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Old 12-05-2009, 09:04 PM   #1
Talisker
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Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Folks,

My first (and maybe last - but don't stop reading yet) Epiphone Les Paul was the new 1959 edition. Got it from Sweetwater a few weeks ago. Cherryburst.

Anyway, I photographed it next to my friend's Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary '59 reissue and posted the images to Flickr (14 crappy but somewhat edifying images, including one of the truss rod cover, which had earlier sparked some questions in this forum):

"1959" Les Paul Guitars: Gibson and Epiphone Models 2009 - a set on Flickr

I also posted some more detailed thoughts and comparisons to other guitars on my blog here:

Review: Epiphone Limited Edition 1959 Les Paul Electric Guitar | Ethan Prater

In short:
  • The necks are barely comparable - Gibson thicker and rounder (which I prefer). Though the Epi '59 LP neck is still more robust than my Epi Dot or my Gibson LP Classic Custom.
  • Distinct difference in sound from even a "regular" Gibson Les Paul, much less the '59 reissue.
  • Very nicely put-together cosmetically. No flaws to be found.
  • The Epiphone might be worth $800 or even $900, but highly dependent on what you're looking for.
As you'll read, I'm likely to return mine. But it's in no way a total dud.

-Ethan


Last edited by Talisker; 12-06-2009 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:11 PM   #2
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Actually the necks are different on almost all the real 59's and R9's I have ever touched, so the "spec" is a composite measurement of several different guitars.

Epi necks always seem a little thinner than what they advertise them to be.

I like the baseball bat necks so it takes me a lot to find a guitar that I truly like.
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:51 AM   #3
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Many thanks for the useful review. Glad to see the neck is fatter than the Epi 335 even if it is not quite as good as the R9.

As I've incessantly asked elsewhere: are the frets Gibson size or Epiphone size?

Gibson claims the frets are R9-size even though the fretwire is made in China.

By the way, the Iced Tea seems to be the same rim burst as the Cherry, unlike the teardrop burst pix at epiphone.com.

Thanks
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:57 AM   #4
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeydusky View Post
Many thanks for the useful review. Glad to see the neck is fatter than the Epi 335 even if it is not quite as good as the R9.

As I've incessantly asked elsewhere: are the frets Gibson size or Epiphone size?

Gibson claims the frets are R9-size even though the fretwire is made in China.

By the way, the Iced Tea seems to be the same rim burst as the Cherry, unlike the teardrop burst pix at epiphone.com.

Thanks
Yes, I've read (here, I think) that the Iced Tea is rim/perimeter burst, but haven't seen one myself in real life - only the teardrop stock photos on all of the retailer web sites.

Is there an easy way for me to compare/measure fret size? I'm not familiar enough with them offhand to say (though I've got a Gibson LP Studio and Gibson LP Classic Custom here at home, along with an Epiphone Dot - any of those worth comparing?). Happy to report on that if I can.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:47 PM   #5
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talisker View Post
Yes, I've read (here, I think) that the Iced Tea is rim/perimeter burst, but haven't seen one myself in real life - only the teardrop stock photos on all of the retailer web sites.

Is there an easy way for me to compare/measure fret size? I'm not familiar enough with them offhand to say (though I've got a Gibson LP Studio and Gibson LP Classic Custom here at home, along with an Epiphone Dot - any of those worth comparing?). Happy to report on that if I can.
Many thanks for the follow up. I am mostly concerned with the fret height. The Epi frets will be much shorter.

With Gibson medium jumbo frets, it takes a lot of effort to press the string all the way to the fretboard. String bends are easy. With Epi medium jumbo frets, it is easy to press the string to the fretboard.

Sweetwater.com has "more real" pictures of both colors of the Epi '59. Wildwoodguitars occasionally shows actual pictures of guitars of either color. Both of these sites have had Ice Tea rimbursts.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:49 PM   #6
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeydusky View Post
Many thanks for the follow up. I am mostly concerned with the fret height. The Epi frets will be much shorter.

With Gibson medium jumbo frets, it takes a lot of effort to press the string all the way to the fretboard. String bends are easy. With Epi medium jumbo frets, it is easy to press the string to the fretboard.

Sweetwater.com has "more real" pictures of both colors of the Epi '59. Wildwoodguitars occasionally shows actual pictures of guitars of either color. Both of these sites have had Ice Tea rimbursts.
Yes it is in rimburst, I played one in person the other day. The Iced T burst looks more like a rimburst honeyburst in person, or atleast the one I played did. When I played it the neck and fret reminded me more of the Gibson/Elitist I had played earlier and not like the Epi standard
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:54 PM   #7
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

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Old 12-06-2009, 11:48 PM   #8
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogi View Post
Yes it is in rimburst....
I found a teardrop ice tea...

