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epiphone Vintage G-400 Electric Guitar

Sound Quality

I always check an electric unplugged at first. If the body doesn't ring true unplugged it will sound like crap no matter what pickups you put in it. This one had really nice resonance so I plugged it in. I played through a couple different amps and it sounded good through all of them. People knock the pickups in this guitar, but I think they are Good for what they are supposed to be. That is PAF like pickups, not mega hot dimebuckers. They sound like they are supposed too IMHO. I bought this guitar to use in my cover band when we do AC/DC and Black Sabbath tunes. I don't think I will change the pickups as they sound crunchy vs. super distorted, and thats what I wanted it for. However, if I were to use it as my main guitar, I would put a Tone Zone in the bridge and it would be more versatile. I like the neck pickup as is and don't think I'd change it even if I did change the bridge p/u. Otherwise, it sounds like a SG is supposed to, and at $299 at most places, the Vintage G-400 is a steal.


I don't see why this guitar wouldn't stand some abuse. It is fairly well built and should last a long time. The volume and tone pots, and the input jack need to be replaced. They are crap and will be noisy sooner than later. I was suprised that the 3 way switch is not the cheapest one they could find to install, and I think it will not be a problem. Finish is somekind of poly and should wear well. I never play without a backup, not because I don't trust my guitars, but because I don't trust strings. Other than that I don't see why I would ever worry about this being the only guitar I brought.

General Comments

I have been playing for over 30 years now. I own all kinds of gear at all price points. I have a PRS and I have an OLP MM1, so I'm not a gear snob. I like things that work and think of my guitars as tools not prized possesions. All my guitars get gigged regularly and if they get nicked or scratched, hey it adds character. I also build my own guitars and I have done setups for other, so I speak from some experience. One of my favorite things to do is find guitars like this one (budget) and hot rod them. I really would like a '61 Gibson reissue SG, but I refuse to pay $2000 for one. I've owned 3 "real" SG's in my time and never paid more than $350 for one NEW. Of course that was in the '70's and 80's, but hey, $2000 for an SG?! Never...


Anyways, point is I still wanted an SG. I've played the regular G-400's and I don't like them at all. The neck is to thick and wide (very un-SG like) and I never picked one up that I liked the tone of. I like SG standards over the Special's, so I really wanted a bound neck. I saw the "vintage" on the internet when it came out, and it caught my eye, but the local Guitar Centers didn't have any in stock until recently. When I finally picked one up though, I was amazed at how much it felt like a "real" SG (again, I've owned 3 Gibson's). I sat and played it for over an hour in the store and couldn't believe they are actually cheaper than the G-400. It took me going back and playing it , and comparing it with Gibson's, about a half dozen times before I decided to buy it, and I'm glad I did. I will swap out the pots and input jack, put some T strap buttons on it and possible change the bridge p/u. After a full setup I think it will play as good as a Gibson. Blindfolded I doubt anyone could tell the difference.


I used to recomend Mexi Strats as a good starter guitars, but for less money and more versatility, the "vintage" is my new pick. It is extremely playable and sounds decent out of the box.


One negative though if you are unfamiliar with SG's is they are neck heavy. The head will dive on you if you don't rest your arm on the body. This is typical of SG's so I don't hold it against this model. Once you get used to it though, it becomes a non-issue. Just use a leather strap and it helps by gripping your shirt a little.

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