Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
CJCifuentes

Could the epiphone sheraton II be as good as a Gibson ES 335?

Recommended Posts

I mean, if you change all parts of Sheraton II with the best and expensive electronics, could it be closer to a Gibson? I like the desing of semi and hollow bodies guitar from Epiphone! thanks for your answers :)

 

3417925728_dfcb0d8f5d.jpg?v=0

 

shearton2.jpg

 

epiphone-shereaton-xxxx-natural-aboy_video.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My answer is no - not a chance.

 

Now it is true I cannot speak directly re a Sheraton as I don't own one but I do own an extensively modified Epiphone ES345 - see this thread:

 

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/112501-my-epiphone-es345-special/page__p__1519938__hl__%2Bepiphone+%2Bes345+%2Bspecial__fromsearch__1#entry1519938

 

which I can compare directly with my Gibson ES345 1959 reissue. Now as good as the Epiphone now is (compared to how it was when I bought it) it is just not in the same league, let alone class, as the Gibson. The Gibson is far superior.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. But, you'll have a heck of anise Guitar!

 

I recently modded a Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele & it is great little Guitar. P90 at the Neck, added a B5 Bigsby & 6 post Bridge. I play it alot but it will never be a Fender American Std or Dlx.

 

When I play a American Std or Dlx I can feel & hear the difference between the 2 Guitars. I can imagine how much better it would sound with the same Mod's.

 

Lars

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean, if you change all parts of Sheraton II with the best and expensive electronics, could it be closer to a Gibson? ...

 

Closer? . Yes. . In fact a lot of buyers do that. I've had some very nice Epiphones over the years.

 

Still Epiphone is Gibson's "B" line - value based guitars.

 

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:rolleyes: Here we go, again! [tongue]

 

Epiphone (Sheratons, or otherwise) vary in quality, as much as any similar

Gibson does. I've played (and owned) enough of both, to know, over the last

50 years. If you find a great one, it really doesn't matter what's on the

headstock!

 

My current AIUSA Sheraton is as good as ANY similar Gibson I've ever played

or owned. In fact, I like it better, than most other Sheri's I've played.

Part of that, is it's being, and feeling "familiar!" And, if you love

something enough, you allow for, even embrace, it's idiosyncrasies.

 

But, there are some outstanding Sheraton's out there. However, if you (really?)

want a Gibson, save the money you'd spend, and then some, on trying to make the

Epi "as good" as a Gibson, and just get a Gibson! [tongue]

 

CB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I own a heavily upgraded Korean Sheraton, and a Gibson ES355. The Sheraton is great: sounds lovely, very comfortable neck profile, nicely made and easily a guitar I could use professionally. But the 355 just has something going on that gives it the edge. Hard to quantify it - it's just a nicer playing experience.

 

Make it an off the peg, modern 335 and put it against a US, or even Japanese Sheraton, then all bets are off though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My answer is yes. At least sound-wise. Playability and feel will never be comparable to a Gibson. But even though Gibsons are built WAY better and use better materials I have my doubts a lot of people would be able to tell a difference blindfolded - if someone was playing them for you - if you change the electronics and PUs to high quality parts.

 

I have both a heavily modded Epi Dot and and a ES 335.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest difference, between my Epi AIUSA Sheraton, and my Gibson Lucille,

aside from Lucille not having "f" holes, and having the Varitone, are the

neck profiles. Lucille's neck, is much fatter, than my Sheraton's. But, the

overall build quality, and materials are equal (IMHO) on both! And, they both

have "Nitro" finishes. But, both have nice necks, they're just of different

profiles.

 

 

CB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course it can be just as good. As is the case with most semi hollow guitars they are both made of laminate woods. Gibson makes no claim to hand selecting better wood for either model and in fact (depending strictly on luck of the draw) it's conceivable that you could find a Sheraton that has a body and neck made of better stuff than some 335's. Specs are specs. Everything else is wishful thinking. If you upgrade the Sheraton specs to be as good or better than a 335 then they are. It's as simple as that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

they're nice (I had a MIK Sunburst) great guitar.

