#1
Hello, this is my first time posting here, but i have a question: which would be better, one of the epiphone lp's like a studio or something of the likes, or one of the budget gibson LPJ's or les paul melody makers? I plan on playing a lot of led zeppelin style hard rock, maybe a little blues, i really want that kinda classic loud rock sound but i don't wanna spend any more than 700$ or so. All suggestions to other guitars are also appreciated!

Update: i've been browsing a little, and i finally decided i was gonna give a fender tele hh (humbucker) a try if none of the les pauls do it for me. I'm going to the store in a month or so. Anyone know how those things are? I really like their sound, but i'll know for sure when i go to the store and try it out. All your information was very helpful guys! Thanks!
Last edited by basement-guitar at Feb 6, 2014,
#2
Its hard to really say...I did see an interesting video on youtube where a guy was comparing sound quality between Gibson and Epiphone Les Pauls, allegedly in a blind test. They both sounded awesome. I guess it depends on how much you want to spend. I have an Epi LP 100 and it sounds very nice. The fit and finish are superb. I would recommend you handle and play both to help you make up your mind. For what you want the guitar for, either one will do the job.

Here is a link for the youtube search

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=gibson%20les%20paul%20vs%20epiphone%20les%20paul&sm=1
#3
Out of a high end Epi and a lower end Gibson its a tough call. Somethings to note are that gibson updated the specs on the LPJs and they have gotten good reviews in general, but most of the compaints have been about the fret work. The melody maker has p90 pickups in it. Personally i would go used and just so happens i found a LP studio that would be better than both those options.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-GIBSON-LES-PAUL-STUDIO-FIREBURST-W-C-109789801-i3569754.gc
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#4
Quote by basement-guitar
Hello, this is my first time posting here, but i have a question: which would be better, one of the epiphone lp's like a studio or something of the likes, or one of the budget gibson LPJ's or les paul melody makers? I plan on playing a lot of led zeppelin style hard rock, maybe a little blues, i really want that kinda classic loud rock sound but i don't wanna spend any more than 700$ or so. All suggestions to other guitars are also appreciated!


Oh no, now you've done it, you have only gone and started the Epiphone v Gibson debate all off again. I did this last week and I wasn't even intending to, I was just asking about the Epiphone. I predict this will end badly, at the least a slanging match, at the worst it could result in knives being drawn, drive by shootings, the lot. Watch out.

I personally do actually like the look of the top of the range Epiphones, the LP Plus top Pro an the Tribute. The bottom end of the Gibson line are very very basic, unless your budget stretches to the Les Paul Studio then I'm not sure. The Studio retails for about £800 here in the UK so it's still not that cheap but I think that guitars generally are priced more competitively in the US so maybe you'll get a better deal.

I was watching some U-tube videos last night about how to spot a fake Gibson LP, one of them was pretty obvious, even to me and I've never had a LP, but the other one did look very convincing and the guy did say that it was a pretty good copy and a really good guitar once he had set it up properly. From what I could see that one could have easily been one of the Epiphone Les Pauls with a name change, it certainly looked like one to me.

I may well get an Epiphone LP, I like the Tribute model because it has the genuine Gibson PAF pickups in it. I think one of these will take you a long way, it won't be a guitar you'll automatically feel the need to trade up unless you have you heart set on the Gibson name - I've never worried about that too much - in fact I quite like getting a really good guitar for a lot less than I could pay. The other alternative I've looked at is getting the Epiphone Les Paul Plus Top Pro, which is a really nice guitar but has the stock Epiphone Pickups, and changing the pickups myself. The advantage to this idea is I can have a choice of all the pickups on the market, Seymour Duncans and all the others, the downside is that this is maybe the more costly option. The Tribute retails in the UK at £449 whereas the Plus top Pro is about £370-380ish, and then I'd have to buy the pickups on top so it would work out a bit more costly. That doesn't bother me too much, I just want to get a nice guitar. I think either option is viable for me, a lot depends what you're looking for. I think with $600-700 USD you have a pretty good choice. Is the name important to you? Some people really only want the very best and will not settle for anything less than having the Gibson name on the headstock, that's not really me but it might be more important for you.

