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Kenan

"It's not a Les Paul, it's a copy."

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If you want to be totally pedantic then the Epiphone Les Paul IS a copy but then again so are all the Gibson Les Paul models subsequent to the Twin P90, trapeze equipped, Gold Top model released in 1952.

 

Humbuckers - nope - the guitar originally sold as a Les Paul didn't have them

 

Stop Tail and Bridge - Nope didn't have them either.

 

Maple neck - Nope

 

Flame maple top - Nope

 

No maple cap - Nope

 

If it has any of the above it is a variant but it ain't a Les Paul.

 

Ditto Juniors, Specials, Double Cuts, SG version,

 

Depends on just how far you want to take it.

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I noticed lots of folks around me, be it music store salesmen or simply musicians having this tendency, at the mention of the Epiphone, to "correct" me how it is not actually a Les Paul but simply a cheap copy of it. Now, technically speaking, they may be right: Gibson Les Paul IS the 'original' and there is no doubt about it, but to be honest, given the (historic) relationship Epiphone has with Gibson (being a subisidiary(?) of the parent company) and the fact that it was given (copy)rights to use 'Les Paul' brand/name on their products (not to mention earlier Epiphone models, which, like the Les Paul Special II I own, even had the "Gibson" name on the nut cover) and some more expensive models even Gibson hardware (pickups) I think it's a bit unfair towards Epiphone to simply put them in the same basket with other, less known brands who also produce Les Paul-type guitars.

 

I also noticed people around me easily conforming to the (IMO) somewhat elitist "If it's cheap it's crap" attitude and this goes for Epiphone as well. Now, I know, after reading these forums, there were and there ARE examples of poor quality control with Epiphone products but, to be honest, I also noticed (though presumably not as often) these things can happen with more expensive brands, like Gibson.

 

If this really was the case, noone would buy these guitars and I highly doubt Gibson would allow themselves to be associated with such a company in any possible way.

 

So, what do you guys think?

 

I totally agree! I have an Epiphone ES-335 Limited PRO and an Epiphone Masterbilt MCE500 Acoustic-electric. In my short duration of exposure to the guitar world, I have noticed that there are a lot of brand snobs out there who will throw out names like Gibson, Taylor, Martin, Gretsch, and others and look down their collective noses at brands like Epiphone, a fine quality guitar make for those of us who can't or won't pay the price of a "good" guitar like a Gibson.

 

If you're new(like me) to guitar, does it make sense to buy an outrageously expensive brand when you can't even string three chords together? A $5,400 Gibson will still sound like crap if you don't know how to play! I say get what you like and can afford, and let the snobs look down their noses, I love my Epiphones [thumbup] !

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No matter what your headstock say's there are alway's people with complaint's.

I own a Gibson LPJ and there are lot's of people that think that it is not a real Les Paul.

You know what? I don't care, I know how it sound's and feels.

And my Epi SG Special play's like a dream now that I adjusted it.

And I am talking here of a realy low budget guitar.

Realy fast neck, I wan't the same profile on the next guitar I buy.

I gave it to my girlfriend, it's light and look's much better on her.wink.gif

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I totally agree! I have an Epiphone ES-335 Limited PRO and an Epiphone Masterbilt MCE500 Acoustic-electric. In my short duration of exposure to the guitar world, I have noticed that there are a lot of brand snobs out there who will throw out names like Gibson, Taylor, Martin, Gretsch, and others and look down their collective noses at brands like Epiphone, a fine quality guitar make for those of us who can't or won't pay the price of a "good" guitar like a Gibson.

 

If you're new(like me) to guitar, does it make sense to buy an outrageously expensive brand when you can't even string three chords together? A $5,400 Gibson will still sound like crap if you don't know how to play! I say get what you like and can afford, and let the snobs look down their noses, I love my Epiphones [thumbup] !

 

 

 

 

Amen! I've owned a Gibson LP custom, standard, and classic. Some were nice, some were horrible. I now own 2 Epi 1960 tributes and a Bonamassa, and love 'em. But Mace makes a very good point. Price is an issue for a lot of people. Shelling out 3k for a guitar is no big deal for a lot of lucky people. But lots more aren't so lucky. They need a company that can make a good quality guitar with some high end appointments and not rake them over the coals. If the past few years is any indicator, Epiphone may wind up being the company that more and more go to to get that guitar. Another thing is, a 3k guitar is an investment, not just a guitar. And I tend to favor guitars that don't hold that kind of pressure (for lack of a better term), I want one that I can play the snot of and not worry about this or that, although I do baby my guitars. Now Les Pauls are not the only Epis I've ever owned. I've 2 different Epi explorers and was very disappointed. Not good quality at all. But I've not owned an Epi LP that I was not happy with, and these higher end LPs are the icing on the cake. I'll plug any one of mine into my Mesa rig, fire it up and challenge a Gibson.

