Harmony Central Forums
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

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

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse









X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • I used to have a saying here - there are only good guitars and bad guitars. Some of them are cheap and some are expensive.

    However there comes a time when you've had quite a bit of gear, you know how you want things to sound and you know that all the budget stuff isn't really getting you there. It's at that point that you have to start asking yourself if it's really worth getting another cheap but interesting guitar or amp to add to the collection, or whether what you really want is something that sounds fabulous.

    So the question - is a Gibson THAT much better? No (especially if you get one of the dogs) but it may well be the only guitar that will give you the sound and feel that you want. I've gassed as much as anyone here, bought and sold, but I've trimmed back to a core of great guitars (not all expensive) and good amp/speaker combinations because I'd rather have an outfit that will make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck than a couple of dozen guitars that sound OK.

    Just remember there are more Les Pauls around than those made by Gibson. I own the joint second best Les Paul I ever played anywhere, and it's made by Tokai in Japan. The guitar it's join 2nd with was a Gibson VOS '58, owned by the guy I bought it from. The best I ever played was a Gibson Studio lite (with badly mismatched top) about 7 or 8 years ago, and I had no idea what a Gem it was at the time because I was a strat player just starting on LPs.
    http://tertl.blogspot.com - The Blog of the Ancient Mariner

    Grumpy old man from the Yew Kay.

    WTB Emi Ramrod

    Dirty 30 AC30 Crew

    Good deals with Darxcide, MetalheadUK, Farmer Geddon, Lanefair, Chris006, ChrisB, Zoidberg, Uncle Psychosis, Krashpad, Loobs, stevemcb, Prauny, Benecol, Muttz, axis player, Ratae Coritanorum.

    Comment


    • 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.


      Its definately the quality of the wood and workmanship. to an extremely small content the finish. The metal on EPis are softer cheaper metal. This doesnt affest the tone a whole lot but it does wear out faster. Pots = zero difference in tone. Have no idea why guys think they would and its constantly brought up. Theres just no truth in it at all. pots are resistors. If they read right they reduce the signal level, thats it. Nothing dealing with sound quality is going to change passing the signal through one carbon potentiometer or another. They all use carbon. Epi Pots and switches are cheaper quality however and can wear out quicker. Still you can get a good 10 years normal use out of them with a few cleanings before they need replacement.

      The pups themselves yes. They are between generics grade quality and Gibsons. This is one of the areas you can improve the sound of an EPI but its not going to be cheap and its not going to get you all the way there.

      Pickups can only duplicate the tone of the strings on the instrument produce. If the tone isnt present to begin with they arent going to synthasize something that does not exist.
      Its like a microphone. put a great voice in front of it and the voice sounds great, if the voice sucks, it doesnt matter how good the voice is, a better mic wont make it sound better.

      Reminds me of that joke Bill Cosby had on his show. give an **************************** cocaine and it only makes him a bigger ****************************.

      This is the same thing when it comes to guitar pickups. I just dont understand why many dont get it. Put great pickups on a guitar with crappy tone and all you get is more crappy tone. Yes you can change the frequency responce and signal strength with different pickups. But neither of them spell better tone. If I EQ a mic or adjust bthe gain, does it make they're voice better? Of course not. that can only be done by improving the vocal cords themselves. In a guitar it would involve using high quality materials in a build to get the best possible resonance.

      Here again, who can raise their hands and say they have enough experience playing say carved top ES335 and also play a plywood body EPI dot?
      Few would be able to tell you why one sounds better over another I imagine. They may know that sounds different but they have littel knowlege as to why.

      Epi's just dont used the good wood in a build. Its getting rare and is expensive as all get out. Thats it, end of story. All else being equal I'm surprised so few fail to realize the differences wood makes. Its got to be a lack of exposure playing fine quality instruments. I was luckey because I grew up playing all those used 60's guitars. You could buy them for chump change like $50 a pop in the early 70s, I bought all kinds of gibsons for $50~150 each then. They were considered to be good used junk. Who cares if it was a littel beat up. It sounded great and kicked butt. Who would know the value would sky rocket like it has though. Man If I ever thought inflation would drive them up so high.

