#3
thats what you should do with all guitars

find a body style that you want, then just try different ones to find that "feel" that you're looking for
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#4
i was about to post a thread like this.
priest of Zeppelinism.

Quote by Dazed/Confused
Thank you eat_pancakes for your witty rebuttal. I have a new respect for the pit because of that.



Quote by czlespaul
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#6
play them
Quote by notsojoeyb4eva
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#7
I usually test the pick ups and see if the neck is confortable, but what other tests can you do?
#8
Test it, how you like it, how it plays, if the neck plays fast, just go to guitar center and start playing. You'll find one you like.
#9
You spot the one that just says "Gibson" on the headstock and "Gibson USA" on the case!

When I got my Gibson USA Les Paul Studio Faded, it was between that for $800 and a totally trick-looking Epiphone Les Paul for $500. The difference? With the Les Paul Faded, I got a bare wood finish, the same hardware as a Les Paul Standard, burstbucker pickups and block fret inlays. With the Epiphone, I would have had a really nice finish with inferior hardware all the way around and it was much heavier.

Last time I was in Guitar Center, they still had the Flying V faded but not the Les Paul or SG.
#10
Biggest thing to check on epis is how straight the fret board is. Sight down it and make shure it doesnt zig or look wierd. If set right it should have a bit of a bow in the middle. But I see alot that have a hump past the 15th fret.
#11
I know that sometimes guitar stores do not set up their guitars very good, but i check every fret for buzz, and look for scratches, or other blemishes in the paint.
#13
Quote by edge11
arent the epi lp customs made out of the same grade wood as giby lp's?


no. epiphone les pauls use a veneer top mostly...but are made of several peices of wood where gibsons are usually one or two pieces. the gibsons have the quality wood and electronics, i have two epi les pauls...don't get me wrong they're good guitars for the price.
#14
Quote by dennisshad
no. epiphone les pauls use a veneer top mostly...but are made of several peices of wood where gibsons are usually one or two pieces. the gibsons have the quality wood and electronics, i have two epi les pauls...don't get me wrong they're good guitars for the price.

Yeha but I remember i read that the newer epi lp's are mad efrom the same wood.
I think it was in the epi Vs prs topic, I quoat eit in a second when i find it.
can any one else confirm/deny this with proof?
#15
It was stated in the las post of this thread:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=728894

here is the post
Quote by 1sebastian1
Also custom has better pickups./QUOTE]Nope, since Epi's big overhaul a little over a year ago (when they also started making the Standards and above with the same proper woods as the full Gibson versions), the Standards have been fitted with the same pickups as the Customs.

Essentually, the only difference between the Standards and Customs now is:
- Finishes
- Custom hardware is made to a slightly higher standard and gold plated
- Customs use slab wood a grade higher than Standards (Customs, and all the Epis higher than Customs, now use the same grade mahogany as actual Gibson Les Paul Standards. Yes, really).


In short, if you find one of the rare, good, new Customs, upgrade it's pickups and bridge, and so long as you don't mind the Epi neck profile, you will end up with a guitar that is literally, the same quality spec as an actual Gibson that cost three times as much.
The Standard... well you'll get halfway there, but it'll be missing that final 'spark'.

And of course, that's assuming you do find one of the very rare, very good ones. Most Epis are lemons though, and not worth touching with a barge pole.
#16
Well this is how I do it, Im still trying to find better ways of figuring out which ones sound good even though its kinda obvious NOW, because I had somebody show me what kinda sounds are good

Well first of all, check if the guitar looks correct, as in straight neck and etc. Then before you plug it in, TUNE IT. and play something, I personally like the bright sounding guitars, so if the GUITAR's tone sounds nice, then go ahead and plug it in.

Because if the GUITAR doesn't sound nice, then with it plugged in, it won't sound that nice either. So if you get a good sounding guitar, and the pickups suck, you can just replace them Because if you get a bunch of the same guitar, for an example, like 3 Epiphone Les Paul Customs, they all will sound different, you gotta choose the best sounding one or else you might kinda waste your money. so its like you get a better sounding guitar for the same price kind of

I duno, thats just what i heard and thought.
Last edited by Mockingbird452 at Dec 6, 2007,
#18
They did indeed switch to solid mahogany sometime last year instead of the previous alder/mahogany combo crap. But until I see some sort of proof from a Gibson official, I highly doubt Epiphone is using the same grade of wood as Gibson in their mid-range models. Just wouldn't make sense business wise in my opinion.

As far as picking an Epi out... just play a few and find the one you like! Make sure the fret work is good, electronics are working properly... you'll know when you find a good one.

If you want a Les Paul copy I personally think there are better choices than Epiphone, keep in mind this is coming from a current Epiphone owner too
#19
Ha, thanks for re-posting that, was just going to go and find it to copy&paste myself...

Yup, Customs now use the same wood, for all intents and purposes, as actual Gibsons. Standards now use what Customs used to use, to put it very simply. Studios still use hacked-up lower graded offcuts (it should be pointed out; actual Gibson Studios and Faded series also use offcuts from lower grade wood than the Standards and Classics), and the Juniors and Special-IIs use lord only knows, it seems to vary from instrument to instrument. LP-100's use the same wood as Studios, I think (hacked up offcuts and low-grade).

Quote by dennisshad
no. epiphone les pauls use a veneer top mostly...but are made of several peices of wood where gibsons are usually one or two pieces.

This was true for the Standards and below until about a year and a half ago. Epi had a big change over in their production since then though.
And the Customs, signature LPs, Ultra and so on, have always been made 'properly'.

Quote by MrWannabe
When I got my Gibson USA Les Paul Studio Faded, it was between that for $800 and a totally trick-looking Epiphone Les Paul for $500. The difference? With the Les Paul Faded, I got a bare wood finish, the same hardware as a Les Paul Standard, burstbucker pickups and block fret inlays. With the Epiphone, I would have had a really nice finish with inferior hardware all the way around and it was much heavier.
This part should have been the tip-off for you to get the Epi. That Faded you have, as I mentioned above, has a body made like the Studio - lower grade wood, hacked up from offcuts. On top of that, if you bought it within the last two and a half years or so, it will also have the chambering that Gibson puts in their Standards now, which while good for helping the weight, also reduces sustain, arguably weakens the tone (depends on your personal taste), and reduces the durability of the instrument.

On the other hand, if it was a few years back, the Custom would have completely solid two-slab construction, and the wood would be the same grade as the Gibson. If it was newer (since Epi had their overhaul of production), the Custom will still have the same entirely solid, two-slab construction, and the wood will be roughly one grade (possibly two, there's some variation) than the Faded (for reference, the Epi Customs now mostly use D Select, though sometimes C Select, while Gibsons like the Faded and Studio use D Select at most, but as is the nature with their construction from off-cuts, they normally contain more #1 common and #2 common, rather than any D Select).


But granted, the Gibson comes with nicer stock hardware. My argument is and will always be though, so long as you don't mind the Epi neck profile, you are always better off getting one of the rare good Epis and spending the money you saved upgrade it, rather than just getting a Gibson. And certainly if you do have the money to buy a Gibson, then you should still skip those, and just go to the Epiphone Elitist series, which have the most consistent quality control I've ever come across, and frankly, beat any production Gibson (again, so long as you're okay with the Epi neck profile). As a general rule of thumb, the Gibson Custom Shop is the best, then the Epi Elitists, then production Gibson mid-range, Epiphone production higher-range and modded mid-range, Gibson lower range and stock Epi mid-range, then finally the lower range Epis which are at best, average beginner instruments, and that's only if you're lucky.


I should probably point out, this is coming from someone who owns two Gibsons, has owned a third in the past, and currently owns two Epis, again, having owned a third in the past. So, I'm not biased to one brand just because it's the one I play the most or anything, I own and play both equally. And you'll just have to take my word for it - I've done my research.



... And to answer the OP's question in typically boring fashion, the answer, as many people have said, is to just play the damn thing. If you notice any fretbuzz, unusually loose hardware, unusually stiff hardware, a lack of sustain - anything - then you put that Epi down right now. You don't even have to plug them in to tell if they're bad or not; 99 times out of 100, if an Epi has one flaw, even if it's just something 'minor' like some rough flack on the nut from where it was cut or the pickup selector switch is a little stiff, the rest of it will turn out to be a waste of money too.

When trying out Epis, you need to keep this in mind; you are search for a mid-range Gibson quality build, with the exception of the pickups. For this reason, I heartily recommend you try the Epi unplugged. You'll be able to spot it's flaws much easier, and really it's the core build you're testing out, as it's a given the electronics will be unimpressive. Most of the time you'll be changing the pickups anyway (and at the same time, change the pots and all the existing wiring - but again, I would think that's pretty much a given anyway).

