Dave Wright Music

My favorite guitar is a dog! – or how I spent over 8 months making a crap guitar playable…

My favorite guitar is a dog!

Even though it’s a standard factory guitar, I think that they had some fun and made this one after a 2 drink minimum lunch, lol.

So I have an Epiphone Casino, it’s a 1997 Peerless plant build, which is supposed to be great, right? Well this one is a lemon! Unfortunately, I love the sound! (not really for ‘classic jazz’ sounds but for
modern, or just in general sounds)

There are a host of issues which are probably attributable to a not so upfront seller. Anyway, I didn’t know better and here I am.

When I got it, it would not intonate (Period). Maybe it would with 9’s or 10’s but not with 11’s, which is as high a gauge as a dare go on this thin, thin neck, I’m too scared to put 12’s on it…

I ordered a much wider, high quality Gotoh (Japan) bridge, which just about worked but still the G was off. I had to actually move (reset) the bridge! (yes, fill and re-drill the bridge stud screws, ugh!) However, now it does properly intonate. (with the strobe
tuner), win #1

The frets were/are worn to almost nothing, especially in the first position, looks like lots of open C, E and F chords were performed here… lol There was some buzzing, unless the action was ridiculously high, so I did a complete fret job (although I went a little lite as I don’t want to do a re-fret…) turned out well, win #2

the truss rod and neck are a little funky, the action will only go so low without buzzing even after the fret job. So, it’s higher than I’d like but still it is playable.

The neck is super, super slim and narrow, actually it’s slightly more narrow than 1-5/8″. I have a decent size meat paw, I feel like Jimi Hendrix or Tal Farlow playing this. (in case you don’t know, they both had huge hands… Tal was nicknamed ‘The Octopus’)

The electronics… please! I didn’t know wire that thin could actually carry a current! And the pots, no thanks. The switch had been replaced but with one of the low budget stew mac ones, which cut out while switching. I replaced all of the wiring. win #3

Only the back P90 was original, the front had been replaced with a black plastic cover Seymour Duncan of some sort, which sounded ok but not really like a p90 and it looked funny. So, I moved the back pickup to the front and bought another chrome cover cheap Epiphone p90 for the back. win #4 and where I believe the magic is, I believe it’s the original Peerless p90 chrome pickup which contains my magic sound! it’s at about 7.8K and sound full an musical to me. (ok, yes it hums, and yes in poorly wired places, a lot…)

I tried to rewire the new rear one to be RWRP with the front but can’t get the dang chrome cover off, even with much heat…

So, I bought a RWRP P90 set and although now that it’s quiet these pickups just do not have the magic sound, so I’m going to put the old ones back it.

The case is barely still held together, the guitar could slide out if really jarred.

The nut, omg! forget it, held together with spit and glue, I bought a new Tusq nut, which almost fit’s, lol, it’s a little wide but is working and sounds much, much better and helped the intonation as well. win #4

The tuners are not so great but actually do stay in tune, so I left them, also the trapeze and bridge are original and sound good, I did not like the replacement ones I tried more.

With all the work I have put into this, it is playable at this point and it is 100x better than when I bought it but frankly this is not a great guitar and a PITA but the sound just does it for me, nothing else I have even comes close.

So why did I do all this work? Honestly, I just wanted to just sell this guitar I thought it was so crappy! However, it cost me almost as much as a new one but I could never sell it as I bought it, in the shape it was in! Maybe the original seller knew how crappy it was an had no morals or maybe they were clueless, either way I know better and that’s not how I roll, so hence the work. However I’m glad I did all this work because now, I have found/created this gem! (of course I still go on the fence thinking what a crap fest it is when I play it, haha)

Before image: (1 chrome, 1 black)
Epiphone Casino 1997 Peerless Plant - dog, lemon

Good image: (2 chrome)

Current: (2 black)

Future: 2 Chrome and RWRP

Chrome Front Pickup (original pickup, the one that was in the back which I moved to the front – the one I really like)
Movie Haircut

Squeeze Play

Vanson Alnico 5 P90 (Front Pickup) super cheap – do not like
Far Away (forgive this, this is a rough sketch of a tune, just hear guitar sound, chords quality sounds ok, solo notes too thin and harsh – starts at 4:00 – the lite distortion is on purpose 😉

Wear It
New Day Boogie

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