Epiphone Special I with P90s in Worn TV Yellow Thanks to Don (duceditor) and everyone else that recommended this guitar so highly. This guitar arrived last week but I am just now back home to check it out and just like most everyone here has been saying, I agree that these guitars are surprisingly good and not just for the money. They are flat out great guitars. I bought it on a whim at a time when I didn’t really need another inexpensive guitar but I had been looking at them and reading about them here and finally succumbed to the $99.00 with free shipping offer from MF. I’m very glad that I did. But first... the Bonfire - To be clear, if you had to make a decision about this guitar after playing it for only 3 minutes fresh out of the box, it might feel perfectly reasonable to toss this guitar into a roaring bon-fire sparing the world from one more cheap guitar made offshore and sold to the masses because it’s shaped like something familiar… you know, one of those guitars whose price is simply too good to be true. But play on and things will improve greatly and you will instead be thinking about buying a good hard shell case for it. Bonfire explained – The fretboard, frets, strings and back of the neck have some odd funky feel to it that I can only assume is a byproduct of the guitar’s unique finish that out-gasses a weird residue while being stored in the box for a few months. Even the neck plate has this weirdness on it. It is hard to explain but it isn’t appealing in the least and someone who just picks it up when it’s in this state is more than likely to put it down and move on to something else. But play it good and hard for a while and all of the slow, sticky weirdness disappears and what remains is a wonderful, well dressed neck that is a joy to wrap your mitts around. I suggest that before you replace the strings (highly recommended...stock strings aren't good), play it as much as possible for a day or two using the stock strings to get the funk off of the neck, fretboard and frets. Then after everything is “cleaned up” put a fresh set of quality strings on it. Neck and Fretboard – I love it all. Bridge - The bridge is very basic but intonates extremely well and in my opinion doesn’t need to be changed. Pickups - The P90s are extremely good and I doubt that I will ever consider changing them. It’s simply not necessary. They sound excellent. Electronics – The guitar comes with full sized Alpha pots and I don't think they need to be upgraded. The switch is fine too and will only be changed if this one fails. Tuners – The weak link on this guitar is the tuners. I am replacing them later today with a set that was recommended here by mdparent. Nothing fancy and only $15 shipped. If it holds tune the way I believe it will, I’ll leave them on and if they don’t, I have a set of 3x3 Klusons around here to put on. Strings – I will be putting a set of D’Addario XL EPN110 Pure Nickel 10-45s on it tonight when I change the tuners but it’s quite possible that this guitar could be promoted to Pyramid Nickel Classics in the future. Things I am changing – I eliminated the Poker Chip. It looks all wrong to me. The location of the Volume knob and pickup selector switch location isn’t my favorite so I swapped them. I like this arrangement much better. Wiring length allows this change without any soldering but a little modification of the holes is necessary (but quick and easy). I am planning to put a black pickguard and knob-set on it but I used a cheap cream pickguard to try out to see how it would all work and I like it enough to leave it like this for a while and I will switch back and forth between the black and cream set. I’ll post pics of the black set soon. That’s it for now. Another fun & affordable guitar in the stable. Expectations far exceeded.