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Epiphone Guitar Hierarchy


irishdazzler

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Hi guys, I was having a read through the Epiphone and Gibson Wikipedia pages trying to find this information out – but there was no conclusive answer.

 

So, what is the Epiphone guitar “quality” hierarchy?

 

Is elitist the best? Studio the worst? I know there are bespoke and ltd editions out there but in the mainstream what are the “build types” in order of quality?

 

cheers

 

D

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Not being rude or anything, but I'm not sure that "hierarchy" is the right word to use.

 

All of these guitars have different features and advantages, and are sold at different price-points.

 

I guess you could create a price-ranking by going to Guitar Center's website, and sorting Epiphones from low to high - like this: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Guitar,Page-1.gc?src=epiphone&o=1&ipp=15

 

But there will always be anomalies. Does the Riviera P93 rank lower than the Sheraton in the "hierarchy" because it sells for less money? I think some here would put up a good argument to the contrary.

 

Being less obtuse...I think most people here would agree that Elitists are top-of-the-Epiphone tree (in terms of the last decade or so, at least).

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Well' date=' there is no [i']rule[/i] per say. Generally Special is the bottom of the barrel, then studio, standard, custom, and supreme. But it changes depending on the model we are talking about.

 

ah ha, I didnt think about that

 

so If we use the Les Paul as an example we would expect the to "rank" (and i use the term loosely) like this:

 

Supreme (hadnt even heard of these)

Custom

Standard

Studio

Special

 

so where would Gold Top fit in? is Black Beauty a "type" or just a "version" (its hard to differentiate between these terms - but I hope you get what I mean)

 

completely take Lord Summerisle's point about them all having different feature - but on the whole some are perceived as better quality than others

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I think with Epiphones' date=' it's not the name hierarchy as much as it is the location:

 

1. - Made in USA

2. - Made in Japan

3. - 80's made in Korea

4. - 90's made in Korea

5. - 00's made in Korea

6. - Made in China

 

But this is not set in stone.

 

[/quote']

 

 

And this is another interesting take on it - this would have been the next step for me. So the absolute best may be a Supreme made in the USA and the worst a Studio from China

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I guess you could create a price-ranking by going to Guitar Center's website' date=' and sorting Epiphones from low to high - like this: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Guitar,Page-1.gc?src=epiphone&o=1&ipp=15

 

 

[/quote']

 

 

Having just done this (thanks for the tip by the way) I see other types I haven't accounted for:

 

Junior

Express

Special II

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I think with Epiphones' date=' it's not the name hierarchy as much as it is the location:

 

1. - Made in USA

2. - Made in Japan

3. - 80's made in Korea

4. - 90's made in Korea

5. - 00's made in Korea

6. - Made in China

 

But this is not set in stone.

 

[/quote']

 

I'm mostly a Casino fan so that's where my experience lies, but I have to say that some of the most recent MIC Casinos are every bit as good as about any of the Korean made ones I've seen and played. And my IBJL Casino (also MIC) is as good as USA Gibson stuff I've played and probably right there with the MIJ Elitist guitars.

 

I like that Epiphone has their own plant in China now, rather than ordering from a factory that's producing all kinds of different guitars. I think the early China models struggled a little bit, but I've heard nothing but good reviews the past couple years.

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'Officially' I suppose there are only two quality levels, Elitist are top then everything else is supposed to have the same quality of finish. If you are talking about materials then again Elitists are top, I would say stuff like older G400s with maple bodies and necks are at the bottom, then you have to look at the individual specs to find where everything else fits in the spectrum.

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Goldtop is just a finish option on a LP Standard. The Black Beauty is just a Custom with an extra pickup. The Lp Classic is just a re-branded and slightly differently dressed Standard.

I wonder if by "Goldtop" he is refering specifically to the '56 Goldtop, which has the P90s. A lot of people here rate them rather highly.

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All of these guitars have different features and advantages' date=' and are sold at different price-points.[/quote']

 

I agree. It's very difficult to divide the guitars into groups of quality. The Express irishdazzler mentioned is a great example - it's not really comparable to other guitars (Express is a travel guitar, and does therefore have "another purpose" than the rest).

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