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#1
I decided to learn to play the guitar. I like the sound of the Gibson Les Paul but not sure if it worth to invest so much money in the first guitar. I was looking at Gibson Les Paul Traditional 2014.
I read somewhere that the Epiphone Les Pauls sound similarly.
I would like a guitar which sounds good and I’ll be able to use it even after my newbie period. In other words I would rather invest more than being “forced” to upgrade my gear after a couple of years.

In the light of the above could you please give me advice whether I should buy an Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus – Top Pro or I should go for a Gibson Traditional 2014?

Thanks in advance.
#3
I don't own a Gibson LP, but I've been playing an Epi standard for years.

A few years back I attended the National Guitar Workshop in Belmont, CA - I had my Epi and a bunch of kids had loaner Gibsons (or had brought their own). Through the right amp, with the right tone dialed in, I didn't sound any different than they did.

So, my (admittedly, limited) opinion is that if you can afford the Gibson, go for it. But if you can't, the Epiphone will definitely serve you well for a long time, even beyond your newbie period. I've been playing on and off for years and it's still my go-to guitar for most of my solo work.
#4
You're not going to know what kind of guitar you want until you've been playing for a while. I'd get the cheaper one, preferably used, and then upgrade later. No sense dropping $2K on a guitar when you have no idea about your preference beyond you want a guitar that "sounds good."

The Epi is a good guitar and could last you a lifetime, especially with a few part upgrades along the way. I'd start with it.
#5
The Gibson LP is obviously going to be the better guitar (although the Epi LP Standard is a really good guitar for the money no doubt about it). But if you're new to guitars, I'd really, really strongly suggest if you're going to be into the hobby in the long term before getting one. You need to know whether or not an LP is right for you, because it might not be necessarily. Please try as many guitars as possible before buying anything and then evaluate if whether or not you're happy with spending the extra cash.

But I think that if you do really enjoy playing guitar, and you had the option to buy a really nice Gibson LP, I think you'll kick yourself. Then again with the amount of money you're going to save by buying an Epiphone, you could buy a pretty killer amp too.

The best compromise in my opinion is getting a used Gibson. But you do take a lot of risks if you cannot try before you buy.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Dec 11, 2014,
#6
Of those two I'd recommend the Epiphone but it's your money. If you want to get the Gibson go ahead but a logo or higher price tag WON'T make you sound like your guitar hero on day 1!

Used is also a great way to go for a better value. Used gear typically goes for about 1/2 of the new price give or take. Take that into consideration if you don't stay with the hobby. That's why most of us will suggest the Epiphone or used (or a used Epiphone). But, it's your money and I'm frugal.

Just make sure whatever you end up with inspires you to pick it up and play! If red inspires you more than blue then buy the red one! Sounds silly but this is very important in the beginning.

An amp is equally important in the beginning as well. Playing through a shitty amp will completely KILL your desire and inspiration.

What kind of music do you want to play and what is your budget for the guitar and amp?
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#7
Quote by Roc8995
You're not going to know what kind of guitar you want until you've been playing for a while. I'd get the cheaper one, preferably used, and then upgrade later. No sense dropping $2K on a guitar when you have no idea about your preference beyond you want a guitar that "sounds good."

The Epi is a good guitar and could last you a lifetime, especially with a few part upgrades along the way. I'd start with it.


