#1
Is it really just the brand name? I can see from guitar center that there are more color choices with the Gibson model, and that the Epihone model has gold hardware. But other than that are there any real differences? (Wood type, quality issues, etc.)

For reference:

Gibson:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Gibson-Explorer-Electric-Guitar-100082501-i1149289.gc

Epiphone:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Epiphone-1958-Explorer-Electric-Guitar-101464113-i1150040.gc
#2
the name on the headstock and hardware "quality"
Quote by fleajr_1412
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Are You a PROG-HEAD? I am.
#5
From MusiciansFriend:

Epi:
The Epiphone 1958 Explorer Electric Guitar is based on the '58 Gibson design that ushered in the space age! The 1958 Explorer features a 24-3/4"-scale maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. Two Alnico Classic humbuckers give it its rock 'n' roll voice, with one tone and two volume knobs and a three-way switch for shifting from rhythm to high-altitude leads. Limited lifetime warranty.

Gibson:
The body of the Gibson Explorer Electric Guitar is solid mahogany for a fat and punchy sound, while the dual blazing-hot ceramic magnet humbuckers (496-R and 500-T) sizzle and snarl with aggressive authority. The Explorer's radical design not only looks sharp, but it also offers excellent playing balance. Other features include a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with dot inlay, Tune-O-Matic bridge with stopbar tailpiece, and Grover machine heads. Made in the USA. Includes Gibson hardshell case.

Gibson Explorer Electric Guitar Includes:

Gibson hardshell case


so not really, but i think the Gibson has much better tone
#6
Quote by Entropy
But is the quality really worth that much of a gap in price?


yes.. gibson guitars uses high quality everything pretty much, gibson guitars are made out of real expensive materials. epiphones are like cheap gibsons, but their still great guitars. i mean unless you got alot of money to blow, buy epiphone.
#7
from the ones i've played/own, epiphone makes really nice guitars. That said, the gibson is probably slightly better materials (particularly pick-ups) and you pay a bit more cause it's made in the good ole U. S. of A. Myself, i don't have tons of money lying around so i'd go epiphone
"Your just a monkey in a monkey suit, aww yeah!"-Piebald "Long Nights"
#8
Quote by MrOtter
from the ones i've played/own, epiphone makes really nice guitars. That said, the gibson is probably slightly better materials (particularly pick-ups) and you pay a bit more cause it's made in the good ole U. S. of A. Myself, i don't have tons of money lying around so i'd go epiphone


I'd replace the pickups regardless of which I got with EMG 81/85's. And yeah, I don't have a ton of money at the moment but I could save up for the Gibson in time I guess.
#9
Well If you are already planning on replacing the pups, I say go for the Epiphone
Rig
Fender 09 Standard Strat>Wilson Ten Spot II Wah>Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion>EHX Big Muff Pi>Boss CE-2 Chorus>Crate V32 Palomino 212
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Quote by WtrPlyr
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#10
Gibson's quality and materials are better. But for the price I don't think that they're that much better, especially if your going to replace the pickups anyway. I would say go for the epiphone.
You and I are mortal, but rock n roll will never die.
#11
the main drop in quality will be with the pickups. my epi sheraton isnt much different to my mates es-335 except that the epi sounds weaker and feels lighter.

as for the explorers, i'd envisage that the gib would feel heavier and more 'together' and would sound heavier. saying that though, you may prefer the neck on the epi, and the frets will no doubt be more shallow and rounder on the epi where as the gib will have the standard block shaped high frets.

its comes down to trying them both out and making the possibly bank breaking decision
#13
It's basically the same as going to wal-mart and buying a nice wool shirt.
and then going into a designer store and buying a satin shirt haha.

price difference is basically name.
and a lil has to do with quality.
My Guitars:
Epiphone Prophecy LP GX
(Scenic Painted) American Project Strat
LTD M-10

My Amps:
Peavey XXL
Peavey 5150
Marshall 1960a 410


SELLING 360 $200USD obo
#14
We were explained at a recent seminar on the new Epiphones that the biggest difference in the guitars these days is the pickups, and the finish. Most USA Gibsons have Nitrocellulose finishes rather than Poly ones. Beyond that the Epiphones now come standard with Grover tuners, set necks, and solid Korina or Mahogany bodies same as the Gibsons.

The other big difference is labour cost. i.e. Joe Woodcutter at Gibson U.S.A. makes maybe $25/hour union protected labour...and Ching Qing Ming at Epiphone's factory in China makes maybe the equivalent of $3/hour. That makes a huge difference in the cost as well.
Gear:
- Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
- B.C. Rich Platinum Beast
- Godin LG EMG
- Peavey 6505+ Combo
- "Mastortion" Pedal 1/6
- Hagstrom HC-15 (1967)

2011 gear:
- Schecter 35th anniversary C-1
- Schecter RAF spitfire solo 6
#15
the difference is that the epiphone models are based of the 1958 design whereas the gibsons are based of the 1976 design, i owned an epiphone and have compared it to a gibson side by side and the horns and points of the guitar are more defined on the gibson, and on the epiphone they are slightly rounded off
2008 M.I.A. HSS Strat
Marshall JCM 900 50w Dual Reverb
Last edited by LPstudioWRz28 at Mar 12, 2009,
#17
Quote by eaton1012
If you can go to a guitar store and play each of them. And then compare.

I agree with eaton1012, that's the best way to know
When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. - Jimi Hendrix
#18
Quote by Entropy
But is the quality really worth that much of a gap in price?

People will say yes and yes, obviosuly Gibsons feel better, but honestly, I say nop.
It sounds pretty damn close, and if you're used to Fenders, Epiphones, or anything that's usually $600 and under, you really won't feel the difference.
I would much rather get an Epiphone than a Gibson. Spending that much on a guitar makes no sense to me.
#19
If you're a live musician, I would go Gibson, simply for the better materials and quality, but for a hobbyist, grab a Epiphone and throw in some EMGs or Seymour Duncans.
#20
I always thought Gibson and Epiphone were one in the same At least brand wise, not quality.
#21
I had both an Epi Explorer and a Gibson Explorer and they are so close it's very hard to tell the main difference IMHO is the pups, the hardware might be a bit different in quality but I haven't found that it makes a difference at all and both have Grover tuners though. I think if my old Epi Korina had the Gibby pups it would actually sound better than the Gibson. I sold the Epi to a friend not too long ago I wish I didn't now. It was a really great guitar and I doubt I'll ever score another for $250.00 w HSC.