New Edwards Les Paul (92CD) arrived today... it's an adventure!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by eVITAERC, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. eVITAERC

    eVITAERC Member

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    ... and I'm still trying to clear out the packaging remains as I type this. If nothing else, the Japanese sure have a panache for overpackaging. I ordered from Ishibashi, and Hiroaki-san packed it like it's going to be air dropped from cruising altitude directly over my house without a parachute. Now that I think about it, I actually wish they did that so I didn't have to pay customs any money (12% tax + 5% tarriff, ouch).

    The 92CD is the custome model without lacquer taste, meaning it retains the full dipped in plastic look. Perhaps due the vintage white colouring, it looked a little cheap upon first inspection. I decided that the worst offender is the toggle switch plate and the witch-hats, both constructed from what looks like 90's toy plastic. Quite sad, really, for a nation that pride itself on fantastic quality plastic figurines and giant robot models. Since ESP apparently moved all Edwards production to a new factory (I had to wait 2 months for Ishibashi to get their order), this might be a new development, as I haven't read any complaints about cheap knobs before. Hell, one of the witch-hats is even missing its silver sticker.

    To make it feel less like a toy, I quickly took off the toggle switch plate (never like it on an LP anyways), and tried to switch the knobs for some original Gibson speed knobs. It won't fit because the pots are metric sized, so the shaft is too thick for the speed knobs. Then I suddenly remembered that I had a long-shaft RS kit stashed away, so I decided to go ahead and give it an electronics upgrade while I'm at it.

    ... Guys, I hate to rain on the Edwards love parade, but when I opened up the back cover and saw the electronics I physically flinched in disgust. The wires are among the cheapest I've ever seen, and It doesn't help that the tone pots have got what looks like a high E string for leads. The pots just feel and look cheap, and to my anguish I spot some cold solder in there. I was all about to rant here before I remembered that some of the newer Gibsons are not much better. Tonally it's not supposed to matter anyways and it could be easily remedied with an RS upgrade. But if you don't care, you won't have to see it.

    Anyways, so I desoldered everything and took out the old pots. Then I tried to fit the RS pots in. No go. The hole needs to be drilled out bigger, again probably due to metric pots. Thanks to Mr. Murphy, my biggest drill bit is also the same size as the original holes. Looks like I'll have to put this one on hold. The old pots are also short shaft, but I think I can easily use my existing RS kit by moving the bottom washer further up the shaft.

    While I'm holding out waiting for a new drill bit, I'll comment for a bit on how this thing sounds with stock electronics. In a word, it's quite potent. Thanks to the stock SD pickups, the tone is clear and smooth. It's also got quite a bit of bottom end. The guitar weighs 9.3lbs and sounds a lot heavier than it feels. It's also nicely balanced on a strap. The neck is fairly thin for a LP, like the "60's neck" on the new standards, and due to the thick plastic poly resin finish I plan to rough it up a bit with micromesh. No fret buzz to speak of, the fretwork is impeccable, and hardware is perfect. The only complaints I have is the quality of the plastic parts, which fortunately is the cheapest thing to remidy. For example, the sides of the truss rod cover have very noticeable burrs, and the pickguard has got 2 nicks in it. It's a little beyond me why they would spend a lot of money getting the hardware right but then turn right around and cheap out on the least expensive parts.

    I do have one major complaint, which might be new development at the new factory. The nut is HELD ON WITH POLY FINISH. I don't even know if it's glued on, I didn't even try to take it off, because from the side of the neck you can clearly see that the poly finish covers the side of the nut. In fact, it looks like the nut was cut AFTER it was held in place and had finish applied to it. I haven't tried changing the nut yet but I envision a happy time in the future when I would have to extract it with a surgical blade. Having said that, however, the nut IS relatively well cut, and I think the only reason I would change it is to go bone or graphtech.

    To summarize, I recommend the following mods be done to any new Edwards LPC-92CD, and after I did it to mine I would have further comments and pictures of the whole thing:

    1) RS kit (short shaft, need to redrill hole)
    2) Take out toggleswitch plate, replace knobs
    3) a little roughing on the plastic finish with micromesh
    4) cut out the nut while you're at it so you can save yourself some headache in the future

    I also plan to put in WCR Crossroads, hopefully that's gonna help make it an exceptional guitar. For now I'm happy with what I got for the money, and considering the upgrades won't be over a couple hundred bucks I could easily end up with a guitar rivaling a real LPC while still costing less than half the money.