this sums things up pretty well. keep in mind you need money for an amp and perhaps fx as well. I've been playing for over 30 years and have yet to find a one and done guitar.
#8
Thank you for your suggestions. I know that I should try them before buying. But knowing only a few chords it’s not enough for a thorough try/test in the shop. An experienced guitarist would be able to decide which one to buy at the moment he takes it in his hands. He feels what neck thickness fits for his hand, what sound stays closer to his heart etc…
Stevens - it’s pretty important what you said: “Through the right amp, with the right tone dialed in” they did not really sound different. It’s important as there is a huge price different between the two guitars. On the other hand I read so many complaints about brand new Epiphones.
Basically you guys have the same opinion. Namely I should go for Epiphone as newbie.
I really appreciate your time and help. I’ll focus on Epiphone.
Thanks again.
#9
Quote by RolM
Thank you for your suggestions. I know that I should try them before buying. But knowing only a few chords it’s not enough for a thorough try/test in the shop. An experienced guitarist would be able to decide which one to buy at the moment he takes it in his hands. He feels what neck thickness fits for his hand, what sound stays closer to his heart etc…
Stevens - it’s pretty important what you said: “Through the right amp, with the right tone dialed in” they did not really sound different. It’s important as there is a huge price different between the two guitars. On the other hand I read so many complaints about brand new Epiphones.
Basically you guys have the same opinion. Namely I should go for Epiphone as newbie.
I really appreciate your time and help. I’ll focus on Epiphone.
Thanks again.


actually Epiphone has a pretty good rep for decent quality. perhaps some of the real cheap stuff gets grumbled about but I rarely hear much being said about the higher end stuff. a few chords is all you need to tell if playing them is comfortable on any given guitar. I dunno about sound closest to my heart though. I can tell if a guitar has potential or not fairly quickly but for me the neck is the most important part. feels good then maybe a guitar to buy. doesn't feel good then no sale -period. comfortable to play is pretty key especially for a beginner. if you struggle then you don't want to play and give up.
#10
"perhaps some of the real cheap stuff gets grumbled about but I rarely hear much being said about the higher end stuff"

What is considered cheaper/higher end stuff when we talk about Epiphone?
Where would you position Epiphone LP Standard Plus Top Pro?
Based on the reviews all of them are made in Asia...
#11
Quote by RolM

What is considered cheaper/higher end stuff when we talk about Epiphone?
Where would you position Epiphone LP Standard Plus Top Pro?
Based on the reviews all of them are made in Asia...

All Epiphones these days are made in China, except for the Elitists, which are made in Japan.

Hierarchically, with guitars going from low end to top end: (for Epiphone LP's made nowadays)

Special
100
Studio
Standard
Custom
Tribute

The Custom is essentially just a Standard with different aesthetics. The Tribute is a little better in construction by having a flamed maple cap with a veneer over it, as opposed to just a veneer (without a cap) on the Standards and Customs, and a long-neck tenon.

Epiphones once you start getting into Standard territory become really good guitars for the money. And in recent years, the quality of them has improved. They're better now than back in the days when they were made in Korea imo.
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#12
Yes, the prices show the order you listed.
Several people swear on 57' Classic Humbuckers...as far as I can see you can find them only in Tribute. Does this pickup sound so different than Probucker?
#13
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
All Epiphones these days are made in China,
except for the Elitists, which are made in Japan.



Wrong ^^ information!

Epi never stopped producing guitars in Korea
and
Epi produces guitars in Indonesia for 20 years or so


The High to Low order is more like this....

1. MiJ Elite/Elitist
2. Models with upgraded specs like Gibson pups, better electronics or real maplecaps or long neck-tenon
3. all other models with set-necks and arched body and 'PRO' pups
4. same ones with older non 'PRO' pups
5. all other models with bolt-on necks and plain body

#2 - #5 regardless where they have been made


Last edited by paruwi at Dec 11, 2014,
#14
^^

What about the dedicated Epiphone Factory in China? I thought they moved all their production there.

Idk, I hear a lot of contradictory information on where the guitars are made and where they aren't.
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#15
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
^^

What about the dedicated Epiphone Factory in China? I thought they moved all their production there.

Idk, I hear a lot of contradictory information on where the guitars are made and where they aren't.


