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Gibson Epiphone relastionship


AndrewEcma
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Hi everone.

I've always wondered what the deal is with my Epi Les Paul. It's a Koren made 2003 standard in cherry sunburst. The cover that sits over the trust rod adjustment say's Gibson instead of Les Paul Standard, it looks the same as any other epiphone, including the headstock. So I'm wondering whats the deal there? I see a lot of Epi's with the Gibson logo on it. I also see (constanly) usually anyone selling a Epiphone, 'Epiphone made by Gibson' or Epiphone/Gibson', this actually kinda winds me up because it just seems so faulse. I have the Gibson midtown and they are very different guitars, I'm not just talking about styling and sound. So if anyone can clear this up that would be great.

Cheers

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One is $500 the other is $2000. Play both and you will see and know why the price difference. My brother in law had an Epi. Its worth what he paid for it. I've owned real LP'S. There worth it if you like them. I'm done with electrics but the ones I've had are were good.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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Epiphone was purchased by Gibson in 1957, but a long relationship prior to that with Les Paul using Epiphone's facilities to build his experimental electric guitars. Gibson has also had Epiphones built in several different countries, they are all Gibson/Epiphones.

Edited by mihcmac
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5 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

One is $500 the other is $2000. Play both and you will see and know why the price difference. My brother in law had an Epi. Its worth what he paid for it. I've owned real LP'S. There worth it if you like them. I'm done with electrics but the ones I've had are were good.

Sadly I've played expensive Gibsons, don't see why they cost that much money

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5 hours ago, mihcmac said:

Epiphone was purchased by Gibson in 1957, but a long relationship prior to that with Les Paul using Epiphone's facilities to build his experimental electric guitars. Gibson has also had Epiphones built in several different countries, they are all Gibson/Epiphones.

Interesting. However How are these identified?

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Gibson bought Epiphone at a point in time when both companies needed it.

Gibson was beginning to see trouble with selling Les Pauls and could shove some Epiphone models, possibly even make them into Gibson models.

Epiphone had really high overhead followed by super skinny margins on everything they were making.  they were headed for some serious money trouble.

Most of all, Gibson bought a building full of stuff.  Pallet of mini humbuckers that they were still using up into the 70's.  All of the USA Map bodies that they made into Gibson guitars, they were all Epiphone.  Metric Tonne of big key machines that they again used up into the 70's on their jazz boxes.

Bent semi and hollow body hoops needing nothing but tops and backs.  And the shoes they bent them on.  Pallets of big maple blanks for the aforementioned backs and tops.

Late 80's they started making budget Epiphone versions of their own guitars in Asia in an attempt to beat up the fake makers while confusing an already fickle market of guitar players when those guitars started appearing here in America.

It has been an almost win/almost win for both companies.

rct

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2 hours ago, AndrewEcma said:

Interesting. However How are these identified?

Most of the early Asian built Epiphones information is pretty vague. Japan built the first overseas models without a lot of documentation, a lot of these were not very good but started improving, then Korea, Indonesia and China including Czechoslovakia to name a few. In 2005 Gibson completed the new Epiphone plant in Qingdao China where most the current production is done..

Epiphone History..

More information can be found in the Unofficial Epiphone Wiki...

Edited by mihcmac
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Like Cars Gibson & Epiphone reserves the right to make changes every model year. Sometimes even sooner. 

There are so many model variations of Gibsons & Epiphones it's almost impossible to keep up. There are many Books to help. Also the Kelly Blue Book for Guitars helps for those who want to dig deep. 

From Les Paul to Eric Clapton to Jimmy Page & a whole slew of other Artists there have been creations, cross overs & just about anything imaginable..

All for the sake of keeping us excited about the next new thing or some treasured vintage Guitar to keep us spending our all mighty Dollars..

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I always likened it to General Motors owning Cadillac, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, Oldsmobile, and GMC trucks.  All different brands, with different styling cues and features, built in different factories, but based on the same body/frame platforms.  The higher quality ones were more expensive, and the more basic ones less so.

Very similar to the Gibson/Epiphone brands relationship.  Very similar body styles and shapes with similar construction, but made in different factories with more or less expensive components/materials  and offered at different price points.  The Gibsons are the Cadillacs, the Epiphones are the Chevrolets.

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Gibson vs Epi. Cadillac vs Chevy comparison. True since the '80's. But that wasn't always the case... There was a time when Epi & Gibson rivaled eachother where they were built, quality of build & price.

