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My Echopark Guitars Nightmare

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dB

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3,991
That's my tendency too, especially when the overall design is something I like to begin with. It amazes me that there are so many EP's about that have bad enough flaws that they jump right out at me on first viewing of a fairly small web image.
It’s especially amazing because EP guitars have a lot going on visually to begin with...rich material palette, funky shapes, eclectic pickup configurations, etc. There’s a lot of visual candy (or noise, depending on perspective), yet the visual flaws (or wabi sabi quirks, depending on perspective) still manage to be the star of the show.
 

scottcw

Low rent hobbyist
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Echopark Guitars welcomes you into their nightmare with all the nostalgic shapes and questionable back story ("I got Leo a cup of coffee one morning!") in the hopes that you will overlook the details.

Actually, it seem they don't care if you overlook the details or not. They literally DNGAF.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
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27,156
What surprises me are not so much the cosmetic details. I could live with a weird pick guard in the right guitar. Off center dots? Tuners a little crooked? Yeah, OK, for the right guitar that plays like a razor, sounds like an angel? Yeah, I could live with that. But cosmetic flaws, on a guitar that doesn't play well AND costs more than all but a very few guitars I own? How does that make sense? The trifecta of WTF...
 

2tone

Gold Supporting Member
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557
What surprises me are not so much the cosmetic details. I could live with a weird pick guard in the right guitar. Off center dots? Tuners a little crooked? Yeah, OK, for the right guitar that plays like a razor, sounds like an angel? Yeah, I could live with that. But cosmetic flaws, on a guitar that doesn't play well AND costs more than all but a very few guitars I own? How does that make sense? The trifecta of WTF...
exactly. It's the neck, playability, feel and sound. I can overlook a dot out of line, or the funky pickguard and control covers, but for those lucky enough to get a "good one", they are extremely playable, sound great and the woods are top notch. Arcane pickups are very good, and fret jobs etc, make for a fine guitar, in spite of the cosmetic errors..I have no explanation, other than someone did a great job on the neck, fretboard, bridge etc, and then you see the ones made by a total novice..It's like different people were involved...I think a lot of the early ones are great playing instruments, regardless of the cosmetic defects..
 

Crshngdstryr

Member
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240
The luthier that fixed up/repaired the two Echopark builds that I have/had said it looked like three different people with three different sets of standards built the guitars. It was the strangest thing he had seen.
The tech who worked on my Echopark told me he was in shock when he looked under the pickguard. He said the wiring was some of the worst he’s ever seen, and that most Squiers he’s worked on are wired better. He also said that the way the bridge was installed made it impossible to intonate. He asked me what I paid for it, and when I told him, his response was “ARE YOU FVCKING KIDDING ME??!!” He said he genuinely expected me to say $500 or $600 bucks.
 

Ferg Deluxe

Double Platinum Member
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2,077
He said he genuinely expected me to say $500 or $600 bucks.
And I’m not even sure that’s a fair estimation! I’ve owned many, many guitars costing $500 and less, and never had any kind of issue like you and others have seen with those EP nightmares.

I bought an $80 “Tele” off Amazon, mostly out of pure curiosity. I had no problem intonating it, or making it playable. Mind you, it did *not* play great, but it wasn’t horrid. Fret markers were straight and all. :D
 

cholula69

Gold Supporting Member
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992
The tech who worked on my Echopark told me he was in shock when he looked under the pickguard. He said the wiring was some of the worst he’s ever seen, and that most Squiers he’s worked on are wired better. He also said that the way the bridge was installed made it impossible to intonate. He asked me what I paid for it, and when I told him, his response was “ARE YOU FVCKING KIDDING ME??!!” He said he genuinely expected me to say $500 or $600 bucks.
Same thing. You can imagine the look on his face when I told him it was an 8k dollar guitar and he pulls the control cavity cover off and sees the messed up wiring and sawdust pouring out of the F-hole and in the control cavity.

For reference:



...and let's not forget these gems:


From the Five and Dime hardware store:
 

2020jan08

Silver Supporting Member
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4,399
OK, I'm a tinkerer at best. I've swapped pickups and pots on three or four guitars over the last ten years, but that's about it. This is a pickguard I put together recently for my lowly Harley Benton (which is a killer guitar, by the way). Last time I soldered was two and a half years ago. I'd expect a boutique builder who makes guitars full time (charging you up the wazoo) to produce a wiring that surpasses what I'm able to. I just can't wrap my head around it.

 

Deven Patel

Member
Messages
441
exactly. It's the neck, playability, feel and sound. I can overlook a dot out of line, or the funky pickguard and control covers, but for those lucky enough to get a "good one", they are extremely playable, sound great and the woods are top notch. Arcane pickups are very good, and fret jobs etc, make for a fine guitar, in spite of the cosmetic errors..I have no explanation, other than someone did a great job on the neck, fretboard, bridge etc, and then you see the ones made by a total novice..It's like different people were involved...I think a lot of the early ones are great playing instruments, regardless of the cosmetic defects..
i maybe able to provide some insight, what year was your guitar made as well as model also what is the neck carve/shape. is the shape like a soft v then turns into a chunky c around the 12 fret and a 10 to 12 radius.

there have been different people with experience and skills involved in building the guitars. the novice work is done by gabbe since he likes to come in to spike the football of poor assembly. as mentioned in other posts jim is currently doing most of the building and hands off to the novice assembler. as mangus02 posted its all about caring to do a good however in this case its about getting it out the door months or years late "the hell with it, i already got paid attitude".
 

cholula69

Gold Supporting Member
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992
OK, I'm a tinkerer at best. I've swapped pickups and pots on three or four guitars over the last ten years, but that's about it. This is a pickguard I put together recently for my lowly Harley Benton (which is a killer guitar, by the way). Last time I soldered was two and a half years ago. I'd expect a boutique builder who makes guitars full time (charging you up the wazoo) to produce a wiring that surpasses what I'm able to. I just can't wrap my head around it.

Wiring that tidy might be an upcharge from EP.

Here are the EP base model examples:






 

2tone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
557
i maybe able to provide some insight, what year was your guitar made as well as model also what is the neck carve/shape. is the shape like a soft v then turns into a chunky c around the 12 fret and a 10 to 12 radius.

there have been different people with experience and skills involved in building the guitars. the novice work is done by gabbe since he likes to come in to spike the football of poor assembly. as mentioned in other posts jim is currently doing most of the building and hands off to the novice assembler. as mangus02 posted its all about caring to do a good however in this case its about getting it out the door months or years late "the hell with it, i already got paid attitude".
Mine were from 2013 and 2015. Necks were the V to C style, nicely done..
 

Deven Patel

Member
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441
Mine were from 2013 and 2015. Necks were the V to C style, nicely done..
yup those are paul slagle necks and also he used them on his own pittman guitars. paul was serious master builder that worked for a few well known small builders for many years (he didnt name drop since he wanted his work to speak for itself).

unlike gabbe who speaks a lot about himself and imaginary build history with leo, mike lipe, and more.

Yeah, Paul did some amazing work, and NOT only limited to finishes. He also did a lot of the necks. . . There are some SERIOUS stories there. . .
 

Deven Patel

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