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"Elitist" re-introduction rumor....


charlie brown

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There was an item, in the Gibson forum, about the "Elitist" line, being re-introduced, this year??!

(Wishful thinking, or fact?) Anyone know?

Don't know, but imho, the $300 price spike for the Elitist Casino last year (or the going price for the rather odd Dwight Trash Elitist Casino) gets these models too close to a ES-330L. If more Elitists are released, the $1500 ballpark would seem ideal to maximize sales volume.

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Elitist what? Since the Casino is still around and the Dwight Trash is new, the Elists havent been completely discontinued, per se. A full blown Elitist line? I doubt it. Its only been three or four years. Give it another six or seven and I'll say yes. I think we are more likely to see individual custom run Elitists like the DT Casino in the future.

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I really hope this is true!

 

I think it's time a 'proper' epi riviera was available, not just the European limited editions and p93 versions. And the 12 string riviera needs to come back!

 

The same for a 60's spec Sheraton!

 

I remember something on the Epi blog about a potential rivoli reissue too so maybe something is in the pipeline???

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Byrdland, Broadway, Emperor, Sheraton, and an Elitist Zephyr Blues Deluxe would do it for me.

 

And bring back the Sorrento and ES-295!

 

I don't think there is 'room' price-wise for a MiJ Elitist-line...

 

What price do you think this Elitist line should be ?

Elitist Broadway and Byrdlands are fetching close to $2,500 US in mint condition used.

 

Their Gibby counterparts are $8,000 and up...

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I think this would be a fantastic idea. I always liked the Elitist line and think it's a shame that they got rid of the majority of model.

 

I agree that if they brought it back then they should concentrate on the Pre-70s models. You can get a high grade copy of all of Gretsch's classic models MIJ so why not a company like Epiphone with the legacy it has?

 

The pricing of 1300 EUR for a MIJ Casino is not to me wholly unreasonable...

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I don't think there is 'room' price-wise for a MiJ Elitist-line...

 

speaking in Euro

 

Epi LPs with Gibson pups are around 500-550

Gibson LPs start at 650

regular Studios are 1100-1200

Classic Customs are 1600

 

Semi/Hollow MiC Casino is 750

Elitist Casino is 1300

Twight Trash is 1600

 

Gibson Midtown is 1100-1200

ES-137 Classic is 1550

 

My thoughts exactly, as much as I'd like to see new higher quality Epiphones.

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The strength of the Elitist line is twofold:

 

1. The high quality

2. There is a huge market of buyers who would prefer to buy an Epiphone over a Gibson if the quality is MIJ/USA, irrespective of price...

 

The cult like following of 60s Epiphone models is massive and plenty of people would pay Gibson prices for MIJ 60s specs models just as they do when they buy a Gretsch.

 

Look at the scarcity of the Lennon/Macca/John Lee Hooker "USA" models these days... If they were putting out 60s specs Elitist models as well as a range of other popular models they would have no problem selling them.

 

Gibson have spent 50 years pushing Epiphone underneath the Gibson banner (in both senses) but it's obvious many still regard Epiphone as a legitimate company with a great legacy and a uniqueness that can't be eclipsed by it's parent company. They should exploit that as much as possible. Perhaps they feel that after investing in China so much they'd be shooting themselves in the foot by doubling up too many models but I'd be quite happy to see all the LP, SG and entry level guitars MIC with some select classics being upgraded to MIJ.

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The strength of the Elitist line is twofold:

 

1. The high quality

2. There is a huge market of buyers who would prefer to buy an Epiphone over a Gibson if the quality is MIJ/USA, irrespective of price...

 

The cult like following of 60s Epiphone models is massive and plenty of people would pay Gibson prices for MIJ 60s specs models just as they do when they buy a Gretsch.

 

Look at the scarcity of the Lennon/Macca/John Lee Hooker "USA" models these days... If they were putting out 60s specs Elitist models as well as a range of other popular models they would have no problem selling them.

 

Gibson have spent 50 years pushing Epiphone underneath the Gibson banner (in both senses) but it's obvious many still regard Epiphone as a legitimate company with a great legacy and a uniqueness that can't be eclipsed by it's parent company. They should exploit that as much as possible. Perhaps they feel that after investing in China so much they'd be shooting themselves in the foot by doubling up too many models but I'd be quite happy to see all the LP, SG and entry level guitars MIC with some select classics being upgraded to MIJ.

 

+1!

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I think that rumour got started when Gibson posted a pic of a bunch of Les Pauls on their Facebook page and right up near the front was of all things, a beautiful Epi Elitist LP. Ever since that pic was posted everyone seems to think they were trying to hint at something. I doubt they will be bringing them back and think that someone was just having fun when they took the picture.

 

 

This is the pic:

 

 

 

elitistamonggibsons.jpg

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I would absolutely love to see the Elitist line make a comeback. With this said, I doubt that Gibson with it's current quality issues would knowingly allow a MIJ Epiphone product line to reside side by side with their Gibson counterparts. The inevitable comparisons might not be appreciated by Gibson. As someone recently noted, they already seem to use photographic ploys to make the current crop of MIC Epiphones look inferior.

