On one of our many trips to visit my in-laws, we went to the local guitar shop. It’s mainly a sheet music store, but has a nice selection of Fenders, Taylors, Ibanez, Bad Cat, Mesa Boogie, etc. But at one point it was also a Gibson and Epiphone dealer. On this visit they were certainly phasing out their Epiphone and Gibson inventory. That’s were I saw this beautiful Epiphone SG. It was a yellow woodstain with white pick guard and gold hardware, otherwise known as an Epiphone G-400 Korina. I thought it looked great. I played it a bit and then we went back to the in-laws house.
I couldn’t get this guitar off my mind. Finally, after much lamenting, I decided this was worth getting. So on our way back home we stopped by the guitar shop. It was gone! Sold over the weekend I had been agonizing over my first guitar purchase.
But this post is not about one that got away. I continued to troll around for this guitar. I learned all I could about it (thank you everythingSG.com). Now I know what Korina wood is. I learned it had a mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard. I also found it at a higher price at MusiciansFriend. So I watched it until the price dropped below what I had originally been willing to pay.
Then my wife announced that this was my grad school graduation gift…a whole semester and a half early! It came in the mail to her work. She called me and I came right over from the library. It was as gorgeous as I remembered. The set up was pretty good, but I had to make a few minor adjustments. I started playing it before Supplemental Jurisdiction band practice. Switching between Wolverine and this new guitar.
The guitarist/singer of Suupplemental Jurisdiction explained that you’ve got to name your guitar. I listened to lots of music and tried to think of a good name. At first I thought something like Mellow Yellow, but that seemed cheesy. Of course naming a guitar is kind of cheesy. Then I heard a blues song that just seemed to fit: Soft and Mellow Stella by Sunnyland Slim.
Plus, Stella is nothing like my wife’s name, so no chance for confusion.
I have had the guitar for quite a few years now. It is not my number one guitar. At the time of the original purchase, it was much better than Wolverine with an unmodified neck and upgraded hardware. However, the Epiphone G-400 Korina is very neck heavy. It will drop to the floor if your shoulder strap is at all slick. Also, the pick ups seemed weaker than the ones on another Epiphone SG I got later. But I think this was a pick up height issue because I’ve played with the pick up height on both Epiphone SG’s and they are much better.
The neck is a little bit thicker than I like now, but it isn’t bad. The SG is always fun to play because the neck is set so far out from the body. Whenever I switch from a non-SG guitar back to an SG, my hands area almost always off by two frets since the neck is further out. It takes some practice/warm up to get back the feel of this guitar. (I don’t know if that description makes sense to you, but I know what I mean!)
It is still a gorgeous guitar and gets comments from people who see it. It is also fun to play! I will say that my SG style guitars are starting to fall out of favor. They just aren’t as comfortable as the strat body when I sit down (and I seem to be sitting down when I play more and more). Maybe I’m too hunched over when I sit to play, but the upper horn on the SG always digs into my chest. It is uncomfortable.
Anyway, a good guitar for the price. A great guitar to look at. A fun guitar to play!