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Mustang Martigan

Gibson LP Studio vs Epiphone LP

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I got around $1000-1300 for a new guitar. Had my heart set on a Gibson LP Custom, but don't have the $3-4k.


That leaves me a choice between an Epi LP or a Gibby LP Studio. I haven't been a fan of the few Studios I've tried. They sound too dark. I've owned a couple different late '90s Korean Epi LPs that I've liked. They seem more consistent, in feel, than any Gibson LP version.


The Gibby Studios don't have the Maple cap either, right? The Epi LPs have one tho, ya? Just thinner than the Gibby. Maybe that's why I find Studio's have a dark tone. I also like how the Epi's have the binding; they look cooler.


Would the Japanese Epi LP Elite be considered the top of line Epi?

Also, if I got an Epi I'd have enough cash left over to gut it n replace all the hardware, wiring n pickups. Altho, I'd prob have enough to do that with a Gibby Studio.


I play a mix of blues/rock, 77 punk n a bit of heavy rock (thrown in sparingly).


Just looking for your suggestions on what my best move would be...so I end up with the best quality LP.

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There's always used guitars, too.

I have an 05 Studio and it's just tremendous.  When I bought it cost wasn't really a consideration, I just really liked the guitar better than anything else that was in the store at the time.  No need to replace any of the electronics.

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Gibson Studio's Sure do have maple caps on most of the studio's,  some don't.  But a lot due

My maple cap is as thick as a standard just no binding on edge 

Edited by Eracer_Team

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epi has some nice guitars. i won't knock them.  i've had a few that were excellent.  swapping electronics is no big deal, so that's a plus.

my only complaint with them is the poly finish. i've played somewhere the poly was like what they use on deck furniture. it's soft and when my hands warm up they start to stick.  i tried baby powder, but it gums up if i sweat. 

 i've been playing a 14 studio pro since new, and i love it.  i keep saying i'm eventually going to swap out the bridge pick up (bb pro) for a 57 classic, but i haven't done it yet.  getting a used studio will get you down in the $700-$800 range, you'll get a great guitar.   you'd have to spend almost that much on a new epi to get something comparable anyhow.  the only fool proof thing you can do is get out there and play a few of each

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I've had Epi LPs including a Studio, Plus Top Pro, Tribute and a Black Beauty.  They were all nice guitars.  The first Gibson I had was a Tribute T.  My impression is that even the lower end Gibson's are better than the higher end Epis.   That is a general statement and can certainly vary from guitar to guitar to be sure.  Just the overall quality, feel, playability, etc.  The electronics in the Epis are not high quality. 

 

I think the Gibson Studios all have full thickness maple tops.  If you don't mind a satin finish the Gibson Tribute could be a good way to go.  And as was mentioned, a previously owned Gibson opens up all kinds of options.  In fact, if you're planning on putting in new electronics, that's what I would do, get a used Gibson put in what you like and you'd have a really great guitar.  

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With that kind of money and a little bit extra, I'd go buy a nice preowned Les Paul Standard, which in fact I did a few moons back from Reverb myself. Best-playing guitar I have had laid my hands on (asymmetrical neck + plekked frets).

UrOTUh7.jpg

Edited by Leonard McCoy
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The LP Tributes fit your price range, and has the sound and feel of a decent LP

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Studio generally have a plain maple top. I’m a huge fan of LP Studio. There are two things you can do to manage how dark the studios sound. Lower pickup height. The 490R/498T are higher output pickups relative to some more vintage style pickups. Not terribly high output, but brighter than say a BusrtBucker 1&2 combo, which is what the Epiphone ProBucker 2&3 are based of. You can lower the pickups to tame them a bit. The other alternative is to get a different set of pickups. You can get the Epiphone ProBucker 2&3 used for next to nothing. 

The guitar itself, I think Studios are often underestimated. In my option, you get a better guitar with the Studio relative to the Epiphone, which is saying a lot because some of Epiphones I’ve played punch way above their weight. Maybe it’s the feel on the neck provided by the nitro lacquer that I like better on the Studio or there is something else entirely. You can’t go wrong though. I’ve played Epiphone guitars that you wouldn’t believe it wasn’t USA made. 

