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FDP Forum / Non-Fender Gear Reviews / Epiphone Dot

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clark bjorke
Contributing Member

All your trolls

are belong to us.
Aug 21st, 2007 08:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have had this Epi Dot about a month now and I believe that the honeymoon period is about finished.

My Dot came from an eBay seller and is one of those instruments that are stamped "USED" on the back of the headstock. I looked into this and found that there is a company in Nashville called Musical Instrument Reclamation Corporation that buys seconds from manufacturers and repairs and/or refinishes them for resale. I am sure that this company is the source of my Dot. It may be somewhat unrepresentative of the model because of this.

There is no Epiphone "E" on the three ply, black white black, pickguard not any marking on the plain black truss rod cover. Of course it has a very faint "USED" stamp on the back of the headstock. There were some very small scratches on the back and what I think is a glue spill that was wiped off but left a couple of light spots in the finish near the upper F hole. Part of the inlaid pearl "Epiphone" on the headstock appears to have gone missing and been replaced by a plastic filler. These are all the cosmetic faults that I have found on the guitar. It took the whole month for them to turn up.

The one piece laminated top of this vintage sunburst guitar shows the distinct pattern of rotary sliced veneer. If I had selected a cherry or black finish I doubt it would be noticeable at all. Only my neighbor the fine hand made furniture guy and I will ever likely be bothered by it. A natural finish Dot, on the other hand, might shout "plywood" to the eye. The guitar is nicely bound with an ivory colored plastic, standard for arch top guitars at all levels.

The maple set neck is painted with a black lacquer. The neck joint is straight and accurate. There is no noticeable fret sprout and the neck adjusted well to string tension with a bit of truss rod tightening. It was shipped with the truss rod and strings loosened. I replaced the strings with a set of .012 - .050 Thomastic-Infield "Vienna" BB112 Jazz Bebop strings and did a set up. After adjusting the truss rod, bridge height and intonation the guitar plays easily and sounds good all over the fretboard. I did this by eye ear and touch, with only the help of a tuner. My eyes aren't good enough to read a micrometer anyway. The guitar came with a nice set of Grover tuners. They are smooth working and hold the strings in tune well but were put on the guitar ever so slightly out of square.

I have heard and read a number of comments about Epiphone pickups being muddy sounding or somehow inferior. I have not had this impression with this guitar. What I hear is every string ringing distinctly from the others. The neck pickup gives a nice clean jazz sound, the bridge pickup has a good bite but is not quite as bright as a single coil guitar. The semi hollow body gives it a bit of resonance that a solid body lacks. When both pickups are used there is a slight hollowness as though some of the midrange tones from the two pickups are canceling each other. This is reflected in a slight drop in volume also. It is not at all an unpleasant sound, however and adds some versatility to the guitar.

I have found that the guitar sounds best with the two tone controls set all the way up and the neck pickup volume slightly lowered. The volume controls have a pretty strong damping effect on the brightness of the tone.

The controls are wired in a "dual master volume" arrangement. Each volume and tone control affects both pickups when in the two pickup position. This was a little hard for me to get used to at first. I am more accustomed to the single volume control setup on a Statocaster.

I have played the guitar every day at home, used it at band rehearsal and have had it to one gig in the past month. It has a very distinct sound, sweet and bell like. It complimented my friend's Strat very well as a rhythm guitar, in the two pickup position and took a commanding lead when switched to the bridge. I also had the opportunity to play a couple of jazz tunes accompanied by a double bass, using the neck pickup. I found the Dot to be versatile, clean sounding and easy to play. It is also attractive looking, despite the cosmetic flaws I noted, which are very minor things no audience member would ever notice.

Until I can afford a Gibby 335 this Dot will fill the bill nicely. Don't point out the veneer to anybody, OK?

Edited for proofreading purposes.

It's the one on the left

(This message was last edited by clark bjorke at 08:31 PM, Aug 21st, 2007)



Aug 21st, 2007 09:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

I installed SD 59's in my Epi Dot and it sounded every bit as good as my 1985 Gibson ES335 reissue. It's definitely worth the upgrade.

clark bjorke
Contributing Member

All your trolls

are belong to us.
Aug 22nd, 2007 05:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have no idea what upgraded pickups would do to this guitar but I am happy with it as is for now. I did look at prices and the pickups would cost nearly as much as I paid for the guitar.

Contributing Member


Different is all I got ta offer.
Aug 22nd, 2007 06:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

Nicely done review, cjlark.



Aug 23rd, 2007 06:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

Nice review, I have the Natural finish Dot (purchased used, but not stamped used, which probably makes no difference), it is all stock except for a pair of Classic 57s I had installed, couldn't be happier with it, especially considering the $ invested.

clark bjorke
Contributing Member

All your trolls

are belong to us.
Aug 24th, 2007 12:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

I don't understand why there are so many people who hate these Epi pups. I understand that they are not the same as or as good as the Gibson ones but they seem perfectly adequate to me, considering the cost. They are alnico "57" pickups according to Epiphone, so they should approximate the Gibson specs. They sound good to me.

