Epiphone is a division of the Gibson guitar company. It produces economically priced alternatives for a number of more expensive Gibson guitar models, from the SG and Les Paul to the ES-335 Dot. The Dot, also known as the Memphis Dot, is a semi-acoustic electric guitar known for its blues and jazz tones. The Epiphone Dot set-up specifications, from its SH-55 pickups to its archtop and 24.75-inch scale, help define the instrument's sound.
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The Epiphone Dot is equipped with two SH-55 Humbucker pickups. A pickup is the element of an electric guitar's set-up responsible for transmitting the sound produced by the strings to the amplifier. SH-55 Humbucker pickups are produced by the Seymour Duncan company and are designed specifically for the country, jazz, blues, and rock genres. Seth Lover, the inventor of the Humbucker, originally designed the SH-55 pickup in 1955. Guitar players like Joe Perry (Aerosmith) and Dweezil Zappa use these pickups.
Integral to the Epiphone Dot set-up and the overall tone and "feel" of the guitar are its top and "F" holes. The Dot is an archtop guitar, a type of instrument known for having an arched, or curved, top and back and two "F" shaped holes on either side of the body. These holes are similar to those of a violin. "F" holes make for hollow "wings," or side cavities, on the body of the Dot. These cavities, coupled with the rounded top and back of the guitar, result in a more resonant sound reminiscent of that of a cello.
The Epiphone Dot is outfitted with the Gibson tune-o-matic guitar bridge. A bridge is a piece of guitar set-up hardware through which the strings are run in order to transfer their vibrations, and sound, to the body of the instrument to insure full resonance. The tune-o-matic is a Gibson speciality bridge that is designed to allow players to adjust the intonation and height of strings easily and quickly. Adjusting the height of strings allows players with varying preferences and styles of play to buy the Dot off the rack and not worry about having it adjusted by a professional before being able to play the instrument.
The Epiphone Dot is set-up on a 24.75-inch scale. This means that the distance between the bridge and nut of the guitar is 24.75 inches. The scale of a guitar determines how far apart the frets are and how much tension is present in the strings of the instrument. A scale of 24.75 inches is medium range and results in slack string tension and compact frets. Short and medium scale guitars, such as the Dot, have warm tones and are often easier to play than their larger counterparts. However, they are less powerful than long-scale guitars and have less clarity in certain tonal ranges.
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