good home....

****edit****
You know that Alex guitar has alot of shit crammed into it!! I just might have met my match when it comes to replacing shit!! This will prob be the first guitar ive gotten in a long time that im going to leave stock!! LOL way to complicated for me!!!!
I think modifying the wiring to switch the on/off orientation of the piezo should be pretty easy, but I'm going to hold off. If I feel they're justified I'll wait and do that as well as improving the shielding. Other than that...I'm with you on the no mods thing. Maybe refloctor knobs and/or pointer washers, but I hardly even consider that a mod. I used to mod everything, but even my '50s Std has stayed whole (at over a year now that might be the longest I've kept a guitar stock/mostly stock). Now that the Lifeson will be my main standard tuned guitar though the '50s might likely get put in C Standard with some Lace Dragonauts.
 

rbraad68

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They still haven’t shipped the ‘59? Man.... I used to like Sweetwater. Especially when they’d put candy in with your order.
The good ole days.
hell no man!! talked to the guys today he said one week three months he don't know!!! sooooooo fuck it man i went for the "Alex Lifeson" guitar it's all paid for switched the balance from the 59 to the alex guitar. got it for 820 plus tax.. If i feel the itch for another 59 i'll just buy a husk and build it the way i want it. The 59 i have now turned out awesome so im set on the 59 for now....
 

rbraad68

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candy?? i have never got candy unless your talking about the bumper sticker lol....
 

rbraad68

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I think modifying the wiring to switch the on/off orientation of the piezo should be pretty easy, but I'm going to hold off. If I feel they're justified I'll wait and do that as well as improving the shielding. Other than that...I'm with you on the no mods thing. Maybe refloctor knobs and/or pointer washers, but I hardly even consider that a mod. I used to mod everything, but even my '50s Std has stayed whole (at over a year now that might be the longest I've kept a guitar stock/mostly stock). Now that the Lifeson will be my main standard tuned guitar though the '50s might likely get put in C Standard with some Lace Dragonauts.
lol any more things to post about :=) it's going to be a long 2 months waiting on this guitar!! I need more on this guitar lol...
 

rbraad68

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I think the value on these is a bit ridiculous (in a good way) now that I look at it. This is the proper GraphTech Ghost FR system as far as I can tell, as pictured on their site including a very nice 37mm brass trem block. Retail on the bridge is $369 CAD, the AcoustiPhonic preamp is another $100, and the EpiLite case retails at $150 around here. By my math that leaves about $583 as the price for a new LP Standard with the Axcess heel, and a cool finish.
Can you elborate a bit on this trem system? I haven't owned a floyd in 25 yr's plus!! what is a ghost fr??
 

MineGoes211

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I preordered mine from Zounds, he said they had 23 scheduled for delivery (mine was #19) , June 23. I know I will not hold my breath! Rush fan since 1976!
 

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