Edited because I'm not just a thread killer. I kill whole forums!

(This message was last edited by clark bjorke at 02:17 PM, Aug 25th, 2007)



Aug 27th, 2007 09:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

AS far as pick up swaps go...I liked the stock PUs on my dot, they were very adequate, but I LOVE the 57s I had put in it. For me it was worth the extra $. It was the first time I had tried 57s (classic 57 neck/57+ bridge), now I am a true fan of them.

Contributing Member

Buckeye Country, USA

A rabid anti-trendite
Aug 27th, 2007 08:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

"I don't understand why there are so many people who hate these Epi pups."

They're too dark. At least mine are.



Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Aug 28th, 2007 06:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm changing my Dot pups out for the 57 plus and 57 reg combo with the treble bleed kit to keep it brighter when turning the volume down.
Got the rear pup/57 Plus for $50 used at a store in San Luis Obispo, CA., but have to buy the front pup for full price. Can't wait to get it up and running.
I have the same guitar with the vintage sunburst.
Got it used with a hardshell case for $225 and use 11's D'Addario on it. The neck seemed to loose with 10's on it, so I cut a bone nut and went to 11's with super results.
Also changed the bridge out for the Gotoh from Stewmac and have a good stable guitar now.
Enjoy the vibe very much and has as good feel for such a huge body width.

Enjoy your guitar, Woody



Aug 29th, 2007 05:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

I thought the original pickups were a little dark, not really muddy but jsut not letting individual strings ring the way you would like. I put a SD Seth Lover in the neck and a regular Classic 57 in the bridge. It really made an amazing difference.

Contributing Member


Sep 4th, 2007 08:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

I put Gibson classic 57 at the neck and a 57 plus at the bridge. ALL the difference in the world. Put a bone nut on her too. The guitar is a real player now...not just a dark, muddy sounding bedroom guitar.

Contributing Member

USA Las Vegas NV

For Those About to Rock, ....Fire!!!
Sep 7th, 2007 07:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

"There is no Epiphone "E" on the three ply, black white black, pickguard"

I own a dot deluxe. Bought it brand new a few years back. That "e" is the first thing that fell off! That plastic e is on there with a speck of rubber c-ment. It's designed to fall off :-) They are great guitars and require a bit of tweakin' here and there, for the price, they're a good deal!.


Everywhere, USA

Follow Your Dreams
Sep 14th, 2007 11:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

Just picked up a used 2004 Dot for 200, Like it a lot, have to mess with it a bit more to give an opinion but it is a nice sounding one. Natural maple finish. looks great.


Everywhere, USA

Follow Your Dreams
Sep 30th, 2007 08:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

As a side note: I reset the pickups to 1/16 inch from the strings while fretted at the first fret. Made a big improvement in the tone of the Pups.

squierly one


Oct 1st, 2007 10:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

My dot studio in a worn brown color is so ugly that I think I'll keep it. It is so ugly that I actually painted a dot on the 12th fret just to remind me it's a DOT.

Contributing Member

Wichita Kansas, USA

avoid those who belittle your ambitions
Oct 3rd, 2007 08:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

Ok, I'm oing to pipe in here and give my 2 cents. I purchased a lefty DOT earlier this year. I did find the stock pups to be very muddy in this guitar and also had problems wth the pickup selector switch and volume and tone controls not working properly. I looked around and found Tonerider Alnico 1V Cassic pickups for a very decent price, ordered them and had a very good guitar tech install the pups and new switches. I went with the coil splitters/volume control option and I am glad that I did. This guitar sounds wonderfull! There are so many different sounds that I can get out of this guitar, it is fun just finding them. I recomend the Toneriders with out any hesitentsy. There are even demos that you can listen to on the Tonerider site. YMMV


Des Moines

Oct 3rd, 2007 07:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm a fan of the ToneRiders too. If I would have kept my Dot, there was a good chance I would have dropped some ToneRiders in it.



Oct 20th, 2007 10:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

Has anyone had problems with thier output jack loosening and falling into the guitar? Mine did and I had to have a tech friend make it right. This would have been avoided if Epiphone had taken the time to use a ten cent star washer. Otherwise, I love the guitar. With the upgrade of the better pots, switch, jack and seth lover p'ups, this instrument has cost $630.00 . I consider that a pretty good deal.



Dec 5th, 2007 01:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'll third the Tonerider Alnico IVs, I tried the A2s also and they didn't sound as good. The Alnico IVs and this Dot just make it happen.

Dot Studio w/Tonerider A4s

Contributing Member

Wichita Kansas, USA

avoid those who belittle your ambitions
Dec 6th, 2007 04:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm still very happy with the Toneriders.
Anyone else?

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FDP Forum / Non-Fender Gear Reviews / Epiphone Dot

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