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Are the lower priced Gibson acoustics noticbly better than an Epiphone Masterbilt?

#21 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 02:17 PM

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@chasAK - Yes.

View PostAllenjason95, on 18 March 2017 - 10:55 AM, said:

... My question was if the low end Gibsons worth upgrading to. ...


This all depends on what type of sound you want and how much money you're willing to spend. What price range were you're referring to with "the lower priced Gibson acoustics"? I'll guess you meant below the cost of a J-45 $2399. The low end is the J-15 at $1499 - as I more or less said, I think a bit of close call against a Masterbuilt, with J-15 having the edge. To be more clear, I would skip the J-15 and go to a J-35, or better a J-45. Even a LG2 AE as Sal mentioned. There's also the HP series - HP-415W $1599, HP-635W $1799, and the HP-665SB $1999.


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#22 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 03:14 PM

View PostchasAK, on 18 March 2017 - 02:00 PM, said:

Isn't there still a sizable price difference between the two?




Yeah, otherwise I would have just bought a Gibson instead of an Epiphone in the first place. I'm just wondering if the differences between the Gibson and Epiphone justifies the difference in price.
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#23 User is offline   sbpark 

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 03:38 PM

View PostAllenjason95, on 18 March 2017 - 03:14 PM, said:

Yeah, otherwise I would have just bought a Gibson instead of an Epiphone in the first place. I'm just wondering if the difference that justifies the difference in price.


That's a decision that has to be made by each individual; dictated by budget, features you want/need, specs, sound, etc. It's not a cut and dry yes or no answer. Both guitars are made to cater to a certain type or group of players. You seem to just want to hear cut and dry answers to your questions, but the answers you're getting are showing that there is not definitive answer for the reasons everyone has stated as examples.
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#24 User is offline   Mojorule 

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 05:38 PM

If my SJ were broken or stolen, I would certainly start saving up and looking for a J35 which had a comparable tone as a replacement. I like to think that the polite J35 I've tried is not typical. I'd also try any J15s I came across in case they had the sound. To have a gloss nitro finish and Bozeman handy work at its best, I would invest the extra money - provided the guitar had the sound that I look for in a short-scale Gibson slopeshoulder. Recently 2016 J35s have been going for just under 1000 here, which is very good for a new guitar of that quality. In one case there was one for sale at 899 which gave me severe GAS - as if I had the money and needed another Gibson in the same vein as my SJ. But I don't have the money and don't need a second Gibson acoustic. Given current financial circumstances, if I did lose my SJ, I might buy a Masterbilt AJ45 first, so that I had something to play while I saved up and found the right J35.
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#25 User is offline   aliasphobias 

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 06:38 PM

IMO the difference does justify the price. One other thing you might consider, resale (although it may not apply to you). With the Gibson you can probably expect most of your money back, if bought correctly.
If you look on Reverb there are some reasonably priced j45s, j50s, j35s. PayPal will finance 6 months same as cash. What's not to love?
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#26 User is offline   Pittgibson45 

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 07:10 PM

I really like my Epiphone Masterbilt. It is a very nice guitar, however it is not in the same league as my J 35. I don't think they are as close to each other as some others have found them to be. I would say that the Gibson is very much noticbly better than an Epiphone Masterbilt.
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#27 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:20 AM

View Postsbpark, on 18 March 2017 - 03:38 PM, said:

That's a decision that has to be made by each individual; dictated by budget, features you want/need, specs, sound, etc. It's not a cut and dry yes or no answer. Both guitars are made to cater to a certain type or group of players. You seem to just want to hear cut and dry answers to your questions, but the answers you're getting are showing that there is not definitive answer for the reasons everyone has stated as examples.


"I seem to want cut and dry answers"? You seem not to have actually read my posts. I wanted opinions and suggestions. I LITERALLY said that in my first post.

