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BenderOfStrings

Should Gibson drop the Epiphone name?

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Is that the original finish?

 

Yep it is, Cardinal Red, it also comes in Chicago Blue, Ebony and Metallic Goldtop..

 

56 Les Paul Standard Pro... Specs

 

56LPSTDPRO4.jpg

 

not the same as this one below, they look similar but are actually very different

 

Les Paul 56 Goldtop..... Specs

 

Head.jpg

Edited by mihcmac

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I don't think Gibson should drop the Epiphone name, but I think they should do what Fender has done and be brave enough to slap their primary name (Gibson) on guitars across the range. Yes, I know Fender has Squier, but increasingly that has been used for the lowest-priced guitars, and also specialty items like the popular Classic Vibe models, and other quirky stuff. Fender has been more than happy to stick "Fender" on $500 Mexican Stats and Teles for decades now, and, in recent years, has broadened this out to Chinese-made guitars, too.

 

In short, use the Epiphone name for Casinos, etc. Anything that sells because it's an Epiphone. And occasional oddball offerings. For everything else, especially the current Epiphone versions of Gibson's classic models, just use Gibson. They can still make them in the factory they own in Qingdao, all that would need to change is the headstock shape and the logo.

 

fende[/size]r learned to maximize the value in their name. Customers who wanted American-made Fenders didn't stop buying those in favor of cheaper, Mexican-made models just because the Mexican guitars were available. The Mexican-made Fenders just opened up the possibility of owning a Fender to a different consumer.

 

If Gibson slaps "Gibson" on a $700 Chinese-made Les Paul, people looking for a Custom Shop Gibson or an American-made LP Standard won't buy it. Other people, liking the idea of having a Gibson Les Paul at that price, will.

 

Guitar forums are populated by, well, guitar enthusiasts. If decisions about brand management were principally made with that audience solely in mind, well...guitar companies would have good reason to worry about their balance sheets.

 

I often look at the problem this way: it took General Motors a very long time to get away from Ponitac, Oldsmobile, and all the rest, even though all of their brands shared common platforms! As I understand it, they're now down to Chevrolet, Buick, and Cadillac. Frankly (even though I own one and love it), I don't think the Buick marque is going to be hanging around much longer, at least not in the US. The draw is in recognizing and trusting the brand, and for GM it seems that "Chevrolet" is entirely good enough for that purpose. For Gibson, their chief asset is their primary name. In their position, I'd be inclined to use it whenever and wherever possible...

 

Yes! Yes!! YES!! Thank you so much for articulating my point better than I did! What you said is the point I was trying to get at. Absolutely keep the well-established Epiphone models like the Casino. However, instead of allowing the Epiphone name to be on the established Gibson models like the LP, SG, ES, etc, just change the headstock and make them Gibsons!

 

What they could do is have 3 Gibson trademarks to differentiate themselves on the headstock...

 

Gibson for Custom Shop guitars

CS

 

Gibson for the standard US brand Gibsons

USA

 

Gibson for the overseas, less expensive models

Int'l

 

 

That would give Gibson a very simple, 3-tiered pricing structure that everyone could understand and I guarantee you those overseas models re-branded as Gibson would fly off the shelves! For example, take a look at the Epiphone LP Tribute Plus. That's a guitar with a solid mahogany body, an actual 3/4" maple cap with a AAA flame maple veneer, 18:1 Grover tuners, an actual Switchcraft selector switch, and genuine Gibson USA '57 humbuckers. It's as close an Epiphone gets to a genuine Gibson without it being an actual Gibson. Imagine how much more that model would sell if it had the actual Gibson headstock with the name "Gibson" branded on it instead of the Epiphone headstock and logo. I know many here scoff at the idea and think it would make no difference, but anyone who understands marketing and understands the power of brand, knows this would be a true difference maker in Gibson's sales.

Edited by BenderOfStrings

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Yes! Yes!! YES!! Thank you so much for articulating my point better than I did! What you said is the point I was trying to get at. Absolutely keep the well-established Epiphone models like the Casino. However, instead of allowing the Epiphone name to be on the established Gibson models like the LP, SG, ES, etc, just change the headstock and make them Gibsons!

 

What they could do is have 3 Gibson trademarks to differentiate themselves on the headstock...

