Trigger Pulled! - Epiphone Sheraton

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Mossman, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Most of you know that I've been pining for an Epiphone Sheraton II Pro for a while now, and y'all will probably be happy to know that you won't have to hear about that GAS anymore.

    My search for a used one wasn't as fruitful as I had imagined it would be. For some reason, i had it in my head that a Pro could be had used for $500-$550 on the open water, but that's mostly for older Korean ones that many are listing as Pros... Gotta be careful.

    I lost count of how many times I got all excited to see a 'Sheraton II Pro' on ebay or Reverb, for $475 or $500, only to see the 'Made in Korea' label on the back of the headstock, or '2003' listed as the year of manufacture.

    I got tired of contacting sellers to inform them of their... mistake.

    The ones you typically find for about $550-$580 turn out to be factory rejects (stamped ‘2nd’ or ‘Used’ on the back of the headstock). Now I know a lot of people have bought these guitars and had no issue, but every time I see one for sale, I get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Almost all of them say that they can’t find anything wrong with them, and under a careful visual examination, looking for dings, scratches of finish imperfections, that might be true. It’s the issues you can’t easily see that worry me.

    Bad fretwork, malfunctioning/broken truss rods, twisted or badly seated necks, etc., may not be immediately apparent right out of the box, and depending on your level of expertise and experience, you may not even be aware that there’s a problem until much later... if at all.

    Back a few years ago, I bought an Epiphone Dot that had the dread ‘2nd’ stamp (or maybe it was ‘Used’, I don’t really remember), and this guitar was just an all-around mess. It looked beautiful... Not a mark on it, and a perfect finish, but it played like a dog. I was pretty new at working on guitars, but I knew how do a do a set-up and a fret level at that time (which it badly needed) and a pickup/pot swap (dittto... it had those terrible, muddy, stock ‘CH’ pickups). The truss rod was also a little sketchy... Sometimes it would grab, sometime it wouldn’t. The nut was a little chewed up, too.

    In retrospect, I guess I should have returned it, but this was back in the days when trying to return an item to an ebay seller often resulted in a battle (and you had to pay return shipping). I also wanted to get the practice of ‘fixing’ all the issues the guitar had.

    I got it to play well, and sound good, but the truss rod was unreliable, and I think for that reason, I never bonded with it. I also wasn’t that nuts about the GFS pickups I replaced the stock ones with (they were better, but not quite what I wanted). So now, every time I see a guitar for sale with the stamp on the headstock, I’m reminded of that Dot, and move on.

    So after ruling out Korean Sheratons, factory seconds, and the plethora of black Sheratons on the used market (must be a popular color, but not with me), there were slim pickings left for me in the color/condition I wanted, for a price I was willing to pay (oh yeah... Not many sellers were accepting offers, either... even the ones selling seconds).

    Eventually, I came to the same realization that I came to when I was hunting the Squier CV... It’s just too hard to find a significant saving in the used market, and not have to settle. I’ve been looking for months, and I just keep seeing more of the above. Judging by the ‘sold’ or ‘closed’ searches I’ve done on ebay, it looks like the auctions are where the real deals are being had, but I just don’t have the time or temperament to deal with all of that.

    So I gave my Sweetwater rep a call to see what he could do for me, and he threw me 17% off a brand new Sheraton in wine red (my finish of choice), bringing the price down to what the factory seconds are going for.

    Needless to say, I took the deal. This will be arriving early next week... Just in time for my birthday! The first and last two digits of the serial number are ‘17’ which is my birthday and the rest of the numbers add up to ‘12’. :)

    C7FEC300-9A60-4587-94BF-9E7136F0A46F.jpeg
     
  2. tomringg

    tomringg Well-Known Member

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    I'm a sucker for a wine red, that is gorgeous! Congrats!
     
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  3. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, me too... But this is gonna have to be the last red guitar. :)

    I agonized a lot over whether to get wine red or natural... I feel like I already have enough red guitars, but dammit! The wine red looks so friggin’ regal in real life. Pictures don’t do it justice.
     
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  4. Texas Slim

    Texas Slim Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    You and i must be related; curses on your G.A.S..... :smilecat:
    What issues with the Korean built ones? Always heard good things about their builds.
     
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  5. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    The Korean Epiphones are/were good guitars, but since about 2015, the ones coming out of China and Indonesia have been exceptional. I loved my Korean Casino, and so did everyone who ever played it, but the one I bought in 2016 is easily twice the guitar that one was. They really beefed up the construction.

    Over the last year, I’ve A/B’d used Korean Sheraton IIs against the Indonesian II Pros on several occasions, and you can just feel the difference in quality. I like the neck profile better, too... And the Korean ones don’t have Pro-Buckers.
     
