Many years ago when I was still actively playing guitar, I had the chance to own a Gibson ES-335 semi-hollow electric guitar. It was one of the sweetest sounding guitar I’ve ever owned but during that time it didn’t quite fit into the type of music I was playing and it was also during that time that I started tapering off playing the guitar so I eventually sold it, along with most of my guitars and my beloved Fender Twin Reverb amp. Looking back, I really regretted selling some of those guitars (& amp) I owned because right now, I have no way of affording them anymore. For more than 10 years, I stopped playing completely, the only time I took up the guitar was at home to strum a few chords then put it back down again.
This year, the Lord blessed me with the opportunity to be part of one of the worship team at church. It was an opportunity for me to shake off the cobwebs and play again. It was a big adjustment because I was already so rusty from being out of it for so long. So my trusty Fender American Deluxe Strat and old Taylor 710CE got back into the rotation again as I slowly got back to the groove of but what really kicked my desire to play into overdrive was when I was mentoring the Youth Worship Team A for their praise and worship evening. Man! Seeing the enthusiasm and energy from these young, talented group re-awakened my passion for music and guitar playing. One of them happened to be playing an ESP LTD Eclipse guitar and the humbuckers that came with it sounded really good. I really missed that thick, fat humbucking sound but I didn’t want another solid body guitar so I had in mind a semi-hollow guitar. I knew I couldn’t possibly afford a Gibson ES-335 again so I did some research regarding the Epiphone and found that Epiphone had set up its factory in China to produce these ES335 clones. Since Epiphone is fully owned by Gibson, these guitars were, for all intents and purposes, a direct clone of the ES-335, albeit with less premium wood and hardware.
A Gibson ES-335 costs around US$2400 – US$2800 while an Epiphone Dot is around US$400. The Gibson ES-335 is without a doubt a much better guitar and worth the price it is commanding but I do not have US$2400 to spare and with my level of guitar playing, I am not worthy to own a US$2400 guitar. And based on all the reviews I read on the net and watched on Youtube, the Dot may be US$2000 cheaper in price but it is certainly not US$2000 inferior in sound. So I did a search online and bided my time until t I chanced upon a slightly used Epiphone Dot selling for a price I can live with. After a few days wait, I decided to go for it and when I finally got it, I tested it with immediately. Not only was it visually beautiful, it sounded really good. The thick fat neck was perfect for chords and rhythm playing. I did find the neck pickups to be a tad too hot/modern sounding and a bit muddy and it came with really slinky strings which I wasn’t used to. So I sent it to my trusted luthier, Arie Hipolito of the famed Guitar Hospital, for a complete setup. I also brought along my set of Seymour Duncan Antiquity pickups, which I kept all these years, for Arie to do a pickup swap. The guitar came back to me after one day and Oh Man! It sounded completely vintage and played like a dream. I am now discovering how versatile this guitar is. This warm sounding guitar is perfect for a old guitar player like me with mellowed down taste. 😀
I had a chance to use it last Sunday during worship service and I really love how it sounded. This guitar will probably see a lot of action for me when I play with the worship team. I am really happy that I was able to find a real good deal on this and so happy to have this really awesome for value guitar. Here is hoping for more opportunities to praise and worship the Lord with this blessing. 🙂