Q: Epiphone Flying V '58, Black

Vinsanitizer

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Does anyone here have one of these that they can comment on?

My biggest concern is the balance when standing up using a strap: when you position the guitar where you want it, then let go, does the neck dive or pull on your shoulder? That's always an instant deal breaker for me.

How's the nut and fretwork? Plastic nut, I'm guessing? Any sharp fret ends, fret buzzing, or neck warpage?

I don't care so much about the tuners and electronics, those are easy to fix, but as an owner of a bunch of very nice Gibsons, I don't have the time or patience for a guitar that is fundamentally hosed out of the box because it was rushed through the assembly line. Not expecting Gibson quality, but as with cars, it has to at least run well, and have good tires and breaks.

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I've tried (by ownership), at least 5 Epiphones:

3 - '58 Korina V's (unbalanced weight, warped neck, bridge caving into the body, sharp fret ends).
1 - Explorer (Musicians Friend. It was so bad I took it back to the post office within 15 minutes).
1 - Some Kind of ES Jazz box (played well until winter, and the truss rod wouldn't tighten it up anymore, even with a washer).
1 - Joe Pass (that was ok, but not worth keeping).
1 - Les Paul Standard flametop (the neck slowly warped like a rollercoaster within 6 months).

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Thank thee.
 

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1allspub

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Some neck dive, some don't. It just depends on the guitar and its weight and balance.

Nuts on Epis are generally ok... but it's certainly possible to get a bad nut. About what you can expect get from most Gibsons frankly (I've seen many a jacked-up nut on Gibsons). A good bone nut on an otherwise good Epi that has a less than great nut though is worth the investment IMO.

I've only really owned one Epi that had fret issues. It was a TV Yellow Special whose fret ends didn't get properly dressed at the factory and were sharp and scratchy. Literally every other Epi I've owned (many) were just fine.

As for Epis quality, actually pretty dang good for the most part. I many ways even superior to Gibson. Their finish is easier to get right (ie, it's more forgiving given that it's thick poly as opposed to thin nitro), but I honestly find Epis to be very well-made guitars generally. Especially considering their price point.
 

DeafDumbBlind Kid

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I really wanted to like the Epi Flying V '58, and would easily like one in black. But I got to have a dark black fingerboard, and have yet to see one that I liked. I even turned down a Gibson Flying V as it had a streaky rosewood fingerboard. As bad luck would have it, the bass side of the fingerboard was almost the same color as the natural mahogany finished neck and the side markers were all but invisible even in good lighting. Plus the Gibson was a stoptail and not a true '58 string through. It had pretty bad neck dive, too. I'm going to wait and see how the Explorer I put my name on comes through.
 

1allspub

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One other thing I will add about Epis in general… expect it to show up pretty poorly set up. I’ve yet buy an Epi either online or in person that wasn’t atrociously set up. Haha!

Action will likely be super high. It won’t be properly intonated, and the strings Epi puts on at the factory have to be the worst, cheapest strings in the industry.

That said, who plays on factory installed strings for more than a day or so? They always need replacing. Just be prepared to do a good set up on it (better if you can do so yourself).
 

Vinsanitizer

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Not too much faith for me ever owning an Epiphone at this point. Gave them too many tries. I checked out the V and a NIB Dove acoustic yesterday. The V's neck dropped as soon as I let go, so I was done with that right away. The Dove acoustic was the same, even worse: the neck was even heavier, the fretboard was tan, and the while thing looked like it had been dipped in gloss. THICK gloss. It had no resonance - sounded like a plastic shoebox.

I'll have to go full Gibson to get a decent V. But the only one I like is their natural color version with the white pickguard, but that 'guard is staggered on the inside, and to me that just looks wrong. On a good day, I might consider the Deluxe V, but at $5k (a lot for a guitar that's not your "main" guitar), I'd have to have the white version with black plastics.
 

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