Both Epiphones and s Gibsons guitars are made to cater to certain types of players? No, Epiphones and Gibsons are made to cater to different budgets more than different "players". You can get a good used Masterbilt for between $250-300. I paid less than $300 for mine. You will not find a good used Gibson acoustic for anywhere near that. I didn't even look at Gibsons when I bought my Epiphone because a Gibson simply wasn't in my budget. It's like Squire and Fender USA, those aren't made for different "types" of players as far as playing style goes, they're made for people who have different budgets. Someone shopping for a Squire usually isn't choosing between a Squire and a Fender USA because if they could afford a real Fender they wouldn't be in the market for a Squire.

I don't know why whenever someone starts a thread like this someone like you always has to reply with "it varies for every person and every guitar is different" or "that's a decision that has to be made by each individual". That's obvious.

But there are still general truths about the quality of guitars and I wanted suggestions from people who know what they're talking about and people I could ask questions. A Gibson LP is (to most people) absolutely superior to a Chibson copy for example. My first guitar was a POS Lotus Strat. I can definitively say it was of lower quality than any real Fender I've ever played. I can say for a fact that my current Marshall tube amp is superior to the non tube Park I started off playing on. I own a Gibson LP junior and I have owned an Epiphone LP Junior and I can absolutely say the Gibson is a much higher quality guitar and if anyone ever asked me if the price difference between a Gibson .Jr and an Epiphone Jr was justified I would tell them hell yes it is. My Epiphone Jr wouldn't even stay in tune for more than a strum or two.

But a high end Epiphone and a low end Gibson are a little closer in quality and the Masterbilts have a really good rep.

I'm asking people who know about Gibson acoustics (since this is the Gibson acoustic forum?) how they compare to the Masterbilts in their OPINION and whether in their OPINION the lower end Gibsons are worth the extra money and which models to look at. I'm not asking someone to tell me exactly what guitar to buy. I'm not asking them to make a decision for me.

I mean, I literally said in my first post "I'M LOOKING FOR SUGGESTIONS" and that I knew someone like you would reply with "just play some Gibsons for yourself" but you still did it. The old "play the guitars yourself, no one can make that decision for you" cliche is trite and obvious. It's not like I just started playing guitar man, I just don't know much about Gibson acoustics.
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#28 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:23 AM

View PostPittgibson45, on 18 March 2017 - 07:10 PM, said:

I really like my Epiphone Masterbilt. It is a very nice guitar, however it is not in the same league as my J 35. I don't think they are as close to each other as some others have found them to be. I would say that the Gibson is very much noticbly better than an Epiphone Masterbilt.


The main thing that I don't like about my Masterbilt is it sounds really "bright" for lack of a better word. I'm looking for something with a more balanced sound.
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#29 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:31 AM

View Postaliasphobias, on 18 March 2017 - 06:38 PM, said:

IMO the difference does justify the price. One other thing you might consider, resale (although it may not apply to you). With the Gibson you can probably expect most of your money back, if bought correctly.
If you look on Reverb there are some reasonably priced j45s, j50s, j35s. PayPal will finance 6 months same as cash. What's not to love?


I'm not too worried about resale but I always buy used so if I have to sell I won't lose much if anything. I bought my Masterbilt used and if sold it tomorrow I'd probably be able to get what I paid for it.
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#30 User is offline   Cougar 

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:36 AM

View PostAllenjason95, on 18 March 2017 - 06:31 AM, said:

....is the difference between an Epiphone Masterbilt and a Gibson worth the price difference?


The thing is - and this seems true for all more expensive guitars, not just Gibson - as the quality, playability, and 'good tone' increase linearly, the price increases exponentially. That's just how it seems, anyway.

I started with Masterbilts too. Love 'em. Still have a few. But after some years of acquiring deals I couldn't pass up, I figured I could cash some in and get a Gibson. I wanted a J-45, but I was seduced by the J-15's excellent price and excellent reviews from guys on this board. I had an order in for one, but just before I got it, I was beguiled by a great deal on a competitor's used model that's normally up in the $2000 range (Guild jumbo F50R). You want to talk bling? Over and above the usual bling on this model (sunburst, abalone rosette, ebony fretboard, etc., which was all I was looking for), this thing came with freaking emeralds inlaid on the bridge pins and tuning posts. Fortunately, I didn't seem to have to pay anything extra for that!

