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IanHenry

Are Epiphones Under Rated?

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I've been thinking about getting a 12 string acoustic recently but I don't want to spend a lot of money on it because it will only be an "occasional" guitar. One of my band mates lent me his Epiphone DR212 for a week and I've been very impressed with it. The guitar has been well set up and it plays like a dream, all from a guitar that can be bought on the internet for £150 (about $190) which I find unbelievable.

Has anyone else ever been impressed by a "cheap" guitar?

 

 

Ian

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I'm almost always impressed by some of them.

Epiphones and Squiers and some of the asian made acoustic Fenders.

But especially by Epi!

Other brands just can't beat them in the sub 200 bucks range.

I still can't believe sometimes how good my girlfriends Epi SG Special sounds trough a good amp.

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Hello.

 

The upper class Epiphones are definitely underrated. The problem comes from that they get compared to their Gibson relatives.

 

Bence.

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I believe Epi's in general are viewed correctly for what they are...

 

More 'mass produced' versions of several Gibson shapes...less select woods, inferior P/U's and wiring but sometimes better perceived build quality for one reason or another...

 

Often selling for 1/4 to a 1/5 of the 'same shape' Gibson model... [thumbup]

 

I bought a Chinese Fender electro-acoustic 12 str a while back and with it's excellent Baggs P/U has proved to be a workhorse....

 

Less worrying about the occasional ding... [thumbup]

 

V

 

:-({|=

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The first guitar I ever bought all on my own, with money I saved from my job at Hardee's, was an Epiphone FT-120 acoustic.

I still have that guitar, and it has been around the world with me over the past 40 years.

 

I covet an Epiphone Casino or Dot, and hope to own one some day.

Those are classic Epiphones, and they carry a Beatles groove with them that I like a lot.

 

That said, the Epiphone versions of the Gibson brand guitars (Les Pauls, SG's) are less-expensive versions of the real thing.

They are well constructed, and there are certainly less lemons among their ranks than, say, any given Squier.

(I have held one or two Squiers that were junk, and should have never left the factory.)

 

I personally am not drawn to the Epiphone Les Pauls, SG's, and the like.

I can't say why exactly, it just is what it is.

:unsure:

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yes, unfortunately they are. There's no good reason for this these days.

 

I have a handful of Epi archtops. I think they play and sound fantastic. for the money it would cost to get a USA made equivalent, it's a no brainer.

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Yes.

 

A couple of years ago I was looking for something acoustic to leave at the in-law's place in France and found a NOS Epi Hummingbird (the purely acoustic version) going silly cheap in a clearance sale. It plays and sounds really good. Having been impressed by the build quality and sound of the Epi LP I had ten years ago this didn't come as a surprise. I didn't have the chance to compare it with it's far more pricey brother but for someone with my limited skills on the acoustic? Suits me just fine.

 

No nibs, though....................lol!

 

Pip.

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I own two Epiphones, an ES-339 in Black Royale and a 60s Tribute Les Paul in Midnight Sapphire. Both guitars play well and sound great through my Marshall.

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I've been thinking about getting a 12 string acoustic recently but I don't want to spend a lot of money on it because it will only be an "occasional" guitar. One of my band mates lent me his Epiphone DR212 for a week and I've been very impressed with it. The guitar has been well set up and it plays like a dream, all from a guitar that can be bought on the internet for £150 (about $190) which I find unbelievable.

Has anyone else ever been impressed by a "cheap" guitar?

 

 

Ian

I've had a DR212 for a couple of years now. Like you, I didn't want to spend a lot of money for something that would have limited playing time. I've been very happy with the DR212. It sounds a little thin for a 12 string, but hey, for the money? I also have a few other Epi's (Dot, Casino, DR100, Masterbilt AJ500M) and am happy with all of them. I think that the "bang for the buck" certainly exists within the Epi family. I bought the DR100 as a "beater" if you will, thinking that for $100 or so, I wouldn't care too much if it got dinged. How they can make guitars of the quality of the DR100 and DR212 for so little money is beyond my comprehension!

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The dedicated Epiphone factory in Qindao has been making guitars for 14 years now. Before this they would have been manufactured at one of several Asian plants alongside Squiers, Ibanez, Washburns etc etc.

 

Every time the build was moved to a different location/factory/country, the quality would change (typically begin poorly and then improve).

 

So people seek out Epis (and all the others) according to where and when they were made. That changed in 2002 for Epiphone.

 

I played quite a few Epis (& Gibsons) last year and was generally impressed. From the examples I tried, the Epis had a more consistent build quality than the Gibsons.

 

For example I choose my ES-339 from out of 7 others (4 Gibsons and 3 Epiphones). I would not have bought any of the other Gibsons, but was tempted by 2 of the Epis. If money had been tight, I would have certainly taken home one of the Epis.

 

Yes Epi hardware is inferior, but I'm not certain that the wood always is. All manufacturers are constantly having to source alternative woods; sometimes of different species. Is the Epi selection always going to be worse? All woods used now are also kiln dried instead of traditionally seasoned, that includes Gibson.

 

Yes, Epis are under-rated.

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They're a lot of bang for the buck these days. It's my impression from reviews a s o that they're more consistent these days, too. Worth trying one out.

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I have 3 Epi's, had them for a while now.

 

Unfortunately I've had problems with two of them but the third, a Casino is a beautiful guitar. It was made in Korea.

 

The price of these guitars here doesn't put them in the "cheap" guitar category and therefore and quality issues are more significant as a couple of them were over the AUD$1000 mark.

 

I've also had luck with some other cheapies, namely a Tele and a Strat copy made marketed at J&D Luthiers brand. Absolutely perfect! In fact the Strat version is my favourite of all my guitars. They set me back just $350 each which is cheap for Oz.