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23 minutes ago, pauloqs said:

sh man, I just spent about 3 hours playing one of these with P90s. That is one amazing and highly addictive guitar. 

Yeah, you can get with the BB Pro humbuckers (as above ... or w/ P90s as mentioned, or also a Deluxe).  Great deal ... all of them.

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Gibson/2018-Les-Paul-Classic-Player-Plus-Electric-Guitar-Satin-Wine-Red-1500000206650.gc

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Gibson/2018-Limited-Run-Les-Paul-Deluxe-Player-Plus-Electric-Guitar.gc

L00674000002000-00-220x220.jpg

L01410000003000-00-220x220.jpg

 

Edited by 01GT eibach
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3 hours ago, 01GT eibach said:

 

The one I played was a P90s in vintage sunburst. The satin open pore finish was just super comfortable. I just couldn’t put the guitar down. 

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18 hours ago, pauloqs said:

Studio generally have a plain maple top. I’m a huge fan of LP Studio. There are two things you can do to manage how dark the studios sound. Lower pickup height. The 490R/498T are higher output pickups relative to some more vintage style pickups. Not terribly high output, but brighter than say a BusrtBucker 1&2 combo, which is what the Epiphone ProBucker 2&3 are based of. You can lower the pickups to tame them a bit. The other alternative is to get a different set of pickups. You can get the Epiphone ProBucker 2&3 used for next to nothing. 

The guitar itself, I think Studios are often underestimated. In my option, you get a better guitar with the Studio relative to the Epiphone, which is saying a lot because some of Epiphones I’ve played punch way above their weight. Maybe it’s the feel on the neck provided by the nitro lacquer that I like better on the Studio or there is something else entirely. You can’t go wrong though. I’ve played Epiphone guitars that you wouldn’t believe it wasn’t USA made. 

 

I've owned a few LPs. My first was a '76 Gibby, either Standard or Custom. It had the 2 under the serial #, but even as a factory recall, it was the best LP I've ever played, and I've played a **** ton. Also had a mid' 00*Gib Special, which I hated, and too late'90 Epi LP Standards, MIK, which I loved.

I find Gibson WAY more inconsistent than Epi's for whatever reason.

I've heard that '90s Gibbys are part of the "good wood" not sure if this is true or just bullshit. I've found quite a few decent looking 90s LP Studio's on eBay that'll leave me money to swap pups. I don't want hot ones. Also love that mostly all the 90s Studio's have Ebony fretboards. I play mainly blues/rock w some 77 punk n a tiny bit of heavy rock mixed in, so I'm usually playing kinda clean or low/medium gain. I've listened to some PAF copy shootouts n I really like the DiMarzio 36th Anniversary PAF; it has nice chime.

I was also thinking about the '60s model Studio, as I'm not a giant fan of the LPs w big baseball bat necks. All those have the rosewood boards, but it's a fair trade for a thinner neck.

I know that the guitar is only 1/3 of the tone, the amp n player filling it out. I'll deal w the amp after the guitar, which I need WAY more.. I'm stuck playing a Squire Strat. I've almost always been a Fender man, so I feel that switching to a LP is a big leap of faith. I've also been thinking about a vintage Guild S-100, which I love the feel of, or a Fender Tele w a PAF copy in bridge.

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1 hour ago, Mustang Martigan said:

 

I've owned a few LPs. My first was a '76 Gibby, either Standard or Custom. It had the 2 under the serial #, but even as a factory recall, it was the best LP I've ever played, and I've played a **** ton. Also had a mid' 00*Gib Special, which I hated, and too late'90 Epi LP Standards, MIK, which I loved.

I find Gibson WAY more inconsistent than Epi's for whatever reason.

I've heard that '90s Gibbys are part of the "good wood" not sure if this is true or just bullshit. I've found quite a few decent looking 90s LP Studio's on eBay that'll leave me money to swap pups. I don't want hot ones. Also love that mostly all the 90s Studio's have Ebony fretboards. I play mainly blues/rock w some 77 punk n a tiny bit of heavy rock mixed in, so I'm usually playing kinda clean or low/medium gain. I've listened to some PAF copy shootouts n I really like the DiMarzio 36th Anniversary PAF; it has nice chime.