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  6. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    I'll say it again: my Korean Sheraton is every bit as good as the 1959 Gibson ES345TDS that I used to own. And it was a great guitar in excellent condition and it sold for good money, needless to say a lot more than I was out for my Sheraton.You may like new Chinese ones better - fine. But don't tell me they are better than this one, because I haven't played any Pro IIs that are.

    That said, all that matters is that you like it, you're comfortable with the price, and you can afford to pay for it. Mine is the natural, but the reds are just as pretty. Like you, I'm not as fond of the black.

    Congratulations!
     
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  7. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    BTW, how much flexibilty do those Sweetwater salespeople have? I imagine it depends on the item, but I've never tried to see if I could get a lower price from them. Sweetwater, Amazon, GC, and Musicians Frowned (which is the same thing) all have the same lower-than-anybody else price to such an extent it's a little hard to believe it's coincidental
     
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  8. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, TC. I’m not saying the Korean ones are bad in any way, just saying the ones I played back to back with the newer Indonesian ones were of lesser build quality. I didn’t even know you owned one until now, and I don’t think I’ve ever played a Chinese Sheraton, so I wouldn’t comment on either of those. :)

    There once was a time when a guitar could be any color, as long as it was black. Now, one black guitar and one black bass are enough for me.
     
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  9. Texas Slim

    Texas Slim Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    It's funny, over the years, i've had several semi hollow guitars, never bonded with any of them. Some years back i bought a SX semi from someone on this forum, forget who. Cheapest of them all, and black to boot. but this guitar just comes alive in my hands, and sounds killer too. So why on earth do i feel the need for a Sheraton??? Wine red, no less?
    i gotta tell ya, Moss, between the telecasters and now Sherries, you & i are either going to be good friends, or really bad influences on each other....
     
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  10. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Sweetwater seems to have a lot of flexibility. They’ll match or beat other coupon offers, but most of the time, I just ask what the best deal they can give me is. I always call online music retailers and do business with a live human over the phone. With the exception of GC, they all negotiate on prices, and in my experience, Sweetwater has given the best discounts... No BS... right to the chase..

    My last two guitar purchases, they beat MF and Zzounds best offers, and I didn’t have to pay sales tax to boot.

    Plus, I get to choose the actual guitar I’m gonna get. That means a lot to me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
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  11. SamIV

    SamIV Well-Known Member

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    Wine red and 336 style guitars just go so well together. I played one of those last time I was at GC. Nice guitars.
     
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  12. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Heheh... Well, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been called that.. :)
     
  13. BatUtilityBelt

    BatUtilityBelt Active Member

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    That is beautiful! Yes wine red is one of those great colors when done well. Happy NGD, and looking forward to the review.
     
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  14. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    You've talked a lot about the Pro IIs - I thought they were Chinese, so that's where that reference came from.

    I posted mine back when I got it: http://www.aguitarforum.com/threads/ngd-and-its-pretty.19376/

    I think they are magnificent guitars. Mine plays super well, sounds good, and it's really beautiful, although I can see how the inlay might be too much for some people. But I've wanted one of these since the 60s, so I'm used to the Epiphone Tree on the upper echelon headstocks.
     
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  15. Texas Slim

    Texas Slim Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    What, "Bad Influence"? i hear ya.
    i told my mom i've stopped raising hell.
    She called me a quitter.
     
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  16. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    BTW, here is an excerpt from that thread about my guitar. This part is interesting:

    More info: I have a 1965 Epiphone price list (and a '66 list too - the price stayed the same, interestingly) and the Sheraton in natural finish was $625, which is around $6000 in today's money, depending on whose figures you use. The case was $63, which was a *lot* of money then.

    (And that was written several years ago, so it's even more money now.)
     
  17. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I was just goofing about the Chinese thing.... I assumed they were Chinese at first myself.

    I’ve actually appreciated Sheratons since the late ‘90s/early ‘00s, and I’ve never thought the inlays were ‘too much’, exactly for that reason. It harkens back to what top-tier, ‘deluxe’ guitars from the 30’s and 40’s looked like... Just in a 335 form.

    I think it looks elegant, not gaudy.
     
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  18. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Congrats! I gotta agree that the Epiphones since 2015 are really good. I really like the lock tone bridge and tail piece are really nice because they don't fall off during string change. The fit and finish of my new es335 pro which was produced in 2015 is really good, it just feels good in my hands, I know your gonna love it.
     
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  19. gt5litre

    gt5litre Well-Known Member

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    Did Epi ever fix the friggin input jack and nut issue? The nut would never and I repeat never keep the cheap input jack tight. Both pieces of kit were cheap and improperly sized and would always become loose. This issue is a big problem. especially on a semi-hollow!!!

    I put a new Switchcraft jack (the one with the longer input lip), a new lock washer and a new nut. I tightened all up snug and it should be good for many years.

    BTW That new EPI you ordered is a pretty one!

    Brent
     
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  20. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    Star washers (or whatever they are called) will fix that without having to resort to solder. I've not had any problems on mine with the jack.
     
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