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Epiphone VS Gibson

Wise Guy

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
62
First hand experience, I own a 2020 Gibson LP Standard 60's and wanted to purchase its Epiphone twin version. Finally got it and the fretboard material is complete nonsense. It's super rough and porous. Not to mention I needed a complete fret leveling on a brand new guitar. It was my fault though for ordering sight unseen...Then again, the price difference should've been a good indicator.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2021
Messages
25
First hand experience, I own a 2020 Gibson LP Standard 60's and wanted to purchase its Epiphone twin version. Finally got it and the fretboard material is complete nonsense. It's super rough and porous. Not to mention I needed a complete fret leveling on a brand new guitar. It was my fault though for ordering sight unseen...Then again, the price difference should've been a good indicator.
When I special ordered a beautiful red Epiphone Les Paul Modern in 2021 during the Pandemic, I had been convinced by literally dozens of YouTube review websites that they were totally comparable instruments, on par with a $3000 Gibson!

Unfortunately reality bites, and when it finally arrived (after a long 8 months of waiting) the neck was unplayable, and the tech at Sam Ashe couldn't even send it out to have it Plekked, as it was badly twisted, and the frets were a mess. I personally reviewed that guitar before pulling the plug, and it was beautiful looking from 2 feet away, I give them that! But they showed me 5 others that also arrived in the same shipment, they all had neck/fret issues and were going back.

The next morning I added another $1000 to my refund, and ordered a Gibson Studio Les Paul Plus from Sweetwater online (I had 6 to pick from, and it arrived in 3 days). It was beautiful and the neck was perfect (it had been factory plekked) and the final setup "to my specs" was done flawlessly by the tech guys at Sweetwater (for an extra $50). It was well worth the difference, at least in my humble opinion.

Plus, my new Gibson arrived fitted with high quality branded components, wood, and great sounding pickups. There is nothing like the smell/feel of real Nitro (not poly), an actual mahogany body, a full AA maple cap (not maple with a decal, or paper thin laminate on top) quality rosewood and maple (not a "technical sub-species" of those woods), a tusk nut (not plastic), high quality wiring and pots, a switchcraft jack & toggle (not a $10 generic import harness), and real USA Gibson hardware and pickups (not branded imports). I learned my lesson, and ended up with a keeper guitar. Last year I added an HP4 module, giving my guitar 4 push-pulls (tapping/splitting/phase & coil reversal), all of a Gibson Modern's electronic options.

2021 Gibson HP4 Studio Les Paul Plus (2).jpg
 
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Sgrady41

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
60
I bought a Hummingbird Pro for my daughter had the same neck issue. Took a replacement and it has been a good guitar for her. I get it, I am just saying that the others I have bought and played, higher end Epiphones ahve been impressive. My Casino, has Fralins and CTS pots and Luxe caps
 

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Joined
Aug 7, 2021
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25
I bought a Hummingbird Pro for my daughter had the same neck issue. Took a replacement and it has been a good guitar for her. I get it, I am just saying that the others I have bought and played, higher end Epiphones ahve been impressive. My Casino, has Fralins and CTS pots and Luxe caps
Over the years, my primary concern about Epiphone was (and is) it's always been "hit & miss" on my finding a good one (a keeper). Yes, I too have been hearing good things about Epiphone's latest Chinese-made products. I already know China can put out great products, as my Chinese built 2021 Alvarez Hybrid Classical guitar is probably the best crafted, best sounding, and most playable guitar I own!

E22012390-angle-large.jpg
 
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dwagar

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 18, 2005
Messages
4,449
When the pandemic started to let up, our band had a small gig in a bar, acoustic. I didn't own an acoustic, I ended up using my ES330. But I decided I should have one.

I did NOT want to spend the money on a Gibson, I ended up buying an Epi Masterbuilt DR500MCE. It's a great guitar. I tried a cheaper Epi first, IMO it was junk.

Our singer has been playing his '76 ES335 for years. I told him for some of our gigs he really should be taking a cheaper guitar, it would suck if anything happened to his 335. One day I saw my local music store was going to have a nice Epi Les Paul on sale at a stupid cheap price. We got there early to be first in the door. I did a quick setup for him, he loves it. Plays it all the time. Would I have bought it? Nope.

If you can't, or don't want to spend Gibson money, I'd say check out an Epi. But if you're getting close to Gibson $, spend the extra so you don't reget it later.

In the 'take a cheaper guitar to *those* gigs department', I just bought a new SG Standard Tribute. It's a Gibson, it's great, and pretty cheap.
 

EFLOW

Active member
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
583
I know that made in usa Epiphone guitars are really are good guitars.


753_gg_casinoUSAlife1carpet.jpg
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2021
Messages
25
I know that made in usa Epiphone guitars are really are good guitars.


753_gg_casinoUSAlife1carpet.jpg
My understanding is that they are manufactured in the Gibson Nashville factory, utilizing USA Gibson components/materials/labor, exactly the same as a USA Gibson guitar. Essentially, they are the same quality as a new Gibson, as the price reflects that upgrade in quality.
 