      EPI's went to **************** when gibson bought them. You could buy Gibson Goldtop deluxes for $350 used in the mid 70's all over the place. EPI's, you couldnt give them away. The acoustic line did do a littel better though during those years. Epis improved alot in the past 15 years though. I can see where kids might think they compare to gibsons bit its mostly illusion.. They see two guitars in a magizine and see thay look alike so they must sound alike. Right?

      Gibson too had issues trying to meet market dermands. They were sucking too much quality out in trade for profits and they put out some clunkers. I think they're over most of that now.

      Some dont think the extra cost is worth the improvement in quality. So be it. It is a pyramid. As you get to the top the differences do get smaller and smaller. Someone who hasnt develloped a sweet tooth for fine guitars may be better off not knowing about it. Its like having a hot chick, they can be very demanding on the wallet, but hell you only live once.

      Comment


      • Its definately the quality of the wood and workmanship.....
        ......Epi's just dont used the good wood in a build. Its getting rare and is expensive as all get out. Thats it, end of story. All else being equal I'm surprised so few fail to realize the differences wood makes.


        I'll actually disagree with you as I think wood quality is EXTREMELY overrated when it comes to a solid-body electric guitar. All those '10 tops' used on PRS's or the ultra figured tops on Gibson's are chosen based on looks alone. The most obvious example is spalted maple.....'spalted' sounds more exotic than 'rotten' which is what it really is. Hell, even birdseyes are technically a defect in the wood. From a structural standpoint both are inferior woods.

        I've never heard a 'bad' tonewood; I've heard guitars where the pickups were ill matched to a particular guitar but that's not the wood's fault. I've heard teles made out of MDF that sounded fantastic.....there's even a youtube video out there of a guitar made out of a cinder block that sounds very good. Every played a Gibson SG Zoot Suit? it's stained and laminated Birch (freaking plywood). Guess what, they sound great to my ears.

        Comment


        • ^^ However, certain lumps of wood, of the same variety can be better than others - I'm pretty sure of it - usually as a result of resonance, etc, which is not a massive part of the equation once you plug it in, but can make a difference. I once owned a Gibson SG Classic, but it was crap, mainly because it died completely on the 12th-13th frets - no sustain at all, just died, particularly on the G string. Nothing anybody could do could change it and I'm pretty sure it was partly to do with the body itself (and perhaps the neck join?), as other SGs weren't like that. Overall it was flat and dull sounding. I've played teles of exactly the same model, same pickups etc etc, where one sounded quite a bit livelier plugged in than the other, and I'm pretty sure it was PARTLY to do with the wood of the body.
          My band:

          http://lightbulbmomentband.com/

          Follow me on twitter

          Comment


          • I once owned a Gibson SG Classic, but it was crap, mainly because it died completely on the 12th-13th frets - no sustain at all, just died, particularly on the G string. Nothing anybody could do could change it and I'm pretty sure it was partly to do with the body itself (and perhaps the neck join?), as other SGs weren't like that. Overall it was flat and dull sounding. I've played teles of exactly the same model, same pickups etc etc, where one sounded quite a bit livelier plugged in than the other, and I'm pretty sure it was PARTLY to do with the wood of the body.


            I would suspect an issue with the build quality and not the wood itself. Something like a tiny air gap between the fretboard and the neck in those spots....every play on a basketball court with dead spots as this would be similar. Perhaps frets not fully seated. As for the tele's I would immediately suspect the neck pocket.

            I'm not saying that there isn't variation btw woods or even btw the same species of wood because there most definitely is. I just see them as 'different' and not better/worse. If I'm shooting for a very traditional strat sound I'm going to use Alder or if I want a trad LP sound I'm going to use Mahog with a Maple cap in HOPES of getting the sound I'm after. My current build is a HH Mahogany Strat body with SD JB/JAZZ combo. I choose this combination because Mahog is generally warm sounding and the JB can be a bit harsh/edgy....the goal is for them to work together to get what I hope will sound great. There's no way to know until the ENTIRE guitar is complete.

