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Old 11-28-2020, 01:37 PM
negriljerry negriljerry is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 31
Default Review: Epiphone Dobro Hound Dog Roundneck

TL;DR - Inexpensive, authentic sound, awful play-ability as stock. A whole new instrument after a few crucial mods.

The first thing I noticed, after appreciating the true Dobro-osity of the sound, is the weird 2-piece bridge that is properly high for slide on the bass end but slopes down on the treble side to the point where I simply couldn't play any slide on the E string without crapping out on the frets. (Note: slide of choice is an 11/16" deep socket, been using it for 50 years - thanks, Lowell.) Hmmm...sure looks extremely familiar. Why that's the EXACT same bridge assembly that the Washburn res I bought and returned had. In this case, since the price was so good and hey, it's got the Dobro decal!, I decided to go ahead and try a fix while in the process of installing a K&K res pickup in the biscuit (which seems to be an ultra-cheep mostly plastic affair...who cares, sounds ok.) A little bit a very thin wood shim under the treble side and bingo, proper action across all strings.

However it was still hard to play up by the nut, VERY hard when compared to my converted old Alvarez open G. Primary cause: really badly cut nut, slightly inset from both treble and bass sides. Maybe a matter of a silly millimeter or two but really cramped, and my hands are relatively small. Solution was to measure and then order a 11/16 Tusq nut from GraphTech. Super easy replacement (scope it out on YT first pls) and big improvement BUT the Tusq was nowhere near as tall as the original plastic one. Initially I put another shim piece under it to get the same action but tried it out with only string tension holding in place since I was curious as to what it'd be like with lower action at the nut. Pulled the shim, tuned up again and WOW - what was almost a flip is now a sho nuff keeper! Action up at the top is approx standard acoustic but still high enough for slide with no issues... but now I can finally do the few basic fretting chords I like, especially when in G or D.

I keep it handy and play it a LOT more. Sure I may upgrade down the road but no real need now.
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Martin D1-CE 1996
Martin D-16GT 2007
Martin 000M 1998
Martin Backpacker (NOT "dustcatcher")
Larivee D-03R
Blueridge BR-160ce 2008
Epi Dobro Hounddog
Recording King Parlor A/E
Gold Tone F12 12-String Mandolin
'65 Gibson ES-335 burst
'61 Fender Strat refin walnut
Fender Custom 60's RW Jazz bass
90's Fender MIJ Precision Lyte Deluxe
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