 

Bit IMO, but they are not on par with a Gibson USA made 335.

 

And no matter what you do, it never will be

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Specs are specs. Everything else is wishful thinking. If you upgrade the Sheraton specs to be as good or better than a 335 then they are. It's as simple as that.

Specs simply describe the materials utilized, and have nothing to do with how an instrument is constructed by any given factory.

 

"Everything else" is called Build Quality.

 

The Terada factory in Japan, builders of the AIUSA Hooker Sheraton & Lennon Casino, the McCartney Texan, and the Elitist series, can easily match Gibson's build quality, and they have done so in the construction of the instruments mentioned.

 

The various Korean & Chinese factories that Epiphone (Gibson) has utilized over the years to build the Sheraton II have built their instruments to a lower standard to match a lower price point. Whether or not they can build an instrument to the same level as Gibson remains to be seen, because to date, they have not been aiming for the high end of the market.

 

Playability is of course a different matter. The Sheraton II, coming out of many different factories, has had any number of neck angles & overall profiles through the years. There may easily be one that matches a player's preferences to a greater extent than those same factors on a particular Gibson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you look at things such as the fit of the neck tenon, the mating of the top and back to the spacers of the center block, or the application of finish, there is (most of the time!) a level of build quality to the Gibsons that Korean and Chinese Epis simply don't have. Likewise, it's easy to list Maple and Mahogany as materials used, but the Far Eastern stuff used on Epis is not identical to that used on US made guitars - the Mahogany in particular looks suspiciously different to Honduras Mahogany, and feels different to work with if you have to sand or finish it. They're small details but they add up, and they're not things you can easily correct in the way you can a muddy pickup or some cheap pots.

 

Epis are great guitars as they're intended, and can be made better still, but putting some Classic 57s in a Chinese Sheraton does not make it the same guitar as a Gibson 335, no matter if they share the same basic specs.

 

My personal suspicion with this is that there are some particularly great Epis out there, and many Gibsons that are decidedly ordinary. We're blown away by the Epis because they're so cheap for the quality, and we're disappointed with the Gibson because for the amount they cost, we expect magic and are left underwhelmed. Somehow we extrapolate that into the great Epi being better than the so-so Gibson when what we're actually experiencing is a difference in expectations, and forming an opinion that is based more on value for money than a fair, head to head comparison of the way the two play and sound. It's fine if many people are happy with their Epis: the Gibson is four or five times the price and maybe 15% better. But having set up hundreds of examples of the two brands as well as owning US, Japanese and Korean 335/330 style guitars it's clear in my mind that there is a real and tangible difference between the pro level guitars and the Korean / Chinese versions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

things that are different between a Sheraton and a 335

 

Sheraton: Maple neck, Mahogany center block,

335: Mahogany neck, maple center block,

taken from the respective websites

 

imo you could never really get them to sound/play the same

and with my experince with both EPI dots, etc, and Gibson 335s this seems to be true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could change a bunch of electronics to make it sound about the same.

 

To be quite honest, they all basically feel the same, to me, anyway. And I am speaking as someone who owns and frequently plays a McCarty-era Gibson archtop. I set them all up the same, really. 5/64 and 3/64. Big deal, I guess. I've never dealt with an Epi with a properly cut nut that didn't handle the Gibson specs just fine, unless it had worn-down frets (which is the case with my Les Paul - it's seen a lot of use and abuse). Neck profiles seem to make the biggest difference to me. Honestly? Between my Gibsons and Epiphones, the most comfortable neck is on my Orville, with the ES-125 and SG tied for a fairly close second.

