Gibson vs Epiphone Les Paul

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by cygnusx1, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. cygnusx1

    cygnusx1 Member

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    So I've wanted one for some time. I love the Gibson's and how thry look but have found that alot of them play awful. Also pickups in some are just electric mud. Now before anyone jumps all over me I said alot not all. I have played some epiphones as well. The wiod grain ain't as sharp and electronics are cheap. But some play amazing. So would you buy an Epi for $3-$400 and upgrade it? Or hold out for the real deal which may need pickups as well. Please weigh in. Thanks
     
  2. dubdub

    dubdub Member

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    Get a used upgraded Epi, I did and now I want to sell everything else because I can't put down the Epi and I don't see myself putting it down either lol. You can find them used for $300-$500 with gibson pickups.
     
  3. Mr. Mukuzi O

    Mr. Mukuzi O Member

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    its hard to recommend a guitar that plays awful, sounds like mud but looks cool

    maybe a really badly set up Fernandes Ravel, tried one of them?
     
  4. soulohio

    soulohio Member

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    I want a Ravel Elite
     
  5. FennRx

    FennRx Member

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    Never met an epi les paul that I liked. Played some cool semi hollows, but the les Pauls have never impressed me.
     
  6. Hound Dog61

    Hound Dog61 Member

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    I have an 1960 tribute Epiphone Les Paul. It has gibson electronics (57 classic neck, 57 classic plus bridge) with series parallel switching by push pull pots on the tone controls. Came with (crappy) strap locks and a case for 599.00. It sounds great, plays great, and looks great. Might be worth looking into. Here she is:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. +3kk!

    +3kk! Member

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    what amp do you use and how your settings be? while gibsons are darker than most guitars out there, id say it would be hard to make it muddy on a fender tweed amp.

    also the tone and playability might just not suit you, of which why bother with a guitar that wont suit you.

    gibsons and epis are two different guitars, in fact id go as far as to say gibsons to gibsons are different guitars. test it out, they have a huge range
     
  8. Dale

    Dale Member

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    All of the above...

    [​IMG]
     
  9. budglo58

    budglo58 Member

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    I have yet to meet a Gibson that played bad that a proper setup didn't take care of. Can't say the same about Epis.
     
  10. sliberty

    sliberty Member

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    Epiphone Les Pauls have come a long way in recent years. I've got bunch of Gibsons, and love them. But the truth is that my recently purchased Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro is pretty close in quality, playablity and tone. There are still differences, but they may or may not matter to you. Things like Nitro vs. Poly finishes, flame maple cap vs maple cap plus flame maple vaneer, USA made electronics, etc. still favor the Gibson, but at what cost? Only you can decide what that is worth.

    And I have never met a guitar at any price that a great tech couldn't make play well with a proper setup (which might have to include fret work in some cases).

    So, I'd say that the current bread of Epis are fine instruments at ridiculous prices for what you get.

    Note - I have replaced the pots and caps, and rewired the Les Paul to 50's wiring. But the pickups are keepers.
     
  11. Darth Gain

    Darth Gain Member

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    Looked for a used limited run Epi, while I was picking up my Mesa mini Mark, I was playing around with an Epi LP and it wasn't bad for the price. A couple of weeks later I was in a chain store and ther was an Epi 50th Anniversary 1960 LP v1, I believe they were made in 2011 and the store had a couple hanging around.

    They had some of the more sought after features for a LP, long tenon neck, fat 50s neck profile and no weight relief and Gibson Burstbuckers 1 and 2. Plus tuners and electronics were upgraded as well and a hard case thrown in. They were on the store's website and you would only see them if you walked in and are pricey for an Epi, they were about $900 when issued, they wer discounted a bit and I got another $70 off.

    It is a great guitar for the price, really has a vintagey vibe with the Burstbuckers and that fat neck. Closest thing I think still in production is either the Tribute or Bonamassa. Worth looking around at something like this. Fit and finish are god, almost as good as a PRS SE, but the SE HFS pickup sucks, while the Burstbucker 2 is great.
     
  12. Darth Gain

    Darth Gain Member

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    the guitars weren't on the store's website*
     
  13. dohmar

    dohmar Member

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    Ones a bolt on neck, the others glued?

