#1
Hey all, UG noob here so go easy on me.

Could anyone tell me what the difference between an Epi vs. Gib explorer? On the surface it seems that its the gear inside but the body/wood is the same. So theoretically, if you fit both guitars with the same pickups, wouldn't you get a near identical sound from both guitars?

Thanks!
-Mark
#2
well i can tell u this gibsons are nice but im an epiphone guy cuz they r cheaper and about the same
#3
A Gibson explorer will be made in the USA, as apposed to China or Korea for the Epiphone.

You'll get WAY better pickups. The 496R and 500T are way better than "Alnico Classic" pickups.

The body woods are the same, but you'll get a better quality wood with Gibson.

The neck woods are different, the Epi has Maple and the Gibson has Mahogany.

The Gibson will have better quality hardware and possibly a better QC.

You'll get a hardcase with the Gibson, worth about $200.

Overall, the Gibson will be a better guitar. But yes, theoretically, if you put a 496R and a 500T into an Epiphone Explorer, you'll get a very similar sound to that of the Gibson Explorer. But keep in mind, those two pickups are about $110 each. And a Epiphone Explorer is $500. You probably won't get much money for the Alnico Plus/Classic pickups if you were to sell them (maybe $20 each, tops). And if you don't put them in yourself, it would cost around $50 to replace the pickups. So you're looking at putting in almost $300 into a $500 guitar, where you will probably be able to sell it for $500, should you decide to sell it in the future.
#4
Think of it this way: Ruling out gems or lemons, the Epiphone is a cheap, shitty version of the Gibson designed to be affordable at the expense of quality. The production is outsourced, the hardware is cheaper, and the wood is lower quality- were you to spend the money pimping out your new Epiphone, it still couldn't match up in terms of wood and build quality. A lot of people who can't afford high-end gear, like me, just like to tell people there's almost no difference for the sake of their own pride.

That said, don't get either of them. Ltd will give you a better guitar than Epiphone for the same price. Like this'n, for example.
http://www.music123.com/ESP-LTD-EX-401-ELECTRIC-GUITAR-520112-i1435796.Music123
Squier Strat (Jazz/JB) - Dunlop Zakk Wylde Crybaby - Boss MIJ HM-2 Distortion - Peavey Valveking 212 - Fender CD60
#5
Quote by Pretty. Odd.
Think of it this way: Ruling out gems or lemons, the Epiphone is a cheap, shitty version of the Gibson designed to be affordable at the expense of quality. The production is outsourced, the hardware is cheaper, and the wood is lower quality- were you to spend the money pimping out your new Epiphone, it still couldn't match up in terms of wood and build quality. A lot of people who can't afford high-end gear, like me, just like to tell people there's almost no difference for the sake of their own pride.

That said, don't get either of them. Ltd will give you a better guitar than Epiphone for the same price. Like this'n, for example.
http://www.music123.com/ESP-LTD-EX-401-ELECTRIC-GUITAR-520112-i1435796.Music123


That is harsh and just plain wrong.
#6
I've recently been looking to get an SG, so I've been playing a lot of Gibsons. I also own an Epi Elitist SG and an Epi LP Standard. I've played a ot of other Epis in stores, and I used to live with a guy who had the Epi Explorer.

From my experience, all Epiphones *feel* a little different from their Gibson counterparts. They don't feel better or worse, just different. I'd say Gibson feel closer to playing acoustic guitars almost. The Elitist line is on par with Gibson's Standard line, and honestly my Elitist SG is built much better than any Standard Gibson I've ever come across. Epi hardware sucks however. I've replaced the pickups and pots in both my Epiphones and they sound better than any stock Gibson. But just a little better. Gibson electronics aren't the greatest. I'm sure a Gibson with the same upgrades would be noticeably better than an Epi.

The only advice I would have is to play both the Gibson and Epiphone versions of the Explorer and see which one you like better. Don't let the name on the headstock alter your impression of the instrument. Whichever you choose, both brands should be excellent sounding gig-worthy guitars. Though the Epi might need an electronics upgrade to compete with the Gibson, you can do this with cash to spare compared to the price of Gibsons.
#7
I have a new 2009 Gibson worn brown Explorer, I sold my 2000 Epi Korina a few months ago and they pretty much is no difference IMO. My Gibson has 496R and 500T pups (Not sure on the specs they vary quite a bit), the Epi had Epi's Alnico Classics 8.5K ohms neck and 13.85K ohms bridge the guitar sounded great and the guitar played great. With a pup swap you probably couldn't tell at all. Even though Gibson uses a little bit better grade of mahogany the tone difference is not noticeable if there is even a difference, but my Epi was Korina so it had a different tone anyway. The Epi Explorers have Grovers for tuners and the hardware is pretty dam good, In all the years I have owned Epis never had a problem or had the hardware fail. Now that Gibson is using pots made in China I don't even think there is much difference in those anymore. I know my 2009 Explorer has the same numbers on the pots as one of my Limited Edition Epi Vs.

Before people start saying my Explorer might be a knockoff I bought it brand new at Guitar Center and registered it with Gibson for the warranty! Now I would have never bought the Gibson Explorer but I got it new at an unbelievable price $499.99 with the HSC. If it wasn't for that price I would have easily kept the Epi. My Epi with the HSC was $280.00 5 or 6 years ago and I sold it for $350.00.

Your best bet is to go to a shop that has both and try them out side by side and see for yourself. I do it all the time myself, I love seeing peoples faces when they hear the less expensive guitar played against the high end ones and you can't really tell what one is better. GC doesn't let us cover the head stocks anymore. That was fun seeing people faces when they couldn't tell or picked the Epi over the Gibby.

