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Gibson vs Epiphone


JCParay

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Alright, so I am looking forward a Les Paul, a Les Paul Junior or something along these lines (Maybe a Firebird inspired guitar too)

 

And as far as price goes, since I already have a Stratocaster, I am not too willing to go for the full price Gibson ones, so I turned and checked the Epiphone ones... One caught my eye particularly: Zakk Wylde Buzzsaw (and Bullseye too but to a lesser extend) so I was wondering if there was really a drop in quality from Gibson to Epiphone as far as Les Paul goes (not only Zakk Wylde's mind you, all Les Pauls) or if you just paid for the brand (eh, I guess) because well... I never got to try them in hand yet so I can't really judge that and would like someone to give some advice prior getting one...

 

Also, is a Les Paul Junior worth it or I should just stick with a normal Les Paul?

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JCP,

Welcome to the forum.

You said it yourself.....Try them and decide for yourself. The list of differances is a long one.

Formost...You get what you pay for, sometimes, almost, maybe.

When it comes to bang for the buck, I think Epi has it hands down. IMHO

I have both Epi's and a Gibson L.P. Custom

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There's (obviously) a drop in quality from Gibson to Epiphone but what that

means to you is just that - what it means to you. It's the same as comparing

Fender USA, MIM Fender and Squier; many factors and just as many opinions.

Are you really going to base your decision based upon someone else's

opinion?

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Which dosn't answer to my question specific on the Les Pauls (Gibson Les Paul vs Epiphone Les Paul) and Les Paul Jr vs Les Paul

 

The Korean-made Epiphones are very good guitars' date=' but their electronics probably aren't up to Gibson quality. If you want a quality Epiphone, get one of the Elitist Les Pauls while you still can. If the wild looking Les Pauls appeal to you, the only outlandish Elitist Les Paul is this number. But, you may get a lot of males throwing their underwear on the stage during a gig.

 

[img']http://www.epiphone.com/elitist/hero/hfrench.jpg[/img]

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You say you're not interested in paying for a Gibson but you're willing to pay the extra $$$ to get a Zakk Wylde guitar with EMG pickups. If you are not adamant about having EMGs, you should also consider the Epiphone Elitist Les Pauls which give you quality equal to a Gibson at a price that would not be much of a jump from a Zakk Wylde Epi.

 

I have yet to run into an Elitist owner that regrets the decision to buy one.

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I won't comment the Gib vs Epi question (OK, let's just say that only the model name in the LP is the same), but nevertheless the LP Junior vs LP is a more interesting topic.

 

Comparing a Les Paul to a Les Paul Jr is a bit like comparing a Strat and a Tele. Totally apples and oranges stuff.

 

Juniors have a wraparound TP that makes intonation a ***** but good enough for rock and roll.

The P90 is the most fantastic pickup with a monster sound but after the Strat, the single pup and no switches will maybe make you get bored soon. The Junior is a good second choice, but I'd get that regular LP first and start from there..

 

If you want an LP, the Zakk models are probably the best that I've seen the regular Epiphone line has to offer (but other people will probably disagree). Look up Elitists if you want a "Made in Japan Gibson" or buy that Gibson LP Std Faded already, they are pretty cheap out there while the stocks last.

 

If you want an LP Junior, the Epiphone '57 reissue is a good player but the second hand Gibson models aren't very expensive either. Forget anything by Epiphone without a set neck.

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Welcome JC...try the "Search" button' date=' on this topic. It's been done

SO many times.

 

CB[/quote']

 

JC...welcome and this "dead horse" issue, as CB said, has been discussed sooooooo many times and is very subjective but will continue on and on..and as Whitmore Willy said. try 'em and decide for yourself. Although, I'm not convinced that "you get what you pay for" is ever the determining factor....... For me its not comparing apples to oranges; more like cabbage to brussle sprouts. Same family, but different flavor and the way you cook 'em. IN MY OPINION,,,,,, That being said, Gibbys are great guitars, but Epis, are equal in many ways and in other ways surpass the Giiby, one being the cost........Many here on the forum, modify their Epis, with different pickups, hardware, tuning pegs etc., in order to get the guitar to how they want it to sound, play and look....(If you go to the Gibson forum, you will find the SAME type of mods, especially with pickups, which seems to be the bugger for everyone looking for "THAT" tone they're seeking. I've had several Gibby LP's, and they're gone, by choice, mainly because they didn't produce what I wanted for MY style of playing. Now the only LP I have is an Epi Standard...You mention that you have a Strat, which a versatile guitar. I'm a Strat guy and I can assure you that you'll never get the same versatility from a Gibby that you will with an Epi. Again, this is very subjective, and as Ron G, said, "a drop in quality"?, maybe, but if you're a player, you should go with what speaks to you, not with the "mine is bigger than yours" view.............J

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At the moment, you could buy a used Gibson Les Paul Junior for the same price as an Epiphone '57 Reissue.

 

Also, consider the Gibson Melody Maker. There are older models (early 2000s) which are essentially Les Paul Juniors with the P-90, but without a pickguard and a smaller headstock, or there are the current models (sometimes called the '59 Reissue) which have one or two Fender-style single coil pickups.

 

Melody Makers sell for between $350 and $400 new, between $250 and $300 used - that's what an Epiphone '57 Reissue would cost, if you could even find one. Used Gibson Les Pauls cost between $400 and $500 used.

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Melody Makers sell for between $350 and $400 new' date=' between $250 and $300 used - that's what an Epiphone '57 Reissue would cost, if you could even find one. Used Gibson Les Pauls cost between $400 and $500 used.[/quote']

 

 

You mean LP Juniors, but what, where? I want a few of those if they really go for $400-$500 these days!

