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  #1  
Old 01-24-2021, 05:30 PM
Greg1075 Greg1075 is offline
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Default Epiphone ES-335 inspired by Gibson... and Tokais

Has anyone bought or tried one out ?

I am looking for a quality ES-335 copy and am wondering what people have to say about them. I have done quite a bit of research and know about other offerings (Yamaha, Heritage, Ibanez...) but for various reasons including cost (and pure aesthetics, letís not kid ourselves), the ones that interest me the most are the Epiphones.

That said, I had totally forgotten about Tokais (I briefly owned a Love Rock in the early 2000s). Tokais look great and the company has cleaned up the quality control issues it seems they had a few years back (from what I read). However, their prices seem to have skyrocketed as well. They used to be known for being great guitars at a fraction of the price of the originals (Strats, Les Pauls, etc.), but they know seem to cost just as much if not more. MIJ ES-335 copies seem to cost $2500-$3500. Is that due to inflation? Better quality components? Something else?

One last question. I read in a couple of places that made in China Tokais were on par with pre Inspired by Gibson Epiphones quality wise (That would seem NUTS since the Tokai ES-78 still retails for ~$1200, but letís roll with it). Now that Epiphone has seemingly stepped up their game, would you say their IBG line is better than MIC Tokais?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-24-2021, 09:13 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg1075 View Post
...I am looking for a quality ES-335 copy...
If you're OK with a 1-3/4" neck (I'm not) check out the Eastman offerings - about as good as it gets quality-wise in this price range, and the T186 is made from all-solid carved woods...
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Old 01-24-2021, 09:25 PM
Tyeetime Tyeetime is offline
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I bought an Epiphone Dot Cherry last year and I really like it.
I've owned a Gibson Les Paul for 35 years which I love, so I was a bit sceptical I would be satisfied with the feel, sound, and quality but I have to say I am impressed.
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Old 01-24-2021, 09:43 PM
DukeX DukeX is offline
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I also have an Epi Dot as well. The pickups were fine, but I put some SD Antiquities in it anyway and couldn't be happier.
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Old 01-24-2021, 09:48 PM
Tyeetime Tyeetime is offline
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I also have an Epi Dot as well. The pickups were fine, but I put some SD Antiquities in it anyway and couldn't be happier.
How would you describe the SD pickups compared to the stock ones?
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:31 PM
Seanr Seanr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
If you're OK with a 1-3/4" neck (I'm not) check out the Eastman offerings - about as good as it gets quality-wise in this price range, and the T186 is made from all-solid carved woods...
November I bought the t486b (b for Bigsby) and am still stoked. Beautiful playing and sounding guitar. I see they are around $1230 at LA Guitar Sales (no affiliation). Stunning quality. Just be aware that the Bigsby version has Phat Cats and non bigsby has a SD Jazz in the neck and SD 59 in the bridge.
Look for my previous post from 12-12-2020 if you are interested in more photos.
Good luck in the search.
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Old 01-29-2021, 05:55 PM
Greg1075 Greg1075 is offline
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Played the Eastman once. It's nice. Just can't get past the old-epi paddlish headstock, though. If they used the same form factor they have on their solid body line, I'd be interested.
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Old 01-29-2021, 06:38 PM
29er 29er is offline
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Hey, Greg, I sent you a pm. I have one of these and it's a great guitar, a big improvement over prior Epiphone 335 models. However, I am more in love with fully hollow body electrics and have decided that I will put this beautiful guitar up for sale soon.

The fit & finish on these is superb, the pickups sound smooth and creamy, not overwound. Quality tuners and well cut nut slots. So many lower cost imported guitar suffer from poorly cut nuts and crappy tuners, not this one. There are no tuning issues at all. Gibson/Epiphone have come through on this model. I got the Raspberry Tea burst finish and it's a looker!
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Old 01-29-2021, 08:08 PM
Seanr Seanr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg1075 View Post
Played the Eastman once. It's nice. Just can't get past the old-epi paddlish headstock, though. If they used the same form factor they have on their solid body line, I'd be interested.
They recently slimmed down their headstocks on these and I think the new ones look a lot better. The pics on the Eastman website still show the old headstocks but check out the new t484 that has only come out with the new headstock shape. I was relieved that mine has the new slimmer headstock.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2021, 09:59 PM
Greg1075 Greg1075 is offline
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Thanks for pointing that out. They look much nicer. Iíll look into them!
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2021, 06:12 PM
DukeX DukeX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyeetime View Post
How would you describe the SD pickups compared to the stock ones?
Been a long time since I've heard the stock Epi Classics, but they weren't bad.

I combined the Antiquities with a high quality vintage wiring kit, and IMO the $300 this electronics swap cost me at the time is some of the best money I've ever spent on a guitar.

The Antiquities have a warm, mellow, harmonically rich sound with a sweet, airy top end...until you push them. Then they can scream (in a creamy, musical way). Duncan describes their sound as taking "you right to the edge of harmonic breakup." My understanding is that this is partially due to the Antiquities, unlike most HBs, not being wax potted. That sounds right to me.


The Classics use A-5 mags; the Antiquities use A-2 mags.

Antiquities are unpotted.

The Classics are 8.5k neck and 13.85 bridge; the Antiquities are 7.09k and 8.52k respectfully.

I think SD has some some sound samples on his website.
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