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Epiphone IB texan tops J-35

#1 User is offline   revolver66 

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:42 AM

At a folk club last week(Dan McKinnon main act, absolutely brill). Did a couple of numbers on my new IB Texan which went down well. A bloke a couple of seats behind me was debuting his new J-35 later that evening. Again sounded good but IMHO not as good as my Epi(however I am biased). During the break said dude approached me and asked if he could have a play of mine and proceeded to tell me he preferred the sound and playability of the IB Texan and now felt he had a guitar that he didn't think was worth the price tag.

Now I guess I had about 10-15 years on this bloke and so kept my own council and made sympathetic noises like, 'Give it time', 'Wait till the top opens up etc. etc. I then got his guitar life story about a Martin and a Lowden he had which were all disappointing and so this was another in a recent period of despair. I was tempted to comment that he had more money than sense but discretion being the better part of valour I abstained.

Upshot is 300 got me a great axe which a lot of people(well recently anyway)seem to covet. A good friend of mine has recently purchased the Epiphone Hummingbird Pro and couldn't be more pleased with it. Epiphone you seem to be doing so much right with your acoustics, why such a small range?

#2 User is offline   dhanners623 

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:59 AM

Glad you got a good one (I love mine) but I wouldn't judge the whole J-35 production run (or the IB'64 Texan's, for that matter) from one guitar. There are a lot of factors that go into the sound, and there is every likelihood that when the '35 gets some age, it'll be a great guitar. And, let's face it -- if they made the J-35 in the same factory that makes the Texans, its price would be lower. (And, conversely, if they made the Texans in Montana, they'd be pricier.)

That said, I'm of the belief that the average IB'64 Texan is an above-average guitar, especially for the money.
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#3 User is offline   GuitarLight 

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 02:37 PM

The Texan is a great guitar with rich tone and gusto! You can't go wrong with a Texan!

#4 User is offline   Red 333 

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 08:39 AM

Very positive review of the IB Texan in Acoustic Guitar Magazine.


Red 333

#5 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 08:57 AM

Not trying to be rude but I never take anybody's else's opinions on guitars to heart. If I did I probably would not own a few of the guitars that I do and have more fun than a body has a right to.

I have very limited experience with either the IB Texan or J-35 - I mean we are talking about playing one of each. I admit I was not overly enamored with this particular J-35 - a bit too bright sounding for my taste. I really did like the sound of the Texan. But I was not crazy about the skinny neck which to me is a deal breaker. I also played a newish J-45 during that particular binge. If I was determined to walk out with a guitar at the end of the day the J-45 would have won out over the J-35 or the Texan. But at the moment I have my eye on a 1950s Harmony Sovereign (which after some needed repairs I figure will end up running me about the same as a new Texan) so it is a bit difficult to distract me.

"I play so rough - I stomp 'em"
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#6 User is offline   celticrogues 

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 12:49 AM

That just goes to show everyone's opinion is different!

I had an IB Texan for awhile last year and really wanted to love it but I just didn't... String changes, saddle swap, nothing made me want to play it. Just seemed dull and unresponsive to me.

But I picked up a J35 in Sam Ash and instantly fell in love. I picked it over all of the other Gibsons in the store that day and I still love the sound and feel of it - it's balanced and reaponsive to strumming or flatpicking or fingerpicking; its a guitar that makes me want to keep playing more and more.


#7 User is offline   milod 

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 12:11 PM

In theory at minimum the 35 should have better quality materials if not more artisanship. Ditto the Gibbie slopes in general to the Epi slopes in general, including the Masterbuilts.

But each instrument is an individual. I keep coming back to what HenryJ said of his own guitars, that even two that were made next to each other on the production line will have something of a different feel. "Feel?" Part of that is physical but let's also face it, part is psychological.

Leaving electrics entirely aside, acoustics also have a batch of variables that make a lot of difference to sound and playability for a given individual.

Strings, picks and/or picking style, overall technique, the actual physical geometry between the player and the guitar - and that's before one gets into such arguments as tusq nuts vs bone, yada yada.

Frankly I think an acoustic player of much experience could make any guitar sound good or bad depending on whether he/she had an inclination to do so. That being the case, one might also suggest that a poor sounding good guitar, be it Epi or Gibbie, owes much of that poor sound to the picker. Ditto a good sounding guitar, Epi or Gibbie.

Don't take that wrong, a POS is just that. But even a low-end laminate top Epi can sound awfully nice. And never forget that in the '50s there were lots of arguments over bracing and laminate uses and string choices on Gibsons that still haven't entirely been answered under either headstock.


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