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Epi Elitist LP Std Plus vs. LP Vintage Mahogany


wesy

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Looking for some advice here...

 

Narrowed my choices to these two guitars: Elitist LP Std. Plus and the LP Vintage Mahogany. I can get a good deal on both and the Elitist is $175 between more expensive. I've played the LP VM and it felt and sounded good, but I've heard great things about the Elitists but haven't been able to play one locally, so don't really know how it feels. To get my deal i would have to order it online, so i'm taking a leap of faith sight unseen

 

What would you choose? :-#

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I'd have to go with the Elitist since it has the maple cap and a glorious finish compared to the Vintage Mahogany LP. The VM is just a glorified SG or LP Special IMO... no, the only low-end Gibson LP I'd consider over the Elitist would be the LP Standard Faded which is about $300 more than the Elitist right now.

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Looking for some advice here...

 

Narrowed my choices to these two guitars: Elitist LP Std. Plus and the LP Vintage Mahogany. I can get a good deal on both and the Elitist is $175 between more expensive. I've played the LP VM and it felt and sounded good' date=' but I've heard great things about the Elitists but haven't been able to play one locally, so don't really know how it feels. To get my deal i would have to order it online, so i'm taking a leap of faith sight unseen

 

What would you choose? :-

 

[/quote']

That's a tough question, and my opinions probably won't point you one way or the other definitively.

 

I have a LPVM and two Elitist LP Standards, 'cause they're both worthy models.

 

The LPVM, while humble looking, is a great axe. The mahogany body/mahogany cap combo is the stuff of the legendary Black Beauty, and yields a fundamentally warmer tone than the more expected mahogany body/maple cap LP combo. And it's got Burstbuckers, which are very nice indeed. I understand what Rotcan is saying about the LPVM being more like an SG, because of the all mahogany construction, but it's tone is much fatter.

 

The Elitists, on the other hand, look every inch a Les Paul, and sound it, too. They are immaculately made and an incredible bang for the buck. I can't really say enough about Elitists. I have 11 of them, so you could say I am a fan. No shroud in the case, though!

 

The two have different neck profiles: the Elitist's is somewhat thicker then the LPVM, especially at the body. The Elitist neck profile seems halfway between what Gibson calls a '50 and '60. Some players are very sensitive to that sort of thing.

 

It comes down to what you prefer. If you want a LP that sounds a little different from the pack, and you don't mind it's workman-like appearance, then you'll probably be satisfied with the LPVM. Be prepared for the body to get scratched quickly and develop a nice case of buckle rash--the thin satin nitro finish doesn't offer any protection. If you like the classic appearance of a Les Paul, want a conversation/argument starter ("An Epiphone? That's not a real Les Paul.")then the Elitist is better bet.

 

Red 333

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IMO, on paper, there's no comparison. The Elitist wins. But we all know that what matters is how they feel and sound to the individual player. I really recommend trying to play both before you buy. But you may just want to take advantage of GC's or MF's liberal return policies, order them and then send them back if you don't like them.

 

Let me ask you this: If the Elitist was a Gibson product and said "Gibson" on the headstock but was constructed IDENTICALLY in every other regard to what Elitists are now, would you still have a question as to which one you would buy? Or would you snatch up the Elitist yesterday?

 

I'm not saying that the name on the headstock matters that much to you, but it matters that much to a lot of people. IF the answer to my question is that you'd buy the Elitist without question, then I think you should buy the VM simply because you couldn't be happy with something that isn't a "Gibson" regardless of quality.

 

You're the only one who can answer these questions. I can say that I've got an Elitist and it's the real deal regardless of what the real M.O.P. inlay on the headstock says.:D

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Red' date=' you're the only guy I know who has more elitists than me. I've got 9 of them. Needless to say, I like 'em a lot.[/quote']

 

I've got some of the acoustics (which as they get broken in, are proving to be VERY, very good). .And I'm counting the Lennon Casinos.

 

I STILL want an Elitist Broadway!

