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Does a real Gibson really smoke a Epiphone by a mile?


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  • #76
    If I were in charge of raising a small human right now, I'd be in the same boat D.

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    • #77
      As other have said, but perhaps not with the exact words:

      Is a Gibson usually a better guitar than an Epiphone? Yes, unless you're comparing an Elitist or USA- Lennon "Revolution" Casino with a current production ES-330, etc.
      Is the price difference justified by the quality/value difference between similar model Gibsons & Epiphones? No. Why do you think Elitist Les Pauls are no longer in production?
      If you can afford it (or if you play/record professionally), is it worth the price difference to buy the Gibson? Yes (especially a good quality "used" Gibson). Unless you're talking about a Casino, a Riviera, or a mini-hum equipped Sheraton, the Epiphones are just copies of the Gibsons.
      If you've got a tech skills to buy an Epiphone & upgrade it with better pots, pickups, etc., does that change things: Yes, if the electronics are the big issue. A modded to personal preference specs Epiphone can be better in your hands than a stock Gibson.
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      • #78

        This has zero to do with a musicians ability to p[lay an instrument though. That is strictly a separate issue all together. Unless the workmanship inspires or makes it easier to play the two subjects are completely unrelated.


        If you like it, play it. I've heard a lot of bluesmen make a lot of good music on funky, bargain bin Teiscos an Kays.


        • #79
          It's Gibsons own fault that these questions arise.

          I was in a GC a couple years ago and the faded series were on sale - $699 I think. They had a whole floor display of LP's and SG's. Every one I picked up was horribly set up, action way high, not intonated, kind of nasty fret ends. Now these weren't all fumblefingered by the clientele, there were at least a dozen of them there. One of them I tried the volume knob fell off. I left there wondering WTF is Gibson thinking. And I REALLY wanted to buy one. I have an Epi '56 bought sight unseen that was setup perfectly.

          Funny that you don't hear the same thing repeatedly with Fender with the exception of the CV series Squiers. But in this case, the quality of the lower end went up, rather than the higher end going down.


          • #80
            Any comparison is riddled with subjectivity which all boils down the player and the player alone.

            So diceman1000 doesn't nor will he probably ever see it as a 5-7X difference. dcooper830 owns a bunch of both and he doesn't see it either and probably never will.

            Ask 50 other people and you're going to get people on both sides of the fence with different opinions. Me personally; it all comes down the guitars in question and even then a 5-7X 'better' is unattainable except perhaps in the case of the ****************tiest Epiphone ever built and one of the best Gibsons ever to grace the planet. The likelihood is more in the .05-2X nicer in even the more extreme cases and for many even a 5% difference is enough to justify the price which is clearly what the 5-7X 'better' is really all about.

            So here is are the questions you have to ask yourself:

            1. If you had to choose between this Epiphone for $300 and a Gibson for $300 which one would you buy?

            2. If you had to choose between the Epiphone for $2000 and a Gibson for the same price which would you buy?

            Now try to explain the answer to yourself and perhaps you'll be onto something because I don't know why it is either. I'm going to take the Gibson in just about every scenario I can imagine and I'll sit here and admit to it.

            The price difference isn't on a linear scale so the 5-7X better question is flawed from the beginning. After a certain price the percentage of 'better' drops and the price increases substantially and it's not just with guitars. Ask Diceman1000 to explain it using cars as an analogy; he enjoys that. oke:

            Nailed it on the head.

            The simple answer is that YES, an average Gibson tends to be better than the average Epi. Gibson intentionally makes it as such - they make the Gibson a superior guitar from a quality/tone and prestige point of view so that when you buy an Epi you still are reaching for the next rung on the latter. But it is a scale of diminishing returns, meaning that the more you spend the smaller the gains are. I.e. a $1000 guitar is leaps and bounds better than a $100 guitar, but a $1900 guitar may only be a bit nicer than a $1000 guitar.

            If you can tell the difference and have the money, buy a Gibson. If you can't and/or don't have the money, buy an Epi.

            That's really all there is to it.
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            • #81
              I have heard a lot of people say very similar and said "how much have you spent on gear?" and then they do the math and figure 'damn, I could have had a...'.

