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Gutch 01-07-2017 11:35 PM

NGD - Epi Sheraton II Pro
I got an acoustic guitar several months ago in a trade that was simply not tripping my trigger, so I decided a couple weeks ago that it was time for a replacement. My acoustic arsenal is fully stocked, so the search focused on electrics.

I'm good on the usual suspects -- Strat, Tele, Les Paul, Jazz Box, hybrid -- All here. One thing missing was a 335. Granted, I have a Hamer Newport (double cutaway semi-hollowbody with humbuckers), but that is an animal unto itself (in a good way). Okay, target acquired.

Headed to GC with trade bait in hand. They appraised the trade on the low end of my acceptable range, but after eBay fees, PayPal fees and shipping costs if I sold it myself, it was an easy decision. Gave my sales guy the go ahead to write up the paperwork and started playing the variety of different options -- Gibson (For reference point), Epiphone, and Gretsch.

When the smoke cleared, the Epiphone Sheraton II Pro was the clear winner.

All guitars in this category have laminated Maple bodies. The difference really comes in the neck material/shape, hardware and electronics. Of course, tone is a key factor as well. The Epi Sheraton sports a 5 piece Maple/Mahogany neck with a very comfortable carve and Grover 18:1 tuners. The pickups are their new ProBuckers - Epi's take on the Gibson BurstBuckers. I have to tell you -- They sound FANTASTIC! Gone are the days of muddy, toneless pickups from Epi. These are incredibly balanced and rich with ample clarity. Lots of definition -- Very surprising and good change from the offerings of even just a few years ago.

Also surprising was the smooth taper of both the volume and tone pots. Again, no mud. The volume pots for both pickups are push/pull to provide the option of pickup splitting. This gives even more tone versatility. At the end of the day, this Epi had, to my ears, everything the Gibby 335 had in the tone department and even a little more. Warm and clear when dialed back, and a nice crunch with the gain turned up. Very dynamic. I likey!

Granted, the Epi sports a Urethane finish rather than the nitro on a Gibby, but it is a fraction of the thickness of the plastic goop that once covered Asian imports of years gone by. The body is very resonant when played acoustically. For the cost savings, I'll "sacrifice" a bit in the type of finish used.

I ended up going with a wine red finish and spent the extra $100 on the Epi hardshell case (not as good as a Gibson case, but the guitar fits well and it will do the job for everything I'll ask from it). Even with the case & guitar, after the trade I got to put a couple spare Benji's back in my wallet -- Major win!

Now, to be fair, once I got it home I had to do a few tweaks to make her road ready -- The lock nuts on the pots needed tightening as did the tuner set screws and nuts. It also needed a few tweaks to the intonation and bridge height to bring it into optimal playing condition. The nut was cut well, so no changes there. The frets were pretty well polished. A fresh set of strings and it was ready to go!

I have to tell you, I am incredibly impressed with the value this guitar brings to the player. I highly recommend taking a look at the Sheraton II Pro -- You won't be sorry!

Here's a link to pics --

KevWind 01-08-2017 08:57 AM

Hey nice looking guitar what amp/s are you playing it through ?

gfsark 01-08-2017 09:28 AM

Yes, nice looking. But what color would you say it is? Pictures seem to go from deep burgundy/brown to red.

Gutch 01-08-2017 10:01 AM


Originally Posted by KevWind (Post 5185529)
Hey nice looking guitar what amp/s are you playing it through ?

For most live gigs, it's a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III. When recording and/or going to PA or FOH, it's a Boss GT-100.

Gutch 01-08-2017 10:05 AM


Originally Posted by gfsark (Post 5185567)
Yes, nice looking. But what color would you say it is? Pictures seem to go from deep burgundy/brown to red.

The color is called "Wine Red". Very deep and dark Burgundy. Any brown is caused by the lousy iPhone pics. Looked at the black version, but I liked the way the wood grain subtly peeks through the finish on this one. To be honest, I would've preferred Nickel/Chrome hardware, but the gold works with this finish.

Dru Edwards 01-08-2017 01:35 PM

Congrats Gutch!! I like the wine red with the gold hardware (I have a Gibson Les Paul Studio like that).

Here's a couple of your pics:

Darwin 01-08-2017 03:57 PM

Very nice looking rig. -- Darwin

RussL30 01-08-2017 07:25 PM

Nice choice! I love my Sheraton. They're great guitars. That wine red looks sharp.

Gutch 01-08-2017 10:14 PM

Thanks for the kind words, folks. The more I play this, the more I am impressed with it. The coil split options (they call it 'coil tap' on the website, but the tone it creates definitely sounds like they are splitting the coils) really adds a whole different dimension. this is mainly because I can split one pickup while keeping the other a full humbucker. I have coil splitting on a couple others in the herd, but they impact both pickups at the same time.

I also continue to be impressed by the overall tone and playability of this guitar -- I am certainly no rookie to world of electrics, and this one is just plain good! I think part of the surprise is in knowing just how lousy Epiphone guitars have been over the past 4 decades. Something happened in the last couple years that changed the game at Epi -- They are making some darned fine instruments for the money these days!

ghostnote 01-12-2017 11:39 AM

Very nice. I've had a Sheraton for a while now, and I really like it. Enjoy yours.

moon 01-14-2017 06:59 PM

I think the 335 style must have a claim to be the most beautiful guitar design of all time.

I do like dual humbuckers with some switching options (check out Jimmy Page wiring if you want to add some more) and Epiphone definitely upped their game when they brought in the Probuckers.

Happy NGD :)

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