Poll: Are Epiphone guitar bodies and necks similar quality to Gibson?
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View poll results: Are Epiphone guitar bodies and necks similar quality to Gibson?
Yes, Epiphone has a similar Neck/Body quality to Gibson
32 38%
No, Epiphone does not have a similar Neck/Body quality to Gibson
34 40%
I dont know
19 22%
Voters: 85.
Page 1 of 2
#1
Hey there, I already own a couple Gibsons and I'm itching to buy another guitar. I was looking at explorers because the Gibson and Epiphone look so very similar that most people probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between them.

My main question is, is there really a big quality difference in the BODY and NECK of the guitar between Gibson and Epiphone? They are both made of the same wood and everything but do Epiphone's tend to have bent necks or something?

I dont really care about electronics or tuners, I can upgrade all of that on my own... so thats a non issues. I was mainly looking at getting an Epiphone korina explorer because the price difference is so amazing between Gibson and Epiphone.
#2
Well, yes, shape-wise they're similar, but due to wood quality and all that, it's just not going to compare.
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#3
Body and neck shape is practically identical if I remember correctly...
Quote by rmr024
Well, in California, people carry around devices that control the minds of bears. So expect to see people walking their bears.

Also, don't be surprised if some robot hookers try to solicit sex to you on the streets.
#5
i find the gibson necks are more comfortable. and by neck, i mean fret board. even though epiphone try to get it close, it doesn't feel like a gibson in your hands. personally, i hate epiphone necks with a passion because they feel weird in my hands. gibson necks feel pretty good to me though. say what you will, i feel a difference between the two.

try both out and see what you can live with buddy.
#6
I know you dont care about the electronics, but thats only half of the sound. the wood that is used to make the gibsons is FAR more...tony...for lack of a better word =p

i owned an epiphone les paul for three years and then upgraded to my current Gibson les paul...feel was the same, tone was completely different in a very good way!
#7
Quote by Jihad Rob
the wood that is used to make the gibsons is FAR more...tony...for lack of a better word =p


Gibson Wood=



HELLA Tony.
Quote by rmr024
Well, in California, people carry around devices that control the minds of bears. So expect to see people walking their bears.

Also, don't be surprised if some robot hookers try to solicit sex to you on the streets.
#8
I am sorry the correct answer is The Heritage.....The Heritage....pick again........
Bhaok

The following statement is true. The proceeding statement is false.
#9
The guitar bodies look the same, headstocks are different, necks are different (Epiphone necks appear to be thinner).
Tone-wise Gibsons have better pickups and better woods and they resonate better.
Overall they feel like better guitars to me.

However they are still not my favourite guitars and I found the neck of the Flying V I played to be disgusting in terms of playability.

@TS: Don't limit yourself to shapes or brands, you might find something that feels better to you than a Gibson Explorer. Had similar experiences myself.
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#10
Quote by supersize
exactly identical brooooooh


wrong, play both and then try to say that, i owned an epiphone explorer for a short while and at first i was excited then i just happened to try a gibson, traded in my epiphone explorer along with an epiphone les paul to get that gibson explorer just a few days later
#11
I'll throw my own 2 cents in regarding this issue. A couple of months ago, a friend of mine and myself, went to Guitar Center because we were both interested in buying some Gibsons. He wanted to get a Les Paul and I wanted to get a SG faded series. IMO, after trying out several models, we both noticed that the quality of the Gibsons were horrible. Some of them had fret edges sticking and would slip whenever you would go to tune them. Plus they had the circuit board instead of potentiometers, which I feel are a sign of taking the easy way out. We also tried some Epiphones which were better built and were IMO, a better investment for the price. My friend still ended up walking out with a Gibson LP Studio but I ended up buying a Epiphone G-400 Faded Vintage series in Cherry Red. For only 300 bucks, this is one lean, mean tone machine and is just as good if not better than Gibson's overrated faded SG series.
#12
Quote by scoter man1
Hey there, I already own a couple Gibsons and I'm itching to buy another guitar. I was looking at explorers because the Gibson and Epiphone look so very similar that most people probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between them.

