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Gibson or Epiphone?????????


Jeffery112

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I was already to purchase my 13 y/o son a new Gibson Les Paul Studio '60s tribute guitar when I talked to a customer service rep with Guitar Center and he said that for the money I would be better off getting him the Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty. He said that the 3 Anico Classic Pickups alone are 150.00 each. Then I read the reviews and people were saying that the Epiphone sound was blowing the sound of their Gibson guitars "out of the water". Now I am confused and need help. Please give me suggestion on what to buy. I am ignorant when it comes to guitars but I want the best product I can buy. Thanks

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Which ever one sounds best to your ears or your sons. Just cause it has three gold pickups doesn't mean it will be a good guitar.

If you ask me i would go for the Les Paul studio, now thats a real American made guitar unlike the Epi. Not that i dont like Epi's. [biggrin]

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.

You may already know this - The Gibson Guitar Corporation owns Epiphone. Gibson Guitars is the company's "A" line - higher end guitars with better grade materials, electronics and production methods. Epiphone Guitars is the company's "B" line as in value based - cost savings on materials, electronics, and production methods.

 

Hopefully your son can make an informed choice - and he should get his hands on any guitar he's thinking about to see how it feels and plays.

 

I would go with the Studio.

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The craftsmanship may be close or the same but the components arent. Two different styles of guitars as well. What sort of music is your son into? if hes into metal then yes the Epi may suit him better if hes into Punk or rock tones then the Gibson p90 pick ups are far better.

 

I recently got my son one the Gibsons youre looking at a factor I had to consider was resale the gibson is always going to hold its value over the EPI. I do have plenty of Epi's in the house but once I got to playing live on stage I couldnt go past a gibson. I sell guitars on the weekend for a local store. One factor I always bring up is how accomplished is your child? will they look at playing in bands or continuing with the guitar. My career started like this

Cheap guitar after cheap guitar after cheap guitar to ok guitar ok guitar to better to finally Gibson.

What I am trying and failing to articulate in this medium is that I was better grabbing a decent guitar that I could have had for many years rather than upgrading and upgrading and upgrading. You seem to be doing the right thing and going straight to a very nice guitar. I know with my son he will be happy with his guitar for a very long time.

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I've been out recently playing a number of Les Pauls and I would suggest the studio over the Epi. I played a studio just today and I rate it higher then Epi's that I have played in the past. Although like everyone else is saying, get your son to play both guitars and decide for himself, although a Gibson would be a great guitar to start on and would be the superior product.

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I'd also advise you to go with the Gibson.

 

Epi's are good guitars but the Gibson should be even better.

 

There are many other factors which also favour the Gibson over the Epi. Bear in mind not everyone likes 3-pickup LP's. For many players the mid p'up gets in the way of the picking hand/fingers.

 

P.

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He's lying about the value of the pickups in the Epi. Lie, lie, lie.

 

I assume there's more profit / commission on the Epi. Challenge him to show you anyone charging 150 each for Chinese Epi pickups.

 

I am actually a fan of Epis - they are great value secondhand buys. In your position I would definitely recommend the Gibson Studio.

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Don't the 60's Tributes come with p90's? vs. the Epi Black Beauty with 3 humbuckers.

 

For starters, there is no comparison between the two in looks or tone. I also doubt an

Epi humbucker is worth $150 each. Maybe all three together. Not sure what the salesmans

motivations are, but those two guitars have no business being compared together.

 

What kind of music does your son play or listen too? Is a Les Paul even the right guitar

for him? P90's are single coil. they can be a little edgy, but not twangy. Humbuckers are

warm and have a good crunch to them when distorted. It's all a personal taste. Personally,

I'm not a P90 fan.

 

The trade in/used value has always perplexed me. Yes the Gibson will be worth more when you

sell it. But then again, you paid more. Both an Epi and Gibson might depreciate $200 in two

years. That would be a 20% hit on the Gibson at $1,000. And 40% on an Epi at $500. Same dollars,

just different %'s. I'm more about the actual dollars than %'s. Either way, it cost $100 per year

to own it.

 

I have both a Gibson and 2 Epi's. Epi's are fine guitars and have different features that make them

worth what the different price points are. Whatever you decide, it needs to be one he'll want to pick

up and play.

