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BenderOfStrings

Should Gibson drop the Epiphone name?

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Why doesn't Gibson drop the Epiphone name altogether and just brand ALL of their guitars "Gibson?" They could have the higher end American made models and cheaper foreign made models, but have them all say Gibson. Gretsch does something similar with their Electromatic line. While they are less expensive, they're still good quality and more importantly, they still say Gretsch. I think if Gibson did this they would sell a lot more guitars and would help cut down a lot of the fake "Chibson" guitars that are selling online.

 

Let's face it, most players would prefer their guitar to say Gibson and they MUCH prefer the "open book" Gibson headstock over that ugly Epiphone headstock. So why can't Gibson just do that for all models and cut the Epiphone name out completely? They could give it a name like The Gibson "WM" line (for Working Musician) and have them come out of the Korean and Chinese factories. You could have a WM Les Paul, and WM SG, and WM ES, etc.

 

I just think branding is a powerful tool when selling products and going to an all "Gibson" branding model would help. What say you?

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I say that is nonsense.

Epiphone has a good reputation that

started long before Gibson bought them out.

 

You're going to have a WM Casino?

Instead of an E on the pg you can have a W.

crazy talk.

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what say I?

 

I'd leave it be. it's been working for decades, if it aint broke, lets not fix it..

 

Agree 100% However I would like to see a make over on the head stocks of their solid bodies..

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the standard headstocks don't bug me but the limited editions and guitars like the sheraton, (where they are using the VINE) That is a bit on the "large" side. When I bought my shearton I had to angst a bit with finding a case that would fit,, sweetwater at the time was out of the Epi case, so I had to get a gator case long enough to accommodate.

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Most people who know the slightest bit about guitars know the body shapes Les Paul, Stratocaster, Telecaster, SG, etc. Those people may or may not pay attention to the name on the headstock. To those people a $3000.00 Gibson Les Paul and a $600.00 Epiphone Les Paul are the same guitar. So, it wouldn't really matter what name is on the headstock in that scenario. Players know the difference and will choose according to their preference and ability to pay. It's the same thing with Fender USA and Fender MIM and Squier and they all have the same headstock.

 

Would it make someone feel better to have the Gibson name and headstock and have Epiphone parts? As for me, I'll play whatever guitar I like the best, no matter the shape or name on the headstock. I've played a couple of Epiphones that I liked a lot. I don't own any but some friends have had some. They're great for what they are. I don't understand the issue with Epiphone.

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no issue really, I've had a mit full of epis, I had an Elitist chet atkins that was probably one of the cleanest built guitars I've ever bought. Granted this WAS an elitist and they were re-known for meticulous quality.

 

at the end of the day tho I think you're right Micheal, many may not discern the difference form a US to an Import, and for beginners and intermediate players, the Epis are great choices. Excellent guitars at easy to reach prices. but once you get to a point where you know the differences, you can't look the other way,.. it is what it is...

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Why doesn't Gibson drop the Epiphone name altogether and just brand ALL of their guitars "Gibson?"

I guess because Epiphone itself has a very long history, which Gibson bought along with the company. And it wouldn't change the fact that your proposed Gibsons formerly known as Epiphones are made in China or Indonesia or Korea or wherever. It's not like the name change would fool anybody.

Guild has U.S.-made models and Chinese-made models. They are distinguishable by their model number. They all say Guild on the headstock, but then Guild didn't buy an entirely different company that they parceled out to be made in China.

 

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OK...I'll jump in. First, Gibson should not drop Epiphone; name or otherwise. As others have pointed out, Epiphone has a long and storied history apart from Gibson. Now...I have been gigging for a very long time and I have owned many brands and types of guitars. I think that most people sound the same on a $500 guitar as they do on a $5000 one. If anyone thinks that paying ten times as much for an instrument will make them a better player, they are deluded. The sound is in the musician. If a person knows how to dial in their sound; almost any gear will work. I have heard guys playing on crap gear whose sound and skills would terrify almost any of us! Anyway, feel free to now subject me to death by a thousand cuts...I love you still

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OK...I'll jump in. First, Gibson should not drop Epiphone; name or otherwise. As others have pointed out, Epiphone has a long and storied history apart from Gibson. Now...I have been gigging for a very long time and I have owned many brands and types of guitars. I think that most people sound the same on a $500 guitar as they do on a $5000 one. If anyone thinks that paying ten times as much for an instrument will make them a better player, they are deluded. The sound is in the musician. If a person knows how to dial in their sound; almost any gear will work. I have heard guys playing on crap gear whose sound and skills would terrify almost any of us! Anyway, feel free to now subject me to death by a thousand cuts...I love you still

 

I think most of us will agree with you.

