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What pro really uses epiphone guitars???


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to the guy who said Kurt Bought all of his Fenders... Totally not true... maybe before Nevermind, but not after, yes he did buy his original jag, and they were buying the strats to destroy, but Fender sent him 3 new mustangs for the in utero tour... he also designed the Jag stang which came into production after his death, but they made him a prototype that he used before he died... which he did not pay for

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I will consider a "Pro" someone that produces, records, and tours with their music.


Just to name a few:


Brian Ray, Paul McCartney's Band with a Jack Cassidy Bass







Alabama Shakes - Dot and Sheraton




Tracyanne Campbell - Camera Obscura - Dot







And Daryl Hall's guitarist that played with Billy Gibbons last week - 62 Sheraton Reissue








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I think there's a lot more to such choices made for reasons other than playability and basic tonal capacity, which may be kinda sad.


I agree with CB that the Epis recently have been exceptional guitars as a whole. I think had one the ability to take either of my "late model" Dots back to 1966, blindfold a picker and tell him it's a new Gibbie, he'd not know the difference.



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Current import Epiphones is not a pro line of instruments, isn't meant to be. Like many products, Epi is a budget line targeted to budget buyers and beginners. And what's wrong with that? This is not to say that they aren't perfectly good instruments fully capable of pro performance needs. Golfers may start out with basic affordable clubs, but will probably be wanting a set of TaylorMade (or something even more expensive) somewhere along the line. And of course they will 100% believe that the TaylorMade clubs will improve their score.


But basic sets of Wilson clubs are just fine with a heck of a lot of players, like Epiphones and other budget guitars.

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Interesting thread.


It's worth noting that some of the players name checked in this thread play or played US made instruments, either by Gibson or by the equally well regarded original company. McCartney may well still use his Casino live, but it's a very different guitar than the modern Chinese version.


I don't have much experience of pre-Gibson Epis, but I do own one: an acoustic archtop that I chose out of a line up that mainly comprised Gibsons of the same era, and it was the clear winner that day. The Gibson made guitars, it just comes down to personal preference. A blonde, Bigsby loaded early issue Sheraton would be pretty much my dream vintage guitar though!


As far as the modern stuff is concerned, for the last few months, I've been working on a new project, pretty much exclusively playing my newly modded Samick Sheraton and having a lot of fun with it. But last rehearsal I noticed the intonation was a little off on that guitar, and it was bothering me so I got out my old ES-355 - which hadn't been out of its case for months - and carried on the rehearsal with the Gibson. Not only was I instantly struck how much better it was, but after the first song the guy I was playing for commented on the difference as well.


I'm constantly impressed with the quality of what Epiphone puts out these days, and I don't doubt that they're better value than their Gibson counterparts. But that's not the same thing as thinking they're a better guitar, and when it comes to paying gigs I'd rather use the Gibson and have the extra few percent.

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Gary Clark Jr. Nuff said.


I caught the opening night of the Kings of Leon tour in Atlanta, and GCJ opened. My brother's wife and her sister were in the third row for KOL, but we swapped tickets for the opening act, giving up our box seats for Gary Clark Jr. so we could be up close and personal. Only 45 minutes, but every note was fantastic. That man can seriously f--k up a Casino [biggrin] Likewise his rhythm player, Eric Zapata, is pretty amazing in his own right. The two of them did a dual slide number that is not on the album, but was the stuff of legends (Next Door Neighbor Blues?). Also a nod to BB with 3 "O'clock Blues", and the obligatory "Bright Lights" and "Numb". For a medium sized arena, the acoustics were spot on, and my only regret is that we didn't hear more of GCJ and less of KOL, which were not bad either.

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My 2 remaining Epiphones are a vintage, but refinished, 1966 Casino, and a 2004 AIUSA Sheraton.

Both are Great guitars, every bit as good as any of the Gibson's I own, in both

construction, playability, and tone! That's not a "dis" on Gibson, at all! It's

simply a fact. I love All my Gibson's too, from varying time periods...that range

from 1954, thru 2013, in dates of origin. Any of them, are certainly "Professional"

grade instruments, and then some...IMHO. As to if any "professional" would choose

any of my particular guitars, to actually use/tour with. Who Cares?!


The only thing that matters, is how the player/owner feels about his/her favorite "axe,"

regardless of where it was made, or what particular brand, or model. it is. Some folks

just don't "feel" right, unless they're using a Gibson (Fender, Ric, Gretsch, etc.), or

Epiphone, for that matter. Other's don't give a squat, about "brand," just about how it

helps them relay their musical feelings, to an audience. Neither approach is wrong, either.

Whatever makes you produce the best music you can, is all that counts.


Again...IMHO, as always. [biggrin]




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  • 1 year later...

Gary Clark Jr. plays the hell out of his collection of Epiphone Elitist Casinos. His performance at Crossroads 2013 was phenomenal. He is really climbing high. "When my Train Pulls In" was eerily Hendrix-like. Not a Jimi ripoff, but his own soul. I looked up the Epi Elitist Casino. They go for $1995.00. Some artists actually play their namesake guitars. I'm thinking of Jimmy Vaughan. I read his interview. He plays a stock J. Vaughan Fender. I read an interview of Robin Trower. He prefers a Tex-Mex lead guitar pup on his Strat(s). Hell I sold my OCD and TS-808 for Joyo replacements. On back turned demonstrations, folks can't tell which is which. GFS has some excellent values on some of their gear. The less expensive stuff is starting to hold it's own. I believe that Epiphone is the most improved guitar company hands down.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The late Hubert Sumlin, who played with the legendary Howlin' Wolf for many years, is pictured here with his Epiphone Riviera 93 Royale.




Not just a pro, Hubert was a true blues legend, and was always very particular about his tone. That's a pretty heavy endorsement right there!

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