You should also try looking at the guitar's serial number to see how old it is. Just because Epiphone have officially passed on all of the old stock (made before their production change), that doesn't mean those guitars aren't still sitting on shelves in stores or sitting on eBay or in warehouses for other online shops. Look at the serial number on the back of the guitar - look at the third and fourth characters in the sequence (it normally goes two letters, then the numbers start - you want to be looking at the first two numbers). It's pretty simple to tell the year; if the first two numbers are 05 for example, then the guitar was made in 2005. If it says 06, it's a 2006 guitar, etc. Now, Epiphone made their production shift a little over a year and a half ago now, so any guitar made in 07 is fine, any made in 06 should be fine, though earlier than that and you're looking at lower grade wood, if it's a Standard or lower then it'll be using the old mahogany/alder mix rather than just mahogany, and the stock hardware on the Standard and below is worse too (though you really should be changing most of the hardware anyway).


The exceptions are the Signature range of Epis, the Ultra, any limited editions, and the Elitist series.

The Elitists are quite frankly, better than production Gibsons - period. You don't need to worry about possibly finding a bad Elitist; no such thing exists, at least not in my experience.

The Ultra is a hard one to gauge since it's meant to be heavily chambered, the tone, especially unplugged, isn't really like any other LP. The build quality on them tends to be higher too. That's not to say there aren't bad Ultras out there - there are - just that it's much harder to tell what the hell is going on with any Ultra you pick up, so shopping for those should be left to those who have already owned a couple of good Epis and really know what they're looking for.

The Limited Editions that Epi sometimes do, are nearly always good too. They seem to put much more care over them even if it's just a limited run Studio model. Again, like the Ultra, there are still bad ones out there - they're just that bit less common, and it varies so much from each limited run model that they're not the kind of thing inexperienced buyers should be risking looking into.

For the Signatures, I assume it's since the artists insist better quality control on their guitars, but I've never come across a bad Signature Epi. Most of the Signatures started life in the Elitists series and then got 'demoted' to standard production, but never got any actual spec changes, so that could be why. In particular, the Joe Perry LP and Tony Iommi SG are incredibly well built (again, at least in my experience), though from what I understand, the Joe Perry LP is no longer being produced. A shame since it came with actual USA-made Gibsons Burstbuckers (#2 and #3 - my personal favourite pickup configuration) as standard, which combined with the higher quality body it had, meant it was, for all intents and purposes, a Gibson with a different headstock. I'm lucky enough to have a 2004 one (which is okay since Signatures were always made properly, even before the production shift), and I can safely say it's better than one of my Gibsons, and since owning it I've put the same pickup configuration (reverse #2 and a #3) in all of my guitars - it is just that damn good.



Wow, tl;dr....



EDIT:

Quote by Whole Lotta Led
But until I see some sort of proof from a Gibson official, I highly doubt Epiphone is using the same grade of wood as Gibson in their mid-range models. Just wouldn't make sense business wise in my opinion.
Actually, it makes great business sense. It's not like Gibson have downgraded their Standards; all that's happened is now more people will buy Epi as they hear the wood they use is now better, and Gibson conveniently keep quiet about the difference between the Epi and Gibson woods.

To be fair to Gibson though, it's not like every single £70 Epi LP Junior is using the same wood as a £3000 Gibson Custom Shop LP or anything. It's just the mid/higher Epis now use the same wood as the mid-range Gibsons (which have never been that special anyway), with the Standard Epis being not too far behind.


Think of it this way: Selling twenty Epis at £500 a pop makes more money than selling three Gibsons at £1400, which is roughly the actual buy rate of the two right now, since the wood change over. From a business sense, they are now raking in far more money than ever before.
Last edited by bokuho at Dec 6, 2007,
#20
Quote by bokuho
Ha, thanks for re-posting that, was just going to go and find it to copy&paste myself...

Yup, Customs now use the same wood, for all intents and purposes, as actual Gibsons. Standards now use what Customs used to use, to put it very simply. Studios still use hacked-up lower graded offcuts (it should be pointed out; actual Gibson Studios and Faded series also use offcuts from lower grade wood than the Standards and Classics), and the Juniors and Special-IIs use lord only knows, it seems to vary from instrument to instrument. LP-100's use the same wood as Studios, I think (hacked up offcuts and low-grade).


This was true for the Standards and below until about a year and a half ago. Epi had a big change over in their production since then though.
And the Customs, signature LPs, Ultra and so on, have always been made 'properly'.