Ishibashi Music Store Used Musical InstU-BOX

search "59 epiphone"
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:55 PM   #9
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeydusky View Post
Many thanks for the useful review. Glad to see the neck is fatter than the Epi 335 even if it is not quite as good as the R9.

As I've incessantly asked elsewhere: are the frets Gibson size or Epiphone size?

Gibson claims the frets are R9-size even though the fretwire is made in China.

By the way, the Iced Tea seems to be the same rim burst as the Cherry, unlike the teardrop burst pix at epiphone.com.

Thanks
Fat = good? Or good = fat?

"R9-sized" fret wire could be made on Mars. What difference does it make it being made in China?

Why are you being incessant?
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:30 AM   #10
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post
Fat = good? Or good = fat?

"R9-sized" fret wire could be made on Mars. What difference does it make it being made in China?

Why are you being incessant?
''


I'm looking for a guitar with an early 50s rounded neck and real jumbo frets. I'm willing to work with a lot of the "other stuff" because this will be a knockaround guitar. The Epi '59 seems to fit my requirements with a lot of bonuses, but I'm trying to evaluate the truth of the advertising (including emails from Gibson).

If the R9-size fret wire came from Tennessee, then it more likely would match the Gibson medium jumbo specs. Since it is made in China, it presumably suffers from the other QC issues players note about Epis in general.

As to the last question, I had some of the stuff sprayed on me in the mall. Incessance by Giorgio or something like that.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:54 AM   #11
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Incessant: "Without pause or stop; not ending, especially to the point of annoyance"
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:28 AM   #12
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue



You know...there's 2 "special models" Epi is offering.....the '59 and the Tribute. I still say the Tribute is a better deal by a mile.

Still though....nice guitar. Thanks for the pics, OP.
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:32 PM   #13
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

That rimburst just pisses me off. And I don't get pissed of easily.

I wonder why they finished 'em like that.

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Old 12-07-2009, 03:59 PM   #14
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob9 View Post
I found a teardrop ice tea...

Ishibashi Music Store Used Musical InstU-BOX

search "59 epiphone"
Thats not the Same 59 that is available in the US. That Model has been available from Ishibashi for a while now, even their Cherry burst is teardrop.It is the same specs as the current 59 but was made as a limited run for Ishibashis anniversary.The current production 59s are all rimburst
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Old 12-07-2009, 04:06 PM   #15
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Does that case in the OP's photos come with the Epi 59?
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Old 12-07-2009, 04:10 PM   #16
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Quote:
Originally Posted by lp_junkie View Post
I like the baseball bat necks so it takes me a lot to find a guitar that I truly like.
Hijack: can you recommend some lower-price guitars with fat necks? I have an Epi LP which has a relatively large neck for an Epi, but nothing like my Tele or a typical R8/R7. I'm always looking at R7s or ES335 Fat Necks as the best option for a humbuckered axe with a fat neck. Any other ideas?
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:12 PM   #17
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christmas View Post
Does that case in the OP's photos come with the Epi 59?
Yes
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:00 PM   #18
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Wink Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Hi Folks
Although I was very sceptic about Epiphone I ordered a Epi 1959 les paul and I m really not disappopinted!!!! I own 3 Epi Les pauls , a Standard a Black Beauty and a Goldtop.
just got the new Epi 1959 Les paul in Faded Iced Tea, it looks very nice although a kind of rimburst, but the Finish is very nice, it sounds verư good, a natural warm woody bluesrock sound, the burstbucker 3 does a good job! I like this guitar very much and it looks much better than my Epi Les Paul Standard plus heritage cherry and it sounds awful good, compared to a " normal " Epiphone, its really not the same as the normal standard runs, the mahagony body looks nice and its shaped perfect, binding and pickup rames are in a nice vintage creme colour, of course this is not a Gibson 59 Reissue, but a very good sounding and looking guitar, I don,t like the faded cherry burst it looks a kind of cheap imo, I think the Iced Tea is nice, its between honeyburst and iced tea, brown not red and it has nice small flames! The laquer and optic is perfect, only the Bridge Volume pot was going hard , it was placed to near to the surface , but all other things were nice! Medium neck, medium frets, a really nice vintage sound I think because of busrtbuckers...! I was very scepic , but astonished how nice the guitar sounded, on all pickups, very warm and crunchy, but no high output!
I compared the sound to my very nice sounding Gibson Les paul Standard, it still sounds good in comparison , much better than a normal Epi!!!
Whats your Opinion about the Iced Tea????? let me know !!!
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:09 PM   #19
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Well hell its gorgeous man!!! They sure do come loaded.
Funny, its named the "1959 Standard", but its actually modeled more like a Gibson "new" Standard with the "rimburst".
Thats really the biggest problem I have with em'. Otherwise, what a guitar!
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Old 12-25-2009, 04:03 PM   #20
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Here some more pics of my second Epi 1959 les Paul faded Iced Tea, i gave back the first one because of the " sick" bridge Volume pot and got another knew one , which looks nicer and has nicer Flames on the top... see here....................
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Old 12-25-2009, 06:01 PM   #21
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Quote:
Originally Posted by LightBurst View Post
Here some more pics of my second Epi 1959 les Paul faded Iced Tea, i gave back the first one because of the " sick" bridge Volume pot and got another knew one , which looks nicer and has nicer Flames on the top... see here....................
Love the darker burst on this one.
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Old 12-25-2009, 07:48 PM   #22
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Thanks man, I also love this one more, its a very nice dark faded Iced Tea Honey Tobacco rimburst, something all between, but very nice..........., the sound is also awsome, really crunchy bluesy , done by the Burstbucker 3 and 2.....I like Bonamasssa Goldtop also, fantastic sound, must be a fantastic Guitar....!
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:50 AM   #23
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

