Best year for Epiphone Les Pauls?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Che_Guitarra, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. Che_Guitarra

    Che_Guitarra Member

    Messages:
    4,171
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Location:
    West Oz
    Well... is there such a thing? A best year for Epiphone Les Pauls?

    I'm talking Epiphones Les Pauls of the last 20 years of Asian production... the best options you can still pick up for under $1000. Not talking about vintage Epiphones, nor 'one offs' or 'limited runs' that may have drifted into real Gibson price brackets.
     
    scolfax likes this.
  2. HTSMetal

    HTSMetal Member

    Messages:
    1,145
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Location:
    Satan's Armpit, KY
    I know one thing...the recent Chinese ones I've played (and the MIC Epiphone Sheraton and Casino I own, and the Epiphone Wildkat I previously owned) are absolutely fabulous in fit and finish. I played a Epiphone Les Paul Traditional PRO at GC a month or so ago and it not only sounded great, but the satin finished neck felt fabulous as well.

    Even though I own a few other top-dollar instruments, my 2011 Sheraton is my #1 and nothing has come close to dethroning it in the five years since I received it. I think the instruments coming out of the Qingdao plant in China are among the best Epiphone has ever produced in Asia.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  3. Imperial_Tone

    Imperial_Tone All things with a Maple Cap

    Messages:
    1,188
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    Naples, FL
    Your looking at early to late MIJ Epi's (elitists) / Orvilles. They can be had at a decent price, but the demand is rising. Plus shipping could be an issue if the guitar doesn't come with a HSC. Some of the late 90's MIJ Epi's can be had at a decent price. The Elitist's are killer guitars, they will cost around the high end of your 1k budget. But the Orville's would be my number one pick if your sticking to "Gibson" approved MIJ copies.
     
  4. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

    Messages:
    8,807
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    New: Check out anything labeled "Pro" or "Tribute."

    Used: I'm no expert but my son's 94 from the Samick plant in Korea is pretty good.
     
    phazersonstun likes this.
  5. jonahboo

    jonahboo Supporting Member

    Messages:
    623
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Location:
    North New Jersey
    the V1 + V3 1960's were very good (circa 2010 ish?)
     
  6. Zuhzuhzombie!!

    Zuhzuhzombie!! Member

    Messages:
    1,998
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Any Epi with the tombstone headstock is quality.
     
    Laurence likes this.
  7. Comanche5

    Comanche5 Member

    Messages:
    1,388
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Epiphone Elitists from Japan. No contest.
     
    peskypesky and scolfax like this.
  8. MrLahey

    MrLahey Member

    Messages:
    519
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    Location:
    Near some trees.
    2016.
    Unless the whole QC team quits they currently have a pretty good handle on things right now.
    No sense in buying an old beat one when new ones have great QC out of the box IMO. Unless your looking for something specific.
     
    IRG, Mr. Crow, thecasterkid and 2 others like this.
  9. doc

    doc Member

    Messages:
    5,923
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    I have a '92 MIK LP. It has a maple neck which is on the smallish side (the size is the main thing I don't care for - I'm thinking I might trade or sell it). Stock electronics are probably better replaced. Having said that, it sounds better than it has a right to and plays well. I suspect the newer ones are better overall, but the wood in mine might be nicer.
     
  10. Darl

    Darl Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,949
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    I have a 2012 Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro on the way. Not sure about years but I like to buy used with low mileage and relatively recent production. I would buy a Gibson but I'm allergic to nitro finish.
     
  11. zach715

    zach715 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    Location:
    elmhurst, il
    Elitist, but they are at the top end of the budget.
    Otherwise buy an older 90's korean made epiphone. They set up nicer and the fretboards are way better then the newer epiphones.
     
  12. Coldacre

    Coldacre Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,889
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne
  13. duaneflowers

    duaneflowers Member

    Messages:
    649
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    Location:
    Behind a Killer Les Paul Somewhere in Japan
    No single year but the period 2007/2008/2009 definitely stands out for me as being among their best...
     
  14. DustyRhodesJr

    DustyRhodesJr Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,490
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Unsung plant in Korea.
     
  15. gillman royce

    gillman royce Member

    Messages:
    2,465
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    +1
     
    HTSMetal likes this.
  16. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

    Messages:
    18,001
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Location:
    Erotic City MN
    I've got a 07 MIC LP Standard and its fantastic.
     
    cliffenstein and HTSMetal like this.
  17. duaneflowers

    duaneflowers Member

    Messages:
    649
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    Location:
    Behind a Killer Les Paul Somewhere in Japan
    In 2006 Gibson set up the first Epiphone factory outside of the US in Qingdao, China, and US staff was sent over to manage things. This was the first step away from having Epiphones manufactured by the same factories as the competition and the Qingdao plant was an overwhelming success. The guitars being produced there were on a par with those being produced by Gibson, the only real difference being the materials being sourced to build them with. Quality Control at Qingdao was top rate and there were some mighty fine guitars being produced there. Over the years there were some fluctuations in staff and quality, but those first few years saw the production of some really great instruments.

    It was also right around that time that the Elite/Elitists hit full swing in Japan which are my favorite Epis. So Imma stick with that date range...
     
    stratter and T Dizz like this.
  18. Artjr

    Artjr Member

    Messages:
    2,359
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Location:
    NC
    the 1st year they made them with the Gibson headstock.
     
    jaded_musician likes this.
  19. Hefalump

    Hefalump Member

    Messages:
    7,237
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2015

    If you like 1/8" thick polyurethane. Otherwise, fantastic guitars.
     
  20. Comanche5

    Comanche5 Member

    Messages:
    1,388
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Now you have me curious. What is the thickness of the finish on a regular Epiphone?

     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice