Elitist '61 SG Standard review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (91 votes)
Epiphone: Elitist '61 SG Standard
0

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: Music In

Sound — 9
I play mostly punk, hardcore and metal, and the SG is the guitar to do it all. Someone would say that ESP is better for metal, and it's true; but if you don't have 2000 $ to buy an ESP the Epi SG is a very good guitar, and the sound becomes near perfect with a duncan JB or an EMG 81 in the bridge. For what concerns the guitar, it suits my style very well, it's lightweight, but punches the sound like an heavyweight. The pickups are good, with much bottom end and a very full sound. If you play punk, hardcore, and blues, this is the good guitar for you.

Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for about three years, and that SG showed no problems in the 2 years I used and abused. If it were stolen? It will never be stolen, when I play live I place it in places where I can give a look at it frequently. I think it will never be lost: I mean, a guitar isn't so little to be lost. I play it with a Boss Metal Zone, and it sound great, like Trivium sound, bright and powerful. I chose it 'cause when I purchased it the Gibson are too expensive for me, and the shop guy told me the elitist sounds like Gibson and costs the half. It was really a good buying, and I continue to play it until it goes to dust in my face.

Reliability & Durability — 10
As I already told, the SG is a lightweight, and on live playing results very comfortable. The neck is fast, the hardware is like a rock, and the strap buttons are, too. I totally depend on it, and the finish is like a Gibson. I also purchased a Fender 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Strat, that I've already reviewed, and I continue using the SG live, because it's lighter, faster and with a more hardcore look.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The setup when I purchased it was perfect: the strings are very low, but they don't rattle, and the pickups are at the correct height. The action is super-fast, due to a very thin and slideable neck. When I purchased it, the finishing had some superficial scratches, and the shop gave me a reduction of the cost. Anyway, no other flaws on the guitar.

Features — 10
This guitar belongs to Epiphone's Elitist series, whose are made in Japan by assembling USA-made parts; and that's why it sounds like a true Gibson. It was made in 2004, and features a 22 frets fingerboard, a solid body finished in black laquer, made of mahogany, as the neck. The fingerboard is made of rosewood.This guitar has, as most of Gibsons, a Tune-O-Matic bridge, grover tuners, 2 Gibson USA humbuckers: a 50 SR in the neck and a 60 ST in the bridge position. It has the conrols of all gibsons:2 tones, 2 volumes and a 3-way selector switch. It comes with an Elitist black hardcase with purple plush interior.

