Just a point... The shop owner is wrong regarding Epiphones. For the last several years Epis have been built in their own factories and make only Epiphone guitars. The original staff for these dedicated factories was managed by Gibson management and trainers who worked hard to get all production up to Gibson's standard. These newer guitars are actually pretty darn good. I have a Les Paul Custom that is really sweet and flawless. Yes, Gibson pickups would be an improvement but the stocks ones are not bad at all.