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Gibson vs Epiphone

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I was not sure what to call this thread. It is not a complete review or comparison at all. Just my observations (as a beginner).

 

I have been playing for a little over a year. I started on Epi's. I have a Plus top pro and a Tribute plus. I thought they were both great guitars to play, especially for a beginner. I felt there was a lot of quality for the money.

 

With the release of the 2017 Gibsons, there are now great LPs at really low prices. I picked up a 2017 Tribute T faded sunburst for a cool $899.

 

All I can say is wow! This is not to bash Epis at all. I love them. But, the Gibson is a whole different deal. I'm sure there are many factors. I think one of the main differences is the fact that it's Plek'd. But, whatever it is, it is a much more playable guitar. The feel, the action, fretting strings is all much better/easier (yes, I did have setups done on the Epi's). The sound, tone and sustain all noticeably better. It just seems like a better instrument overall.

 

The fact that you can get all that for just a little more than a high end Epi is an eye opener. Sure, the Tribute T does not have the great AAA top and the finish but it is a great player.

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so many variables suffice to say, not all are created equal.

 

With a bit of work, all guitars can be made "playable" I have a number of both Epi's and Gibby's.. I do have to say the gibsons are over all some what superior, but I'm ok with that that. the epi's I have are great players, and yes, I've had to work them a bit more than I've had to work the Gibby's in regard to fret leveling, and stuff like that, --- but I always think "Damn, for what they cost, Woohoo!!" So there's that.

 

The good news is it sounds though like you got yourself a keeper with the Gibson. [thumbup]

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For what it's worth, I'm not a very experienced player and know very little about guitars but I went to buy a plus top last week and there was also a studio there. I played both and even with my relatively inexperienced ears I could tell there was a difference in sound quality in the two guitars that were priced exactly the same although the Epiphone was brand new and pretty and the studio is matt black with a headstock repair.

 

It took my 5 minutes to know I wanted the studio as it sounded so much better.

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Guest Farnsbarns

Hmm. Dont Audi and VW use the same floorpans, monocoque, engines, running gear and suspension with different styling and interior features? Same for SEAT and Skoda?

 

Oops. I might have derailed this a little.

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Hmm. Dont Audi and VW use the same floorpans, monocoque, engines, running gear and suspension with different styling and interior features? Same for SEAT and Skoda?

Oops. I might have derailed this a little.

 

That's actually what makes the Audi/VW analogy so apt.

Same with Cadillac and Chevy.

 

Gibson is the parent/partner company of Epiphone, unless I am mistaken (and I frequently am).

And Epiphones are manufactured under the licenses and patents of Gibson's edicts.

Some parts are indeed the same, except that Gibsons are made in the USA, and Epiphones are built overseas.

 

I'm trying to think of another automotive analogy that parallels the domestic-overseas aspect of that.....

:unsure:

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... This is not to bash Epis at all. I love them. But, the Gibson is a whole different deal. ...

 

Gibson vs Epiphone comes up occasionally. I've owned some Epis over the years and currently have an Epi LP. While there are certainly Epiphone gems to be found, the fact is Epiphone is Gibson's value based line. Certain choices in materials/hardware/electronics are made, particularly electronics, in order to keep the price points in the value based range. It's not unusual for folks to buy Epi and swap out the electronics in an effort to upgrade to the level of Gibson guitars.

 

 

Congrats on your new Gibson Tribute T. . B)

 

 

.

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'm trying to think of another automotive analogy that parallels the domestic-overseas aspect of that.....

 

Well, it used to be Ford/Mazda, Dodge/Mitsubishi, Chevrolet/Isuzu and I'm sure I'm missing some. However, I think all these companies are independent from each other now-a-days.

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That's actually what makes the Audi/VW analogy so apt.

Same with Cadillac and Chevy.

 

Gibson is the parent/partner company of Epiphone, unless I am mistaken (and I frequently am).

And Epiphones are manufactured under the licenses and patents of Gibson's edicts.

Some parts are indeed the same, except that Gibsons are made in the USA, and Epiphones are built overseas.

 

I'm trying to think of another automotive analogy that parallels the domestic-overseas aspect of that.....

:unsure:

 

That's exactly the point I was making.

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Hmm. Dont Audi and VW use the same floorpans, monocoque, engines, running gear and suspension with different styling and interior features? Same for SEAT and Skoda?

 

Oops. I might have derailed this a little.

 

Yes and Epiphones are licensed by Gibsons.