This part should have been the tip-off for you to get the Epi. That Faded you have, as I mentioned above, has a body made like the Studio - lower grade wood, hacked up from offcuts. On top of that, if you bought it within the last two and a half years or so, it will also have the chambering that Gibson puts in their Standards now, which while good for helping the weight, also reduces sustain, arguably weakens the tone (depends on your personal taste), and reduces the durability of the instrument.

On the other hand, if it was a few years back, the Custom would have completely solid two-slab construction, and the wood would be the same grade as the Gibson. If it was newer (since Epi had their overhaul of production), the Custom will still have the same entirely solid, two-slab construction, and the wood will be roughly one grade (possibly two, there's some variation) than the Faded (for reference, the Epi Customs now mostly use D Select, though sometimes C Select, while Gibsons like the Faded and Studio use D Select at most, but as is the nature with their construction from off-cuts, they normally contain more #1 common and #2 common, rather than any D Select).


But granted, the Gibson comes with nicer stock hardware. My argument is and will always be though, so long as you don't mind the Epi neck profile, you are always better off getting one of the rare good Epis and spending the money you saved upgrade it, rather than just getting a Gibson. And certainly if you do have the money to buy a Gibson, then you should still skip those, and just go to the Epiphone Elitist series, which have the most consistent quality control I've ever come across, and frankly, beat any production Gibson (again, so long as you're okay with the Epi neck profile). As a general rule of thumb, the Gibson Custom Shop is the best, then the Epi Elitists, then production Gibson mid-range, Epiphone production higher-range and modded mid-range, Gibson lower range and stock Epi mid-range, then finally the lower range Epis which are at best, average beginner instruments, and that's only if you're lucky.


I should probably point out, this is coming from someone who owns two Gibsons, has owned a third in the past, and currently owns two Epis, again, having owned a third in the past. So, I'm not biased to one brand just because it's the one I play the most or anything, I own and play both equally. And you'll just have to take my word for it - I've done my research.



... And to answer the OP's question in typically boring fashion, the answer, as many people have said, is to just play the damn thing. If you notice any fretbuzz, unusually loose hardware, unusually stiff hardware, a lack of sustain - anything - then you put that Epi down right now. You don't even have to plug them in to tell if they're bad or not; 99 times out of 100, if an Epi has one flaw, even if it's just something 'minor' like some rough flack on the nut from where it was cut or the pickup selector switch is a little stiff, the rest of it will turn out to be a waste of money too.

When trying out Epis, you need to keep this in mind; you are search for a mid-range Gibson quality build, with the exception of the pickups. For this reason, I heartily recommend you try the Epi unplugged. You'll be able to spot it's flaws much easier, and really it's the core build you're testing out, as it's a given the electronics will be unimpressive. Most of the time you'll be changing the pickups anyway (and at the same time, change the pots and all the existing wiring - but again, I would think that's pretty much a given anyway).

You should also try looking at the guitar's serial number to see how old it is. Just because Epiphone have officially passed on all of the old stock (made before their production change), that doesn't mean those guitars aren't still sitting on shelves in stores or sitting on eBay or in warehouses for other online shops. Look at the serial number on the back of the guitar - look at the third and fourth characters in the sequence (it normally goes two letters, then the numbers start - you want to be looking at the first two numbers). It's pretty simple to tell the year; if the first two numbers are 05 for example, then the guitar was made in 2005. If it says 06, it's a 2006 guitar, etc. Now, Epiphone made their production shift a little over a year and a half ago now, so any guitar made in 07 is fine, any made in 06 should be fine, though earlier than that and you're looking at lower grade wood, if it's a Standard or lower then it'll be using the old mahogany/alder mix rather than just mahogany, and the stock hardware on the Standard and below is worse too (though you really should be changing most of the hardware anyway).


The exceptions are the Signature range of Epis, the Ultra, any limited editions, and the Elitist series.

The Elitists are quite frankly, better than production Gibsons - period. You don't need to worry about possibly finding a bad Elitist; no such thing exists, at least not in my experience.

The Ultra is a hard one to gauge since it's meant to be heavily chambered, the tone, especially unplugged, isn't really like any other LP. The build quality on them tends to be higher too. That's not to say there aren't bad Ultras out there - there are - just that it's much harder to tell what the hell is going on with any Ultra you pick up, so shopping for those should be left to those who have already owned a couple of good Epis and really know what they're looking for.

