What's the real difference between Gibson and Epiphone?

Eric'45

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Of course a nicely grown piece of Khaya or the like is a fantastic source material for a Guitar. Chosen and selected by someone who knows his trade, it's as good as Honduran.
 

MarshallDog

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IMO, its like the differences between a Camero and the Corvette, both great cars but many differences, its all what you like and can afford!
 

StrummerJoe

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I'm willing to wager that you can't put a fake Gibson past me unless it is made by a master craftsman who knows the intricacies and details that are necessary to make it convincing to an expert appraiser. Certainly I would not expect to be fooled by any mass-produced replica.

I myself COULD make a forgery that would pass most inspections, or so I believe, but my level of interest in doing that is exactly zero. And I don't want to work that hard and spend that much money to get all original hardware and electronics parts required to build out the replicated wood guitar components to make it a complete copy.

As for mahogany types, I've used some African mahogany (often named Khaya) and it's good stuff. I have no issues with it. It's what I usually use, as a matter of fact. I can see nothing about it that makes it undesirable.

I've worked with Honduran, too. Of course it's nice stuff. I have a 40 year old Honduran blank I'm saving for something more special than most of my work.
Cool story. As usual. :rolleyes:
 

Headache

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I've owned a dozen Epiphones, all got pickup upgrades. I've owned 4 Gibson's (none are high end models). They also all got pickup upgrades.

My favorite and best playing guitar is an Epiphone. By far.
My 2 best sounding guitars are Gibsons.
With my favorite Epiphone close behind.

Not every one of the Epiphones I have owned and played were great, 3 really stood out as great, but a couple were sub par.
All of my Gibsons are stellar instruments.

That's my experience in a nutshell.

I think the two biggest differences between the brands are the poly/nitro finish, and the brand snobbery.
 

Kinkless Tetrode

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I like the African Mahogany, and have used it in a few builds. It's usually a bit warmer sounding than the S. American species, it's usually lighter weight, and it looks great with the usual striping of the grain patterns.
 

Jethro Rocker

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Speaking of wood, 2 different employees at 2 of my dealers have mentioned that lower end flame Epi LPs actually use a photo, that's right a photo, of flame maple laminated onto the maple veneer yo make it appear flamed. Apparently other manufacturers do as well.
Now that won't really affect the tone but just on the principle of it. Plain n simple, I would prefer a Gibby.
 

Clifdawg

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Gibson - made in USA. Epiphone - made in China.

I’d say you’re probably more likely to get a dud buying an Epiphone than a Gibson but I can only think of one Epi I owned that wasn’t a real player after a good setup. Even the two low-end bolt-on Specials I have experience with were gig-ready guitars after a setup.

I had an Epi SG that I liked so much it convinced me to buy a Gibson SG. I like it more, but I won’t say the Gibson is “better.”

If it helps, even after owning a Gibson, I still like and purchase and play Epis.

Speaking of wood, 2 different employees at 2 of my dealers have mentioned that lower end flame Epi LPs actually use a photo, that's right a photo, of flame maple laminated onto the maple veneer yo make it appear flamed.

I had an LP Plus Top Pro several years back that most certainly had a real flame maple veneer; you could clearly see the depth of it in the light. If they’ve moved to photo flames, that’s really sad. You can tell a photo flame top if it doesn’t have that “3D” effect under the light.

Still, I was of the impression Gibson used full-thickness flame maple caps where Epi used flame-maple veneers (which are real, just very thin) glued to plain maple caps. I appreciate the attention to detail and materials quality, but frankly I think the full-thickness flame caps are kinda wasteful. A good veneer can look stunning, and a good blank of flame maple can make a bunch of nice veneers.
 

ricksdisconnected

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I don't think this is a controversial subject. If you want a Gibson and don't want to pay that amount yet for several years, then you should probably get the Epiphone version, which will pretty much get you the sound you want at a 1/4 of the price. Epiphone uses some different quality components and materials. You will probably find a luthier needs to make some adjustments for you with the Epiphone to make it as best as it can be. That doesn't mean Gibson's don't need the same treatment though, however you do expect higher quality control, just maybe not that much higher except when you start paying custom prices. Are Epiphone worse? Not 3/4 worse. They win NAMM all the time. This tells you that the price jump is more branding and the reputation behind these guitars. However, it's the same across the board with nearly everything in guitar. Double the cost doesn't mean double the quality, double the tone, double your musical experience, or double anything. It's mostly what the market will pay for stuff, which is basically off the walls these days not to mention inflation.

I would recommend Epiphone in a heartbeat to anyone with a budget that is around mid-range 3 figures.



1*FzzJAP8O3x0_rcZLYJU76w.jpeg
 

ricksdisconnected

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To those that ask this question may I refer them to a local shop that has Epi's in stock along with Gibson USA guitars and Gibson Custom Guitar's as the R series . There is an ocean of difference . Please don't believe me as listen with your ears and trust your ears and the proof is there and cannot be missed .


apples and oranges. your comparing a stock model vs a CS model.
leave CS models out of this discussion guy. just go for normal every damn day off the freakin shelf guitars.
but if ya do just have to go CS because Epi is so far up Gibsons ass on quality and playability, lets not
forget Epi just dropped a CS of their own as well also MIA.
 

ricksdisconnected

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i do not want to get involved here.........but OK I WILL.
i see a lot of you comparing CS to off the shelf products.
ooooof course you will. R9, R1000'S whatever.
lets stick to the basics and try to give the precieved "underdog"
a fair fight here shall we?

