New Epiphones in the 'Inspired by Gibson' electric and acoustic series

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by backporchmusic, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    The last few years ( maybe back to 2013/4) Epiphone really seems to have upped their game on 'affordable quality ' when it comes to build, pickups/pots, hardware etc.
    I have a newer SG with PAF'style humbuckers, which blow away ( tonally, not output) any previous Epi I have owned .
    And folks who have bought recent P-90 Epis, seem to love them too

    This is what I have my eyes on for next year:
    20200812_181221.jpg
    ( I currently don't have a P-90 or LP style guitar- I think I'd LOVE this!)
     
  2. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

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    That is the exact one I have my eye on. I can't wait to hear your impressions. Anderton's has a video up where they play one and it sound great.
     
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  3. Electric Warrior

    Electric Warrior Tele-Holic

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    That TV Yellow Special is a serious bargain used. I grabbed one for $225, basically a steal. Really full, bright sound on the P90s, played easy. I cycle through guitars pretty fast and no longer have it, but it was no fault of the guitar. I had the Gibson version last year. Over a $1000 less - $399 w/ a case and the obligatory 15% off - is a really good deal for a quality guitar. $299 or less used, which they pop up for periodically, is a no brainer.
     
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  4. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    Wow, $225, that is a steal!

    I kind of look for an all-purpose nature out of any of my electrics, as anymore, I just bring one guitar to a gig and play a real variety of all kinds of pretty old music.

    The P-90's, clean and dirty would add ( I bet) great tone on anything, and I dig the 'lighter than an LP' body weight
    You can just look and see this is a fun guitar!
     
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  5. richey88

    richey88 Friend of Leo's

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    The black one has my attention.
     
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  6. Allenjason95

    Allenjason95 Tele-Meister

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    I have a Masterbilt, I forget the actual model, it's something like 500 MNS. Anyway it's a great guitar except for the frets. They're really soft. I bought it used but it didn't seem to have much play on it but in the 4 years or so since I've owned it the first 4-5 frets have developed huge divots in them. None of my other guitars have this problem except my 95 LP Classic but I played the hell out of that for 20 years.

    It's getting to the point where I'm wondering what to do and if the Masterbilt is worth having refretted? I have a Chinese made Fender acoustic, one of those "starter pack" guitars, and its frets aren't nearly as worn after 10 years as my Epiphone's are in 4.
     
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  7. Allenjason95

    Allenjason95 Tele-Meister

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    Not really, the only reason Epiphone has exited for what, 70 years is as a sub brand of Gibson. All those classic Epiphones were designed by Gibson guys and made in the Gibson factory.

    Epiphone has mostly existed for decades now as Gibson's budget brand to sell cheap import models of Gibson products.

    The main appeal of Epiphone at this point is as budget versions of the Gibson line. I've had hit and miss experiences with Epiphones, like I said in a previous post I have a Masterbilt that I like except for the frets, the frets were junk. But I've also owned an Epiphone viola bass and an Epiphone Junior. The Junior was one of the $99 jobs so I didn't expect much but it was literally the worst guitar I've ever owned.

    I think Epiphone is just trying to re-establish that they make good guitars, not just cheap copies of Gibsons.
     
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  8. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That's not a Coronet, it's a Les Paul junior with a coronet pickguard fitted.
    [​IMG]
    Here's a real Coronet, note how much wider the body horns are and that it has a front mounted jack output.
     
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  9. posttoastie

    posttoastie Friend of Leo's

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    Blazer, you are right. I see a hole where a Jr pickguard would go.
    58-59 Coronet 1st generation had a side mount jack and a 1 3/4 inch thick body. But different guard and pickup.
    upload_2020-11-19_16-45-48.jpeg

    Coronet 2nd generation with no pickguard
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
  10. fjblair

    fjblair Tele-Afflicted

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    You are correct. My comment was a tongue in cheek attempt at making sort of the same point-what Epiphone's aren't "inspired by Gibson". Cheers.
     
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  11. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    The new line ( which I think are pretty nice! ) should be named:
    ' In competition with Gibson'! - which of course is with themselves ( but maybe that's the point?)

    Who knows, it could be just good biz, to produce a better line of Epis for those of us who will never be able to afford Gibsons, ' so let them buy our Epis!'

    Win-Win-Win maybe?
    Gibson> Epi> happy customers
     
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  12. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I have my other two Epiphones listed for sale right now on the local CL to make room for a white Crestwood. The demo I heard sounds great and it looks like the neck is wider at the nut than the older Epiphones were. My local GCs don't have anything in stock at the moment. The white Crestwoods are on back order but you can get a Red one delivered to the store. I really like the White though and this gives me some time to sell the others.

    Edit: Now the Red one says it is on backorder too. Its not clear if they ever had them or if they are just taking orders to reserve a future shipment.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
  13. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Slowly but surely, Epiphone is getting the headstock shape kinda right. I hated those things until recently.

    Since they're doing an "Inspired by Gibson" thing, how about an Epiphone version of the Gibson Hendrix strat?

    [​IMG]
     
  14. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, I got my white Crestwood in, and sent it back. Quick review--it looked great. The tremotone did well, just adding a slight warble. Arm doesn't have as much travel as a bigsby, but does turn 360 degrees, so it doesn't have the stop that is built into the bigsby handle mechanism.

