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Old May 12th, 2010, 01:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Epiphone Strat (S-310) - Thoughts?


Hi ...

Found a great site that gives detailed specs on this line of guitars made from '89-99. Anyone have any hands on experience with them? How are the single coils? Fretwork? General quality?

Just recently I've come across these old dinosaurs. Ideas? Thoughts?

I'm getting the fever.

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Old May 12th, 2010, 08:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I bought one late last year. It was a silver metallic w/ maple neck, full sized body for $125.00 very nice looking guitar. Once I got it and took a look the finish was very thin and wavy, the bodies are laminated plywood, routing was nasty, the hardware is very cheap including the bridge. On the plus side it sounded pretty good and once I spent sometime setting it up it played pretty decent. Probably equal to a Squire Affinity I sold it pretty quickly. You can pick up an AXL Badwater used for about the same price and you will be much happier
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Old May 12th, 2010, 08:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Never heard of such a beast!
You wouldn't think that Epiphone would tread in such waters, would ya?
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Old May 12th, 2010, 08:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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It's just wrong!! Although, if the guitar didn't play or sound good[likely], that headstock would make a great hockey stick.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree 100% with emac. They are alright as a beginner guitar, but I wouldn't pay more than $100 for one and at that price it had better be in mint condition.

Here is a pic of mine:



I also picked up an S-600 recently and it really isn't much better quality wise, tone wise, or playability wise.

EPI S-600



Go for a Squier and get a much better guitar.

Good Luck
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Old May 12th, 2010, 10:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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(For 'crawdaddy' and 'emac' ... )

... but a Squier is not going to give you that fat Gibson neck - fat Gibson neck with the Fender scale! - anywhere in their line ...
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Old May 12th, 2010, 10:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strat.tenor View Post

(For 'crawdaddy' and 'emac' ... )

... but a Squier is not going to give you that fat Gibson neck - fat Gibson neck with the Fender scale! - anywhere in their line ...
The S-310 I had was a strat copy all the way. Might have had a 12" radius fret board but the neck was slim and kinda flat.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 12:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strat.tenor View Post

(For 'crawdaddy' and 'emac' ... )

... but a Squier is not going to give you that fat Gibson neck - fat Gibson neck with the Fender scale! - anywhere in their line ...
I guess that is true. The neck on my S-310 was like a baseball bat. My S-600 neck seems very close to my strat necks.

Is this the site you are referencing? It was put together by one of the Epiphone Forum members and is a very informative research tool.

Epiphone Strat / Telecaster Specifications Guide
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Old May 12th, 2010, 07:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emac View Post
The S-310 I had (a ) neck (that) was slim and kinda flat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdaddy View Post
... the neck on my S-310 was like a baseball bat.

Is this the site you are referencing? It was put together by one of the Epiphone Forum members and is a very informative research tool.

Epiphone Strat / Telecaster Specifications Guide

Gentlemen, please reconcile these comments for me. Same guitar (S-310), but necks radically different. I lean toward the bat, if that matters.

'craw', yes that is the website. Very powerful and nice. All it needs is neck depth at the 1st and 5th frets. Fender - all companies - should have a table like this.


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Old May 12th, 2010, 07:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strat.tenor View Post

Gentlemen, please reconcile these comments for me. Same guitar (S-310), but necks radically different. I lean toward the bat, if that matters.

'craw', yes that is the website. Very powerful and nice. All it needs is neck depth at the 1st and 5th frets. Fender - all companies - should have a table like this.


Holy cow! You don't know what you are asking for. As many variations as Fender (before you even throw Squier in there) has had over the years it would be a damned huge list.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 07:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strat.tenor View Post

Gentlemen, please reconcile these comments for me. Same guitar (S-310), but necks radically different. I lean toward the bat, if that matters.

'craw', yes that is the website. Very powerful and nice. All it needs is neck depth at the 1st and 5th frets. Fender - all companies - should have a table like this.


If you look at the pics the one I bought has a hockey stick head stock and had a pretty normal (thin) strat like neck and was manufactured in Korea. The sunburst one has the bat wing head stock. They produced those much later in the line. Not sure where they were produced, China I would assume. So, they very well could have completely different neck profiles.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 09:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emac View Post
If you look at the pics the one I bought has a hockey stick head stock and had a pretty normal (thin) strat like neck and was manufactured in Korea. The sunburst one has the bat wing head stock. They produced those much later in the line. Not sure where they were produced, China I would assume. So, they very well could have completely different neck profiles.
Mine was made in Korea, though like you (Emac) stated it is a later version and could have come from a different factory. Plus, you (Strat-Tenor) have to remember that EPI guitar's are assembly line guitars and not hand built, so they vary from one to another. Especially when there is 3,4, or 5 years in between builds.

Here is a pic depicting the back of the neck:



I hope you can get an idea by looking at the photo.