I think every one who contributes to this thread will have something different to say on the subject. Some will tell you there's not a lot of difference, others will tell you there's quite a bit of difference. I'm not so sure anymore with the better copies like the Epiphone. When I first started playing copies were pretty much all a load of tosh, if you couldn't afford the real thing you were stuck with an inferior guitar until you saved up enough for the real thing. Times have changed dramatically since then. Many of the better copies are now really good guitars, of course if you buy one of the cheap ones then you'll still be buying a piece of rubbish that you'll soon grow out of. The top end copies are a much different matter though and i'll prove it to you now. Go back and look at my previous thread asking about the Epiphone or go to any forum where someone is asking about whether to buy an Epiphone or Gibson. The one thing you'll see on all of them is furious debate on whether the Epiphone can keep up with the Gibson, some people saying yes no problem and others saying no with a fairly even split down the middle. So the Epiphone causes a lot of debate. In years gone by the copies were so bad that you wouldn't, well couldn't, get that sort of debate, the copies were rubbish and that was that. The fact that people argue the merits now show you how far things have come. In all honestly the Gibson will be a highly crafted piece of workmanship there's no denying that, just remember that there's other choices available that are really nice guitars in their own right.
#5
If you play a bunch of epis and find a good one it'll play and sound as good as any Gibson other than a few custom shop models. Same with a LPJ. A good sounding and playing guitar is good no matter where or what its made of. Just play a bunch of them until you just cant put one down.

If I had to choose I'd take a good epi lp custom over a lpj if play-ability and my ears told me they were near equals. Its just a sexy guitar and I like the look of the binding.
Last edited by cheesefries at Feb 3, 2014,
#6
Quote by richards-keith
Oh no, now you've done it, you have only gone and started the Epiphone v Gibson debate all off again. I did this last week and I wasn't even intending to, I was just asking about the Epiphone. I predict this will end badly, at the least a slanging match, at the worst it could result in knives being drawn, drive by shootings, the lot. Watch out.

I personally do actually like the look of the top of the range Epiphones, the LP Plus top Pro an the Tribute. The bottom end of the Gibson line are very very basic, unless your budget stretches to the Les Paul Studio then I'm not sure. The Studio retails for about £800 here in the UK so it's still not that cheap but I think that guitars generally are priced more competitively in the US so maybe you'll get a better deal.

I was watching some U-tube videos last night about how to spot a fake Gibson LP, one of them was pretty obvious, even to me and I've never had a LP, but the other one did look very convincing and the guy did say that it was a pretty good copy and a really good guitar once he had set it up properly. From what I could see that one could have easily been one of the Epiphone Les Pauls with a name change, it certainly looked like one to me.

I may well get an Epiphone LP, I like the Tribute model because it has the genuine Gibson PAF pickups in it. I think one of these will take you a long way, it won't be a guitar you'll automatically feel the need to trade up unless you have you heart set on the Gibson name - I've never worried about that too much - in fact I quite like getting a really good guitar for a lot less than I could pay. The other alternative I've looked at is getting the Epiphone Les Paul Plus Top Pro, which is a really nice guitar but has the stock Epiphone Pickups, and changing the pickups myself. The advantage to this idea is I can have a choice of all the pickups on the market, Seymour Duncans and all the others, the downside is that this is maybe the more costly option. The Tribute retails in the UK at £449 whereas the Plus top Pro is about £370-380ish, and then I'd have to buy the pickups on top so it would work out a bit more costly. That doesn't bother me too much, I just want to get a nice guitar. I think either option is viable for me, a lot depends what you're looking for. I think with $600-700 USD you have a pretty good choice. Is the name important to you? Some people really only want the very best and will not settle for anything less than having the Gibson name on the headstock, that's not really me but it might be more important for you.

I think every one who contributes to this thread will have something different to say on the subject. Some will tell you there's not a lot of difference, others will tell you there's quite a bit of difference. I'm not so sure anymore with the better copies like the Epiphone. When I first started playing copies were pretty much all a load of tosh, if you couldn't afford the real thing you were stuck with an inferior guitar until you saved up enough for the real thing. Times have changed dramatically since then. Many of the better copies are now really good guitars, of course if you buy one of the cheap ones then you'll still be buying a piece of rubbish that you'll soon grow out of. The top end copies are a much different matter though and i'll prove it to you now. Go back and look at my previous thread asking about the Epiphone or go to any forum where someone is asking about whether to buy an Epiphone or Gibson. The one thing you'll see on all of them is furious debate on whether the Epiphone can keep up with the Gibson, some people saying yes no problem and others saying no with a fairly even split down the middle. So the Epiphone causes a lot of debate. In years gone by the copies were so bad that you wouldn't, well couldn't, get that sort of debate, the copies were rubbish and that was that. The fact that people argue the merits now show you how far things have come. In all honestly the Gibson will be a highly crafted piece of workmanship there's no denying that, just remember that there's other choices available that are really nice guitars in their own right.