My main question is, is there really a big quality difference in the BODY and NECK of the guitar between Gibson and Epiphone? They are both made of the same wood and everything but do Epiphone's tend to have bent necks or something?

I dont really care about electronics or tuners, I can upgrade all of that on my own... so thats a non issues. I was mainly looking at getting an Epiphone korina explorer because the price difference is so amazing between Gibson and Epiphone.



I own a Gibson Explorer and (imo) the only thing it shares with the 58' Korina is the shape. Didn't compare it to the newest line of Epi-Explorer types....Futura,GT,etc. That said, the Epiphone Korina line is pretty good. I own the Epi' Korina SG and have no complaints.


A brand new Epi' Korina Explorer goes for $499. You can pick up a used Gibson Explorer for not much more...about $650-$700.
Last edited by Earthrug at Aug 29, 2010,
#13
i'll toss my .02 in as well....

The majority of guitar players may know how to play but dont know the first thing about how it works... i've seen at least 50 people on here saying you need to take the your guitar in for a simple truss rod adjustment, but they are qualified to instruct you on guitar mechanics? lol

95% of the difference in Epiphones and Gibsons is name and aesthetics... the quality of the guitar comes from the QC processes at the factory and components used... the post above mine speaks of that... Just because its supposed to be better doesnt make it so...

I met a guy from a winery awhile back that told me something that surprised me... He said a great wine is any wine you really like... If you love a $5 bottle, then thats a great wine... Hate a $1000 bottle? then its crap...

Same goes for guitars... its what you think that matters, not what others think... there will always be elitists with more money then brains, but that doesnt make them right...
#14
I agree with you Paul. Just because it says Gibson on the headstock, doesn't mean that it's a superior guitar. People used to bitch about the quality of Epiphones, but I've noticed that in the last couple of years, the people who are working at the Epiphone plant in China have really stepped foward and have upped their game , thus resulting in some really well made instruments that sound great and aren't as expensive as their USA made counterparts. Even Squier has some quality stuff with their Classic Vibe series. I recently had a 2006 MIM Standard Strat which I had for over 3 years and IMO, the Classic Vibe series are just as good as Fender's MIM standards.
#15
Quote by jeffo46
I agree with you Paul. Just because it says Gibson on the headstock, doesn't mean that it's a superior guitar. People used to bitch about the quality of Epiphones, but I've noticed that in the last couple of years, the people who are working at the Epiphone plant in China have really stepped foward and have upped their game , thus resulting in some really well made instruments that sound great and aren't as expensive as their USA made counterparts. Even Squier has some quality stuff with their Classic Vibe series. I recently had a 2006 MIM Standard Strat which I had for over 3 years and IMO, the Classic Vibe series are just as good as Fender's MIM standards.



Technology is a great thing (imo) when it comes to guitar making, QC, etc. The stuff made overseas for Gibson and Fender are made to the parameters that the companies want. Marketability aside, I would bet that given the go-ahead these overseas companies could make them even better than they are making them now.
#16
Quote by PaulBateman
i'll toss my .02 in as well....

The majority of guitar players may know how to play but dont know the first thing about how it works... i've seen at least 50 people on here saying you need to take the your guitar in for a simple truss rod adjustment, but they are qualified to instruct you on guitar mechanics? lol

95% of the difference in Epiphones and Gibsons is name and aesthetics... the quality of the guitar comes from the QC processes at the factory and components used... the post above mine speaks of that... Just because its supposed to be better doesnt make it so...

I met a guy from a winery awhile back that told me something that surprised me... He said a great wine is any wine you really like... If you love a $5 bottle, then thats a great wine... Hate a $1000 bottle? then its crap...

Same goes for guitars... its what you think that matters, not what others think... there will always be elitists with more money then brains, but that doesnt make them right...

What you are talking about is personal preference.

I played a Gibson Les Paul Standard and while I can tell you it was a quality guitar, it just wasn't for me and I wouldn't pay 1800€ for it.

Not because it's not better than an Epiphone, quality and tonewise it is, but because to me it didn't feel like it was worth the money.

I also tried a 3000€ Mayones guitar in the shop and it didn't feel like 3000€ to me, to other people it might do.

Tons of people love their Les Pauls and that's OK, just as tons of people love e.g. Ibanez guitars which I don't like.

Epiphones feel very different from Gibsons, it's not like they are just cheaper versions of the same, even if they look like that.
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#17
I realize Epiphone is just basically just the low end chinese version of Gibson and that they look the same. I just wanted to know if the body and neck will produce the same/similar tone to Gibson. From what you all are saying that wouldn't be true so I think I'll just skip the idea. The reason I was looking at buying the Epi instead of the Gibson is because of the price and I was looking for a tune up guitar. One thats kind of a beater and just needs electronics and tuners and something I dont really care about too much if it gets a big ding or something. Looks like I'd be better off getting a 'well loved' gibson sg special faded I guess.
#18
Quote by scoter man1
I realize Epiphone is just basically just the low end chinese version of Gibson and that they look the same. I just wanted to know if the body and neck will produce the same/similar tone to Gibson. From what you all are saying that wouldn't be true so I think I'll just skip the idea. The reason I was looking at buying the Epi instead of the Gibson is because of the price and I was looking for a tune up guitar. One thats kind of a beater and just needs electronics and tuners and something I dont really care about too much if it gets a big ding or something. Looks like I'd be better off getting a 'well loved' gibson sg special faded I guess.

They can produce tones like Gibsons IMO.

But they need at least a pickup upgrade for that.

BTW, a big amount of tone comes from your amp too.
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#19
i think a lot of people have misunderstood the poll.. either that or the majority of people who have voted are idiots.

the quality is like night and day between gibson and epiphone these days - the most recent thing to even come close to a quality crossover was the elitist series which was discontinued because they cost the same as the gibson studio and special models except that their quality was somewhere between a studio/special and a standard series gibson.. and that's not good for business.

sometimes you can find a particularly good epiphone hollowbody that is comparable to a lower end gibson, as there's not really any cheap alternative to these models to come out of gibson's factories.

edit: ^i don't think they really can sound anything like a gibson. the tonewood is just dead in comparison (though by no means bad). Pickups can't add anything to the sound that isn't there already, although of course a tube amp can and does but a good player can make an epiphone sound good enough that people listening will think it sounds as good as a gibson anyway, but even the best players i've seen haven't been able to make one sound "like a gibson" as such - they just don't have "that sound" (and in fact nor do some gibsons )
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Last edited by Blompcube at Aug 29, 2010,
#20
I know a lot of people say that the extra price is due to marketing and name (which it partially is) but I really do think they just better. The other guitarist in my band has a Gibson custom and standard and comparing it to Epiphones you really do feel a difference (ive only tried epiphone customs).
I've occasionally found dud Gibsons, but the ones that are good feel amazing in terms of playability and sound.
#21
Quote by scoter man1
I realize Epiphone is just basically just the low end chinese version of Gibson and that they look the same. I just wanted to know if the body and neck will produce the same/similar tone to Gibson. From what you all are saying that wouldn't be true so I think I'll just skip the idea. The reason I was looking at buying the Epi instead of the Gibson is because of the price and I was looking for a tune up guitar. One thats kind of a beater and just needs electronics and tuners and something I dont really care about too much if it gets a big ding or something. Looks like I'd be better off getting a 'well loved' gibson sg special faded I guess.



As I said earlier a used Gibson Explorer is reachable for a bit more than a new Epi' Korina explorer. Keep your eyes peeled on Craigslist.


The Epi' Korina explorer is a cool guitar in it's own right. These days they have a mahogany neck which I think gives them more of a "Gibson" warmth compared to the earlier version Korina models like my SG which have a maple neck. You could for example hunt around and buy a nice sounding used Epi' Explorer for about $300-$350, throw your favorite pickups in it and have a fun playing, cool looking, gig worthy axe.