 

But will it be as good? That's for you to decide. I'm not sure I'd want a Sheraton to sound like anything but, you know, a Sheraton.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally agree with the last post. A great guitar is a great guitar regardless of brand or price. The catch is knowing what sound you are looking for. Tone is subjective and reachable by a combination of pieces: guitar, amp, speakers etc. If your ear and soul loves the sound of a 335 you won't be happy with a Sheraton and vice versa. There are many GREAT artists that have used Epi (and of course many that have used Gibson), but only you will know what works best for you and what you want to express artistically. Play what inspires you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a Korean 1987ish Sheraton in college and loved it. The binding cracked bad, and some block inside the body perhaps came unglued and buzzed along with my playing. Meanwhile my hand-done coil-tap was crap and made the pickups start flaking out a bit.

 

I literally threw it away and got a beautiful 2000 Gibson 335 "dot figured top." I actually didn't dig it in the store, but credited that to strange amp, no FX, no strap, lots of noise. Stupid me! It turns out the neck was weak enough that leaning back made it go a bit sharp, while leaning forward made it go flat. Flimsiest neck on any guitar I ever owned. It was absolutely unplayable.

 

So then in 2013 I went on the hunt again. With rising salary, some vintage 335s were now in my price range so I played some 60s guitars and maybe a '59 or two. While in another shop I saw a used Chinese Sheraton visually identical to my college one. I bought it partly for old times' sake and partly just to get used to playing a 335-shape again, to aid my shopping.

 

I then tried over a dozen new Gibsons. I brought along the Epiphone just as a comparison. At one store I challenged the salesman to see if he could tell the difference... and he was game. He pulled his hat over his face. But the difference was night and day. I'm not sure how to put this in words but the Epi just sounded... bad and muddled, while the Gibson was clear. They seemed approx equal treble and volume so I'm not sure what in cheap pickups can even be made cheaply to sound bad. I felt there was no point in keeping the Epi around even as a spare/road guitar, and sold it for $100 (I had only paid $250 or so).

 

I finally settled for a $2500 figured top that seemed to have a stable neck... but after two days I called and begged to trade up to a $5000 '59 Historical Reissue that had the best sound to my ears. The '59 had an uncomfortably large neck, ultra-plain wood, and a sunburst I wasn't a huge fan of... but sounded perfect. The difference was apparent in about five seconds when playing them back to back, and for me there was no question that small sound/feel difference was worth spending twice the money on an uglier, more uncomfortable guitar!! There was something about it that almost sounded more "in time" than the Figured, even though that Figured was the best of 6-8 other Figureds (and quite a bit better than other modern models... and ALL the vintage ones I tried.) I made an infographic; the two guitars are pictured below.

 

Soooooooooooooo.... long story long, what's the verdict?

 

2013 Gibson Historical '59 is better than

2013 Gibson Figured Top (hand-selected by me) is better than

dozens of vintage and new 335s, which were FAR better than

2008 Chinese Epiphone is FAR better than

2000 Gibson Figured Top.

 

Lets say my college Epiphone was a bit better than the Chinese one.

 

The summary is that if you can't play the guitar (like my first Figured) it by definition sucks. And if it falls apart (like my first Sheraton) its not good for long, even if its good for short. Even if you change a Sheraton's hardware, the quality of the woods and materials, and workmanship, will not be comperable. And finally, at least with 335s... they are like snowflakes. You will find LOTS of difference and you have to try a half-dozen before you find a good one.

 

549314_10200581909811730_1756455545_n.jpg?oh=e34e760af7a6e874d197bfd37da08b74&oe=5487F53E

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the one constant that always works is: Try multiple samples before you buy. That may not be possible in every case, but when it is, it's the best way to go.

 

When purchasing my natural finish '06 ES-335, I was able to sample four 335s side by side. The differences were stark and telling. The same has been true with many other electric or acoustic instrument purchases. With my natural finish '12 ES-330 VOS, I easily walked away from two others sampled earlier the same day - but this one was clearly destined to leave the store under my protection.

