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Epiphone Sheraton II - Natural Reviews

4.5 stars based on 12 customer reviews

Sweetwater Advice

  • Dontae Harris

    This semi-hollow body guitar screams class and sophistication without sacrificing rich, creamy tone to rival that of guitars at much higher prices. Blending the best of the solid and hollow-body worlds, the Sheraton is full, open and warm while maintaining the chimey, bell-like character hollow-bodies are known for. For the guitarist who wants to be able to jump from indie to jazz to prog-rock on one guitar in style, the Sheraton's custom, high-end appointments are offered at a workingman's budget. What a value!

  • from Slidell, LA May 10, 2015

    Those curves will get you every time...

    Having played for almost thirty years now, my taste in guitars has changed dramatically, matured if you will, from when I first started. If you're like me and started playing as a teenager you probably were seduced by those pointy headstock, superstrat body, bolt-on neck with floyd rose licensed trem guitars. Yeah, I know...what did I know back then? They sure looked cool though to a teenager. I knew nothing about pickups, and didn't even care about the bolt-on construction part. Wasn't that how all guitars are supposed to be made? Teenage me would think about the flashy finish and how cool it was to be able to do dive bombs. Geez.

    Fast forward to a few years ago when I went on a tone quest. That lead me to set neck, double humbucker guitars, and eventually to semi-hollow guitars. Once you're playing a semi-hollow you're home. Nothing less than that will do. So my first semi-hollow was an Ibanez AS93. Fine guitar with the set neck/dual humbucker recipe. After upgrading the pickups and electronics I had a great guitar. It played great and with the pickups it sounded great through a tube amp. But I always felt something was missing. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn't get that classic rounded curvy shape of an ES-335 out of my mind. And honestly, when you want a double cutaway semi-hollow, you want that curvy shape you know so well.

    Once you get the itch it must be scratched, but for most of us owning a 335 will just have to wait.
    Cue the Epiphone Sheraton II. I've never thought of it as a poor man's ES-335, but rather as its own guitar. The Sheraton has a long history and tradition by itself, and you'd be surprised how many bands out there have guitar players playing them. And honestly if I saw those same bands playing 335s instead it just wouldn't be the same. There's no shame in playing a Sheraton...it is a nice guitar. It's kind of like the scrappy underdog David to the ES-335's Goliath.

    Made in China since 2008 so they've had some time to get it right. Overall the fit and finish is really good. Not perfect but more than fine for this price range. It is well put together and strumming it unplugged reveals a richness in the tone. Just a solid pleasing tone. It rings out with a full and polished voice. Very nice. In comparison, the AS93 sounds brighter but not as polished or rich.

    The neck is on the thinner side, being Epiphone's Slim taper C shape. Would be great if Epiphone made a special run of Sheratons with the chunkier Slim taper D shape, but having a Swingster with the Slim taper C shape I've adapter just fine.

    Strapped over the shoulder the Sheraton feels solid, like an expensive, well-made kind of solid. Combined with the unplugged richness when strummed I'm really happy with the guitar so far.

    Plugged in I knew pretty much what to expect with the stock pickups. The internet is great for real world reviews. Although upgrading the wiring, pots and caps to PIOs would really be the only fair way to judge the pickups. I convert all my dual humbucker guitars to 50s wiring, and since this one came stock with modern wiring I felt the pickups are a little harsh. Rolling back the vol. and tone helps tame this.

    My only gripe would be the factory nut. It's one of those gummy rubbery type things. A corian nut would have been better, but this will have to do for now.

    Overall I am very happy with the Sheraton. You just can't beat those curves. I plan to do the usual upgrades of course: pickups, wiring, new nut and call it good. This one's a keeper.

  • from seattle September 24, 2014Music Background:
    pro

    great..

    this is the sweetest hollow body you can buy,
    better than any in its class and most in the$1500. range
    mine was damaged in shipping and very easily replaced by the staff at sweet water,, best customer service!!!