lets look back at 15 yrs of gibson vs epi.
who has had the much better reputation as a company?
who hasnt skipped quality to get out quantity?
whos product has remained stable over this period? whos not had a shit ton of quality control issues?
which one has steadily improved yr after yr? who keeps winning the Namm shows?
which one has proven to be more durable short term and long term? which product has
had more repair issues under their belts? which product has treated their dealers with better respect and conditions?
which one has had more consistant product straight off the shelf and from one store to the next?
a dare ask which one is most likely putting the brakes on the other because the compitition is getting to damn close?

with no disrespect to anyone but i highly doubt that there is any one on here, save maybe two, that can look at a piece
of coated wood, say mahogany, and by coated i mean stained at the very least, and can tell anybody what type or where it came from. and i continue to say i bet cant tell the difference tone wise either to say this is this type or that, came from here or there. you know only because of the inspection sheets listed on the web.
most epi and gibsons are using the same hardware now too. (on the upper mid and higher end epi's)
thats like tasting mashed potato's and telling us what type of potato its made from and what part of the world
it was grown in. or tasting a banana and doing the same. so lets keep the comparing to a more equal playing field.
your choice is your choice and thats just the way it is, nobody can fault you in ANY way for that.
but before you start saying you like one over the other because of where the mahogany came from
take that BS somewhere else. i throw the red flag on that call. both companies make good off the shelf guitars.
one company is on the rise in a major way while the other company is playin catch up with itself from almost certain disater. and thank God for that bit of news going to both of them. and please, dont for 1 second try that "one has better craftsmen than the other" bs either. anybody knows budget plays the biggest role in the craftsmanship.
to think anything else, your kung-fu is weak.
bruce-lee-fight.gif
 

Kutt

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I like the African Mahogany, and have used it in a few builds. It's usually a bit warmer sounding than the S. American species, it's usually lighter weight, and it looks great with the usual striping of the grain patterns.

Is this the same as Okoume? I've seen it referred to as African Mahogany but only sparingly so I question whether or not it's the same thing.
 

El Gringo

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apples and oranges. your comparing a stock model vs a CS model.
leave CS models out of this discussion guy. just go for normal every damn day off the freakin shelf guitars.
but if ya do just have to go CS because Epi is so far up Gibsons ass on quality and playability, lets not
forget Epi just dropped a CS of their own as well also MIA.
Okay I can do that and will say that with up graded electronics both in wiring harness and pickups and tuning gears and maybe an ABR-1 bridge (long shot if really needed ) you should be good to go and in the ballpark with Gibson USA guitars . How's that for a answer ? I remember back in the mid 90's there was a friends son that got into guitar and his pop my friend got him an Epi Les Paul Custom and both fit and finish were spot on and she played nice and sounded decent . I have no idea where she was built at the time . I always thought that the Epi's were good budget/student/ beginners models.
 

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The beauty of today's world is there is no difference, ...meaning not if you don't want there to be, anyway.
Different used to be along the lines of logic and sense, but now we can all have our own custom
"opinion" that is does not need any association with logic.

Now, one of the best parts about this new "way", is that you can actually socially "trump" anyone with
common sense with your sheer opinion then scorn them as if they are "wrong".

Epiphones and Gibson differences are now in the eye of the beholder only. We all see "different" in a
different way. Hell, they have 0 differences and both get the trophy! WaHoO!!!

Now, don't you dare even challenge that. :mad:


Lol.

:hbang:
 

El Gringo

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i do not want to get involved here.........but OK I WILL.
i see a lot of you comparing CS to off the shelf products.
ooooof course you will. R9, R1000'S whatever.
lets stick to the basics and try to give the precieved "underdog"
a fair fight here shall we?

lets look back at 15 yrs of gibson vs epi.
who has had the much better reputation as a company?
who hasnt skipped quality to get out quantity?
whos product has remained stable over this period? whos not had a shit ton of quality control issues?
which one has steadily improved yr after yr? who keeps winning the Namm shows?
which one has proven to be more durable short term and long term? which product has
had more repair issues under their belts? which product has treated their dealers with better respect and conditions?
which one has had more consistant product straight off the shelf and from one store to the next?
a dare ask which one is most likely putting the brakes on the other because the compitition is getting to damn close?

with no disrespect to anyone but i highly doubt that there is any one on here, save maybe two, that can look at a piece
of coated wood, say mahogany, and by coated i mean stained at the very least, and can tell anybody what type or where it came from. and i continue to say i bet cant tell the difference tone wise either to say this is this type or that, came from here or there. you know only because of the inspection sheets listed on the web.
most epi and gibsons are using the same hardware now too. (on the upper mid and higher end epi's)
thats like tasting mashed potato's and telling us what type of potato its made from and what part of the world
it was grown in. or tasting a banana and doing the same. so lets keep the comparing to a more equal playing field.
your choice is your choice and thats just the way it is, nobody can fault you in ANY way for that.
but before you start saying you like one over the other because of where the mahogany came from
take that BS somewhere else. i throw the red flag on that call. both companies make good off the shelf guitars.
one company is on the rise in a major way while the other company is playin catch up with itself from almost certain disater. and thank God for that bit of news going to both of them. and please, dont for 1 second try that "one has better craftsmen than the other" bs either. anybody knows budget plays the biggest role in the craftsmanship.
to think anything else, your kung-fu is weak.
bruce-lee-fight.gif
Not to be a stick in the mud but , you do know Gibson has owned Epiphone since they purchased them in 1957 . They are not competing against each other as Epiphone is a division of Gibson .
 

Sapient

 
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Not to be a stick in the mud but , you do know Gibson has owned Epiphone since they purchased them in 1957 . They are not competing against each other as Epiphone is a division of Gibson .

No one seems to understand this either. Like Gibson is kicking itself in its ass to catch up to its head. Lol.
 


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