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

Best years for Epiphone

Recommended Posts

Hello Newbie here both to guitars, and the forum. I bought my first guitar a couple of months ago ( epi LP 1960s tribute plus) and I'm busy trying to get some decent noise out of it, my issue not the guitar's!

Anyway I'm enjoying it, and have decided to purchase something else as a reward when I think I can play a decent tune.

 

I think I'd like something like a Dot or 335 and see a few on ebay but I'm just wondering what the guitars are like over the years. EBay has them from the 80's up till recent guitar, and all sorts of countries being involved. I understand Japanese elitist are highly regarded but command higher prices. Is there some sort of General ranking of years and/or factory's?

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Elite/Elitist line is (was) top notch.

The Korean Epiphones are generally very nice.

The early Chinese Epiphones may have had some issues, but I read that the quality is improved.

 

Had you considered a Sheraton? There are a lot of them out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The Korean Epiphones are generally very nice.

The early Chinese Epiphones may have had some issues, but I read that the quality is improved.

The worst Epiphone I ever owned was made in Korea. Poor quality all the way around. Sold it.

I currently own 2 Epis made in China; a 2006 G400 and 2007 Dot that are great.

And I have owned other MIC models that were made very well also.

 

Never understood the myth about MIK Epis. And IMO that is exactly what it is - a myth.

You will find the good, the bad and the ugly at most, if not all the factories.

No factory, or year, is better than any other. It's about the individual guitar itself.

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Never understood the myth about MIK Epis. And IMO that is exactly what it is - a myth.

 

 

I don't think I've ever played a Korean guitar with a neck that felt good to me. I can't put my finger on it. I've played plenty of Japanese, Indonesian, and Chinese guitars that were great (in all price ranges) but the Korean necks just don't feel right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the guitars that Epiphone are producing today, imho, are as good, if not better, than any guitars they have ever manufactured. imho

 

 

The Wildkat models, Riviera P93, Emperor Swingster, Explorer, ES-335 Pro, LP Pro and all the "signature" and "pack" models, historic reissues, Masterbilt acoustics, Elitist and IBJL Casino's, SG's of all sorts, Broadway and Sheraton...Really, right this very day....and imho the "point of origin" is to me of no concern...Epiphone is currently producing some serious instruments at this very moment.

79938cee-e723-4a5e-a3f6-467679d62316_zpsec762b77.jpg

 

 

9a9b4be0-6a47-4829-b8d8-9aa55956e481_zpsa5ab352f.jpg

 

 

75463a17-32f6-4265-b176-cc5a2b7fc04a_zps632157c1.jpg

 

bc112331-6d96-443b-925d-725002753a61_zpsc02725c0.jpg

 

DSCN0013_zps8ae569a4.jpg

 

104881e1-ee60-44a3-beb7-4afa91c5a078_zpsbdb447b5.jpg

063_zpsaded115c.jpg

 

d339f86e-960e-4616-8e37-e73041fe4e4c_zpsba984dbb.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe too many would argue the point... Well, maybe a 1953 Emperor may look cool, but, with today's modern manufacturing techniques, the "value pricing" and the fact that Epiphone has built "dedicated" factories (no matter where in this world they are at) to have their master luthiers build them (no matter where they are from) shows me Epiphone really does care about producing fine guitars, at this very moment in time, for the "regular Joe/Jane"...good stuffmsp_thumbup.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Crust said. With the only exception being the MIJ Elitist line, now is the best time for Epiphone - and some higher end models are almost up to the Elitist standard already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe too many would argue the point... Well, maybe a 1953 Emperor may look cool, but, with today's modern manufacturing techniques, the "value pricing" and the fact that Epiphone has built "dedicated" factories (no matter where in this world they are at) to have their master luthiers build them (no matter where they are from) shows me Epiphone really does care about producing fine guitars, at this very moment in time, for the "regular Joe/Jane"...good stuffmsp_thumbup.gif

I agree with Crust, of course. I currently own 7 Epiphone electrics and 2 acoustics. My Les Paul, made in Korea is as fine a guitar as my Chinese made guitars. These guitars are of excellent quality, and I would not continue to buy Epi's if they were not. My Masterbilt EF500R is as nice a guitar as my Taylor, for me. As for years, I have a 1994 Blues Master that is excellent, so I am not terribly sure that year of manufacture is as large an issue as some would have you believe.

These are quality instruments at reasonable prices. I just bought an ES-175 premium for less than a grand, but the Gibson version is very nearly 5 grand. I do not see the Gibson as being 5 times better. YMMV

Play well,

Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely agree that it's pure myth, the only time the myth is any good is when your selling a Korean made and someone is willing to pay because they were 'better' then! My 2014 Union Jack sheraton is the best feeling epi I've had followed close by my 11 dot studio! I like my Korean sheraton 2 but it's not better than the Chinese ones! Buy new again, you know you won't regret it! IMHO the dot studio is unbelievable for the money!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The worst Epiphone I ever owned was made in Korea. Poor quality all the way around. Sold it.

I currently own 2 Epis made in China; a 2006 G400 and 2007 Dot that are great.

And I have owned other MIC models that were made very well also.

 

Never understood the myth about MIK Epis. And IMO that is exactly what it is - a myth.

You will find the good, the bad and the ugly at most, if not all the factories.

No factory, or year, is better than any other. It's about the individual guitar itself.

 

Yikes! Mea culpa!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with the rest- the ones out there today are pretty rock solid, which is something most take for granted not knowing that "budget brand" guitars have been mostly terrible leading up to this era. Squier and Epi are really leading the mass-market charge in accessible, gigable, solid players.