They actually have two factories in China for guitar-production (and one more huge factory for pianos...)
and the only OEM-factory remaining in Korea is Unsung, factorycode 21 as the fifth and sixth digit in the serial
Many of the entry level guitars and even the Masterbilts and more are made at the Indonesian Samick factory, factorycode 23
look it up at sweetwater guitar gallery and you'll see that I don't tell sh!t
#16
Epiphone. Basically an import Gibson that will save you enough money and also help you decide if you truly do want to spend 2k+ on a guitar further down the road.
#18
I had an Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top as my first electric guitar back in 2007. As you can see from my quite extensive list of guitars in my signature - I've upgraded. People may tell you to find "the one". In my experience, that concept is quite ridiculous. If you have the money, and you place playing guitar as one of things you enjoy the most - you'll end up with a few of them. "The right guitar" doesn't exist. There are just guitars that will feel great to play, and those you will connect with.

Now, on the Epiphone Les Paul Standard. It is a good guitar, and I'm currently thinking of actually buying myself another, for nostalgic reasons. I didn't sell it because it didn't cut it - I sold it because I wanted to justify buying another. I haven't repeated that sort of thinking, because it did not really make me happier. Sure, the ESP Eclipse I bought instead is probably a much better guitar objectively speaking (better materials and so on) but what really matter is how it feels in your hands.

To conclude - an Epiphone will definitely be good enough. Whether or not to get the Gibson, that depends on what feels the best to you. A great guitar is a great guitar, no matter what the pricetag is.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

How you know you have too many guitars...

Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
#19
My first foray into electric guitars- after a few years of playing acoustic- was a pair of Deans, one high-level, one mid-level. At first, I couldn't detect the tonal differences between the two, for the most part. Over time, that changed. I still own both.

I say that to say this: buy what you want. Buy the guitar that makes you feel cool inside. As a beginner, the details that matter won't be noticeable until later on in your relationship with the instrument. An expensive guitar won't make you play better, but a (really) cheap guitar can hold you back.

If you go small-budget with an Epi, you'll enjoy it. They're good guitars, and I know a bunch of people who started on one. Heck, there are even pros who use stock Epiphones.

If you go big, you'll love it. Owning a pricey guitar can be a real ego boost. It so easy to imagine yourself a rock star when you're using the gear they do.

The one thing to remember as a beginner is that the guitar has to feel good in your hands and against your body, or else your uncomfortability may keep you from practicing.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#20
Thank you Danny. I decided, I'll buy an Epiphone Tribute Plus. Now I have to look after a decent amplifier. I suppose the amplifier should be even better than the guitar....
#21
Quote by RolM
Thank you Danny. I decided, I'll buy an Epiphone Tribute Plus. Now I have to look after a decent amplifier. I suppose the amplifier should be even better than the guitar....


If you've barely started playing then get an inexpensive modelling amp (Fender Mustang, Peavey Vypr etc) All you need to start is that.
Moving on.....
#22
I own several Epiphone Les Paul's including the 1960 Tribute Plus. It has been my go to gig guitar for the past year. In my 40 years of playing it is slowly becoming one of my all time favorites. It sounds great and for me the contoured neck is perfect. That's just my opinion.
#23
Quote by RolM
Thank you Danny. I decided, I'll buy an Epiphone Tribute Plus. Now I have to look after a decent amplifier. I suppose the amplifier should be even better than the guitar....

Your amp is the base of your tonal pyramid. A bad amp makes everything played through it sound bad. A good amp lets everything shine to its fullest potential.

That said, there is nothing wrong with going with a modeling amp as a beginner. Hell- I didn't even have an amp when I started on electric, I got a portable digital modeler (see Korg, Line6, Boss, Tascam and others). I played with one for 3 years while trying to figure out what I wanted in an amp, and I still use them today.

...and even though I have an amp I love, it doesn't do everything I want it to do, so I'm shopping for a second amp.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#24
Quote by KenG
If you've barely started playing then get an inexpensive modelling amp (Fender Mustang, Peavey Vypr etc) All you need to start is that.

