Vintage G-400 review by Epiphone

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (125 votes)
Epiphone: Vintage G-400

Price paid: $ 390

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 7
The sound of this guitar is fantastic, I can get everything from Rascal Flatts, John Mayer and Stevie Ray Vaughan style to Relient K, Green Day and Good Charlotte running clean (excluding some distortion, hey now, they're not DiMarzzio's, but they're good pickups). This guitar is also extremely versatile, due to the broad variety of available sounds clean, I can hook it up to my friend's metal zone and get most everything else I play (Christian hard rock, blues and jazz, metal and screamo with some nice varieties of soft and hard rock. I am very eclectic). The sound also has that unmistakable SG crunch without sacrificing that Les Paul-style warm, rich tone.

Overall Impression — 10
As I said, I play everything from hard rock to blues, this guitar covers all, it is truly by far the most versatile guitar I have ever played, and it's BETTER THAN A PAUL! I know, blasphemy, I love the Pauls too, but this SG knocks their socks off. I have been playing for actually 6 1/2 years, I own an old old old Gorilla amp, three knobs: volume, tube stack (not actually a tube amp, it's old-time dist.) and EQ, with that little amp I can get all sorts of sounds, mainly from the guitar, but the distortion opens the door even wider. I am also borrowing my friends little Fender Bullet, it's like a kit amp, 15 watts, but good for bed room practice, it has a line out and actually an aux in, so with the right cable, which I have, you can hook up the iPod and jam with all sorts of stuff. Awesome. I am also in the market for some good pedals. I'm looking at Boss, cause most Boss makes pretty much everything else look like crap, but I'm currently borrowing my friend's metal zone, which again, opens the door ever wider! This pedal is also amazing! $100 pedal 50 bucks on eBay. I don't know, but hey, worked for him. So anyway, this guitar is truly fantastic it sounds like a beast coming through the metal zone, it's fan-freakin-tastic! I can honestly say that because of all my guitar friends I weeded through nearly hundreds of guitars before settling on this one, actually, I settled on a cheap Les Paul, don't get the studio or the LP-100, they're both total crap-piles. Moving on, there were no questions I would've asked before buying this guitar. I got more than I paid for, and more than I expected, get this guitar, it's so very worth it. If this guitar was stolen, (let me pause to say I'm not going on some stupid rant about what I would do to the person Who stole it, and I'm not going into explicit detail about what I would do to him, needless to say) guitar is my life, I have 3, I play 2 and I have owned 4 or 5 over the years, if this was lost or stolen, needless to say I'd be ticked off, very ticked off, but I would almost without hesitation go back to guitar center and get it again, and again and again. If I had more money, I might buy the Les Paul Classic quilt-top, or the Les Paul Custom flametop, both gorgeous guitars! Anyway, I would pretty much hands-down get this guitar again. If there's one thing I love about this guitar it's the amazing looks! They say guys are very visual, yeah, I confirm that, to you little perverts out there I'm not hinting to anything, I am a Christian and not ashamed of it, but this guitar is beautiful. I also love the versatility, if you want a guitar that can get you versatility, quality, reliability and durability, without wrecking your summer savings, get this guitar! If I had to hate something about this guitar, it might be the fact that if you're gigging outside or playing hard and you start to sweat on your palms or something, it's real hard to slide your hand up and down the neck, but that's most every guitar. Another thing I love is this guitar is solid, it's a tank, it feels like you've got a solid steel guitar in your hands, but it's quite light for such a thing, I always mistook weight for quality, heavier the better, I was dead wrong. This guitar is like nothing on your neck. (then again I'm a guy, but hey, it's better than the brick Pauls hanging around your throat). I did compare this guitar to a few Gibson's some low-end Epi's and a HOST of other brands, (note: all guitars except the Fenders and Gibson's were in the same price range) here are a few: ESP, Ibanez, Aria, Fender, Squier (shudders), Agile, Jackson, Grestch, Schecter, Dean and PRS, for what I play and a few other reasons, this guitar came out on the TOP of the list.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I have gigged a few times so far and am quite happy to report no problems at all; everything runs smoothly and is flawless. I don't have to worry about anything except my playing. I've been playing guitar for 6 years and I have played acoustic for all that time (:rolls eyes: yeah yeah, my mom banned me from getting an electric because she doesn't like the sound.) Back to this, I have, against all intentions and attempts, injured my Takamine and my old Samick a few times, again nothing major but the Samick always took the hits better than the take. The SG is a beast. A sexy one at that; ), anyway, it is very durable as it is solid mahogany. If there's one thing that I hate, it's that the SG's scale is larger than my tak's, so I wasn't used to the longer, and as a result I hit the neck a few times on things as I would bend down to mess with something on the amp. After about the third time I was paranoid, but also perturbed. Mainly because I just beat up my guitar, but it was quickly replaced with joy because it took the hits like a tank! The finish is solid, it's beautiful. I am quite clean, I clean the surface ALL the time and every time I'm done playing. The surface is reflective, highly reflective and thus highly prone to fingerprints! but it's not too bad. I replaced the strap buttons with Dunlop straplocks, hey, I'm a guitarist! Every guitarist should have straplocks on their guitars. I also replaced the strings with Elixir mediums which I got for free because I talked to and befriended the salesman at Guitar Center. They'll lower their prices! Just talk to the guy, I got a $90 case for $40, $15 strings for free, with the guitar, but still, I also got a $400 guitar for $290ish. Anyway, off topic. I would probably not gig without a backup if I had the option, but then again, Who wouldn't, since that's not going to happen for those of us Who have budgets under $1000! So in answer, I would gig without a backup, yes. I feel very confident in this guitar, it's solid.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Gorgeous guitar, go see it, don't look online, I have the cherry red finish and it is so much richer and sexier than online! It is such a gorgeous guitar, the silver screws and pickup sleeves give beautiful contrast. Amazing finish. Action is good, a little high, but when in drop-D I get a little fret buzz if I play too hard, but so do all guitars just about. It may not have a Floyd rose, but you can still bend the strings without them leaving their tune thanks to the Grover tuners (and yes, the Vintage does have Grover tuners, I found so many differing reviews, trust me, their genuine Grovers.) I gave it a 7 because after owning the guitar for 1 week the second tone knob came loose and popped off in my hands, I thought: "hey, things happen", that is until the plastic label on one of the volume knobs came loose as well. Then I thought: "it's fine, just take it too Guitar Center and they'll glue it back on." Then I was playing some John, (John Mayer, sorry I call musicians I like by their first names, sue me.) Anyway, playing some John and during a solo it felt like I scraped of the soft covering of part of the 14th fret and replaced it with sandpaper. I rubbed it and blew it off and it seems to be better, I don't know what happened. I love this guitar and can only hope and pray nothing happens to it.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    dinosaur sr
    I just want to know why the vintage version is 100 bucks cheaper than the standard
    There's really no reason why the Vintage g-400 is 100 bucks cheaper, maybe because its newer and some places haven't lowered the prices of the regular g400. But I tried a bunch of guitars at GC and really liked the vintage g-400 since its neck is nice and smooth instead of glossy, and it uses the same PU's as the regular g-400. Its weird tho that on the epi website it says that the Faded g-400 has gibson humbuckers...maybe there's a difference between them since it looks like there is a Faded Gibson sg.
    dinosaur sr wrote: I just want to know why the vintage version is 100 bucks cheaper than the standard
    I think it's cause of the finish. It's dull, not glossy, so there probably wasn't as much time put into it. The headstock isn't glossy, either, it's flat/dull. It looks real nice. The natural isn't nearly as bright as the picture, though. It's a dark walnut colour, which looks good.