#1
I've got a used Epiphone SG G-400 I got for about $220, it's in decent condition, but there are some minor cosmetic issues, moderate fret issues and I'd like some of the parts replaced.

I could get my frets levelled and crowned for about $95 (there isn't a whole lot of work to be done, it's just specific frets), get SH-4 and SH Custom 5 pickups for about $160, and then I was thinking a TUSQ nut for $15. Maybe new pot knobs, costing like, $20. Also I don't know if it's possible but I'd like to get my pot knobs straightened, mine rotate at an angle and it just annoys me.

All in all this would run me, including what I originally paid, about $600ish.

When I can get a Gibson SG Standard, used, for around $900 or $1000, which is the better choice?

The way I see it the $400 difference doesn't equate to the quality increase, and a well-setup and customized Epiphone can match a Gibson.
Last edited by Insaneguy75 at Jul 5, 2010,
#2
Never underestimate the importance of a Gibson logo on the headstock. The Epi might sound as good upgraded (might being the important word), it could play close as well if you have a good example but in terms of how much you want to play it and how good it will look if you gig it the Gibson will always win, and you would be lucky to get the money back out of the epi if you sell it, Gibsons hold value better.

Quality control should be better but dont buy unseen Gibson aren't as reliable as they were.
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#3
im probably a strange kind of guy but i say go for the epi as long as apart from the minor fret issues it all plays well and stuff. i think epiphone are a very good and reputable guitar make tbh. after youve had a guitar repaired and changed the pot knobs and things like that you start to get a feel for the guitar and you start to get attached to it and just like it gets a personality and it will mean more to you than just buying a gibson and you will have upgraded it all yourself. im just a fan of things like that but thats just me :L
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#4
well, it's really up to the individual(you) on that one. I would say the investment is worth it, but keep in mind, that the monetary investment will mean absolutely squat when/if the need arises for you to sell your epi SG.

But on the other hand, you will truly be doing that guitar a favor by fixing those problem areas. Look at it this way, most famous musicians have had their guitars heavily modified to their liking!
#5
Well i think you can do much better than 1k or 900 used for a standard. this was just a quick craigslist thing in my area.

http://nh.craigslist.org/msg/1817984043.html

and NH postings are pretty few, and there were 2 at this price.
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#6
A well set up and customized Epiphone can come close to a Gibson, but Gibsons are better built, use better woods, and have better parts. In the long run, a Gibson will be the better purchase in my opinion.
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#7
Well, go play the SG you're considering, A/B it to your Epi. Gibson uses a thinner finish both on the surface of the body and the back of the neck, as well as slightly different shapes as a result of the fact they sand them by hand to my knowledge, so it's really going to be a preference thing as far as whether you like the more uniform feel or the odd, sometimes maddening, sometimes awesome nuances of a hand-shaped neck, as well as which finish works with you.

As far as tone goes, again, compare them side-by-side. Strum both unplugged; if a guitar can't resonate without a pickup, it's going to sound dull with one. If the Gibson sounds much livelier, then the Epi won't come close even upgraded. If it sounds close, you likely won't fuss about it unless you, like me, are a tonehound.
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#8
Haha! Oh man, I hope you're joking.

A decked out Epiphone will never match a Gibson in quality, sound, or anything. Putting Seymour Duncan pickups in a Epiphone, hoping to make it sound like a Gibson is just stumbling backwards.

Not to mention, a Gibson uses different fret material (20% silver, 80% nickel, I believe), which produces different tone than pot metal frets that Epiphone uses. Oh, and Gibson uses REAL mahogany, whereas Epiphone is more likely using Nato Mahogany, which is a much lighter and cheaper form of Mahogany and has some of real Mahogany's sound characteristics.

Everything that a Gibson is made of, is 110% better than an Epiphone.

By the way, putting $400 or whatever into a $220 Epiphone isn't going to make it worth anymore. If anything, you put that much into it and You'll be able to sell it for $300. A Gibson would be a far better investment, because some Gibson guitars retain their value pretty well.
#10
I used to be one of those "Epiphone is just as good as Gibson" people....until I got my LP studio. Built better, and hold their value(is there an echo in here, lol?)
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#11
if it's just a standard G-400 then yeah, it won't ever stack up to a Gibson SG Standard. Some of the nicer Epis might with some upgrades, but not those.
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#12
Quote by r0ckth3d34n
Haha! Oh man, I hope you're joking.

A decked out Epiphone will never match a Gibson in quality, sound, or anything. Putting Seymour Duncan pickups in a Epiphone, hoping to make it sound like a Gibson is just stumbling backwards.

Not to mention, a Gibson uses different fret material (20% silver, 80% nickel, I believe), which produces different tone than pot metal frets that Epiphone uses. Oh, and Gibson uses REAL mahogany, whereas Epiphone is more likely using Nato Mahogany, which is a much lighter and cheaper form of Mahogany and has some of real Mahogany's sound characteristics.

