Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by SlyStrat, Mar 4, 2006.
I know it ain't a Gibson. But are they OK? Anything to look for when I pick one out?
They're not LP's, you're right. Some of them, though, can be decent guitars on a budget.
Other than the Epiphone Elitist models, though, I think most Epis aren't worth the money brand new. You could do way better with, say, $800 by buying used.
If you are buying from a store and have a large selection, play them all. The QC isn't great and there are lemons, but there are few diamonds out there too. I recently tried out an Epi LP gold top w/ P90s, not only did it feel great, but it didn't have a bad sound either - definitely P90. I tried out the same model, different guitar, a year earlier and it was a dud - muddy, neck felt funny, balance was difference.
I've in a large urban centre and have a lot of stores where I can try stuff, so I'm fortunate.
Good news the epiphone elites are made in Japan and I think have better quality control than the american ones. I do not say things like this lightly as I am a big fan of all things american.
At some point around 2000 Epiphone started using an alder core with a mahogany veneer for LP bodies. The models built prior to that were made in Korea and actually very good guitars other than the cheap pickups and hardware. I played one in 1998 that had one of the best neck tones I've heard from an LP.
As of this year Epiphone has moved production to China and gone back to the traditional formula of a solid mahogany body. The prices are around $600. Early reviews of the new build are good.
The Elitists are the best Asian-made LPs, but pricey if not on sale.
If you're on a budget check out the Ibanez ARC300, another Chinese build. They sell for $400 online and are also getting good initial reviews.
You could always try a Japanese Market Epi Les Paul with the correct Gibson headstock (basically an Orville with a Epi Logo). For the money it's not a bad guitar at all. Personally I would go that route before I bought a US Epi, but that's just me. I agree as well, the high end Epi's are nice for the money.
I tried one out and was impressed. Lighter, beautiful rounded heel and surprising sound. Run about $725 Cdn new up here in the land of beaver tails sauteed in maple syrup and garnished with hockey pucks. About a $100 more than an Epi LP
As someone said try and try and then try more; each one is a little different, but this is a good thing, due to if they were all bad then none would be good.
I once tried three Epi' goldtops at the same store (they were made and shipped at the same time), one was decent the other two sucked. A few months later went back and they was only a new one; this one was perfect and my brother quickly purchased it.
I went through a similiar strruggle with my Epi lp custom; also, I ordered a Dot as my first guitar from MF and it was a great one. I have tried many others and the necks feel all wrong and the body feels like plywood or something. I guess I got lucky.
As for the lp custom I go, this is awesome and it plays as well as an Elitist, without the upgrades (bone nut, american pu's, etc.). I tried many out and this was so much better than the rest that I had to buy it. I told the guy that I will take it and then found it was only 540( it is a flametop model, may be a Custom plus?, not sure cannot find info on the two, anyway it goes for at least 700 if not more).
In terms of quality for $$$, I'd say its really tough to beat the PRS SE models. I haven't seen a bad one yet and I think they're around the same money as Epi's.
A student of mine bought one, strapped in on, and the strap button came right out of the guitar and hit the floor! He took it back and got a strat.