 

Gibson for Custom Shop guitars

CS

 

Gibson for the standard US brand Gibsons

USA

 

Gibson for the overseas, less expensive models

Int'l

 

 

That would give Gibson a very simple, 3-tiered pricing structure that everyone could understand and I guarantee you those overseas models re-branded as Gibson would fly off the shelves! For example, take a look at the Epiphone LP Tribute Plus. That's a guitar with a solid mahogany body, an actual 3/4" maple cap with a AAA flame maple veneer, 18:1 Grover tuners, an actual Switchcraft selector switch, and genuine Gibson USA '57 humbuckers. It's as close an Epiphone gets to a genuine Gibson without it being an actual Gibson. Imagine how much more that model would sell if it had the actual Gibson headstock with the name "Gibson" branded on it instead of the Epiphone headstock and logo. I know many here scoff at the idea and think it would make no difference, but anyone who understands marketing and understands the power of brand, knows this would be a true difference maker in Gibson's sales.

 

chaz-bono.jpg

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:rolleyes: Be glib about it all you want, but I guarantee you it would be a success!

It would probably be a success, but Epiphone is already a successful established trade mark. Gibson's identity has always been associated with being a US built instrument. Would you want a Ferrari brand on a car built by GM?

Edited by mihcmac

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🙄 Can this horse be beat any more than it has been? Its to the point that everyone is just repeating what someone else has already said.

 

I guess its my own damn fault for clicking on this thread.

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�� Can this horse be beat any more than it has been? Its to the point that everyone is just repeating what someone else has already said.

 

I guess its my own damn fault for clicking on this thread.

 

I don't think you perpetuated a dead horse, this thread generated a lot of controversial interest and got a lot of hits in a very short time.

 

john-lennon-clapton-mitchell-richards-dirty-mac.jpg

 

Some people just prefer Epi's.....

Edited by mihcmac

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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?

 

This is an interesting question that's obviously sparked lots of debate.

 

Maybe you already know, but Gretsch is no longer even Gretsch. They still retain ownership of their company (so they're allowed to say Grestch) but since 2002, Fender controls their production, distribution, and marketing. I think this is a good thing, as I've tried their Electromatic line and thought it was very nice.

 

However, I don't think you should assume what "most players want." I feel like that's Gibson's mentality right now and it's...misguided. Most players want a quality guitar, period. Preferably one that doesn't cost them a fortune. As others have mentioned, Epiphone has its own rich history long before Gibson acquired them. And I also think the Epiphone headstock is fine the way it is, and it's beautiful when it's bound. So I never understood why people thought it's "ugly." Gibson's headstock has its issues too, as I'm sure you know...

 

Bottom line, I never look at my Epiphones and wish they were Gibsons.

 

I'm a proud owner of a 2011 Gibson Studio, but if Gibson wants their guitars to sell, they need to make quality guitars. Not focus on marketing.

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I don't own an Epiphone, but I've played a few, including their LP Custom and one of their big-bodied jazz instruments. I find them to be very playable and the sounds I got from them were decent. No complaints, really. Fit and finish was very good as well.

 

I think the determining factor when it comes to having an Asian factory producing instruments is how diligently the parent company watches production and production quality. I own several guitars that were produced overseas and they are all very nice players. I own a Fender Squier Bullet HSS Strat, made in Indonesia, I bought from Guitar Center for $100 that plays and sounds great. I own a Telecaster that is a custom instrument. It has a Warmoth baritone neck and the body with electronics is a Tele Squier of some sort (I bought just the "loaded" body from an eBay seller, cost me $125) that I don't know where it was made. I also own an Ibanez AG-85 that was made in China. This is an amazing sounding guitar and the fit and finish is top notch. And most recently I bought a Greg Bennett model Samick RL-3, made in Indonesia, which also has impeccable fit and finish and a wonderful sound. So, to me, the bottom line when buying one of these instruments, is how tightly the parent company controls production and production quality. And it appears to me that Gibson is following this practice with Epiphone models.

 

So I think that Gibson should just leave things alone and continue to do what they've been doing, with respect to Epiphone. Don't ask me about the USA made Gibsons. I have issues with them.

