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Old 07-10-2010, 03:57 PM   #1
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Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

Hi everyone,

Just wondering what all the talk is about the older Korean Les Pauls are much better quality than the now present China made ones?

Am i missing something because visited a guitar store today, inspected about 6 China made Les Pauls, and in my opinion I think they are closer to the Gibson than before. a major difference to me is that every China made Epi seems much more consistant with the positioning of the volume and tone knobs, and they are in the correct position in relation to the tail bridge piece, much lower down than the Earlier Korean Les Pauls.

Of the Les Pauls I inspected, i couldn't find joins in the wood at the back, led me to believe that alot now are one piece. I just dont see any flaws or quality issue as far as looks go, perhaps it all in the elcetrics???

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Old 07-10-2010, 04:07 PM   #2
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

there were probably more flaws in the earlier chinese guitars simply because factory workers were learning their jobs when the factory first opened.
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:13 PM   #3
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

everyone always goes on saying how the old way was better when really the new stuff is probably much better
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:30 PM   #4
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

I personally think the chinese ones are finished better than the majority of Korean ones. However I still feel that the Korean ones were made better especially the earlier you go.
Epi Les Pauls were first brought out in 89. They were brought out as an affordable Les Paul so people would still buy a 'Gibson' product rather than another make. These early ones were exceptionally well made so that they could compete with other makes and still be high quality. Over the years the quality has dropped off as they have made shortcuts in places etc. The same thing happened with squier guitars. If you find an early one of them they are fantastic.
Not to say that all Chinese Epi's are bad some are absolute corkers lol. It's just there are more Korean corkers than chinese ones.
However the QuingDao factory is really starting to come into it's own. The custom shop is really starting to produce some nice guitars. The chinese ones are getting better. Mini rant type thing over haha.
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:41 PM   #5
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by MASSMARK View Post
Hi everyone,

Just wondering what all the talk is about the older Korean Les Pauls are much better quality than the now present China made ones?

Am i missing something because visited a guitar store today, inspected about 6 China made Les Pauls, and in my opinion I think they are closer to the Gibson than before. a major difference to me is that every China made Epi seems much more consistant with the positioning of the volume and tone knobs, and they are in the correct position in relation to the tail bridge piece, much lower down than the Earlier Korean Les Pauls.

Of the Les Pauls I inspected, i couldn't find joins in the wood at the back, led me to believe that alot now are one piece. I just dont see any flaws or quality issue as far as looks go, perhaps it all in the elcetrics???

I bet you are wrong !
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:42 PM   #6
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

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Originally Posted by SlashAppetite View Post
I personally think the chinese ones are finished better than the majority of Korean ones. However I still feel that the Korean ones were made better especially the earlier you go.
Epi Les Pauls were first brought out in 89. They were brought out as an affordable Les Paul so people would still buy a 'Gibson' product rather than another make. These early ones were exceptionally well made so that they could compete with other makes and still be high quality. Over the years the quality has dropped off as they have made shortcuts in places etc. The same thing happened with squier guitars. If you find an early one of them they are fantastic.
Not to say that all Chinese Epi's are bad some are absolute corkers lol. It's just there are more Korean corkers than chinese ones.
However the QuingDao factory is really starting to come into it's own. The custom shop is really starting to produce some nice guitars. The chinese ones are getting better. Mini rant type thing over haha.
There is no real "Custom Shop"
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:45 PM   #7
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

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There is no real "Custom Shop"
Granted but they do have the 'Custom Shop' production line in the QuingDao factory.
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:52 PM   #8
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

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Originally Posted by SlashAppetite View Post
Granted but they do have the 'Custom Shop' production line in the QuingDao factory.
They have the "sticker" - nothing more
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:53 PM   #9
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

And the Limited Edition models and the Custom Shop script on the back and the better build quality.
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:56 PM   #10
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

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Originally Posted by SlashAppetite View Post
And the Limited Edition models and the Custom Shop script on the back and the better build quality.
Just marketing.........
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:00 PM   #11
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