my pics!
http://
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:54 AM   #24
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcooper830 View Post
That rimburst just pisses me off....
Guys around here get p-ssed off easily.

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Old 01-06-2010, 03:29 PM   #25
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Man, those '59's are beautiful guys!

I just ordered another Tribute. Got the black with the 60's neck. Took advantage of MF's used gear sale and picked it up for $597 shipped....
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:56 PM   #26
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

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Man, those '59's are beautiful guys!

I just ordered another Tribute. Got the black with the 60's neck. Took advantage of MF's used gear sale and picked it up for $597 shipped....
great deal man!
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:54 PM   #27
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Smile Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Hey @Ken374
your faded cherry really looks nice, is it really faded or ist it a real red one with a small rimburst?? looks very nice..! How is your guitar sounding ? Are you happy with the sound?? Did you try to rise the pickups, adjust pickup height towards the strings , specially the bridge pickup?? I really like the Burstbucker 3 on the bridge, very nice heavy PAF sound !!! Is your bridge vol pot sick??
greetings
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:08 PM   #28
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Quote:
Originally Posted by LightBurst View Post
Hey @Ken374
your faded cherry really looks nice, is it really faded or ist it a real red one with a small rimburst?? looks very nice..! How is your guitar sounding ? Are you happy with the sound?? Did you try to rise the pickups, adjust pickup height towards the strings , specially the bridge pickup?? I really like the Burstbucker 3 on the bridge, very nice heavy PAF sound !!! Is your bridge vol pot sick??
greetings
well when you look at it at an angle it does look faded at the red but strait on it looks darker. Yeah i like the sound, sounds awesome on my marshall i did adjust the bridge pup some and brought the pole pieces up some little more on the 4th and 5th string. On the burstbuckers I say it a must to adjust the poles up some. Pots seem ok so far, only gripe the bridge pup hums kinda loud, not grounded too well i think. I like yours very much also, never seen one up close yet.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:13 PM   #29
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Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Quote:
Originally Posted by LightBurst View Post
Hey @Ken374
your faded cherry really looks nice, is it really faded or ist it a real red one with a small rimburst?? looks very nice..! How is your guitar sounding ? Are you happy with the sound?? Did you try to rise the pickups, adjust pickup height towards the strings , specially the bridge pickup?? I really like the Burstbucker 3 on the bridge, very nice heavy PAF sound !!! Is your bridge vol pot sick??
greetings
sounds close to your gibby huh?
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:35 AM   #30
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Thumbs up Re: Epiphone "1959" Les Paul next to the Gibson 2009 50th Anniversary Reissue

Quote:
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sounds close to your gibby huh?
Hu Yeah.... sounds really Gibson like , in Comparison to my Gibson Les Paul Standard 2002 a more middy metallic sound, a good sound to play Heartbreaker from Zeppelin using my VOX ADVT30 Plexi Channel!
The sound of the Epi 1959 reminds a vintage burstbucker sound, midrange, not really heavy!!!!
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