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Cheap Epiphone Fascination

Mighty Melvin

Senior Member
Messages
2,711
I think I'm getting fascinated with cheap Epiphone guitars but it's kind of confusing. The used prices don't seem to correlate with anything. And the construction per dollar is nowhere near as good as Squier achieves....

I suppose that throwing out an impression like this is a magnet for smartasses but does anyone have some focus on this Epiphone thing? Any observations, recommendations, good experiences?
 

Hack Prophet

vile mighty wretched
Messages
7,267
If youre talkin old ones I'm a big fan of the ET-270, made in the matsumoko factory in the 70s. Pickups sound awesome, tuners and vibrato are cheap but manageable. Some people list them for up to 800 bucks but thats nonsense. Should be more in the 400 range depending on condition
 

stahlhart

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,617
We can start a support group -- I have four LP Standards. Gibson trainers for now; four keeps me from getting bored with them.

I don't own any Squires, but I'm quite happy with the build quality on the Epis. They just needed some fret leveling and better pickups/wiring.
 

27sauce

Senior Member
Messages
37,204
I've had a bunch. I dig them
I've had this Custom for almost 25 years. I still play it once in a while. Stock besides the bridge and knobs.


I've had some Sheratons, Rivieras, Supernovas, and Casinos. Mostly from the 90's. This was the best. Had to sell it last year. I'd love to have it back.
 

LaceSensor1

Senior Member
Messages
3,429
love my dot

Needs a better pickup selector switch though. It's a newer version, pickups sounds great.
 

bgmacaw

Member
Messages
8,080
I've got 2 cheap Epiphones, a LP Jr I bought in 1998 and a SG Special I got for Christmas 2016.



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The Jr needed some fretwork on it to get it into decent playing shape. I've left everything else stock on it. It just sounds and feels right now. I've even had people ask me if I had put a real Gibson P90 in it.

The SG is pretty well built for a sub $200 guitar. No fret or significant setup issues. The pots are full size with a good sweep and include a kill switch hidden in the tone pot. The weak point on it are the pickups. They're super hot and kind of blah. I'm going to swap them out at some point. I'm not sure with what yet but it will probably be Alnico and low powered.
 

ken374

Member
Messages
7,029
Just got a Epi les Paul Special II LTD with a nice flame top, I need a humbucker again and this thing rocks! holy crap:) I had a Gibby Trad proII 6 months ago before I got my strat. With my Marshall's red channel it has a warm but gainy tone. I even compared it to a Gibby, the Gibson was a little brighter on the top end with the maple cap and I wouldnt say it better though a little more compressed were the Epi was smoother with power chords. 2 piece mohagany body that resonates well! Ceramic 8 magnets works great for rock/high gain tones. I thought I would never like a bolt on epi but this sustains like no other!
 

MattC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,610
I've been resisting a 2012 Epi Nighthawk Custom Reissue in Trans Black listed at $200 on my local CL all week long. I do NOT need another guitar to setup, maintain, change strings on, etc. However, my first "nice" guitar in the 90s was a Gibson Nighthawk, and I'd love to try one again for such a cheap price, so my willpower is not holding up too well.
 

Papanate

Member
Messages
19,822
I think I'm getting fascinated with cheap Epiphone guitars but it's kind of confusing.
The used prices don't seem to correlate with anything. And the
construction per dollar is nowhere near as good as Squier achieves....
Any observations, recommendations, good experiences?
Why do you 'think' you are getting fascinated with Cheap Epiphones?
The used prices for the Epiphone Les Paul Jrs, Specials, lower end Les Pauls
are in direct correlation to the kind of people who bought them. Too many
people have a hard time differentiating between a Les Paul 100 ($279 retail)
and a Plus Top Pro ($579 retail). They think the name Epiphone means
it's more valuable than any of the other Chinese/Indonesian clones being
sold. I find this to be true of the Epiphone Les Paul special resales -
$149 retail being sold used for $129. Ridiculous and unrealistic.

You just need to bide your time and look for the best deals.

Regarding your cheap guitar fascination - isn't that just like Jimmy Page
and his DanElectro phase? Instruments like the Epiphone Les Paul Special
are prime candidates for a cool sounding slide guitar. Also those lower priced
guitars are particularly good for modifications. It's a nothing to lose situation.
With some minor change outs those low priced models can be monster tone
machines.
 

ddhr

Member
Messages
391
I've had a few over the years (Dot, 339 and Casino). No problems with any of them and that Casino is one of the only guitars I've regretted selling. Just picked up a Casino Coupe and am really liking it.



edited to add photo
 
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shakeshakeshake

Senior Member
Messages
5,030
I had a 90s MIK epi les paul that was amazing.

The MIC ones I had that were made more recently weren't that great imo, so it varies.
The MIC Squier CV Tele I had was awesome. The MII VM Squier Jag I had kinda sucked.

Epi does make a lot of really cool reissues.
 

shakeshakeshake

Senior Member
Messages
5,030
That headstock is sooooo much better than the current ones. Subtle change but way better looking...

What is the difference between that one and newer ones? Is it slimmer?


I know the MIJ Epis get the regular gibson headstock which is pretty cool.
 

T Dizz

Member
Messages
21,193
I've got 2 cheap Epiphones, a LP Jr I bought in 1998 and a SG Special I got for Christmas 2016.



[/url]

The Jr needed some fretwork on it to get it into decent playing shape. I've left everything else stock on it. It just sounds and feels right now. I've even had people ask me if I had put a real Gibson P90 in it.

The SG is pretty well built for a sub $200 guitar. No fret or significant setup issues. The pots are full size with a good sweep and include a kill switch hidden in the tone pot. The weak point on it are the pickups. They're super hot and kind of blah. I'm going to swap them out at some point. I'm not sure with what yet but it will probably be Alnico and low powered.
I had one of those Jrs but with a humbucker. After new a pickup and tuners ti was a nice guitar. I left it at the practice space so i wouldn't have to drag a guitar back and forth. Well worth the 75 bucks I paid
 






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