Started playing on an sg first so there's some sentimental value there. I have a stock G400 that I like playing and have been considering some upgrades on it. I know I wont get my money back but that's not my intention, I just like the SG. First upgrade I can think of is changing the pups on it, I have a pair of Dimarzio 211 and 212 EJ customs but they are pretty low output

Ideally, I'd like to have pups that can have it play clean although I intend to use this one mainly for distortion as I have other guitars that I use for cleans.
Been looking at EMG 81/85s buy I'm not sure if they will fit and I might have to make a cavity for the guitar? If anyone has upgraded their g400 I'd love to know

On top of all that though, I was wondering how much better gibson sgs are? I'm a bit nooby when it comes to specs, I only play really so forgive me but, are Gibby sgs just better made? Would they last longer? I'm sure they're better but just how much? I'm not necessarily attached to Epiphone SGs, just Sgs in general. I spent about 200 on this thing "used" but the guy only touched it once so it had pretty much zero scratches and no fretwear. My question may seem to be all over the place but if anyone can give me some tips would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
Play some Gibson SG's. If you think you'll like them more than your modded Epi, buy one.

You cannot quantify how much better a Gibson SG is to an Epi. I just know from playing them what I'd rather own.
Quote by Axelfox

Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
T00DEEPBLUE Thanks man. I guess my question there was more directed at quality like if an epi would be more likely to I guess, break on me than a gibby. That being said though I assume if I take care of it then it should last me regardless.
chris1mugen Well the electronics on Gibsons are significantly better than they are on Epis. They switches and jacks are far nicer, as are the pots.

The quality of Gibsons in terms of the pickups are better, the fretwork on them SHOULD be better, Epis are made with multiple pieces of wood that are veneered on the top and back to make it look prettier. Gibsons don't use veneers because they are made with fewer pieces of wood. Some prefer the nitrocellulose lacquer on Gibsons, some prefer the binding nibs on Gibsons. And some prefer the hardware on Gibsons. Epis are chinese made, Gibsons are US made, They also have much better resale value than Epiphones. There's also the intangible emotional aspect of the fact that the Epiphones are designed to be cheaper versions of the Gibson counterparts. So even if you make an Epiphone into a great guitar by upgrading it, the fact that it will always represent a cheaper copy of a Gibson is something that many people find will forever bother them.

With that said, there are some ways in which the Epis are more durable than the Gibsons. The necks on Gibsons are made with 1 continuous piece of wood, and they use an acorn nut style truss rod adjustment. These 2 things are factors which contribute to the headstock area on Gibsons being more prone to breakage than they are on an Epiphone. An Epiphone uses less of a severe headstock break angle and a scarf joint in the headstock. This makes the guitar cheaper to manufacture, but it also aligns the grain direction of the wood in the headstock in the direction of the headstock angle, which elongates the grain of the wood, making the wood less prone to splitting and tearing out if the guitar takes a hit in that area.

Honestly though, The main reason why anybody buys and Epiphone SG instead of a Gibson is because they can't afford one. So I say if you have the financial means to get a Gibson, I don't see why you wouldn't want to. It likely is the guitar you ultimately want anyway.
Quote by Axelfox

Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
T00DEEPBLUE Thanks a lot again, very informative. I do have the money to pick one up so I'll probably go check out both today at GC and make my decision, thanks again.
chris1mugen Hey there , this may not be an apples to apples comparison , I purchased a new Epiphone Les Paul standard pro in 2013 , and it played and sounded pretty good, in Jan 2015 I purchased a new 2014 Gibson Les Paul traditional with the retro '59 pick ups and Orange Drop capacitors so basically it's an old Les Paul standard is my understanding , bout 6 months later I put a set of Seymour Duncan pick ups in the epiphone to hot rod it a bit and improve the sound, a JB in the bridge and a Jazz in the neck with Orange Drop capacitors also, and to be completey honest it's very hard to tell them apart sound wise the Seymour Duncans are actually fatter sounding than the '59s in my Gibson, I love both guitars and to be honest yes the Gibson is much nicer in many ways, like others have said play a Gibson SG or 2 and see what you think if you have the funds for the Gibson you won't be unhappy but switching out pick ups is much more affordable, and will improve the sound of your Epi SG at least it should ! Anyways thats my expierience with Epi vs. Gibson and switching pick ups etc, bottom line go with what YOU like and can afford, Good Luck !
Last edited by edlaw5150 at Mar 4, 2017,
The biggest starting point to me on this is how well does the Epi play to you? If it plays well I'm the type of person who would spend the cash to make it how I want it. I like taking cheaper guitars and modding them into what I like VS spending cash on a Gibson or USA fender. I have an Ibanez SR405 I paid $250 for and put $300 in electronics, a schecter C-1 I paid $200 for and put $250 in it and a VM squire strat I paid $150 for and just put $400 in hardware and electronics in. I like the act of messing with gear and I don't care about resale so as long as I enjoy playing it I'll put money in it
I have both a modded 2014 Epiphone SG G 400 faded ( purchased new then modded with Gibson '61 special pups, pots, switch and jack) and a recently purchased 2017 Gibson SG Standard T (purchased solely on account of the outstanding deal I got on it). My take = The Epi G400 is a perfectly good guitar. It's my "workhorse" and gets played daily and with the electronics upgraded it's a great sounding guitar that plays great. Best part? = considering it's replacement cost it's one that I'm not afraid to bounce down a set of concrete steps. The '17 Gibson SG-T? Immaculate. Fit / finish / playability / sound = excellent. It is what a Gibson is....a quality instrument IMO suitable for professional use right out of the case (after a proper set up of course). Bottom line = modding a Epi SG G 400 is NOT a waste of $$$. You can make it sound MUCH better along with having the ability to beat on it like an unwanted stepchild. The Gibson SG....well...sometimes (for some people) only a Gibson will do. I swoon at it's beauty but at this point and time it spends a lot of it's time in it's case.