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Japanese Epiphones why are they so different?

#1 User is offline   matiac 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 01:20 PM

Why is it Japanese Epiphones can be so Gibson-like, while the rest have the distinctive Epiphone peghead. They've even got the distinctive peghead in Japan too! How come they get preferential treatment? And yeah, I'm aware of the "Japanese Market", but they end up here too, and if it's good for them, it oughta be good for us too without buying directly from Japan, and paying out the whazoo to bring it here. I'M MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!! Just kidding, I could care less, just curious why they get license breaks while the rest have to adhere to "the rules"...hmm??
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#2 User is offline   RTH 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 01:26 PM

Its not like that anymore, Mat. With the end of the Elitists, came the end of the open-book headstock on Epiphones for Japan. Though, they still get preferential treatment with certain guitar builds (like the Tak sig) and color options that we dont get here. But so does the UK and Canada...and us for that matter with guitars that are only available here.

As for why, I dont really know. I've read a little bit about this, but nothing definitive. Something something about it being part of their contract for producing guitar lines in Japan. I dont know the details.

Japan has always been sort of a "test bed" for Epiphone since the 1970's The higher-end matsumoku guitars were available for about five years in Japan before they were released anywhere else. And still, there were certain guitars that never made it to the U.S.
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#3 User is offline   Lord Summerisle 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 01:40 PM

Japanese guitars in general seem to be in a league of their own.

I played one of those Fender Jaguar HH Specials once...

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It was the best Fender in that store that day, in my opinion. Wish I'd had $800...

#4 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 01:45 PM

You mean, like this one? (From my MIJ Ephiphone '61 SG Standard)

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It's my understanding, that these stopped, in 2006, when Gibson's contract ran out,
with Matsumoku, who had been making most of the "Orville" (Later, Epiphone Japan)
guitars. The Orville brand, was Gibson's attempt to stem the unauthorized manufacture
of very "Gibson like," guitars, in Japan. Kind of a "If you can't beat them (stop them)
Join 'em" attempt. So, Gibson started their own "Japanese" brand "Orville" after
Orville Gibson. That later morphed in to "Epiphone Japan." Which was still allowed
to use the Gibson Open Book headstock design. The "Elitist" headstock (for export),
was somewhat different, being narrower at the top, and having a rounded center portion,
without the crevasse/indentation, that the Gibson has.


CB

#5 User is offline   matiac 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 01:50 PM

If they stopped, it was VERY recently, there's a (what they're claiming to be) new Epiphone Les Paul Custom LQ on ebay in Taiwan for 1200 American. Gibson style peghead, U.S.A. pickups (allegedly), REALLY nice looking Custom. Like I said, I don't really care, but just curious why. And as for the Japanese Fenders, back in '85 I had a Jap-Strat that had a locking trem that was one of the better Fenders I've owned or played. That was one of the guitars I had was stolen, triburst, 3 ply pickguard, really nice guitar.



And yes Chuck same style peghead with the Custom appointments. Guy claims it's new.
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#6 User is offline   RTH 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 01:53 PM

View Postcharlie brown, on 13 January 2012 - 01:45 PM, said:

You mean, like this one? (From my MIJ Ephiphone '61 SG Standard)

It's my understanding, that these stopped, in 2006, when Gibson's contract ran out,
with Matsumoku, who had been making most of the "Orville" (Later, Epiphone Japan)
guitars. The Orville brand, was Gibson's attempt to stem the unauthorized manufacture
of very "Gibson like," guitars, in Japan. Kind of a "If you can't beat them (stop them)
Join 'em" attempt. So, Gibson started their own "Japanese" brand "Orville" after
Orville Gibson. That later morphed in to "Epiphone Japan." Which was still allowed
to use the Gibson Open Book headstock design. The "Elitist" headstock (for export),
was somewhat different, being narrower at the top, and having a rounded center portion,
without the crevasse/indentation, that the Gibson has.


CB

That makes sense. Thats right, the JDM line was built with the same tooling as the Orvilles. I knew it had something to do with that brand and Gibson in general.