I thought of something similar. For e.g. I liked the Marshall MG-15CFX what I tried today. Not sure if Fender Mustang I V2 would give more for a beginner....
#25
I totally agree with you. Although I spent only two hours in the shop, I'm already convinced that the amplifier should be at least at the "level" of the guitar. Maybe the Marshall MG-15CFX will come up to my expectations.
#26
Quote by RolM
I thought of something similar. For e.g. I liked the Marshall MG-15CFX what I tried today. Not sure if Fender Mustang I V2 would give more for a beginner....


that Marshall is CRAP do not get it. go with a Peavey Vypyr or Fender Mustang. "beginner" amp is a term for garbage and don't bother with that line of thought. your amp can grow with you if it's decent to begin with. the Epiphone LP you decided on is a good guitar don't waste it through a junk amp that you will out grow in 6 months.
#27
I'd get a Peavey Vypyr, at least the 30 watt one. They just sound so much better than the MG. The MG sucks. It's a waste of a good guitar if you're running an LP Tribute into it.
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#28
Now I'm a bit confused. I thought Marshall is the biggest name in this subject. No matter if we talk about entry level amplifiers or the ones used by famous bands...So, please let me know what to try tomorrow or next week. I wouldn't go above 20-30W as mainly I'll use it in my apartment. I would leave out the ones with valves for the same reason. I need a combo. I won't be able to use the bass and acoustic amp capabilities so, these don't play a role. And I don't want to buy a 'no-name' amplifier. Based on the above what amplifiers would you recommend?
Thanks
#29
Quote by RolM
Now I'm a bit confused. I thought Marshall is the biggest name in this subject. No matter if we talk about entry level amplifiers or the ones used by famous bands...So, please let me know what to try tomorrow or next week. I wouldn't go above 20-30W as mainly I'll use it in my apartment. I would leave out the ones with valves for the same reason. I need a combo. I won't be able to use the bass and acoustic amp capabilities so, these don't play a role. And I don't want to buy a 'no-name' amplifier. Based on the above what amplifiers would you recommend?
Thanks


You can get valve combo's/small valve heads.

General opinion of the lower end marshalls is they're not great and that's being polite about it. 20-30W would be loud, but that's what a master volume is for.

I'll echo the previous posts and say 30W Vypr for the 12" speaker.
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#30
Quote by Fisheth24
You can get valve combo's/small valve heads.

General opinion of the lower end marshalls is they're not great and that's being polite about it. 20-30W would be loud, but that's what a master volume is for.

I'll echo the previous posts and say 30W Vypr for the 12" speaker.

So, I should stick with Vypr and do not even consider Fender for e.g.?
#31
If you like them, go for it. I'm not you. It's all personal preference.
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#32
Quote by RolM
So, I should stick with Vypr and do not even consider Fender for e.g.?


you really haven't said what styles of music you play. the Peavey Vypyr is your best bet for sounds on the metal side of playing. if you prefer clean to somewhat distorted sounds then the Fender Mustang may be a better bet. either amp is good overall. don't get to hung up on the wattage as that isn't as big a deal as you might think. I live in an apt and use a 50 watt tube amp for practice. the volume knob works fine and I rarely piss anyone off.
#33
Quote by RolM
Now I'm a bit confused. I thought Marshall is the biggest name in this subject. No matter if we talk about entry level amplifiers or the ones used by famous bands...So, please let me know what to try tomorrow or next week. I wouldn't go above 20-30W as mainly I'll use it in my apartment. I would leave out the ones with valves for the same reason. I need a combo. I won't be able to use the bass and acoustic amp capabilities so, these don't play a role. And I don't want to buy a 'no-name' amplifier. Based on the above what amplifiers would you recommend?
Thanks

Low end Marshalls are generally crap. They're overpriced and they lack the tonal characteristics that people associate with Marshall. Marshall's amps don't start to get decent until you go tube.

The reason you want to go at least 30 watts is because the <30 watt ones don't come with 12" speakers. Anything smaller than that makes you permanently lose much-needed bass response, which is why they're so important to have. 12" is the industry standard speaker size for guitar cabinets.
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#34
Thank you guys. Pretty useful comments.
I still have to digest going for 30Watts or more....
#35
Quote by RolM
Thank you guys. Pretty useful comments.
I still have to digest going for 30Watts or more....


think hard as the point on having a 12" speaker is a good one. don't assume that more watts automatically means louder it doesn't.
#36
Quote by RolM
Thank you guys. Pretty useful comments.
I still have to digest going for 30Watts or more....

