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Old 11-24-2012, 08:52 PM   #21
nickdohle
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What Epi has a 2 screw truss rod cover?
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickdohle
What Epi has a 2 screw truss rod cover?

I don't know if that's true or not, but the TS's thought process seems to be that a 2 screw truss rod cover means they are trying to fool people into thinking that they are as good as Gibsons, which is just ridiculous.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:18 PM   #23
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Gibson have dabbled, at random points in time, with putting 2-screw truss rod covers with 'Gibson' written on them on the cheapest Epiphones - Special-IIs, Juniors, etc. Why they do it, I've no idea. My only guess would be that perhaps they were surplus and it was deemed more efficient to send them to be stuck on junk Epis than it was to have Epiphone make more 'correct' covers.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:05 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by MrFlibble
Gibson have dabbled, at random points in time, with putting 2-screw truss rod covers with 'Gibson' written on them on the cheapest Epiphones - Special-IIs, Juniors, etc. Why they do it, I've no idea. My only guess would be that perhaps they were surplus and it was deemed more efficient to send them to be stuck on junk Epis than it was to have Epiphone make more 'correct' covers.



I had just saw it out of the corner of my eye when I had went to sell and was walking around looking for the joke Ibanez (RG5SP1 I always look for it), and they had the Special IIs with the bell shaped cover with 2 screws in it. I had owned a special II a few years ago and it didn't have the cover and a few topics on here talking about counterfeits that had taught me about that. Thankfully the cover actually said Special II, so they were being honest. Actually that is the only way I identified it so easily, as I don't look at Epi products too readily due to that thing. I doubt anyone would try to fake a special II though, and I found them on the GC site with 3 screws easily visible in the picture, so they may have changed it.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:06 AM   #25
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This is a great topic.

I think it serves notice to the two big manufacturers that we have alternatives and the name on the headstock is not the most important thing anymore. Somewhere along the way they lost sight of they're customers and are putting out overly priced, inconsistent guitars as far as quality goes.

Smaller companies like Godin should see this as an opportunity. Unfortunately, most buyers, like voters can only see two choices.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:27 AM   #26
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I have an Epi Special II with a Gibson truss rod cover. But it has three screws. Just says Gibson. I have seen whole bunch like this. Never with two screws though
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:51 AM   #27
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I think that cheap guitars now are GENERALLY improving- there are a fair number of decent guitars for very little money. Additionally, there seem to be fewer genuinely unplayable guitars.

there are obvious reasons for this, such as increased consumer awareness (internet reviews affect sales), improved production techniques, increased market size (more profits to make), more competition and whatnot. Also, making a decent cheap guitar if you're Ibanez, Fender or the like could help you sell a better guitar (or 2) to that guitarist a couple years down the line. Essentially, selling a better guitar for the same price as an inferior one means you should sell more guitars.

That being said, I think the bottom end of the market is still crap. Better budget guitars have definitely gotten better in the last decade or so, but truly cheap instruments are still precisely that. Additionally, I think that part of the perception of better budget instruments can be attributed to the fact that there are simply more of them: you'd be inclined to think that budget guitars are getting better simply because you see more good cheap guitars- this is, however, probably just a result of their being more guitar makers running about.

anyways, if you do your research, you can get a decent guitar at any (reasonable) price. That does not mean that you can get a beast of a guitar on the cheap, but you can definitely find a decent guitar on a very reasonable budget.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:13 PM   #28
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A lot of today's lower budget guitars from companies such as ESP, Epiphone, Ibanez, and squier just to name a few, are putting out top notch product today that IMO, are in some cases, just as good as their USA made counterparts. It's too bad that some of the tone snobs tend to thumb their noses at the mere mention of names like squier, etc.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:30 PM   #29
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I have been fairly impressed with some of the Jay Turser lines. I just picked up a Strat copy, JT-300 and yes, it needed some set up help, but it's a fairly good guitar considering it cost me $120.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:58 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffo46
A lot of today's lower budget guitars from companies such as ESP, Epiphone, Ibanez, and squier just to name a few, are putting out top notch product today that IMO, are in some cases, just as good as their USA made counterparts. It's too bad that some of the tone snobs tend to thumb their noses at the mere mention of names like squier, etc.