Everything that a Gibson is made of, is 110% better than an Epiphone.

By the way, putting $400 or whatever into a $220 Epiphone isn't going to make it worth anymore. If anything, you put that much into it and You'll be able to sell it for $300. A Gibson would be a far better investment, because some Gibson guitars retain their value pretty well.

Unless of course you are talking about an Epiphone Elitist... He's pretty much right though. If you are somewhat experienced with electric guitar, you should be able to hear a difference in the tone between Epiphone and Gibson guitars.
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#13
Alright, to clear things up, as far as modding the Epi goes, I'm not trying to REPLICATE a Gibson in terms of tone. I'm trying to decide which of the two would be a better guitar.

So far Gibson seems the popular decision for quality of work, but tbh I know for a fact that gibsons out of the factory aren't always perfect, they often need a bit of work here and there (mostly tiny things like a good setup which I can do, maybe a bit of fret work).

I'm not sure if the large investment is worth it for me, a guitarist who's by no means a pro and doesn't even gig.
Last edited by Insaneguy75 at Jul 5, 2010,
#14
I think one of the reasons why people are discouraging you from upgrading your epiphone is because you won't get your money back if one day you sell it.
But if money is an issue and you know for sure you won't ever sell it, that's not that relevant.
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#15
Money's a bit of an issue but longevity is equally as important. Chances are if I get a really nice guitar that I grow attached to I won't ever sell it anyways.
#16
What about a used Gibson SG? They can go for around $800. Or even lower if you look hard enough.
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Last edited by The3818919 at Jul 5, 2010,
#17
Yea I'd go for the Gibson based on three things:
1. Resale Value
2. Quality
3. Cosmetics

People just react better to seeing the Gibson logo (as said above). Also I'd look a bit harder for the SG. I guarantee you'd be able to find one for $750 or less. Just look and try them out. Be happy with your choice. Good luck.
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Yea thats what i thought.
#18
I like my Epi SG, I think it sounds better than it's Gibson counterpart for the styles I play. I was told never to buy an expensive guitar just because I believe that 99% of it is the person playing it. I'm really not a tonehound though, and when I am looking for a certain sweet sound I look at my amp, not my axe. I don't care if people sit here and tell me my guitars suck because of what's stamped on the headstock. If you think it sounds good man, go for it.
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#19
Quote by Insaneguy75
Alright, to clear things up, as far as modding the Epi goes, I'm not trying to REPLICATE a Gibson in terms of tone. I'm trying to decide which of the two would be a better guitar.

So far Gibson seems the popular decision for quality of work, but tbh I know for a fact that gibsons out of the factory aren't always perfect, they often need a bit of work here and there (mostly tiny things like a good setup which I can do, maybe a bit of fret work).

I'm not sure if the large investment is worth it for me, a guitarist who's by no means a pro and doesn't even gig.


Iv never played a guitar at guitar center that was setup like it should be. They just dont come setup. I mean they may be close, but they still need tweeking. The only guitars that were close were a 52' Tele reissue and a LP standard.


Quote by cdr_salamander
I like my Epi SG, I think it sounds better than it's Gibson counterpart for the styles I play. I was told never to buy an expensive guitar just because I believe that 99% of it is the person playing it. I'm really not a tonehound though, and when I am looking for a certain sweet sound I look at my amp, not my axe. I don't care if people sit here and tell me my guitars suck because of what's stamped on the headstock. If you think it sounds good man, go for it.



Your right man 99% of it is the person playing. Iv seen people that make squires sound great. I think what everyone is saying is long term use/durability. You dont see many silver-tone guitars out there, but you see tons of Strats and LPs from the 60's and 70's. They used better hardware and lasted. They also keep their value. If you paid $200 for a squire I doubt anyone would give you more then $50 for it. They aren't in demand and there for dont keep their value as well. If he can afford a Gibson, he should just get one. Its an investment if he takes care of it. You can play that thing for 10 years and if you baby it you'll barley lose any money.
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Last edited by teamhex at Jul 5, 2010,
#20
I would say go for the Gibson:
- Better overall tone
- Better build quality
- Better quality wood and hardware
- Better resale value

You can polish the Epi as much you want, but it won't sound and feel like a Gibson.

BTW, what's your amp ATM?

Before buying a new guitar (or modding the old one), you might want a good amp if you want to improve your tone.
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#21
Quote by The3818919
Unless of course you are talking about an Epiphone Elitist... He's pretty much right though. If you are somewhat experienced with electric guitar, you should be able to hear a difference in the tone between Epiphone and Gibson guitars.


I knew someone was going to say something about the Elitists... I was thinking about saying "other than an Elitist."

Well that's what I get for not following threw.

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#22
epic thread reviveeeeee


I have a peavey vypyr 30, it's good enough for me.

So the consensus is leaning towards the Gibson?