Bjorn Gelotte, Custom Pro - How's the quality??

d-shep

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Haven't owned or played an Epiphone in ages. I know the Chinese quality has been all over the place, but I understand they're better than ever - TRUE??

I'm interested in a beater - Looking at the Bjorn Gelotte, or LP Custom Pro. How's the quality?? I've read MANY cases where the Bjorn has had some broken necks upon receipt - what's up with that???
 

07rogersg

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Yes Chinese made Epis are of great quality for their price, the custom pro seems to make more sense given the price. No idea about the broken necks probably bad handling.
 

KAS1981

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I bought a Bjorn custom. The nut fit was wonky and it had hairline cracks in the neck at the nut. I returned it and didn't take a chance on another. Bummer, it was a beauty otherwise and sounded huge. Maybe buying from Sweetwater would be OK since they inspect them?

The Matt Heafy customs are made in Indonesia. I'm tempted to pick one of those up.
 

d-shep

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I bought a Bjorn custom. The nut fit was wonky and it had hairline cracks in the neck at the nut. I returned it and didn't take a chance on another. Bummer, it was a beauty otherwise and sounded huge.
That SUCKS!
 

07rogersg

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I bought a Bjorn custom. The nut fit was wonky and it had hairline cracks in the neck at the nut. I returned it and didn't take a chance on another. Bummer, it was a beauty otherwise and sounded huge. Maybe buying from Sweetwater would be OK since they inspect them?

The Matt Heafy customs are made in Indonesia. I'm tempted to pick one of those up.
For what it's worth I've had much worse experience with Indonesian made Epis than Chinese.
 

I Break Things

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I have a 2015 Epi LPC, and it's great. Very stable, nice neck, pickups sound good. My only complaint is how much I've worn the frets down. I'm not sure if that's due to the strings, a weaker fret material, or how much I've played it.
 

07rogersg

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I have a 2015 Epi LPC, and it's great. Very stable, nice neck, pickups sound good. My only complaint is how much I've worn the frets down. I'm not sure if that's due to the strings, a weaker fret material, or how much I've played it.
Depends what you're comparing it to, strings and playing style are a major factor but they do indeed use softer fret wire than the older Korean Epis.
 

fumblefinger

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I had a Bjorn in for repair that had a fretboard separation in shipping. Once that was repaired, I think it was the best Epi I've had in the shop next to my 1960 Standard LE.
 

fumblefinger

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Yes, IMO this can happen with all guitars with this neck/headstock construction
it has NOTHING to do with the Epi Gelotte model
Absolutely! I've repaired headstock breaks on everything from the limited editions like the Gellotte and Bonamassa to the Tribute Plus and down to the good ole Standards. It seems Epi just can't figure out how to pack and ship their product.

Maybe buying from Sweetwater would be OK since they inspect them?
Sweetwater disposes of their headstock breaks through the ebay store jeffsmusicgear (http://stores.ebay.com/jeffsmusicgear?_rdc=1). Which, if you have the skill/interest in repairing a headstock or a separated fretboard, is a good place to catch a deal.
 

Takeaway

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I have one and I love it. It shares the racks with a true historic Nicky, an aged Knopfler, a Murphy R9 and a couple of Gibson LPCs to name a few, so it needs to be good to earn it's place, and it genuinely does.

The nut isn't great, and the frets needed a dress (usual stuff) but it's nothing a decent tech can't sort out. The fact is, it's the cheapest way to get a LPC with a proper ebony board that I could find (the Heafey has one too, but I preferred the Gelotte as it seems the more 'traditional' LPC). The Chinese make some great guitars, and not just for the money. The Chinese Epi's i've played recently have been streets ahead of my old Korean ones.
 




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