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Epiphone Riviera p93 a real dud ... pics inside.


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Here is the Epiphone Riviera Limited Edition P93 I received from M123. I groused about the condition and workmanship in another post. Here are some pics.

 

As you can see, the finish is pretty blotchy and the masking around the bindings is very uneven. The transparent cherry finish overlaps the binding and shows up as a lipstick red line around the entire guitar.

 

The plastic covers on the pickups look like some recycled parts from the junk drawer. Also, check out the bridge pickup ... isn't the bridge pickup installed backwards?? The pickup is tilted backwards instead of parallel to the strings.

 

Check out the the routing of the pickguard. The cutouts for the pickups look like they were cut with a bandsaw rather than routed. The lower edge of the pickguard extends past the bridge pickup leaving a little tab hanging out there that looks like pickup spacing was an afterthought.

 

Overall, this is really one crappy guitar. What you see is right out of a factory-sealed box, brand-new, not a blem or a return. Really bad quality. I already called for an RMA to send it back.

 

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It looks like a toy guitar--and not a very good one at that. I'm really surprised, because the Chinese Epi stuff I've seen lately is pretty decent.
:eek:

 

They are good. You got a lemon man. I almost bought one too, but I hated the angled pickups. I was at the register, cash in hand, about to buy it when I noticed it. Good guitar. :wave:

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They are good. You got a lemon man. I almost bought one too, but I hated the
angled pickups.
I was at the register, cash in hand, about to buy it when I noticed it. Good guitar.
:wave:

 

So, are they all angled like that? You'd think someone would notice that they are backwards--or are they?

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They are good. You got a lemon man. I almost bought one too, but I hated the angled pickups. I was at the register, cash in hand, about to buy it when I noticed it. Good guitar.
:wave:

 

I'm just calling a spade a spade and a turd a turd. I've never received a guitar with so many issues like this one. I've owned 6 Epiphones all bought sight unseen including this one. The LP's were all flawless, the semi-hollows were hit and miss.

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  • 11 years later...
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I know that this is an old topic, but without I would have my say none the less. I have recently received an Epiphone p93. This is my second Epi semi hollow the first, a 355 custom pro. An outstanding guitar for the money and I had no issues with it except for a full setup. The p93 on the other hand, issues, all of the above, plus very poor fret work, the most awful tuners in ever seen, if these are Wilkinson, then I'm a monkey, second rate Chinese copies. The electrics are dodgy as well, increasing the volume inducing a high pitch tweeting, just like roosting sparrows. The space between the 1st pickup and the neck heal is bright pink and unfinished, as is the gaps between the other pickups. I'm not a fan of Bigsby and planned to fit a frequensator, removing it revealed a crack in the top. I think you get the picture. These are not particularly cheap instruments. Let's hope the replacement is of better quality. I have several Squires amongst my collection, and have played many of them. Not one had any significant flaws, straight out of the box, and away you go. I suppose I should look on the bright side, the p93 does have a Tusq nut!.

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Posted (edited)

At one point Musicians Friend was clearing these out at $299 as a SDOTD and for good reason. They didn't sell because they were awful guitars. The OP was me from way back. I still remember pulling it out of the box and shaking my head. I strummed it in all three pickup positions and all three sounded the same and the overall workmanship and finishing were horrendous. I called a buddy over who suggested I buy one after seeing the MF SDOTD on them. He did the same and said "I am really sorry man, this is really a crappy guitar." I tried dialing out the middle pickup as they are always on as-wired but have a separate volume control. No better.

Of course I sent it back and wound up with a really nice Epiphone Casino that was like night and day compared to the P93. I have played other P93's too and the take-away is always the same. They are muddy and dark sounding with almost no discernible difference between the pickup combinations. Also, all had similar QA issues with the finishing. It is almost like they were built in a different, low-budget factory than the other Epiphones. To this day I still laugh about the backwards bridge pickup and the pickguard that looked like a middle school shop project.