The export Elitist model headstocks were actually akin to the early masterbilt headstocks from the 1930's. I always saw that as Epiphone touching upon its roots as a high quality instrument, like the Elitists were supposed to be. The ealry pre-dovewing Masterbilts had a fully rounded "tombstone" headstock.

1933 Blackstone
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#7 User is offline   DeweyCox 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:14 PM

Do they still make Epis in Japan? (besides the Elitist Casino) Or do they only get special treatment with colouroptions etc but on regular chinese and korean Epis?
If Elvis and Buddy Holly are the Cain and Abel of rock and roll, Bruce Springsteen is Zachariah, Iggy Pop is Methuselah, and, of course, Neil Young is the wise prophet Ezekiel, then what does that make Dewey Cox?

#8 User is offline   Red 333 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:25 PM

View PostRTH, on 13 January 2012 - 01:53 PM, said:

That makes sense. Thats right, the JDM line was built with the same tooling as the Orvilles. I knew it had something to do with that brand and Gibson in general.

The export Elitist model headstocks were actually akin to the early masterbilt headstocks from the 1930's. I always saw that as Epiphone touching upon its roots as a high quality instrument, like the Elitists were supposed to be. The ealry pre-dovewing Masterbilts had a fully rounded "tombstone" headstock.

1933 Blackstone
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The Elitists, and Orvilles that came before them, were made primarily by Fuji Gen and Terada--never Matsumoko. If memory serves, Matsumoko had stopped producing guitars for Epiphone in the mid to mid/late 80's (maybe 1986?), when Epiphone began contracting the various Korean companies to build guitars for the US and other markets. That's just about the time that Matsumoko ceased making guitars altogether due to the finacial woes of its parent company (or perhaps its largest client--different sources say either), the Singer Sewing Machine company.

After Epiphone began production in Korea, Epiphone contacted Fugi Gen and Terada to build guitars for the Japanese market, presumably because the Japanese demanded a higher quality product than the Korean manufacturers could deliver at that time.

While Matsumuko guitars are undenialbly high-quality, they vary more from Gibsons than do the Fugi Gen and Terada-produced guitars, which are closer in spec.

Red 333

#9 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:26 PM

View PostDeweyCox, on 13 January 2012 - 02:14 PM, said:

Do they still make Epis in Japan? (besides the Elitist Casino) Or do they only get special treatment with colouroptions etc but on regular chinese and korean Epis?


To be quite honest, I'm not really sure. They do seem to make some "Gibson's" that we don't
get here...some that are privy only the the Japanese domestic market, and not for export.
Which is exactly what the "Orville" and later (Gibson Headstock/spec) Ephiphone Japan, was
all about. They weren't (under contract) allowed to be sold, outside Japan. The Elitist
with the different headstock, was for export. But, of course, with the Internet, all of that
is nearly "moot," now. They can't sell them "New," but used...sure! Anything after 2006, from
Japan, or any other Asian country, would be very skeptical, about buying...if it has the "Gibson"
name, and spec's. More likely a "Fake," IMHO. Or, at best, a very "limited" edition, with Gibson's
authorization, which I would make sure I had documentation, on. Otherwise..."No Thanks!"

CB

#10 User is offline   Digger 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:40 PM

Sigh ~

We've never seen the Elitist range here...discrimination agains't Aussies I reckon!

#11 User is offline   Red 333 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 03:38 PM

View PostDeweyCox, on 13 January 2012 - 02:14 PM, said:

Do they still make Epis in Japan? (besides the Elitist Casino) Or do they only get special treatment with colouroptions etc but on regular chinese and korean Epis?


The Dwight Trash is also made in Japan.

Red 333

#12 User is offline   stein 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 03:45 PM

The exchange rate for money between countries plays a big factor.

In the 80's, the exchange rate was such that Japanese guitars were cheap for us, but that is not the case now. We simply can't get the same 369$ strat for the same price. Fender still gets Japan guitars in some models because of the quality, where they are priced very close to the American ones.

It just doesn't make sense to import Japanese Gibsons most of the time anymore, because by the time they are shipped here, they are nearly the same price as a Gibson. It wouldn't make sense to CREATE model lines or make contracts to compete with yourself in the same price/quality catagory either.

