Gawd! The Epiphone SG Bass Sucks!!

northernguitarguy

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I borrowed a student's yesterday at my cover band's rehearsal. I spent the entire time keeping the headstock from hitting the floor. Worst drop I have ever encountered (not that I have oodles of experience).

How can such a poor design go into wide production?
 

RTH

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By ridng the coat-tails of the SG and a little nostalgia? I've never liked Epiphone basses other than the EBM...and even that model had its share of problems. Fortunately, balance and neck dive wasnt one of them.
 

dspelman

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I borrowed a student's yesterday at my cover band's rehearsal. I spent the entire time keeping the headstock from hitting the floor. Worst drop I have ever encountered (not that I have oodles of experience).

How can such a poor design go into wide production?
It's about the looks.

There seems to be a cult of denial regarding neck-heavy guitars with the SG body -- you generally get a whole raft of suggestions regarding the strap ("a five inch wide strap with an underside covered with squid suckers will absolutely keep that neck up, assuming that you've tucked in your shirt or have it sewn to your pants"). My bass player absolutely cracked me up once -- he was trying one out and blurted that the only thing that would keep the neck up would be a rope tied to a butt plug. Snot bubbles for the rest of the afternoon every time I thought about it.
 

northernguitarguy

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It's about the looks.

There seems to be a cult of denial regarding neck-heavy guitars with the SG body -- you generally get a whole raft of suggestions regarding the strap ("a five inch wide strap with an underside covered with squid suckers will absolutely keep that neck up, assuming that you've tucked in your shirt or have it sewn to your pants"). My bass player absolutely cracked me up once -- he was trying one out and blurted that the only thing that would keep the neck up would be a rope tied to a butt plug. Snot bubbles for the rest of the afternoon every time I thought about it.
I was silly at times how much it was interfering with my playing, as if I need that. But then it got me thinking, it's a student's bass.:shock: How awful might that be to learn on? I have no qualms with the tone (sounds good) or the feel/styling (maple fretboard is spiffy), but damn, I had a poor experience playing it.
 

QuarterFlip

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Which SG bass? My EB-0 had horrible neck dive, in between songs, the headstock scraped the floor!
 

dspelman

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I was silly at times how much it was interfering with my playing, as if I need that. But then it got me thinking, it's a student's bass.:shock: How awful might that be to learn on?
I recently added learning bass to my list of major accomplishments in progress (such as tying shoes completely unassisted). For me, looks was secondary to playability, as evidenced by the used and very inexpensive Fender Skull Bass I plucked off a wall some months ago.

While it has nice balance and decent P and J pickups, it's also got a big old skull and crossbones graphic on the body and an inlay on the 12th fret to match.

I do draw the line at Sailor Moon and Harry Potter versions, but Hello Kitty has become nearly ironic enough to get over.
 

northernguitarguy

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I recently added learning bass to my list of major accomplishments in progress (such as tying shoes completely unassisted). For me, looks was secondary to playability, as evidenced by the used and very inexpensive Fender Skull Bass I plucked off a wall some months ago.

While it has nice balance and decent P and J pickups, it's also got a big old skull and crossbones graphic on the body and an inlay on the 12th fret to match.

I do draw the line at Sailor Moon and Harry Potter versions, but Hello Kitty has become nearly ironic enough to get over.
:photos::photos:
 

old mark

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If you use a very wide leather strap,or relocate the top strap button there is no problem.

I love my EB3...you just have to know how to play it.

mark
 

northernguitarguy

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If you use a very wide leather strap,or relocate the top strap button there is no problem.

I love my EB3...you just have to know how to play it.

mark
I do have to admit that the strap on the kid's bass was made of slippery fabric. Nice and soft for a kid, but useless for this bass.
 

truckermde

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I've always been of the opinion that Gibson, and by extension Epiphone, should stick to making guitars. Their basses leave a lot to be desired, IMHO.

Thunderbirds look amazing, but are not really all that.

YMMV
 

RedGriz

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I have to agree. I LOVE my EB-3, but the neck dive can be frustrating. I tend to play sitting down (hey, I'm still learning and practicing), so it's not too bad. I did try playing it with a strap once, and very quickly decided it was a "sitting down" bass. Same with a Thunderbird. I absolutely love the look of Thunderbirds, but the neck dive is hard to counter. I also found the neck on the T-Bird IV I played to be much beefier than I am used to having played a P-Bass previously.
 

RTH

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I've always been of the opinion that Gibson, and by extension Epiphone, should stick to making guitars. Their basses leave a lot to be desired, IMHO.

Thunderbirds look amazing, but are not really all that.

YMMV
I agree for the most part. The Jack Casady and Rumblekat seem to be really good basses. But everything else falls short in some manner. The Zenith was a great idea, but like many other Epiphone basses it was riddled with technical problems. Same thing with the T-Bird PRO. A great idea, and probably much more versatile than the regular T-Bird, but again, it had so many problems that it ended up being discontinued.

The Embassy seemed like a solid bass, but like their Toby line, it was too pointy and generic and just didnt appeal to most people. The Explorer and Flying-V basses seem solid also, but like many, I dont play instruments that look like weapons, so again, no mass appeal.

I think the LP bass could be a home run, but for some reason, you just dont see them around. If Epiphone really wants to compete in the bass market, they should start making high-quality Jazz & P-basses, because that is really what most people want right now. They've made them in the past, but the quailty of those instruments was extremely sub-par: laminates & mystery wood plus low-end electronics just isnt a selling point, IMO.

I think that the EBM and non-reverse T-birds were on the right track because they were both P/Js, but the EBM was a technical disaster with the electronics and the non-reverse was a little too weird looking for most people and the quantities seemed to be quite limited. The EBM and non-reverse T-Bird were pretty much the same bass aside from the body design and the pickups (active vs. passive). Everything else was identical. The EBM could really have been a home-run if they nixed the active PUPs or gave an option for passive, as many people removed the actives anyway.

Epiphone seems to think that (aside from the EB & LP) that everyone wants active pickups or varitone controls and other non-essential junk that just bogs the bass down or creates a ridiculous learning curve. People want a simple bass that does the job with minimal technicalities. Thats why Fender & Squier basses fly out the door like hot cakes. No muss, no fuss and they do the job and sound good while doing it. That is also one of the reasons that the EB sells so well. Its a simple bass. Its a simple formula that Epiphone seems to either overcomplicate or ignore completely. People have been complaining about EB neck dive for years. But have they adressed the issue or attemted to correct it? nope. Most people dont want to buy a $50 strap for a $100 (or even $200) bass to fix an issue inherent to the design of the instrument. They'll just buy a Squier if they know better.

Wow. that got long...
 


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