I think the intent of the new Inspired by Gibson Series is an attempt to return to that time. Odd choice of name for this new Epi Series. Particularly with regard to the new upcoming USA Inspired by Gibson Epi Casino....

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I think think the Inspired By Gibson series is both good and bad, the use of the older headstock looks good and all set necks. But the old $199 Epi Les Paul, with a bolt on, usually had a reputation for having a good playing neck, easier to replace at the factory if the neck went bad. The new set neck versions starting at about $350 and up, are having reports of fret buzz, so play before you buy would be a good idea. 

I hope they reintroduce the original Epiphone designs like the Coronet, Wilshire, Crestwood and Archtops including the original Wildkat.

Also really sad for me to see the Epiphone Blueshawk gone...

Edited by mihcmac
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Here is my take, Chinese or Indonesian made Texans are now $699 on Sweetwater. The new USA ones are priced at $2699. So now If I can do math correctly exactly 2k more just cause its gonna be made in the good old USA.  A Casino Coupe $499. A Casino Archtop $649. A Sheraton II Pro $699. So a guitar selling for $699 which is going to be a profit for someone, cost exactly how much to make? Not sure what the mark up is? Anyone know? $100 bucks,  200 not sure?

So if, and I am assuming it will, due to the price of the Texan (which is the only new USA made model I can see the price of on Sweetwater), most stuff is gonna go up  I would say by 2k +. So why not just buy a USA made Gibby. They have to have an ES in the line up that is almost the same-ish, if not better. What is the thing people like about the Casino's? That the neck is more recessed into the body and it is a little but shorter for us tiny armed guys? Well with that you are losing some  access to the upper frets. Gibson doesn't make the Casino or Sheraton and maybe getting a USA made one of those would be cool.

I rarely touch electrics anymore and over the last holiday weekend on the way into the acoustic room I saw a Sheraton (never played one before and wanted to see what the hype was about) hanging on the wall. Played it and it was okay. I owned a  Gibby BB King and ES-335 and could see and tell the difference in build quality form that to the ones I owned. 

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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51 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I rarely touch electrics anymore and over the last holiday weekend on the way into the acoustic room I saw a Sheraton (never played one before and wanted to see what the hype was about) hanging on the wall. Played it and it was okay. I owned a  Gibby BB King and ES-335 and could see and tell the difference in build quality form that to the ones I owned. 

I'm on my second Sheraton.  I had previously owned a late 90s MIK.  It was ok but the pickups were quite dark, and the rest of the hardware was 'meh'   held on to it for a few years, and then sold it to some guy in Ontario Canada.

in 2015 I decided to try the newer Pro IIs.  Much better pickups, Grover machine heads, push pull pots for coil cutting.  I had to spend a bit of time  leveling frets, a few I fixed with a few gentle taps with a fret hammer.  One that was done, it plays great.

The only thing that I'd tend to cast shadows of doubts on with the imports out of indo and china  is the quality of the woods they are using and the process they use to cure the material. 

Now I know a tree is a tree, and all  but geeze,  China screws up manufacturing Drywall,  so there is that.   That said tho,  They are getting better at this as the years go by. 

I have two MIC gutiars,  that Sheraton, and my Guild F1512 12  string jumbo, which I've been also quite happy with AFTER it was properly setup.  It was a total mess out of the box.   Comparing that to my J200 and my Taylor 514 nylon, they were far closer to RIGHT the day they arrived.    All guitars need a setup, it's just a matter of how badly I suppose.

I recently picked up a MIK Gretsch 5422T  and that guitar honestly is the bomb.  It's just about flawless.

 

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6 hours ago, kidblast said:

I'm on my second Sheraton.  I had previously owned a late 90s MIK.  It was ok but the pickups were quite dark, and the rest of the hardware was 'meh'   held on to it for a few years, and then sold it to some guy in Ontario Canada.

in 2015 I decided to try the newer Pro IIs.  Much better pickups, Grover machine heads, push pull pots for coil cutting.  I had to spend a bit of time  leveling frets, a few I fixed with a few gentle taps with a fret hammer.  One that was done, it plays great.

The only thing that I'd tend to cast shadows of doubts on with the imports out of indo and china  is the quality of the woods they are using and the process they use to cure the material. 

Now I know a tree is a tree, and all  but geeze,  China screws up manufacturing Drywall,  so there is that.   That said tho,  They are getting better at this as the years go by. 