The Limited Editions that Epi sometimes do, are nearly always good too. They seem to put much more care over them even if it's just a limited run Studio model. Again, like the Ultra, there are still bad ones out there - they're just that bit less common, and it varies so much from each limited run model that they're not the kind of thing inexperienced buyers should be risking looking into.

For the Signatures, I assume it's since the artists insist better quality control on their guitars, but I've never come across a bad Signature Epi. Most of the Signatures started life in the Elitists series and then got 'demoted' to standard production, but never got any actual spec changes, so that could be why. In particular, the Joe Perry LP and Tony Iommi SG are incredibly well built (again, at least in my experience), though from what I understand, the Joe Perry LP is no longer being produced. A shame since it came with actual USA-made Gibsons Burstbuckers (#2 and #3 - my personal favourite pickup configuration) as standard, which combined with the higher quality body it had, meant it was, for all intents and purposes, a Gibson with a different headstock. I'm lucky enough to have a 2004 one (which is okay since Signatures were always made properly, even before the production shift), and I can safely say it's better than one of my Gibsons, and since owning it I've put the same pickup configuration (reverse #2 and a #3) in all of my guitars - it is just that damn good.



Wow, tl;dr....



EDIT:

Actually, it makes great business sense. It's not like Gibson have downgraded their Standards; all that's happened is now more people will buy Epi as they hear the wood they use is now better, and Gibson conveniently keep quiet about the difference between the Epi and Gibson woods.

To be fair to Gibson though, it's not like every single £70 Epi LP Junior is using the same wood as a £3000 Gibson Custom Shop LP or anything. It's just the mid/higher Epis now use the same wood as the mid-range Gibsons (which have never been that special anyway), with the Standard Epis being not too far behind.


Think of it this way: Selling twenty Epis at £500 a pop makes more money than selling three Gibsons at £1400, which is roughly the actual buy rate of the two right now, since the wood change over. From a business sense, they are now raking in far more money than ever before.


good post man, thanks for the info!
#21
Quote by bokuho
Ha, thanks for re-posting that, was just going to go and find it to copy&paste myself...

Yup, Customs now use the same wood, for all intents and purposes, as actual Gibsons. Standards now use what Customs used to use, to put it very simply. Studios still use hacked-up lower graded offcuts (it should be pointed out; actual Gibson Studios and Faded series also use offcuts from lower grade wood than the Standards and Classics), and the Juniors and Special-IIs use lord only knows, it seems to vary from instrument to instrument. LP-100's use the same wood as Studios, I think (hacked up offcuts and low-grade).


This was true for the Standards and below until about a year and a half ago. Epi had a big change over in their production since then though.
And the Customs, signature LPs, Ultra and so on, have always been made 'properly'.

This part should have been the tip-off for you to get the Epi. That Faded you have, as I mentioned above, has a body made like the Studio - lower grade wood, hacked up from offcuts. On top of that, if you bought it within the last two and a half years or so, it will also have the chambering that Gibson puts in their Standards now, which while good for helping the weight, also reduces sustain, arguably weakens the tone (depends on your personal taste), and reduces the durability of the instrument.

On the other hand, if it was a few years back, the Custom would have completely solid two-slab construction, and the wood would be the same grade as the Gibson. If it was newer (since Epi had their overhaul of production), the Custom will still have the same entirely solid, two-slab construction, and the wood will be roughly one grade (possibly two, there's some variation) than the Faded (for reference, the Epi Customs now mostly use D Select, though sometimes C Select, while Gibsons like the Faded and Studio use D Select at most, but as is the nature with their construction from off-cuts, they normally contain more #1 common and #2 common, rather than any D Select).


But granted, the Gibson comes with nicer stock hardware. My argument is and will always be though, so long as you don't mind the Epi neck profile, you are always better off getting one of the rare good Epis and spending the money you saved upgrade it, rather than just getting a Gibson. And certainly if you do have the money to buy a Gibson, then you should still skip those, and just go to the Epiphone Elitist series, which have the most consistent quality control I've ever come across, and frankly, beat any production Gibson (again, so long as you're okay with the Epi neck profile). As a general rule of thumb, the Gibson Custom Shop is the best, then the Epi Elitists, then production Gibson mid-range, Epiphone production higher-range and modded mid-range, Gibson lower range and stock Epi mid-range, then finally the lower range Epis which are at best, average beginner instruments, and that's only if you're lucky.


I should probably point out, this is coming from someone who owns two Gibsons, has owned a third in the past, and currently owns two Epis, again, having owned a third in the past. So, I'm not biased to one brand just because it's the one I play the most or anything, I own and play both equally. And you'll just have to take my word for it - I've done my research.