Just because an amp has higher power doesn't mean you can't play it quietly. An amp's RMS power rating isn't even that significant a factor when it comes to loudness, contrary to popular belief. It ignores a ton of other factors that contribute to an amp's loudness, such as it's peak power, the technology the amp uses, the class of power section the amp uses, speaker sensitivity etc.

Seriously, get at least 30 watts with something like a Vypyr simply because of the 12" speaker. I cannot stress enough how important it is, it makes a huge difference to your tone.
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#37
Quote by paruwi

look it up at sweetwater guitar gallery and you'll see that I don't tell sh!t


Paruwi knows his shit and don't tell shit when it comes to Epis.

There's really no particular benefit to buying a Gibson these days, nor is there any particular drawback (I'd try to keep spending on a new Gibson *above* $1000, however; below that I don't think they're competitive with asian guitars at all). By the same token, if you're looking for a high quality Epi, I'd definitely be spending over $400 new on one, and the Tribute's outstanding.

My first guitar was a Gibson, and it was good enough that it's still around (a lot of years and a lot of guitars later). But I have absolutely no problems buying a $400-1000 guitar these days, either -- the quality levels can be really outstanding (depending on brand).
#38
Quote by RolM
Now I'm a bit confused. I thought Marshall is the biggest name in this subject. No matter if we talk about entry level amplifiers or the ones used by famous bands...


It may be the biggest "name" but that doesn't mean it's actually the best (or even the second or third best) amp in any particular category. And particularly not the best for what you want to do.

Just because you intend to mostly use your amp in the bedroom doesn't mean that a 20-50W amplifier is overkill. It probably does mean you're not going to be using that power to produce volume, but that power can mean a lot tonally. I routinely use a 50W Atomic Reactor and a 50W Carvin Belair in my little 10x12 den, and the pair of studio monitors I use for my keyboards are 100W each and have 8" woofers. In neither case am I over amped or under speakered.
#39
Quote by dspellman
Paruwi knows his shit and don't tell shit when it comes to Epis.

There's really no particular benefit to buying a Gibson these days, nor is there any particular drawback (I'd try to keep spending on a new Gibson *above* $1000, however; below that I don't think they're competitive with asian guitars at all). By the same token, if you're looking for a high quality Epi, I'd definitely be spending over $400 new on one, and the Tribute's outstanding.

My first guitar was a Gibson, and it was good enough that it's still around (a lot of years and a lot of guitars later). But I have absolutely no problems buying a $400-1000 guitar these days, either -- the quality levels can be really outstanding (depending on brand).

To an extent, I agree with you, though (as far as I know, anyway) you can't get nitro finish on any Epis anymore unless you find a nice, used Elitist.

Still, Tokai, Edwards, Burny, Agile and the like are alternatives if you don't like poly finishes (no thanks), don't want to get into Gibby Standard price points and don't mind buying sight unseen (again, no thanks).
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
Last edited by bubb_tubbs at Dec 12, 2014,
#40
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Just because an amp has higher power doesn't mean you can't play it quietly. An amp's RMS power rating isn't even that significant a factor when it comes to loudness, contrary to popular belief. It ignores a ton of other factors that contribute to an amp's loudness, such as it's peak power, the technology the amp uses, the class of power section the amp uses, speaker sensitivity etc.

Seriously, get at least 30 watts with something like a Vypyr simply because of the 12" speaker. I cannot stress enough how important it is, it makes a huge difference to your tone.


monwobobbo, Toodeepblue, dspellman thank you. I really appreciate your help. I'll go for 30w or above with 12" speaker at least. You convinced me as mainly I can hear facts from you and not subjective opinions.
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