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What makes Gibson better than Epiphone?


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Hey,

 

I'm looking for argruments why Gibson is better Epiphone except for the fact where the guitars are made. Arguments like "You gotta support the American economy" och patriotism isn't what I'm looking for. What makes the chinese luthiers less skilled that the american ones? And all the binding, finish etc. does that make any signifigant difference in the actual playability and sound of the guitar?

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For Starters:

Better tone woods on Gibson.

Better electronics on Gibson.

Better carved top, not laminated on Gibson.

Nitrocelulous finish on Gibson as opposed to Polyurethane on Epiphone.

Not sure but I think the headstock angle is 17 degrees on Gibson, but not on Epiphone.

There could be more, but I'm not an expert. These are just some of the things I've heard over the years. There actually may be some Epiphone models that contradict my statements, but for the most part the overall quality of Gibson is better.

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Well yes... the things above..

 

And just generally when ever I have played an Epi I found it just feels more clunky than a Gibson.. Its hard to explain...

 

But in saying all that some of the upper range models Epi are doing are coming real close.. Like the new Epi Slash model.... Its got a proper maple top, binding, slash pickups and orange drop caps... All its missing is the Nitro and its pretty much a Gibson..

 

Ive never actually tried one of their upper range models but I bet they probably feel a bit nicer too...

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Not THAT much difference in an LP or a 335. Electronics, finish, neck binding, price. I doubt the difference in the lacquers makes much difference tonally, and the lacquer that Epiphone uses protects better than NC. Gibson does a better job with frets, and their pickups are higher quality, but IMO, don't sound much better. Gibson is a marginally better product, but not a better value.

 

Buy your Gibson and have a quality guitar with a great name. Then buy your Epis and mod them to suit your needs.

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When comparing my top-level Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus to my Gibson Les Paul Standard guitars, the gap between the Epi and the 2012 Standard of mine is very small when playing with moderate attack. The Gibson '57/'57 Plus of the Epi put out practically the same tone as the Burstbucker Pros of the Gibson.

 

When plucking harder, the Epi lacks response and tends to getting muddier and more compressed while the Gibson strongly reflects dynamic playing. In my opinion this is due to the woods in first order.

 

Some Norlin era Gibsons of mine feature 14° headstock angle like my Epiphone, but I doubt it affects tone audibly.

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The major differences are not hard to spot. The finish on all Gibson guitars is nitrocellulose. Whether you like it or not that is a major difference and it's much more expensive than the Polly used on almost all of Epi guitars.

 

The head stock on a Gibson is the same piece of wood as the neck. This is not the case with an Epi. An Epi usually has a scarf joint somewhere around the first fret to achieve the angle to back headstock. On this particular Point the Epiphone is actually superior as it is far less likely to break at the headstock then a Gibson.

 

The quality and grades of the woods used on Gibsons tend to be a bit higher than those used on An Epi. The maple used for Les Paul tops tends to be thicker on the Gibson than on an Epiphone.

 

The biggest difference to me ends up being the set up. Gibson guitars go through a plek Machine for set up. Epi guitars tend to be a bit hit and miss with set up and fretwork.

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Forgot to mention that neck and headstock are one piece on my Epi LP Tribute Plus, with glued-on sides like Gibsons. However, the back of the neck heel is an extra piece of wood. The body back consists of five pieces.

 

However, I once saw a clearly legit Gibson USA SG with a seven-piece "matchstick" body at a dealer. Caveat emptor.

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I play Cello (not very well, I should just say I own one) as well and let me tell you, the prejudice against Asian instrument makers is far greater in that circle than in guitar circles. Probably because the cost of a professional grade cello can be in the 10's of thousands, where you can get a professional grade guitar, like a Gibson, for a couple thousand. But there is something more, years ago Chinese made cellos were horrible. I've seen photos of the insides of Chinese made cellos where the lining wasn't complete, glue was dripped all over, parts had come unglued and were sticking out, gaps of light shown through between the top or bottom and sides, Top and bottom were both laminated and delaminating, terrible finishes with drips and runs, warped fingerboards, pegboards made of softwood that can't hold the tuning, parts that were supposed to be ebony were dyed particle board...etc, Horrible junk you couldn't tune, play or even fix up to get decent sound out of. That was several years ago.

 

I read somewhere (I've looked for where I read this, but can't find it) that the Chinese government sent out a memorandum requiring instrument manufacturers to improve quality and following that the quality did go up. My cello was given to me by my wife and it cost her about $500. It's solid maple with some flame, has an ebony finger board, tailpiece and tuning keys. It tunes easily, and plays very well for a cheap instrument and to my ears sounds great.

 

In other words, there is a huge difference between what used to come out of China, and what can come out of China today.

 

That said, however, there is bound to be a drop in quality between a Gibson and an Epiphone, it would be bad business if there wasn't. That drop may be something as simple as the top having a veneer verses a solid carved flamed maple top, or Asian made pots or just that poly finish. Lot's of Epi's have USA pickups and electronics, making the differences almost nothing in an electric guitar.

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Guest Farnsbarns

So why am I a troll for asking a question?

 

Because you start so many threads asking contentious questions that will clearly devide opinion and which can not possibly be fruitful and then (usually) never turn up in the thread again.