FWIW...I left my Korina SG stock as it is not my main guitar. If it were I would change out only the pickups for personal preference reasons. The electronics are all "good to go" full size pots with good tolerances, switch is fine, etc. No complains with the hardware, nut ,etc....build quality is solid.
#22
Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer Specifications

* Pickups: 2 humbuckers
* Hardware: Gold
* Scale Length: 24.75 inches
* Nut Width: 1.68 inch
* Neck: Set
* Neck Material: Maple
* Fingerboard: Rosewood
* Fingerboard Inlays: Dot
* Body Material: Korina

Gibson Limited Edition Explorer 76 Specifications

* Body: Mahogany
* Neck: Mahogany
* Neck Profile: Rounded
* Fingerboard: Rosewood
* Fingerboard Inlay: Dot
* Scale: 24-3/4 inches
* Nut Width: 1-11/16 inch
* Bridge: Tune-o-matic
* Tailpiece: Stop bar
* Hardware: Gold
* Pickups:
o 496R ceramic magnet humbucker
o 500T ceramic magnet humbucker
* Controls: Two volume, one tone, three-way switch
* Strings: Brite Wires .009-.042
#23
Quote by staggguitarhead
Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer Specifications

* Pickups: 2 humbuckers
* Hardware: Gold
* Scale Length: 24.75 inches
* Nut Width: 1.68 inch
* Neck: Set
* Neck Material: Maple
* Fingerboard: Rosewood
* Fingerboard Inlays: Dot
* Body Material: Korina




Interesting. The Epiphone site has the 58's spec'd with now having mahogany neck.

http://epiphone.com/default.asp?ProductID=34&CollectionID=18
#24
Of coarse the Gibson's are going to be better, their not going to make their cheaper brand as good as the main brand. That being said, I like most all of the epiphone's I have played, and the Custom I have I like a lot and sound very good. There have been quite a bit of mods done to it though.
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#25
Quote by staggguitarhead
Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer Specifications

* Pickups: 2 humbuckers
* Hardware: Gold
* Scale Length: 24.75 inches
* Nut Width: 1.68 inch
* Neck: Set
* Neck Material: Maple
* Fingerboard: Rosewood
* Fingerboard Inlays: Dot
* Body Material: Korina

Gibson Limited Edition Explorer 76 Specifications

* Body: Mahogany
* Neck: Mahogany
* Neck Profile: Rounded
* Fingerboard: Rosewood
* Fingerboard Inlay: Dot
* Scale: 24-3/4 inches
* Nut Width: 1-11/16 inch
* Bridge: Tune-o-matic
* Tailpiece: Stop bar
* Hardware: Gold
* Pickups:
o 496R ceramic magnet humbucker
o 500T ceramic magnet humbucker
* Controls: Two volume, one tone, three-way switch
* Strings: Brite Wires .009-.042

...and your point is?
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#26
IN answer to your original question TS..... NO!

Right from the Prez's (J Rosenberg) post on the Gibson forum, I quote
"Thanks for the post. To my knowledge, the wood we are using on the "1958" Korina V's and Explorers is Korina (white limba). The body is multiple pieces with a veneer over the top and back. If you're not happy with your Epiphone and assuming you purchased it "new" recently, I would encourage you to contact the retailer you purchased it from or contact our Customer Service department at 1-800-4GIBSON.

Thanks again,
Jim Epi "
Moving on.....
#27
Alright I think I'll hold off on buying this guitar. I'll start keeping my eyes peeled for a used Gibson les paul studio silverburst. I dont see a point in buying an Epiphone just because I sort of want an explorer. If I'm gonna spend money, might as well invest it in something that holds its value and sounds great like a Gibson.
#28
Quote by KenG
IN answer to your original question TS..... NO!

Right from the Prez's (J Rosenberg) post on the Gibson forum, I quote
"Thanks for the post. To my knowledge, the wood we are using on the "1958" Korina V's and Explorers is Korina (white limba). The body is multiple pieces with a veneer over the top and back. If you're not happy with your Epiphone and assuming you purchased it "new" recently, I would encourage you to contact the retailer you purchased it from or contact our Customer Service department at 1-800-4GIBSON.

Thanks again,
Jim Epi "


WOW! lol that is a fail, I definitely wont be buying one now.
#29
Epiphones are decent guitars, but you get what you pay for, sometimes less, sometimes more. Depends on how lucky you are And I have heard a lot of good things about korina epiphones, I doubt there anywhere near gibson, but from what people are saying, they are not horrible. I want the epiphone korina sg myself. Oh, and if you really want an explorer, I've heard some people recommending deans.
Last edited by Rice_Pilot at Aug 29, 2010,
#30
Quote by KenG
IN answer to your original question TS..... NO!

