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'92 Les Paul or 2013 Genesis?

#1 User is offline   geps 

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 01:01 AM

Hi everyone.
I was looking for a second hand Epiphone Les Paul, but I was not finding anything good around me. Some days ago I've seen a sale ad for a 2013 Epiphon Genesis and I was quite convinced to buy it, but the day after I've seen another sale ad for a '92 Epiphone Les Paul and now I'm not anymore so sure. What can you suggest me?
The serial number of the Les Paul is S9204305: looking for info on various web sites it seems that such numbers come from Samick plant, but Guitar Data Project site can't decode the serial. After further search I have understood that the reason is why the serial numbers are 8 digits after the factory identifier (the "S"), and mine is only 7: should I trust the seller?
Thank you in advance and sorry for my english :)
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#2 User is offline   crust 

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 06:04 PM

that is really a 50/50 flip a coin maybe . I think I'd go for the lp or at least check it out :) 25 years old could be great or a dud ...probably unreal :) if the neck and frets are OK , maybe . I like my Genesis a lot too. very difficult but id say the LP , if it is in great shape and "plays" OK and isn't too beat up , maybe I'd have to play both . always :)
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#3 User is offline   Megafrog 

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 08:28 PM

I had a 93 Epi LP and I have a Genesis. I definitely prefer the Genesis over the LP. I like the access on the Genesis a lot and sound wise, the Genesis is superior to me.
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#4 User is offline   geps 

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 01:54 AM

Unfortunately I can try only one. The Genesis is almost new, and I have some good photos of LP (you can see them here: https://imgur.com/gallery/JvCfo). The price is the same.
I'm very undecided!
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#5 User is offline   iankinzel 

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 01:32 AM

Another vote for the Genesis. The double cutaway and the body/neck joint (19th/20th fret, as opposed to 16th for a LP) give you much better playability, and the hardware/pickups/electronics are miles ahead of anything Epiphone was using in the '90s.
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#6 User is offline   geps 

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 03:00 AM

View Postiankinzel, on 06 November 2017 - 01:32 AM, said:

Another vote for the Genesis. The double cutaway and the body/neck joint (19th/20th fret, as opposed to 16th for a LP) give you much better playability, and the hardware/pickups/electronics are miles ahead of anything Epiphone was using in the '90s.


Strange. I would have said that '90 Epiphone stuff was better than today stuff. Or at least this is what I used to listen...
Thank you!
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#7 User is offline   Revolution Six 

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 02:29 AM

THe Genesis is a cool guitar, here is mine

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#8 User is offline   iankinzel 

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 02:52 PM

View Postgeps, on 06 November 2017 - 03:00 AM, said:

Strange. I would have said that '90 Epiphone stuff was better than today stuff. Or at least this is what I used to listen...
Thank you!

Besides the MIKs I've encountered on the used market, I owned a '96 Korean Epiphone G400 and an early '00s Chinese G400 together at one point; I've also owned a Chinese '06 LP Custom, and early '00s MIK Epi LP Standard from the Daewon factory (maybe they should've waited until day 2?). I tend to hear two very different stories on '90s MIK Epiphones:

Story 1 - The parts and materials they used back then were so much better than what they use today, and you can see it in the way Epiphone's quality has gone totally downhill lately!
Story 2 - Gibson used the cheapest of parts and materials available in Korea in the '90s, and you need to completely gut out your MIK Epiphone to make it half-way decent!

Story #1 sounds to me like somebody trying to make themselves feel better about not buying a Gibson. "Yeah, I bought a budget Les Paul, but at least it wasn't made in China!" Story #2 is closer to my own experience, and many other MIK Epi owners have shared my struggle of doubling or tripling the cost of the instrument by switching out all the parts. Left stock, '90s Korean Epis tended to have the cheapest electronics imaginable, muddy humbuckers, and the promotional posters from the period indicate that most of the standard models were built out of alder. Of course, none of this applies to the signature models of the period (eg Slash Snake Pit), and the '90s Casinos and Sheratons remain highly regarded. Gary Clark Jr still plays that red MIK Casino.

The initial transition to Chinese & Indonesian manufacturing was rough, but Epiphone has significantly stepped up its game since opening the Qingdao factory. The "Pro" series pickups (Probuckers, Alnico Classic Pros, P90 Pros) have greater clarity than anything I've encountered stock on any standard MIK Epi, the hardware has been upgraded to hold tune better, and while Epiphone isn't using the same grade of mahogany as Gibson, at least it's a relative of mahogany that's in the same ballpark tonally. I'm not against alder, but it's just not what I'm looking for in an LP or an SG, you know?

What changed?

Well, Gibson's price structure for one. 15-20 years ago, you could get topflight USA-made models for $1500, and LP Studios were available new for well under a grand. Korean Epis were built to a lower price point, and the quality of components reflected that. Gibson's prices have risen over the years, however, even after adjusting for inflation - even the Tribute Line, which went for about $750 just five years ago, is now selling for $1100. While it costs more to get the same level of quality from a Gibson, this has opened up a mid tier for higher quality Epis. Instead of comparing a $350 Epi LP to an $800 Gibson LP Studio, now it's a matter of comparing a $500 (or $600, or $750) Epi LP to a $1500 Gibson LP Studio. That extra $150-400 in the Epiphone price point opens up a lot more possibilities for component & constuction quality.

There are some other factors, like Japan largely removing itself from the US budget guitar market, and other east Asian countries adopting & adapting aspects of Japan's economic and manufacturing model that were so successful in the 1980s.

Finally, the Epiphone plant in Qingdao gives the company much more control over specifications & QC than they ever had in South Korea. And, the company that seems to have drawn the most acclaim for its manufacturing in Korea - Samick - has moved its factory to Indonesia, exporting much of its manufacturing process there as well.
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#9 User is offline   Bad penguin 

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 02:18 PM

I would lean towards the LP over the Genesis. I have an original Genesis, made in either Japan or Singapore, and the modern ones don't come close to playability or sound. AND they are like, 3 or 4 pounds lighter then the originals. The Korean Pauls are, again, in my humble opinion, are slightly better in construction and tone.
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