            Comment


            • As for the tele's I would immediately suspect the neck pocket.


              Now, you see, there's something I think is completely blown out of proportion... most people 'spot' a neck pocket gap down the side of the pocket, but that is not the point at which very much resonance is passing at all - it is nearly all through the base and the bottom of the neck. And then the vast majority of people would be 'OK' with a very very thin neck pocket (of say a piece of paper width), but not one of half a cm width, even though the effect on the resonance would be exactly the same, since there is no contact.
              My band:

              http://lightbulbmomentband.com/

              Follow me on twitter

              Comment


              • Now, you see, there's something I think is completely blown out of proportion... most people 'spot' a neck pocket gap down the side of the pocket, but that is not the point at which very much resonance is passing at all - it is nearly all through the base and the bottom of the neck. And then the vast majority of people would be 'OK' with a very very thin neck pocket (of say a piece of paper width), but not one of half a cm width, even though the effect on the resonance would be exactly the same, since there is no contact.


                Don't disagree with you at all actually. But If I was holding two bolt-on guitars that were supposedly identical and one resonated acoustically much better than the other then I'm going to first suspect the neck pocket. Here's something I do to EVERY bolt-on guitar I deal with. When tuned to pitch I loosen each neck screw about 1/4 a turn with the hopes of the neck getting pulled tighter into the pocket. I then tighten them back up. On some guitars this will have a dramatic effect on them....others ZERO.

                Comment


                • ^^ Fair ding dong.
                  My band:

                  http://lightbulbmomentband.com/

                  Follow me on twitter

                  Comment


                  • ^^ Fair ding dong.


                    BTW, found the Cinder Block Guitar videos: http://www.lashbrookguitars.com/video3.html

                    Comment


                    • BTW, found the Cinder Block Guitar videos: http://www.lashbrookguitars.com/video3.html


                      Cool. Someone should make one with a magentic pup and see what happens.
                      Information is not knowledge
                      Knowledge is not wisdom
                      Wisdom is not truth
                      Truth is not beauty
                      Beauty is not love
                      Love is not music.
                      Music Is The Best.

                      - Frank Zappa

                      Comment


                      • there are just lots of vids and stuff of skunk baxter and steve Morris..
                        playing the hell out of lucite guitars... not a bit of wood on those cept the neck,,,
                        tell me.. skunk baxter has bad tone... this whole good wood bad wood thing,,
                        come on now... when fender started the last thing on his mind was wood quality..
                        its not about the wood.. as long as it hold down the bridge you can make any solid object a guitar.. when les built his first guitar its was a rail road tie.. electric guitars just do not behave like acoustic.. so the tonal qualites are completely different for solid bodies at least..

                        but believe what you will, spin all sorts of fluffy talk about "well this company uses inferior wood"... meh.. once its leaves the phone jack on the guitar its on its way to complete defilement by the pedals or those little glassy tubes and filiments or what ever... the prestine signal is gone the min.. a pickup grabs the vib from the string..

                        perhaps Lucite is just a really good tone wood..?
                        Electric Cowbell.. meh...
                        http://www.soundclick.com/bands/defa...&content=music

                        Scuzzo's Sound Clicks
                        Mixed for Headphones only
                        all pictures sound the same....
                        The"Let Me Hear Your Original Works" please feel free to add your stuff..
                        Funk
                        Avaunt-Guard
                        Blues
                        Jazz

                        Comment




                        • LMFAO!!!!

                          Yes... Gibson does smoke Epiphone... Are there good playing epiphone guitars? Absolutely..... Are the majority I play kind of crap? Yea, but they're a $400 guitar...

                          In all reality I've never played a Gibson that was just complete **************** from the factory... Have their been hiccups here and there? Absolutely... But all fan boying aside I would love it if a $400 guitar smoked my Deluxe, my Customs etc... Trust me, I'd own em.