Edited by cooltouch

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I've been coming to this forum going on about twenty years and thinking back to my early visits the Gibson V. Epiphone debate was as heated and ubiquitous then as it is now. And now, as it was then I'm certain there's no resolution. I ask myself: "why would anyone want Gibson to drop the Epiphone name and have a single brand?"The most obvious reason would be to be able to own a "Gibson" for the price of an "Epiphone" but in order for it to be an actual "Gibson" the cost cutting measures that allow for an Epiphone to be in the market place at its price point would have to be instituted and the resulting instrument wouldn't be close to the Gibson in terms of materials and manufacturing quality. Simply putting a head stock shape and logo on an Epiphone isn't going to magically turn it into a Gibson. The consumer who walks into the music shop with the intention of buying an actual Gibson and all that goes into it being an actual Gibson isn't going to go for having the brand diminished in such a manner. Agree or disagree with the concept, the cost of having the craftsmanship, higher grade materials and wood and even the, nitro finish is something the potential Gibson customer has accepted when he (or she) is reaching into their wallet. To them the head stock shape and brand are going to be representative of the expectation of that product, not that I agree with that always being the case. In the past thirty years Epiphone has been instrumental (lol...see what I did there?) in transforming the guitar industry through bringing a high quality, high utility, aesthetically pleasing guitar at a reasonable price point but it's not, and will never be a Gibson. It's not even what some of us old geezers see as an Epiphone. I think it's a great disservice to the brand when people want to change the minutiae so that it appears to be something else other than what it is. The cosmetic and superficial changes I've most seen asked to be changed speak more to the insecurities of the owners rather than to any deficiencies in the guitar. The head stock shape and brand have zero influence on the guitar's play ability, tone, utility or intrinsic quality. I drive a Buick Regal and I'd love it if I could get an Aston Martin DB 10 for the same cost but that's not reality and like the Gibson costing a lot more than the Epiphone there are reasons it does. The Gibson owner has made the commitment and investment and should be entitled to have those features that set it apart. The Epiphone instruments are nothing to be ashamed of, in fact they're pride-worthy guitars. I own both. I'm not ashamed of the Epiphones and I don't think I'm special because I have the Gibsons. I'm currently seeking out an Epiphone FT-79 Texan to replace one I've had since 1966 that is now on the verge of giving up the ghost. With no reflection upon the owners of said guitars or their choices, the Inspired By line doesn't do it for me so I'm left with two choices, a Kalamazoo vintage model or a Japanese Elitist. The Elitist is going to be about half what the vintage is going to cost but my intention is to use and actually play the guitar not stick it in a cabinet to look at. To pay stupid money for a fine vintage instrument and then schlep it around exposing it to wear and tear or maybe even theft is just wrong. In this case the economy route is the smart and more practical route. I'm certain the Elitist is going to be different in some ways to the Kalamazoo but not different in ways that matter and at the end of the day it's going to be a solid mahogany, long scale, AJ bodied acoustic with none of the prestige of a vintage Texan but I'm not buying it for prestige I'm buying it as a guitar. I've ranted and rambled quite enough. My point is accept and appreciate what the guitar is and don't try to make it something it isnt.

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...I've ranted and rambled quite enough. My point is accept and appreciate what the guitar is and don't try to make it something it isnt...

Your rants and rambles were spot-on and I couldn't agree more. Well said.

 

eusa_clap.gif

 

Pip.

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Well, the only thing I'd like to see Epiphone do, is be true to the Epiphone Kalamazoo spec's!

I really don't worry about "where" it's made, especially at their very reasonable price points.

But, to me, it wouldn't "cost" anymore, to do them to the correct spec's, in the first place.

And, that's not trying to make an Epi, a "Gibson!" Just a more accurate Epiphone! But, that's

just Me! [tongue]:rolleyes:

 

CB

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Well, the only thing I'd like to see Epiphone do, is be true to the Epiphone Kalamazoo spec's!

I really don't worry about "where" it's made, especially at their very reasonable price points.

But, to me, it wouldn't "cost" anymore, to do them to the correct spec's, in the first place.

And, that's not trying to make an Epi, a "Gibson!" Just a more accurate Epiphone! But, that's

just Me! [tongue]:rolleyes:

 

