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What is with the prices, on Epi "Elitist" models???


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Just saw a listing (while browsing through Sweetwater's web page), that Epiphone Elitist Casino's

are $2,200 bucks! [scared] I could understand that, IF they were made here, at the Gibson factory, and

had all the Kalamazoo spec's and Nitro Finish. But, as great as they are, they're starting to

become "over priced," at least for me. But, maybe they feel like if we're willing to pay what

the Pro line (Japanese) "Gretsch" guitars command, we should fall in line with the "Elitist"

models, too???

 

They DO make "Kalamazoo spec'd" Elitist, but they're (apparently) not available here in America?

Only for Japan?! Anyone know anything, more, about that? [tongue][unsure]

 

CB

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I think there is maybe a different strategy going on with pricing.

 

I just saw, 2 good Gibson 335's, new, going for less than 2k. On "clearance", so to speak.

 

Also, with the 2015 stuff, there was a pretty good price increase, but in the end, they were all mostly dropped down in price toward the end of the year.

 

I think what's going on, is new guitars are initially being priced for more than what they expect to sell, letting them set a while, then selling them at prices more like what they were. They don't loose. Some guitars get sold at the higher prices, then the "discounts" seem higher when they lower the price later...if there are any left. of corse.

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I just don't get why they have, pretty much, doubled in price, from just a few years ago???

$2,200 is the "Big Box" store Selling Price, when not that long ago it was $1,100-1,300

(depending on where you purchased it). Even if what you say is true, that's a LOT of

precious "expectation," for a Casino, on Gibson/Epiphone's part. IMHO, of course. [tongue]

 

 

CB

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I just don't get why they have, pretty much, doubled in price, from just a few years ago???

$2,200 is the "Big Box" store Selling Price, when not that long ago it was $1,100-1,300

(depending on where you purchased it). Even if what you say is true, that's a LOT of

precious "expectation," for a Casino, on Gibson/Epiphone's part. IMHO, of course. [tongue]

 

 

CB

Indeed, it is. For sure.

 

Another thing though, is inflation, of EVERYTHING. Buying food, tools, clothes. It seems everything has had in increase in price in the past 6 years or so.

 

Gibson guitars, it seems, was able to keep prices down, even get lower, while everything else went up, but it's gotta give at some point. I think it did a couple years ago.

 

My BEST GUESS, of what they might expect to sell the "Elitist Casino" for would be around 1500. Again, just a guess based on a judgement of inflation and what everything else seems to be selling for in the Gibson world.

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Another thing:

 

Just one or two short years ago, a Gibson ES-345 NEW was listed at 4200 bones, but could be easily negotiated to 3900. Shortly before that, and for a good amount of years, a "standard" normal 335 was selling new for around 1900-2200 bucks.

 

Shortly after, in the corse of one year, the asking price for NEW 335's was/is a LOT more, from maybe 2800 to 4k. At least in the 3 GC's here, which are the only game in town right now. (The price spread is due to the "faded" or Satin ones, as opposed to the "Custom shop" or reissues...at least as far as I can tell or remember).

 

Now, right now, I can go buy a "clearance" 335 satin for 1600, or a gloss for 1900. Both new.

 

I don't have a real explanation for it, except to say maybe they aren't making enough. Maybe they have priced them too high and aren't selling enough. Maybe the economy. There ISN'T a lot of choice around here, as each GC only has 1-3 at any time compared to hundreds of solid bodies. Don't know if my region is the same as others, either.

 

I still have ONE connection I could ask, IF he knows. It would be curious to see what the increase is in dealers prices, and/or what they actually sell for.

 

I also might say, if you really WERE interested in buying such as the Elitist Casino, you could ask or offer 1500 or whatever. I have a feeling it might work.

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Yeah, I could see/understand $1,500, to account for inflation, etc. But, to have increased

nearly 100%, can't be due to "inflation," except in their own minds! [tongue]:rolleyes:

Are they trying to "phase out" the last of the "Elitist" line, entirely...by overpricing

them, so their unit sales will fall short of "need," and therefore they can justify doing

away with the last "Elitist" model, altogether??? [unsure]

 

 

CB

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Are they trying to "phase out" the last of the "Elitist" line, entirely...by overpricing

them, so their unit sales will fall short of "need," and therefore they can justify doing

away with the last "Elitist" model, altogether??? [unsure]

CB

Methinks that would be a mistake, but who am I other than a happy Elitist Casino owner. Bought mine in Oct of 2010 and paid just south of $1300 thx to my Sweetwater rep. It's a great guitar for what I paid, but at today's prices, not so much. Semi related, but as to supply/demand/price, I took the Fender factory tour a few years ago, and they boasted of producing 800+ guitars a week, Gibby was saying 1200+, add to that the dozens or so of other mfgrs and who is buying these thing? even at discount prices. I mean, like CB I have a lot of nice guitars, and while there are some that I'd like to own, I pretty much have all my bases covered, so does a new one fill a void, is it a duplicate of something I already have in terms of what it will do for me, or is it just "I need that"?

