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What is the Best Epiphone guitar, in your opinion?

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For me having a Casino, Hummingbird and a Les Paul it changes depending on mood, what I'm listening to or playing and it constantly changes which one I feel is the best. That's what I love about Epi's and because of the affordable price it allows people like myself (with a young family) to buy fantastic instruments at affordable prices.


My GAS is kicking in for a Strat, Tele and a semi hollow guitar and out of the 3 of those on my shopping list I think it will be an Epi Sheraton or Dot that I buy first because of the price and the fact I know I will be buying quality. I'd love a cherry red Gibson 335 but with having a young family I couldn't justify paying the price for it and when I listen to them I think even if I had the cash why would I choose a Gibson over an Epiphone and the only reason I would is to say I have a Gibson.


Probably ranted a bit too much there [biggrin] [biggrin] [biggrin]

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My personal favorites are the two Les Paul models I own, a Slash "Rossa Corsa" I picked up new for 699 brand new plays EXACTLY like the $2900 Gibson. Also really digging the Tommy Thayer (KISS) white lightning (it has grovers and two Duncan JB's only one with metal cover which looks cool as heck. My only complaint is the screw in the side of the two since Gibson decided your getting a pick guard whether you like it or not.) Don't get me wrong I love the Burstbuckers in my Gibson Les Paul as well as the 497 $ 498t's in my Les Paul Studio as well but I am a Duncan guy at heart. The burst buckers are really hot but I am considering changing the Studio pickups to Duncan distortions....

I really like the new Wildkat. Any personal experience with them? Especially in the realm of longevity? Any input appreciated.

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  • 2 months later...

CB, that is as nice as any I recall seeing. congrats.


my old girl.... (which actually has a rather nice old sunburst buried under all that checking and what have you - some day I want to find out if it can be brought back to its glory)





I'm embarking on a 1966 Olmpic project... See image below.... I was able to purchase the body in great condition and great price. So far everything has been cost effective with exception of the original TRC.... I was bent over good on that one... lol...




So far this epiphone has been the best player I have put my hands on.... Only issue is upper fret access



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Duane, whilst the Olympic is super lightweight you'll be wanting to use a wide leather strap. Once you do that there is no neck dive at all.

Mine is a 69 model with ultra narrow neck and a fantastic neck taper. Someone did their own pick guard in black which I was going to change but haven't, it's got an old patent number Epi mini HB from the sixties, old Wilkinson bridge, TRC has been changed I think... all like that when i got it (at a nice price).


It was advertised for sale in a NYC vintage guitar shop in the early 2000's and made its way to Oz at some stage. It no longer gets the use it did when I was in the covers band where the mini HB was great for bright clean rhythm but it's still my favourite guitar - it ain't the prettiest but it's a joy to use.

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  • 1 month later...

...Also really digging the Tommy Thayer (KISS) white lightning (it has grovers and two Duncan JB's only one with metal cover which looks cool as heck. My only complaint is the screw in the side of the two since Gibson decided your getting a pick guard whether you like it or not.)

I feel you there. I don't mind the pick guard on the White Lightning, but, if I had a choice, would prefer her without. Maybe in the future they can install pick guards in the new Gibson way, without screw holes!?! (Still on the fence as to if I'll go ahead and remove mine or not.)

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I have two Epiphone guitars... and I bought them both because I thought they were best.

I'll get to those in a minute.


But the hands down best Epiphone ever is very likely to be the '65 or '66 Casino...

Not very many will argue with this...

The modern Epi Elitist Casino very likely comes close to this one. It might get my vote.


Also in the running is the Epi Les Paul Tribute plus...

This one has good wiring and Gibson pickups, the kind of things we mod our Epiphones

with... it's as if Epiphone put someone to work reading posts about what us players were

modding their guitars with... and they paid attention, and issued this guitar. Right out of

the box it's almost perfect.


I don't own either of those. *shrugs

My two are also the best... My first one is a 2006 Epiphone Wilshire. This is a replica of

the Wilshire made in Kalamazoo in the early sixties, by the same small group of craftsmen

who made all the "holy grail' Les Pauls. My Wilshire was made in China by political prisoners

and child labor I'm sure. But it's an excellent instrument and it has a very unique '60s look

to it. Olympic White.


I've modded my Wilshire with Grover locking tuners, Tusq nut, Gibson 490R neck p'up,

Golden Age Overwound Humbucker bridge pickup (12 Ohms) Black pickup covers, Black TonePros

bridge and tail, 500k Alpha pots and Switchcraft jack and selector. The guitar weighs about 7 pounds

and balances perfectly.


So of course, my Epi Wilshire (with all these cool mods) is the best. *grins


But fickle me, almost a year ago I bought an Epi ES-339 P-90 pro. I had been thinking I'd buy a 'Casino Coupe"

because the small size arch top really appeals to me. I stopped by a GC just to see if they had the Casion Coupe

in stock so I could play one, and the guy who attempted to wait on me had no idea what I was talking about.

He waved me in the direction of the Epis, and I found myself staring at a Blonde ES-339 P-90 pro. I played the

one they had there, and liked it a lot. Then I went home and ordered one online using a M/F coupon and ended

up paying $339 for the instrument... no shipping, no tax. Hard for GC to beat, really which is why they're doomed.