              I'm not saying that it is your situation but many, many people who say that could have a mind-blowing instrument for what they have spent. I know one guy who says that he can't see how anyone could spend $1000 on a guitar but he has about five that were $250 or $325. The difference in feel and flat-out overall quality of the $1000 instrument is typically miles ahead of the $250 guitar. If it wasn't, then I wouldn't own any 'expensive' guitars.

              I tried a dozen Epiphones when I went Les Paul shopping. None of them came close to the Gibsons so I bought my first Gibson Les Paul Studio. BUT before I played the Epiphones and I could just see them I thought 'wow, I'll just get two of those in different colours'. Insert manual buzzer here.

              Well-said. I have an Epi Elitist, and while it is a good guitar it does not have the tone feel and quality of my Gibson.

              member of the G&L Militia


              • #82
                I've got a Gibson and 2 Epi's including an Ultra and the Epi's rarely see the light of day...


                • #83
                  I recently A/B-ed a top end Epi Les Paul and a Gibson LP Traditional. I can confidently tell you that the Gibson 'smoked' (I believe that is the right expression), the Epiphone by a considerable distance. I suppose I would say, it 'kicked it into touch'. If I could justify the
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                  • #84
                    You know reading this thread (which actually is one of the more productive ones of this nature) got me thinking about the finish a bit more. I hate nitro in theory because it is a pain to take care of vs poly which is basically bullet proof. But there may be something to it because I know that if I take my Agile (which is really just a very nice Epiphone level guitar IMHO) and take my Gibson LP, put a blindfold on and play each that it's two completely different guitars and a lot of it has to do with the feel. The Agile is perfect in just about every measurable way that you can make a guitar; frets are amazing, neck is true as anything and it even sounds good and I enjoy playing it a lot. But the Gibson just has a lot more alive feel to it, when I hit a note on it I swear it's going to jump out my hands sometimes. And as much as I love my Gibson, if you get down to brass tacks and measure the actual level of construction vs the Agile there is only one place it's superior and that's the fretmarkers on the Agile are sloppy (which bothers me not).

                    They're supposed to be the same damn guitar, the pickups aren't that different, the hardware on the Agile is actually a bit better but there is something tame and even sometimes dead feeling with the Agile. The finish may actually be part of it even though I can't wrap my head around that completely.
                    AxeFXII with these: Axis | BMG RS | Strat |N4| LP Classic | SG Classic | Sheraton | Tele


                    • #85
                      ^^ the resonance of the wood? I have found that to make a big difference - how good the wood is.
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                      • #86
                        Could very well be. To be fair my LP Classic is all mahogany vs the Agile which has a maple top; that could account for a lot of it too.
                        AxeFXII with these: Axis | BMG RS | Strat |N4| LP Classic | SG Classic | Sheraton | Tele


                        • #87
                          It could be the wood or possibly the potentiometers values are different, resulting in a different sound between the two. Other than that I'm not sure if they have very similar pickups.
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                          • #88
                            I usually buy Gibson over Epiphone (3:1) but you never know which will give you the mojo.

                            I'm quite happy with the Epi Wilshire '66 (mini-hums) I bought,

                            And I recently picked up an Epi G-400 Deluxe w Maestro Trem, upgraded the p'ups to Gibson BB Pros and I'm enjoying that guitar big time right now. And we're talking about having 7 Gibson SGs waiting in the wings for their turn at rotation. So I'd say, "it depends". Sometimes you can get a nice Epi straight out of the box, sometimes they just need a minor p'up upgrade, and with other guitars in general, you can just end up throwing more good money after bad trying to get them to come alive.
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                            • #89
                              Give guitarmandp a few days, he'll give you the "lowdown"

                              Hey... even HE said he'd play a Squier or an Epiphone if he was indigent.

                              I honestly think that's the best line I've EVER read on HCEG... and I am serious!
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                              • #90
                                A real Gibson LP is not 7 times better than an upgraded Epiphone LP. Both can play blisteringly awesome riffs in the right hands.

                                I have two pieces of anecdotal evidence to prove my point:

                                1. I used to own an LP copy that absolutely blasted incredible tone. Its only problem was that it was too heavy (made of plywood). It got better rock tones than my LP Studio, but

                                2. I currently own a wonderful, well-made, toneful PRS that would be the pride of anyone's collection but it isn't my #1. My #1 is a Korean PRS SE with upgraded pickups.