Is My Epi Sheraton worth fixing up?

squeally dan

Bought a used Sheraton last year and I have gigged it a few times in my wedding band instead of my teles. I like the way it plays and it didn't sound terrible. I'm wondering if a pickup change would make much diffference. I can't do it myself, and it sounds like it my cost me a bit more to change out pickups in a hollow body. Also, would it be difficult set it up for some coil tapping? Also, what tuners might keep it in tune a bit better (not too bad now).


Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck
Gold Supporting Member
The thing about that guitar and a Gibson 335 is all those changes you want to make have to be fished through the hole where the pickups go or the F hole - so yes, the tech will charge extra for that taking more time. You'll get differing opinions here of course - the reality is if you've got a $400 guitar now, you'll get real close to that, if not a little more depending on the cost of what you buy to go in it, then you'll have an 800 to 1,000. guitar, that once was 400 to start with - If you love the neck, and enjoy playing it, it will benefit from the upgrades and sound better, you'd also be hard pressed to find a Gibson 335 (maybe a Yamaha, Washburn, Agile, Eastman semi-hollow, but they will not have locking tuners and upgraded pickups unless you buy used & modded) for that $1,000. A Gibson 57 classic in the neck and a 57 Classic Plus in the bridge is what I put in my '91 Epi Sheraton way back then, when I first got it - they are still in there and I still enjoy the way the guitar plays and sounds (really great open-tuned slide tone). If you want to tap the coils you'll need a four conductor wired set of humbuckers, those Gibby 57 classics will do that - for reasonable money, Duncan makes some good sounding, lower output Trad. PAF voiced pickups that will do that too - you'll also need a push-pull pot in the vol/tone pot mix now to affect the coil tap (up-grade and change 'em all if your going for the push/pull) - a good tech can sort all that for you and get it wired how you'd like it. I also put a set of Sperzel locking tuners on mine to make string changes easier. Since it's not a vintage piece by any means, the little extra holes were not an issue for me and I have never detected any neck-dive with the extra mass of the Sperzels, they just work great - in all, those mods will make your Sheraton a great workhorse guitar that will serve you well for years and sound great, for less than trying to flip that one and buy another that comes with the upgrades you are going to install. The cleanest way to flip that one and buy a new one close to what your looking for is to consider a semi-hollow Reverend set-neck Manta Ray. That will come w/locking tuners and be new for around a grand - true semi-hollow tone in a ground-up, go-to-work, sounds great, semi-hollow guitar. (no affiliation w/Reverand, just a local company that designs great sounding, great value guitars, worth a look/listen)


Chairman of the Bored
Platinum Supporting Member
Upgrade if it's a keeper. If you put $4-500 in it to sell down the road, it won't translate in the sale.

Do it for your needs only. Then, it's absolutely worth it. :)
no..sherratons are crap...send it to me and I will give it a decent burial...;)

I think they are absolutely worth an upgrade...they are great guitars...

I have 2 dots I want to upgrade and I will attempt ONE myself, see how it goes...

I will order a pre-wired harness ( so all I have to do is solder the pups)...and Ive watched a zillion videos on youtube for working on a semi-hollowbody through the f holes,,,use tape, fishing line, take your patient...and I think it can be done

its ALL a matter of patience...if I get frustrated, put it down, pick up the OTHER dot and play for an hour :)


Absolutely, IF it's something you are sure you will keep. My friend has an 80s Sheraton with new pups in it that sounds delicious.


Senior Member
Only worth the upgrades if you plan to keep it longterm... otherwise you're going down a road of disappointment in the end where you'll have $800-$1000 into it with a $600-$650 resale value with case.

I have a Gibson ES333 and have $1300 into it and I feel I could get at least $1200 if I wanted to sell it today. Just a thought in the direction of looking elsewhere.

Otherwise, I have tried Gibson Classic 57 and 57 plus, and 490, 496, 498, 500, GFS Professional Alnico II, Seymour Duncan Antiquity, Seymour Duncan Seth Lover, Dimarzio 36th Anniversary.