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Methinks that would be a mistake, but who am I other than a happy Elitist Casino owner. Bought mine in Oct of 2010 and paid just south of $1300 thx to my Sweetwater rep. It's a great guitar for what I paid, but at today's prices, not so much. Semi related, but as to supply/demand/price, I took the Fender factory tour a few years ago, and they boasted of producing 800+ guitars a week, Gibby was saying 1200+, add to that the dozens or so of other mfgrs and who is buying these thing? even at discount prices. I mean, like CB I have a lot of nice guitars, and while there are some that I'd like to own, I pretty much have all my bases covered, so does a new one fill a void, is it a duplicate of something I already have in terms of what it will do for me, or is it just "I need that"?

 

 

Yeah, I was just "wondering/speculating," as to WHY they'd raise prices on it, so much?!! I often wonder, like you,

WHO is buying all these multitudes of currently manufactured guitars. [scared][tongue] I (still) have 3, on my

"Bucket List," but as to whether or not I'll actually get them, who knows? I'm OK with that, either way.

 

CB

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I guess that if I hadn't already bought my Elitist Casino, in 2011 I think, I'd pay $2000.00 for a new one. Unless they aren't as nice as mine is. It's as nice as the Gibies I have, but would rather it be nitro & USA made too. I think my Gretsch Cadillac Green Duo-Jet is worth what they charge for it too and it's MIJ. Are they both made by the same vendor in Japan?

 

Aster

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I guess that if I hadn't already bought my Elitist Casino, in 2011 I think, I'd pay $2000.00 for a new one. Unless they aren't as nice as mine is. It's as nice as the Gibies I have, but would rather it be nitro & USA made too. I think my Gretsch Cadillac Green Duo-Jet is worth what they charge for it too and it's MIJ. Are they both made by the same vendor in Japan?

 

Aster

 

Yeah, I don't have any problem, with it being "made in Japan," at all! Just curious, as to why they've nearly doubled,

in price??! [unsure]

 

CB

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It seems that not too long ago (2008-ish), I paid $900 for my Elitist Casino new. I was dismayed when I noticed they were up to $1,500 a couple years later, but the price they're charging now is just insane. I no longer own the Elitist (sold it to get by when I was starting a new business) but I will NOT pay upwards of $2K to replace it. In fact, I just ordered a new MIC Casino from Sweetwater. From what I can tell, they've improved the build quality over the old Korean Casinos... 5-ply laminate vs the 3-ply of the MIKs, '60s specs, proper Vintage Sunburst finish, etc. I didn't mind paying 300-400 more for the Elitist back then, but there's NO FREAKIN' WAY I can justify nearly 4x the cost for the Elitist now.

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Just saw a listing (while browsing through Sweetwater's web page), that Epiphone Elitist Casino's

are $2,200 bucks! [scared] I could understand that, IF they were made here, at the Gibson factory, and

had all the Kalamazoo spec's and Nitro Finish. But, as great as they are, they're starting to

become "over priced," at least for me. But, maybe they feel like if we're willing to pay what

the Pro line (Japanese) "Gretsch" guitars command, we should fall in line with the "Elitist"

models, too???

 

They DO make "Kalamazoo spec'd" Elitist, but they're (apparently) not available here in America?

Only for Japan?! Anyone know anything, more, about that? [tongue][unsure]

 

CB

 

In the U.K the price equates to $2457.00.!!!

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So if the more custom Japan Made Elitist Casino is build quality, sound, better case, beautiful fit/finish, why should it be radically less $$ than a Gibby?

 

And what Gibson hollow body (outside of a Studio version) can you buy for $2200? And look at the price of a LP too!!

 

I was disappointed with my MIC Epi Casino and moved to an Elitist and there was no comparison for me anyway. Like a VW & vs an Audi or Porsche IMHO. That's not saying that the MIC Casino isn't worth the $$ or owning, but it's not built like a Gibson or the Elitist from my inspections.

 

Aster

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So if the more custom Japan Made Elitist Casino is build quality, sound, better case, beautiful fit/finish, why should it be radically less $$ than a Gibby?

 

And what Gibson hollow body (outside of a Studio version) can you buy for $2200? And look at the price of a LP too!!

 

I was disappointed with my MIC Epi Casino and moved to an Elitist and there was no comparison for me anyway. Like a VW & vs an Audi or Porsche IMHO. That's not saying that the MIC Casino isn't worth the $$ or owning, but it's not built like a Gibson or the Elitist from my inspections.

