Why are Epis considered so inferior? (NGD!)

Discussion in 'Other Epiphones' started by mbell75, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. hrfdez

    hrfdez Senior Member

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    I don't consider them inferior. Actually, they are currently manufacturing some really nice guitars that could go toe to toe with a USA Gibson. Of course, this is my opinion.

    The only Epiphone I own at this time is a Dove Pro acoustic and it is a pretty good acoustic/electric.
     
  2. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    One was applied by a US worker. The other was applied by an Asian worker. That's the only difference in the binding itself. They will be covered in different finishes.,

    Seems like your trying real hard to make the binding different, for some reason.
     
  3. Howard2k

    Howard2k Premium Member

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    No not at all. I just didn't understand the differences (or lack thereof). I only mentioned it as a passing thought in my post. They look / feel very different to me but it must just be the coating.
     
  4. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Yes, Nitro and Poly finishes feel very different. For some, that's enough to get one or the other (understandable). Greatest guitar in the world, won't 'feel' right if you don't like the finish for you..

    Me, I like a properly done satin Poly the best (best of all worlds). GLoss Nitro has it's 'issues' to me, but so does GLoss Poly.. I'd like to try a true satin Nitro (not just faded and similar).

    But, a gloss poly neck can be satin'ed up, very easily for uber playability.
     
  5. Mr Teeny

    Mr Teeny Senior Member

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    Even though most of my guitars are poly finished I still think it's hard to beat the feel of nitro and the way it ages over the plastic look and feel of poly, whether it's worth paying that extra is a whole new ball game altogether though.

    I don't think Epi's are considered so inferior but considering Gibson and Epiphone share the same parent company it shouldn't take a genius to see that a $2000 Gibson standard is going to be better quality than a $500 Epiphone standard, might not be $1500 better but will certainly better in most aspects.
     
  6. Howard2k

    Howard2k Premium Member

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    Thanks. Yeah I guess it must just be the finish. I have had other Epi guitars in the past. I had a LP Standard for a while and loved it. Then I accidentally removed the headstock with my wah pedal. I didn't pay much attention to the binding on that one so I don't really remember how it compares to the 339.

    Anyway - love the 339 and certainly not a brand snob. I'm actually not even a binding snob, believe it or not. When the Gibson is up for a re-fret the nibs are gonzo. Not that I dislike them, but I don't feel that add value either. I do like the look of the body binding though.
     
  7. Bristol Posse

    Bristol Posse Senior Member

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    Trying to be dispassionate. Certainly on something like a Casino which is only made by Epi then it cannot possibly considered inferior (or superior) as it is the only one

    On models where Epiphone is making budget versions of Gibson guitars. If the measure of a superior guitar is beautiful looking tone woods; one or two piece back; one piece neck, two piece, book matched super high grade maple top..

    Then If a company uses lower grade woods, multiple pieces glued together; doesn't consistently use maple caps and then covers everything up with a veneer to make it look nice, Is this an "inferior" guitar as compared with the bench mark of a "superior" guitar?

    If it truly doesn't matter or make any difference, why not just put a transparent amber finish over a 5 piece top, 8 piece back and 3 piece neck and sell the guitar as is without covering up what it's made of.
    If it doesn't really matter why not state the bodies are made of Luan "Mahogany" rather than being a little nebulous about materials in specification

    Unfortunately playability is only part of the equation in most peoples evaluation and whether the "right stuff" is used to make it is a big factor

    I gigged Epis for a couple of years with no problem at all and after some work they were fine guitars but they still weren't made of south american mahogany, they still didn't have maple caps etc and so by the measure of a "superior guitar" were not in that category.

    YMMV
    Matt
     
  8. paruwi

    paruwi Kraut-Rocker Super Mod Premium Member

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    The Casino is Epis version of the Gibson ES-330,
    and the ES-330 was prior to the Casino IIRC

    :wave:
     
  9. Trea

    Trea Senior Member

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    Of course there are differences, but really it's a matter of what you prefer. Personally I only own one Epiphone and it's a great guitar. I've owned lots of Gibsons and I still have a few of them. Guitars are so different from one to another that blanket statements don't really apply in my experience. I've played a lot of crappy Gibsons and a lot of crappy Epiphones. I do think that the current Epiphone offerings are better made than they were even a few years ago, based on the ones I have tried. The fretwork is better than it used to be and the pickups are much better. The weak point is still the electronics and hardware but those are easily remedied.
     
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  10. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    But that is ONLY if your personal definition of a 'superior' guitar is south american mahogany and maple caps (and btw, there are Epi models with full maple caps). THat, my friend is not a universal fact, but up to each individuals opinion.

    How do you feel about those Gibson all Mahagony Traditionals?

    Simple fact is price does not automatically mean quality or lack thereof. There are a LOT of factors that make the US made Gibsons have their particular price points, that have nothing to do with what went into the guitar as far as labor and materials.
     
  11. Herbie74

    Herbie74 Senior Member

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    I have a 1982 epiphone spirit which was part of the USA series. It is for all purposes a Gibson it was made in Kalamazoo with quality components and lacquer finish. Any USA made models are on par with Gibson in my experience. I personally like the feel of lacquer over poly which is why I don't own any other epiphones. But they are certainly good guitars.
     
  12. slapshot

    slapshot Senior Member

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    yep nothing wrong with them & similar brands as you know I have over 60 old japanese guitars from plywood copies to replicas but making the comparison of them between what they used in the 60s to now is on the ridiculous side isn't it completely different animals.
     
  13. edselman

    edselman Senior Member

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    I have owned a MIC Casino for about three years. I also own a Gibson LP Traditional. The Casino is made better. The Casino's construction is flawless. I hold it every few days and have gone over every inch with a fine toothed comb and construction is perfect. I can't say that regarding the Gibson. I hate to tell you that the Gibson was rough when I got it and I should have sent it back. Also, the Casino's action is spot on. It stays in tune and plays like butter.
     
  14. scramopolis

    scramopolis Junior Member

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    Gonna have to agree with slapshot, the electronics used in US Gibsons are vastly superior to stock imported Epi's. The other phenomenon I have seen is poorer craftsmanship on the inside (ie bracing, etc). I have 3 Epi's myself and love them all, but the best move theyve done with Epi's are using USA pick ups in the 50th Anniversary editions
     
  15. dspelman

    dspelman Senior Member

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    There's absolutely nothing "more assembly line made" about Epiphones. This is some elven myth. The same tasks are required to produce any guitar. Their components aren't particularly inferior, either. In any case, it doesn't take much to bring most of the spec up to US-made standards and beyond.

    There is, however, a corporate culture at Gibson that involves a "win" over Epiphone (which was once intense competition for Gibson and actually produced some guitars that were decidedly superior to Gibsons. Look up the Epiphone Emperor (1939 or so) versus the Gibson Super 400 (the acoustic non-electric versions). The corporate culture is to keep Epiphone very much a secondary brand to Gibsons, and there's been a conscious effort by Gibson to prevent high-quality Epiphones from being favorably compared (as have the Japanese and Korean-made Epis at times in the past) to their Gibson counterparts.
     
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  16. dspelman

    dspelman Senior Member

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    FWIW, Ansel Adams and I played piano together after one of his lectures some years back at UCLA's Royce Hall. He was well on his way to becoming a concert pianist before he switched to photography when arthritis got in the way. He was actually a helluva musician -- I dunno if he ever played guitar.
     
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  17. Howard2k

    Howard2k Premium Member

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    That's awesome!
     

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