 

The Korean thing is weird- I've definitely played some duds as well as some killers. I think its just a product of inconsistency with factory changes, spec differences, and a lack of focus. The ones coming from the dedicated epi factory now are honed in and the workers know their way around their product. Some MIK are brutal to play, but my MIK sheraton II is a killer, and i'd put it up on stage, or up against a MIJ or gibson any day. It happens to be a Peerless with some weird accents (sprayed the way the casinos were at that time, neck is oversprayed i imagine to cover some blemish) but it's certainly one of the better ones. I played a lot of the tobacco burst ones in my hunt, and I never found one that clicked. But some people have and it's all good [thumbup]

 

Best thing is to play as many as you can, know that you probably wont play one that will blow your d*ck off, but will probably find one that works.

 

Oh, and get a sherrie!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have owned several Epiphone Les Pauls because I think they are a great value for the money. My former one was made in the mid-90s. Loved it. I currently have a 2013 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Pro made in China. I did a modest setup myself based on Gibson specs. But I had a tech work on the nut because it was cut too high. Other than that, this guitar rocks. It rings out like a bell. If I didn't have a real Gibson Les Paul, I would wonder why anyone would pay the money for one. Well ... I can't lie. Since I bought my 2013 (Gibson) Les Paul Traditional, I don't play the Epi anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This isn't a bad question and there is some good feedback to your question. I've read a lot of the posts here and gone on the search option trying to get info on certain epi guitars. From what I've "read", the USA Built Epis and the Terada FugiGen built Epis are highly valued and cost more. On the other hand there are many good Epis out there,new and old. Because Epiphone has a history of using different foreign guitar makers they each had a learning curve in craftsmanship.Therefore, pinning down specific factories and years is a generality, it helps but just a guideline.

Apparently,your better off judging each individual model based on its qualities rather than assuming quality based on a specific year or manufacturer. Here's the other thing. Judging a guitar is based on your knowledge. I'm sure some here are able to evaluate a used guitar's obvious problems after a few minutes because they have had many guitars or dealt with common guitar problems before.

In my opinion you would be able to make a better decision, on your next guitar, by making yourself more knowledgeable about what makes one guitar better than another, the basic things to look for, what it would cost to fix, when to walk away. Asking questions here is a lot better than doing it all on your own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The current wisdom berms to be to avoid Korean Epiphones and try to find a Chinese-made specimen. I have 3 very well built Korean Epiphones. My Chinese Riviera is, to me, badly built.

 

 

Jeffery, why did you buy the "badly built" Riviera? Was is a "on-line" purchase, where you couldn't demo it before hand?

If so, why not return it? Not trying to be a "smart a$$," just curious. :-k :unsure:

 

CB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeffery, why did you buy the "badly built" Riviera? Was is a "on-line" purchase, where you couldn't demo it before hand?

If so, why not return it? Not trying to be a "smart a$," just curious. :-k :unsure:

 

CB

Compared to my other semihollow Epiphones, it has that "dipped in polyurethane" sort of appearance. And this was the only Epiphone semihollow that had to be forced into the hardshell case. I swapped cases around with my other Sheratons and got every guitar into a case that would fit it.

 

No cracks in it or loose electronics or bad wiring...just a very thick, transparent cherry finish. This seems to be something that is typical of the lower end Ibanez and Gretsch guitars.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best years for Epiphone has been all of them and they just keep getting better .[thumbup]

 

I've only bought one in the past 8 years or so, a Joe Pass Emperor made in Korea. It looks great and plays very well. I don't have any experience with recently-made Chinese models.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best years for Epiphone has been all of them and they just keep getting better .[thumbup]

 

I can agree with that statement 110%msp_thumbup.gifmsp_thumbup.gifmsp_thumbup.gifeusa_clap.gifsmile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info, seems like the overall message is try before you buy, which isn't good for ebay bargains.

 

I don't see many Sheratons on local ebay dots and 335s are much more common. I'd like a heritage cherry burst but they aren't common either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info, seems like the overall message is try before you buy, which isn't good for ebay bargains.

 

I don't see many Sheratons on local ebay dots and 335s are much more common. I'd like a heritage cherry burst but they aren't common either.

i buy all my guitars on line .You need to pick a good place like AMS MF GC Zzounds Wildwood and Sweet water guitars . and there are some more out there .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Natty- there are deals buying online. Obviously people buy all the time online while others prefer to play guitars before purchasing. My local Craigs has Sheratons, Dots, Casinos. I use Ebay to see how much guitars are selling for with the sold button. Buying guitars off ebay or other sites requires guitar knowledge also. It's all really up to you as the buyer. Were all giving you info based on our experience. Thomse does well at it. The one guitar I bought off e-bay is good but I should of done a little more homework first. If I could have waited I saw better deals on Craigs within a hour drive from my house.

If you know exactly which model you want and have tried a similar guitar to sample PUP sound, action, etc. then, to me,that would be best bet your getting close to what you want when you buy online. Again, to me, playing the guitar in person leaves little doubt what your buying. However, buying online can get you a nice guitar also, but since your not playing it beforehand get good pics and understand what your bidding on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought all of my guitars online. No bad experiences (34 guitars!). If you have someone local who can do a setup, then it makes sense to buy online unless you really need to get the feel (and look) of the guitar ahead of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys, When I find out how I'll add my location to the signature as I'm located in the UK, so a lot of the resources mentioned aren't available. I do envy the American prices though :)

 

As usual it seems knowledge is power, so I better get some research done. It does seem to me that the law of diminishing returns doesn't affect Epi's in the same way as many things as the more expensive guitars seem to be good value e.g Lee Malia, Slash signatures, and the tribute plus models.

 

Thanks, Natty

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...