NGD - SG P90s

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by RaySachs, May 31, 2020.

  1. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    So I'm a strat guy since the dinosaurs roamed the earth. I recently went through a several month saga with a PRS Silver Sky, which is an awesome guitar but, in the end, was "stratty" enough to be my #1 and it was too valuable to sit in the closet as a #2. So it's gone and in it's place in the "ballsier than a strat" seat, is a new Epiphone SG Special with P90s. It's part of the "Inspired by Gibson" series, but if I may ask, which Epiphone ever was NOT inspired by Gibson? I've had it almost a week and it's a keeper...

    I generally end up playing my strat (Robert Cray Hardtail) about 95% of the time. And I've offloaded every tele and humbucker guitar I've tried and never looked back, but I've also offloaded a few P90 guitars and keep regretting it. So I haven't had one in close to a year and was really jonesing for that P90 growl (Sorry Fez, it's what I hear) and crunch and smooth sweet cleans. Having sold the Silver Sky, I easily could have afforded a Gibson SG with P90s, but I decided to go for a $400 Epiphone instead. The primary reason being if I bought a Gibson, when the honeymoon ends and I invariably stick it in the closet for months at a time, I'd know it had a fair amount of value and I'd probably break down and sell it at some point. Having bought and sold too many P90 guitars in the past few years, I'm bound and determined NOT TO SELL this one. I just want to have one around so that when I inevitably want to play P90s again, I'll have them in the closet and I won't have to go spend $$$ to buy YET ANOTHER P90 axe. So this baby cost all of $400.

    I've never owned an SG, I'm not even completely sure if I've played one. I wanted to try one, though, because I've always liked the sound of P90s best in a solid-body - the best sounding P90s I've played have been in Les Pauls or PRS Les Paul types. But I can't play those guitars comfortably - the leg cut is too far toward the neck, I play seated, and it's a long story but I just can't play 'em comfortably without twisting around and causing myself all kinds of back pain. I've learned this the hard way and I'm too old to start playing classical style - I play right handed with the guitar on my right leg and that's just how I'm gonna keep playing. Anyway, the SG is solid and the leg cut is back by the bridge, so I figured it would be a good bet. And I was right! Supremely comfortable and it sounds incredible. There would be neck dive, but playing seated with my arm draped over the lower bout, the neck isn't going anywhere.

    Anyway, nothing special, but I really dig it. It's got all those great P90 sounds, it's got the typical Gibson flat, shorter scale neck (a bit slim for my taste, but it's fine). It just works. The quality of modern Epiphones is crazy good - right there with a Squier Classic Vibe. The neck and frets are freaking perfect, the wraparound bridge works well enough. It will eventually get a new switch and maybe new pots, but I don't think it need anything else and I'm not even sure it needs new pots - the switch is the only thing that could clearly use an upgrade. Right now I'm playing it a ton, but it won't be long before I'm playing the strat nearly full time again and this will take a back seat. And as little value as it has, I shouldn't be tempted to sell it - just stick it in the closet until I start thinking about buying another P90 axe and then remember I already have one...

    [​IMG]0 by Ray, on Flickr

    [​IMG]0-1 by Ray, on Flickr

    -Ray
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  2. tery

    tery Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    You will have fun with that Ray :cool: … Congratulations !
     
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  3. nigelr

    nigelr Senior Stratmaster

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    That's a beauty, enjoy!
     
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  4. Martin Mim

    Martin Mim Strat-O-Master

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    HNGD, great color!
     
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  5. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Enjoy that Epiphone!
     
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  6. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Strat-Talker

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    Congratulations, I like your reasoning on your purchase also. Nice looking SG.
     
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  7. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

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    HNGD:thumb:

    Having just recently gotten my first P90 guitar, I can say they are pretty nice.
     
  8. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Senior Stratmaster

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    HNDG. I'm becoming more and more of a fan of Epiphones as well. The price point makes sense to me for other reasons but I'm impressed with the build quality.
     
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  9. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Senior Stratmaster

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    Is that the Pelham Blue? Nice color.
     
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  10. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Congratulations! I love SG's! I had a Gibson SG that looked almost exactly like that, I bought it because the Epi's hadn't been announced yet. Mine had some issues so I flipped it. If I'm correct those Epi' s come with CTS pots.
     
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  11. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Took a minute to figure what was in the output jack...
    Other than that
    Looks like the same bridge saddle piece on my LP special...
    How do you find the pickups?
     
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  12. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    My LAST P90 guitar was an Epi 339 and it was a great guitar. I was an idiot to sell it but I'm kind of glad I did because I like the SG even more. But the quality of the 339 was just incredible, also for an inexpensive guitar (I think those are more like $450 or $500 new, but still). I'd read mixed reviews about the necks and fretwork on these SG's, but I got a good one. The action was lower than I like out of the box and still absolutely no buzzing or dead frets. The only thing I think a real anal stickler for detail might notice is a bit of a gap around the pickups in the pickup cavities, but it doesn't bother me in the least. Everything else is basically perfect...

    -Ray
     
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  13. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Well, then I'm doubly glad I didn't spend for the Gibson!

    What are CTS pots? Is that a good thing? I don't really feel the pots are at all an issue, but I've never loved the Gibson four-knob control setup so I may lose two of them at some point and convert the other two to a master volume and tone. And if I did that I might think about replacing the pots if there was any advantage to it. But these seem pretty smooth and pretty useful through the whole sweep until you get down below about 2, so I'm fine with them.

    -Ray
     
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  14. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Yeah, I think the saddles are the same on a bunch of Gibson and Epiphone models - I think they call 'em "lightning bolt" because of the staggered raised piece on them. It's funny, mine isn't intonated as well as it could be, so I adjusted the setback bolt on the treble side and got it very close, but it didn't sound as good as it did out of the box with those little screws backed all the way out. So I backed that one out again and it sounds awesome. I'm not even gonna try to understand it, but that's how I hear it.

    The pickups are great. I had the same set in an Epiphone 339 I had about a year ago. The cool thing about P90s is even cheap ones usually sound great. If you A-B them, you can hear differences between really good ones and cheap ones, but the cheap ones sound great and if you DON'T A-B them against anything, you'll never think about them. I had a cheap tele with P90s in 'em once and they sounded pretty good but they just had waaaaay too much hum even at really low volume. But the P90s Epiphone has been using lately sound great to me.
     
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  15. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    CTS is just a brand of potentiometers, they are used in Gibsons and US Fenders. There's no reason to replace them.

    I'm by no means saying all Gibsons are like that but mine was and considering the nature of the issue it could just as well happen to any other SG regardless of brand.
     
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  16. HighwayStar106

    HighwayStar106 Strat-O-Master

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    CTS pots are what Gibson and Fender use in guitars costing 10 times the price of your Epi, so there's no need to replace them.

    I really want a guitar with a P90 or two. I've had a couple, but I could never get on with them - they didn't really have the sound I wanted. I've played a few P90 guitars that sounded absolutely amazing, but sadly haven't had the chance to own one yet.

    HNGD!
     
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  17. Biddlin

    Biddlin Senior Stratmaster

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    Cool Pelham SG, Ray. I am not usually drawn to PB guitars but that one grabs me and a wraptail P90 SG is a blues machine.
     
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  18. smithstrato

    smithstrato Senior Stratmaster

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    HNGD
    Blue looks awesome.
     
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  19. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Good to know about the pots. Thanks guys...

    -Ray
     
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  20. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I chose the color mostly because I preferred it to the Candy Apple Red ones, which were just too damn bright and shiny. But now that I have it, it's pretty much growing on me. It's like my silver Robert Cray strat - I wouldn't have chosen it but it was what was available at the time. And then it grew on me and when I bought a PRS Silver Sky, I bought that one in silver too (Tungsten). My acoustic is a sunburst - I really don't like sunburst, particularly on acoustics. So I guess my visual preferences don't end up affecting my decisions much in the end...

    -Ray
     
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