Right from the Prez's (J Rosenberg) post on the Gibson forum, I quote
"Thanks for the post. To my knowledge, the wood we are using on the "1958" Korina V's and Explorers is Korina (white limba). The body is multiple pieces with a veneer over the top and back. If you're not happy with your Epiphone and assuming you purchased it "new" recently, I would encourage you to contact the retailer you purchased it from or contact our Customer Service department at 1-800-4GIBSON.

Thanks again,
Jim Epi "



Ya, the top and back of my Korina SG is most def' veneer. I have no idea what the "core" wood is. I always figured that they called it "korina" because of the veneers and had the "core" as whatever they had around at the time.
#31
Quote by Earthrug
Ya, the top and back of my Korina SG is most def' veneer. I have no idea what the "core" wood is. I always figured that they called it "korina" because of the veneers and had the "core" as whatever they had around at the time.


Well that sucks. You ruined my plans
Last edited by Rice_Pilot at Aug 29, 2010,
#32
Quote by Rice_Pilot
Well that sucks. You ruined my plans


Haha, yeah I know man. I'm glad I found that out though. I figured something was wrong there... its a 7.5k dollar difference between the Gibson and Epiphone? I dont even care, that woulda been worth it if it was korina, lol. By the way thanks for your input. I like dean guitars but when I buy a guitar I like to have the piece of mind that I could sell it for a similar price to what I bought it for. Gibson really holds value well (if you buy used in the first place).
#33
Im not saying that epiphone is better or anything... But its not as black and white as many think.. or the price would have you believe..

Manufacturing standards are going up in Asia while times are tough here in NA.. Things change.. Epiphone does make cheap guitars for beginners but also makes high end models played by the beatles and such.. im not going to look up a list but i know they are there.. Slash and zakk wylde have signature models etc..

Odds are.. A (well made) Gibson will sound better and have a better feel to it.. But with that gap in quality getting smaller and smaller, is it really worth the extra $2000?

People need to remember these collecting trends dont last forever, just like the craftsmanship... just because a 50's Les Paul is worth a ton now doesnt mean a 2010 gibson is going to be the same 50 years from now... It will likely be worth less then you paid for it.. To me, They just arent worth the money anymore...

But having said that... If i had money to burn, i'd get one for sure.. lol
#34
^^ Not really a $2000 difference at all, considerably less actually.
A new Trad is $2300CAD & while you can get a Epi STD for $585 CAD you'd need to at least change the PUs ($200). IF you compared the Trad to the Epi 59 @ $940 (which comes with decent PUS) the difference is $1340 CAD for better woods & I piece body, real 3/4" thickness cap, not veneer and nitro finish. That's quite a bit off your $2K claim.
Moving on.....
#35
this seems to be an eternal?. personally i think if you find an epi that feels good to you and had a decent sound to begin with then you have a shot at it being close enough. if you put in the same pups as the Gibson model then i'll bet that while it may not be exact it will be close enough. i've seen vids on youtube but not one of them has the guitars using the same pickups which makes a big difference in my book. level the playing feild and then the results will matter more. i'd love to hear a nice gibson LP with stock epi LP pups gotta wonder if it would sound way better then.
#36
Here is a tip'.....If you want a "vintage" made in the USA electric guitar with a great build quality and for a reasonable amount of money then look into mid 70's-early 80's Guild guitars.
#37
Quote by PaulBateman
Im not saying that epiphone is better or anything... But its not as black and white as many think.. or the price would have you believe..

Manufacturing standards are going up in Asia while times are tough here in NA.. Things change.. Epiphone does make cheap guitars for beginners but also makes high end models played by the beatles and such.. im not going to look up a list but i know they are there.. Slash and zakk wylde have signature models etc..

Odds are.. A (well made) Gibson will sound better and have a better feel to it.. But with that gap in quality getting smaller and smaller, is it really worth the extra $2000?