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I am not too willing to go for the full price Gibson ones' date='

[/quote']

 

It is not the same dead horse, but you answered your own question here before you asked.

 

Epiphones are quality guitars. Play before you buy as they are all different in some way. They are not or ever will be Gibsons. The Elitists are Gibson's minus the name and ploy vs nitro and minor details. Figure out how much you want to spend and the main question is Epiphone standard line or Elitist.

 

Though I have never played a Zak LP I would expect his sig model to be closer to the Gibson model than just a standard Epiphone vs a Gibson.

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If you have a Guitar Center nearby, go and look at the Epiphones. They may not have Elitists in stock. If you can afford an Elitist, go with a Les Paul Elitist. If that is too rich, go with a regular Epiphone (they're good). If you want even less expensive, go with an Agile. I have this one:

 

al3000rootbeer5a.jpg

 

But if you're new to Les Pauls, go and play one so you can feel the weight. They are pretty heavy.

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You mean LP Juniors' date=' but what, where? I want a few of those if they really go for $400-$500 these days![/quote']I thought they were around there... but I just looked at eBay. There weren't many on there (other than vintage), and they were selling for around $800.

 

That's just ridiculous, since they were selling for $750 last I checked. The "standard" model doesn't seem to be on Musician's Friend anymore.

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That's just ridiculous' date=' since they were selling for $750 last I checked. The "standard" model doesn't seem to be on Musician's Friend anymore.[/quote']

 

My thoughts exactly. The standard Junior was discontinued just a few months ago and that (plus BJA collecting the vintage models) has raised the prices they are asking for the used ones. I'm thinking hard right now if I should get one while they last, at least one European dealer in Germany has them (NOS) for 650 euros ($1000). That's almost a bargain.. Dunno. On the other hand I've been GASing for a Gibson BFG, which is almost in the same range (745 euros) and I do have a Junior already ... and Epi '57 Jr Reissues are still listed at about 200 euros here.

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Play them both, then choose.

And yes, this type of thread has been so overdone, even if there are variations on the subject.

I have spent hours in Guitar Center playing damn near every guitar in there.

The only two that really sang to me where an EPI LP and a Gibson SG (Darkbrown stain sort of color, dunno what you would call it). But since I saw the same EPI LP for $150 less in a pawn shop about an hour before, I went for that. The SG was around $800 or so I think.

 

BTW I was in that pawn shop today. They are TOTALLY loosing it. They wanted $659 for an EPI LP Black Beauty and $529 for an LP Standard (Had the nice blue trans finish though). There prices sure went up since I bought mine there.

But I did get a cool dremel with like 50 bits there for $15 today (Its looks brand new).

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Really does depend what you want. Standard (contoured top) LPs whether Epi or Gibby are bulkier and heavier than your Strat. Slab-top Juniors, Melody Makers etc are more similar in feel and weight.

 

Comparing Epi and Gibby, EVERYTHING on the Epi is different - cheaper wood, paint, hardware, electrics. That includes the Zaks and other customs. It's an authorised Asian-produced copy, and good value for money. The exceptions are the more expensive Elitists, which are made in Japan and more of a genuine attempt to match Gibson USA quality. Elitists are hard to get in the UK but people here rate them very highly.

 

If you want a good value LP guitar that feels similar to a Strat but gives you that Gibson sound, consider a Junior or a faded doublecut by Gibson. Apart from the actual finish the fadeds are A1 quality, and the P90 pickups will give you something different to the Fender.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello All,

 

Im a newbi here so be nice!

I know this threads been done to death here and over at Gibson forums too - but bear with me please.

I used to own an Epiphone Les Paul and head to sell it many moons ago. I must admit then at high volume, i was getting a squeaking feedback - i was pushing it through a Marshall AVT150 at the time.

Now that i may be playing in a band again im in the market again for an LP. Also the prices have come down since 10 years ago when i bought my Epi LP standard second hand for $900 Aus.

OK my dilema like some others - Epi or Gibson.

What i found frustrating is people have been saying if you can afford it, go the Gibson, but if you can't to try the Elitist range.

What Ive found searching on the web, is that the Epi LP Elitist guitars to be MORE expensive than a USA Gibson LP Studio.

Am i wrong to compare those 2 models together?

 

PS. Does anyone know of guitar stores that ship internationally. Im trying hard to look for anything under $1000 (Aus) to avoid the Customs Duty Tax here. Also we dont get the Elitist range in Australia too.

 

Thanks,

Rob

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Just_Robbi, Have you considered buying used from a reputable international seller on Ebay or similar? It's not the same as walking into a store and trying out different models; nothing beats that. Some Ebayers do ship internationally and a used Gibson, like a faded model, can be had for less than 1K US. I think your dollar is worth a little more perhaps? There are differences in Epi's and Gibson's in the materials used. However, sometimes it is not noticeable to the player and sometimes, it is. I think the standard Epi humbuckers fall way short of Gibson's in all aspects. But in many other ways, the Epi's are nearly as good, such as playability and durability. I've played some Gibson's where the action and neck were awful. But the same could be said for Epi's. I play a Gibson ES-335 (a 1997 I think ). It is perfect in all the ways that matter to ME. It's tone far surpasses any stock Epi I have ever heard that has the 335 style body. And it is constructed differently. But in other lines, the differences aren't as great. Anyway, just something to think about. IMO, generally speaking, a used Gibson in fair condition is better value than a new Epiphone.

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