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Let me ask you this: If the Elitist was a Gibson product and said "Gibson" on the headstock but was constructed IDENTICALLY in every other regard to what Elitists are now' date=' would you still have a question as to which one you would buy? Or would you snatch up the Elitist yesterday?

 

I'm saying that the name on the headstock matters that much to you, but it matters that much to a lot of people. IF the answer to my question is that you'd buy the Elitist without question, then I think you should buy the VM simply because you couldn't be happy with something that isn't a "Gibson" regardless of quality.[/quote']

 

I was trying to say that, but you did a much better job. GREAT points.

 

Red 333

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This is a tough one for me personally. My local shop has both of these guitars in stock. The price difference here though is about $450. Yes, they have exclusive specials on a couple Gibson guitars and have a tremendous price for the VM Studio, while the price on the Elitist Standard Plus is the same as what you'll find online. Where I allready have an 06' Gibson Les Paul Standard, I would buy the VM Studio as it is insanely playable, beautiful in simplicity, and sounds great IMO. And CHEAP, I'm all about that. On the other-hand, if I didn't allready have my Standard, and didn't have the dough for the Gibby like I did at the time, I would buy the Elitist. It simply is a great guitar, and a great Standard LP at a great price.

 

Now from what you mentioned, you don't have a Les Paul of either caliber of either guitar mentioned allready. And, the price difference between the two guitars is only about $175. At this point it is a no-brainer to go with the Elitist IMO. Both are great guitars in their own right, but the Elitist Standard Plus is more of a go-to mainstay axe. And if you have to buy sight unseen, the Elitist is one of the only guitars I would do that with in the first place. The quality is excellent!!! The quality is excellent with the VM Studio, but on the right one. You'll find quite a bit of variance between each one.

 

So, sight unseen, your main LP, I'd say go Elitist all the way!!! You will not be disappionted!

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Thanks for the feedback guys...To give you some feedback:

 

I have 2 single coil guitars (American Deluxe Strat and American Std. Tele) and have Epi Les Paul Standard, but I have been wanting to get a "nicer" LP type guitar and still remain within a reasonable budget. I saw the LPVM at GC and played it and was pleasantly suprised by both the playability and sound - i had only seen pix of it prior. I tend to research as much as i can before i pull the trigger, but it seems there aren't any dealers nearby that have an EPI Elitist to play. I've only seen that kid who reviewed the Epi Elitist up on youtube.

 

I've read so many good things about both that I get analysis paralysis...Additonal comments welcome :-k

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Let me set you up with about 1,048 words on the subject:

 

eliteLP3.jpg

If you think it looks nice, let me assure you that it plays and sounds even better than it looks. It has a very slim neck, a true 'slim-taper', thinner than any I've ever encountered on a regular Epi and it's blazing fast. Quality is tops throughout.

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I would say that if the VM comes with Burstbuckers, I would probably prefer those to the stock Elitist pickups, which are widely regarded as a relabeled, 490R-498T combo. Just to muddy the waters a bit...:-k There are debates as to how "good" this set is. I like the 490R but didn't care as much for the 498T. It isn't a bad pickup. It just doesn't do anything great IMO. I know many here will disagree with this statement but those are my results.

 

Your results may vary. And pickups are very easy to replace so I'd focus more on getting the right guitar than just buying one for the pickups.

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The 490R/498T are okay pickups, definitely a step or two up from the standard Epi units... I find they sound great in the Elitist SG. But I have to agree that a set of Burstbuckers would definitely improve things. I went with Seymour Duncans on my LP, not because I was in any way disgruntled with the stock Elitist pickups, but basically I had the SDs lying around not doing anything anyway. Also since I already had a set of BBs (I and II) in my Monty guitar I didn't want to end up with the Elitist sounding exactly the same; otherwise I would definitely have considered the BBs. BBs rule.

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Oh, man, you are in for an awesome experience. That LPC is going to be like a brand new guitar. Let us know how it turns out as soon as you clean up the mess on the floor from your reaction to the incredible tone, heh heh.

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