All right, that's your opinion, I have mine. I've had and played a lot of Epis and I can feel & tell the difference. But each to their own, I don't particularly want to start an argument.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:02 PM   #12
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

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Originally Posted by SlashAppetite View Post
All right, that's your opinion, I have mine. I've had and played a lot of Epis and I can feel & tell the difference. But each to their own, I don't particularly want to start an argument.
If you ever find that location where the Epiphone Custom Shop is,

tell us

maybe I'll believe it ,too
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:05 PM   #13
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

It's a specific 'line' they have setup in the QuingDao Factory, there you go.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:20 PM   #14
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

Paruwi is correct, that is hype 101 right there. Almost all companies engage in this type of thing. Girls don't give a toss what horrific body spray you use yet they market it that way. It Slash played a Turd, an actual turd, people would still buy a signature model turd.


If you like it and think it's exceptionally well made then good for you. I personally think any person can make a good product if they are the least bit interested in what they are doing. If you like your Chinese Epi then hooray for you, enjoy it. Don't be put off if your gleaming testimonial doesn't move the masses like you thought it would. I don't have any feelings at all regarding epis really, I've played a few... the one that stands out was a ZW custom. Man did it ever play like a 10 pound turd. On the other hand I picked up a Epi special that played really well also. Luck of the draw man. Just prey the guy working that day was in a good mood.


I also noticed the OP never came back after Appetite agreed with him.....
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:27 PM   #15
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

Well if you can't feel the difference in them then there's something wrong there, I'd even consider getting it checked out. Some guitars suck some are great just like you get 'dud' Gibsons. A lot of it is hype I'll agree with you there but you can feel the difference. I wasn't trying to sway the masses I was just giving my opinion. I actually don't own any chinese epis but I've played more than enough to be able to tell the difference between the 'Custom Shop' ones and the regular run ones.
Granted there may not be as big a difference as they claim but there definately is one.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:31 PM   #16
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by S_I_N_13 View Post
.....Just prey the guy working that day was in a good mood.
Surely you meant the multiple guys/gals, as these are assembly line guitars, not built by an individual.... the folks working when mine was built must've been in a pretty good mood - mine's a pretty good guitar......as it was meant to be - it's an Epi - pretty good guitars at a pretty good price points.
And, I don't prey
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:35 PM   #17
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

I'll give you that, but I still think they just add a few bits of finish work from the same line they do everything on. Quick question, how do you feel quality, is it the finish, weight....what is your definition of a quality feel?
I ask 1)because I have noticed that Chinese guitars outweigh Korean ones quite routinely and a very well built Parker fly weighs almost nothing.
and 2)because I think the shiny plastic look of poly is sexier than nitro. But in most cases the price for shiny is a million coats of finish.
ans also because most veneer tops do look very very nice, that's what they are supposed to do, look nice and hide the 7 piece top.



After all that however I am still a guitar slut and if it has strings I'll give it a try.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:36 PM   #18
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlashAppetite View Post
It's a specific 'line' they have setup in the QuingDao Factory, there you go.
How do you explain that some of them are actually made in Indonesia?

Is there another "Custom-Shop" at the Samick-plant ?

Marketing works great
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:36 PM   #19
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

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Originally Posted by MASSMARK View Post
Of the Les Pauls I inspected, i couldn't find joins in the wood at the back, led me to believe that alot now are one piece.
Yeah, that makes sense. Gibson starts to put more and more multi-piece back guitars out, while Epiphone turns to making expensive one piece backs.

Seriously, you should have checked the sides for seams. The backs are veneered.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:39 PM   #20
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

Quote:
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Surely you meant the multiple guys/gals, as these are assembly line guitars, not built by an individual.... the folks working when mine was built must've been in a pretty good mood - mine's a pretty good guitar......as it was meant to be - it's an Epi - pretty good guitars at a pretty good price points.
And, I don't prey
I say guy because they all look the same to me......