No offense to you happy P93 owners, but you owe it to yourself to try a Casino (not the Coupe) to really experience a well-made budget P90 hollow guitar (yeah, I know the P93 is a semi). I liked the MIC Casino so much I traded up to an "Inspired by John Lennon" model which takes the Casino to the next level and is near Gibson-like in quality.

 

Edited by 6down1togo
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The only Epiphone guitar I like is the Wild Kat. It's kind of unique in a few ways. 

Pretty much cheap as far as guitars go. I've tried them more than a few times and walked away. You'll want to gut the thing and put in some real dogeared P90's, maybe get rid of that licenced bigsby and put on a real one. They have kind of a fat neck, and the don't come with a case, so add that into the mix.

The other Epiphone that's really worth looking at is the Elitist 65 Casino. It needs nothing and comes with very nice case. They have a John Lennon Inspired 65 too. 

 

You be looking about 2 grand or so. The ES 330 is really nice too.

 

I have a ES 330 dot, which is amazing. It's has a light flamed top. I'm more of a 57 Hummbucker fan than I I am of the P90's. It was my favorite electric Gibson, until I purchased a ES275, which wasn't cheap.  At the time I was looking for a decent jazz box guitar, and the ES 275 came out. I also considered a Gibson L4 CES. 

 

Also in my arsenal of stuff is a couple of Gretsch guitars, a Tenny Rose and a Power Jet. Both were very nice out of the box. They are different animals than the Epiphones for sure, but worth looking into.

 

I have some electric guitar work to do at a recording session later today and will be using the Tenny Rose, through a small Gibson tube amp. 

 

 

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I had a similar reaction to the Epiphone Wildcat. I ordered a natural top when MF blew them out at $299. While that one was well-finished, it was a lousy sounding guitar. No matter how I EQ'd it, it just sounded off. It was not as murky-sounding as the P93 and just has an over-emphasized mid-range that was very annoying. I like guitars that can be jangly on the bridge and well-rounded without being basso-profundo on the neck pickup. The WildKat did not deliver.

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2 hours ago, daddymack said:

What were you expecting for $299?

At that price, with that sound, a pickup swap would likely have been the logical thing to do...

 

Agreed.

The pots and caps and some new wire too.

299, plus 2 dog ears, maybe another 299, 50 bucks for a good switchcraft out put jack and pup up switch. A couple of nice caps.

You still want a case for it. 

$800 maybe total, which is cheap for a guitar, with some great tones.

Might need some fret touching up, but that's nothing.

 

 

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Can be done for less than that...SD, Lindy and Lollar P90s can be got for about 200-225 a pair, CTS pots another $6 each=$24, I'd put a better switch in, too, about $20 [switchcraft or Stewmac Golden Age], and a new orange drop cap $2, so under $300 in upgrades and voila, a good semi hollowbody rockabilly beast.

I would also add a roller bridge[$50-65, the Stew Mac Golden Age is okay, and only ~$35] and a tuning stabilizer [$65], and a Tusq nut [$17]...adding those, rather than change out the licensed Bigsby, which is fine on that guitar with those changes made, so I'd leave it...and this would give you a GREAT guitar.

If you are not handy, then you need to add the cost of a guitar tech to do these, but if you can solder and use hand tools, and know the tricks about wiring hollowbody guitars [the Kat is almost a true hollowbody, there is a block only under the bridge] these are all simple mods. I do nearly all my own work, but I hate refretting😜

The Epi case is $120; you might find one used for less, but I have not seen a 'generic' that fits correctly.

I have a 2001 AlleyKat [MiK by Samick], which was my #1 guitar for almost a decade; I play it more than my ES135, it just feels better to me, and sounds very close, but with it's own je ne sais quoi. Even my old associate from Cerwin Vega, Dan Armstrong, was impressed with the sound and playability of my Alley Kat [he stopped by a band rehearsal one night, turned out he also knew our bassist].