 

Maybe you can get him to GC and have him walk around and see what calls him. That might give you an

idea on his preference. He might go to the SG's,Strats, semi-hollows or he may just wind up at a Les Paul.

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Normally I would say Gibson all the way.The 60s Studio has the p90s ,these arent for everyone.If I had a 13 yr old son , I would buy him an epi LP .His tastes are probably gonna change and he might switch to strats in 6 months .Or he might quit altogether in a year.With the Epi you havent invested alot.If he sticks with it for a few years , sure then maybe a Gibson.

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I have to put in a good word for P90s! I was a "late adopter" and didn't own a P90 guitar until about 4 years ago. I've found them to be really versatile, covering most of the bases. Having the right amp settings is important, I have quite different settings when using P90s rather than humbuckers. The range of classic rock sounds is great (early/mid period Who, early Santana, Jethro Tull, Mountain, even Sabbath...). Can't do that Tele bridge pup twang or that Strat out-of-phase quack, but still a good single coil clean sound for jazz or rockabilly.

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Since at your son's age the guitar is sure to get used and abused; if you want USA made, get a Studio model that will last forever AND if he looses interest, you can always resell without taking too much of a killing.

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a customer service rep with Guitar Center and he said that for the money I would be better off getting him the Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty. He said that the 3 Anico Classic Pickups alone are 150.00 each.

 

this rep should be pistol whipped... What a sleaze ball.. That is absolutely false... they would be worth about $25 a piece...

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Since at your son's age the guitar is sure to get used and abused; if you want USA made, get a Studio model that will last forever AND if he looses interest, you can always resell without taking too much of a killing.

+1

Used Epi's don't hold much re-sale value, unless it's one of the Elite ones. (Or, has $150. pickups in it! LOL)

Too many salespeople use that "real Gibson pickups" line, and for the most part, it's a lie.

I've owned both, I'll take a Gibson everytime over an Epi.

Plus, there is the whole USA made VS China thing.

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Just buy the REAL thing and be done with it! Even though Epiphone makes decent instruments, they are cheaper for a reason! I found that many times the humbuckers in Epiphones are real muddy (no good note articulation). But have your son play both and see what HE likes, since it will be his. :)

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Should be your son's decision (of course, with budget limitations in mind). Do you (or he) know, how

long this fascination, with guitar will last? No, right? That might be a consideration...you can always "move up," further down the line. On the other hand, Gibson...as mentioned, will retain it's resale value, over the standard Asian made Epiphones. So, the initial difference in price, may actually be to your advantage, with the Gibson, over the Epi, in the long run? Who knows? Epiphones are excellent guitars. And, for the price, they are truly a bargain, all around. Electronics, can be replaced, as/if needed. But, quite often, nowadays, they don't need to be, except for personal preferences, more than poor quality. So, you really can't go terribly wrong, either way. Whatever you choose, make sure it "fits" your son, weight, looks, playability, and sound. And (very important), have it properly "set-up," for optimum playability...(Gibson's need this, just as much/often, as Epiphones).

 

Have Fun, looking/trying out, many!

 

Cheers,

CB

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You're a very kind Dad!

 

You're right that the Gibson is the best of the two for what is virtually the same money. It wouldn't need any upgrading of electronics to get a good tone. In contrast, Epiphone LPs are notorious for having 'muddy' pickups. I've upgraded the stock pickups in both my Epi LPs for that very reason. Unless he has a very good valve amplifier they would probably muddy up as soon as he starts turning up the gain/distortion. If he prefers more hard rock/metal then the P90 pickups in the Gibson would probably not satisfy him. In that case, I would recommend a Gibson studio with humbuckers in it. Gibson make faded studios for about the same price as the Tribute and, if you're in Europe, you can get a Tribute model with humbuckers from Thomann.

 

However, for a 13 year old I would go for a used Epiphone, especially if he's an inexperienced player. That way, you won't lose any money if he wants to upgrade it later. Remember too that Gibson/Epiphone style guitars with glued in necks and angled back headstocks are very prone to breakages, even from a simple toppling over. A Fender/Kramer/Charvel/Jackson/LTD strat style guitar with a non-angled back headstock and a bolt on neck would be much more durable if he's your typical, clumsy teenager.

 

Alan

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Definitely have your son play any guitar no matter what the salesman or anyone says. The proof is in the ears and the hands; the sound and feel.

