Just got my first Epiphone bass, and I must say wow
Wow this thing is a turd.
In Epiphone's defence, I know this is the bottom line model, and I traded for it used. And I had an Epiphone 12 string guitar that was very nice and sounded great. But the fit and finish on this one is just terrible. The neck pocket routing is so bad I thought someone had tried to re-route it, until I saw it still had the silver paint in the pocket. Bridge was pulling out of the body, mounting holes in the neck looked like a beaver chewed them out. I traded a cheap acoustic guitar for this, so I'm still happy with the trade. Just kinda surprised they let poor basses like this get sold. Inspector 40 must have been having a bad day. Luckily this was intended to be a Fenderbird project, so routing should take care of the problem areas.
Hhm not very good. I bought an Epiphone EB3 limited edition custom shop version on ebay. I was blown away as soon as I pulled it out of it's packaging. Amazing finish at the price. Can't find a blemish or fault anywhere. Unfortunately playing it took a long and bitter struggle. It was very badly set up straight from the factory and had a dead spot right on the e of the a string. I now know why Fender basses are so successful. What were Gibson thinking of? The bridge is a sick joke. It looks great but I had to glue the ferrules into the body and dump the front adjustment screw to get the action down. Fortunately the dead spot has pretty much gone completely after a truss rod adjustment. I still have the string winding over the saddle issue to deal with and the worry that the glue might give out and that puts me off gigging with it.
Then we come to the electrics. Reasonably tidy wiring job but tapers all but useless. Another design 'feature' (thanks again the comedians at Gibson) is the pickups that are so different and so far apart that they are useless together. Having said that, I have finally got a good sound out of it through a slightly radical way of rewiring it. I have wired a pair of 0.1 caps together in parallel and connected these to the neck pickup which now acts as a sub. The bridge pup (which has an amazing and wonderful bright attack but no bottom end) is wired to the output jack directly. The volume pot now acts as a blend(!) And the tone pot does naff all. However, the result is a fantastic growling rock tone so long as the 'blend' pot is at the very narrow sweet spot. Phew... finally getting somewhere.
The Chinese manufacturers made a fantastic looking instrument from a seriously flawed Gibson design but the set up was appalling. Maybe they just gave up trying with such a difficult design. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR BEGINNERS!
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