                          I've played some Samick made Epiphones that were very nicely put together...
                          DEALS: yoyoDunno (Custom Shop Dean) | Uberthrall (Amps/guitars/etc) | standing8count (USA KV2) | kaboompishkapish (Peavey Ultra Plus FS) | dAsPlayzZ (1981 JCM800) |mylilss (Peavey XXX) | FFEMT596 (Marshall for Genz-Benz) George Djentson (ADA Rig) | Spadeace (Kramer American) | DonP (Pickup) | Spindlergallery (Modified Plexi) | RCSloan (pickups/neck) | Surferbeto (Danelectro Reel Echo) + mooooore

                          I play Marshalls.

                          http://www.RobGodek.com

                          Comment


                          • there are just lots of vids and stuff of skunk baxter and steve Morris..
                            playing the hell out of lucite guitars... not a bit of wood on those cept the neck,,,
                            tell me.. skunk baxter has bad tone... this whole good wood bad wood thing,,
                            come on now... when fender started the last thing on his mind was wood quality..
                            its not about the wood.. as long as it hold down the bridge you can make any solid object a guitar.. when les built his first guitar its was a rail road tie.. electric guitars just do not behave like acoustic.. so the tonal qualites are completely different for solid bodies at least..

                            but believe what you will, spin all sorts of fluffy talk about "well this company uses inferior wood"... meh.. once its leaves the phone jack on the guitar its on its way to complete defilement by the pedals or those little glassy tubes and filiments or what ever... the prestine signal is gone the min.. a pickup grabs the vib from the string..

                            perhaps Lucite is just a really good tone wood..?


                            You're right actually - I get great sounds out of a broom handle I once converted into a guitar. It only has two strings, but it's just as good as any other guitar I've ever played. There's not neck pocket to worry about either.
                            My band:

                            http://lightbulbmomentband.com/

                            Follow me on twitter

                            Comment


                            • I'll actually disagree with you as I think wood quality is EXTREMELY overrated when it comes to a solid-body electric guitar. All those '10 tops' used on PRS's or the ultra figured tops on Gibson's are chosen based on looks alone. The most obvious example is spalted maple.....'spalted' sounds more exotic than 'rotten' which is what it really is. Hell, even birdseyes are technically a defect in the wood. From a structural standpoint both are inferior woods.

                              I've never heard a 'bad' tonewood; I've heard guitars where the pickups were ill matched to a particular guitar but that's not the wood's fault. I've heard teles made out of MDF that sounded fantastic.....there's even a youtube video out there of a guitar made out of a cinder block that sounds very good. Every played a Gibson SG Zoot Suit? it's stained and laminated Birch (freaking plywood). Guess what, they sound great to my ears.

                              All I know is that I can sit down at almost any guitar store and take any Epiphone LP off the rack and any Gibson LP off the rack, sit there without plugging into an amp and they will sound completely different to me. I can sit there and do that with any two Epiphones and any two Gibsons as well, but the Gibson will almost always sound fuller and have more resonance. All things taken into consideration I really have to believe that it comes down to the wood.

                              And I'm with Reignman, you can find good and bad in both, but I have yet to find that $400 guitar that sounds better because I've spent years looking for it. I'm cheap, I'm not just saying that because if it said "I'm a pedophile" on the headstock and it sounded great I'd buy the damn thing and put a sticker on it.
                              AxeFXII with these: Axis | BMG RS | Strat |N4| LP Classic | SG Classic | Sheraton | Tele

                              Comment


                              • Literally everything past a point is a case diminishing returns. I get surprised how many people don't seem to get this. Just how good do you expect things to be? That's what it's about. Some people, it's like they expect something twice as expensive to be twice as "good". And what's better anyways? People throw better or worse around like it's science.

                                Here's what I can tell you. Epiphones exist. Gibsons exist. I've played some I like. I've played some I don't like. If I didn't like it, I didn't buy it or at least didn't keep it. The bad ones don't affect me in the sense that, if I don't like it, I don't have to keep it.
                                Rock N' Roll, Pop N' Soul.

                                Gibson Les Paul Jr. DC
                                Gibson Les Paul Special
                                Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro
                                Vox AC15VR

                                Good Transactions: landbriancoe, johnbegone, relva3, MCon, funbnme.

                                Comment



                                Working...
                                X