....jk



but I wonder, have you ever experienced a really nice instrument in your hands? I don't mean nice by your own personal standard, I mean F-ing nice, makes your amp sound better nice? I'm also pretty sure Epi was meant to be a way for Gibson to stop losing so much market share.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:40 PM   #21
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

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Originally Posted by -=[Shifty]=- View Post
Yeah, that makes sense. Gibson starts to put more and more multi-piece back guitars out, while Epiphone turns to making expensive one piece backs.

Seriously, you should have checked the sides for seams. The backs are veneered.
and have been for a while now.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:42 PM   #22
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

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Is there another "Custom-Shop" at the Samick-plant ?
No, they just had a few spare stamps and gave them to some OEM factories.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:46 PM   #23
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by -=[Shifty]=- View Post
No, they just had a few spare stamps and gave them to some OEM factories.
I know this, Shifty,

just asked the
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:47 PM   #24
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

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Originally Posted by S_I_N_13 View Post
I'll give you that, but I still think they just add a few bits of finish work from the same line they do everything on. Quick question, how do you feel quality, is it the finish, weight....what is your definition of a quality feel?
I ask 1)because I have noticed that Chinese guitars outweigh Korean ones quite routinely and a very well built Parker fly weighs almost nothing.
and 2)because I think the shiny plastic look of poly is sexier than nitro. But in most cases the price for shiny is a million coats of finish.
ans also because most veneer tops do look very very nice, that's what they are supposed to do, look nice and hide the 7 piece top.



After all that however I am still a guitar slut and if it has strings I'll give it a try.
My personal thing for a quality feel is how it plays. how it feels, how it sounds and the resonance of it. This is all when it is unplugged. Crummy electronics can be swapped out. I don't think the weight of a guitar has anything to do with the quality. You can have a quality light guitar like you said or a quality heavy guitar. You could go all technical about which woods they used and their certain weights but all woods differ. Two trees of the same species could be growing next to each other and one blank of the same dimensions could weigh twice as much, rare but it does happen.
A lot of the Custom Shop is 'extra finish' so to speak but they do use better quality if woods and a bit more time is taken over the building of the 'Custom Shop' ones and the QC is higher.
The veneer's do what they do. On the standard run lines you get the veneer covering the 7 piece top like you said but with the 'Custom Shop' ones you get a solid two or three piece top with a veneer. Also on the 'Custom Shop' ones, the bodies aren't made from as many pieces as the standard lines but there are some with many piece bodies.
I also prefer the shiny look. Yes it does take a lot of layers of finish but Gibson Les Paul Customs also have more layers of nitro than the standards etc & yes if it has strings I will play it as well haha.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:49 PM   #25
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

There is no such thing as the Epiphone Custom Shop.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:53 PM   #26
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

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Originally Posted by paruwi View Post
I know this, Shifty,

just asked the
What shifty said. They will be better than the normal run and from what I've expeienced are. However I was talking about the 'Cusom Shop' Models such as the Tribute or the 59 etc.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:58 PM   #27
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

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There is no such thing as the Epiphone Custom Shop.
I agree, there isn't a specific 'shop' but there is a 'line'.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:01 PM   #28
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

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What shifty said.
Except that I wasn't being sarcastic.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:01 PM   #29
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

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What shifty said. They will be better than the normal run and from what I've expeienced are. However I was talking about the 'Cusom Shop' Models such as the Tribute or the 59 etc.
I told you on post#6 that there's no real Custom Shop !

I'm really glad you now mention that you only speak about the Tribute and the 59

My Bad....



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Old 07-10-2010, 06:04 PM   #30
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Re: Why China made Epi's inferior to Korean ???

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I told you on post#6 that there's no real Custom Shop !

I'm really glad you now mention that you only speak about the Tribute and the 59

My Bad....



Are they Custom Shop models? Oh yeah they are. I can guarantee they aren't the standard line guitars.
I never claimed there was a seperate shop I said there was a different line in the factory. Simple really.
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