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... I think that most people sound the same on a $500 guitar as they do on a $5000 one. If anyone thinks that paying ten times as much for an instrument will make them a better player, they are deluded. The sound is in the musician...

People pay more for the higher quality instrument. Per your argument, why buy a Porsche 911 when a VW will serve the purpose of transportation? The Porsche will not make you a better driver ...

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People pay more for the higher quality instrument. Per your argument, why buy a Porsche 911 when a VW will serve the purpose of transportation? The Porsche will not make you a better driver ...

 

Which, in a way, is my point. A less skilled driver will likely kill themselves in a 911 whereas, a skilled driver will win even in a VW. In my opinion, the vehicle's quality is of secondary importance to the driver's ability. I guess ideally, a skilled driver paired with a quality ride would be likely to win but, certainly not in every case. A pricey ride is no guarantee of victory...

Everyone should pick the instrument that they feel best suits their taste, needs, and finances...I'm just defending a brand that a lot of folks seem to discount but, that I have found to be a more than adequate tool.

Edited by G Mac

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I think that most people sound the same on a $500 guitar as they do on a $5000 one....The sound is in the musician.

Well, yeah, for the most part. With acoustics, though, the difference in tone is certainly noticeable, especially at the low end and overall balance.

 

If a person knows how to dial in their sound; almost any gear will work.

Not that I have any extensive experience, but ampification would seem to be a significant "equalizer."

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My take on Epiphone from past experiences having 3 (SG, LP, and Nighthawk) is you get what you pay for - talking about "standard, run of the mill" Epi's here. Brand new, the guitar will play fine. But over time, the pots will get scratchy or just outright fail, the pickup selector switch will fail, the pickups are mediocre, and the other things like HW and nut are also mediocre. These are easily replaced and such, but you are dumping more money into these where you could end up covering up the difference of a "low-end" Gibson. I am not saying Epi's are outright crap, no, no, no, on the contrary. You just get what you pay for. The veneered cap, poly finish, etc. The adornments of a fancy guitar such as a Gibson might have are not going to be there.

 

Now if you are starting playing guitar, buy an Epiphone. You can get a superb guitar to learn on that will be very comfortable to play and provide good sound for the money. It is just known as Gibson's intermediate level guitar - stock Epi's that is. Dropping this name is nonsense to me for these reasons I listed. If Gibson were to make lower end guitars that had their name on it is just not their plan. They want a different name on these guitars and it is simple as that. No forces of nature governing this other than a business decision, and if I were to buy that affordable guitar from Gibson, I get an Epiphone. Beginning to intermediate guitarists do not care about that Gibson headstock, flamed maple top, etc. They are trying to learn to where they might play well enough to actually want that big G guitar. Many companies have different divisions that are targeting certain markets at certain price points.

 

Regarding Chibsons, I don't want to go down that rabbit hole... If someone wants a counterfeit guitar, they will put all their money into a fake Gibson that will fail in quality compared to an Epiphone at the price point we are discussing here. Just watch the videos online - there are TONS of them... You can put the money you "save" into fret leveling, sharp fret ends, AWFUL nuts that are cut poorly, possibly dealing with a truss rod that doesn't work (or even exist), junk pickups and HW, electronics that are dirt quality, etc. I can care less about GIbson's profits - I really do not have one shred of care for what goes into these CEO's pockets. I just think that people who buy these guitars are buying junk and leaves the possibility to these individuals to potentially get involved in deceptive transactions later on. Point here is that these are not value guitars for someone who actually wants to play guitar - beginner to professional. All I know is it is a crap shoot to gamble on getting a quality guitar from some off-site Chinese "luthier" - and quality as compared to the Epiphone line let alone Gibsons... You wouldn't catch me dead with one of these counterfeit pieces of junk in my hands, bottom line.

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People pay more for the higher quality instrument. Per your argument, why buy a Porsche 911 when a VW will serve the purpose of transportation? The Porsche will not make you a better driver ...

 

not a fair comparo in my opinion. percentage-wise, you'd spend far less making a good epi perform like a gibby, than you would making a sirroco drive like a porsche.

 

 

that said, i don't feel that gibson owning epiphone has been good for epiphone. if they were a stand-alone company making all their own decisions, they would probably make out better.

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Nah, keep Epiphone! They're excellent guitars, especially at their price point.