49 comments sorted by best / new / date

    loudandfast
    im tierd of people paying for a name on a headstock thats the most stuck up thing ever a good guitarist can make anything sound good so dont hide behind a name
    badman86
    " I have heard it closely compared with a Stratocaster, and the Strat sounded nausiatingly high pitched and annoying next to it." ignorant statement, ignorant person, of course strat's are going to be more bright, they use maple and alder combined with alnico 5 single coil pickups which produce bright tone compared to an mahogony body/neck guitar with humbuckers (humbuckers naturally cancel some of the higher frequencies due to their nature) even if the humbuckers are alnico it will sound more mellow than single coil alnicos so of course the SG is going to sound mellower than a strat. tired of these people giving reviews who don't know shit.
    raffaniello
    i got this guitar for about 370... its good. i don't love the action and it doesn't pick up hammeron and pulloffs like my bootlegged strat (silvertone) but it still rules ass
    green_day_chloe
    THIS IS A TRULY AWSOME GUITAR!!! THE ONLY THING I WOULD COMMENT ON IS THAT THE NECK SWINGS DOWN WHEN YOU STAND UP NOT HOLDING IT. THE STRAP BUTTON COULD DO WITH BEING FURTHER UP, SO THE GUITAR IS BALANCED.
    appetite4gnr
    Best guitar for the money. I love it. for me, I'd never need another guitar. Looks beautiful, sounds great, plays great, and it's reliable enough to gig with. The only issue I've had is the neck-heavy swing down. Easy fix tho: I just got a wider strap with the tweed-ish stuff on the back(sticks to your shirt better). other than that, the guitar is flawless. Highly recomend it to Everyone.
    KenG
    I really like the Elitist line and wish the bashers would stop berating them. They use much higher quality Mahogany pieces (book matched 2-piece tops & quarter sawn necks) than the standard Epiphones. The appointments/hardware & electronics are also better. It's also important to remember that the Elitist is the only guitar that Gibson allows to be an exact copy of their own products without suing them. (Since Epiphone is owned by Gibson). People should not judge Japanese built Elitists based on opinions formed by checking out the much cheaper Korean, Chinese built models! They are not in the same league. As for ESP/LTDs (which cannot directly copy Gibson), an ESP is $2000.00 plus (Gibson price range) and LTD is a lower line of the ESP that is possibly better than a standard Epiphone but not an Elitist. Even PRS has a lower-line of Korean built guitars that aren't as good as their main product line!
    Korzack
    rps13fanatic wrote: Epiphone bashing has become a fad.
    I agree, I mean, OKAY, so the Epi's aren't uber-wow-spunk-on-the-neck fantastic (but for 300 or so, what the Hell do you expect?), but for entry-levels, they're a lot better than you'd give them credit for - my LP's done me just fine, and I'll buy from em again when I go looking for a V.Myself? I'm just fed up of it all, and also the ESP worshipping - I mean, of course you're gonna have a good sounding guitar when they just buy all the damn parts from specialists & just make the body to plug em all into - It's a similar sort of thing to 'Shall I write this part of the song? Fuck it, I'll give Eric Clapton a call & give him some royalties' Pillocks. And don;t even get me bloody started on Ibanez as well (although I am looking at a VBT700 from them... Get the feeling a pair of Dimarzio D activators could be very useful indeed, but it can wait until I get my voxVT AD100 - my LP ain't giving out anytime soon )
    DeathByStereo23
    KenG wrote: I really like the Elitist line and wish the bashers would stop berating them. They use much higher quality Mahogany pieces (book matched 2-piece tops & quarter sawn necks) than the standard Epiphones. The appointments/hardware & electronics are also better. It's also important to remember that the Elitist is the only guitar that Gibson allows to be an exact copy of their own products without suing them. (Since Epiphone is owned by Gibson). People should not judge Japanese built Elitists based on opinions formed by checking out the much cheaper Korean, Chinese built models! They are not in the same league. As for ESP/LTDs (which cannot directly copy Gibson), an ESP is $2000.00 plus (Gibson price range) and LTD is a lower line of the ESP that is possibly better than a standard Epiphone but not an Elitist. Even PRS has a lower-line of Korean built guitars that aren't as good as their main product line!
    yeah I agree, below-200 series LTD are worse than Elitist,but if you try a EC 1000 or a H-1000 you can notice the quality....anyway I got an ESP ))
    DeathByStereo23
    green_day_chloe wrote: THIS IS A TRULY AWSOME GUITAR!!! THE ONLY THING I WOULD COMMENT ON IS THAT THE NECK SWINGS DOWN WHEN YOU STAND UP NOT HOLDING IT. THE STRAP BUTTON COULD DO WITH BEING FURTHER UP, SO THE GUITAR IS BALANCED.
    yeah this is true! I remember of my old SG....the neck always fell down to my feet!asd
    picklepopcikle
    is this the same as the standered g400 or better? i would like to buy the g400 some1 help me on this!!! cheers...
    DeathByStereo23
    not very the same....the wood quality is better,and so are the pickups and the wirings....deifitively this one's better than the std G400
    LegendsOfRock
    Honestly, whats the matter with epiphone? they make guitars a little bit worse than gibson yet you have to pay up to 3x as much for the gibson.
    acdc126
    i have an epiphone made in japan before elitist and elite, a beautiful white sg from 2000. like the price, that guitar is between a special and standard models by gibson usa. the neck is more round than an sg 61, the key tuner are not than the special, the inlay are not pearl block but pearloid plastic with bad glue that fall easily. the pickups are not fantastic but better punch than korean epiphone. its a solid sg, the best i have but i cant say its better than the made in china epiphones i tried in 2008-2009 the prophecy are maybe the top of the line but the sg g400 is too perfect. if you want a guitar that is a shame dont buy epiphone from china with the code EE08... they are too hot! but choose a washburn or first act from toysRus! this is a real shame! selling guitars that frets cut the fingers at first contact, to kids!!
    danny_traben
    ive played this guitar and ive never heard something so horrible the only thing that stoped me from throwing it out the window was it might hav landed on something valuable
    KenG
    Dagger0941 wrote: i cant believe people payed 600 for this guitar i only payed 358.98 thats including tax
    I think you bought a Chinese Standard EPI not a Japanese Elitist. Look behind the headstock and if the Elitist Logo isn't there under the finsh it isn't an Elitist. A lot of poeple seem to confuse the two product lines but quality and price are very different bewteen them.
