New style Epi LP Custom Ebony. Disappointing QC

Randy_Lahey

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Picked up a used Epi LP Custom in ebony recently from GC. Guitar is a hot mess of qc issues and probably why it was traded off so soon. Finish blemishes, fret work is the worst I’ve had on any guitar by FAR. Action had
to be set so high as to not encounter fret buzz, it’s hard to play. I have four other Epi LP’s(2 custom pros, one traditional pro plus, and a traditional pro 4), those guitars were playable as Is. I’ve massaged them each a bit to my tastes, but again nothing with them had me upset with qc etc. Well aside from the finish blemishes and fret work, the bridge pickup sounds like crap. I’ve adjusted height, pole pieces to try and balance sound and while it is better, it still sounds horrible.

im going to attack the fret work here this next week, and see if that helps the sound. It may so, but probably not enough to make me happy, so I’ll be on the lookout for a new bridge pickup. Any suggestions for a guy who likes to play classic Kiss, Motley Crue, 80’s hard rock/metal?


oh and another issue lol. They put the rear strap button off center line too far to the base/bottom of the guitar so it has neck dive. Must have been a Monday morning guitar.


Despite all of this, I’m going to keep it. Got a good price so I’ll put the time/effort in to make it sing. I would be hella pissed if I had bought this new and paid full price

EDIT:
Pics, well general lineup pic. Guitar in question is 2nd from the left. It's going back! Took more time to study it and it's got a "dip" in the neck about from frets 1-5. It bows in, creating more string clearance. Then neck returns to normal string height the remainder of the neck. Trying to adjust truss rod, I cannot remove this w/out creating other issues. Combined with the bridge pickup sounding like crap, the fret issues, I think it's just a lemon and likely why it ended up in the GC used bin, so soon after new purchase. I've gotten 4 other used Epi LP's from GC used and those are decent guitars, pictures as well. Well, I found another custom I ordered today, so hoping that works out, as it's white and will round out the collection nicely, having an Ebony already and a Silverburst.

IMG_1215 (3).JPG
 

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rbraad68

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Picked up a used Epi LP Custom in ebony recently from GC. Guitar is a hot mess of qc issues and probably why it was traded off so soon. Finish blemishes, fret work is the worst I’ve had on any guitar by FAR. Action had
to be set so high as to not encounter fret buzz, it’s hard to play. I have four other Epi LP’s(2 custom pros, one traditional pro plus, and a traditional pro 4), those guitars were playable as Is. I’ve massaged them each a bit to my tastes, but again nothing with them had me upset with qc etc. Well aside from the finish blemishes and fret work, the bridge pickup sounds like crap. I’ve adjusted height, pole pieces to try and balance sound and while it is better, it still sounds horrible.

im going to attack the fret work here this next week, and see if that helps the sound. It may so, but probably not enough to make me happy, so I’ll be on the lookout for a new bridge pickup. Any suggestions for a guy who likes to play classic Kiss, Motley Crue, 80’s hard rock/metal?


oh and another issue lol. They put the rear strap button off center line too far to the base/bottom of the guitar so it has neck dive. Must have been a Monday morning guitar.


Despite all of this, I’m going to keep it. Got a good price so I’ll put the time/effort in to make it sing. I would be hella pissed if I had bought this new and paid full price

sorry to hear that .. i guess it's hit or miss with these 2020 customs. good luck man and post pics !! :photos: :photos: :photos: :photos:
 

Randy_Lahey

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I’ll get some pics up. Of course, being the enormous IDIOT that I am! I was back surfing GC used custom epiphone les Paul’s, and they had a used, new style White custom. That was what I really wanted, as I already had a black and silver burst. So.... I ordered the white one. I’ll keep whichever one is better, but the bar is set pretty low with this black one. Hopefully this white one isn’t a pos.
 

Randy_Lahey

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Well I was bored tonight and decided to mess with the truss rod more. Got it adjusted to where it's much better. Still has too much relief frets 1-4, but it's ok now. However, the horrible fret work is even more exposed now. Looking under light and magnification, it appears whoever was seating the frets must have been drunk, distracted, or whatever. Most of the frets are lifted quite a bit in the center/middle of the fret. The frets seem more like a 9.5-10 radius whereas the fret board is 12" or so. Central area is lifted in at least 50% of frets. If I can seat these, to where they are truly seated, this guitar might be salvageable. Aside from occasionally tapping a high fret down, is there any good trick to seating frets? I'd assume I'd head up the area a bit to soften the glue(which I can see under lifted fret area).
 

rbraad68

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yeah that sucks man. hopefully you are able to sort it out. that alone would pervent me from buying anothe epi online again. i have gotten really lucky but think it would be worth the trip to play the guitar before buying....

