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Sell my Epiphone Nighthawk for a Les Paul or SG style guitar?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Justin L Franks, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. Justin L Franks

    Justin L Franks TDPRI Member

    Jul 18, 2013
    Woodbridge, NJ
    When I bought my first electric guitar, I chose an Epiphone Nighthawk Custom Reissue. I couldn't afford to buy both a Strat-style and a Les Paul-style guitar, so the Nighthawk was an interesting middle ground.

    It has a set neck, 25 1/2" scale length, mahagony body and neck with a flame maple top, and a rather unique pickup arrangement, with a mini-humbucker at the neck, single-coil middle, and a full-size, slanted humbucker at the bridge. The humbuckers can also be split to single-coil, giving a total of 9 different tones. The mix of Gibson and Fender design elements makes it able to sound somewhat like a Strat or Les Paul, but definitely closer to a Les Paul.

    Now that I have a MIM standard Telecaster for my single-coil Fender tones, I have been considering selling the Nighthawk and replacing it with something with two standard humbuckers.

    I'm looking at a new or used Epiphone Les Paul Standard, a new or used Epiphone SG G-400, or a used PRS SE 245. Are there any other Les Paul or SG style guitars I should be looking at?

    My budget is $400.

  2. gtrguru

    gtrguru Friend of Leo's

    Apr 29, 2011
    Detroit Metro
    You can get an ESP LTD LP-type guitar for $400-500. Great guitars!

  3. Lowbassnotes

    Lowbassnotes Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2012
    Pacific Rim USA
    Epiphone 50th Anniversary SG with the alnico P-90's would be worth looking at. $399.00 for a set neck SG.

  4. stankepanck

    stankepanck Tele-Holic

    Sep 29, 2012
    Greensburg PA
    Go to a music shop and try all the HH guitars in your price range. Then buy whichever guitar plays/sounds best to your ears/hands.

  5. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

    Dec 2, 2003
    The Netherlands
    My first Gibson was a nighthawk.

    It played really well and was as light as a feather.

    BUT sound-wise it was very lackluster, it did do the Fender and Gibson sounds but it never did them well. I eventually sold it on and it turns up on auction sites every so now and then (It had a wooden switch tip I put on there, which is how I keep recognizing it) as more people find out about it being a dog.

  6. Justin L Franks

    Justin L Franks TDPRI Member

    Jul 18, 2013
    Woodbridge, NJ
    Yeah I know what you mean. Mine plays well, is very light, very versatile, and I think it sounds quite good. If I could have just one guitar, this would be it.

    For someone on a tight budget and/or is not sure of what kind of sound they are looking for, it's an obvious good choice.

    But now, to me it just seems....uninspiring.

  7. tele-bastard

    tele-bastard Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2011
    Lowell, Mass
    Either the Epiphone Les Paul or SG would be fine.

  8. limbe

    limbe Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2009
    It is a versatile guitar that never took off.I don´t know if you get enough money for it if you trade it in a music shop to justify selling it to them.Who knows,it might be a sleeper like the Fender Telecaster Deluxe that was considered a dog for many years until a couple of new bands started using them.

  9. RevMike

    RevMike Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 15, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    For the most part, I stick with Fenders or Epi's. For my money you can't go wrong with an Epiphone Les Paul, or Dot. I currently own an Epiphone ES339. I absolutely love it. I recently sold off my Gibsons LP's, and I don't regret it one bit. I'm currently in the market for, and may (today) be grabbing an Epiphone LP Traditional. I've tried the other knock offs, and they are not any better or really much (if any) cheaper than the Epi's.....and they don't say "Les Paul" on them.

  10. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    I have an Epi EJ160 (John Lennon) and an Epi 60th Anniversary SG. They're nice but in my heart they don't hold a candle to my Gibson guitars. I like the pickups and I like the wood grain on the real Gibsons.

    If you go to Guitar Center's web site and search used Gibson SG's for less than $450 you'll find about 15 of them. This one is in Madison WI not far from where I live.....


    I think it was $400. They ship cheap and they guarantee the guitar 100%. You have 30 days to return it to any GC store.

    Get a Gibson. Search Les Paul's for under $500. They probably have a number of Faded Lesters.

    If you're spending close to $500 on an Epi you might want to take a big step back, think about it, save just a bit longer and buy a Gibson.

    My 2 cents.

  11. cynic79

    cynic79 Tele-Meister

    Dec 18, 2009
    Northern Virginia/DC
    Were it me, I'd just keep the Nighthawk for the time being. The first run of those with ebony fretboards were really sweet guitars, and I don't think you'll find much better at that price point unless you get a great deal on a used guitar.

