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have been looking for this website, Really need some advice and help. ( not picked up a guitar for years)

doing my reasearch on the net -lots of info-so much opinion but how much fact?


I really want to buy an les paul epiphone, but I need facts. I have been on Gibson wesite so I am quite familiar with spec/styles.


Went to a gison distributor today and they were not to clever, I am sorry to say - espite having a very nice shop- Maybe the real boss was away today with the guitar experts that could play, demonstrate and answer basic questions with out getting it all wrong. Just a, "I'm not sure I will find out would have done." Any how!


1) some where people advertise- the epiphone standard, has a solid mahogany body others state alder/mahogany?

2) If all the epiphones are alder/mahogany, does this mean i.e. they the are 20 % alder(the top suface of the body under the strings for example) and 80% mahogany(the back)?

3) does it mean the body could be either alder or mahogany?

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Epiphones are made from a myriad of mystery woods. Anything short of a DNA test is

not reliable. If the exact species of wood is something you absolutely need to know,

you will not find that information in an accurate specification. This topic has been

explored a LOT here but no precise conclusions have been made. Bottom line:

if you like the guitar, perhaps that should be enough. YMMV.

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Questions continued - I ask because my friends korean epiphone standard has a chip in it at the back ( that colour wood is not mahogany and the guitar is to light


4) is the plus top, relating to the fact you can see the wood grain through the design? ( the top being the top suface under the strings?)

5) Where is the best place to get a black standard epiphone or black plus top or custom with chrome , quickly that is genuine and good, there seem to be lots of deals about on ebay and amazon etc. - not sure I like the idear of paying up front before seing the goods, the contact/return details might not be genuine - I dont mind second hand ?

6) What are better Korean or Chinese epiphones

7)Has the spec changed with the newer epiphones (build quality-wood- etc?)

8) do new pick ups and pots etc make a lot of noticable difference,

I more interested in what it sounds like/well it needs to look pretty too "gloss black and chome"


Love the guitars, please advise would have bought one yesterday if it wasnt for so much conflicting info now worried about getting a bad one) on line £250 to £290 new??? at the gibson shop £420 ???

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Greetings. I'm afraid this one goes round and round. They use Asian woods which are similar to mahogany and alder and folks here argue all the time over whether the woods involved qualify as "real" mahogany or alder. I believe they quote both woods so they can use whichever is available and economic at the time. All the current Les Paul production, other than the higher-priced Elitist range, is made in a Gibson-owned Chinese factory.


All you can be sure of is that the main body thickness will be a multi-part composite of pieces of Asian mahogany or alder with a thin veneer maple or alder "cap", an eighth of an inch thick at most. If it's sunburst or natural finish the back will probably be covered with another thin sheet to disguise the join in the bonded pieces.


Does it matter? Not much. Gibsons are usually made with multi-part bodies these days too. Gibsons do have a proper maple cap about three quarters of an inch thick at it's high point.


If it sounds ok, feels ok, looks ok...buy it. At the price Epis are good value. They are cosmetically close to the look and feel of Gibsons but the actual structure and components are all different - as in cheaper. By upgrading the key components eg pickups you can get very close to Gibson sound quality and still be considerably cheaper than a "real" Gibson.

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You are probably a great guitar player,


I am an engineer that also works with wood. I am after a specific sound. The type of wood will make a difference, It is easy to tell if it is exposed, like where the cut outs are, the weight, the colour and the grain. Thats why Gibson make such a statement about storage temperatures/humidity, selective timbers etc. etc.. I supose beggers cant be choosers but I want a lot of bang for my buck. Ive made plenty of expensive mistakes with other interests.


I dont want to mail order a guitar that sounds like a tissue box with rubber bands attached when it gets here


I want it to sound as close as it can to a gibson les paul with a custom twist.

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1. All the Customs come with gold hardware not chrome. Be very wary of e-bay sellers offering Customs "new" at prices below £300; they are probably fakes.

2. In my experience the Korean ones are better build quality, especially those made at the Samick factory in the late 90s, with a serial number starting with "S" then numbers.

3. Upgrading pups DOES improve tone noticeably. If you're going to do that it makes sense to do pots and caps too, the extra expense is minor and you'll get the best out of the pups.

4. Plus tops have a "flame" finish thin veneer which looks a bit prettier but sounds no different.

5. My advice in the UK is only buy on e-bay/amazon if it's a genuine private second-hand sale and not a dealer offering "new" stock shipped from China. I would ask the seller if you can visit and try before you buy (ask even if you have no intention of actually doing it). If they make an excuse and refuse they are probably selling fakes. If they say ok they are probably legit.

6. If you want to shop for a new one use the well-established net dealers like GAK, Reidys, Thomann. They have good returns policies and only selling genuine Epis.

7. It might be best to wait for a black / gold "S" series one to come up at the right price on e-bay and then replace the hardware with chrome parts. You can partly offset the cost by flogging the gold set on e-bay.

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Thanks for tyhe replys this far,


what can I say, I have a need to know nature. Despite the fact my freinds epiphone is falling to bits in all the areas the crtics say. I was very impressed when I heard one play for the first time today. I wish it had been through the vox amp im getting tommorow " should be awesome!"


Any one know of a good epiphone black and chrome for sale or the best trust worth place to get one?


second hand or new


higher the spec the better(upgraded) or not / cost is the main issue at the moment



kind regards



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I'm not to knowledgeable about woods and their effects but regarding fake/real you had better post any online prospective purchases here first to make sure.


Don't buy anything on ebay that says it's new because they're all fakes. Better to buy from someone who is happy to say it's used but in very good condition and make sure you get a serial number and check it before buying. Generally the fakes come from people who sell guitars on ebay a lot that are boxed and with the Epi manual. These aren't real.


I'm selling this at the moment: Les Paul Elite



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Karl, I was not implying that you didn't understand what you were looking for,

if that's what you thought. I simply put forth my distillation of previous threads

and stated that one could not find an accurate specification as to the wood

species in an Epiphone electric guitar. Epiphone, like many manufacturers, states

that "specifications are subject to change". You yourself said "not sure I like the idear

of paying up front before seing the goods", thus you wouldn't be able to inspect the

wood beforehand, anyway if you purchased online. I hope I have clarified my points.

BTW, I'm not a great guitar player. Just a clear thinker.

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Your best bet is to find one that you can put your hands on and play. If you like the way it looks and sounds then there you go. You have found it. If you can't find something close to where you live then order it through a reputable dealer like musicians friend or someplace similar. Make sure you have it insured too. Lots of people use ebay but I stay away from ebay. There have just been way to many counterfeits sold for me to feel comfortable ordering from there. Good luck with your search.

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Right, having read your last post, if you're going to be that particular a Chinese or Korean Epi isn't for you. It's only a superficial copy of a Gibson, and as well as the woods, structural details like neck joint design and headstock angle are different.


If you want an authentic copy of a Gibson Les Paul you either need the Epiphone Elitist made in Japan range, which are hard to get in UK and in between the price of a standard Epi and a Gibson, or something like a secondhand Greco (they do come up on e-bay regularly). See : http://www.japanguitars.co.uk/

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