BTW Nice collection of LP's !!!
 

Randy_Lahey

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Thanks! Some of these guitars that aren't quite perfect make awesome learning tools on how to fix things. I just have to balance that against time invested and additional tools etc... required.

As disappointed in this guitar that I was, it's growing on me. After getting the neck ok straight, I played it more last night. While the pickup sounds like it's from a Squier bullet strat(meant as a slam), the neck feels nice, and I can feel something for it. Bought some fret pressing and fixing items today from Stew Mac. Excited to see what I can do with it.
 

rbraad68

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im suprised that your not feeling the pro buckers?? honestly i like them ive bought a couple sets for a couple other epi's i have. i did change out the harness in my blk 2020 custom with a better harness made by some guy on reverb. plus i found another set of pro buckers off a guy who pulled them out of a 335 he bought and never used... right now my 2020 blk custom is the best sounding LP i have......

 

Randy_Lahey

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im suprised that your not feeling the pro buckers?? honestly i like them ive bought a couple sets for a couple other epi's i have. i did change out the harness in my blk 2020 custom with a better harness made by some guy on reverb. plus i found another set of pro buckers off a guy who pulled them out of a 335 he bought and never used... right now my 2020 blk custom is the best sounding LP i have......

It's not that I don't like Probuckers. My two Custom Pro's have them and they are decent, and each a bit unique. It's just THIS particular guitar, the pickups sound like poo. I've adjusted them up a fair bit, notably much higher than either of my Custom Pros, and they are improved, but amongst all of my Epiphones, this guitar/pickup combo sounds the worst. It's at least playable now in present shape. But provided I can fix the fret issues, and I keep this guitar, the rear pickup is due for an upgrade. I might actually mod the wiring/pots first and see if that helps. Then do a pickup upgrade. Might so something to cover different ground, more metal tones. Out of all my Epiphones, the best sounding pickups are from that Tradional Pro Plus. I think it's supposed to have Gibson 57 pickups in it. I took a peak when I had strings off and back plate of pickup said Epiphone and some sticker said something 57' from what I recall. Those snarl and capture classic Kiss and 70's rock awesome. The probuckers in my Custom Pros sound good, not great, but good. Certainly good enough for this fool of a player. Silverburst one lends itself more towards 80's hard rock, and a little metal. The Ebony pro is a littler darker and does Kiss, Motley Crue, AC/DC well enough(not as well as the Pro plus). So that's my long winded explanation of my perception of these pickups ;)
 

rbraad68

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It's not that I don't like Probuckers. My two Custom Pro's have them and they are decent, and each a bit unique. It's just THIS particular guitar, the pickups sound like poo. I've adjusted them up a fair bit, notably much higher than either of my Custom Pros, and they are improved, but amongst all of my Epiphones, this guitar/pickup combo sounds the worst. It's at least playable now in present shape. But provided I can fix the fret issues, and I keep this guitar, the rear pickup is due for an upgrade. I might actually mod the wiring/pots first and see if that helps. Then do a pickup upgrade. Might so something to cover different ground, more metal tones. Out of all my Epiphones, the best sounding pickups are from that Tradional Pro Plus. I think it's supposed to have Gibson 57 pickups in it. I took a peak when I had strings off and back plate of pickup said Epiphone and some sticker said something 57' from what I recall. Those snarl and capture classic Kiss and 70's rock awesome. The probuckers in my Custom Pros sound good, not great, but good. Certainly good enough for this fool of a player. Silverburst one lends itself more towards 80's hard rock, and a little metal. The Ebony pro is a littler darker and does Kiss, Motley Crue, AC/DC well enough(not as well as the Pro plus). So that's my long winded explanation of my perception of these pickups ;)
when i got my 2020 custom i really didn't play it much and honestly didnt think i was going to keep it so i robbed all the gold hardware and pro buckers out of it and switched it out with my 2020 classic. the pick ups and cjrome hardware. i figured id sell it with the zibra pups and chrome hardware.. but. a few months later i wound up buying another set of pro buckers off of someone on this site who had bought a 2020 es 335 and swapped the pick ups as soon as he got it. i then wound up buying all new gold hardware for the guitar bassicly everything wire harness grover locking tuners tone pro system 2 bridge set wire harness ect ect... i think the second set of pro buckers i got off that guy sounded way better than the set i pulled out so who knows on that??? so the great deal i got on the guitar turned into full price then some!! so now im switching over to SYM pickups on the classic along with pots and caps. kinda an experiment of sorts.....
 


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