    But--I found the pickups bland, and I like mini hums normally. They were set close to the strings, so it wasn't adjustment. They are also low output.
    Because of the location of the neck pickup, round, bassier tones are simply not available. Tone wise, it would make a good funk or angular post punk guitar clean, and a more snotty punk tone with dirt.
    There were high spots in the frets up and down the neck, and it had a bit of fret sprout.
    The real issue though--on different strings, on different areas of the neck, the volume would drop. Never seen anything like it, not this bad. The open e was quiet, but would get louder when fretted. This was not the normal 'dead spots' you find on a neck, it was an issue of volume. But it was so random and in so many areas, it could not be the pickups themselves. So it went back.

    The SG Special I recently got had the neck mounted so that the fretboard and the body were not on the same plane, the neck was mounted 'off', not twisted. The bridge was lower on the bass side than the treble side. Not right, but it did sound really really good. The P90s were way better than the mini hums in the Crestwood.

    I do think someone could get a 'good one' and be really happy with it though. Do a little fret work and it might be just fine, but not the one I got.

    So right now, I am not too happy with these new Epis, I'm 0 for 2. And the Hummingbird is coming Monday.
     
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  15. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

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    That's too bad--that is a lot of problems for a $550 guitar. I'll probably wait until I start seeing them appear in the stores then. Thanks for the quick review.
     
  16. Electric Warrior

    Electric Warrior Tele-Holic

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    The Gibson Special that I bought had that exact issue. It had a playability issue up by the 12th fret on. I didn't realize what it was until after the return period. I tried to get it addressed under warranty and it was a bad customer service experience. Gibson, the retailer, "Gibson Warranty Service Centers" all standing around pointing fingers at one another. It is a shame because I had bought a couple other new Gibsons that were aces (an Explorer and a Junior) but that soured me completely.

    On the topic of new Epiphones: Anyone out there have one of those Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard "Outfits?" I want to hear a first-hand account of the "aged" finish. It looks quite nice.
     
  17. AlbertoMilanese

    AlbertoMilanese Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    So I got the J200 in aged natural... and I'm sending it back. Quick review time: I really like the finish, looks and feels great - however it is not applied as carefully as I'd like, some bubbles here and there, already some scratches right out of the package and visible ding on the headstock, D-string tuner was not drilled right, screw doesn't fit far enough into the headstock to sit flush - not what I was expecting for just below 1000 bucks. Now it plays great. Neck is not as thin as I'd feared it might be. Lays nicely in the hand, action and setup was great. But here's the kicker. Next to my Sigma copy, it just sounds lifeless and cardboard box-y. Almost no bass response, just thin and loud. Might be alright if you're always gonna use it plugged in live anyways, but I'm not. I'm using it as intended - acoustically. But here's the main reason I'm sending it back: the pickup isn't glued in right - it's just glued in a tiny little spot and rocks around while playing, and is simply not fixed right. I'm even afraid that it's gonna fall out! So back it goes... I'm pondering whether to get a replacement before getting my money back.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
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  18. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Poster Extraordinaire

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    Too bad about the J200. I impulse ordered the Hummingbird beacsue the seller offered me 15% off.

    Then I went and listened to sound sample videos on the web, which at that point were Sweetwater and Andertons. It did not sound good. Mine arrives Monday and I hope for the best but am prepared to be disappointed.
     
  19. mjw63

    mjw63 TDPRI Member

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    Just joined this forum, since I'm desperate for info about these new Epiphone acoustics. In the last few years, I've played almost every Hummingbird clone (plus a good number of vintage and modern Gibsons), and I've been waiting for a Masterbilt Hummingbird model (which is effectively what it is). I can't understand why they didn't do it years ago, and was delighted when they announced it. I have it on order, and will report back when it arrives.

    Your comments on the J200 are interesting, and I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. I have the Sigma J100 knock off, and it is a superb guitar despite the laminate back and sides. It's the best laminate guitar I've ever played probably, and the factory setup on it was amazing. I had the Sigma DM-SG5 Hummingbird clone for a while, and also an Orville by Gibson Hummingbird (high end Japanese instrument from the 90s). They were very different instruments. The Sigma was a lot more mellow and had more low end due to thicker body. I grew to dislike the lack of high end sparkle though (plus it badly needed a setup due to high action). The Orville was definitely lighter in tone. I ended up selling both of them to buy the new solid version of the DM-SG5. I've ordered the Epiphone so I can compare it to the Sigma when that arrives in Australia in December, then I'll keep whichever one is better.

    I have high hopes for the Epiphone, since I think it's basically a higher spec Orville by Gibson Hummingbird (I could never establish if they were all solid or not). Orville by Gibson eventually became Epiphone Elitist, and those models are highly ranked.
     
  20. mjw63

    mjw63 TDPRI Member

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    My other quick question is what strings were on the J200? Hopefully not Elixirs (the strings of the devil), but the newness of them might have contributed to the crap initial tone. I really loved the Hummingbird tone in the Sweetwater video - that last strum really is the tone I've been chasing from the Gibson models.
     
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