    The low end Gibsons aren't bad guitars, but the pickups aren't the best Gibson has to offer, and coupled with the 300k volume pots that come stock with them, the sound is dark, dark, dark. They can be great guitars with a bit of work, but that's going to cost you even more money.

    Save up a bit more and get a high end import or a used American guitar.

  12. Justin L Franks

    Justin L Franks TDPRI Member

    Jul 18, 2013
    Woodbridge, NJ
    Well, I went to a local Guitar Center today to take a look at the couple of used PRS's they had -- an SE Custom 22 in trans black for $330, and an SE 245 in tobacco burst for $400. I was leaning towards the SE 245, the neck is pretty fat but felt great, and the finish was nice with a very good flame maple top.

    But then I saw that they had a number of brand new SE 245's discounted quite heavily. There was an SE 245 in the same tobacco burst finish for $450, but the top wasn't as nicely figured as the used one.

    The one that caught my eye was a new SE Bernie Marsden for $430. It's in what PRS calls vintage sunburst, but is much brighter than a vintage sunburst Les Paul, more like a honey burst. And the flame maple top is quite good, probably the nicest I've seen on anything under $1000.

    I still tried a number of other guitars, including Epiphone Les Pauls and SGs, a couple of Ibanez and ESP Ltd Les Paul-style guitars, the PRS's I mentioned, and a few others as well. In the end I went for the PRS SE Bernie Marsden. A brand-new PRS with a great flame maple top for $430? That is a killer deal. Everywhere else has them listed at $650.

    I'll post some pics as soon as I can.

  13. RevMike

    RevMike Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 15, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    Nice. Congrats. So whatcha gonna do with the Nighthawk?

    *by the way....I love the quote on the bottom of your posts...

  14. Big Burly

    Big Burly Tele-Meister

    Feb 23, 2011
    I have one of these. The pickups sound great as humbuckers, and are very twangy as single-coils. The tone is the coil splitter when it is pulled up.

    Very good playing guitar as well. Neck is just-right. Frets are large and well-finished. The finish on the guitar is also without flaws.

    I got mine brand-new for less than $400. A steal!

  15. Justin L Franks

    Justin L Franks TDPRI Member

    Jul 18, 2013
    Woodbridge, NJ
    I'll get some proper photos as soon as possible, but here's a quick shot of my new PRS.


  16. spurgie79

    spurgie79 Tele-Holic

    Jun 25, 2010
    Warrensburg Missouri
    +1. John is one of my favorite posters on TDPRI and his opinions are pretty consistently spot on.

  17. Justin L Franks

    Justin L Franks TDPRI Member

    Jul 18, 2013
    Woodbridge, NJ
    I didn't play any Gibsons because I thought they were way out of my price range. I dropped off the 2009 MIM Telecaster I recently purchased to a local Guitar Center to see if they could fix the string alignment issues (low E string was at the edge of the fretboard while the high E string was very far from its edge of the fretboard).

    The Telecaster is fixed (hopefully) and I will be going to pick it up in the next day or two. They happen to have a used Gibson SG Faded priced at $550 (too high) but I'll at least be able to try one out and see how it compares to the PRS SE Bernie Marsden I just bought. If I end up liking it better than the PRS, I'll see what they can regarding the price, since some other stores are selling them used for $450 - $500, or consider buying one from a different store whose price is more in line with my budget.

    Unless the Gibson SG is significantly better, it is going to be very hard to give up my absolutely beautiful PRS with its stunning flame maple top (better photos will be posted soon). Look at that gorgeous flame -- quite incredible for a guitar I bought brand new for just $430.

    Attached Files:

  18. howlin

    howlin Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 19, 2007
    Who wants to know?
    IMHO the Marsden is the best SE in the PRS line due to the V/V/T configuration - just like the DGT. Check it out. Set the p/u selector to both pickups and then change the volume settings. Want a little less treble just back off the bridge. A little less bass back off the neck volume. Reminds me of a blend pot on a Strat.

  19. chunkyluke

    chunkyluke Tele-Meister

    Mar 16, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    All the PRS SE line that I have played have been great! Played a tremonti and a Santana and both where nice! Ended up coming away with a SE custom semi-hollow. I'd go out on a limb and say that I haven't played guitars as jive straight off the shelf as I did with that line

  20. benderb9

    benderb9 Tele-Holic

    Mar 3, 2011
    St Petersburg,FL
    that alignment was fixed by loosening the neck screws, torqueing the neck towards the low E string to taste and tightening the screws. ezee pzee. Good looking PRS SE you got there.

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