Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by mrbulletbutt, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. mrbulletbutt

    mrbulletbutt Member

    Nov 13, 2011
    im confused. i know typically epiphones are gibsons knockoff guitars and therfore one would rather own a gibson. but i saw people that play the epiphone hollowbodies (like oasis) and so that made me wonder: are there some epiphones out there that people buy because its an epiphone and they would rather get that than say a gibson? i know that the epi les pauls arent nearly as nice as the gibsons; but are the hollowbodies prefered by people as an epiphone or a knockoff of a gibson?
  2. edwarddavis

    edwarddavis Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    Bristol Connecticut
    i am not a epiphone fan at all but I just bought a used BB king model 335 not sure of the real name but its a very good guitar feels great etc, only bitch not the greatest pots and switch and pickups are not so hot but all that are cheap fixes other wise a well built guitar .
    My bitch with them is all the above .
  3. OM Flyer

    OM Flyer Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    An island of blue in a sea of red
    I'd rather have a vintage Casino, Riviera, or Sorento than a modern Gibson.
  4. JKjr

    JKjr Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Every day. Vintage Epi's rock, and can be had for around the same price point as a modern Gibson. The Casinos are especially good.
  5. JohnRosett

    JohnRosett Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Missoula, Montana
    I have a '66 Epiphone Sorrento with a full-depth body and single mini-humbucker that I don't think I would trade for any Gibson.
  6. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    New England
    Uh, a full-depth body? On a Sorrento? They were all thin (like a 335, but fully hollow), unless you have a one-of-a-kind Sorrento.

    My response to the OP is that I have owned Epiphones as old as 1939 and have loved the originals and Gibson produced models (through 1969) as much as any guitars I have owned. I have also enjoyed many of the oriental-produced versions of the past ten to fifteen years that have been true to the original model designs. However I do not care for any Epiphone branded Gibson models or the bolt on neck abominations from the seventies.
  7. Jim-Dandy

    Jim-Dandy Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Epiphone Casino offers a mix of features not currently available in the Gibson line-up - laminate body, fully hollow, neck join at 16th fret, and dual P-90s (similar to an early Gibson ES-330). The Elitist model is made in Japan is of a very high quality.
  8. HyakuShiki

    HyakuShiki Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    Well, there are some who prefer Epiphone semis and hollow bodies to the Gibson models. Of particular note is the Casino, which has had much more popularity than the Gibson model (ES-330). I think that many of the people who use Epiphone thin lines see a level of quality matched with a fair price point. For instance, Matthew Followill of Kings of Leon records with an Epiphone Sheraton II, Joshua Homme has been known to use an Epiphone Dot and even Angus Young has been seen with Epiphone G-400's.

    I think it's important to note that the Epiphone models of guitars arn't by and large dogs. There are a fair number of average/busted guitars, but I have found that more often than not, Epiphone's are pretty reliable. I have heard that Slash and Joe Bonamassa both use their Epi signatures for warming up and live performances. There are very nearly just as many dogs put out by Gibson as there are by Epiphone, so if you're wanting to decide on a guitar and are considering Epiphone, I don't think it'll be a bad choice.
  9. dcooper830

    dcooper830 Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    I do my own setups and I have my Epiphones playing just as great as my Gibsons.

    They don't sound quite as sweet.... but still sound great!

    I'm one of those weird people that loves Epiphones just as much as Gibsons.
  10. tamader74

    tamader74 Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2009
    Northern Mi.
    HyahuShiki, Put it pretty much right on. The newer Gibby's tend ( to me) to have a "thinner" neck than I care for plus the added $$$, Just wasn't the right choice for me. MOST not all of the late '80s, early/mid '90s Washburn's, Epi.'s (especially the Sheratons ) fit me well AND have great value. So, the best of both worlds for me has been a Washburn HB35s ( full hum.) and an Epi. Sheraton ( mini hum.) they are the closest in feel to me in the neck and quite similar in wt., I did get a chance to play a Heritage 535 that just had 'that' 'ol Gibby 335 vibe and had a very comfy neck.....
  11. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    Generalizations are not too helpful with Epiphone. I've played any number of later (not vintage) Epis that I could not wait to put back down. Look for exceptions, and you'll certainly find them:

    • My buddies early 90s Epiphone Sheraton. Samick made, surprising quality for the price.
    • My Peerless made Epi ES-295. This thing is sweet, 30 seconds in my hands and no way I was going to go home without it.
    • My MIJ Epiphone Les Paul "Lacquer Taste". Not the average Epi LP, very high quality, made for Japanese domestic markets only. This one is among the best guitars I've owned, any price.
    Probably many other examples - including numerous Elites and Elitists. That's a fabled guitar name, and some of the modern ones are worth owning for sure.
  12. billfoma

    billfoma Member

    Dec 7, 2009
    Joplin, MO
    Having owned around 30 MIK Epiphones over the years, they do make some great guitars.
  13. Funkwire

    Funkwire Member

    Jul 19, 2007
    St. Paul MN
    Count me in as another weirdo. However, with a set of Fralins and new pots and caps in the '56 Gold Top, the sound doesn't take a back seat by any means.

  14. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    One of the best guitars I EVER played is a friend's '67 Epiphone Emperor (the US made, semi-hollow thinline model, not the current Asian made Joe Pass). The current Epi lineup has some pretty decent guitars in it, but I still think it is a bit of a shame that Gibson has turned Epiphone into their cheap line.

    A lot of current players don't even know that Epiphone used to compete head to head with Gibson before they were bought out and until about 1970 were built side by side with Gibsons in the Kalamazoo factory.
  15. cowboytim

    cowboytim Member

    Jun 10, 2009
    West Marin Co. N.Cal.
    Epiphone has now built plants in China and no longer contracts to have they're guitars built. Chinese workers build the guitars in a Gibson owned and run plant. QC is pretty good. I own several. The electronics,Alnico Humbuckers are not to bad. Pots and caps, as in Gibsons suck. I gut mine when time and money allow. I do a complete setup as with any guitar. I enjoy this part of the hobby, Hot Rodding with Great pickups, caps and pots.
    I probably have 800.00 invested (or less) on average on a LP or 335 style guitar.
    When I'm done it's hard to beat by any Gibson at any price range, seriously.
  16. whiteop

    whiteop Senior Member

    Dec 9, 2009
    Epiphones can be setup to sound and play like a Gibson but they don't quite have the feel, warmth, or as much sustain that a true Gibson has (IME) thats due to better hardware, wood, and finish, however I bet that 90 % of the audience (non-guitar players) would have a hard time distinguishing the two.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  17. tsar nicholas

    tsar nicholas Member

    Jan 9, 2011
    I have two modern (1995) Epiphones, both inherited from my grandfather. One is a Les Paul Standard (probably Plus) and the other is a Sheraton II.

    Tell you what -- they are both very well-made guitars that sound very good indeed with replacement pickups. The Les Paul (especially with a Phat Cat in the neck) sounds growly, and the Sheraton with Duncans sounds just magnificent -- more like a vintage Gretsch than a 335, which makes sense considering its laminated-maple neck construction. The only thing I don't like about it is the vintage-style wide-flat frets, which bug me a lot. For recording though, it is a secret weapon.

    I think that most people look on the distinctive Epiphone models (Sheraton, Sorrento, Casino, Emperor, etc) as their own thing, not as Gibson copies. No lesser players than Kevin O'Neill and Ted Leo play modern Sheratons.

    I've never played a vintage Epiphone, but I'd certainly like to. All the jazz guys love 'em.
  18. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    The guy from Oasis uses an Epiphone prototype made from the gibson custom shop.

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