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

golfnbro

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Couple of comments on the thread...

Most experienced guitarists will swear by so called "primary tone", that is the acoustics, sustain, and resonance of a guitar "system" consisting of the woods used, mechanical parts, etc. played when not plugged in. It all starts there. So select tone woods matter, as does quality componentry. Some of this also comes down to a mixture of quality workmanship during construction, tightness of fit, etc.

Then there's the electric signal chain from the pickup all the way to the cable output on top and beyond the primary tone.

I'm skeptical myself that one can turn an ugly duckling into a swan, but one might be able to groom the feathers somewhat.

Now, if you really want to get the feeling that this is all a case by case thing, guitar by guitar, read this article:

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/gibson-les-pauls/17286-great-lp-article.html

Thanks for the "heads up:" article. What an eye-opener!:shock:

And much success on the project scud133.
 

scud133

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a lot of people have been asking.... the setup was done by Ron Pace in Houston.

Pickups will be here in ~10 days, then the rock will commence!
 

scud133

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the more i keep playing this guitar the more i'm digging the way it sounds (as is).

i'm starting to get worried now, thinking what if the pickups i got actually sound worse??

arrrgh the wait is killing me
 

scud133

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Where are the pics of the voodoo nut?

it's still the same nut... it *looks* the same to me

do yall really want photos? i don't think you'll be able to tell much, i can't see any difference...
 

LPBluesman

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Hey Alot of people hold firm that a Gibson is better than an Epiphone, but sometimes I think they wanna justify spending the extra cash cause they want one.



You make a good point about the extra cass. Say He does his mods and comes up with a bitchin les paul. and its better than his favorite gibson, because his favorite is all that matters in this case, then great. but even if it comes close to his favorite gibson sound, then will the little bit (like wood) that seperates them be worth the extra 2 grand +? IMO I dont think so. love my EPI. and you will never forget something that you fix up yourself. i have a 1965 chevy, that i have already given to my son and i will never forget the hours i spent that ol boy. and for the reccord, it comes from a time when "made in America" Went a long ways (43 yrs on the road and still running the same 283) some things just arent worth changing. Put your heart into it and show gibson up.:thumb:
 

Dave67

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the more i keep playing this guitar the more i'm digging the way it sounds (as is).

i'm starting to get worried now, thinking what if the pickups i got actually sound worse??

arrrgh the wait is killing me

Don't worry, IMO, most pickups sound better than the stock ones. There might only be small changes to your sound, though. A lot will depend on the amp you run.
 

LPJones

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...and I am quite sure that there is some kind of Union at the Gibson factory, before you think i am not, i am pro union, was in a union for nearly 30 years, but it does cause problems , in that people believe that their jobs are totally secure and don't fear retribution for poor workmanship...

You're absolutely right, Unions are great for the workers, and for "Service Type" jobs don't have a significant impact on the bottom line, but in Manufacturing I think the Unions are so skilled at getting their members good wages and benefits that companies have to cut spending on other things (ie: quality of materials) that, and as you stated, there is no "accountability" for poor performance/workmanship.
 

ZoomZilla

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Yes, I would like to see the nut to determine if they filed it down any or what this so called voodoo is.
 

inxs996

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You're absolutely right, Unions are great for the workers, and for "Service Type" jobs don't have a significant impact on the bottom line, but in Manufacturing I think the Unions are so skilled at getting their members good wages and benefits that companies have to cut spending on other things (ie: quality of materials) that, and as you stated, there is no "accountability" for poor performance/workmanship.

I am glad you agree with me, was out there for a while alone, with this view...

I was a little afraid to put what i believed was the problem, i thought i might get a lot of people hating me, just had to be honest with my beliefs...

I honestly think you put it better...:thumb:
 

ZoomZilla

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I see you have your ZW guitar!!! Good for you. And to top it off, you took of the guitars sitting on the place "Where the Magic Happens!!!"
 

inxs996

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I see you have your ZW guitar!!! Good for you. And to top it off, you took of the guitars sitting on the place "Where the Magic Happens!!!"

Well i am gonna have to really try, i have the bill to pay for the guitar..:naughty:
 

jessej

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These are 335's but you may wanna hear this anyway found it the other day: YouTube - Gibson 335 vs. Epiphone DOT

I could care less where or by what nationality the guy who made my guitar is from. I could care less what flag they hang outside the house they paint the guitars. I could care less if I have 2mm or 2cm of whatever wood on my guitar, specially if the rest is mahogany. I could care less in what country that tree grew in. All I care about is tone.

That video above proves it kinda.

We bought two identical acoustic guitars to a school I teach guitar at, at lo and behold, the guitars had serialnumbers indicating they were siblings, only the last number was different. But they sounded completely different.

I think if the guy in the video above had compared two Gibsons, he would have gotten the same result. Any two guitars do not sound exactly the same.

I can completely dig this post and understand that changing electronics will influence the sound.

About made in USA
In my head, I picture a fat and stoned hung over american dude drinking coffee from an XL mug and painting guitars at the Gibson factory (no pun to coffee drinkers). I can also picture a chinese man in a work suit precise on clock doing the best he can to provide his whole familytree with food following the ISO standards at the new Epiphone factory that is paying him better than he ever got elsewhere, even at the mimimum wages, and he is doing his job, painting guitars as perfectly as possible, because there are 10.000 unemployed guys ready to step into his shoes if he fails at his job.

Why would "made in USA" be a guarantee of a better product? That's just some cheap 60s propaganda pick-up-line to buy American for Americans.. U know.. We also had that in other countries back then - "buy domestic" is not an American invention.

