3/06/2014

c.2007 Epiphone LP-style "Junior" Electric Guitar





Update: The original tuners weren't holding tune so I went ahead and installed some Kluson-style repro tuners. They look and function about 100x better. I also gave the back of the neck a bit of a "rough up" and then polished up to bring the surface layer of the finish to more of a satin feel which means it doesn't catch on your hand and feels closer to a "speed neck."

Update #2: I was planning on keeping this for recording work and went ahead and did some cosmetic upgrades as well including a new white/black/white pickguard and Tele-style "dome" chrome knobs. Since then I've been enjoying the guitar but have done some more trading so it's up on the block.

A new Epi "Junior" runs about $130 shipped these days but those are Chinese-made and sport a humbucker rather than a venerable old P-90 single coil. This one is Japanese-made and as a result feels a bit more substantial and well-made. It's actually a really fun guitar to play, but then I'm also blinded a bit in my judgement because I've always loved 1-pickup guitars. They're sort of like an acoustic in that you have to bend yourself to the sound of the instrument rather than the other way around.

This thing is snarly, quick, and steady in the hands and with the P-90 you get much more of a "vintage" feel to its tonal response. The shorter Gibson-style scale and comfortable neck don't hurt, either. Like the Affinity Strat I posted below, this got a full setup and plays spot on. The sound clip above is from a mic placed in front of my 2W tube amp.



It's fairly clean but does show use wear here and there throughout. The replacement white/black/white pickguard and new dome knobs look a ton better than the factory stock units. It's a lot more retro looking, now.


The nut seems to be some sort of ceramic or close to it.


The rosewood board feels pretty typical for a Gibson-derived product.


The adjustable, intonated bridge/tail looks kinda blue here, but it's really just chrome.




I have new Kluson-style repro tuners installed that work way better than what came from the factory on this guitar.



Neck plate and serial.

So, overall? A nice little guitar especially for those of us who like the single pup sound and feel. The upgraded cosmetics and tuners also change a plain-Jane Japanese-made student guitar into something more enjoyable for gigging and recording. It's a perfectly practical little unit, now, and lightweight compared to a Tele or similar.

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