But yeah, bling's not your thing, and I'll join the others in suggesting the J-15. It's got a very nice, understated abalone rosette, which is bling enough. And though it's a made-in-Bozeman Gibson, the price is very un-Gibson-like. Good luck in your search!
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#31 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:47 AM

View PostCougar, on 19 March 2017 - 05:36 AM, said:

The thing is - and this seems true for all more expensive guitars, not just Gibson - as the quality, playability, and 'good tone' increase linearly, the price increases exponentially. That's just how it seems, anyway.

I started with Masterbilts too. Love 'em. Still have a few. But after some years of acquiring deals I couldn't pass up, I figured I could cash some in and get a Gibson. I wanted a J-45, but I was seduced by the J-15's excellent price and excellent reviews from guys on this board. I had an order in for one, but just before I got it, I was beguiled by a great deal on a competitor's used model that's normally up in the $2000 range (Guild jumbo F50R). You want to talk bling? Over and above the usual bling on this model (sunburst, abalone rosette, ebony fretboard, etc., which was all I was looking for), this thing came with freaking emeralds inlaid on the bridge pins and tuning posts. Fortunately, I didn't seem to have to pay anything extra for that!

But yeah, bling's not your thing, and I'll join the others in suggesting the J-15. It's got a very nice, understated abalone rosette, which is bling enough. And though it's a made-in-Bozeman Gibson, the price is very un-Gibson-like. Good luck in your search!


Thanks. I don't mind bling, I just don't really care one way or the other and don't want to spend a bunch on an acoustic guitar just because it's fancy looking. I've asked this question elsewhere and the J-15 keeps coming up and I keep hearing good things so I'm leaning towards that model.
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#32 User is offline   sbpark 

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:17 AM

View PostAllenjason95, on 19 March 2017 - 04:20 AM, said:

"I seem to want cut and dry answers"? You seem not to have actually read my posts. I wanted opinions and suggestions. I LITERALLY said that in my first post.

Both Epiphones and s Gibsons guitars are made to cater to certain types of players? No, Epiphones and Gibsons are made to cater to different budgets more than different "players". You can get a good used Masterbilt for between $250-300. I paid less than $300 for mine. You will not find a good used Gibson acoustic for anywhere near that. I didn't even look at Gibsons when I bought my Epiphone because a Gibson simply wasn't in my budget. It's like Squire and Fender USA, those aren't made for different "types" of players as far as playing style goes, they're made for people who have different budgets. Someone shopping for a Squire usually isn't choosing between a Squire and a Fender USA because if they could afford a real Fender they wouldn't be in the market for a Squire.

I don't know why whenever someone starts a thread like this someone like you always has to reply with "it varies for every person and every guitar is different" or "that's a decision that has to be made by each individual". That's obvious.

But there are still general truths about the quality of guitars and I wanted suggestions from people who know what they're talking about and people I could ask questions. A Gibson LP is (to most people) absolutely superior to a Chibson copy for example. My first guitar was a POS Lotus Strat. I can definitively say it was of lower quality than any real Fender I've ever played. I can say for a fact that my current Marshall tube amp is superior to the non tube Park I started off playing on. I own a Gibson LP junior and I have owned an Epiphone LP Junior and I can absolutely say the Gibson is a much higher quality guitar and if anyone ever asked me if the price difference between a Gibson .Jr and an Epiphone Jr was justified I would tell them hell yes it is. My Epiphone Jr wouldn't even stay in tune for more than a strum or two.

But a high end Epiphone and a low end Gibson are a little closer in quality and the Masterbilts have a really good rep.

I'm asking people who know about Gibson acoustics (since this is the Gibson acoustic forum?) how they compare to the Masterbilts in their OPINION and whether in their OPINION the lower end Gibsons are worth the extra money and which models to look at. I'm not asking someone to tell me exactly what guitar to buy. I'm not asking them to make a decision for me.

I mean, I literally said in my first post "I'M LOOKING FOR SUGGESTIONS" and that I knew someone like you would reply with "just play some Gibsons for yourself" but you still did it. The old "play the guitars yourself, no one can make that decision for you" cliche is trite and obvious. It's not like I just started playing guitar man, I just don't know much about Gibson acoustics.