 

Point I''m making is both (cars and guitars) are of excellent quality but there':s a reason why one brand of each subject is much dearer than the other and that's the difference in quality.

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Guest Farnsbarns

That's actually what makes the Audi/VW analogy so apt.

Same with Cadillac and Chevy.

 

Gibson is the parent/partner company of Epiphone, unless I am mistaken (and I frequently am).

And Epiphones are manufactured under the licenses and patents of Gibson's edicts.

Some parts are indeed the same, except that Gibsons are made in the USA, and Epiphones are built overseas.

 

I'm trying to think of another automotive analogy that parallels the domestic-overseas aspect of that.....

:unsure:

 

 

That's exactly the point I was making.

 

 

Yes and Epiphones are licensed by Gibsons.

 

Point I''m making is both (cars and guitars) are of excellent quality but there':s a reason why one brand of each subject is much dearer than the other and that's the difference in quality.

 

Well, like mataphores, most analogies don't stand up to scrutiny and I'm clearly being a pedant for fun but...

 

Epis are not made of the same materials with the same components as Gibson but I think, on reflection, the analogy has more going for it than against. I know what you mean.

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I suspect that Epi is now making perhaps the best non-American-made guitars - out of China even. Their non-metallic materials (wood) may not be of the same quality as Gibson (and their maple cap/veneer doesn't appear to be cutting it for me), but their workmanship is fantastic and their play-ability (if not sound, which is still excellent) is every bit that of the Gibson/Heritage/Amer Fender I've owned. Qualifier: My EPI sample size is 1, a 2014 LP Custom Pro bought used on eBay from a pawn shop about 6 months ago.

 

I'm trying to convince my snob-son to get an Epi as his backup guitar. They are that good.

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Can you tell time on a Casio, a Citizens, and a Rolex? Doesn't matter. They are not the same company, they just have a license to create a copy. If you like the sound of a Gibson over the sound of an Epiphone, then choose the Gibson. If the Epiphone does what you want and you can't afford the Gibson, buy the Epiphone. Upgrade the pickups later. Upgrade the guitar later. Keep the guitar and love it the way you did when you brought it home. Comes down to personal preference.

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Can you tell time on a Casio, a Citizens, and a Rolex? Doesn't matter. They are not the same company, they just have a license to create a copy. If you like the sound of a Gibson over the sound of an Epiphone, then choose the Gibson. If the Epiphone does what you want and you can't afford the Gibson, buy the Epiphone. Upgrade the pickups later. Upgrade the guitar later. Keep the guitar and love it the way you did when you brought it home. Comes down to personal preference.

 

As a wholly owned subsidiary company of Gibson, the modern Epiphone company is administrated by the parent company. As for making copies, you can look at it that way, but they are working to the same designs. The CAD-CAM programs are of the same origin. It doesnt make sense that the dedicated tooling and jigs used by Epiphone are any different to those used in the USA.

 

So I doubt whether licence comes into it. The Epiphone factory in Qindao was purpose built for the manufacture of their products and nobody elses. So you could say that Epiphone is closer to Gibson than many companies (such as Fender) who have tendered for entirely different companies to make versions of their guitars and put their own name on the product.

 

So you could say that Epiphone are making versions of Gibson products rather than copies.

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I found this interesting...

from 2016.

 

And yes, it's in English if you are patient.

 

The difference in productions lines between the Gibson USA and Gibson Custom Shop are substantial too.

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After just playing my Epiphone LP Tribute Plus for a while I remembered this topic and decided to post here like I often do with Gibson versus Epiphone threads. This Epi of mine is simply too nice to keep quiet about her! [biggrin]

 

... I started on Epi's. I have a Plus top pro and a Tribute plus. I thought they were both great guitars to play, especially for a beginner. I felt there was a lot of quality for the money. ...

I bought my Epiphone LP 1960 Tribute Plus when I already owned a Gibson LP Standard Plus 2012 and Alex Lifeson LP Axcess. Three more Gibson LPs followed. Nevertheless the Epi is of the same level sonically, and the only difference in playing feel is the polyester finish that most of my Fender, Ibanez and other guitars have anyway.

 

 

I suspect that Epi is now making perhaps the best non-American-made guitars - out of China even. Their non-metallic materials (wood) may not be of the same quality as Gibson (and their maple cap/veneer doesn't appear to be cutting it for me), but their workmanship is fantastic and their play-ability (if not sound, which is still excellent) is every bit that of the Gibson/Heritage/Amer Fender I've owned. Qualifier: My EPI sample size is 1, a 2014 LP Custom Pro bought used on eBay from a pawn shop about 6 months ago.