I can't attest to the quality of the newer 'Kats', but a few minor tweaks was all it needed, and I have it out on a stand behind me as I type. I put a roller bridge on it [even without a Bigsby, because I had one just lying around], did a minor fix on the switch, and replaced the nut. Solid axe!

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Posted (edited)

I also have an ES 135 in black withe the Classic 57's in it.

I was looking about 10 years ago for a Gibson ES 125. A lot of em are pretty beat up and need work, so I wouldn't just buy online.

I got a Godin 5th Ave Kingpin, like this, same color. I have it strung up with flat wound Chromes. No case came with them and I have a TKL case for it.

ieb1ldnzohntcj5q49bu.jpg

 

Later I like the Kingpin single pup one so much, I bought a Kingpin with 2 pups and a cutaway in burgandy.

That came with Godins TRIC case. It's a good light case and is handy if you have to walk you gear in to a festival.

gj033560-xl-02.jpg

 

My personal fav is the Tenneesee Rose Gretsch, which are MIJ, and pretty flawless.

The Gibson ES 257 is a gem. It wasn't cheap and I was looking for a jazzbox around the time Phil reviewed the guitar.  It's does a lot.

So far, I think I lost value on that one, but I don't care. I don't buy instruments for show and tell collectors pieces. I was gonna  spring for a L4

I'm pretty gentle on gear. If I owned a 500k dollar original flame top Les Paul from like 59, I'd just play it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mikeo
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I guess I'm too far from Canada...I never see new Godins in any of the stores here.

You and I have discussed our 'matching' ebony ES135s before...:wave:

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I just listened to that clip of the Wildkat that guy poured all that money into. The tone he seems so proud of is still murky, muffled and midrange heavy. There is no clarity, no chime and no string to string definition, just spongey blues guitar tone through a dirt pedal. If that's your thing, the guitar is perfectly suited but it still sounds just like the one I had. To each his own. I'm also a Gretsch Tennessee Rose Fan. Mine is the 6119T-62HT with thinner body, painted Fholes and Hilotron pickups. That is a very fine guitar but I  good guitar is not always reflective of its price. I have 4 Ibanez guitars that I am just delighted with and play just as often as the Gretsches, Gibsons, Guilds and Fenders I own.

I really like that single pickup Kingpin posted above. That is a really nice guitar that I'll bet sings like a choir of angels rather than muttering under its breath like the Wildkat lol.

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9 hours ago, 6down1togo said:

I just listened to that clip of the Wildkat that guy poured all that money into. The tone he seems so proud of is still murky, muffled and midrange heavy. There is no clarity, no chime and no string to string definition, just spongey blues guitar tone through a dirt pedal. If that's your thing, the guitar is perfectly suited but it still sounds just like the one I had. To each his own. I'm also a Gretsch Tennessee Rose Fan. Mine is the 6119T-62HT with thinner body, painted Fholes and Hilotron pickups. That is a very fine guitar but I  good guitar is not always reflective of its price. I have 4 Ibanez guitars that I am just delighted with and play just as often as the Gretsches, Gibsons, Guilds and Fenders I own.

I really like that single pickup Kingpin posted above. That is a really nice guitar that I'll bet sings like a choir of angels rather than muttering under its breath like the Wildkat lol.

Nice

 

You should have the 3 way tone selector on that too. I like that set up.

However I not a fan of the zero fret

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12 hours ago, daddymack said:

I guess I'm too far from Canada...I never see new Godins in any of the stores here.

You and I have discussed our 'matching' ebony ES135s before...:wave:

I believe there are deals all over the USA. Probably in your are too. The Godin company is in Canada, I guess they have some plants in the USA in places like New Hampshire. Seagull is there big acoustic thing. I have heard a few Seagulls, and never have been that impressed. Seagull and Godin are not real popular here either. The work with a lot of mahogany tops. The 5th Ave has a cherry top.

Godin Multiacs are kind of interesting instruments.

Ya know for the coin, I guess they are decent.

 

https://godinguitars.com/dealers

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