... And to answer the OP's question in typically boring fashion, the answer, as many people have said, is to just play the damn thing. If you notice any fretbuzz, unusually loose hardware, unusually stiff hardware, a lack of sustain - anything - then you put that Epi down right now. You don't even have to plug them in to tell if they're bad or not; 99 times out of 100, if an Epi has one flaw, even if it's just something 'minor' like some rough flack on the nut from where it was cut or the pickup selector switch is a little stiff, the rest of it will turn out to be a waste of money too.

When trying out Epis, you need to keep this in mind; you are search for a mid-range Gibson quality build, with the exception of the pickups. For this reason, I heartily recommend you try the Epi unplugged. You'll be able to spot it's flaws much easier, and really it's the core build you're testing out, as it's a given the electronics will be unimpressive. Most of the time you'll be changing the pickups anyway (and at the same time, change the pots and all the existing wiring - but again, I would think that's pretty much a given anyway).

You should also try looking at the guitar's serial number to see how old it is. Just because Epiphone have officially passed on all of the old stock (made before their production change), that doesn't mean those guitars aren't still sitting on shelves in stores or sitting on eBay or in warehouses for other online shops. Look at the serial number on the back of the guitar - look at the third and fourth characters in the sequence (it normally goes two letters, then the numbers start - you want to be looking at the first two numbers). It's pretty simple to tell the year; if the first two numbers are 05 for example, then the guitar was made in 2005. If it says 06, it's a 2006 guitar, etc. Now, Epiphone made their production shift a little over a year and a half ago now, so any guitar made in 07 is fine, any made in 06 should be fine, though earlier than that and you're looking at lower grade wood, if it's a Standard or lower then it'll be using the old mahogany/alder mix rather than just mahogany, and the stock hardware on the Standard and below is worse too (though you really should be changing most of the hardware anyway).


The exceptions are the Signature range of Epis, the Ultra, any limited editions, and the Elitist series.

The Elitists are quite frankly, better than production Gibsons - period. You don't need to worry about possibly finding a bad Elitist; no such thing exists, at least not in my experience.

The Ultra is a hard one to gauge since it's meant to be heavily chambered, the tone, especially unplugged, isn't really like any other LP. The build quality on them tends to be higher too. That's not to say there aren't bad Ultras out there - there are - just that it's much harder to tell what the hell is going on with any Ultra you pick up, so shopping for those should be left to those who have already owned a couple of good Epis and really know what they're looking for.

The Limited Editions that Epi sometimes do, are nearly always good too. They seem to put much more care over them even if it's just a limited run Studio model. Again, like the Ultra, there are still bad ones out there - they're just that bit less common, and it varies so much from each limited run model that they're not the kind of thing inexperienced buyers should be risking looking into.

For the Signatures, I assume it's since the artists insist better quality control on their guitars, but I've never come across a bad Signature Epi. Most of the Signatures started life in the Elitists series and then got 'demoted' to standard production, but never got any actual spec changes, so that could be why. In particular, the Joe Perry LP and Tony Iommi SG are incredibly well built (again, at least in my experience), though from what I understand, the Joe Perry LP is no longer being produced. A shame since it came with actual USA-made Gibsons Burstbuckers (#2 and #3 - my personal favourite pickup configuration) as standard, which combined with the higher quality body it had, meant it was, for all intents and purposes, a Gibson with a different headstock. I'm lucky enough to have a 2004 one (which is okay since Signatures were always made properly, even before the production shift), and I can safely say it's better than one of my Gibsons, and since owning it I've put the same pickup configuration (reverse #2 and a #3) in all of my guitars - it is just that damn good.



Wow, tl;dr....



EDIT:

Actually, it makes great business sense. It's not like Gibson have downgraded their Standards; all that's happened is now more people will buy Epi as they hear the wood they use is now better, and Gibson conveniently keep quiet about the difference between the Epi and Gibson woods.

To be fair to Gibson though, it's not like every single £70 Epi LP Junior is using the same wood as a £3000 Gibson Custom Shop LP or anything. It's just the mid/higher Epis now use the same wood as the mid-range Gibsons (which have never been that special anyway), with the Standard Epis being not too far behind.


Think of it this way: Selling twenty Epis at £500 a pop makes more money than selling three Gibsons at £1400, which is roughly the actual buy rate of the two right now, since the wood change over. From a business sense, they are now raking in far more money than ever before.


good stuff man thanks.