 

I have an Agile AL2900 which is a lovely LP clone from Rondo Music. It is a high spec Korean Guitar and it's right up there in quality and performance. At the time I was looking for an LP, an Epi LP "Studio" was about $850 here plus a case another $140, almost a $1000 again! I imported my Agile for $400 USD the guitar, $60 for a deluxe case and about $150 in shipping. It was here in 6 days and was perfect out of the box, save for a slight adjustment of the pickups which were a bit hot.

 

So the lot was $640 AUD. We won't begin to compare to a Gibson equivalent.

 

On a veterans pension they were just out of my league.

 

There is a place for cheaper guitars and lets face it they are an entree into the scene without mortgaging the house.

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I would look for one made in Epiphone's Chinese factory if you're looking at a new one. I've played a few Indonesian ones that were really bad. One had finish imperfections, on had a nut that was glued in completely off center, and one had a switch that fell off in my hands at Guitar Center. The Chinese ones seem to be better. The older Korean ones are usually great except that the electronics can be cheap on some.

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I didn't think I'd ever get one at first but I tried a bunch because of folks that had them here. Checked them out about a year before I found one I really loved. Epiphone Les Paul Standard. Got it brand new $50.00 off of the sale price but no case. I am very pleased with it and play it way more then the other guitars. Sounds great!msp_thumbup.gif It actually stays in tune better then my $3,500.00 GT Gibson although I still love the GT much more but I'm not worried if something happens to it for the price I paid.

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I am a big Gibson fan and my main guitar now is a Gibson ES 335. I picked up a used Epiphone ES339 Pro and it is well made, great looking and easy to play. It does not sound as good as a Gibson but for the cost compared to it's Gibson ES 339 cousin, the Epiphone is one really nice guitar. As with any guitar, you have to play it to determine if it's the right fit for you. For whatever my opinion is worth, I believe the Epiphone guitar is highly under rated.

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Epiphone is making some nice guitars again. It is a good time to get one. Their only weakness is Epi pickups but if you replace them that issue is over. Several Epis have SDs or Gibby pups and are great guitars. The Casino is a nice guitar when you stick aftermarket pups in it. The Gary Clark Signature Casino comes with Gibby pups.

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Yes. I was lucky to pick up this used EJ 212 for 600 USD w/HSC. I've heard people say these have laminate tops but they don't. It's solidly built and has plenty of volume.

 

If you find one with a serial number beginning with "S" it was made in Korea at Samick's factory as was this one with which I am well pleased

The biggest problem is they're out of production and fairly scarce. The 212 is standard acoustic. The 212 "CE" models have a cutaway and electronics. An added "B" or "S" denotes black or sunburst.

 

I've not played a DR model but Epiphone have made many good quality models for the budget concious. The previous commenter was likely correct in assumptions about the country of origin.

 

The serial number code keys have disappeared from the web since I last perused them but here is a link to use if you like EpiSerial#s

 

ej_full.jpg

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Their only weakness is Epi pickups but if you replace them that issue is over.

 

Their new 'probuckers' sound much improved to my ears than the older pickups and some of the higher end Epi models come with Gibson pickups anyway.

 

Epiphone are underrated for sure.

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I have 3 Epi's, had them for a while now.

 

Unfortunately I've had problems with two of them but the third, a Casino is a beautiful guitar. It was made in Korea.

 

The price of these guitars here doesn't put them in the "cheap" guitar category and therefore and quality issues are more significant as a couple of them were over the AUD$1000 mark.

 

I've also had luck with some other cheapies, namely a Tele and a Strat copy made marketed at J&D Luthiers brand. Absolutely perfect! In fact the Strat version is my favourite of all my guitars. They set me back just $350 each which is cheap for Oz.

 

I have an Agile AL2900 which is a lovely LP clone from Rondo Music. It is a high spec Korean Guitar and it's right up there in quality and performance. At the time I was looking for an LP, an Epi LP "Studio" was about $850 here plus a case another $140, almost a $1000 again! I imported my Agile for $400 USD the guitar, $60 for a deluxe case and about $150 in shipping. It was here in 6 days and was perfect out of the box, save for a slight adjustment of the pickups which were a bit hot.

 

So the lot was $640 AUD. We won't begin to compare to a Gibson equivalent.

 

On a veterans pension they were just out of my league.

 

There is a place for cheaper guitars and lets face it they are an entree into the scene without mortgaging the house.

 

Digger, you have taste man! [thumbup]

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I'll have to play my Epi LP Plustop Pro for a while longer before I decide whether or not the electronics are unreliable and/or the fretwire is inferior, but every time I pick it up, like just now, I'm amazed by the tone (ProBuckers). If the tone were any fuller, I'd have to EQ frequencies off ;)

 

It took a bit of work to set it up, though. The factory action for Epiphones is, IMHO, too high, and with adjusting that comes adjusting pickup height. It took quite some time to get it to play and sound the way I like it.

 

But yay for ProBuckers.

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Digger, you have taste man! [thumbup]

 

 

Not sure which bit you are referring to but it takes me so long to save up for these things that I have plenty of time to consider each purchase!

 

The bonus there is that the anticipation is good as actually

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Digger, you have taste man! [thumbup]

 

The Casino I'd guess. [thumbup]

 

I don't think I ever realised you actually are a guitarist Dig, and even in that one post it suggests you have at least twice as many guitars as me - I guess I hadn't paid attention. What sort of music do you play mate?

 

Two of my 3 guitars cost under $1000 AU (the Aria and the Gibson) and I like them both though they are quite different. The Epi cost $1300 AU but it was made in the USA - the Chinese version of the same would probably only be $500. Probably under rated a bit but so are plenty of decent Far East made guitars of recent years I suppose - maybe anything that isn't considered the best of its breed could be under rated though.

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