People need to remember these collecting trends dont last forever, just like the craftsmanship... just because a 50's Les Paul is worth a ton now doesnt mean a 2010 gibson is going to be the same 50 years from now... It will likely be worth less then you paid for it.. To me, They just arent worth the money anymore...

But having said that... If i had money to burn, i'd get one for sure.. lol

Umm.. what?

I shouldn't have to explain this, but those guitars the beatles used? they don't make those anymore. Back then, they were made in the same factory as gibson, to the same standard of quality - that doesn't happen anymore, except the odd epiphone coming from the gibson custom shop every now and then. The gap in the quality is a hell of a lot bigger than it was then.

Zakk Wylde and Slash's signature models are just knockoffs like all the others, both guitarists actually use gibsons which share nothing in common with the epiphone signature models except appearance, and the signature models are no better than the standard versions of the guitar.

Manufacturing standards are going up in china but that doesn't instantly mean that they are gonna start making guitars better than what is asked of them. Epiphones will only be as good as gibson wants them to be - and gibson want there to be a huge gap in the quality. All this gibson vs epiphone stuff is nonsense because gibson owns epiphone - they aren't working against each other here - they are the same company.
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#38
Quote by PaulBateman
Im not saying that epiphone is better or anything... But its not as black and white as many think.. or the price would have you believe..

Manufacturing standards are going up in Asia while times are tough here in NA.. Things change.. Epiphone does make cheap guitars for beginners but also makes high end models played by the beatles and such.. im not going to look up a list but i know they are there.. Slash and zakk wylde have signature models etc..

Odds are.. A (well made) Gibson will sound better and have a better feel to it.. But with that gap in quality getting smaller and smaller, is it really worth the extra $2000?

People need to remember these collecting trends dont last forever, just like the craftsmanship... just because a 50's Les Paul is worth a ton now doesnt mean a 2010 gibson is going to be the same 50 years from now... It will likely be worth less then you paid for it.. To me, They just arent worth the money anymore...

But having said that... If i had money to burn, i'd get one for sure.. lol


Hey...back when the Beatles were using high-end Epiphones, Epiphone wasn't dedicated to making Gibson copies...they made completely different guitars.

Also, the Epiphone "signature" models, are cheap copies of the Gibson signature models.
Quote by rmr024
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#39
Why Gibson then resort to getting rid of potentiometers in most of their guitars and replacing them with circuit boards? Seems pretty lame to me as far as the quality of the build goes. I've heard that they've resorted to using machines now in their Nashville plant, which shoots the theory "Made by hand," down the ****ing toliet. I am well aware that Epiphone is owned by Gibson but IMO, the quality of the Epiphones have improved drastically while Gibson's have gone downhill within the last couple of years, but yet Gibson keeps on raising their prices every year. If Gibson is going to continue putting out substandard product, then at least lower the price.
#40
Quote by jeffo46
Why Gibson then resort to getting rid of potentiometers in most of their guitars and replacing them with circuit boards? Seems pretty lame to me as far as the quality of the build goes. I've heard that they've resorted to using machines now in their Nashville plant, which shoots the theory "Made by hand," down the ****ing toliet. I am well aware that Epiphone is owned by Gibson but IMO, the quality of the Epiphones have improved drastically while Gibson's have gone downhill within the last couple of years, but yet Gibson keeps on raising their prices every year. If Gibson is going to continue putting out substandard product, then at least lower the price.

Sorry, but what?

Some Gibsons might have QC problems, but I haven't played only one Gibson with QC issues, Gibsons overall just didn't feel as good to me as other guitars but that's just personal preference.
As long as those cuircit boards don't break down or something you shouldn't have a problem with them, unless you are a cork sniffer.
BTW do you know if they use them on all their guitar or just the lower end models?
The machines you are talking about are most likely PLEK-machines, which set up the guitar for the optimal intonation, string height etc., they don't make the guitars.
Other than that I haven't played an Epiphone I would even compare to a Gibson, so the quality difference is still big to me and the quality of Gibsons is still good enough to be worth the money if you like how they feel and sound.
Also I haven't seen Gibson raising the prices during the years, what might increase the prices is a thing called "inflation".
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