PS: Emac, I really like the color of your ex S-310, very nice looking.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 10:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdaddy View Post
Mine was made in Korea, though like you (Emac) stated it is a later version and could have come from a different factory. Plus, you (Strat-Tenor) have to remember that EPI guitar's are assembly line guitars and not hand built, so they vary from one to another. Especially when there is 3,4, or 5 years in between builds.

Here is a pic depicting the back of the neck:



I hope you can get an idea by looking at the photo.


PS: Emac, I really like the color of your ex S-310, very nice looking.
Thanks, the reason I bought was because of the color (finish). It's hard to tell from the pics, but the headstock has the same metal-flake silver finish with a MOP Epiphone inlay. I was really bummed when I got it and found out how thin and uneven the finish was applied. Looks great in the pictures and when you're about five feet away. I just didn't think it would hold up to being gigged even as a back-up. I actually sold it to a buddy that is just getting started, so it stays in his house all the time. It will probably last him forever.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 04:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crawdaddy View Post
...

Here is a pic depicting the back of the neck:

I hope you can get an idea by looking at the photo.

First, thanks to you both for clarifying the neck size by relating it to the headstock. The one I've found has the batwing, and I prefer a fat neck, so that is good news.

Question back to 'craw': you say it's a pretty cheap guitar, only for a beginner - which you must not be - yet you keep the thing in great condition in an apparently very nice case. Care to elaborate on that? Why haven't you sold it? Why isn't it in some gig bag, or just up on display? Or, despite it's price point, has it seduced you in some way?

Thanks.


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Old May 13th, 2010, 04:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I apologize, I wasn’t clear there regarding the S-310, I sold it a few years ago. It just didn’t do it for me, so I didn’t feel the need to keep it around. As for my guitars (and this includes cars), I like things to be in mint condition. I store my guitars in their HSC/gigbag in a humidified room.

I’m not a beginner, just a sucky old player that needs to be comfortable with my guitar when I’m playing. The EPI is a beginner’s guitar, but I’m sure there are a few players out there that could make it sing. I’m not knocking Epiphone guitars either, I own a couple and I’ll never sell my Sheraton.

If you can pick one up for a decent price, you probably should. Play it for a while and who knows, you might even find out that it fits you perfectly. You never know. That is why there are so many different styles and shapes out there for sale. My favorite strat at the moment is a mid 90’s MIM squire that I paid $50 for.

Good Luck in your search

PS: I just noticed you sig, are you a lefty too?
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Old May 14th, 2010, 10:22 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I have one, but nothing is stock on it except for the neck, body, output jack, and the neck plate and screws. I had the frets replaced with 6105 fretwire a few years ago. They're still good because I don't play this guitar that much. It was made in Korea and the body is alder. With 10.5-48 gauge strings on it, it sings. And my personal opinion is that it's much better quality than the Squier Standards of around 10 years ago, I have/had a couple of those. The neck is as emac described it, slim and flat.

Pix (also see avy)



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Old May 19th, 2010, 01:25 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strat.tenor View Post

(For 'crawdaddy' and 'emac' ... )

... but a Squier is not going to give you that fat Gibson neck - fat Gibson neck with the Fender scale! - anywhere in their line ...
Funny this thread would come up just now. I temporarily replaced the neck on my go-to Strat (a Chandler) with an old Epiphone neck I still have from the 80s while I did some detailing on the other neck. strat.tenor's description jibes with my experience. It seemed very much like playing a Gibson. I played an Epiphone Strat for years, gradually upgrading it until I wasn't using any of the original parts at all. I'm suspicious of a lot of the stories I hear about expensive "tone woods" but one thing this guitar taught me is never to play a plywood laminate body. I really dislike them.

BTW, at the time Edward Van Halen was playing a neck with the hockey stick headstock, so this in itself was a selling point, sort of like Michael Jordan with the Nikes.

JAMES
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Old May 25th, 2010, 02:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Plywood dont sound bad and is very consistent. I just dont like it. If the price diff was a few hundred I'd own lots of ply. Saw a guy last week play an epi like theseand he played the snot out of it and really liked it. Made it sound like a pedal steel part of the time. You may not like it but this 1 guitar wasn't limiting anyone.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I don't try to dictate anyone else's guitar choices, because to me the most important ingredient is the player. All I can say is that the body on my old Epiphone Strat felt like a slab of concrete hanging from my neck, and I could never get a good singing tone out of it. That was my experience. The neck I liked very much, and I'm saving it for a future project or as a replacement.

JAMES
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Old May 25th, 2010, 11:21 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Wow this brings back memories! I remember playing an Epi strat style with a humbucker and 2 singles back around '86 or '87 (I think). I remember a bandmate commenting that the neck and middle position sounded more like a strat than my strat did!
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