Why Doesn't Epiphone Make a Custom Version of the Les Paul Tribute?

Do you think Epiphone should make an LPC version of the LP Tribute?

  • Yes

    Votes: 8 44.4%
  • No

    Votes: 10 55.6%

  • Total voters
    18

T00DEEPBLUE

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Solid maple cap (not a veneer)
Long neck tenon
Gibson Classic 57's
Grover locking tuners
Ebony fretboard
Switchcraft toggle and Jack

LPC's are very popular models as evidenced by all the custom signature models Epiphone has been making in recent years, so why doesn't Epiphone continue to appeal to that demand by making a guitar to the specs of the LP Tribute (but with an ebony board) in Qingdao?

I know you could take something like the Epiphone Bjoern Gelotte, swap the pickups, jack, switch and and tuners, but that guitar doesn't come with a long neck tenon or a maple cap, and it doesn't come with the correct headstock diamond.

Such a guitar would get lots of love on this forum, so why don't they do it?
 

LSAR

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Solid maple cap (not a veneer)
Long neck tenon
Gibson Classic 57's
Grover locking tuners
Ebony fretboard
Switchcraft toggle and Jack

LPC's are very popular models as evidenced by all the custom signature models Epiphone has been making in recent years, so why doesn't Epiphone continue to appeal to that demand by making a guitar to the specs of the LP Tribute (but with an ebony board) in Qingdao?

I know you could take something like the Epiphone Bjoern Gelotte, swap the pickups, jack, switch and and tuners, but that guitar doesn't come with a long neck tenon or a maple cap, and it doesn't come with the correct headstock diamond.

Such a guitar would get lots of love on this forum, so why don't they do it?
I'd be all for it.

That said, I think that would go too far into overlapping price points and overtaking quality points on Gibson/Epi.

If I were looking at a Gibson Studio and I could get an Epiphone Custom with all the appointments for less...the Gibson doesn't stand a chance.
 

Deviljho

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That would eat into Studio territory. And tbh, as cool as those specs are, they really aren't necessary.

Epiphone makes money by making a mass-produced "high-end" version of a budget guitar. They know that "financially intellectual" musicians and forum hounds buy these guitars and make the swaps necessary on their own through after-market companies, so why would they increase their production costs and create an entirely new marketing plan, when they're gonna be modded anyway?

The Tribute+ is fine as is. In a perfect world, we'd have exactly what you posted, but the reality is that Epiphone is in the business of making money, not making guitars.
 

T00DEEPBLUE

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That would eat into Studio territory. And tbh, as cool as those specs are, they really aren't necessary.

Epiphone makes money by making a mass-produced "high-end" version of a budget guitar. They know that "financially intellectual" musicians and forum hounds buy these guitars and make the swaps necessary on their own through after-market companies, so why would they increase their production costs and create an entirely new marketing plan, when they're gonna be modded anyway?

The Tribute+ is fine as is. In a perfect world, we'd have exactly what you posted, but the reality is that Epiphone is in the business of making money, not making guitars.
But that doesn't answer the question of why the Tribute+ is allowed to exist, but an LPC with the exact same specs isn't.

If your rhetoric that people are just going to mod such a guitar anyway is true, then how is the existence of the Tribute+ justified?

Not trying to be argumentative, just curious.
 

Deviljho

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But that doesn't answer the question of why the Tribute+ is allowed to exist, but an LPC with the exact same specs isn't.

If your rhetoric that people are just going to mod such a guitar anyway is true, then how is the existence of the Tribute+ justified?

Not trying to be argumentative, just curious.
No problem fam. I think my previous post does answer the question at hand, but let me try to elaborate.

The Tribute+ is a premium Epiphone. When you walk into GC or L&M, you'll see rows of affordable epis, and the quality amongst them will vary. Epiphone is targeted towards newbies or cost-conscious players. Even experienced players who have may never had an interest in Gibson, will now invest in a Les Paul style guitar that is at a price where if they don't bond with it, it's not a huge hit to their wallet.

Now, when the Tribute line was introduced, it offered you a guitar that is "on par" with the Gibson Studio, even some Traditionals. I was a huge Fender fanboy until I decided to check out the Tribute+. Well, it did it's intended purpose. It provided me with everything that interested me with Gibsons without a huge financial investment. It also helped walk me into other Gibson guitars, such as the Firebird, 345, etc*. I saw what I liked about the Les Paul, and also realized what appointments I wanted that weren't offered on the Les Paul I bought. The Tribute is basically a signature Epiphone without the artist endorsement.

Les Paul Customs are visually (and material wise, depending on your viewpoint), the bees knees of Les Pauls. Epiphone already offers a Les Paul Custom, so it would kind of defeat the purpose to create a 'tribute+' version of a guitar that is supposed to carry vanity appointments that are desired from the parent brand. Not to say that they can't do it, or won't do it in the future. But if they were to release such a model, then that severely cuts into not just signature Epi models, but the Studio models. Let's not forget, the Studio is intended to offer the "prestige" of Gibson, at an affordable cost. Why create something so much more beautiful on Epiphone that would cost less at retail? That essentially nukes what the Studio lineup is meant for.

