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Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Lee Malia RD Custom Artisan

Keefoman

Active member
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
572
I'm totally aware this forum isn't exactly for Epi fanboys, but this is anyway quite a rare and special guitar, so I'm making this thread anyway.
Since I found out about the Gibson RD ages ago, I've been fascinated by the shape, so when Epiphone released these in 2017 (?), I was intrigued. Came across this second hand a week ago and I got a good deal.

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I didn't know who Lee Malia was when Epiphone released his Les Paul signature guitar with similar specs in 2014 or there about. I found out who he was, but I must admit, I still haven't heard much of his work, so that's not the reason I bought this guitar.

The pickups are Gibson P-94 in the neck, and a Gibson 84T-LM in the bridge position which I understand is a tweaked version of the 84T used in a Kramer EVH years ago. The bridge position has a split coil function, but the pots are rather cheap so I'm aiming to do something about that and swap the pots for CTS and better caps. Hopefully, it won't be too hard figuring out how the push/pull pot is connected.

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The guitar also has a dummy coil that actually works. Still a little hum in the single coil modes, but not nearly as bad as it would be without it, I suspect.

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The headstock has the shape Epiphone did use for years, and I don't particularly like it on Les Pauls and SGs, but on this one, it somehow works with the inlays, binding and shape of the guitar. The tuners are already swapped out for Wilkinsons due to one of the original tuners beeing faulty. Great tuners, but visually, I would have preferred the original gold tulips.

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The neck has a very comfortable rounded C profile reminiscent of the profile of an R9. Not the typical wide D shape of most other Epis. The fretboard is composite, but if I didn't know, I would have thought it was Rosewood or Indian Laurel or something like that. The inlays are beautiful and a good replication of the inlays of the Artisan models from the late 70's.

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The Epiphone bridge of course buzzes, so that will be replaced by a Faber one with time... :cool:

Sorry about taking up your time with a cheap guitar, but then again, you could just ignore it... šŸ˜…
 

jb_abides

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
4,196
Wow, very cool and thanks for the share.

Where was this one made?

You are right, my main beef with Epi-s are the D shape. That headstock is OK for this, and models like the Sheraton, that have more original heritage... I think they were wise to go to the open book on the Gibson copies.

I like how they've gone a different way here, I like this overall finish/HW scheme better than how RDs are usually kitted-out. Very distinctive with some grace. P-94 also works on it.

I think your upgrade path is spot on.

Congrats and enjoy in good health!
 

Keefoman

Active member
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
572
Wow, very cool and thanks for the share.

Where was this one made?

You are right, my main beef with Epi-s are the D shape. That headstock is OK for this, and models like the Sheraton, that have more original heritage... I think they were wise to go to the open book on the Gibson copies.

I like how they've gone a different way here, I like this overall finish/HW scheme better than how RDs are usually kitted-out. Very distinctive with some grace. P-94 also works on it.

I think your upgrade path is spot on.

Congrats and enjoy in good health!
Thank you kindly. According to the serial number, this was made in Indonesia.
 

Keefoman

Active member
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
572
Upgraded electronics, and the dummy-coil removed. Electronics made a siginificant difference, the removal of the dummy did not. Happy days.

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Keefoman

Active member
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
572
Final upgrade with a Faber E-sert kit and ABRM bridge. Bridgebuzz gone. I have brought this one to gigs where it's convenient to bring it as an extra in addition to the three guitars I always bring, and it sounds, feels and looks pretty good. It's definitely getting more gigs in the future.

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