  • from Anza, CA May 11, 2013Music Background:
    Professional MMusician (over 35 years of playing and recording ecperience member of NARAS & LARAS STUDIO owner.. use to own STAX in the mid 70's

    Great Guitar for the price I am Impressed with the quality

    I was over whelmed when I received my Guitar.. Sweetwater allows you to compare all the ones they have in stock.. after going through each of them I picked the one I wanted and 5 days later it arrived.. ALMOST PERFECT setup out of the box.. TYLER Moore my sales rep helped me a great deal.. THE guitar arrived in excellent condition and was even prettier then the pictures the action & neck was exactly what I was looking for.. I would recommend SWEETWATER to anyone looking to purchase on line.. SO FAR I am thoroughly impressed with my purchase
    MY wife liked the candy that came with the guitar.. I had thoughts of swapping out the Pickups but for now they deliver the sound and the guitar has no flaws for the price it is a great buy and as well made as the GIBSON 335's for a third or more less then the cost THANKS FOR THE GREAT PURCHASE

  • from Nevada April 26, 2015Music Background:
    Hobbiest

    Great Guitar

    This guitar is well made and a great value. My fourth electric guitar and maybe my favorite. I haven't played a Gibson 335 but I'd be surprised if the quality was much better. I disagree with other reviews regarding the pickups. I think that they sound great, both clean and through tube amp distortion. Neck is thin and comfortable, perhaps a little wide for some. Beautiful craftsmanship with abalone fret board inlays and decorative head stock. Has to be one of the most versatile guitars available with the ability to sound great in blues, rock, and jazz. Try to play one before you purchase as the body of this style of guitar may be a bit big for some.

  • from Stockton Ca. U.S.A. May 17, 2014Music Background:
    Old Local Rocker..

    Wow, What a guitar !

    This guitar is everything I was looking for in a hollow body electric.
    Set up was a little more difficult than I expected after a 55 Point Inspection, But Sweet Water went out of their way to reimburse me for my minor expense. I will buy here again ! Service is the best.
    The Sheraton II is a little more sophisticated than the Dot ..
    Sweet sound...Everlasting sustain..
    Beautiful to look at, Great build quality and a Voice that covers it all.
    From Eclectic jazz , Classic rock, New wave to the New sound.
    This guitar has inspired me to learn new things. I Like It !!!!

  • from Lafayette, la February 18, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Great Deal

    Just as described, very pretty finish and sounds good out the box. I will eventually get to messing with the action but mine came set up decent as is. The semi hollow body really adds to the tone, from jazzy to country to rock this covers it all in a big way. Great value.

  • from Decatur, IL August 29, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbist

    Decide for yourself!!

    You can read all the reviews, but you'd be a fool to buy anything you have not had in YOUR hands.

    I'm going to sing the praises if this guitar too.

    I have two Gibson 335's and While the pots seem to be better in the Gibson's, I can't justify the costs over the Sheraton.

    Get to a store and play both. Play several of both and decide for yourself.

    I'm currently looking for a Sheraton II in triburst. I may have to settle for vintage burst, but I can't justify the price of a Gibson

    New pots are cheap and I've had some bad pots on a Les Paul studio I had to replace.

  • from Las Vegas, NV July 15, 2011Music Background:
    Recording/Live Sound Engineer, Gigging Musician

    This Axe Sings the Blues!

    I was hunting for a guitar semi-hollowbody to add to my collection, and really needed a guitar that could produce the blues, among other genres. Once I pulled this out of the box, I was very impressed with the quality and natural finish of the guitar. I plugged it in and found that blues tone I was searching for, but to my VERY pleasant surprise, this axe can rip hard rock just as well as the blues, and the clean tones through the neck and bridge are fantastic! With the selector set to the middle, I found a very creamy, acoustic-like tone for rhythms and melodies alike. The set up out of the box was spot on, and I needed to just tweak the pickup height a bit, but Sweetwater didn't miss a beat! Some folks might complain about the feedback of the body when high gain is applied or in a noisy live situation, but for me the level of feedback in those situations is perfect for my artistic application and certainly not in the way when I don't want it, even in a cramped room or live stage with drums and other amps blaring! Bottom line, a fantastic bargain for the quality of instrument that fits many genres with ease and simply looks amazing in its natural finish. Thanks to Don B. and the entire Sweetwater crew, they beat everyone out there!

