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??? on Epi G400's - what are the main differences between the recent Chinese made G-400's


old mark

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and the older Korean made version? I see a lot of folks saying the older version is better, tell me why.

I also see s lot saying the newer Chinese models from the dedicated Epi factory are approaching the quality of the older ones.

FWIW, I have found a MIK G400 at about $80 more than a newer China made version, and I have a Chinese EE made G400/Les Paul Custom, which is a very well made guitar, IMO.

 

What is your opinion/information on the physical differences between the MIK and the MIC's?

Also, big difference, some difference, no difference?

Thanks.

 

mark

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Build quality varies between different employees, not between different countries. You can get good employees and bad employees doing good or bad production in any factory. A Gibson made in the USA by some folks who doesn't really care less may not be as well built as an Epi made in China by some people who happen to be a bit more conscientious. I think you can get a "good" or "bad" version of any guitar. Just try before you buy.

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I agree with both of the previous posts.

And if anything, I have heard over and over, from those who know a lot more than I do about SGs, that the Chinese ones are some of the best they have ever made. The Qingdao factory is making some superb G400s. I have one from 2006 that is great. Don't listen to what people are saying. Go try one out for yourself. Then you will know.

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When Epi first moved to China, the quality was pretty bad for the most part - as evident in this forum. But also evident is that the quality has drastically improved and seems to be up to snuff with the older, coveted MIK's. Of course, like everyone says, try before you buy. There are always bad ones in the mix.

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Thanks. My G400 Les Paul Custom was made in Quingdao in 2007, and I am really amazed at what a great guitar it is. I am pleased to hear that it's typical of the new Epi factory, and I will soon be starting to search for a second Epi 400.

 

Funny, I never really liked SG's much till I bought one.

Mark

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Just make sure you test drive them and look them over - in and out. Although the quality from Quindao seems to be able to surpass the MIKs, I dont think the consistency is quite there yet. This is why alot of people are still complaining about the MICs. And ordering online is a craps shoot.

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Mine is one of the Chinese made models, beig made in 2007 and I must say, I am thoroughly impressed with the quality of the work that went into it. I could not find any faults with it at all when I got it 2 months ago. It's actually much better than my Les Paul Studio and down the line, I just might consider getting myself one of the faded vintage models.

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Not all of the initial Chinese built Epiphones were bad. The Dae Won built versions were absolute garbage, but the EEs seem to have been fairly consistent, decent guitars from the begining.

 

I have an EE LP that I'd rate up there with my Korean one (the lighter weight was surprising at first, but turned out to be very good quality...just less of a burden to play standing for a few hours).

 

Less satisfied with my EE G400 Custom (the Ivory colored, 3 pickup model). It's built well enough, but the baseball bat neck is too thick & too wide for my taste. Was expecting something more along the lines of an old Ibanez "lawsuit" SG I played for years (that was an outstanding instrument)...comfortably wide but very thin neck.

 

Nothing inherently wrong with the Epiphone, just not my cup of tea.

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Funny you make that comparisson with the Telecaster. I had '73 or '74 rosewood Tele (Jesus, did that thing weigh a ton!). That also had a "baseball bat" neck, but it never bothered me in the least, and in fact, I think it played some part in the guitar's overall sound.

 

I think my expectation (based on the Ibanez model I played for a dozen or more years) colored my unease with the G400. It just never felt right...to me. Still doesn't unfortunately. Oddly enough, I can't bring myself to sell it ...and I've had several serious offers. What's up with that? LOL!!!

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I have a Korean made G-400 Custom from 2006.

I also have a new Chinese made G-400 faded, 2009.

 

The (Saien) Korean built Custom needed more than just a little work to become playable without always slipping out of tune. I went through about 2 set-ups before it was narrowed down to a poorly cut nut and a terrible B-2 bridge

after a new Gotoh bridge and better nut installed the guitar was awesome.

It also has a set of Sperzel Tuners...I thought it might add stability so I went the extra mile.

100_1678.jpg

It's had new pickups installed as well

 

The Chinese built (Qingdao) 2009 SG faded was a perfect example of how well Epiphone can build a guitar.

I've honestly done nothing more to it than a setup, fret file, and added a TP-6 tailpiece just because I love the fine tuners. The pickups on this guitar are nothing short of surprising. They hold their own against my more expensive pickups on the Custom. No Lie.

5.jpg

The new Loc-Tone bridges are much better than the old B-2. I haven't replaced one yet

 

So yes it's very possible that dedicated factory Qingdao is doing something right.

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My G-400 is a QingDao 2007 built example, and it too is excellent, very well made, and as Gas Jones said, the pickups are astonishing. Really punchy and responsive. Really loves to wail, and also sounds great with just moderate distortion. I've been hankering to play her, but I've removed the strings, pickguard, and pickup surrounds and stored it in its case in readiness for my new, custom made, full face pickguard. I'm told that will be finished some time next week, and given the professionalism and courtesy I've experienced so far with the company making it for me, I fully expect that it will be finished at that time. I'm looking forward to fitting that up, restringing her, and giving her a blast again. My only complaint is that the string slots in hte nut are maybe a tad too deep, but I suspect that's a case of the previous ownder using some quite heavy gauge strings. I've got a Tusq one sitting here, so maybe I'll take it to have that fitted.

 

I was thoroughlly enjoying playing it before I stored it away. So much so that I'm gassing for another SG. I was thinking a faded one in Worn Brown, but it seems a bit pointless to get something exactly the same as what I already have barring the faded finish. Maybe a Junior or something if I could find one/if Epi makes Juniors next year alongside the LP Specials they're apparently going to be making.

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