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Epiphone LIMITED MODEL ES-335 Block


EpiSheriMan

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Yeah it's dead gorgeous and they are also producing a Riviera II for the Japan market but it is my understanding after a conversation with a Japanese shop owner that they are not allowed to sell new Epiphones intended for the Japan market online or ship them out of Japan but you are allowed to purchse them if you go to Japan. Now if you can find one used that's a different story they are allowed to ship / sell used product to the US or elsewhere for that matter, the only drawback is that the shipping can be a bit costly but they do have some high quality Epi offerings that you can't get anywhere else.

 

mgm

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By the way, this is probably a stupid question...

 

But why do Japanese consumers have access to these beautiful Epiphones, while guitar buyers in other parts of the world do not? Do Epiphone really think that these would not sell well in North America, Europe, Australasia, etc...?!

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I think it's something to do with the copyright infringement as well as the fact that people are even more less likely to gor for that Gibson if they can get even nearer to one with an epiphone. For instance, I'd love to mod an Epi to make it look like a 355 but with the dot inlays and epi headstock, by the time I bought the parts, installed them and set it up i would be just as well getting a gibson but if epi did a 355 or a 345 copy with block inlays vibrola/bigsby etc i'd definitely buy it.

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I think the person on here who had one had an open book style japanese one. I agree that these look too cheap to be Japanese but then I know nothing about the complications of Taxes, Export fees, Labour costs, Gibson mark up. What I mean is that it may be a reasonable price for a Japanese guitar IN Japan that we outside of Japan can't benefit from.

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By the way' date=' this is probably a stupid question...

 

But why do Japanese consumers have access to these beautiful Epiphones, while guitar buyers in other parts of the world do not? Do Epiphone really think that these would not sell well in North America, Europe, Australasia, etc...?![/quote']

 

LS, You don't know how many times I have asked myself this. I don't know if it's strictly due to sales numbers, Epi/Gibson sales strategy or what? There are several Hollow semis and solid bodys offered only in Japan that are gorgeous ( another one that hasn't been mention is a 59 Les Paul reissue that's only in Japan that's stunning IMHO) while we in turn get another ZW sig. I love Epis but this part is frustrating.

 

mgm

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So help me I haven't seen a bad Japanese-made guitar in 15 years. I'm happy every day because I own 9 elitists. I'm old enough to remember when J-made guitars were considered 'junk'. IMO, nowadays they are every bit as good (maybe even better) than our American-made geets.

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just look for a cheap stand by ticket' date=' and fly over there[/quote']

 

Ha, ha - don't laugh. I guess I have too much time on my hands this morning! I just checked Expedia. A return flight from Charlotte NC to Tokyo (changing at Chicago O'Hare), can be had for as little as $1055.

 

So, in other words, I could theoretically fly to Tokyo, buy the Epi, have three or four days vacation (provided I found a flea-pit hotel in the one of the world's most expensive cities), all for less than the cost of the equivalent Gibson...

 

00659705-front-l.jpg

 

because Sweetwater are selling this baby for $3,500.

 

Hmmm...you've got me thinking...

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But why do Japanese consumers have access to these beautiful Epiphones' date=' while guitar buyers in other parts of the world do not? Do Epiphone really think that these would not sell well in North America, Europe, Australasia, etc...?![/quote']

 

 

 

LS' date=' You don't know how many times I have asked myself this. I don't know if it's strictly due to sales numbers, Epi/Gibson sales strategy or what? There are several Hollow semis and solid bodys offered only in Japan that are gorgeous ( another one that hasn't been mention is a 59 Les Paul reissue that's only in Japan that's stunning IMHO) while we in turn get another ZW sig. I love Epis but this part is frustrating.

 

mgm [/quote']

 

Maybe I can shed a little light on the subject as I understand it. In the late '70s, the Japanese economy made the price of Gibsons prohibitively high in Japan. They decided that the only way to supply the market was to build the guitars in Japan. Matsumoku was making the cheap Epiphone exports, so Gibson decided to have them make professional quality instruments under the Epi brandbased on Gibson/Epiphone designs for the Japanese market. Some will even argue that these Matsumoku Epiphones were equal or even better than the Norlin Gibsons of that era.

 

Side note: This was also the Golden Era of guitar manufacturing in Japan, and Japanese companies like Ibanez were making inroads and becoming a serious threat. Gibson needed a competitive product, price wise as well as quality.

 

Eventually, Matsumoku was forced to close shop and Gibson shifted manufacturing of the Japanese Epips to Terada and Fuji Gen (who made some of the Ibanez). These eventually morphed into Orvilles and Epiphone Japan and Elitist for the USA market.

 

By the mid '80s, the Japanese manufactures could no longer compete with Korea and other emerging countries. Gibson contracted with Samick to manufacture Epiphones, and even Japanese companies like Ibanez had to farm out their products to foreign manufactures to remain competitive. (The original Samick Sheratons were very similar to the Matsumoku Sheratons, and I have heard that the by Gibson on the headstock was a way of thelling them apart at a glance). The Japanese manufacturers continued to produce top line instruments, including the Japanese Epiphones & Elitists, Gretsch Professional Series, some Fenders and the top of the line Ibanez models.

 

Now I can't say what effect the value of the yen and Japanese trade policies has to do with today's market, but I imagine that Epiphone has developed a pretty good market in Japan during the last 30 years, and that's why they continue to make them for the Japanese market.

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