I mostly agree with this, maybe not the equating of these guitars to the MIA counterparts, but I figure that most casual players or beginners are finding good quality in the "lower end" brands. When it comes to tone, the amp and choice of effects has so much to do with what one hears that the guitar itself (except for the pickup configuration) has less to do with the actual "tone" of the guitar than the gear it's plugged into. Unless you're getting into the hollow VS semi-hollow VS solid-body guitar discussion, these guitars can be pretty easily manipulated to capture the "higher-end" tone.

I have a fairly wide-range of guitars from the $300-1,200 range, and the best advice for the player looking to buy on the cheap is to make sure that the individual guitar you're playing feels good in your hands. The quality always varies from guitar to guitar, but one can never really make sweeping statements about the quality of an entire brand. It would seem that the "cheap" guitar quality has gone up recently, and it really does benefit the consumer in virtually all ways. "Cheap" guitars may only be fractionally worse than the more expensive counterparts, thus driving the market price down on the "expensive" guitars due to the decreased gap in quality.

Edit: This may also better the QC in some of the higher end guitars - or at least the perception of better QC (as there has been much talk about that on these boards). Let's not get into the discussion on whether or not there have actually been issues in QC with the higher quality brands, but acknowledge that these concerns have at least been expressed in past years.

Last edited by SteveHOC : 11-25-2012 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:19 PM   #31
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A lot of good points in this thread. But I think there's something even more obvious - there are simply more guitarists in the beginner / intermediate range than in the above-average / professional range. I don't have any exact numbers in front of me, but based on what I see in stores and online, a company like Fender sells A TON more Squire and MIM guitars than higher-end MIA guitars. So it makes sense for Fender to start putting more effort into those guitars to make sure their customers are happy and stay brand loyal with their next purchase.

And it's not just the overall quality with the lower end stuff. Have you noticed how many different options there are in those lower price ranges now? It's really smart for companies to do that. It gives consumers a lot more "steps" in between the beginner stuff and the nicer stuff, so they create a natural path of upgrading as your skills and budget increase, and over time they sell a lot more guitars.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:03 PM   #32
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Yeah, that's very true. Most beginners don't want to move up to $1,000 dollar guitars immediately, and I have noticed a lot of brands have several intermediate steps to move customers up without giving them a reason to try other brands. A lot of people start with low-end epiphones, and then there's the LP Standard, the Black Beauty, the SG-400 up into Gibson budget models like the Studio.

I suppose it makes sense for the company. One of the reasons I've heard people complain about Agile is they want higher-quality instruments than Agile is willing to make ($1,000 and up). Sure, there's custom guitars, but the guy's usually slammed with orders for those. If you leave a niche in the market untapped, it's going to go to your competitors. This may be why so many big-name companies make absolutely horrible starter-pack guitars. If they don't do it, some other company like First Act will make those millions every christmas. :|
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:06 PM   #33
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I think they are making better budget guitars. Those Epiphone Standard Plustop Pros are really nice guitars.

And lets be honest, how many people true need (not want), but need pro level gear? HOw many people really have the skill and space to maximize those instruments?
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:21 PM   #34
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There was just an article in GP or GW about this subject, including a shooting of about a dozen or so.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:29 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by dannyalcatraz
There was just an article in GP or GW about this subject, including a shooting of about a dozen or so.


What did they conclude? I don't think it is in the current GW.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:52 PM   #36
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Just checked, and its the Dec. 2012 Guitar Player (cover featuring Jimmy Herring), and they tested 8 guitars.

Their take: cheaper guitars are indeed getting better. Of the 8 tested, the Epiphone Dot Studio and Karamer Baretta Special earned "Editors' Pick" rating.*

Concerns on the group were things like absence of fretboard markers, pickup quality (too bland, too hot, or to hollow), and bad setups, all fairly minor considering what you're getting.










* The surprising thing was that the Cort KX5 and ESP LTD M-103FM did not earn that status despite having "No concerns"- perhaps they didn't have enough positives in comparison.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:59 PM   #37
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Very cool. I think it's safe to assume that stock pickups are ok at best in most sub 1000 guitars. They have to keep the price down some how.
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