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I saw the guitarist with Imelda May playing what sure looked like an orange Epi Wildkat with an "Elitist" headstock.....

 

The brand name was taped over...............:-k ...

That's Darrel Higham, Imelda's husband.

 

DarrelHigham5.jpg

 

He pretty much plays Gretschs, maybe that's what you saw?

 

DarrellHigham.jpg

 

He also has a White Falcon, a Heritage with P90s and a Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster.

 

Here he is with a J200 and some other dude thinks he can play guitar in the background:

 

darrel_higham_jeff_beck.jpg

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I can understand it not being in Gibson's interests to have Japanese Les Pauls and SGs competing with the US models, but there must surely be a seperate market for historically accurate, pro quality reissues of the classic Kalamazoo Epiphones - Casino, Sheraton, Riviera, Emperor, maybe even the Coronet and Sorrento.

 

Judging by the quality of the current Pro Gretsch catalogue, I'd have no problem paying the same or more for a Terada made Epi reissue as I would a US made es-335.

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I don't think there is 'room' price-wise for a MiJ Elitist-line...

 

speaking in Euro

 

Epi LPs with Gibson pups are around 500-550

Gibson LPs start at 650

regular Studios are 1100-1200

Classic Customs are 1600

 

Semi/Hollow MiC Casino is 750

Elitist Casino is 1300

Twight Trash is 1600

 

Gibson Midtown is 1100-1200

ES-137 Classic is 1550

 

What price do you think this Elitist line should be ?

 

I agree, from a price point of view the Elitist series would make no sense.

Current Elitist Casino: €1330,-

2003 Elite '63 ES-335: €1580,-

2003 Elite Les Paul Standard Plus: €1680,-

 

The Elite ES-335 was almost the price of a current Gibson Memphis 335, the Elite Les Paul Plus was even slightly more expensive than current Gibson Traditional Les Pauls. If they re-introduce the Elitist series it would only make sense for genuine Epiphone models like Riviera/12, Sheraton etc.. Question is if the buyers really appreciate the difference between a MIC Sheraton or ES-355 and a MIJ Elitist Sheraton with original specs (mini humbuckers, Frequensator tailpiece), and if they are willing to pay the price.

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I agree, from a price point of view the Elitist series would make no sense.

Current Elitist Casino: €1330,-

2003 Elite '63 ES-335: €1580,-

2003 Elite Les Paul Standard Plus: €1680,-

 

The Elite ES-335 was almost the price of a current Gibson Memphis 335, the Elite Les Paul Plus was even slightly more expensive than current Gibson Traditional Les Pauls. If they re-introduce the Elitist series it would only make sense for genuine Epiphone models like Riviera/12, Sheraton etc.. Question is if the buyers really appreciate the difference between a MIC Sheraton or ES-355 and a MIJ Elitist Sheraton with original specs (mini humbuckers, Frequensator tailpiece), and if they are willing to pay the price.

 

Well, some of us do, and would be! [thumbup][biggrin] Not sure, though, there would be enough, to justify

re-introducing the Elitist line??? It's a nice thought/fantasy, though. [smile]

 

CB

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Well, some of us do, and would be! [thumbup][biggrin] Not sure, though, there would be enough, to justify

re-introducing the Elitist line??? It's a nice thought/fantasy, though. [smile]

There's a lot of nice stuff out there in the Elitist price range now, e.g. the entire Duesenberg Starplayer, 49er, 52er lineup. Fortunately I already own the 3 guitars I mentioned [smile] However if they should offer an original 60s spec Sheraton in wine red, I'm in danger - I most likely would pull the trigger on that one [scared][laugh]

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I don't think there is 'room' price-wise for a MiJ Elitist-line...

 

speaking in Euro

 

Epi LPs with Gibson pups are around 500-550

Gibson LPs start at 650

regular Studios are 1100-1200

Classic Customs are 1600

 

Semi/Hollow MiC Casino is 750

Elitist Casino is 1300

Twight Trash is 1600

 

Gibson Midtown is 1100-1200

ES-137 Classic is 1550

 

What price do you think this Elitist line should be ?

 

 

 

I think it depends on the line. I agree that the Les Paul line, between Epiphone and Gibson, have filled at every price point. I think that there elitist line could fit with the semi-hollow line ep. At the time of the post the top of the line Epiphone semi-hollow is the limited edition ES-355 and ES-345 both priced at $699 USD. Ignoring the midtown series (because it a solid piece of wood with resinating chambers carved into it, and then marketed as the ES Les Paul hybrid, not a true semi-hollow) the next price point is $2000 USD for a Gibson ES-339 or ES-175 and the cheapest 335 style body after the $699 Epiphone ES-345/355 is the $2250 USD satin ES-335. I think there is a deffinate place for a $1400 elistist series. I think the real problem is the loss of revenue from people buying a $1400 guitar instead of a $2250 guitar. But thats just my thoughts

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Yeah, again...I would love to see Epi re-introduce the Elitist line, for "Epiphone" only models.

That is, not for Les Paul or SG clones, but only guitars that were actually Epiphone models

(Both semi-hollow body, full hollow body, including the "Jazz boxes", and Epi's own solid body

guitars), in it's Kalamazoo era "heyday." [thumbup][biggrin]

 

CB

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