 

Aster

 

Well, by that logic, "Elistist's" should have been priced at, or near Gibson prices, to begin with! What I'm curious

about, is why it's price has nearly doubled, in the last 2-3 years?! If the regular "Elitist" models, were Nitro finished,

and to original Kalamazoo spec's, down the last detail, they probably should be at that price point. Build quality

has never been an issue, at least with me. But, they're not. They're very close, but still Poly finished, and the typical '

Asian 3-hole truss rod covers. And, the one's that HAVE all those correct spec's (Nitro finish, and 2-hole TRC with

Gibson truss rod), seem to be limited to the Japanese only, market?! Which ARE priced

at, or near "Gibson" prices. WTH??! [tongue]:rolleyes:

 

Look, I don't care WHERE they're made, as long as they're made well, and to original spec's! And, available to ALL markets!

 

 

CB

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I guess it is what the market will bear. Most of the Gretsch 6XXX models are $2,500 to$3,000, and some of them are urethane finished.

 

Hi Jeffery, how are things, in "The Big Easy?!"[biggrin]

 

Well, for sure, on what the market will bear! I just think it's "interesting," that the price on the Elitist

Casino has jumped so much, in such a short time. The regular Epi line seems to stay put, or just reflect what

inflation requires.

 

The Gretsch models are, at least under Fender's stewardship, to construction and appointment spec's with their

original models. Yes, the finish is Poly (save the USA CS versions), but the spec's other than that, are correct

(near as I have seen, so far). Why doesn't Epiphone go all the way, and use Gibson truss rods, 2-hole TRC's, etc.

That little extra attention to accurate detail(s), for some of us, could be the turning point. Especially, on the

"Elitist" version(s), and especially if they are going to require "Gibson like" prices! I'd also like to see Epi

go back to the smaller=correct Kalamazoo era headstock, for the Sheraton, as well. If they can do that, for the

100th Aniversary Les Paul Custom, which NEVER existed, much less had that headstock, why not put it back on the

guitar it was originally made for??? [tongue][flapper][biggrin]

 

CB

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Hi Charlie. Aside from the state being on the brink of financial collapse, things are fine down here. [scared] A bit wet down here, but the weather up your way seems much worse.

 

Glad to hear you're doing OK, all things considered. As to the weather up here...well, it's "Tornado Alley,"

in Spring="Normal!" [tongue][biggrin] But, we DO keep our vigilance, and a healthy respect for "Mother Nature,"

especially this time of year.

 

CB

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Hey Charlie Brown, The deal is this:

 

Epiphone/ Gibson draws a price line in the sand, and we step across it. That is your answer. They will keep raising the bar like this as long as people keep paying the prices, and people do, so the prices go up. Is it worth it? Well it must be to those who pay, and for us who paid less, well it makes our guitars all the more valuable.

 

The older MIK and MIJ Epis have quality features in the workmanship and the wood itself, that are no longer available. One example would be the binding nibs on the pre 1999 Sheraton necks, it's no longer available and the edges of the MIC necks feel like buzz saws because they do not spend the time to really clean up and round/polish the fret ends. So, like all guitars, the older ones are typically better made. And then there is the fact that as the wood ages, it tends to get better tone. Aside from the early PUs being crap, most pre-millennium Epis are fine instruments and people pay more for ones in good condition.

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Just saw a listing (while browsing through Sweetwater's web page), that Epiphone Elitist Casino's

are $2,200 bucks! [scared]

 

CB

 

A Gibson ES-330 is $3700-$4200 MAP depending on how it's configured. That makes the Elitist Casino a relative bargain.

 

I don't understand the posts about the Elitist Casino doubling it price. While I don't doubt a few of you may have gotten a very good deal on one, you have to realize that was probably under very unusual circumstances. I don't think the MAP was ever less than $1599. The vast majority of buyers paid at least 85% of that (typical major chain disount) if not more before MAP prices rose to $1799 and then $1999 before the present price. So, if you bought a new Elitist Casino for $900 good on you, but understand that was an atypical transaction--the dealer certainly made no money and was probably reducing his inventory. And while there are some isolated dealers like EM Shorts that outinely discount more than 15% off MAP, those are few and far between.

 

CB, the Japan-limited Elitist 1965 Casino is basically a reissue of the Lennon signature 1965 Casino without the repro label, facsimile signature label, silk screen logo on the case, COA and Lennon case candy, but wholly built in Japan (not "assembled in the USA"--big whoop). It's your dream guitar--true 60's specs ( including pots and wiring), two-whole truss rod cover, nitro finish, etc., built in what is probably the finest large-scale guitar factory in the world. Some Japanese retailers will ship overseas, and some advertise these on models on ebay.