 

No matter how many generalizations get thrown about, the guitar needs to exclusively satisfy your ears, hands, & eyes - and no one else's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other thing that always occurs to me when people talk about dogs and gems, finding a good one etc is that everyone has a different opinion as to what a great 335 should be anyway. I remember working in retail having a Roy Orbison 335 come into the store that I thought was one of the deadest sounding guitars I'd ever come across. I spent ages on setting it up trying to breathe life into it, then turned it over to another tech to see if he could do any better - nothing, still sounded like the amp had a blanket wrapped around it. That guitar sold within days, and I seem to remember the guy who bought it was a decent player and not particularly a collector. He thought it was the perfect 335, loved how it sounded.

 

Tone is such a subjective thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tone is such a subjective thing.

Precisely, and so are all of the other factors that go into the appreciation and enjoyment that a guitar delivers to different people. Those include appearance, and in some cases (no pun intended) even smell. :) If you like the look and feel of an Asian guitar, and you can get a satisfactory sound by upgrading the electronics (if in fact you find that necessary), then go for it. I would never go that route, but we're all different.

 

I hope this thread dies now. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Such an age old argument. In the right hands, yes it can be. This is one of the things that irritate me about Gibson. Take for example the LP, a work of art IMHO, got mine brand new for less than 1500 and I really felt like I stole it, worth every penny and then some. There are some other guitars Gibson puts out that I feel the same way about (CS336 for example). But then there are more examples of guitars that are priced well beyond what they are worth. Look at the guitars in question. One sells for $3,300 the other for $599. I have looked at them both, I don't think anybody could look at them objectively and say the Epiphone is a better guitar, but the Gibson is not 5.5X as good. I would be the profit margin on their laminate body archtops is pretty high.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Such an age old argument. In the right hands, yes it can be. This is one of the things that irritate me about Gibson. Take for example the LP, a work of art IMHO, got mine brand new for less than 1500 and I really felt like I stole it, worth every penny and then some. There are some other guitars Gibson puts out that I feel the same way about (CS336 for example). But then there are more examples of guitars that are priced well beyond what they are worth. Look at the guitars in question. One sells for $3,300 the other for $599. I have looked at them both, I don't think anybody could look at them objectively and say the Epiphone is a better guitar, but the Gibson is not 5.5X as good. I would be the profit margin on their laminate body archtops is pretty high.

What 5.5x looks, feels and sounds like is really up to each person to be the judge. I have had an Epi Dot (several actually) and though they are ok guitars for the money , the Gibson was so much worth the extra money IMO. And you dont need to pay full price. Look around they are deals to be had and there is used as well. JMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How ironic...just when I'm contemplating buying either a Casino, Sheraton or something similar to a 335...this post pops up. I'm still torn. I have a Joe Pass Epiphone...absolutely love it, but I'd like something a little thinner and maybe able to rock out a little better. The Pass always sounds fat and mellow. I've got Les Pauls and a Strat and a Tele, but something is missing in my arsenal of electrics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think anyone is disputing that the difference between an Epiphone and a Gibson may be fairly small when compared to the huge difference in price - generally there's a law of diminishing returns when it comes to guitars. However, that's a different observation to saying that, taking country of origin out of the equation, an Epi Dot with upgraded parts is the same guitar as a Gibson Dot RI. Ultimately it is for the individual to decide whether a small improvement in quality justifies the large extra outlay.

 

There's two ways to look at this. If you have two guitars, one of which is maybe 10% better but costs five times the price of the other, it seems like a no-brainer that the cheaper guitar is the better purchase. But, on the other hand, if you're going to spend a dozens of hours a week playing the guitar you buy, and you plan to carry on playing it into old age, then it takes on a different slant: because that hefty pricetag is a one time hit and you'll be feeling the benefit of that 10% edge it had over the cheaper guitar for many years into the future.

 

I bought my ES355 nearly 20 years ago - it wasn't expensive by today's standards but to an 18 year old paying out of his own pocket it was a frightening amount to be spending on a guitar. Could have got myself a nice Sheraton for much less than I paid for the Gibson and it would have been a decent guitar, but 20 years on I still play that 355 every day and it still outperforms any Korean or Chinese Sheraton I've ever played - so from a value for money point of view it was the best purchase I could have made.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...