 

I'm trying to convince my snob-son to get an Epi as his backup guitar. They are that good.

My Epi LP had an overstretched neck from the factory like some more of them when I bought her in early 2013. It only took appropriate neck adjustment.

 

The fretboard came stained with a dark-brown dye I found on my fingertips. During my initial string change I removed it using Ballistol weapon oil. The wood of the board is very fine and looked the same as before, so why did they put it on at all?

 

 

Can you tell time on a Casio, a Citizens, and a Rolex? Doesn't matter. They are not the same company, they just have a license to create a copy. If you like the sound of a Gibson over the sound of an Epiphone, then choose the Gibson. If the Epiphone does what you want and you can't afford the Gibson, buy the Epiphone. Upgrade the pickups later. Upgrade the guitar later. Keep the guitar and love it the way you did when you brought it home. Comes down to personal preference.

In case of an Epi LP Tribute Plus there will be no upgrade needed. Gibson USA pickups, CTS pots, Mallory foil capacitors, Switchcraft toggle switch, it's all stock, and she includes a hardcase, too. The locking Grover tuners and the locking Epiphone bridge and tailpiece are fine, too. I think it is cheaper than buying a lower-budget Epi and do all the upgrades.

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the real truth whether anyone wants to accept it or not is, people enjoy the exclusivity that comes with branding. if all you want is a good instrument with good bang for your buck, there are options. if you like designer labels, the options are different.

 

these days i can make almost any $300 guitar sound and play as good or better than any $3000 guitar. that's just fact.

but my headstocks say gibson on them because i enjoy certain aspects that come with the brand.

it's metal wood and plastic.

there's no magic in it.

the guitar from foreigner's "jukebox hero" doesn't exist.

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If you want a nice Gibson without spending too much money just get a studio! Ive been playing one of these for over 5 years now and am still more than satisfied with it. Never had any lack of quality. Maybe if you get a good deal for a used one, you spend the same amount as for a new epi! [thumbup]

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The Epiphone factory in Qindao was purpose built for the manufacture of their products and nobody elses. So you could say that Epiphone is closer to Gibson than many companies (such as Fender) who have tendered for entirely different companies to make versions of their guitars and put their own name on the product.

 

Epiphone apparently still uses plants in other far east countries too - Indonesia, for example. Nothing wrong with those guitars!

 

I wonder which side of the conglomerate - Epi or Gibbie - brings in the bigger profit.... eusa_think.gif

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we are all lucky that there are soooo many choices out there, to fit any budget, any taste. you can get a good guitar that works for you, no matter what your situation almost.

just remember one important thing:

 

the more red your guitar has, the better it will sound and play. it's scientific.

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I have a 2014 120th Anniversary Studio which is one step further compared to the LPJs and one step behind the Studio Pro's.

 

The main difference I noted compared to Epiphones I played is in the comfort area. Never had a guitar with such a perfect action before the Gibson Studio. Epis sound great overdriven -- there is a lot of comparisons on YouTube where you're almost unable to distinguish between a Gibson and an Epiphone, notably in overdriven tones. However, when you're actually playing both guitars, the difference is pretty evident. Your fingers slide faster and easier with a Gibson. I also note a superior clean tone compared to Epis. Don't know what would happen if Epis were equipped with true Gibson pickups, though.

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I have a 2014 120th Anniversary Studio which is one step further compared to the LPJs and one step behind the Studio Pro's.

 

The main difference I noted compared to Epiphones I played is in the comfort area. Never had a guitar with such a perfect action before the Gibson Studio. Epis sound great overdriven -- there is a lot of comparisons on YouTube where you're almost unable to distinguish between a Gibson and an Epiphone, notably in overdriven tones. However, when you're actually playing both guitars, the difference is pretty evident. Your fingers slide faster and easier with a Gibson. I also note a superior clean tone compared to Epis. Don't know what would happen if Epis were equipped with true Gibson pickups, though.

Just bought my son a 2007 EPI LP Standard with Gibson '57 Classics and it sounds quite good up against his Traditional (with '57's) and his Studio with SD JB's. My 2014 EPI Custom Pro with ProBuckers is no slouch either and gets most of my attention since July when I bought it...for next to nothing.

 

For everyday around- the- house use...a well set up EPi with decent pups will get lots of playing time from beginner to advanced players.

 

 

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