I was also thinking about the '60s model Studio, as I'm not a giant fan of the LPs w big baseball bat necks. All those have the rosewood boards, but it's a fair trade for a thinner neck.

I know that the guitar is only 1/3 of the tone, the amp n player filling it out. I'll deal w the amp after the guitar, which I need WAY more.. I'm stuck playing a Squire Strat. I've almost always been a Fender man, so I feel that switching to a LP is a big leap of faith. I've also been thinking about a vintage Guild S-100, which I love the feel of, or a Fender Tele w a PAF copy in bridge.

 

I understand enough about probability to know that my personal anecdote is not conclusive evidence of anything. I played a lot of the 2017 models. I found them to be pretty amazing and I preferred them to the Epiphone LPs I’ve played. Since then the one model I wasn’t too impressed with was the short lived 2019 Studio Tribute (with dot inlays). I don’t know what it was, but every single one I picked didn’t play as smooth I was accustomed to. The Tribute part of the new Modern Collection (with trapezoid inlays) played much better than its 2019 Studio Tribute predecessor. Btw, I was really impressed with the sound, comfort and playability of those Juniors and Specials DC with P90s. Anyway, I personally prefer a LP Studio over an Epiphone. The only exception is the 2015 Studio because of the wider fretboard. 

I’m assuming you are referring to the Standard 60s, not Studio 60s (was it indeed typo?). I would suggest you try the Standard 50s as well. Its neck is indeed thicker than the 60s, but I wouldn’t classify it a baseball bat. I think the 50s neck is similar in thickness to a PRS Pattern regular (or maybe slightly thinner) and sits between a 50s Fender neck and a Fender Modern C. Personally I was a bit concerned that I’d find it too thick of a neck just to discover it was the perfect Goldilocks carve. Not too thick, nor too thin. 

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Gibson's seem to last forever and the older they get the better they sound.. Not all of the C, rounded or 50's style necks feel the same, some are unique to the model.. I think you need to go somewhere and hold and feel them.

I just had a strange thought after taking in your info, so I'm typing.,  I think a 335 could fill you're requirements.. I don't know why it just popped into my head..

Edited by mihcmac
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On 5/26/2019 at 10:10 AM, Leonard McCoy said:

With that kind of money and a little bit extra, I'd go buy a nice preowned Les Paul Standard, which in fact I did a few moons back from Reverb myself. Best-playing guitar I have had laid my hands on (asymmetrical neck + plekked frets).

UrOTUh7.jpg

 

dude - do you realize that guitar is defective? it was made backwards

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3 hours ago, mihcmac said:

Gibson's seem to last forever and the older they get the better they sound.. Not all of the C, rounded or 50's style necks feel the same, some are unique to the model.. I think you need to go somewhere and hold and feel them.

I just had a strange thought after taking in your info, so I'm typing.,  I think a 335 could fill you're requirements.. I don't know why it just popped into my head..

 

a 335 fits everyone's requirements, because they are the coolest guitars ever made 😀

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I recently spent some time playing a 330, which is very similar to a 335. The 330 were once described to me as a 335 with P90s and a different tail piece. I have to agree with you guys. Such a fun a versatile guitar. 

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10 hours ago, pauloqs said:

 

I understand enough about probability to know that my personal anecdote is not conclusive evidence of anything. I played a lot of the 2017 models. I found them to be pretty amazing and I preferred them to the Epiphone LPs I’ve played. Since then the one model I wasn’t too impressed with was the short lived 2019 Studio Tribute (with dot inlays). I don’t know what it was, but every single one I picked didn’t play as smooth I was accustomed to. The Tribute part of the new Modern Collection (with trapezoid inlays) played much better than its 2019 Studio Tribute predecessor. Btw, I was really impressed with the sound, comfort and playability of those Juniors and Specials DC with P90s. Anyway, I personally prefer a LP Studio over an Epiphone. The only exception is the 2015 Studio because of the wider fretboard. 