Alright, thanks a million man! You really helped out, i'm probably gonna go give the epi's a try, your information was extremely helpful. Time to spend obscene amounts of time on the long&mcquade website (they have a really good store near me)
#8
I don't think this is a Gibson vs. Epi thread. Yet.

I do think that the LPJ and Melody Maker (and in particular the LPJ) are pretty much junk guitars. The finish on the LPJ has begun coming off in as little as three weeks for some users. The pickups have been cheaped up to the point where they don't cost a buck to make, as do most pickups (Gibby and otherwise) -- these are closer to $0.50. What they have going for them is the Gibson logo on the headstock, and that, honestly, is what's getting people to buy them. Folks who've never owned a Gibson because the money was out of their reach are finally getting a chance.

The Epis (and Agiles) are far and away better guitars for the money in this price range.
#9
I enjoy going out to see live music and do it quite often. I see quite a few gigging musicians playing Epiphone guitars.
#10
Quote by basement-guitar
Alright, thanks a million man! You really helped out, i'm probably gonna go give the epi's a try, your information was extremely helpful. Time to spend obscene amounts of time on the long&mcquade website (they have a really good store near me)


No problem at all, glad to help. I have been doing a lot of research in this area myself recently so I have done a lot of looking, asking, comparing and the like before I make up my mind. You have to remember that the sort of money we are talking about spending ma not be a lot for some people but it is to me and you so we obviously need to get the best value we can. In my case I'm looking to get a guitar that I am going to keep indefinitely so I want it to be the right one, not one that I think that's ok-ish and then wanting to trade up in six months because i'm not happy with it anymore. I do think the top end Epiphones are pretty awesome guitars in their own right, same as the top end Squiers are. If you get the right one you will not be buying a beginners guitar that'll you'll eventually grow out of. This is a guitar that can stay with you as you progress, like I said before unless the name thing is important to you, it just isn't to me, inn fact I quite like the opposite, playing down the name and just wowing people with a really nice guitar.

The bottom Gibson's are very basic and no frills, yes they are the genuine thing but very plain indeed. In the UK to get a Gibson you would really you're looking at £800-900 for the Studio model, if you want something that at least looks like a standard then it's the Traditional which is £1400. Also imagine if that ever got stolen? That's a lot of money to try and find again.

I really do like the Epiphone LP Plus Top Pro and the Tribute, they are a lot of guitar for the money. The construction is good, the finish is good, an all round nice guitar. Going back some years the choice would have been less clear cut but the standard of manufacturing and the quality control has increased massively now on the cheaper range of guitars. I think you still need to avoid the very basic entry level models if you want a guitar that you will keep but hen you get to the level of models we have been talking about then you are looking at some really nice instruments. There has never been a better time to buy a guitar form the cheaper ranges, with the price of the US made models being what they are it's good that we have a good range of choices at the more reasonable end of the market, I wont say cheap because these are not ultra cheap guitars we are looking at here but they do represent excellent value, in short a lot of guitar for the money IMHO.
#11
Just remember that you're never really paying for sound. That is an extremely small component of what's important in a guitar. Any $300 Epi with good pickups through a good rig will sound amazing.

What you're mostly paying for is how well it's made, attention to detail.

Don't shop based on tone. Stock pickups are chosen, for all intents and purposes, arbitrarily. There are hundreds of aftermarket pickups to choose from - one of them is going to do what you want, and they're (almost all) cheap.

Shop based on feel, physical characteristics. Shop based on attention to detail. For instance, it's possible to get a dead piece of wood, that just won't sound good no matter what you throw in it. When you buy a Gibson, you're not necessarily paying for superior tone, you're paying to make sure you get a decent piece of wood.
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#12
Quote by Offworld92
When you buy a Gibson, you're not necessarily paying for superior tone, you're paying to make sure you get a decent piece of wood.


