1964 Epiphone Sheraton USA (John Lee Hooker)

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1964 Epiphone Sheraton USA (John Lee Hooker)

Postby TheWayfarer » Mon May 27, 2013 3:28 pm

Anyone ever play one of these? These were the surplus John Lee Hooker models that were sold without the signature. Comes with mini humbuckers and a nitro Finish. Parts were made in Japan and assembled in The USA with USA electronics and hardware. I have a chance to pick one up cheap. The caveat being it has a professional headstock repair.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to make the trip to play it tomorrow. The big question mark is the neck. Don't Sheratons run much thinner than standard 335/LP necks? I prefer fat necks - but as long as its not like Ibanez shredder thin, ill adapt. Especially for a nitro finished Epi.

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Re: 1964 Epiphone Sheraton USA (John Lee Hooker)

Postby finboy » Mon May 27, 2013 4:21 pm

I have a neck repaired epi, plays great, I would say go for it
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Re: 1964 Epiphone Sheraton USA (John Lee Hooker)

Postby bluenote23 » Mon May 27, 2013 4:31 pm

I'm a real conservative buyer. I have never bought a guitar with a damaged neck though I have bought used guitars with 'issues' before.

If you play it and you know you'll keep it forever, then fine. But if you're not sure after playing it, just remember that when you want to try to sell it, you're going to encounter the same problems as the present seller faces trying to move a guitar with a repaired neck.
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Re: 1964 Epiphone Sheraton USA (John Lee Hooker)

Postby TheWayfarer » Mon May 27, 2013 5:17 pm

The neck repair doesn't bother me at all - sans for resale.
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Re: 1964 Epiphone Sheraton USA (John Lee Hooker)

Postby bluenote23 » Mon May 27, 2013 6:15 pm

TheWayfarer wrote:The neck repair doesn't bother me at all - sans for resale.

Yes, in a way, that's my point. I once had this beautiful spruce topped jazz box with cracks on the top. The cracks did not affect the sound of the guitar nor did they bother me until I realized that I couldn't play jazz. When it came time to move the guitar on, I took a big hit for those cracks, partly because anyone who was interested in the guitar would always use the cracks to drive the price of the guitar way down and partly because I came (maybe because of my prospective buyers' browbeating) to feel that the cracks were a real negative feature.

If I was going to keep that guitar forever, then the cracks would never have been an issue but it did not turn out that way.
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Re: 1964 Epiphone Sheraton USA (John Lee Hooker)

Postby Despot » Tue May 28, 2013 3:24 am

bluenote23 wrote:I'm a real conservative buyer. I have never bought a guitar with a damaged neck though I have bought used guitars with 'issues' before.

If you play it and you know you'll keep it forever, then fine. But if you're not sure after playing it, just remember that when you want to try to sell it, you're going to encounter the same problems as the present seller faces trying to move a guitar with a repaired neck.


I'm the same. I have a LP Custom that came my way with a great/stable neck repair ... it doesn't even look that bad from a cosmetic perspective (it's been oversprayed and it's a clean repair) ... but if I sold it I would disclose it to a buyer even if they didn't notice it to be upfront about it. But when I bought it I did so thinking "I'll need to view this as a keeper" on the assumption that I would never be able to sell it. It's a 1988 too - but I still got it for less than the price of a second hand modern LP standard (much less...) - all because a lot of guys weren't prepared to take the 'risk' on a neck repair.

To me if it's done well and stable - no issue with it being repaired. But you will need to factor it in to the price. In my case that LP came my way for 1,000 bucks less than an undamaged example from the same year.

As for your Epi ... I haven't seen one of these before, but I did play a US made Sheraton (looked identical, but had a bigsby instead of a stop tail - factory fitted) and it was equal to anything that Gibson put out under their own name. I'm not sure of the year or run of that Epi I played ... but it had a nice neck (not skinny by any means, but not as much of a boat as the neck on my LP Custom, which is huge).
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Re: 1964 Epiphone Sheraton USA (John Lee Hooker)

Postby TheWayfarer » Tue May 28, 2013 5:35 am

Thanks for the reply - you at least partially calmed my fears of a super thin neck. I'll know tomorrow for sure.

The seller is asking $650 and he's going to drive here, vs me driving 3 hours roundtrip. That's about 1/3 of what they sell for without the damage soI feel comfortable paying that price. IF things don't work out, it shouldn't be hard to recover most of that. Of course, I'm really hoping it works out. It's got 90% of what I'm looking for in a semi hollow. Slightly clearer and brighter humbuckers (I always end up purging my HB guitars for single coils), a nitro finish (this is a huge kicker for me as I've never been able to afford one), and it already has USA guts so I don't have to deal with the headache of swapping parts out through the F hole. The only reason it would go back up for sale is a teeny thin neck. Although, I I thought my VM Jaguar neck was too thin at first, and I do not mind

**Updated** The seller got back from vacation and got me measurements. .835"@ the first fret and .930" at the 12th. Still on the thin side, but not enough to complain about. Looks like I am getting a Sheraton tomorrow!
Last edited by TheWayfarer on Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1964 Epiphone Sheraton USA (John Lee Hooker)

Postby Despot » Tue May 28, 2013 10:16 am

Congrats dude - that's a great price even with the break.
Looking forward to the NGD post
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Re: 1964 Epiphone Sheraton USA (John Lee Hooker)

Postby TheWayfarer » Thu May 30, 2013 5:49 am

Picked her up today. Fantastic guitar! Beautiful nitro finish, extremely well built. I don't know how to exactly articulate the feeling of this Sheraton 64 vs the standard Chinese - but it just feel like one continuous "piece". Everything is just solid and tight. It's very lively and reactive under my fingers. It plays every bit as good as my girlfriend's father's 335. The neck, which I was worried about, is thin - but not bad. Close enough to a 60's slim. It plays fantastic. The repair is in fact pretty well done. It was mended very cleanly as well as covered with a bit of nitro, so it feels seamless. Maybe could have added a little stain to hid it better, but it is what it is. It did not go through the face of the headstock, so that's a plus.

I was surprised about the pickups. I thought they would be more like a PAF with that really clear tone and lots of detail. These are just a tad muddy for my ears. They do sound great with some overdrive - but I judge a pickup on cleans first. I may swap them down the road - but I've swapped pickups on a semi-hollow before and that is not something I look forward to. For now, I'm going to try to learn to love them. I may consider having a wider space nut installed. There's a lot of real estate on either side of the E strings that could be put to use.

all in all, I am stoked with the guitar! Definitely the nicest I've ever owned

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