Another noob with a question

3bolt79

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Hi everybody. I have been playing guitar since 1983. And in that time I‘ve only owned two Les Pauls...a1980 standard in tobacco burst , and a mid 2000’s Les Paul Custom. So 8 years on from selling my Custom, I had the opportunity to trade a rather worthless (to me)mkramer Pacer for a brand new, black Les Paul Studio. I picked the studio because it had my favorite set of buckers in it. That was just befor X-mas 2020.

Now I find myself wanting a Les Paul Jr. Can anybody tell me how then Gibson version compares to the Epiphone version? I really want to know about the necks. I prefer a thicker neck. But as I’m going to play it (yes there may be trips to the bars on open mic nights, if that is ever gonna be a thing again) Imwonder which one would be better. Trying in person doesn’t seem to be an option at this time. I won’t be able to get one for a couple of months. But I am wondering whether to get one, the other, or both.

I am on two sister sites at the moment. I will post some pics later after I figure out how to reduce the size of the files.
 

Kenshi

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Welcome to the forum from another newbie (but long-time lurker LOL). Much better hardware, wood and electronics on the USA Gibson than the Epiphone import. I know you're thinking about buying it to play, but eventually the Gibson will hold (and increase) its' value over time. If you buy the Epi, and end up adding the better parts to get it closer to a real Gibson, you'll likely spend almost as much in the end, and never get your money back, IMHO.
 

3bolt79

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Welcome to the forum from another newbie (but long-time lurker LOL). Much better hardware, wood and electronics on the USA Gibson than the Epiphone import. I know you're thinking about buying it to play, but eventually the Gibson will hold (and increase) its' value over time. If you buy the Epi, and end up adding the better parts to get it closer to a real Gibson, you'll likely spend almost as much in the end, and never get your money back, IMHO.
Yeah, the Epi version is like $379.00. I think I wiill get a Gibson version. Then, if I’m ever allowed in a bar again, without a mask, I just might get the Epi. You know the thing that can happen to a guitar when you take it to the bar. I wouldn’t take a 1500 dollar guitar to blues jam.
 

pillbug

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Hi there, in addition to what K said above, I think the Gibson is going to have a better fretboard and frets, generally speaking.
 

3bolt79

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Welcome to the forum from another newbie (but long-time lurker LOL). Much better hardware, wood and electronics on the USA Gibson than the Epiphone import. I know you're thinking about buying it to play, but eventually the Gibson will hold (and increase) its' value over time. If you buy the Epi, and end up adding the better parts to get it closer to a real Gibson, you'll likely spend almost as much in the end, and never get your money back, IMHO.
‘I had a chance to buy a real 58 junior. Mint condition except for 2 small chips in the lacquer. Was $7999. But It was just too much money at the time. All regional though. Case Queen.
 

3bolt79

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Well, revisiting my thread here. I actually wound up buying an Epiphone version of the Junior for $340.00 after discount. I figured I would see for myself. And you all were right. The wood used on the Gibson is much better, at least as far as the fretboard goes. The Indian Laurel fretboard just doesn’t look as nice. And it felt porous to the touch. It looked a lot better though, and felt smoother, after some light sanding with 1500 grit sand paper and oiling with F-1 oil. 1 point to Gibson.

The frets were finished smooth, but they weren’t level. So I did a level and crown, and polished the frets up through various grades of sandpaper to 2000 grit followed by Gorgamyte. Frets are smooth as glass now. To be fair I had to do this to my recently acquired Gibson LP studio, the polishing part. Not the leveling.

I had to lower the nut slots, but I usually have to with every guitar.

The Tuners are Kluson style and they seem to function well. These seem to be about the same quality as the ones on the Gibsons I have had in the past. So far the Gibson is ahead by 1 point.

I liked the bridge on the Epi better. On the Gibson, it’s just a crooked tailpiece. The Epi has the intonation built in to the tailpiece style bridge. Set the intonation for the low and high E strings, and the other strings were perfect when I strobed them. 1 point in favor of the Epi.

The pickup sounded great, and I could find no defect with the electronics. And the neck is to die for. It’s huge. It’s an inch thick at the first fret and gets bigger as you go up. About an inch and a quarter at the 12th.

I think this guitar is the best guitar for so little money that I’ve bought in the last few years. It doesn’t feel cheap like most guitars in this price range. I am sure that the fret work would be better from the factory on the Gibson though. I usually have to do a little work on every guitar I buy, and this one didn’t require anything out of they ordinary. One thing I don’t understand is how Epiphone can use real ebony on their Customs, but they use this cheap, unattractive Laurel on the juniors and specials and 50’s and 60’s standards.
 


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