 

 

 

 

 

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To me, the philosophy of the "Les Paul model" guitar is that if you don't buy or obtain a Gibson, you are not supporting the American "worker" and economy. To be a "real" Les Paul guitar, it has to be an American made Gibson. I have heard it all. Mostly the comments run like this : foreign "crap" guitars (Epiphone/Squier/Electromatic...) made in China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico...all "no good" because the guitar wasn't crafted by an American. Seems kind of counter intuitive, to me. I like playing "crap guitars". Why ? Because some of the foreign manufactured ones are just right, for me. If I like it, no matter where it was made, and I have the funds, that day, it will come home with me. Kind of like women, in my younger years. I don't care where they come from...if they feel "right", I'm more than happy to give them a plucking, no matter where they originated..,.lol...msp_love.gifmsp_wub.gifeusa_shifty.gifeusa_think.gifohmy.gifsmile.gif

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I suppose you could say, if the guitar wasn't made in Spain (where, I believe, the "classical" guitar was "perfected"), it isn't a "real" guitar. Seems like the same mental mind-set, as if an Epiphone LP isn't a "real" LP...but, what do I knowmsp_confused.gifmsp_rolleyes.gif...lol...msp_lol.gif Epiphone guitars sound absolutely great, to me, and have as good "playability" as any other guitars I've ever had the pleasure to strum. Guitars are like women, some are pretty, but hard to get along with, and their "voice" can be very unpleasant (to me), even though they look gorgeous. Others are fugly as all get out, but have the sweetest "voice", personality and "disposition" you'd ever find, any where.

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I get really tired of "people" looking down their collective noses at Epiphone guitars. I own several Epiphones, and they are among the best guitars that I own. I have Gretsch(I could buy 5 Epi's for what that thing cost, and I hardly ever play it!), Gibson, Fender, and Epiphone. I play the Epiphones because I like the way they play and sound. I do not buy guitars for "investment" purposes. I buy them to play, and Epiphone has delivered on that!

My opinion, YMMV.

Play well

Pete

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Just today I swapped out the pickups and electronics in my Sheraton II and relying purely on my recollection, I can't think of any Gibson 335 I've played that sounded any better! I'd been planning the upgrade for months, even buying the pickups (57/57+) almost 6 months ago and the RS wiring harness last month. The hardest part for me was bringing myself to drill out the holes to accept the US hardware. But she sounds great, wished I had done it months ago. I am the original owner plan to never sell it and I don't think it would have been worth a lot left as stock. BTW, the upgrade was inspired by my purchase of a used Epi ES-175 off of eBay shipped for $500. The previous owner had put in Gibson 57's and CTS pots and it rocks!!

 

For the record, I also own a Martin D-18, Taylor 210, Takamine GD71CE, a couple of Yamaha acoustics, an early 90's Gibson Studio Lightened (490/498) and Gibson Standard Plus (Burstbuckers). Also 2 Fenders, both American made, a Strat and a Tele and a Michael Kelly Valor Limited. All that being said, I will tell you the Martin stands out over any dreadnaught I've ever owned, so for me it isn't just snobbiness, but tone. And the Taylor is sweet too, bought it used to step up from a Jasmine. The Yamahas together are valued less than my Takamine, but either sound better to my ear. And over the years, I've owned a couple of Epi solid body's and can tell you neither came close to the sound of my Standard Plus. So there can be big differences, but probably due to pickups and pots/caps.

 

But as I had started out saying, both of my Epi hollow bodies are as good as any Gibson I've played. And with that, I'm thinking about picking up another used solid body or maybe a SG and do the electronics/pickup swap.

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What with Gibson's tendency these days towards chambered bodies, maple necks and electronic tuners, I'd argue that most Epiphone Les Pauls are more faithful to the originals than today's Gibsons.

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Gibson owns the Epiphone company.

Gibson calls it a Les Paul.

Therefore.....

An Epiphone Les Paul is a Les Paul.

 

Beside, if you check most (maybe all) other companies, they call their models LPs....not Les Pauls.

Willy

 

Exactly.

 

What Gibson say about their product is definitive.

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Hello - My name is Dan and I look down on Epi's!.................please hold the lynching until after the post!

 

I remember when I was a know nothing 13 year old, I walked into a shop, picked up a Standard Gibby Les Paul desert burst and for what ever reason fell in love with how it felt. They Wanted $1300 for it, so I spent years chasing after that "Feel"

 

My first real guitar was a Strat Copy with a maple board bought in London, I lucked out because it was put together so nicely (still own and play it to this day), then I moved on to Strats and then slowly started building up my arsenal from there.

 

I spent years going through shop after shop playing Gibby Les Pauls and they all felt terrible, all over priced. I would try out other guys Gibby Les Pauls and they all felt stiff…and plastic-y…..even though they all would swear it felt like a part of their own appendages!.

