I've been hearing in some threads that Chinese Epiphone Les Pauls are pretty bad quality. Is this true? If it is, why? Cuz i've got an Epi LP Custom that was made in China that i love and it plays great, has a bit of fret buzz but other than that its awesome.
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i think its a great guitar i played it at my friends house its just like the gibson but just a little less sound quality
CedricL is spot on. A lot of them are just awful, but some of them will play beautifully and be as comfortable as any other LP on the planet, it's just a matter of playing a few different guitars of the same model before you buy one, although they've all got pretty crappy pickups and the pickup selector switches almost always fail within 12 months.

Oh and hell_monkey, just take it down to a guitar store and ask them to setup the neck for you, that should fix any fret buzz problems, I take my (ridiculously modified lol) Epi LP Custom down to a guitar store once every couple of months to make sure its all as it should be and it never lets me down.
Good question hell monkey... I also have a Chinese Epiphone LP, although it is a limited edition Custom. Same deal though. When i went out to buy a guitar earlier this year, i was wondering the same thing, but was lucky enough to talk to people who own and work at studios that have 100's and guitars and many experienced guitarists who DIDN'T work at the shops, so I can be pretty sure that A)no sales bull**** was happening and B)they new what they were talking about.

this is what I got told...yes Korean factories are known for a better standard....BUT its not like your average Korean is born naturally better than your average Chinese guitar factory worker....Its all purely quality control, and the work ethic. Basically, the third poster hit the nail on the head....its hit and miss...some can be gems and some can be absolute pigs. i played tons of guitars for hours...and in the end the LP was the best playing out of the lot of em....I have been told by people who own real LP's that it plays better than them....but then again the shop did screw up a re frett and it got sent to this awesome machine thing that only usually does expensive guitars which made it sweet as...

So your guitar is as good as you think it is...its how it feels to you when you play it... it could be awesome....just cos its chinese is a steryotype and there are plenty of good guitars out of China!

oh, and I just noticed that you said Frett Buzz! Thats exactly what was the only thing wrong with mine...it only appeared a few months after I bought it, but it is wood so it can take time for a guitar too settle...so not to worry...just take it to your guitar shop and they'll do an adjustment and set up. What happened with mine though, was it just got worse after their set up...so they sent it off to gibson australia...they did nothing apart from the exact same thing the shop tried and I didnt get my guitar back for ages...so we were pretty pissed off...and then the shop pressured them into sending it next door to Sydney guitar set ups which has this big new machine that they usually only put the expensive gibsons through and it is seriously silk smooth to play now...freakin awesome!
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Last edited by Imafrog at Aug 18, 2008,
Quote by hell_monkey
I've been hearing in some threads that Chinese Epiphone Les Pauls are pretty bad quality. Is this true? If it is, why? Cuz i've got an Epi LP Custom that was made in China that i love and it plays great, has a bit of fret buzz but other than that its awesome.

To be honest, most people will always "like" their own guitar. It's a very typical comment. I have a Korean Epiphone, and it's a fine instrument. It compares very well to GIbsons (feels different, of course). I own a Gibson too, so I'm not just saying that. Many Gibson players have complimented my Epi when they played it, after initially thinking it would be a piece of trash. My Epiphone is a 2003 model, made in Korea.

I have played a fair few of the newer Chinese ones, and they've all been crap. I guess there are probably some nice Chinese ones (cue a Chinese Epi owner saying something like "Well mine is made in China, and it rocks".. go away), but in general they are a lot worse, in my experience. In my opinion, the pre-2004 Korean-made Epiphones are to Epiphone what the vintage Kalamazoo (Michigan) made Gibsons are to Gibson.

As for why the Korean guitars would be higher-quality to the Chinese ones- Korean craftsmanship is really on a par with Japanese craftsmanship. Korea and Japan are right next to each other (like England and Ireland):



Which is why the Agile brand make a big deal about their guitars being made in Korea, not China, etc. Whereas China is the world's #1 manufacturer of cheap crap. The massive drop in quality of the Chinese Epiphones from the old Korean ones reflects this. It's arguable how much truth there is to the whole "Chinese Epis are way worse than the old Korean ones", but there's no denying that there is some truth to it.
I love my china made epi LP custom plus. Only thing is some paint and glue spills here and there. Otherwise, great guitar.
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08' Recording King RD-17CFE
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I have a made in china epiphone les paul special ll and it plays like a dream. I have played alot of up market guitars and as far as quality goes it holds its own, id assume they are hit and miss, i think i got a great one, i love the thing, had it for 2 years now. No bad points atall, the neck is wonderfull on it. I understand that the Korean (i think) epiphones have better craftmans ship but i advise playing the gutiar before you buy. Dont knok the china ones cause they are made in china, play the thing first.

Epiphone Les Paul Special ll w/ an SD Dimebucker and a Dean Zebra neck pup
Bugera 333xl Head
Bugera 412-bk Cab
Roland Cube 15
Behringer Hell Babe Wah
Dan Electro tuna-melt
EHX Metal Muff

Bugera Lover!
My made in china epi les paul standard is a good nice guitar played acoustically the only flaw across the whole guitar was the neck binding has wood staining on it (which im in the process of scratching off) other that that it sounds and plays nice pick ups could do with being swapped out however, and whats with the 3 pin plug behind the tone pots? never seen that b4 its like 1 of the plugs u get on a floppy drive....

Ive always been under the impression nm where its made / hardware it uses if it plays nice and sounds nice acoustically. It will usually be a fine guitar with a few mods to the electrics / pick ups.

And thats how I buy stuff, I play it unplugged then plug it in after a good play and see what it can do in an amp.....

I think factories / countries of manufacture should be ignored unless you are buying with out playing first...
Last edited by johntb at Aug 18, 2008,
I guess I got lucky, my 2008 Epi Les Paul Custom was made in china, and I can't find too many faults other than the pickups which give me some strange harmonic feedback when I touch the strings and a small amount of the binding around the body is a bit shabby, but it had a perfect action for me and the intonation was spot on for me as well on the low E, A and D strings without me doing anything to it.