i have the standard plus, im looking into upgrading pretty much everything on the guitar. So my question is, is there a major difference between the standard plus and the elitist besides hardware?
The Elitist are, IMHO, just as good if not better than Gibsons. The only difference is the name on the headstock and the fact that the Elitists do not have a nitrocellulose finish. They use all-American parts, better wood, and are constructed much better than the regular Epiphones.
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The difference between the regular Epis and the Elitists is huge. The fact that many people who try them prefer the Elitists over a Gibson that costs twice the price should tell you all you need to know.
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