I’m assuming you are referring to the Standard 60s, not Studio 60s (was it indeed typo?). I would suggest you try the Standard 50s as well. Its neck is indeed thicker than the 60s, but I wouldn’t classify it a baseball bat. I think the 50s neck is similar in thickness to a PRS Pattern regular (or maybe slightly thinner) and sits between a 50s Fender neck and a Fender Modern C. Personally I was a bit concerned that I’d find it too thick of a neck just to discover it was the perfect Goldilocks carve. Not too thick, nor too thin. 

 

Search Gibson LP Studio 60 on eBay; they made a Tribute model from '09-'12...atleast those are the years of the ones for sale over there. Altho most, if not all, have P90s, which isn't a pup I'm interested in, n would require additional routing for HBs.

The 50s tribute really has a neck similar to a Fender Modern C?  Those are my absolute favorite. I've always thought, n read, that the 50s have a thick, D or U neck shape. I'll definitely have to try those. Any particular year on that one?

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4 hours ago, mihcmac said:

Gibson's seem to last forever and the older they get the better they sound.. Not all of the C, rounded or 50's style necks feel the same, some are unique to the model.. I think you need to go somewhere and hold and feel them.

I just had a strange thought after taking in your info, so I'm typing.,  I think a 335 could fill you're requirements.. I don't know why it just popped into my head..

 

Which models are the C shaped? The other guy said the 50s are similar to the Fender Modern C, which is the opposite of what I've heard. You mention the C n 50 separately, so you must feel otherwise, ya? I was under the impression that the 60s are a C, or the closest Gibson to one, but I'm definitely not too knowledgeable on the topic.

And yes, I would love a 335, but they're outta my price range.

 

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1 hour ago, american cheez said:

With that kind of money and a little bit extra, I'd go buy a nice preowned Les Paul Standard, which in fact I did a few moons back from Reverb myself. Best-playing guitar I have had laid my hands on (asymmetrical neck + plekked frets). 

 

I would love a Standard, but don't have the money. All the ones I've seen are between $1650-3000.

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11 hours ago, american cheez said:

 

dude - do you realize that guitar is defective? it was made backwards

 

😂😂

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I don't want to sound sacrilegious, but I have a '17 Gibson LP Tribute T that I put a set of SD Antiquities in with CTS pots and bumble bee PIO caps.  Now, that thing doesn't feel or play like my historics at all.   And it certainly doesn't look as good.  But, when it comes to sound I have to say it really sounds great.  I dare say you may not be able to tell the difference listening to them.  You could easily have something like that for less than $1300.

cji8sV1.jpg

Edited by Black Dog
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2 hours ago, Black Dog said:

I don't want to sound sacrilegious, but I have a '17 Gibson LP Tribute T that I put a set of SD Antiquities in with CTS pots and bumble bee PIO caps.  Now, that thing doesn't feel or play like my historics at all.   And it certainly doesn't look as good.  But, when it comes to sound I have to say it really sounds great.  I dare say you may not be able to tell the difference listening to them.  You could easily have something like that for less than $1300.

cji8sV1.jpg

 

A bit off topic, but once I spent enough time with RI's, I can definitely feel the comfort and smoothness edge of the RI's. With that said, the new modern and original collection guitars I've played so far are absolutely phenomenal. 

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21 hours ago, Mustang Martigan said:

Which models are the C shaped? The other guy said the 50s are similar to the Fender Modern C, which is the opposite of what I've heard. You mention the C n 50 separately, so you must feel otherwise, ya? I was under the impression that the 60s are a C, or the closest Gibson to one, but I'm definitely not too knowledgeable on the topic.

And yes, I would love a 335, but they're outta my price range.

The C, Rounded  and 50's generally indicate a beefier neck and they may use any of these or all three in descriptions on the same neck. Confusing? YES... but while these necks may be a little thicker the exact shape may be unique to that specific Gibson model..

On the 330 and 335 main differences are pickups but more important is how far the fingerboard goes into the body. Some of the high frets on the 330 are almost unreachable where the 335 has almost unrestricted access al the way to fret 22.. These are critical things to consider on any archtop... Note  most of these have slimtaper necks but the Epi's are well within your price range....

Epi Archtops...........

ES335PRO_Thumb.jpgJoeBonamassa355_Thumb.jpgRivieraCustP93RR_Thumb.jpg

Edited by mihcmac

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