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Epiphone and Gibson different dimensions?


mooserman40
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Alright, so I have been looking at epiphone acoustics lately, but everytime I look at photos of the epiphone a compares to their Gibson counterparts, it seems that the epiphone shape is slightly off. Am I just imagining this or are they really slightly different?

 

Hi. I could be wrong but... Yes I think they are indeed different. Many Epiphones are often slightly smaller by a tiny amount in dimensions such as width, depth, and length, or a combination there in...hardly observable by eye...but your good eye has not let you down! My Gibsons seem chunkier. My Gibson hummingbird is larger than my Epiphone Hummingbird. Smaller however does not mean lesser. I actually prefer the dimensions of the Epiphone over the Gibsons. These dimensional differences are also obvious in such guitars as the Epiphone AJ 220S and the Gibson AJ. I prefer by far the slightly smaller 220 for size. that tiny bit of bigger size does not necessarily make it louder of better. My Epi's all fit deliciously in my lap while playing...the Gibson sometimes seem more bulky...over sized a bit more perhaps than really needed... Both are great, but there are often slight dimensional differences between the two because they are in fact two different guitars. Most people don't notice this. Your observant eye and intuition did! Bigger is not always better...and sometimes smaller really it! It's the tone that counts!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Excepting Kalamazoo-era, Gibson-made Epiphones and the Elitist series, the body shapes of the majority of Epiphones acoustics were different from Gibson models. The slope shoulder models were very different, being shorter of body, wider at the waist, and the curves or the body generally following a different outline. Bean-shaped, I think of them. This was likely because Epiphone sourced virtually all of its guitar production from the early '70s to the mid 2000's, and the factories that made them probably based the tooling used to make the bodies on their existing tooling for Martin-style, square shouldered dreadnaughts, which is the predominant style of acoustic guitar body (the slope shoulder dread being pretty limited to Gibson).

 

Epiphone began building their own guitars in their own Chinese factories in the mid 2000's, but the slopes still remained bean-shaped. In the past couple of years, Epiphone has been making slope-shoulder bodies that seem much closer in overall shape and dimension to Gibson's. I believe this started with the Inspired by Texan and the gloss-top AJ500M. Those are the first two models I noticed the change in, at any rate.

 

The above is a rule of thumb. Epiphone did occasionally contract with suppliers who did indeed build slope bodies that were very close to the Gibson shape. I have a friend who has a Peerless (I think) J-160E that is pretty close, for instance. Someone else on the forum also has a J-160E that looks close, too. But these are the exception, rather than the rule (at least they were for many years).

 

Red 333

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the majority of Gibson acoustics are wide-nut and short scale, the majority of Epiphone acoustics are thin-nut and long scale. Leads to looking a bit different very often.

 

I have to say that's the one thing which I think lets down the EJ200 as a player (from my stubby fingered perspective) when compared to the J200 (I'm not quality of woods/construction). The slightly wider nut width on the GIbson is much more comfortable especially when the guitar is more likely to fretted at the cowboy end.

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I have to say that's the one thing which I think lets down the EJ200 as a player (from my stubby fingered perspective) when compared to the J200 (I'm not quality of woods/construction). The slightly wider nut width on the GIbson is much more comfortable especially when the guitar is more likely to fretted at the cowboy end.

 

 

100% agree! It's the reason I'm so fond of the Masterbilt EF-500!

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Epiphone began building their own guitars in their own Chinese factories in the mid 2000's, but the slopes still remained bean-shaped. In the past couple of years, Epiphone has been making slope-shoulder bodies that seem much closer in overall shape and dimension to Gibson's. I believe this started with the Inspired by Texan and the gloss-top AJ500M. Those are the first two models I noticed the change in, at any rate.

 

Someone else on the forum also has a J-160E that looks close, too. But these are the exception, rather than the rule (at least they were for many years).

 

Red 333

 

The Samick made EJ160E (mine was a 2006) is very close to a real J160E minus the neck scale.

 

The IB Texans are wrong and use the same body as the old Peerless EJ160E's the bean shape as you call them.

 

 

I just sold my Samick EJ160E or I could give you side by side photos of my J160E and back to back, sorry.

 

All the Masterbuilt AJ500s are wrong too. The one I own and all the ones I have seen are way off my J45 or J160E.

 

 

I posted before but the Peerless AJ45S (late 90s) was almost spot on to a real J45 minus the headstock.

 

I don't think Gibson will let them get that close again in that price range.

 

Everything is on CAD programs these days so they could be identical but are not, so it is what it is for a reason.

 

 

You buy an Epiphone because you like it period.

 

You go in knowing you are not getting a low cost version of a Gibson like in the old electric/acoustic Elitist line.

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The Samick made EJ160E (mine was a 2006) is very close to a real J160E minus the neck scale.

 

The IB Texans are wrong and use the same body as the old Peerless EJ160E's the bean shape as you call them.

 

All the Masterbuilt AJ500s are wrong too. The one I own and all the ones I have seen are way off my J45 or J160E.

 

 

I said they are CLOSER in shape (not identical), and they clearly are. The waists are much tighter than the older, bean shaped guitars, giving them a very Gibson-esque outline. The bodies are longer, too, I believe. Yes, the lower bouts on the Epiphones have a rounder contour, are not as flat as the bottom. Overall, however, the average person would have trouble telling today's Epiphone and traditional Gibson slope shapes apart, where it was much easier before.

 

I don't think the bean shape was exclusive to Peerless, by any means. My Masterbilts are bean shaped, and they were made by Epiphone itself in China. My Indonesian J-160E is the same shape. And, my friend's very Gibsony looking J-160E is a Peerless, so they did have some forms that were NOT bean shaped. Go figure.

 

Red 333

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  • 6 years later...

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