Chinese Tokai, Burny etc vs Epi Inspired By Gibson?

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What's everyone's thoughts on the Chinese versions from brands such as Burny, Tokai, Vintage etc now that the Inspired By Gibson Epiphones are established and doing well?

I'm still interested in a low to mid priced LP and for some reason these just appeal to me more than Epiphone IbG - they have a better looking headstock and all still seem to come with rosewood boards which looks nicer than laurel to me. Do the Epiphones have better quality hardware? Electronics I'm not too worried about as I don't love the Probuckers anyway and am a serial pickup swapper!

I would love a MIJ copy as my old one was incredible (and better than any Gibson I've played), but unfortunately they seem to be priced a bit too high now and don't seem like such a great deal compared to back when you could get a quality Edwards or similar for about £500. I don't care about the name on the headstock as my experience is "the big G" doesn't really mean much but I want the body and headstock shape to look "right" if that makes sense!
 

Eagle X

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I feel guilty for giving you this link. But seriously, if cost performance ratio matters quite much, I think a Chibson might be a better option than a real brand MIC model.
 
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Roxy13

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Are we talking about a new guitar only or used as well? There are still MIJs you can pick up in your price range. Might be cutting it a little close with shipping and import taxes, but they are out there.

The History ZLS/Cool Z line should get you a fine Fujigen made guitar in good shape in your price range.
 

frehley76

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I just received a 1980 Tokai LS50 from Japan, I paid less than a new Epiphone and the guitar is built much better. I would just look for a deal and take your time.
 

Grenville

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Yes, the headstock looks a lot better, but the body shape, particularly the cutaway horn on the IBG Epi's looks very off to me.
 

whatshisname

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My Chinese Love Rock feels almost indistinguishable from my main Les Paul, which is a 2011 Traditional. Yes it has a multi piece body, and yes the flame is a veneer, but blindfolded I'd be hard pressed to tell them apart. When my local luthier friend installed new pickups and electronics(the only real weak point IMO) in it, he told me that he was extremely impressed, and shocked that it wasn't Japanese. My newer Epiphones are good, but this blows them clear out of the water. I've said it before, and I'll say it again- Epiphone is damn lucky that these aren't more readily available stateside.
 
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What are the necks like on them? Just a typical medium C kind of thing? That's the big thing I haven't liked about a lot of the recent Epiphones, the flat back D profile with harder shoulders just feels weird.

The Chinese Tokai and Burny seem quite readily available in the UK so should.be able to get one used for a good price. Although it is tempting to sell my SG and spend the extra on a MIJ model.
 

whatshisname

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The neck is nowhere near the shape of the new Epiphones. I'd probably call it a medium C. I don't have the biggest hands, but I find it extremely comfortable.
 

moreles

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I like the suggestions to seek out a used older MIJ LP type. I am not an Epi fan. Those I have owned have been good, but no better than good. The IBG line does not appeal to me at all. The older MIJ stuff includes some duds of course, but there are indeed some really well-made instruments out there. FGN is making some fine LP types today, under their own label.
 
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I do really like FGN guitars, every one I've played has felt and sounded great. It's a shame they don't quite have the correct body shape but I may still look out for one. They look better without the pickguard! Coda music had the LP Standard type on sale for about £650 about a year or so ago, a bargain I should have jumped on!
 

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