    My tentative synopsis: Edwards 92CD. Great if you know what you're doing, and like to experiment. Horrible if you hate cheap plastic feel.
     
  2. clmazza

    clmazza Supporting Member

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  3. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    "Quite sad, really, for a nation that pride itself on fantastic quality plastic figurines and giant robot models."

    Classic :D

    P.S. Use a reamer instead of a drill bit to enlarge the holes. It will do a cleaner job and you have much less change of damaging the finish.
     
  4. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Yep. . . you're on an adventure.

    As for drilling the holes, you might also want to consider picking up a good step bit to prevent tear out and chipping on the guitar's top. I wish I'd picked one up earlier when I was working on my guitars (just enlarge the hole from the top to the right diameter, and finish from the other side with the regular bit).
    [​IMG]

    http://www.northwestpowertools.com/tool_manufacturers/milwaukee/acc/step/step.htm
     
  5. eVITAERC

    eVITAERC Member

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    I ended up using a reamer. Turns out it is very convenient and much quicker, in the sense that I actually HAVE a reamer (but forgot. Do'h)

    PICTUARS!

    [​IMG]
    There she is, not 20 minutes since I received it and already all stripped out for major surgery. Note how the stock TonePros tailpiece stayed in place even with the strings removed.

    Just kidding. It doesn't actually come with TonePros.

    [​IMG]
    Can't tell at all whether this is a long tenon or whatnot. I just see cream and think a big bowl of cereal. mmmm

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    The toggle switch plate is actually in focus. The blur comes from the badly printed text.

    [​IMG]
    Emphasis on the shoddy quality witch-hats. I tossed them out as soon as I received the guitar, so this picture is actually a re-enactment. (note: the 4th knob is lost among disgusting garbage juice. The missing sticker is a faithful reproduction)

    [​IMG]
    Original electronics in mid-removal. I can't get over how skinny the wires are, even though rationally I know it shouldn't make any difference.

    [​IMG]
    Toggle switch

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    Teh shiny. Overall finish of the body is, quite objectively, flawless.

    [​IMG]
    Quite solid Gotoh tuners. The bushings are well installed and fit tight, no rattle at all.

    [​IMG]
    Nice Gotoh parts that feel hefty in the hand.

    [​IMG]
    ...And thar she is all done and about to rock under the sun. RS electronics, speed knobs, WCR Crossroads.

    [​IMG]
    Closeup from another angle. I'm debating whether to put gold covers on the pickups.
     
  6. googoobaby

    googoobaby Member

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    Lots of luck! The Eastwood (a Hummingbird) that I bought was actually much better built than that. Those knobs and switch plate are a travesty!
     
  7. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    Beautiful! Congrats! :AOK
     
  8. amigo30

    amigo30 Member

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    Kick-ass thread. Thanks for that.

    How did it sound once you changed pickups and added the RS kit? I'm still blown away with how much guitar you get for your dollar with the Edwards.

    Just a matter of taste, but black and cream zebra's would look great in there....
     
  9. lifele55

    lifele55 Member

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    Nice pictures.. Those aged whites really look great on LPs. I second that black and cream for the pups, or put gold covers on them.

    But she still looks great nonetheless!
     
  10. clmazza

    clmazza Supporting Member

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    Great thread... and thanks for the pics! :AOK
     
  11. Catoogie

    Catoogie Senior Member

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    Congrats on the guitar. The bright white coils aren't doing it for me though.
     
  12. RichieRich

    RichieRich Senior Member

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    sweet. i kinda like the white open coils!
     
  13. go7

    go7 Member

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    Congrats; I did the same surgery to my E-LP 98-LTS. No biggy, turned out great.Looks Killer. Enjoy!
     
  14. Aeonis

    Aeonis Member

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  15. got tone

    got tone Member

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    give 'em a little time, they'll get creamy,
     
  16. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    Beautiful! One of my favorite LP colors.
     

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