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How Cheap Is Cheap?

Lucius Paisley

New member
Mar 14, 2020
Thinking about going the whole hog and saving up for a Gibson. A problematic quest since I'm severely left-handed and that already adds a nice little tax to any guitar's price.

Is there a price on a Gibson guitar that is too low? A line where once crossed, you'd be just as satisfied with Epiphone stamped on the headstock? At least until that itch becomes too much and you sell your car to buy the first Gibson that crosses your path.

Not that I have a car.

There's always the option to rent and test a few things out, but I like to mod even the littlest details and having something that's mine means I get to mess with things in my own time.

With the right advice, maybe I'll find that sweet spot beforehand and I won't have to change a thing.


Well-known member
Mar 24, 2005
The thing is, if it has the Gibson logo, it's going to be above a certain price.
As long as there's not something major wrong with it, or stolen, or fake (there's plenty out there that claim to be Gibsons but they're counterfeit.
The Lowest price Gibson does overlap wiht the higher end Epiphone, though - and I couldn't say whether one would be better for you than the other. Try playing as many as possible - and don't immediatly count out other brands also - there's plenty of really good guitars out there.

Steven K

New member
Mar 28, 2022
This is totally subjective. You must find the answers to your question by trying guitars and making your own determination. As stated above, there are great guitars that do not have Gibson on the headstock, and Gibson on the headstock no longer guarantees a great guitar.

Jim W

Active member
Aug 14, 2002
Being Lefty doesn't rule out a nice Gibson, but it's true they aren't as common.

Play as many as you can, see if there's one that really connects with you.


Well-known member
Apr 6, 2005
Gibson Lefties are certainly more limited, but there are still plenty out there, Maybe not your exact choice but many good ones. And more lefty availability than most other brands.

There isn't a Lefty Upcharge for most mainline USA models.

What are we talking here, USA? A Les Paul? What tone, feel, appearance are you after?

I think the newer Standards, from 2020-forward, there are ample lefties to choose from, my observation is that they ramped up lefty guitars as part of new ownerships launch of the Original Standard, so now is a good time to see them on the market, recently used alongside new, NOS, and so forth for a wider selection.

Let's say you save for a new Standard as a goal, there will be ample choice from among recent stock, plus you can factor in used models of other styles, from prior eras, get better deals, and still walk away with something nice without compromise. You may choose some other LP model based on feel or style or sound, be it Studio, Tribute, Classic, or Standard.

A lot of mod-folks have gone for the pre-2020 Traditional models, and those will be on the used market. That said, no qualms about mod-ing a used Classic (or even newer Standard). Why not?

Specific selection will be limited in terms of actually comparing multiple lefties in one timespan or at one sitting, so my advice is to start playing everyone you can find in person regardless of whether you are close to pulling the trigger, to get your mind set on what feels right for you. Never too early to start the hunt even if you don't plan on taking down game.

You'll then be skilled at ordering online with a return window and doing the best assessment.

ES? SG? Same process, less selection, smaller sample sets. But lefty Gibsons are out there.

As for overlap, folks out there attest to recent higher-end Epiphone models being just as good, better than the lower tier Gibsons. For any individual guitar, of course that could be true. In my experience, Epiphone necks have yet to really come close to the feel of Gibsons, the Epi having slightly more shoulder and a bit flatter base than a Gibson. Maybe the recent 'Inspired By' Epi have changed. I have a LPJ that I like more than every LP Epi, and it was cheaper than the Epi-s.

I tend to enjoy Epiphones that are Epiphone original models, even those close to Gibsons. The Sheraton, Riviera, Casino. Wish Epi reissued more classic models in lefty! Where's my Emperor?!

That's enough ramble on that - let us know where you are heading.