    Sinnessjukdomen
    KenG wrote: Dagger0941 wrote: i cant believe people payed 600 for this guitar i only payed 358.98 thats including tax I think you bought a Chinese Standard EPI not a Japanese Elitist. Look behind the headstock and if the Elitist Logo isn't there under the finsh it isn't an Elitist. A lot of poeple seem to confuse the two product lines but quality and price are very different bewteen them.
    Erm.... what does the Elitist symbol look like?
    KenG
    Sorry for the fragmented reply.... the review form seems to strip links. Cut and paste the above link into your brower or go to my profile and view the picture of the logo there. Cheers
    gimpo13
    KenG wrote: Sorry for the fragmented reply.... the review form seems to strip links. Cut and paste the above link into your brower or go to my profile and view the picture of the logo there. Cheers
    Can anyone tell me where the **** to buy these from, bear in mind im from the UK.
    ihavenoname93
    people who bash epiphone are ignorant. most of them,especially elitists, are 95% of any gibson, but apparently people think its cool now to bash them because their idol doesnt play one, or some other stupid reason. while squier is shit compared to fender, epiphones are just pretty much cheaper gibsons
    Dagger0941
    i cant believe people payed 600 for this guitar i only payed 358.98 thats including tax
    ECwomantoneman
    Spartan 117 wrote: yeah well they don't exactly have the best reputation. except new bands who can't even play guitar using em. they're rich. you think they'd buy a gibson just to better there image... well then again leave the gibsons to real players like some of us...
    Epi hollow bodies are actually really good. They're probably closer to the Gibson equivalent than the Epi Les Paul and SG is to the Gibson version. Its just the pickups in Epi archtops that lets them down a bit (Casino excluded). For example, a mate of mine put Gibson '57 classic 'buckers in his Epi Dot and you couldn't actually tell the difference between it and the ES335, soundwise!
    HmTownHero1007
    Mushok413 wrote: rite but i would rather get an esp or an ibanez but thats just me.
    i see your point. but it looks like a great guitar anyhow.
    acdc126
    ...anyway i think they stopped to produce epiphone in japan in 2007. i paid too much, more than 900$canadian i found an elitist in a store that was made in 2007 it cost more than 1400$. you can compare with the prophecy models that was less than 1000$ in 2008 but now are 1200$ the first time i see a guitar made in china at this price. also the F in the serial code that this elitist was made in the same place where my guitar was made. i think they learned and used better glue for the inlays of the elitist.
    MaggaraMarine
    loudandfast wrote: im tierd of people paying for a name on a headstock thats the most stuck up thing ever a good guitarist can make anything sound good so dont hide behind a name
    You could just buy a Gibson logo for your headstock. So did James Hetfield with his first Flying V. It wasn't a real Gibson but it had a Gibson logo on the headstock.
    Lavarocker
    I love these elitist Epi's,but the one question I have is the wood,primarily of the body,it seems that most of the mohagany grains of these asian Epiphones have stripes about every inch or two,making me believe they could be made from scrap wood laminated together much more so than the affordable Gibson SGJ's.I would hope that by claiming such an elite guitar that they would use solid pieces of wood or at least just two pieces laminated like my Gibson Sg and hopefully not a 20 ply,the way it looks?None of the Gibson's look this way.
    Lavarocker
    Also ,I know as mayself,a painter and wood finisher,I know African Mohagany can have a stripe look,it is also easy for the laminator to piece these stripes in as a vaneer,just like the back and sides of my Epiphone Masterbilt that they claim is solid wood,check it out,look real close at the Elitist and see if you can see super hairline seams,I hope not,because I want to get one,but this issue is the only reason to be supicious.I definitely don't trust the marketing side of Epiphone,such as the Tak Matsumoto,how they bait you to believe its a Japanese Epi.and they follow the search engines of all the Fugi-gen made Epi's.They never tell you where its made.I do trust Japanese craftsman,I know a lot of them from the surfboard industry,they take a lot of pride in making things perfect and they won't buy anything unless its perfect,and that says a lot for the Elitist.
    x_themetalfan_x
    Mushok413 wrote: i cant see spending 600 + on an epiphone
    It's made of American parts, only slightly inferior for a few grand less.
    mikb
    you can get an sg special for 600, or are we talking US dollars?
    PhantomWuss95
    i have an epiphone sg-i honestly dont know what kind-and it was $250 slightly used, i got it for 200, yay sales!
    enjoi91
    the elitist are made w/ american parts and are built in Japan. Japan builds guitars just as good as americans do. This Elitist is also very similar to a Gibson Sg above the Special series. My friend has a Gibson Sg and my Elitist is almost just as good as it. I am not saying the Elitist is better than a gibson, the gibson is better but for $600 less than a standard its a great guitar.
    Spartan 117
    rps13fanatic wrote: Epiphone bashing has become a fad.
    yeah well they don't exactly have the best reputation. except new bands who can't even play guitar using em. they're rich. you think they'd buy a gibson just to better there image... well then again leave the gibsons to real players like some of us...
    mikb
    I bought an epiphone about 2 years ago, it cost me about 300. I didn't know anything about guitars tehn so i bought it becuase i liked the look. It looks exactly like the one in the picture, is it possible i have this guitar?
    realic
    mikb wrote: I bought an epiphone about 2 years ago, it cost me about 300. I didn't know anything about guitars tehn so i bought it becuase i liked the look. It looks exactly like the one in the picture, is it possible i have this guitar?
    you probably just have the regular G-400
    sv1684
    bought this about 7 months ago. played a gibson sg standard, picked up the epi elitist, and honestly, you can't tell one god damn bit of difference. i got it for $499 w/ the case on musicians friend. Fuck spending 1100 just because it says "gibson"
    Hammett5
    Mushok413 wrote: rite but i would rather get an esp or an ibanez but thats just me.
    Definetly.. I Wouldn't spend money on an Epiphone unless it was really cheap and was as good as regular gibson's .. I think Epiphone's are as useless and Fender Squire's.. Honestly.. Ibanez or an ESP for the ****ing win dude..