Sgrady41

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
60
I have the cheaper version, the electronics were really not up to par, but the guitar is good. Replaced the components and I love it
 

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Messages
25
I have the cheaper version, the electronics were really not up to par, but the guitar is good. Replaced the components and I love it
As long as the core construction is good, you can always upgrade the hardware and the electronics.
I did the same thing as you with my DAngelico SS Premiere. It's my favorite guitar after a few upgrades.
 

Sgrady41

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2022
Messages
60
As long as the core construction is good, you can always upgrade the hardware and the electronics.
I did the same thing as you with my DAngelico SS Premiere. It's my favorite guitar after a few upgrades.
I updated to CTS pots, switch, jack and Fralin pick ups adn it sounds amazing.
 
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Joined
Aug 7, 2021
Messages
25
I updates to CTS pots, swith, jack and Fralin pick ups adn it sounds amazing.
To my DAngelico I added Locking Grover Imperial Tuners, a TonePros Locking Roller Bridge & Locking Tailpiece, vintage DAngelico Ebony knobs, a Starr custom harness with Bourns, Military Spec, 500 k, Push-pull pots, cloth wrapped wire, orange drop caps, and a Switchcraft Toggle & Jack. It already came with USA Seymour Duncan "Hot Rod" 4 wire pickups (SH2 & SH4) so I simply added splitting and phase reversal options with the new wiring harness.
2020-DAngelico-SS-phone9.jpg
wiringdangelico.jpg
 
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TM1

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,346
I had one of the early Epiphone Elite Casino's. It was number #23. It was a great guitar that I only sold last year. It was a`65 I put in CTS 500K A pots, a pair of real vintage P-90's from the 50's, a real Gibson ABR-1, black plastic covers & real reflector knobs. I bought it from a friend of mine who worked at Gibson Artist Relations/West Coast so I got a great price.
 

RDL

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2006
Messages
77
(Unfortunately reality bites, and when it finally arrived (after a long 8 months of waiting) the neck was unplayable, and the tech at Sam Ashe couldn't even send it out to have it Plekked, as it was badly twisted, and the frets were a mess. I personally reviewed that guitar before pulling the plug, and it was beautiful looking from 2 feet away, I give them that! But they showed me 5 others that also arrived in the same shipment, they all had neck/fret issues and were going back.)

This could easily refer to a Gibson. Ive been playing for just unde 50 years....God knows Ive seen it ALL!

Just yesterday I was trying out a brand new Gibson SG in a store. the neck was clearly Kapu!

I judge guitars on an individual basis. Thus I have three gibson and three Epiphones Two Les Pauls and an SG each. I bought an Epi 50's Vintage sunburst yesterday and It gives the gibsons a run for their money.

So, in short...Have your cake and eat it.....
 
Joined
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Messages
25
(Unfortunately reality bites, and when it finally arrived (after a long 8 months of waiting) the neck was unplayable, and the tech at Sam Ashe couldn't even send it out to have it Plekked, as it was badly twisted, and the frets were a mess. I personally reviewed that guitar before pulling the plug, and it was beautiful looking from 2 feet away, I give them that! But they showed me 5 others that also arrived in the same shipment, they all had neck/fret issues and were going back.)

This could easily refer to a Gibson. Ive been playing for just unde 50 years....God knows Ive seen it ALL!

Just yesterday I was trying out a brand new Gibson SG in a store. the neck was clearly Kapu!

I judge guitars on an individual basis. Thus I have three gibson and three Epiphones Two Les Pauls and an SG each. I bought an Epi 50's Vintage sunburst yesterday and It gives the gibsons a run for their money.

So, in short...Have your cake and eat it.....
Absolutely! I was not condemning ALL Epiphones, I was just commenting on my most recent
experience, and what I was confronted with. I own currently 7 "professional" grade guitars,
and only 1 of them was made entirely in the USA! That's because the quality of non-USA
made instruments has improved drastically over the past 30 years with the advent of Computer
guided equipment, a more experienced labor force overseas and honestly, stiffer retail competition.

I bought my first Epiphone in 1972, and my first Gibson in 1973 so I've been around a pretty long time.
In the early 70's I owned an Ibanez (lawsuit) Paul and a Framus L6 (lawsuit) copy that were both amazing.
I too judge guitars on an individual basis, probably because I was a guitar repairman/tech for 40+ years.

Certainly, you can find a bad Gibson on the shelves too, or any brand these days. My frustration was
that I SPECIAL ORDERED mine from the factory, waited almost a year for it to show up, and it was crap.
This doesn't mean they are ALL crap. Just the one that I had ordered and patiently waited for was a mess.

Attached below: A picture taken by my friend Forrest White at G&L, with Leo & I working on his very first
F-100 Prototype. I consider Leo Fender a pretty good mentor and reference, for considering build quality.
 

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MarcB

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2023
Messages
731
everyone at G&L.
It was a special day to visit the factory and guys that G&L .. almost a pilgrimage in a funny way..
I grew up on Fender’s and played a musicman sterling bass for a while.. so to hold and play the prototype bass was a pretty special moment..

I’ve also got that amp set up in your photo (HD150 I think) but with black logo badges.. I seemed to have gravitated to U Leo’s inventions without really knowing it..
and I concur with your sentiments in regards to U Leo’s build quality..
 
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