Guess you know everything and answered all your own questions and have it all figured out! Good luck!
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#33 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:06 PM

View Postsbpark, on 19 March 2017 - 10:17 AM, said:

Guess you know everything and answered all your own questions and have it all figured out! Good luck!


Dude, what is your problem? I asked for people's opinions and suggestions and you replied with "it seems like you want cut and dried answers" and now "guess you know everything"?

what bothers you so much about me asking for recomendations and opinions? How does it affect you at all? Just ignore my posts please.
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#34 User is offline   sbpark 

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:11 PM

View PostAllenjason95, on 19 March 2017 - 01:06 PM, said:

Dude, what is your problem? I asked for people's opinions and suggestions and you replied with "it seems like you want cut and dried answers" and now "guess you know everything"?

what bothers you so much about me asking for recomendations and opinions? How does it affect you at all? Just ignore my posts please.


No problem. Just seemed like you kept asking the same question after others replied. That's just the impression I got. Take it easy, piranha.
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#35 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:35 PM

View Postsbpark, on 19 March 2017 - 01:11 PM, said:

No problem. Just seemed like you kept asking the same question after others replied. That's just the impression I got. Take it easy, piranha.


I can't help how you interpreted what I said dude. Did you notice no one else in the thread had any trouble with what I was saying or had any problem answering my questions?
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#36 User is offline   sbpark 

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:39 PM

View PostAllenjason95, on 19 March 2017 - 01:35 PM, said:

I can't help how you interpreted what I said dude. Did you notice no one else in the thread had any trouble with what I was saying or had any problem answering my questions?


Done with this crap. Go somewhere else for the attention buddy. I got better things to do. Go play some Gibsons and figure it out for yourself. If my words are so offensive feel free to go to your safe space and coddle your trophies and it will al be better. Later!
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#37 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:42 PM

View Postsbpark, on 19 March 2017 - 01:39 PM, said:

Done with this crap. Go somewhere else for the attention buddy. I got better things to do. Go play some Gibsons and figure it out for yourself. Later!


OK?

How how many times are you going to say goodbye? Keep it up and you're going have more "final appearances" than Frank Sinatra.
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#38 User is offline   djw171 

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 06:50 AM

View PostBigKahune, on 18 March 2017 - 12:47 PM, said:

Yes, for instance the J-15 swaps out mahogany body and rosewood fingerboard/bridge for walnut. An alternative wood for fingerboard and bridge. If it is just the wood, it's pretty impressive that domestic sourced walnut can save $700 on a slope price - $2199 J-45 (hog and rosewood) to $1499 J-15 (walnut and walnut).

That's a compromise of sorts in my mind - I prefer ebony or rosewood fingerboards. I recall Gibson tried using layered rosewood during the Lacey period for fingerboards and bridges in the acoustic division, and for fingerboards on certain electric models. In the electric division there were also other alternative fingerboard woods being used (Baked Maple, Obeche, Curacao De Negro). Some folks were fine with that, others, including me, weren't.


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The J15 has maple neck over the J45's hog. Also the 45 has the mop headstock inlay. Don't forget the sunburst finish also on the J45.

The J15 is a superb guitar and well worth the price.
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#39 User is offline   mz-s 

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:01 AM

As with nearly anything in life, you can get 95% there for half the price. That's true with the AJ-45 Masterbilt vs. the J-15, in my opinion.
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#40 User is offline   Jinder 

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:24 AM

I think Masterbilts are good solid guitars but a Gibson will always be in the next league up.

I had a J15 for a bit, loved the tone but the intonation was out of whack on mine and I fell out of love with the short scale. Great guitar if you snag a good one though.

J35s and J29s are both corkers too. Really nice instruments for not too much money.

I had an LG2AE for a bit too and liked it well enough, it was just a bit small all round for my tastes. I traded it for my SJ100 '41 reissue and have no regrets at all-but then I'm 199cm tall and a Jumbo always suits me better than a parlour!
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