I have two MIC gutiars,  that Sheraton, and my Guild F1512 12  string jumbo, which I've been also quite happy with AFTER it was properly setup.  It was a total mess out of the box.   Comparing that to my J200 and my Taylor 514 nylon, they were far closer to RIGHT the day they arrived.    All guitars need a setup, it's just a matter of how badly I suppose.

I recently picked up a MIK Gretsch 5422T  and that guitar honestly is the bomb.  It's just about flawless.

 

I played some kind of hollow Gretsch the day I played the Sheraton. I liked the Epi better, but that said I went all acoustic a while back. My BB King was hands down the best electric I owned and I could still see the file marks on the neck. This is a guitar Gibson charged 5k for the last time they made it.

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there's a # of Electromatics from Gretsch

 Some are made in China, (the 400-500 dollar ones) and the next level (~$1k) are made in Korea.  (like the one I bought)

Then there's the pro line  in the 2.5/3k and up tier (Made in Japan) 

I like it, it's a great axe..  

The BB's were great guitars,  too bad they disco'd them.

 

 

 

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On 2/21/2020 at 11:20 AM, Larsongs said:

I'd like to see a IBG USA built Wilshire too.. Also an Inspired By Gibson USA Gold ES295 with Bigsby.

 

A few years ago, there was a Korean-made Epi ES-295 with Gibson P-90s.  A really nice guitar in terms of specs (never had a chance to play one).  To my knowledge, it didn’t get much sales traction & I even saw them being blown out by MF.

You just never know what the public’s going to go for.

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5 hours ago, kidblast said:

there's a # of Electromatics from Gretsch

 Some are made in China, (the 400-500 dollar ones) and the next level (~$1k) are made in Korea.  (like the one I bought)

Then there's the pro line  in the 2.5/3k and up tier (Made in Japan) 

I like it, it's a great axe..  

The BB's were great guitars,  too bad they disco'd them.

 

 

 

The one I played was an Electromatic with a Bigsby. It had a double cutaway and was all hollow. It looked nice, but I was not impressed. I think it was made in China. It was 500 or so. The Sheraton sounded better to me. I played both through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe cause I owned one as was familiar with the knobs. I played one of those orange Brian Setzer's ones a few years back and it was made in Japan.

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Sure, that sounds sounds like one of the MIC Electromatics.   The pickups in these are all the same . ( Black Top Filter'Tron Humbuckers ) They  are very different from a set of  Pro Buckers.

They are much brighter and have a lot more "twang"  almost telecaster-ish.  So if one was looking for the "gibson" kind of sounds the Sherry will get you there, the Gretsch really wont.  Thats why I bought it!  I have 5 Gibson's and the Sherry, Was looking for something that wasn't Gibson OR Fender (have 2 strats and a tele).  As soon as I went shopping for one, and plugged one into a Blues Jr.  That was it.  Take me drunk I'm home..

Based on the time it took me to get the Sheraton setup, (hours..) verses the Gretsch, (about 30 minutes) the Gretsch out of the box, was the clear winner in how it arrived.  Just needed a nut dressing, which was pretty easy to do with the files.   Anyway having both, and liking both, they are different guitars.  Neck profiles are similar.  The Gretsch is stock w/a B60 bigsby, and it does hold tune very nicely.  I am considering adding a Vibramte/B5 to the Sherry, (I dig bigsbys...)

This be the gretsch.  5244TG  W/ the gretsch case it was just north of $1,150

81618714_10213356532827317_7625062028515

Edited by kidblast
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15 hours ago, bobouz said:

 

A few years ago, there was a Korean-made Epi ES-295 with Gibson P-90s.  A really nice guitar in terms of specs (never had a chance to play one).  To my knowledge, it didn’t get much sales traction & I even saw them being blown out by MF.

You just never know what the public’s going to go for.

They seemed pretty good! But, would like to see a USA version.

I've gone thru the Asian Guitar period & while they appear to be built pretty well & look pretty for the most part I'm not a fan of their Sound... A few Epi's, Gretsch's & Squier's.. I did the Mod thing a couple times but ended up spending almost as much as what a lightly Used USA version would've cost.. Modding makes very little sense to me now....

I'm very happy with USA built Guitars. Although a couple exceptions are the Terada & Peerless built Guitars. I have a couple of really good ones. I like them almost as much as most USA Guitars. Excellent Build & Sound quality....

Edited by Larsongs
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