It's all just marketing bull at the end of the day. I do this for a living, so I can see where Gibson/Epiphone is coming from with their lineup decisions. It's the same way that a Firebird vii, LP Jr, 345, niche guitars that command a premium $$ doesn't currently exist in the Episode lineup and hasn't been reissued for years.

Hope I cleared it up a bit. Sorry for the rant+tut this is all speculation and assumption from my end.
 

T00DEEPBLUE

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No problem fam. I think my previous post does answer the question at hand, but let me try to elaborate...
If it would be pointless to offer an LPC Tribute+ because they already make a regular LPC, then why isn't it pointless that Epiphone makes a Les Paul Tribute+ when they already make an Epiphone Les Paul Standard?

There's nothing in the specs of the LPC Tibute+ that I'm proposing that Epiphone doesn't already do on other guitars. Including the ebony fretboard or the maple cap, (Such as on the Slash Anaconda signature model) so there wouldn't be anything about this guitar that would be a substantial upgrade over what their factory is currently producing already. Granted, the Anaconda is a very limited edition model. But ebony fretboards already exist on many of their other more plentiful signature LPC's, such as the Bjoern Gelotte or the Matt Heafy. So it wouldn't be branching that far at all imo.
Why maple cap? If you're going historic with long tenon and all, the top should be mahogany.
Why assume that it has to be a historic reissue? And I don't think going the historic route was ever the point of the Tribute+ guitars anyway. No historic Gibson guitar ever came stock with locking tuners or a flamed maple veneer (and if you count the 2010 Tributes, an asymmetric neck profile).

The point of the Tribute+ guitars were all about loading as many pro-level features into an LP as possible while still making it affordable. Not necessarily to recreate a Gibson LP from any particular era.
 

Deviljho

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Mmm, I think perhaps you're looking at this from the wrong angle. Consider the corporation angle, not the consumer angle.

Like, you aren't wrong at all with your thinking! But the same can be said about other guitar manufacturers and why they leave off certain appointments from their value brands when they easily could. Once again, Epiphone and Gibson know what they're doing with the production and manufacturing of their guitars. There's methods to their madness as to why the Slash artist model has certain specs that the Tribute may not, and why the Tribute+ has some that the standard doesn't, all of which would never show up on your supposed LPC model.

It's a business, man. This would've existed already if they had seen a market for it that would justify it's creation and cover producing costs.
 

T00DEEPBLUE

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Mmm, I think perhaps you're looking at this from the wrong angle. Consider the corporation angle, not the consumer angle.

Like, you aren't wrong at all with your thinking! But the same can be said about other guitar manufacturers and why they leave off certain appointments from their value brands when they easily could. Once again, Epiphone and Gibson know what they're doing with the production and manufacturing of their guitars. There's methods to their madness as to why the Slash artist model has certain specs that the Tribute may not, and why the Tribute+ has some that the standard doesn't, all of which would never show up on your supposed LPC model.

It's a business, man. This would've existed already if they had seen a market for it that would justify it's creation and cover producing costs.
I don't subscribe to the principle that if a product was a good idea, it would've already existed anyway. But we can beg to differ.

Maybe if Gibson made guitars with better quality control, they wouldn't have to resort to limiting how good Epiphones can be before they started robbing sales.
 

rich85

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Yep the 55 tribute is out there. Posted in another thread a 57 tribute with Humbuckers would be amazing.

It might happen, it would be basically identical in cost to make as a 55 since that has Gibson P90's. Probably wouldnt come with a hardcase nowadays though it seems.
 

gsmacleod

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Yep the 55 tribute is out there. Posted in another thread a 57 tribute with Humbuckers would be amazing.

It might happen, it would be basically identical in cost to make as a 55 since that has Gibson P90's. Probably wouldnt come with a hardcase nowadays though it seems.
I'm wondering if the possible Frampton Black Beauty might fill this niche. Black, ebony board, long neck tenon, lifton case and Gibson pups would certainly be intriguing.

Shane
 

sasquatch

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I'm wondering if the possible Frampton Black Beauty might fill this niche. Black, ebony board, long neck tenon, lifton case and Gibson pups would certainly be intriguing.

Shane
It's been achieved.
https://www.guitarcenter.com/Gibson-Custom/Peter-Frampton-Les-Paul-Custom-Ebony-Gold-Hardware-1274034468854.gc?cntry=us&source=4WWRWXGP&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIv5WDxMGD2wIVBBtpCh0ctAdGEAYYASABEgKBXfD_BwE&kwid=productads-adid^172488555108-device^c-plaid^143118043962-sku^1274034468854@ADL4GC-adType^PLA
Probably not at the price we're looking for,
the pickups are questionable (?)
but the reality exists
 

gsmacleod

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