CB

That's fine except what are the "true" Kalamazoo specs since over the course of the Kalamazoo era (1957-1970) there were many changes in "specs" such as nut width, bracing size and pattern, hardware used (nickel or chrome?), electronics used to say nothing of the myriad changes in the horn/body shape of models like the Crestwood and Coronet to say nothing of the amount of changes the Epiphone head stock itself under went. To me the best solution would be to keep the specs that were specific to the model year/era the particular Epiphone model is representing with guitars that were originally Kalamazoo Epiphone models and with the Gibson models that the Epiphone models are an impression of should remain clearly different and distinctive to the actual for the reasons of the Gibson consumer being entitled to the distinctive Gibson model differences and material and manufacturing improvements. It also males it more difficult for the unscrupulous to pass off the lower priced guitar as something worth significantly more to someone less informed. As I'm sure you know at the point in time when Epiphone began more universal distribution of their product lines with more accuracy in design and features Matsumoku was making a pretty accurate line of Japanese Domestic product as well as a re-badged line of Aria instruments. In about 1983 Samick began Korea production which by 1985 included a Sheraton model as did the JDM and Aria lines. Initally they used a different head stock shape and logo to make the distinction eventually using only a different head stock. In 1993/1994 they had a short run of American (Nashville-made) Sheratons and Riviera (et al) utilizing the Kalamazoo headstock so for a short while there were Japanese, USA and Korea Sheratons and Rivieras in the market place and with only small differences such as the clipped corner Sheraton headstock and the full sized hum bucker routs and minute differences in the cut away horn shape. Just a few years after that the AIUSA lines came along and added even more chaos to the party. I believe this is why there has to be differences and distinctions. If the basic premise of the model is there along with the intrinsic function and basic design I don't it needs to be an exact clone and if someone pays for a particular guitar to be a more exacting impression of something they should receive that without someone else getting it for free. For the most part, regardless of brand, Gibson, Epiphone, Fender whatever the "distinctive original" features that are desired were things that were changed or discontinued were changed or discontinued as a result of cost cutting or manufacturing methods so ultimately to make guitars "like they used to" is going to price some instruments out of reach for some. I can only speak for myself but I think I'd prefer having a guitar that isn't quite an exact clone of something to being required to pay considerable more for features that don't improve the function but only make the guitar more expensive through the inclusion of non-essential and superficial cosmetic differences.

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I guess it would amount to what Gibson felt were the "best" versions, of the Kalamazoo era models. Much like they

do with the reissue "True Historic," but with out the ridiculous price tag, that Asian labor would allow. Some of

us would pay a bit more, for that kind of "accuracy." I'm not trying to "polish a turd," here. Because, Epiphone

as it is now, are hardy "turds," to begin with. They're fine instruments. I would just like to see (at least)

versions that are true to the best of the USA Kalamazoo models. Even if they were a bit more money. Japan makes

several, for their market, and/or some specific dealers, here and in Europe. But, for some reason, Gibson Corporation

has decided only a few dealers are "allowed" to sell those models, and as such, charge almost as much as a USA Gibson.

They haven't (as yet, thank God) decided to go full Custom Shop pricing, on those particular versions!

 

The Sheraton "clipped" headstock, as it is now, IMHO, is too large, for that model. Those were originally used on the

earlier (1930's on) and larger "Jazz Box" models, and (to me) they just look out of proportion, on a thin line ES type

guitar. But, again, that's just My opinion. Maybe a smaller version, of the "clipped" headstock, as some '80's models

had, or better yet, one like the AIUSA Sheraton's had.

 

Anyway, Gibson/Epiphone will do what they do, regardless of what I, or anyone else here, thinks. [biggrin]

 

Cheers,

 

CB

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🙄 Can this horse be beat any more than it has been? Its to the point that everyone is just repeating what someone else has already said.

 

I guess its my own damn fault for clicking on this thread.

 

I believe there is a very specific, masochistic condition that Krafft-Ebing missed in their diagnostic manual. It only afflicts guitar players, and is two-pronged (threw in some Freud there just for the...):

 

1) The subconscious need to discuss Gibson vs. Epiphone, and

 

2) the merits, if any, of certain types of fretboard oil.

 

FZFan is, I believe, the first to make a breakthrough in curing it. He usually posts a picture of U2 in relation to beating dead horses (figuratively), which is negative reinforcement at its' most extreme.

 

/dr. Pinch, ph-standard-D

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No way. Epiphone should stay. They make some good guitars. I have a Korean Epiphone SG and it's a great guitar. They're a lot of kids out there who are just starting to play who really want Gibsons, but can't afford one or their parents don't want to throw out that kind of money on a guitar unless the kid is serious, so Epiphone is a great thing. Been around forever, so why change?

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True to Kalamazoo...

 

Wilshir62USA_CH_Splash.jpg

Wilshir62USA_AW_Splash.jpg

 

These USA Wilshire's sold for about $1200 with a limited production run of 100. They seemed to disappear off the shelf pretty fast. Now used they range from $1800 to $2900..

Gibson does, from time to time, produce high end or retro Epiphones...

Edited by mihcmac

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