Les Paul Tribute vs epiphones

Mmark

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Since this discussion was had several months ago, I am curious if anyone has had a change of heart re the EPI 59 LP vs the Gibson Tribute LP (w/ weight relief)... one way or another?

I ask because I have purchased both the last available EPI 59 in Toronto (seems that way at least) as well as a the Gibson Tribute and am trying to decide which one to keep. I have been playing around for the past several days... and a couple of observations:

1] While the neck and body of the Tribute are technically ever so slightly thinner than the 59 (along with the lower weight of the Gibson), I was surprised by how little difference it seems to make to playability. I have small hands amd while the Epi did feel a little but chunky, it ironically almost seemed more satisfying to play in some regards... perhaps the binding/thicker neck resonance?! I was hoping this aspect alone would have locked in a decision for me... but it hasn't as the difference seems negligible.

2] I am also hearing a noticeable difference between the tone both unplugged (unexpected) and plugged (as expected w/ BB vs 490 pups)... the EPI 59 just comes off as clearer, more balanced, fuller, and just more pleasing whereas the Gibson comes off not so balanced... and unplugged the Gibson feels darker and more dull sounding.

I have small hands and I "should" probably keep the Gibson and return the Epi... but unlike the OP I am not noticing a meaningful difference in feel/playability/comfort between the two to justify opting for the Gibson over the Epi.

With about a year of these models being out in people's hands, has anyone had any second thoughts or changed their minds based on their experience so far?

Thank you!
 

g0ldr4k3

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MMM ...well I'd say keep'em both! they are different beasts! from what I like I would keep a tribute with BB....but....
59 is a wonderful guitar. If you don't mind the brand on the headstock I'd say keep her.
I don't like poly but as you can see...I have few epiphones that I really like (the aqua one with bb is one of my most pleasent to play of my collection), but generally I prefer Gibsons for the sensation I feel when I play with them.
Sometimes I find an epiphone that sings to me...or could sing with some mods. usually they have to be modded with pots pus and nut if in plastic...
in the alpine white 2004 I changed nut bridge stopbar electronics and pu....
in the aqua electronics and pus...
in the 339....nothing... for now... I have a pair of original pafs waiting but honestly the "inspired by gibson" line is a good cheaper version...

my 2 cents
 

AJK1

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I finally got around to posting a sample of my 2018 tribute gold top. I love this thing, over my epiphone because.... Gibson.

It feels great, sounds great, plays great... But I don't. This thing rocks.
Why do people leave the bloody sticker on the pickguard grrr
 

Pop1655

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The '59 is till working for me. I continue to be surprised how much I like this thing.
 

Mmark

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Thanks for your thoughts everyone! Yes I did actually think of keeping both several times :)

I'm in a similar position as the OP @Anthony8801 --> thru some technicalities, I got practically a new Gibson LP Tribute for a used guitar price... so the difference I'm looking at is just a couple of hundred US$. At the store, I thought the Gibson was gonna be an easy decision... but after a/b-ing them, I am quite pleasantly surprised by the Epiphone quality... the hype seems very real!

Anyways, I might just resort to flipping a coin in the end :)
 

Zylo

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Thanks for your thoughts everyone! Yes I did actually think of keeping both several times :)

I'm in a similar position as the OP @Anthony8801 --> thru some technicalities, I got practically a new Gibson LP Tribute for a used guitar price... so the difference I'm looking at is just a couple of hundred US$. At the store, I thought the Gibson was gonna be an easy decision... but after a/b-ing them, I am quite pleasantly surprised by the Epiphone quality... the hype seems very real!

Anyways, I might just resort to flipping a coin in the end :)
Ultimately I think your decision will come down to...

The headstock
 

g0ldr4k3

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well not every model of epi has this "A or B" decision to make....maybe slash collection, 59 and customs.... and usually a good compromise is the epi with a good pair of pickups from gibson/sd/whateveryoulike ...
it's not the headstock but it is the feeling I have when I play for sure.
 

Mmark

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Nice! @elephantrider From your Jan post, I presume you got this '59 after returning your original one? Other than the warmer tones you talked about, was there anything else that prompted you to go back and get the 59?
 

elephantrider

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yup, this is the replacement of the original order.

the 59 just tickles me. it's beefy. big neck. love the finish. it spits out crazy awesome noises when the pups are blended. my main attraction to the tribute is the plain top. nothing much else to write home about. it's a fantastic fiddle, but the 59 does it all... for me.
 

Mmark

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Thanks @elephantrider

So I returned the Epiphone 59 last week and kept the Tribute. I essentially whittled it down to one key difference: I was having a hard time wrapping my thumb over the neck past the 5th fret. Maybe this is silly of me but while I don't do a ton of thumb-over-neck chords playing at this time, I didn't want it to be a limiting factor down the road.

A week later, however, I am seriously missing those rounded tones and overall premium feel of the Epiphone. Argh... so now I find myself heading back to the store to try it one more time before it's gone!! Maybe I don't ever really NEED thumb-over-neck playing?! On to the next rabbit hole... what % of intermediate-advanced guitarists actually use thumb-over-neck chords? As a guitar hobbyist, should this really be a concern for me?
 

elephantrider

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I've been hobby playing for years and I've never
used my thumb. that's just me....
 

g0ldr4k3

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Already said....keep'em' both!! I'm thinking selling the black studio for the 59....
 

Mmark

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@g0ldr4k3... yes it is tempting... but the truth is that if I were to buy both, then I would be debating why I shouldn't just go all the way --> pay a bit more and get a 'real' Gibson LP Standard? I dont really wanna get into the 'collector' game (it never just ends at 2 guitars of course :)... but rather make the most of one great guitar.
 

g0ldr4k3

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Mmmm then imho I will think to a standard or a classic.....
 

rfrizz

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I think the clincher is the case, unless you can inspect & play the Gibson for more than just a minute or two, and it is hot brown sugar.

Where are you going to find a decent hard case for $50?

If this is the limited-edition from Sweetwater, it is a decent deal for the US$800 finishes. Even the US$850 finishes are not bad deals, if you really prefer the look.
Sweetwater Epi LE Lesters

I have an Epi 60s, and it is a good guitar. Plus, the general consensus is positive. I doubt that there is much difference between my Epi and these Sweetwaters.
 

Wrench66

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I think the clincher is the case, unless you can inspect & play the Gibson for more than just a minute or two, and it is hot brown sugar.

Where are you going to find a decent hard case for $50?

If this is the limited-edition from Sweetwater, it is a decent deal for the US$800 finishes. Even the US$850 finishes are not bad deals, if you really prefer the look.
Sweetwater Epi LE Lesters

I have an Epi 60s, and it is a good guitar. Plus, the general consensus is positive. I doubt that there is much difference between my Epi and these Sweetwaters.
My gold top tribute was only $1090 delivered to my door. Thats barely $200 more than the Epi. The choice would be abundantly clear to me.
 

Musha Ring

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Two of my biggest regrets in life are not completing my apprenticeship, and not buying a goldtop Tribute while I still had the chance.
 

emerald81

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Having both I prefer the real mahogany and maple from the tribute. Not hating epi, I like it but I doubt seriously that it has a piece of honduras mahogany or canadian/american maple. They used to replace with other asian species, chinese maple, natoh mahogany, lauan, asian rosewood (not indian) etc etc.
JUST imho.
 


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