Unfortunately, that's not true with the LPJ or melody maker series; Gibson is simply slapping those things together from whatever.
#13
The problem for me with LPJ or Melody makers is that you are investing in a "one trick pony". Maybe right now all you want to play is some heavier stuff like Zep and blues but down the road you may want to branch out and play other styles and learn a wider range of material. The Melody Maker and LPJ are now going to hold you back a bit where the Epiphone Les Paul Standard which is in your price range will not. I have a Gibson Les Paul Standard and two Epiphone Les Paul's and the difference is minimal from a playing standpoint. I think Epiphone Les Paul's are the best value in the guitar market. Someone mentioned the Chinese Les Paul's, I own one and it is nice but only after extensive mods. New tuners, pickups and pots and a lot of personal work. For a newer guitar student or anyone who doesn't know how to do the mods, it's not a good idea unless you are buying them as a project like I did. They are good wood with very nice finishes and the neck on mine is also very nice but I can't recommend them right out of the box. For value get an Epiphone LP Standard.
#14
Quote by Rickholly74
The problem for me with LPJ or Melody makers is that you are investing in a "one trick pony". Maybe right now all you want to play is some heavier stuff like Zep and blues but down the road you may want to branch out and play other styles and learn a wider range of material. The Melody Maker and LPJ are now going to hold you back a bit where the Epiphone Les Paul Standard which is in your price range will not. I have a Gibson Les Paul Standard and two Epiphone Les Paul's and the difference is minimal from a playing standpoint. I think Epiphone Les Paul's are the best value in the guitar market. Someone mentioned the Chinese Les Paul's, I own one and it is nice but only after extensive mods. New tuners, pickups and pots and a lot of personal work. For a newer guitar student or anyone who doesn't know how to do the mods, it's not a good idea unless you are buying them as a project like I did. They are good wood with very nice finishes and the neck on mine is also very nice but I can't recommend them right out of the box. For value get an Epiphone LP Standard.


I wouldn't call an LPJ a one trick pony. If it is, then pretty much every Les Paul is. But it does have a cheap finish (though that can be cool too).

Overall, the best Epiphone value is the Tribute Plus (Gibson 57 Classic pickups, hard case, good electronics), followed by a Standard Pro (in my opinion).

I'd say for about $600 or less these are probably the Gibson family guitars to get (my list, my opinions influence it), in about this order.

New:
Epi Tribute Plus
Epi Prophecy Plus (if you like thin necks)
Epi Standard Pro or Custom Pro
Epi Traditional Pro
LPJ

Used:
Pretty much anything Epiphone, you can replace pickups/electronics if necessary
Gibson Studio
LPJ
#15
Ive seen some good Gibson studios second hand for about $600 aussie peso's with burstbucker 2's just like my Fireburst and they wail. Beautiful guitars... Much much better than any Epi LP Ive ever owned. Just remember Tone comes from the amp and the fingers mostly so when you go checking out guitars, take your amp with you if you can...
#17
Quote by dspellman
I don't think this is a Gibson vs. Epi thread. Yet.

I do think that the LPJ and Melody Maker (and in particular the LPJ) are pretty much junk guitars. The finish on the LPJ has begun coming off in as little as three weeks for some users. The pickups have been cheaped up to the point where they don't cost a buck to make, as do most pickups (Gibby and otherwise) -- these are closer to $0.50. What they have going for them is the Gibson logo on the headstock, and that, honestly, is what's getting people to buy them. Folks who've never owned a Gibson because the money was out of their reach are finally getting a chance.

The Epis (and Agiles) are far and away better guitars for the money in this price range.



Agreed.
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#18
Gonna make it simple:

Cheap Gibsons: Good pickups, terrible, terrible QC

Epiphones: Okay pickups, excellent QC.

If you happen upon one of the all too rare good lower-end Gibsons, as long as you don't care about looks, it'll win out, but if not, Epiphone all the way. Playability is MUUUCH more important than whether or not the pickups are the best in the world, but hell, plenty of Epiphones come with Gibson electronics or even EMGs/Seymour Duncans, so it really depends, but if we're comparing LPJ vs Epi Standard, what I said applies. I've never tried a Melody Maker, but they were the original Epiphone, so I assume it's just a name thing and most likely bottom of the barrel.

Unless they changed things up, LPJs have the same pickups as a Les Paul Studio/SG Standard/Flying V/Explorer
Last edited by Velcro Man at Feb 8, 2014,