 

Red 333

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I guess, if 2 Grand Plus, is going to be the "norm" now, for MIJ Elitist Casino's...I'm DONE

looking at, or contemplating any future guitar purchase(s). [crying]

 

But, that's OK, really. I don't "need" any other guitars, of ANY brand, or country of origin. [tongue]

I'm Good, with what I've been fortunate enough to procure, already! [thumbup][biggrin]

 

Sure, I still have my "Dream guitars" (mostly acoustic, at this point), but at their price point,

they'll remain "a dream!" LOL

I just thought it was a bit "much," that Elitist Casino's were now $2,200 bucks! But, in all honesty,

I've felt like a lot of Gibson prices (and Fender, Rickenbacker, etc.) have been absurd, for a long time.

Still, "whatever the market will bear, or they can get," I guess?!

 

Maybe, for now, I'll just buy another Danelectro ('59)?! [biggrin] I'm actually enjoying my little Dano

12-string, that I recently purchased (on sale) from MF. I got it, because I'm increasingly uncomfortable,

about taking my vastly more expensive Ric 12's into the types of places (Bars, and small (sometimes rowdy)

clubs) we play in, around here. And, even so, we're not playing all that much, anymore, anyway! So, it's

all kind of "moot" by now.

 

For those where the current prices are no object, GO FOR IT!! [thumbup][biggrin]

 

 

CB

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I guess, if 2 Grand Plus, is going to be the "norm" now, for MIJ Elitist Casino's...I'm DONE

looking at, or contemplating any future guitar purchase(s). [crying]

 

 

CB

 

The new Epiphone Premium line of archtops (the ES-175 and ES-295) feature Gibson pickups and laquer finishes, for under $1K. These are outstanding values. Maybe Epiphone will add to the line (though I fear it, like the Elitist ine, will be short-lived, unfortunately).

 

Red 333

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I guess, if 2 Grand Plus, is going to be the "norm" now, for MIJ Elitist Casino's...I'm DONE

looking at, or contemplating any future guitar purchase(s). [crying]

 

But, that's OK, really. I don't "need" any other guitars, of ANY brand, or country of origin. [tongue]

I'm Good, with what I've been fortunate enough to procure, already! [thumbup][biggrin]

 

Sure, I still have my "Dream guitars" (mostly acoustic, at this point), but at their price point,

they'll remain "a dream!" LOL

I just thought it was a bit "much," that Elitist Casino's were now $2,200 bucks! But, in all honesty,

I've felt like a lot of Gibson prices (and Fender, Rickenbacker, etc.) have been absurd, for a long time.

Still, "whatever the market will bear, or they can get," I guess?!

 

Maybe, for now, I'll just buy another Danelectro ('59)?! [biggrin] I'm actually enjoying my little Dano

12-string, that I recently purchased (on sale) from MF. I got it, because I'm increasingly uncomfortable,

about taking my vastly more expensive Ric 12's into the types of places (Bars, and small (sometimes rowdy)

clubs) we play in, around here. And, even so, we're not playing all that much, anymore, anyway! So, it's

all kind of "moot" by now.

 

For those where the current prices are no object, GO FOR IT!! [thumbup][biggrin]

 

 

CB

Don't worry. I doubt they will make a lot and sell a lot at these prices (2200 bucks).

 

Gotta consider the exchange rate, too. When at any given time, the yen is high, the prices of Japanese stuff will be high for us in the states. Back when we enjoyed lots of great Japanese stuff for relatively cheap, that was the main reason.

 

Consider Japanese Fenders. They still make them, but the price is about the same as American ones. Consequently, we don't get that many here. So basically, the market is limited to just a few. But on rare occasions, they make some for a specific market and they sell. As highly regarded as they are, that doesn't mean the price of used ones has gone up to be the same as used American ones.

 

As for Gibson and Elitist prices, if Gibson wants to sell a ton of guitars, the prices will go lower or they will sit. There are still a TON of Gibson's out there to be had. Just because Gibson imports a few Elitist at these prices and they sell doesn't mean higher prices for the rest of us. It's doubtful the Elitist will start becoming worth that much when there are Gibsons all over the place to be had for the same or less.

 

We got real-deal Gibsons to be has for roughly the same money, and we got MIC Casinos way cheap. It would be nice to have an in-between, but do we really need it? Nah.

 

Besides, as good as the MIJ stuff is, they really haven't nailed down the Gibson sound or feel as much (as opposed to the Fenders). I think a guy is just as well off getting a good sounding MIC for cheap, upgrading the pups and such, fret job, a good polish or buff if you want, and you are pretty much there as far as non-Gibson stuff goes.

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