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Because you start so many threads asking contentious questions that will clearly devide opinion and which can not possibly be fruitful and then (usually) never turn up in the thread again.

 

When you have so many people on this forum I think any question is going to have divided opinions. I think that is the whole point to get as many diverse opinions as one can, then see if any of those ring true to you and some will ring a bell that you have never really been able to put your finger on. I don't think it makes them a troll at all I enjoy reading the responses from everyone and often learn a great deal from the posts. Besides if you go into any of the guitar shops and ask this specific question (Gibson vs. Epiphone) guess what they are gonna say ? They want and are conditioned to "Upsell"..Now sometimes that is warranted and sometimes not. So it is nice to get a more unbiased opinion from those who have nothing to gain. Just my opinion.

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I'm looking for argruments why Gibson is better Epiphone ...

 

I'll bite . . . It's the plan of the Gibson Guitar Corporation. . Here's the dope - Gibson Guitar Corporation owns both Gibson and Epiphone.

 

Gibson Guitar Corporation manufactures Epiphone as its "B" line of value grade guitars - as in less expensive materials and manufacturing, making for affordable instruments.

 

Gibson Guitar Corporation manufactures Gibson as its "A" line of quality grade guitars - as in quality materials and some of the manufacturing by hand, making for high end, expensive instruments.

 

That however doesn't preclude people from finding a great guitar from either Gibson or Epiphone, or finding a clunker from either Gibson or Epiphone.

 

 

.

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+1

 

However, it makes me think what is the philosophy behind owning Kramer and Steinberger?

 

Are they selling any of those instruments? I haven't seen them anywhere...

 

Cheers... Bence

Let alone all those cheap faded Gibsons (that they stopped for next year).....

 

Personally I loved those faded or satin Gibbies... They still sounded and felt as good to play as any shiny finish but at a great price.

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Let alone all those cheap faded Gibsons (that they stopped for next year).....

 

Personally I loved those faded or satin Gibbies... They still sounded and felt as good to play as any shiny finish but at a great price.

My personal guess is they will bring them back, rather sooner than later.

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My personal guess is they will bring them back, rather sooner than later.

I donno man...

 

I think they got rid of those models to help boost the high end Epiphone sales and separate Gibson a bit further...

 

I guess we will see what happens in the next year.... and Gibson will be comparing sales and profit and make their decision based on that.

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Guest Farnsbarns

When you have so many people on this forum I think any question is going to have divided opinions. I think that is the whole point to get as many diverse opinions as one can, then see if any of those ring true to you and some will ring a bell that you have never really been able to put your finger on. I don't think it makes them a troll at all I enjoy reading the responses from everyone and often learn a great deal from the posts. Besides if you go into any of the guitar shops and ask this specific question (Gibson vs. Epiphone) guess what they are gonna say ? They want and are conditioned to "Upsell"..Now sometimes that is warranted and sometimes not. So it is nice to get a more unbiased opinion from those who have nothing to gain. Just my opinion.

 

Well, it's a valid opinion. Can I respectfully ask you to go to this chap's profile and look at the threads he's started, take note ofthe kind of questions and the fact he usually never returns to the thread and if you still hold the same opinion that's just tickety-boo with me. II'd be surprised but perfectly happy to accept it. Perhaps even reply by pm if you prefer? If you don't have the time or inclination to do that then that's just fine too. Just a thought.

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He (Houndman55) never even mentioned what kind of guitar he has.

 

He may not even own one at all although I do recall reading a post about how Japanese guitars are somehow superior instruments to the US made brands which is something best ignored.

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Personally I loved those faded or satin Gibbies... They still sounded and felt as good to play as any shiny finish but at a great price.

 

I tried a satin finish and nitro finish at the same sitting on 2 different versions of the the same guitar not that long ago. Satin vs nitro. To me it was a big difference. The nitro finished guitar sustained forever and the satin didn't. Most everything was equal but that was a big difference to me (so I disagree but very respectfully so). [blink][biggrin]

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I tried a satin finish and nitro finish at the same sitting on 2 different versions of the the same guitar not that long ago. Satin vs nitro. To me it was a big difference. The nitro finished guitar sustained forever and the satin didn't. Most everything was equal but that was a big difference to me (so I disagree but very respectfully so). [blink][biggrin]

Lol.. well you of course have the right to say and think what you want :)

 

When I bought my 60s Tribute.. I actually had to go through about 11 of them (much to the stores annoyance im sure)... The odd thing is that I wanted either a Cherry or Iced Tea burst when I went in.. After trying all of them in different colours I ended up with the last one I tried that I didn't actually know I wanted until I tried it. And it was a Goldtop version (previously, the idea of owning a gold guitar was just weird to me)... Now im not sure if it was to do with the goldtop finish or the set up of that individual guitar but instantly the second I played it I knew it was what I had to buy... and man I don't regret it for a second.. It sounds and plays amazing for a £700 guitar well actually for any priced guitar for that matter...

 

this one :) I mean... Look at it, that beauty for a measly £700 and I love it as much as any of my guitars (can you tell ;))

 

So maybe like when you look for a Standard or Custom level, you just have to find the right one for you. If they ever make them again :)

IMG_0191_zpsed17afe3.jpg

 

(edit.. and by the way both the faded and full thick finishes are nitro, just the faded only have a few layers where a Standard will have more like 20 or 30 :))

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