Ask Paul: Epiphone Riviera Custom P-93

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anorthhare

Paul, I was wondering what you thought about the quality of the Epiphone ES-175. I've been wanting to buy one of those but I haven't decided yet

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priario

Hey 57 Stratman,

You are 100% correct when you state that the Riviera is semi-hollow while the Casino is completely hollow. I responded rather quickly and should have designated that the Casino would have been my "archtop" of choice rather than "semi-hollow" guitar.

Although, I do stand behind my comment that both are similar. Semi-hollow guitars with P-90s or humbuckers, like the Riviera or 335 respectively, have very round tones to my ears with a bit of an assertive "knock" when amplified and although the Casino is completely hollow, I still find the tone with the same roundness albeit with a softer edge. We're splitting hairs here because I also believe with some proper tweaking between amp and some pedals both guitars could sound very similar and possibly indistinguishable from one another. Some of McCartney's greatest Beatle solos were achieved on a Casino and if I didn't know better, I would never have guessed that was a hollow guitar making those legendary sounds.

But regardless, we both can agree that all these Epiphone archtop models mentioned earlier are fine guitars.

Thanks for commenting!

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gibsonplaysfender

I can understand why no one would want to pay $4,000+ for a Les Paul, but please go easy on Gibsons. I bought a Custom for $500 in 1984. It's banged up, the finish was frozen and cracked and the bride pick-up was shot, but it's still one of my main instruments. However, my Epiphone Special and Riviera are played just as much. Bottom line: To keep from breaking the bank, buy second-hand Gibsons,but only if you try an Epiphone first.

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57 Stratman

You stated that the Casino was similar to this guitar, and I guess it is if all you're using for the comparison is the shape of the guitars and the fact that they both have dog eared P-90's for pick-ups. But that's where the similarities end. The Riviera is a semi-hollow body guitar, and the Casino is a fully hollow guitar, not that that's a bad thing at all, but a semi-hollow guitar and a hollow body guitar have very different sounds. Plus there is the fact that the Riviera has 3 P-90's, while the Casino sports but 2. Normally the Casino doesn't come with a Bigsby, but I have seen limited editions with the Bigsby. Bottom line, both are fine guitars, but not really similar.

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rongtr

I have an Epi 335 Dot that I would not trade for a Gibson! $399.00. And everyone who plays it agrees! Great blog!
Ron Zabrocki

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57 Stratman

I agree Ron, I have a 2005 Sheraton II, and I wouldn't trade her for a 335 either. I love my Epi's.

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andlu11

Hi Paul,

Thanks for all the amazing reviews.I'm thinking about getting a Godin Icon Type2 Convertible, because it looks like a good all-around guitar. Have you tried it? What do you think?

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gibsonplaysfender

Hi,
Yes, get that guitar. I own a 2001 Godin LGX and I'm here to tell you that it plays like silk. The acoustic pickup is great and the fact that it's stereo-wired make it very versitile. I'm curious to hear from you after you play it, so please reply. I hope this helps.

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