Epiphone Vs. Gibson

The buyers guide to buying a high priced Gibson, or a lower priced Epiphone.

Ultimate Guitar
Have you ever wanted a big sounding, rock guitar? Perhaps a Les Paul or a ES-335 type? Have you ever been torn about whether you should spend over a grand for an iconic rock machine, or settle for a lower priced, foreign made Epiphone? Well, this is the article for you.

Gibson guitars are manufactured and assembled in the USA, and have been since the early days of the company. Nearly every guitar legend has owned or played a Gibson in their career. Well, the sound doesn't lie: The guitars that are made by Gibson are made well, and speak for themselves. Although they sound great, they are on the price heavy end of the spectrum. To get a Gibson Les Paul Standard new, you would have to scrape up over three thousand dollars for just one guitar.

On the other end of the spectrum, is a more affordable guitar, called the Epiphone. Epiphone is a Gibson company, and has the licenses to essentially copy the Gibson models, and make them more affordable. Today, the parts are made in China, and are shipped to the Gibson factory in Nashville, Tennessee to be assembled. An Epiphone Les Paul Standard is priced around four hundred USD. They not only look like their high priced cousins, but they sound like them as well. To some people, Epiphone guitars actually sound better to their ears than a Gibson.

The fact is, is that great guitars are coming out of the foreign countries today. Some artists prefer to use foreign made guitars for no other reason than the way they play and sound to their ear. USA guitar companies now mark up their guitars for no other reason than because they are made in the USA.

In the end, its really the buyer's decision to choose their instrument. If you just want a great sounding guitar, get an Epiphone. They have just about every Gibson model at a lower price. If you really want the iconic, American made Gibson, then save up your piggy bank and get it: Just know that it won't be cheap! It also comes down to where you are in your career/craft. If you're a beginner guitarist, I wouldn't recommend spending three grand on a guitar.

Happy Playing!

By nicksterj.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    'The guitars that are made by Gibson are made well, and speak for themselves.' ive seen a €4000! gibson les paul in a local music store, half of the neck (starting at the neckjoint) was covered in glue. lets just be fair, gibson has been very hit and miss in recent years, theyve made some great guitars but theyve made some horrible crap too
    I very much agree with this. All the high end guitar companies used to make great quality guitars, but I've walked in a music store before and seen a Custom Shop Strat with rough edges on the frets and with the tuners unstable and barely attached. Sometimes its better to buy guitars made in mexico or indonesia, because they know what the hell they are doing.
    Now search and replace Gibson and Epiphone with Fender and Squier and you have another helpful article.
    Moltres Avianos
    Hopefully Gibson's quality will go up now they've ditched all the techno gimmick shit for next year. I'm a hardline Les Paul fan, but even I struggled to want a Les Paul in 2015
    I have a goldtop 2013 Epi and I love it. Sounds as good as my amp. Stays in tune. The finish is NOT perfect but it plays great and tone is there. I will be buying another matching goldtop with P-90s. Epiphone kicks ass. Squire guitars are ALL turds. Never played one that stayed in tune.Any guesses why I bought an Epi and not a Squire?
    Because you're an elitist pig and if you'd have money enough you'd get a Gibson and talk the same shit about Epiphones. Just kidding. Squires are not all turds, but at some point it all comes down to the price; at least in my experience comparing Epiphones and Squires, the squires are way cheaper, and well, the definition of 'cheaper' is lower quality hardware and setup. And it has something to do that most Epis have a tailstop piece and somewhat decent Grover tuners when most Squires have the typical tremolo bridge, adding the very generic die-cast tuners to that, you got an easy-to-get-out-of-tune guitar. They're just different guitars, in different price and quality ranges.
    Epiphone's are great guitars! Just switch out the pups and maybe the tuners and... BAMMM!! Now just because Gibson's are US made doesn't mean they are the best, so don't be fooled by the different headstock and a "special" name on the headstock.