  • from February 18, 2014Music Background:
    Used to play full time.

    Missed it on the finish.

    I love this guitar. It plays great, looks great and feels great.
    My only complaint is with the finish on the top between the bridge and the tail. In this area unlike the rest of the guitar being glass smooth, the finish is a bit coarse to the touch as if not buffed out completely.
    Other than that I think this Sheraton ll is a great buy.

  • from Seattle, WA, USA September 19, 2011Music Background:
    I play the blues, for the last 50 years

    this instrument really plays

    well, replacing the pickups, which had the definite sound of Ducks, quacking, and the Machines, which were Grovers, sort of, and all the pots and switches, which were also not good -after that, have a FANCY ES-series instrument for about $1200. I used Seymour Duncan pickups, Schaller gold locking Machines, and Swirchcraft switch and pots, and it definitely needs a Graphite Nut - but, seeing as a A gibson comparable model is 3 Gs, I love it. Just be ready to spend a little more, and put the stuff on it that it really needs - I play for a living, and I use this as well as my Strat. Good choice, the Sheraton

  • from Far-Northern NY July 11, 2007Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Fall In Love With A Bargain Blonde

    I've owned and played a LOT of guitars over 45 years, and my Blonde [Natural] Sheraton II one of my favorites.
    Not only is this axe a BARGAIN, but it plays so EASILY and SOUNDS GREAT. The neck fits the hand like butter, and the double cutaway allows easy access to the high frets - even for chords.
    The only problem I've had with the guitar was the jack coming loose and disconnecting during a gig. Fortunately I had another guitar available, and was able to fix the Sheraton II easily when I got home.
    If you buy one, be sure the jack nut is tightened.
    Overall, I am very pleased with this gorgeous guitar.
    Why spend $3K for a Gibson when this one does it all, so well for so little.

  • from Durang, CO December 30, 2013Music Background:
    recreational guitar player and student of music (of course)

    A great guitar...but

    I'll start out by giving Sweetwater the credit they deserve. What a great company! I couldn't be at their store in person to play the guitar so my sales engineer (JR) went through the three in stock and picked the one he liked (which did coincide with the one I liked based on the photos). THEN he asked a friend to play some jazz on it and posted the video in a return email. That's customer service! Great job Sweetwater!
    Now to the guitar. She really is a beauty! The construction was flawless and just looking at immediately produces an "oh wow!" from just about everyone. The balance feels good and the weight of the guitar is fine. As to the overall size, it feels very comfortable sitting on my lap, whereas my other guitar (Epi Nighthawk reissue) sort of makes me feel like I have to hunch over when it's on my lap due to a smaller body size. Now here's where the "but" comes in. I'm really not impressed with the stock pup's on the Sheraton II. The high E and the B string really do sound like a quacking duck! In fact, I don't really enjoy playing this guitar on a clean amp sound and prefer to distort the sound to make the quacking less noticeable. I also have been keeping the tone pots at between 1-2 to further reduce the treble. The other 4 strings also have a somewhat muted or weak tone in my opinion. I've tried dozens of settings on a Mustang II modeling amp, but I keep moving into more reverb and distortion to make it sound better to my ears.
    I know some of my dissapointment here may be due to being very used to the warmer tones of the mahogany nighthawk, but for this kind of dinero I was hoping for better tone, not less.
    All that said, I'm still relatively happy with the purchase as everything else about this guitar is fantastic. I'm hoping some new pup's will deliver on the tone front. Considering the fact that the only access to the wiring is through the F holes, Epiphone could have done better with this instrument by putting a better quality set of pickups in the first place. The didn't cut cost on the construction however, so I'm guessing the weaker pup's were installed to keep the price down.
    So to the reviewer that recommended never buying a guitar until you've had it your hands and played it...point taken! (and lesson learned too. I guess I just got lucky with the nighthawk).

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