Can someone please provide a link to a video factory tour of the Epi factory? I know I saw one video tour of a Chinese Behringer factory. It was tidy and new and the employees seemed very happy!

Great thread!! Can't wait to hear and see some results!

- Jesse -
 

inxs996

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I could care less where or by what nationality the guy who made my guitar is from. I could care less what flag they hang outside the house they paint the guitars. I could care less if I have 2mm or 2cm of whatever wood on my guitar, specially if the rest is mahogany. I could care less in what country that tree grew in. All I care about is tone.

That video above proves it kinda.

We bought two identical acoustic guitars to a school I teach guitar at, at lo and behold, the guitars had serialnumbers indicating they were siblings, only the last number was different. But they sounded completely different.

I think if the guy in the video above had compared two Gibsons, he would have gotten the same result. Any two guitars do not sound exactly the same.

I can completely dig this post and understand that changing electronics will influence the sound.

About made in USA
In my head, I picture a fat and stoned hung over american dude drinking coffee from an XL mug and painting guitars at the Gibson factory (no pun to coffee drinkers). I can also picture a chinese man in a work suit precise on clock doing the best he can to provide his whole familytree with food following the ISO standards at the new Epiphone factory that is paying him better than he ever got elsewhere, even at the mimimum wages, and he is doing his job, painting guitars as perfectly as possible, because there are 10.000 unemployed guys ready to step into his shoes if he fails at his job.

Why would "made in USA" be a guarantee of a better product? That's just some cheap 60s propaganda pick-up-line to buy American for Americans.. U know.. We also had that in other countries back then - "buy domestic" is not an American invention.

Can someone please provide a link to a video factory tour of the Epi factory? I know I saw one video tour of a Chinese Behringer factory. It was tidy and new and the employees seemed very happy!

Great thread!! Can't wait to hear and see some results!

- Jesse -

I never saw that video before, that is totally cool, puts to rest the old Epiphone vs Gibson crap, i saw really zero difference in the tonality and sound of the two different guitars...

Playability appeared to be the same for both...

It doesn't hurt that dccooper is an excellent player...

I agree unfortunately , "Made In America" really doesn't guarantee anything, any longer, all it means is that an American is getting a paycheck each week...sad but true...

And its funny cause that how i see the workers at the Gibson factory...
 

scud133

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here are some more clips to tide yall over until i'm finished.
these were two new pedals i got this week --- new pickups will be installed next week

Recording chain:
Epi LP --> pedal --> 5w Blackheart --> SM57 --> reverb on computer

MXR Classic Fuzz:
(some of these are *begging* for single coils, but it's an LP forum so here you go)
Beatles; off then on

Classic rock
Jimi
It's What's For Dinner (one take, sorry for the sucking. turn it up, this one is quieter)

MXR Carbon Copy:
Willie; off then on
Clean, long delay
Fink Ployd (with MXR Classic Fuzz)

:band:
 

scud133

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phew... pickups went in the mail this week.

project will be finished soon!
 

japasul

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Believe me, these things are never finished....

=P


My guitars get rewired, on average, every year... Some get some mods at every sting change!!!

Its an addiction, really...

Cant wait to hear the final sound of this guitar!

Cheers
André
 

savage118

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Hey Alot of people hold firm that a Gibson is better than an Epiphone, but sometimes I think they wanna justify spending the extra cash cause they want one.



You make a good point about the extra cass. Say He does his mods and comes up with a bitchin les paul. and its better than his favorite gibson, because his favorite is all that matters in this case, then great. but even if it comes close to his favorite gibson sound, then will the little bit (like wood) that seperates them be worth the extra 2 grand +? IMO I dont think so. love my EPI. and you will never forget something that you fix up yourself. i have a 1965 chevy, that i have already given to my son and i will never forget the hours i spent that ol boy. and for the reccord, it comes from a time when "made in America" Went a long ways (43 yrs on the road and still running the same 283) some things just arent worth changing. Put your heart into it and show gibson up.:thumb:

My first car was a 65 Impala SS yellow/ black buckets 283/pg(what overdrive?). 25 years later I still think about cruising the loop in that big old thing. Your son is lucky, and will have many memories in her. I think made in America does still mean something, as long as it is made by an American company, and not a company that employs cheap/ and or illegal labor. Wages have not kept up with costs of living, no where close. Illegals work for less, because to them it seems like a bundle, and some even come here, work a few years, go home and live high on the hog for a while, but most come here looking to get ahead, only to live in poverty because of low wage to expense ratio. You get what you pay for, period. "Made in America meant something" IMHO was because workers were paid a fair wage and could afford the goods they made, as long as the company heads fail to recognize this, the US will just be par, or less. But look around Wal-Mart, 95% of the goods made out of the US, and most is junk. So who really has poor quality control, and why? Sorry for the random off topic post, but the 65 SS made me think how solid ALL cars used to be made, and why ALL cars still aren't made that way.
 

LPJones

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Wages have not kept up with costs of living, no where close.

They certainly have for the Big 3 Autoworkers, locally we have a manufacturer of transfer cases for one of the big three, "Parts workers" (thats someone who puts part A on Part B over and over and over..) are pulling down about 125K, including overtime. Do the line workers get paid so well because they are "skilled workers"? Hell no, its because their union has negotiated a big fat contract for them - but there is NO accountability. In my opinion you could use that 125K to pay 3 workers, demand Quality AND Accountability and still be paying a decent wage. The only way to do that and not break your contract with the Union workers is to move production out of the country, seems like a "no brainer" to me.
 

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