He's got to be all around comfortable with it.

 

I love the way my Studio with the P90s sounds. Yet, I love the feel of my Standard.

 

All good advice from the members on this one.

 

Personally I'd go for the Studio but I am biased.

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if it is your sons first guitar, i would go for the epiphone. and buy later that gibson studio. if hobby dont last long, you dont lose much money. even gibson has better value when you sell it later. And i more point, it is better to but your child earn that better guitar. if he shows you that he really loves playing and has lot talent in practising buy that gibson him.

 

most of todays superstar guitar players have started with bad guitars, even selfmade ones.

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There are a few schools of thought on the question of going with a high end instrument from the start or getting your kids a cheap instrument at first.

 

One is to go cheap and when the boy proves they want to learn by learning on a cheap guitar and sticks to the instrument for a few years to buy them something more high end. This way you're not taking a huge loss on the guitar if they give up in a few weeks and you see how badly they want to play. If a kid really wants to learn guitar, they'll learn even if you hand them a broomstick with strings nailed to it. Consider also, that kids don't necessarily know what they want in a guitar at first - buy them something suitable for the style of music they want to play; but by the time they've gotten to the point where they are ready for their upgrade, they will now know more about what they like and you can get them whatever their preference has become.

 

The other side of things would be to get them a high end guitar right away and they'll have something that could last them a lifetime. If it turns out his preferences turn out to be a Fender Strat instead of a Gibson, he can trade up without having to shell out as much money to get a guitar of comparable quality to the Gibson. Again, keep in mind his preferences might not even be Gibson to start with and it would be best to have him go and try out different guitars and get him whatever he's drawn to the most.

 

Personally, I went the low end route to start off... but that was a matter of what I could afford also. Through the years I did the gradual upgrade process where each guitar was slightly better quality than the last. I'd figured out my preferences within a few months of playing, and shortly after realized the Gibson SG was my ultimate guitar. Had I been more patient and saved the extra few hundred dollars to get a Gibson right away instead of settling for what I could afford at the moment, I probably could have bought 3 SG Standards if I added up how much money was spent on the dozens of other guitars I had before my first Gibson.

 

Maybe its a maturity thing; but I find now I have a better ability to resist my GAS (Gear Aquisition Syndrome) and wait until I can afford something I really like and as a result I tend to be less likely to sell off my gear in order to finance the next piece that catches my eye. For example, a few years ago I discovered the amp I bought when I got back into playing guitar after an injury forced me to give it up for a few years was not powerful enough to compete with drums. I took over a year to get myself an amp with tones I truly loved that was low powered enough for home use, but loud enough that there was no way I'd need another amp.

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Even though I said get the Studio the problem with newbies is that they often move to something else.

 

So I would tend to agree with This_Dying-Soul.

 

The Epiphone Special II I bought my son has pretty decent action for a 'cheap' guitar. A very good learner's guitar.

He could always mod it later with better pups if he gets the urge. But right out of the box it is not a bad guitar for about $180.

The Studio costs about $800. If in a few months the kid decides guitar isn't for him. You have an electric guitar.

The kit version (a good deal) comes with a small amp and other assorted junk. The guitar cable is junk, get another one.

The amps okay and will work for practice. It definitely will drive the neighbors nuts if he turns it to 10.

 

I use my sons when I am too lazy to get out my others. Especially if I have just a few minutes to noodle around.

 

Good luck on your journey. The Gibson can be for later when he gets better.

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From personal experience from both the decision is a simple one for me.........GIBSON!

 

Epiphones are great guitars dont get me wront but from repairing both Gibson and Epiphone and observing my students epiphones too the craftmanship and quality of the Gibson out weighs the Epiphone. Electronics are of a lesser quality and are fitted with Metric sized components as opposed to Gibsons imperial sizes. This means any upgrades to pots stopbars and bridges will be more of an issue than Gibsons.

 

I have heard that Epiphone 335's are preffered over Gibson 335's (that may have been a brit pop choice) and I have worked on a Epiphone les paul (drilled imperial sized holes for quality replacement parts) and it was great.

 

I think the overall point is Gibson is overall better quality, resale value, envy of friends and easier to work on and play.

 

Epiphones - make sure you get a good one! Set neck good weight

 

but the best thing to do is take your son to the shop and let him play and decide

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