I think a lot of times, when we see older used Japanese "Gibsons" here, the used prices reflect what the new prices WERE, not what they would be NOW.

#13 User is offline   RTH 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 03:46 PM

View PostRed 333, on 13 January 2012 - 03:38 PM, said:

The Dwight Trash is also made in Japan.

Red 333

Ah, thats right. I always forget that is an Elitist.

Does anyone know if the Tak sigs (non-elitist) are Japanese. I know that they are for the Japanese market only, but I'm not sure of their origin.
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#14 User is offline   Red 333 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 03:51 PM

View PostRTH, on 13 January 2012 - 03:46 PM, said:

Ah, thats right. I always forget that is an Elitist.

Does anyone know if the Tak sigs (non-elitist) are Japanese. I know that they are for the Japanese market only, but I'm not sure of their origin.


I don't think that double-cut one on the Epiphone main page is MIJ--looks like MIC.

Red 333

#15 User is offline   RTH 

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 03:53 PM

View PostRed 333, on 13 January 2012 - 03:51 PM, said:

I don't think that double-cut one on the Epiphone main page is MIJ--looks like MIC.

Red 333

It probably is MIC. I know there was a JDM Elitist version of the LP with the "Takburst" finish. But I wasnt sure about the rest of them.
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#16 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 09:40 PM

View PostRed 333, on 13 January 2012 - 02:25 PM, said:

The Elitists, and Orvilles that came before them, were made primarily by Fuji Gen and Terada--never Matsumoko. If memory serves, Matsumoko had stopped producing guitars for Epiphone in the mid to mid/late 80's (maybe 1986?), when Epiphone began contracting the various Korean companies to build guitars for the US and other markets. That's just about the time that Matsumoko ceased making guitars altogether due to the finacial woes of its parent company (or perhaps its largest client--different sources say either), the Singer Sewing Machine company.

After Epiphone began production in Korea, Epiphone contacted Fugi Gen and Terada to build guitars for the Japanese market, presumably because the Japanese demanded a higher quality product than the Korean manufacturers could deliver at that time.

While Matsumuko guitars are undenialbly high-quality, they vary more from Gibsons than do the Fugi Gen and Terada-produced guitars, which are closer in spec.

Red 333


You're right, Red...got my "factories" (as well as my faculties) mixed up. I should have looked it up, prior to posting. [blush]
Ahhh, a mind, what a terrible thing to lose! [unsure]

A bit of their history, via Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia....ville_by_Gibson


CB

#17 User is offline   Bilbo15 

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 05:35 PM

Hi!

I think there are people here that can solve my problem!
A guy is selling a kind of epiphone dot on yhaoo auction

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I didn't think it was a japanese due to the headstock but they say the serial number is 6117412
Japanes number cause of the without letter isnt' it? But I saw somewhere that the 7 was for EB2 bass...

So, am I or is he wrong?

#18 User is offline   damian 

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 07:28 PM

View PostBilbo15, on 17 January 2012 - 05:35 PM, said:

Hi!

I think there are people here that can solve my problem!
A guy is selling a kind of epiphone dot on yhaoo auction

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

I didn't think it was a japanese due to the headstock but they say the serial number is 6117412
Japanes number cause of the without letter isnt' it? But I saw somewhere that the 7 was for EB2 bass...

So, am I or is he wrong?


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#19 User is offline   DeweyCox 

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 01:16 AM

Looks like a Koreanmade Dot to me… dunno bout the serial, someone else can probably help you out more…
If Elvis and Buddy Holly are the Cain and Abel of rock and roll, Bruce Springsteen is Zachariah, Iggy Pop is Methuselah, and, of course, Neil Young is the wise prophet Ezekiel, then what does that make Dewey Cox?

#20 User is offline   Bilbo15 

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 01:55 AM

View Postdamian, on 17 January 2012 - 07:28 PM, said:

I take it you're left handed.................:unsure: :rolleyes: [biggrin] [flapper] ....


Why do you say that?

I'm nearly sure it's Korean made but the serial... Strange...

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