Epiphone Rebranding: Bye-Bye to "Entry Level" Guitars

rifflearner

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I think there is a lot more to the Epiphone story this year than just new headstocks and lining up the product with Gibson.

I think Epiphone is trying to move away from "beginner guitar" and "entry level guitar" to simply "Gibson's imported brand". Subtle difference, but consider this:

If you look on the Epiphone website, the cheapest Les Paul they now sell is the Les Paul Junior for $379. Gone from the lineup are the Les Paul SL ($119), the LP Special I ($129), Les Paul Express ($149), LP Special II ($199).

I think this move to make Epiphone into more of a "PRS SE" style brand as opposed to a entry-level ultra cheapo brand is going to pay long-term dividends.
 

needlespauls

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Good observation!!
Perhaps they will ratchet up entry’s in the Maestro line instead.
 

JayPDizzle

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Harley Benton seem to be taking up quite a bit of space in that entry level zone. I'm tempted by their Goldtop P90 LP
 

lpfan1980

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Curious/ would those be models priced under $345 to $500 or so?
 

Gary

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You can get a nice new Epiphone LP for $500. I have a 1990 Guitar Center catalog showing new Gibson Les Paul Studios for $499. :confused:
 

CB91710

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Harley Benton seem to be taking up quite a bit of space in that entry level zone. I'm tempted by their Goldtop P90 LP
I have one.
It's not bad.
It's also not great.
Cosmetically, the binding is not cleanly scraped, there's an unfinished "dot" next to the bridge post where it looks like the masking tape to keep paint out of the post hole was not applied correctly, and there's a small "divot" in the rosewood (or whatever it is) above the last fret... my finger will never be there so it's NBD, but it is a cosmetic issue.
The body carve is noticeably not "smooth"... either that, or it's the way the metalflake paint settled in as it cured. One of my tuners is very tight... but that can happen with any of them.
It also has a longer scale length... I don't remember if it's the Fender 25.5 or the PRS 25", but it's longer than the Gibson scale, so string tension will be higher... you may want to drop a gauge if you are used to Gibson/Epiphone.

I mean, overall, it is a very playable guitar, and the fret ends are dressed with no sprout... it doesn't hurt to play it.

But if you own one or more Gibson or Epiphone Les Pauls, it will likely take a back seat.

HB_Body.jpg

HB_Binding-1.jpg
HB_Binding-2.jpg
HB_Bridge_Finish.jpg
HB_Fingerboard.jpg
HBNeck.jpg
 

irocdave12

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My feelings are that now Epiphone has stepped up their game and offer affordable versions of all the popular Gibson particularly with things like ebony boards and all the right parts in right places I can’t see how that helps to sell more Gibson guitars especially with poor QC reputation they are trying to get out from under. Seems like a good way to steer people towards Epiphone and not Gibson now. I don’t think one year was long enough to convince the public that “hey we make a guaranteed much nicer quality version of the Epiphone for 2k more” and have people be able to trust it yet. I love the changes but I don’t see how it benefits the parent company other than to help it probably sell less of it’s models. I don’t think people are going to rush to spend significantly more just to have the Gibson name on top. Also I really think the USA LP Studio really gets lost in the mix unless they find a way to have it stand out. It’s kind of a redundant model now IMO as much as I like them. I gotta wonder what the thinking behind all this is when there were thoughts when new owners took over, Epiphone might be spun off. Clearly that’s not the direction they are going. But making Epiphone so darn close to what Gibson is doing seems counterproductive in some ways too.
 
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irocdave12

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They do it for decades - why should they stop now ?
Ahh...because of all the improvements Epiphone just showed off past few days is why. Why would you pay an extra 2k for the Gibson Modern LP when you can have a Epi version with nearly the same features is just one example.
 

paruwi

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Why would you pay an extra 2k for the Gibson Modern LP when you can have a Epi version with nearly the same features is just one example.
Many (not me) will do it for the name on the headstock....
because:
OnlyaGibsonisgoodenough.jpg
 

irocdave12

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Many (not me) will do it for the name on the headstock....
because:
View attachment 434215
Lol yes of course there will still be the ones like me inclined to buy the Gibson but I’m thinkIng they just made it a much harder decision. Plenty of people have known in recent few years Epiphone quality has seen a boost and the ones made in Indonesia have been paticuarly good. And with a proper set up and fret dress they play as fine or better than some of my Gibsons. Tough pill to swallow sometimes for myself but its true
 

rifflearner

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My feelings are that now Epiphone has stepped up their game and offer affordable versions of all the popular Gibson particularly with things like ebony boards and all the right parts in right places I can’t see how that helps to sell more Gibson guitars.
It's really no different than PRS doing an SE line or Fender doing MIM Strats. The difference is that Fender and PRS never put their logo onto $149 guitars. Epiphone did this for years and cheapened the brand. Now, by only offering guitars in the $400-700 range, they compete as a quality brand instead of as a discount brand. I think it's going to enhance the reputation of Epiphones.
 

King Minimoose

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You can get a nice new Epiphone LP for $500. I have a 1990 Guitar Center catalog showing new Gibson Les Paul Studios for $499. :confused:
That's the equivalent to $970 in today's money...

My dad always tells me how he never paid more than $300 for his Les Pauls, Juniors, and Melody Makers in the 70s. That's inflation for you.
 


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