I've modded my Blonde ES-339 with Gotoh Black tuners, Black tusq nut, hand carved pickguard made of Ebony Headstock Veneer

from StewMac, Gotoh Black bridge and tail, Black dome knobs... it's got a great Blonde/Black motif going and I like

the sound of the Chinese P-90s.


At some point I may replace the wiring harness with good quality pots, jack and switch, but right now I'm playing

it stock and listening to the P-90 vibe. This is my first P-90 guitar in a long time. The P-90s sound great through my

amp and pedals. So of course my ES-339 with all these great mods is the best. It weighs about 8 pounds and balances

perfectly, and I've got it setup with fine low action.


Buying this Epiphone ES-339 was my vote in the great Gibson guitar debate of 2015, where so much Gibson bashing was going

down... guys were furious about the price hike and the lack of choice and the robot tuners and the soft brass nut and the wide

fingerboard OMG ...you'd have thought the world was ending. Personally I thought the 2015s were lovely and the robot was

a good innovation, but the whole thing turned me off and I bought an Epi. I bought the best.

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I own 6 Epis 1. A '61 Les Paul Custom tribute (3 humbucker,SG body) 2. A 2006 MIK Custom Shop sunburst Firebird V 3.A Les Paul Traditional Pro 4. A 2009 Indonesian made natural finish Casino 5. A Limited Edition 1965 John Lennon Casino-one of the 1st 50 made 6. A John Lennon Limited Edition EJ-160E .Of the 6 Epis-which are all exceptional guitars the 1965 John Lennon Casino is an easy pick for the Best Epiphone.I have played many Epis over the years and I have to say that the 1965 is absolutely sublime in every way,it is the easiest and most comfortable guitar on the hands that I have ever played-it even beats out my old '65 Strat.The fit and finish of the guitar is 2nd to none-the build quality and the attention to detail is simply astounding. The sound of the guitar sets it apart from most other guitars,the Casino is in a league of its own,even the similar Gibson 330 doesn't come close to matching the sparkle and chime of the Casino.Only a Casino can ring out as clean and clear as a bell,it has all the sparkle that made Beatle songs sound so amazing to this day.Conversely the Casino can kick out some real raunch when put through an overdriven amp-even a slightly overdriven one,such as the one Paul used for the riffs after the chorus and for the outro in "Ticket to Ride" and it can also handle really heavy raunch extremely well, as in Paul's guitar work and lead break in George's "Taxman".The only other guitar I have that comes close to the '65 Casino for sound and playability that makes me want to play it more than any of my other guitars is my '65 Strat-so I think that alone is a pretty good endorsement of the Casino.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My friends late 1990s Epi LP standard is outstanding, and new PAFs made my 89 Sheri my latest girlfriend but my personal favorite is my 2005 Emperor Regent which sounds great when plugged in or played acoustically. If you turn down the amp to where you can hear both the guitar as well as the speaker, it's a wonderful sound. This instrument will do classic rock, surf, jazz, swing, country, R&B, and good old Maybell Carter bluegrass to boot. It only lacks a tremolo. When you consider that most of these Epis are $500 or less on the used market, and some of the new ones can be had for less that that as well, they are hard to beat, and such an excellent value that anyone of them could easily qualify as a hands down favorite.

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Only have the one, but have played a few. Long budget-cutting story short, found myself needing a guitar, and it had to be an affordable one.


I really wanted to believe the LP PlusTop Pro hype I read online... but you know how it is: if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Plus, I'd never been very impressed by Epiphones in the past. And a guitar that cheap (relatively speaking) couldn't possibly be very good, could it?


I found out it could. And then some. And then some more.


I could NOT be happier with this one. Sounds, plays - and looks - AMAZING. Great build. Great everything.


I've only had it for a few weeks, but I've played it a LOT in those weeks, and I'm just madly in love with it. It's not just a great LP for the price - it's a great LP, period.


Hopefully it'll still be a great LP a year from now, too - knock on wood - but for now, my vote goes to the LP Std PlusTop Pro :)


/rant over

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At moment for me it's this, my 2014 LP Custom Pro


Had the pups and everything under the hood replaced last month and it's great, the bridge pup is vintage Gibson which was in an 80's

strat I bought in 1997, the neck pup is a boutique build '59 built by Jaime at The Creamery in Manchester, had a push/pull split fitted for that

post-71182-011886500 1457009096_thumb.jpg

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My favorite Epi in my personal collection is my 2008 SG GX Prophecy. From the binding on the headstock to the exquisite quilted maple cap,,they did everything right on these babies . The gibson Dirty Fingers pickups scream and the matt finish neck and ebony fingerboard are just a dream to play. My neck at this point looks like it has a gloss finish on it just from me playing it so much. Top that off with a nice set of grovers and to me anyway ,,you've got a real winner here. This guitar started me on a bit of an SG kick ,,,i also got a 2005 Korina g400 and a Gibson 60s tribute with p90s But ,,my Prophecy kills em all.

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while neither a vintage American, or even an Elitist Epi.......my PERSONAL favorite Epi (and 1 of my 2 most played guitars) is a 50th Anniversary '62 Sheraton reissue.


it plays like butter, sounds as good as anything I own (including Gibsons), and the retro-vibe just can't be beaten.

Having factory Gibson minis and electronics sure doesn't hurt.


#1473 of 1962





Strangely.......I have several great Gibsons, American Fenders, and other expensive guitars......but when I want to "play my heart out", I always gravitate to this, or a Mexican Classic Player '60s Strat....because they play and sound the best, to my hands and ears.

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