 

The only thing "I" wish Gibson/Epiphone would do, is use the Gibson headstock,

with the Epiphone logo, on "Gibson" cloned (Les Paul's, SG's, ES 335's, etc.)

instruments. Like the one's made for the Japanese market, often are. On the

Epiphone original models, keep the Epiphone original spec's, including the

headstock size and shape. The Sheraton's headstock isn't really the headstock

that the original (USA Made) Sheraton's had. It's much bigger, and more to the

spec's of a big bodied "Jazz" box, including the knocked off corners. So, I'd

love to seem the smaller, original Sheraton headstock (Kalamazoo era) spec'd

back on the Sheraton models. I'd also like to see "Gibson" truss rods, and 2-hole

truss rod covers, back on all Epiphone models. But, that's just Me! [tongue][biggrin]

 

 

CB

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not a fair comparo in my opinion. percentage-wise, you'd spend far less making a good epi perform like a gibby, than you would making a sirroco drive like a porsche ...

Let me put it this way ... People that can tell and appreciate the difference between an Epiphone Les Paul Standard and a Gibson Les Paul Standard will pay the premium for a Gibson if the "difference in quality" is worth the increase in cost (and you can afford it, of course). The same is true for a VW and Porsche. End of story ... There is more in the make up of a guitar, in my opinion than its pickups, nut, tuners and bridge -- if that was not the case, then just buy a Chibson (which don't suck, by the way) and just upgrade the components ...

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I can see what you are saying, and if it were simply a matter of the outcome being that you'd sell a bunch more of what are currently Epiphones by naming them Gibsons, you'd have good point (in the short term)...

 

...but it wouldn't work for 2 reasons:

 

1. At the same time you'd be devaluing the Gibson name in the minds and hearts of Gibson players as it no longer means solely made in USA (you could re brand them Gibson USA, but then what about all the current guitars...) which means you have just devalued your biggest asset, and...

 

2. As a result of point 1, over time then as that Gibson name becomes less revered, you're Asian made Gibsons therefore become less attractive to buyers, and you've then defeated the pupose of what you set out to do...except now instead of having 2 understood and respected brands you'd have none.

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...i don't feel that gibson owning epiphone has been good for epiphone. if they were a stand-alone company making all their own decisions, they would probably make out better...

In point of fact had Gibson not acquired the marque when it did not only would Epiphone not have 'made out better' it would have wholly ceased to exist in any form whatsoever. Ted McCarty judged that his efforts made in saving the Epiphone company as a brand was one of the most important contributions he ever made during his considerable tenure as CEO of Gibson.

 

Carry On!

 

Pip.

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Here's the thing though, don't you think having the Gibson name on all of the products would help move more guitars? I tend to think it could. While Epiphone is a long time established brand, let's face it. It's still not as well regarded as the Gibson name and branding is a very powerful thing when it comes to selling products.

 

Some of you say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" but it IS broken guys. Gibson is in a world of financial hurt. I'm just brainstorming ideas that would help generate more revenue for Gibson. Yes, there are other, more overstated suggestions out there that Gibson should consider, but I'm just trying to think outside the box a little here.

Edited by BenderOfStrings

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I can see what you are saying, and if it were simply a matter of the outcome being that you'd sell a bunch more of what are currently Epiphones by naming them Gibsons, you'd have good point (in the short term)...

 

...but it wouldn't work for 2 reasons:

 

1. At the same time you'd be devaluing the Gibson name in the minds and hearts of Gibson players as it no longer means solely made in USA (you could re brand them Gibson USA, but then what about all the current guitars...) which means you have just devalued your biggest asset, and...

 

2. As a result of point 1, over time then as that Gibson name becomes less revered, you're Asian made Gibsons therefore become less attractive to buyers, and you've then defeated the pupose of what you set out to do...except now instead of having 2 understood and respected brands you'd have none.

 

Scales nailed it!

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...

EDIT : Sorry!

 

I didn't read Scales' earlier post and, having just done so, I realised that I had said pretty much exactly the same things here...

 

Pip.

Edited by pippy

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I honestly don't see how you could possibly "devalue" the Gibson name anymore than it already has been. Outside of the VERY dedicated Gibson fan, the perception of Gibson as a brand is not very positive. They're seen as a bloated, hubris company with poor quality control and overpriced products. Now with the well documented financial problems that Gibson is facing as a company, it only compounds the negative image Gibson already has. Frankly some of you sound like you've been existing in a very small echo chamber and don't realize just how tarnished Gibson's name and reputation has become.

Edited by BenderOfStrings

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