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Epiphone Quality?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by DAKnox, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Gloveberg

    Gloveberg Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I have an Epi LP Standard and I really like it. Epiphones, in my opinion, kinda get lumped into the same category as Squier in that they are considered " cheap so they're not that good" because people immediately compare them to the higher end models which is ridiculous. Nobody is expecting a $400 Epi LP to compare to a $2000 Gibson or a $300 Squier to a $1800 MIA Fender. But I feel with a good setup an Epiphone or Squier can at least be 90% of the higher end models and really unless you're guitar god will you notice the other missing 10%?
     
  2. HotDan!

    HotDan! Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah...Pretty decent modern renditions of the original PAFs too...
     
  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    Look for the Epiphone LP Special IIs or the LP Junior.
    Pickups on all but the 'probucker' that comes in the $500+ models tend to be dark (higher internal capacitance) just like some aftermarket humbuckers people like to put in them. The bodies can be built from chunks of mahogany or laminated plys of mahogany and bass wood and made from Korea, China, Indonesia, and I think even India. Finish can be wavy. The tuners tend to be the trapezoid ones, that work fine, but those are easy to replace.

    However, My most often played guitar with my Tele is the Epi Jr pictured. I did go over it and replace the pickup with an aftermarket that I dismantled and split with a push/pull tone. Plus full setup, shielding, and cleaning. I'm almost finished with a second Junior project that I'll put on CL and picked up a couple special IIs and Juniors for mods.

    The dark pickups can be improved with a standard 0.047uF capacitor in series with the hot side output (trick for Seymour Duncan pickups that can also tend toward darkness - solution is on SD website/forum).

    I've generally found the fretwork to be good and the necks are chunkier like Teles.

    Changing the stock tone capacitor to 0.033uF seems to make a nice improvement.

    .
     
  4. irie

    irie Tele-Holic

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    pretty much hit the nail on the head, they get dismissed but like any instrument there are good and bad ones and even some great ones. Just gotta find them. But yeah comparing a guitar that costs a few hundred to one that costs several thousand is silly yet people do it constantly.
     
  5. HotDan!

    HotDan! Friend of Leo's

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    Jrs are cool and your assessment of the neck profile is spot on. You're doing the same thing with the push/pull setup that Gibson and Epi has been doing with the ProBuckers in their various offerings. I have limited experience with it, though, so will reserve comment...Except to say...I like the concept...:D
     
  6. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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  7. Gloveberg

    Gloveberg Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Would love a LPJ with a P90 in TV yellow :D
     
  8. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I'd definitely buy another Epi if I found the right one. I wouldn't buy off the web, though.

    One thing I forgot to say is that the hardware and electronics on Epiphones are really high standard for the price bracket. Definitely a bit better than Squier hardware (which is hardly dire itself), and the electronics in my Dot were a magnitude better than those in my CIJ Fender.
     
  9. overlock

    overlock Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a Dot that shaped up really well, but when I bought it I tried 6 or 8 and only found 2 I liked, and even then I still had to do a fair bit of work to it. That was a few years ago, however, and when I looked at a bunch of Epis more recently (LPs and 175s) I was far from impressed. The LPs looked really nice at first inspection, but they were veneered butcher's blocks with no life in them at all.
     
  10. ME262

    ME262 Tele-Holic

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    Great value for money. I have a Trad Pro and I love it. A quick pickup change, new bridge and it makes for a kickass guitar. Only thing I noticed is the fret material seems slightly softer so they can wear quite fast. Don't know if it's common though.
     
  11. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That's pretty much the way I look at them too and with a few minor modifications and maybe a pickup swap you can get them even closer. The top of the line Squier and Epiphone models aren't built cheaply they're just built for less due to much lower labor costs and more efficient mass production.
     
  12. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    I have an Epi LP Special 2 and cannot fault it, build quality is spot on, playability is great and sound is rich and warm. Everything works the way it is meant to work and can be relied on to work. I put a Bigsby on it and have never regretted doing so. The quality of the cheap end of the market has improved dramatically because of modern manufacturing methods an QC. It stills pays to play before buying though as all brands have seconds that slip through to the retailer.
     
  13. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I traded a pretty crappy Line 6 amp a few months ago for an Epi Les Paul Special II with humbuckers. Everything except the pickups were fine. The pickups sounded clear as mud; very bassy, distorted, and mushy. I replaced them with a couple of used Ibanez ACH pickups I got off E-Bay for $25 and it's a fun, functional beater guitar to play. Pretty sure I chucked the stock pickups right in the trash; they were possibly the worst one's I've ever had.

    Having said that, I definitely lean towards the semi-hollow and hollow body Epiphones. They're putting out some quality stuff nowadays, regardless of where it's being made. Someone above mentioned the ES 339. I've played a few at my local GC and they really do play well and the workmanship seems to be very good. I also have a '90s Korean Sheraton with DiMarzios and I would gig with it without hesitation. I've already got it sitting next to the door for an End-of-Summer jam my friends and I are having tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  14. qm1pooh

    qm1pooh TDPRI Member

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    Loving my ES-339 with the P-90's. Quality is really good.
     
  15. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    There are some very nice Epi's but be carefful. Dont spend $100+ on new pickups or tuners or whatever. If you are considering spending $350+ on an Epi you could just buy a used Gibson.

    This Les PAul Special has PAF pickups and it cost $425 minty used......

    [​IMG]

    I know guys who have spent $370 on an Epi and then they add $180 in parts. Epi's are nice. Just be careful.
     
  16. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I own three Epis right now and in a nutshell they are roughly comparable to equivalent priced Fenders. Buy a $99 Special is like an Affinity. Epis under $400 are like high end Squiers. Buy a $500 - $600 LP is like a MIM. If you are thinking over $700, things start to change a bit in quality IMO. Low end Gibby LPs are worse than low end MIA Fenders.

    My biggest issue with low end guitars (Fender or Epi) are the cheap thin frets.

    Also, just like Squiers and MIMs, Epis vary in quality, so you've got to play some to find a keeper.

    FWIW.
     
  17. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'e got a Traditional Pro Goldtop from Craigslist. 130 bucks. Everything is perfect about it. Grabbed some Shed Supernatural pickups from the UK and threw em in.

    Great guitar. Would I gig with it? Sure....if I knew what I was doing.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I bought an Epi LP from ebay for under 300 bucks. Besides a small chip on the body, it's a winner. I replaced the pickups, switch, pots and knobs, after a pro setup, it plays and sounds fine.
     

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  19. DAKnox

    DAKnox Tele-Meister

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    I found a Standard that looks like Bills above. Its on Gumtree for £150. Seems Ok. It is 5-6 years old. Is the quality of a 5 year old epi Ok - ie has quality gone up over last five years so would I be better buying new?
     
  20. mattyboy

    mattyboy Tele-Meister

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    My experience with Epiphone quality in the past has been hit & miss.
    However, I now have a G-400 Pro and it's really a great guitar!
    Sounds and feels real nice.

    I've owned it for almost two years now and no big issues to report.
     
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