My favorites were the SD Antiquity for the round sound, SD Seth Lovers for the added focus to what the antiquities did and the Dimarzio's be cause they were bright like my tele. Check to see if you can tap any of those.

mad dog

Silver Supporting Member
Some good points here on resale. You won't get your money back if you later sell it. But that's just one consideration. IMO, the answer is yes, pickup upgrades especially are well worth it. The older MIK Epi Sheratons can be excellent. If it feels right, feels comfortable, why not play around some? I just upgraded an equivalent, equally worthy 335 type. Samick SAT650 from 1990. Picked up a used set of tuners here. Bought a tonepros bridge. Pickups were already great, but I put a HB sized P90 in the neck. The tech (very good man, excellent pricing too) did the mods while I waited. Think it cost 30 or 40 bucks.

I did that for me, not for the next guy. Made an already fine guitar much better. Well worth the expense. If I ever decide to sell, the p/u comes out, other stuff stays.



If you do a search you'll find lots of Sheraton upgrade threads.
Consensus in every one I've seen is that mod'ing makes a huge improvement to Sheri's and is worth every cent.
Mine's a good example - I've spent about $450 on it now with
Gibson 57 Classic PUPs
Graphite nut
all new Gibson Electrics
Sperzel locking tuners
Stetsbar trem system

the last 2 of these cost $200 and we not really needed - just optional extras I decided to get cause after the tone improvements this guitar is a keeper.
The 1st 3 on my list only cost about $200 and transformed this guitar from a good sounding hollow body to a great one that sounds very very similar to a real Es-335.

I had the PUP & electrics works done by a guitar tech for $50



...Yes, Definitely worth the upgrades, especially if you like the feel....I've read some of the responses saying, that in the end you will wind up with a 'git that you will/can have up to $1000. into it and will only be worth $600.-$650. w/case, Yes, as of now...this is true, But, as little as 2 yrs. ago, that number was closer to $300.-$350. for the MIK's, and the way they are being appreciated by "players" now...I'm sure the older ones are going to head north in price...not south,......or, I guess you could go pay $2000+ for a (as I refer it to) a Henry 'era' 335, pay the same price on/for the same mods/upgrades. It's a shame what 2 separate "era's" of owners has done to one of the finest Instrument lines ever made, and I've had to live to see both of them...But, that is another subject altogether now isn't it.......


Pickups and pots aren't a huge amount of money, and you can take the pickups out if you sell. The tuning issue is as likely to do with the nut as the tuners, and it may just need to be cut right.


...Yes, Definitely worth the upgrades, especially if you like the feel....I've read some of the responses saying, that in the end you will wind up with a 'git that you will/can have up to $1000. into it and will only be worth $600.-$650. w/case, Yes, as of now...this is true, ......

hehehe well it's not true actually :huh
I just gave the sums - to transform the tone of a Sheri all you need to do is upgrade PUPs, electrics & a nut.
That costs $200-$250. Do that and you turn a $450 guitar into one that sounds like a $2000 one. ES-335's are $3000.
If you're gonna keep it who cares about the re-sale value

My Sheri did not need new tuners or a trem system - they were just optional extras


Hey there Waxhead,....No probem, But, I understood....I to have done the "little" things ( that sometimes turns into BIG things LOL), to make a 'git MINE, On my Sherry, I'm going to do nothing, MAYBE change the Harness,switch and the jack....Believe me it is that good a guitar !!!, It has already has had a "dog fight" with a New/newly drop shipped (uhum) bigger brother, that has left his brother's owner shipping him back (LOL) to get his $2600. (I guess his going to let them keep the coupon) back, It was a 3 way deal, with my Sheraton, my old Bassist and his Ibanez Artist 200 (MIJ and also blond/natural in color like yours and mine) and his red 335, ....I just didn't have the heart to bring out my red '93 Washburn HB35s out to join in, I did/do appreciate what my friend said "He believes his Christmas present was better, But, not $2000. better", when asked about the Ibanez....He really didn't reply...

P.S. Note, I was able to play my Epi. before I bought it, My friend had bought it, he flat is NOT comfortable with electric guitars, asked me what I thought of it....I picked it up and fell in love, I had owned another one some time ago....But, this one is just "special"....I just cannot spend high $$$$ on a 'git without playing it, NO MATTER WHAT it sez on the Headstock
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