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Joined: 22/11/04
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Epiphone V Gibson?
      #950415 - 31/10/11 10:34 AM
Hi Guys

The Epiphone ES-339 is released in Nov,and I wondered if Epiphone were any good.
I have always been a Fender Man for 52 years but I want to try something different.

I suppose what I am asking is,is it worth spending £1400 on a Real Gibson,when the Epiphone version is £345?

It's only for home/recording use.

I have never picked up a Gibson/Epiphone,so I need help.



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Joined: 22/09/09
Posts: 1165
Re: Epiphone V Gibson? new [Re: Guitarman]
      #950418 - 31/10/11 10:45 AM
Quote Guitarman:

I suppose what I am asking is,is it worth spending £1400 on a Real Gibson,when the Epiphone version is £345?

I have never picked up a Gibson/Epiphone,so I need help.

The Epiphone is already out, I saw in yesterday in PMT in Birmingham.

The finishing on Epiphone is generally better than on a Gibson, just look at the lacquer on the neck pocket for example, but that's about it in terms of comparison. You're bound to get the odd good Epiphone that sounds great, and similarly the odd Gibson that's not that nice, but in truth the wood/components are of higher quality on Gibson.

There's a cheaper Gibson flying 'V', no detailed headstock, no lacquer finish, but it's £399: I played it yesterday and I thought it was superb. It's not very versatile, single pickup, but the sound quality was very good and definitely worth £399.

As with any guitar though, you need to hear it yourself as your opinion/thoughts will be entirely different to that person next to you.

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Random Guitarist

Joined: 01/04/08
Posts: 612
Loc: West Sussex UK
Re: Epiphone V Gibson? new [Re: Guitarman]
      #950521 - 31/10/11 05:27 PM
That depends completely on the exact guitar in your hands.

In general, on average, a Gibson is better than an equivalent model Epiphone.
(Whether it's worth the extra is more moot. There is, perhaps, a diminishing returns effect.)

But the guitar you buy is not an abstract average, it's a single point on the quality graph and you have to decide if you like it or not.

By way of example the guitar currently rocking my world is a 2008 made in China Tokai les Paul. I bought it cheaply on ebay last week as the listing was poorly done and nobody else bid on it. There's a Gibson and an Epiphone each side in the guitar stand, but the Tokai is the one I'd emerge from a burning building with, no question.

For me personally the Gibson is better than the Epiphone by some distance. But that's the two that I have, and as I say, the Tokai eclipses them both.

So the only way you can know is to get out and do your research, find them, play them, and decide.

Good luck.


I've never liked a solo violin, you need at least five for a proper fire.

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Joined: 22/10/02
Posts: 272
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Re: Epiphone V Gibson? new [Re: Guitarman]
      #950536 - 31/10/11 06:53 PM
Quote Guitarman:

Hi Guys

It's only for home/recording use.

Alan not to be a complete twit... but does it matter? If you have the money to burn on a Gibson ... go for it. Personally if the notion of being able to buy 3 Ephiphones for the price of a single Gibson does not grab you... and somewhere there's a recession going on...

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active member

Joined: 30/10/02
Posts: 1893
Re: Epiphone V Gibson? new [Re: Guitarman]
      #950573 - 31/10/11 11:01 PM
I was looking at several Les Paul Standards recently and was not impressed by the paint job or the fretjob - frets were sticking out and could cut you when playing. On the other hand the Epi next to them didn't have these issues and played great. I think the main price point difference is the wood selection and the "made in USA" label. I would buy a Gibson for the investment, otherwise would go towards selecting a really good Epi from the rack. Might take some trial and error though.


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Joined: 27/01/10
Posts: 5779
Loc: London, United Kingdom
Re: Epiphone V Gibson? new [Re: Guitarman]
      #950580 - 31/10/11 11:56 PM
As an enthusiastic dilettante I would urge you to bear in mind that the guitar industry is hopelessly brand/marketing orientated, deeply conservative and non too consistent by way of individual product quality control. Each protagonist has their good days and equally they all manage to produce plenty of turkeys. The big corporations and solo luthiers would all admit to this in private. Comes down to the individual instrument, as it feels and plays for yourself, in your own hands, every time. My 'fender' isn't a fender, although I know very well that fender's custom shop would love to have their logo on it, which in the market would increase its value by a factor of about three - but its a rarefied custom built instrument that would therefore probably be hard to sell in a hurry, cost a third of what fender would have wanted and in any case is most definitely not for sale. My gibson sometimes reminds me of the beautiful epiphone I used to own about thirty years ago (335 types). I have an epiphone acoustic up for sale at the moment because, despite great sentimental value it just doesn't give up new tunes for me anymore, so time somebody else took it on (cheapish mid 90's cutaway - wrote a lot of songs I am proud of on that one). And of course with electrics so much of your sound is down to amplification. Finally I do not believe in the investment value of ANY guitar other than the joy and inspiration you can leverage out of it by playing the thing. Some folks get lucky but for most of us the worlds guitar shops are full to bursting with used instruments that will not sell for as much as their owners had hoped.

Strictly project and just for fun

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Tony Raven

Joined: 15/11/09
Posts: 180
Loc: Minnesota, USA
Re: Epiphone V Gibson? new [Re: Guitarman]
      #950608 - 01/11/11 04:45 AM
I like what Gibson & Epiphone have done with the 339's controls. But if you're looking for an all-round instrument, the Epi Ultra 339 is interesting, with a Shadow low-impedance pickup, stereo out, direct USB, LED tuner in the bridge pickup ring... & about 40% the cost of the simpler Gibson version.

resident troublemaker,

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