The "Better-Than-Gibson" Epiphone Les Paul for $1000 Project

scud133

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The "Better-Than-Gibson" Epiphone Les Paul for $1000 Project

After modding some pedals and getting pretty confident with a soldering iron, my GAS bug has kind of morphed into Gear Modding Syndrome (GMS). So my first big project is to get an Epi LP and upgrade it to the point that it's equal to, or better than, a Gibby.

Here's the plan:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus w/HSC -- $628
BG P.U.F. pickups and vintage wiring -- $140
Gotoh bridge and aluminum tailpiece -- $77
Gotoh Delta 510 tuners -- $99
Bone nut and full setup -- $65
Total: $1009

I'll post everything on here as it gets done, so you guys can see the progression. Clips coming later.

UPDATES:
 

scud133

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So I went to my local mom & pop to check out their guitars. They have a wall of about 30 Epi Les Pauls... I played each one that had a flame top, unplugged, and narrowed it down to three. From those three that had the best feeling neck and best acoustic sound, I then plugged them in and narrowed it down to one.

Here it is (totally stock):

epi01.jpg


epi02.jpg


epi03.jpg
 

Sinmastah

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It still won't be better then a Gibson in the long run. You still may have a 2-3 piece back, an alder cap, and a lot of other minor things that will produce tonal quality unplugged. With it plugged in you can make it sound better than a stock Gibson, but all they have to do is upgrade pickups to make it sound better. Not to mention Gibson is American made, so better quality right off the bat. Cool project though, good luck.
 

scud133

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It still won't be better then a Gibson in the long run. You still may have a 2-3 piece back, an alder cap, and a lot of other minor things that will produce tonal quality unplugged. With it plugged in you can make it sound better than a stock Gibson, but all they have to do is upgrade pickups to make it sound better. Not to mention Gibson is American made, so better quality right off the bat. Cool project though, good luck.

At this point I agree with you, but it's more fun being optimistic. I won't be passing my own judgment until before/after clips are ready.
 

IndianScout

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It still won't be better then a Gibson in the long run. You still may have a 2-3 piece back, an alder cap, and a lot of other minor things that will produce tonal quality unplugged. With it plugged in you can make it sound better than a stock Gibson, but all they have to do is upgrade pickups to make it sound better. Not to mention Gibson is American made, so better quality right off the bat. Cool project though, good luck.


I personally think with a global economy the days of saying "made in america" is better are long gone..
 

scud133

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I personally think with a global economy the days of saying "made in america" is better are long gone..

Well he's right, as far as Gibson v. Epiphone goes. The American plants have much better (at the very least, much more consistent) quality control --- finishing and fretwork and whatnot are all going to be consistently better than a Chinese plant.
 

Gunner

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This is going to be an interesting thread. I just started to get the "bug" about modding. I'm all eyes and ears on this one. Nice looking top as well.
 

alexvdl

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For $1000 i'd buy a MIJ les paul like a Tokai or Orville.
 

Skynyrdpicker

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Sounds cool! Keep us posted!

PS: Somebody mentioned Alder cap! Seriously?!
 

alexvdl

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Not to mention Gibson is American made, so better quality right off the bat.

Why is it always that Americans think that "made in USA" is better?? :rolleyes:

I've had Japanese guitars that would kick most of USA guitar's ass :fingersx:

In this case I have to agree with you, cause I really dislike most Epiphones (except for Epiphone Japan and Elitist). USA made mostly means better quality woods and hardware. But as for finish and setup... I really don't know. I've played some Epi's which felt better than a stock Gibson right out of the factory.

It's just a matter of luck, but you have better chances with a Gibson than an Epiphone.

If you buy an Epiphone because a Gibson is too expensive, try looking for a 2nd hand Tokai, Greco, Burny, Orville etc guitar. IMO way better quality.
 

inxs996

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I personally think with a global economy the days of saying "made in america" is better are long gone..

Those days of "Made In America" is better are long gone...its almost laughable to think that the quality control is better at a U.S. company...just look at the recalls of American autos...please...
 

MrWrong

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Good luck with your project, should be interesting.
 

inxs996

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It still won't be better then a Gibson in the long run. You still may have a 2-3 piece back, an alder cap, and a lot of other minor things that will produce tonal quality unplugged. With it plugged in you can make it sound better than a stock Gibson, but all they have to do is upgrade pickups to make it sound better. Not to mention Gibson is American made, so better quality right off the bat. Cool project though, good luck.

That is your opinion that it won't be better than a Gibson...and you know what they say about opinions...

Big deal that Gibson is American made, i guarantee that your camera isn't American made, or your TV...Only thing that i have that is American made is my Dodge Ram, and most parts of that are made in Mexico, so lets not get hung up on this American made crap, so sick of hearing it..

Do you really think that Gibson would allow the Chinese to build its Epiphone guitars if they were doing shitty job of it...in the end it would ultimately make Gibson look bad, remember shit also rolls up hill...

And how many of sit around and play our ELECTRIC guitar unplugged, that why they make amps....:D:D:D
 

inxs996

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At this point I agree with you, but it's more fun being optimistic. I won't be passing my own judgment until before/after clips are ready.

Don't agree with him, its your guitar and project, in the end you will make the decision as too its sound, there is too many people on this site, trying to push their beliefs on others...
 

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