John
#8
Out of curoisity, how does the faded explorer compare to the stock model? I know my faded V was pretty similar except finish to my stock v, but I noticed they silk screen rather than inlay the headstock logo on the faded exp's? That in itself is no big deal but it makes me wonder if they cut steps anywhere else in production like with wiring or components. Supposedly, the satin version of the 335 does not use all the same components of the regular model, but again, I noticed very little difference aside from the clear coat in my faded v.
#9
Actually some of the hard ware on Epiphones are really good, like the tuners.

But the Gibson will be american made, use nicer wood, different finish, less pieces of wood, the body on the epiphone could be made of 5 or 6 pieces while the Gibson would be less. The Gibson also has a free case and some good pups. The necks will also be a little different. My Epiphones neck is a bit thinner than my Gibson's.
Lets jump in a pool


_____________________________________________
Last edited by I am wet : Today at 03:26 XM.
#10
Wow, Thanks to everyone for the speedy and highly informative replies.

So i've gathered that in terms of feel, I can only make that decision once I play the both of them.

the wood in the gibson will be of a higher quality, but may not necissarily produce a different sound if both the epi and the gib have the same pups.

It seems that gibsons generally retain thier resale value.

I have a fender strat which I love for my bluesy and classic rock sound, but im looking at the explorer to dabble with some metal sounds. Im interested in swapping stock pups with EMG 81/85's (I'm not being original, I know...).

The explorer line has got my interest because it seems that the action is really fast and smooth and light.

Im just wondering if the price difference justifies getting the gibson over the epiphone. The stock gibson pups and case inclusion definately helps.

Thanks again
Last edited by macgruber18 at Nov 12, 2009,
#11
In my opinion, you're spending a few hundred bucks just to have the name "Gibson" on your headstock.
#12
Get the Gibson if you can afford it. In my life Gibsons (so long as they're well kept) have always played better than Epiphones. If I ever decide to get a Les Paul (probably just get an Ibanez AR Prestige instead, but...) it will be a Gibson Standard.
Quote by Marty Friedman
Because I bend in such an unorthodox fashion; the notes kinda slide up and slide down...
#13
I hate to say it but just because a guitar is MIA doesn't mean it's good. I lost a lot of faith in Made in USA at one time when you saw Made in the USA you knew you got quality now you just pay a high price for something that is mediocre at best. Unless a guitar is made by a small company/luthier you getting a mass produced over priced piece.

As far as my faded/worn Explorer goes I played several other Explorers on the floor just to compare at GC and it was the best out of I think 5 and the only faded/worn one on the floor. I really love it. When my buddy told me the guitar was a managers special markdown and said it was only $499.00 I thought he was bullsh*tting me. He told me later if i didn't buy he was going to take it home if it still was there when he got paid. I figured that's why it was not marked down on the tag. The tag was still marked at $949.00. the lowest I ever saw them marked was $749.00. I always tell people if they want a Gibson and don't have a lot of dough try out the faded/worn SGs, LPs Vs and Explorers paying 500 to 1000 bucks extra for that nitro finish is like tossing money out the window. Again with Gibsons you still need to try them out and look for problems. Before I handed GC my cash I mede sure there were no issues with the guitar. They sh*t when I pulled my fret level rocker out of my pocket! You really need to check the fret level on Gibbys.

John
#14
Play both and you will know why. I own an Epi and it is great for what it is. But, if you play a Gibson Les Paul then an Epi you can feel the difference in the 2. The same goes for any other model that Epi makes a copy of.Not that Epiphones are bad but they are not Gibson's by a long shot.
Bhaok

The following statement is true. The proceeding statement is false.
#15
I've played 3 different Gibson Explorers, and 2 Epiphones.

The Gibson's all had quirks, like a dent in the side, or a big giant sticker that said, "Nobama" or some such nonsense. But they all great. They all felt pretty good, (the one i actually own being the top of that list) and they were all built like tanks.

Those two Epiphones sounded weak, muddy, the pots were crackly, the tuners were shit, the neck heel felt iffy, the finish was inferior, the frets were a bit sharp/messy. Ya know.
Jesus wouldn't give you the sweat off of his balls if you were dying of thirst.
Quote by Code-E
God, you've gotta be UG's only moron!


Quote by magnum1117
that's right,you certainly are UG's only moron.


Quote by necrosis1193
Read the moron's posts, ironically enough he knows what he says.
#16
the electronics, pickups and hardware are poorer in the epi, the build quality is lower, the QC sucks monkey balls and the epis are 'sandwiched' (ie. several strips of mahogany) which makes the guitar resonate less = less sustain. BUT, for just over the price of an epi, go on ebay and pick up a used Gibson Explorer - you won't regret it.
#17
Dude,sorry to ressurect an old horse, but these gibby snobs are cork sniffing elitists. Ive owned BOTH. a 76 explorer reissue gibby, and an epiphone 84. While i LOVE gibson, i have equal respect for epis. Set neck, GROVER tuners( an upgrade?) and ALL mohagony body.plus emg 81 85s, while not as versatile as the 496 500, great for Metal! Perfect action and finish too. While im not saying people may curse epi being the victim of a bad run here and there ( once bitten twice shy lol) they are the ONLY secondline brand that can rival there cousins.
#18
Quote by jayjay347912
Dude,sorry to ressurect an old horse, but these gibby snobs are cork sniffing elitists. Ive owned BOTH. a 76 explorer reissue gibby, and an epiphone 84. While i LOVE gibson, i have equal respect for epis. Set neck, GROVER tuners( an upgrade?) and ALL mohagony body.plus emg 81 85s, while not as versatile as the 496 500, great for Metal! Perfect action and finish too. While im not saying people may curse epi being the victim of a bad run here and there ( once bitten twice shy lol) they are the ONLY secondline brand that can rival there cousins.


Why did you necro it then? that is against the rules.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/