Epi mod convert

dogn4u

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Hello guys and gals. I must have signed up here years ago, as the site recognized my email. I had a multi-decade drinking career going until 5 years ago and stuff I have no recollection of still surfaces occasionally. You know, children...taxes. Ha ha - kidding about the children. Life is infinitely better sober (for me).
Last year I bought an Epi LP Jr used for fifty bucks from an ad on CL. Thing was unplayed; still had the hang tags and even the pickguard film on it. So I took it home (from making the deal in the parking lot of a restaurant, Craigslist style) and plugged it in. The tone was...lackluster, which I kind of expected, and I soon had to put it down, as the G string tuner broke internally as I was turning it. Yep, I was beginning to question my own business savvy. Let's see...this morning I had a crisp fifty. Now I have no money and a guitar - possibly the cheapest guitar ever built - that is falling apart in my hands. Hmm. Nice move, Slick. I should be in wealth management or something. Wall Street. The Big Board. Just comes naturally to me, I guess...:rolleyes:
I did have time to notice two things that piqued my interest during those couple minutes before the tuner broke, that kept me from smashing it to bits. First, the action was pretty nice, and when I held it up and sighted down the barrel, the neck actually looked great, with very slight perfect bow to it. Super thin, too, really fast and easy. So, ok, that's interesting...plus the thing was wonderfully light and comfy to wear because of that.
Because of that really nice bolt-on neck and action, something made me put it back on the stand and sit back down to look at it for a minute. I liked the proportions a lot (The LP Special is my favorite body shape, with the two low-key horns). I also liked - and still like - the slab body. In fact, I decided, I liked everything about this guitar - or at least the concept (slab, 1 pickup, light weight)...except for the pickup sound and those godawful tuners. And the bridge was not acceptable: no individual saddles, a must for intonation.
I guess I spent a little over 200 or right around there on better parts: Wilkinson for tuners and bridge, Duncan Phat Cat P90, CTS pots, Orange drop cap, Tusq nut and of course Slinky 10s. And I put a lot of time and effort into setup and intonation. Just amazing results. I think of it as my "hot rod" guitar; the thing goes and stops and turns on a dime. Just a pure joy to play. The holes? Experimental, OK? You never know until you try. I do not believe I will go with the hole motif again in future projects. Part of me enjoyed the ultra-lightness of the guitar and thought holes could only lessen the weight, thereby "improving" things. It wasn't broke - but I sure fixed it. And this was sober, kids! Can you imagine...

The verdict? Not enough off a weight loss to justify drilling big holes in your guitar. It was kind of fun and definitely a little weird. It kind of went against everything I've ever been taught about values and respect and taking care of things. But, being a normal male human being, I went and did it anyway. It was a bit of a thrill; I bought these great forstner bits I've been wanting to use. To a man with new bits, everything looks like it could use a few holes. A little ventilation never hurt anything. And I say "a man" not to be sexist, but because women - generally, now - are less prone to the (seemingly irresistible) impulse to drill large holes in things. Or blow things up. Or lick the metal pole in January. Like that. Women have a little edge on us in the brains department. Good to be back, y'all.
Rudi P1020447.jpg P1020451.jpg P1020457.jpg
 

rbraad68

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i think it looks cool !! nice job...
 

Michael Matyas

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Very imaginative. Ya gotta love it. I think you should patent this--it might result in a nice royalty check coming your way!
 

HCRoadie

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God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...you know the rest
 

smk506

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I think it’s bad ass! You took a dime a dozen guitar that played to your liking and really made it your own. Very recognizable too, if you play out people will remember you for it I think.
 

Lester

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To a man with new bits, everything looks like it could use a few holes.

Oh yeah. And congrats on your redemption.

Beautiful job. Holes make the guitar.

If you decide to engage in another similar inexpensive project later and want a really light body and very slim D neck, the Epiphone SL is made from real Poplar and as light as balsa. Not necessarily a feature for everyone. Until I added a Wilkinson bridge, I was thinking of ways to add lead in the cavity to add weight. Not so bad now.

Originally $100 new, now maybe $130, but very nice for the money and on C/L $100 or less if you aren't in a hurry. Needs all the same mods you made except perhaps the pickups, which do have some redeeming qualities (although I may swap mine, they don't do well with distortion).

Here's my "re-build" thread: https://www.mylespaul.com/threads/any-love-still-out-there-for-epi-sl-and-projects.445407/

These inexpensive guitars are fun when the downside of messing it up badly isn't to much of a downside.
 

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