 

To me a "Good" Maple Board feels……..organic….natural, it comes alive when you play. I honestly thought the Maple board Strat ruined my touch for anything else.

 

Reason im prattling is because during this time I tried out a lot of Epi's…..Im the guy in the shop who starts at one end of the rack and works my way down to the last guitar. Epi's have always felt cheap to me, put together fast, no craftsmanship or love in the process, and sound worse.

 

I think people who spend money on a Gibby have to justify it being overpriced……and ALL Gibbys are over priced………and I think people who pay for low end models have to justify why they are spending money on low end models lol!!!!

 

The Epi IS a copy……..Les Paul is a model….made by Gibson……Epi….(Owned by Gibson lol) is making the same lower end model……..hence a copy…

 

But really who cares…………if it feels good and you're happy with it?........That is all that's important!

 

I have found ONE Gibby Les Paul….a Traditional believe it or not that I instantly feel in love with, I have a Gibby SG…..But I still have yet to play a Epi Les Paul or SG model that I would purchase.

 

With THAT said however……….One of my main go to's is a Epi Sheraton…………OH MEH GAWD I ADORE THAT GUITAR and will gush on and on and on to anyone who will listen.

 

I've been in the market as well for a higher end acoustic………it seems the more expensive the acoustic Gibby the more I hate it?..

 

Just my 2 cents, nothing more.

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The Epi IS a copy……..Les Paul is a model….made by Gibson……Epi….(Owned by Gibson lol) is making the same lower end model……..hence a copy…

 

Do you think strictly price and quality determines if something is copy or genuine? Probably. But, what about -really- expensive Gibsons vs less expensive Gibsons? Obviously, the really expensive ones have better quality, would that make less expensive Gibson Les Paul models "copies" as well?

 

To be honest, the very least I would expect for any Gibson Les Paul, to justify its price, is to completely blow out of the water -any- $400+ Epiphone Les Paul in every possible aspect and only then I would be willing to spend so much money for a Gibby and say to myself it was a justified investment. I don't see it happening, really. Especially compared to the newer higher end Epi models..

 

If Epiphone is a subisidiary of Gibson, having licence to produce Les Pauls, I see it is a lower cost provider of those same Les Pauls, not merely a "copier" as Gibson gave licence to Epiphone to produce the model..and while it is cheaper and of lower quality, some basic quality guidelines should apply as well..as I doubt Gibson would be happy with putting "Les Paul" stamp on bad quality products.

 

To say it again: for the price difference between Gibson and Epi, I would expect any Gibson to completely destroy in every possible aspect any higher end Epiphone model. I am not talking about "30% increase in sound quality" type of comments etc..I am talking about having a Gibby in my hands and saying "Wow..my Les Paul Plus Top Pro is an utter crap compared to this." For the price difference, I would expect nothing less.. :)

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You might not be buying too many Gibsons then Kenan.

 

There will be many aspects of the price difference that have next to zero impact on the 'quality' or sound of the instrument like:

If workers in the USA are paid say 10 x what the Chinese are paid, that does not mean the Chinese won't work as hard and well - they want to keep their job too.

If nitro finishing takes 10 coats each of which needs rubbing back between coats compared to poly taking one spray in a booth then setting itself quickly that is going to cost time and labour and is mainly a traditional choice not impacting sound materially

If Gibson choose specific cuts of wood for bodies verusus Epi taking best prices available that's going to make a difference in price for effectively something to anchor the electronics and fittings to

... plus think about things like insurance in USA v China, inventory carrying costs (interest etc) of more expensive vs cheaper instruments and not to mention that the same (say 33%) retail margin on a $3000 guitar from Gibson will add $1000 vs a $300 from Epi adding $100. None of these things make the Gibson play better,,,

 

so IMO price is not the determining factor to "quality" at least not in some ratio like 10x price = 10x quality.

(and of course a GIbson with a crappy set up will be way worse to play than an Epi with a perfect set up) :)

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No sir, my personal opinion is that Price does not determine if something is a Copy or Genuine…….price SHOULD determine quality, but we all know that is not the case.

 

I have a more simplistic view, when someone makes a definitive, distinct product (not necessarily the original maker either)…and the Les Paul Model is a definitive shape and product…. and another "Maker" or company who then replicates the base model regardless if it’s poor or superior quality, it should be considered a Copy/Knock off.

 

You do bring up an interesting aspect. Would say a "Studio" line Gibby then be considered a Copy because its obviously not made with the higher end materials as a Standard?. For consistency purposes I would say no because in reality you are paying for the Gibby decal.

 

I do agree with your perception thou - I recently sat down with a Brand new $4000 Gibby acoustic……..im poor lol…..if im paying 4G's for anything this better blow me off the chair along with getting me a beer from the fridge……….being utterly disappointed and then picking up a $800 Tak that has more warmth and inviting neck should just not happen.

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