You are here

Epiphone V Gibson?

For all things relating to guitars, basses, amps, pedals & accessories.

Epiphone V Gibson?

Postby Guitarman » Mon Oct 31, 2011 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.


Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:00 am

Re: Epiphone V Gibson?

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:45 am

Guitarman wrote: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.
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1051
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:00 pm

Re: Epiphone V Gibson?

Postby Random Guitarist » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:27 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.

Random Guitarist
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:00 pm
Location: West Sussex UK
I've never liked a solo violin, you need at least five for a proper fire.

Re: Epiphone V Gibson?

Postby C.LYDE » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:53 pm

Guitarman wrote: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... :smirk:
User avatar
Posts: 217
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2002 11:00 pm
Location: South Africa

Re: Epiphone V Gibson?

Postby 4TrackMadman » Mon Oct 31, 2011 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.
User avatar
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1096
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 12:00 am

Re: Epiphone V Gibson?

Postby Frisonic » Mon Oct 31, 2011 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.
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3287
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:00 am
Location: Refugee currently in transition.

Still strictly project but lately on the run.

Re: Epiphone V Gibson?

Postby Tony Raven » Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:45 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.
Tony Raven
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:00 am
resident troublemaker,

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests