I have had the opportunity to play several Elitists and have been nothing but impressed. I have a 2003 BR R7 and an LP Classic Plus. The Elitists I have played are certainly comparable in terms of sound and playability. They are great guitars in my opinion!
For all you Naysayers ... here is a challange for you: Look around and price all the guitars that have these features:
- USA Gibson nickel hardware
- Gibson USA pickups
- Grover tuners
- High quality tonewoods
- Non-weight relieved bodies
- Bone nut
- Neck and body binding
- Real pearl and abalone inlays
- Long neck tenon
- Assembled by some of the World's most highly skilled workers (something that can not be said about anything made in Memphis!)
The only Gibson guitars that come close to these specs are the Historics, but even they don't have Grover tuners, a bone nut, four-conductor pups, or real pearl and abalone inlays.
By the end of the week (hopefully) I should be able to sit down and compare side-by-side my new Elitist LP with my Gibsons. ... Am looking forward to it!
However ... if you prefer to give up the nickel hardware, Grover tuners, book-matched top and back, bone nut, pearl and abalone inlays, long neck tenon, binding, like the idea of having a dozen or so holes drilled in the body to reduce the weight due to inferior tonewoods, and don't mind paying $715.00 OVER the price of the Elitist Standard, then by all means buy one of these:
A good friend of mine just ordered one of these after I showed him this thread. He should have it by wednesday and he will bring it by for me to do a set-up on it. I'm looking forward to giving it a close inspection and I'll post my thoughts. I plan on taking a bunch of high-res pics and I'll post them. Anyone else recieve theirs yet?
Well gang....my new Epiphone Elitist Standard in Faded Cherry Burst arrived today. I don't have time to go into detail but suffice to say the title of this thread should be "Gibson Standard or Epiphone Elite". The one I received is that good.....I've no doubt there are killer studios out there but your average studio does not come close to the guitar I received. Yes there are some differences (see gtrplyr1 post) but there are some things that are better as well. My biggest concerns were the look of the headstock and the polyuerathane vs nitro finish. Well the headstock looks great and the finish is unbelievably good. Looks like it has a thinner maple cap (only a small sliver of the slab can be seen next to the thinner than Gibson binding in the single cut area). If the one I received is typical of all others and your not the kind of person that gets hung up over the "Gibson" name, I would suggest you run, not walk, and get one straight away. For $655 they are a steal....yeah you won't get the made in america gibson version but you will receive a terrific Les Paul instrument that plays as good or better than most Standards. The one I received is extremely well made...nice eastern maple top carve.....fretwotk is almost perfect....MOP Inlays with sharp edges.....bone nut and has a long neck tenon. I'm guessing it weighs between 8 and 8 1/2 lbs and most of all plays fantastic. Neck profile is shaped closer to a 60's slim taper (with a little more beef to it) than a 59 rounded profile (very similar to a Fender Modern "C"). Will provide more details when I get more time.
P.S. - I like it so much and it's such an awesome value that I just ordered another with a Vintage Sunburst finish.
My honeyburst rolled in last Wednesday, but I've been busy with guests the last few days and have had little time to evaluate it.
The fit and finish are great, as is the case. The wood looks good with no knots or blemishes, including a well-sanded fingerboard.
I checked the neck pickup cavity and saw the long neck tenon.
The neck is a rounded '59 profile that is fast and feels great. The fretwork is excellent, being perfect except for a few high spots on the 4th and 5th frets. The frets could use a good polishing with some steel wool.
There are several issues that have been dealt with, and several more to deal with. One of the volume knobs was broken upon arrival, and there is a wide streak of superficial scratches on the back that were probably caused by a beltbuckle. I called MF on them and they gave me the blem price of $599.99. I found a matching knob in my box of spare parts, and should be able to polish the scratches out with some mirror glaze.
The issues to be dealt with are tuning and intonation. I've been hearing a few pings at the nut when tuning, and the strings were wound on at the tuners the old fashioned way, so there may be a little slippage. The bone nut is cut beautifully with shallow slots, but they may need some polishing and graphite added.
The intonation was off considerably. I straightened the neck up and lowered the action and the 3rd string will just barely intonate properly with the saddle moved all the way back. I need to reverse the saddles on the first three strings in order to tweak the intonation ideally. I'll do some work on it today and provide a better review later.
Got my Honey Burst Elitist Wednesday and have done gigs with it the last 4 nights. It's great guitar for the money. The neck and fretwork is superb. The carved top is a little different than others, but feels comfortable. And 500k big pot electronics too. The bridge and tail piece seems a little cheesy compared to my Gibson, but they do the job. The Grover tuners feel exactly like the ones on my uncle's 1956 Les Paul. For the money they are really good, a great club gigging guitar.