    I've played both and both can be good. IMHO most gibson guitars are shipped with crappy nuts. I dont know what it is about them, but they suck arse. I put a tusqXL on my les paul which turned it from a good guitar into an awesome one. That said, sliberty nailed it - you can buy crappy cheap guitars and get a tech to address the issue, there are some cheap gems out there. Most new guitars are expensive due to some fancy cosmetics or super expensive pickup/tremolo/wood combinations. Same effect can be achieved with a guitar that doesnt look that flash but feels good.

    Case in point, I got a japanese fender with crappy pickups but it was very well made. Replaced pickups - good guitar turned into a great one.

    For what its worth, I bought the gibson lp studio because I bonded with it. I probably would have bonded with an epi just as well. If you're playing the guitar, play it in shop and figure out which one feels the best. If you're a collector, you'll probably want the fancy headstock one.

    -D
     
  14. lunchie

    lunchie Member

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    Sadly most new production guitars these days need some sort of a setup to be optimal. Gibson is no different. I'm not saying that its right that they need a new nut, fret ends filed, frets leveled and so on. Its simply a reality.

    I've owned a lot of Epiphones in the past and still own one, it was my first electric. I like Epiphones they are great guitars for the money. However, in the world of Les Pauls, there just is not a substitute for a actual Gibby. I can't explain it but when you find the perfect one, you will understand. Luckily I got off cheap and found it in a Studio Tribute.
     
  15. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    If "alot of them play awful", you're play a lot of Gibsons that just need a setup. An upgraded Epiphone will be cheaper and you may be able to get it close, but at the end of the day it's still an Epiphone. In most cases, as long as you don't judge them by their current setup, a Gibson would be a better guitar.
     
  16. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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    I love my Ravelle!! :fisticuffs
     
  17. sliberty

    sliberty Member

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    Too much mojo talk for my taste. I truly believe that if you bring a Gibson and an Epiphone to the same luthier, and tell him to setup both guitars the same way, you would be hard pressed at the end to feel a difference in their playability (unless you are a nitro snob). It might take a little more work to get the Epiphone to that same point, but there is no reason it can't be done. And similarly, if you installed the same pickups, pots and caps (and maybe wire) in both guitars, you would again be hard pressed to hear any differences (unless you are a dog or cat). The fundamental differences between these brands are much more minor than the price difference suggests, and anything that really matters can all be "corrected". It has so much more to do with where and how the manufacturing is done (and the resulting costs), and very little to do with the guitar itself.

    To me, it all comes down to how the neck feels - the one thing that really cannot be fixed (reasonably). This includes the neck profile and the fretboard width (never was an issue before, but now Gibson has made it an issue). If you like the neck, all other sins can be dealt with. And, if that nice neck happens to be on the Epiphone, then your starting point is at about 1/5 of the price that it might have been, so the upgrades won't hurt so much. Just read online how many people buy expensive guitars, even Custom Shop guitars, and then start replacing this, and replacing that. Its just silly. That means what you really bought was a piece of finished wood and a name on the headstock.
     
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  18. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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    good post! yeah, they are essentially the same shell, if you put the same guts in them, gonna sound as close as you can get.
     
  19. sliberty

    sliberty Member

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    And it is a shame that we all feel we have to tinker with a new guitar in these ways. When I was a kid, a new guitar would get a good setup before I took it home, no charge. And the electronics were never replaced unless they failed. We either liked a guitar or didn't buy it. It was a simpler time. Today, upgrades are assumed before you even get the guitar home. Is it the manufacturer's fault, or is it ours? Maybe a little of both. This is why I decided to build rather than buy when I was acquiring my Teles. The upgrades are "built in", and my tech did the initial setup, so it was good from the start.
     
  20. Jimi D

    Jimi D Member

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    ^^^ I echo these thoughts... my Epi LP is a Classic U.S. Goldtop, a LE from Long & McQuade that is basically a Slash sig, but without Slash's sig and with a 50s neck carve... It's got the long neck tenon and a couple AlNiCo Pro IIs in it, and it's an awesome player - it just sounds fantastic, and plays as smooth as any Gibson I've ever owned...
     

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