Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: Texas Music Emporium
Sound — 9
When I got this guitar, I played simple power chords, I wanted to be like Angus and Tony Iommi. So for it's purpose it worked. That was until my drummer friend decided we should play some ungodly mixture of Acid and Black metals. Let me say this, for that purpose, it was kinda not so great, but I could blame the amp too, and my immaturity, Iw as running it through this great 2X10 Fender Princeton Chorus, that didn't quite have the gain for metal. But as I got to where I was a few months ago (when I still had it) it suited my Clapton riffs perfectly. Neck pickup with 1 or 0 tone. Woman tone heaven. Crank that bitch and get ready to jam some "Strange Brew". Bridge pickup and treble more of your thing? Alright, click it down to the bridge, get the amp on clean and you're in Liverpool. When I was naive, I cried for EMG's in this thing. But as I got older, I would've only swapped them for Gibson '57s, and even then, I'd be a bit hesitant.
Overall Impression — 9
My overall impression? Buy it, do it now. If you play classic rock of any sort, or Blues Rock even! Get it, get a Korean one, love it, cherish it, paint it with funky shit and be called "God", just whatever you do, buy it! I very much regret selling this thing, of course I had to do it to finance a tube amp, but now I'm wishing I had sold my Gibson "The Paul" II right now. This guitar was it for me, and if anyone, I mean anyone laid a hand on it in anger, they wouldn't have a hand to do it with again!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar was a tank, in fact, if it were camouflage I'd say Epiphone nabbed one from a US base near the factory and dubbed it a guitar. The hardware never corroded, always held tight, the strap buttons were replaced with DiMarzio Cliplocks, which held it secure, but it still had the tendency like all SGs do, to neckdive. The finish like said before was it's weak point, looked good, but it a bit to0 thin.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I never played it when we first got it, it went right into the shop for the Maestro. I always had it set for 9s (I was quite wimpy, I'd prefer 11's now) and kept the neck pickup way low, than my bridge high up. Of course, I got older, loved that sweet bluesy neck pickup, and went the other way around. For flaws, when this guitar came over from the DMZ there was nary a problem, all the knocks and chips were of my own mishappening.
Features — 8
Ahhh, yes, the Epiphone Vintage G-400. Of Epiphone's Gibson copies, personally this was my favorite. But reminiscing aside, let's get to business. Mine was an '04 model, bought in '05. Built at the Unsung plant in South Korea, which by the way, Korean guitars trample Chinese ones. Talking about the neck, it had the basic 22 fret configuration, BUT with the nice inlays and neck binding, a feature missing on current or Standard G-400s. The body I'm pretty sure was Mahogany, if not, it was an Epi concoction of Mahogany, alder and maple. I could tell though that body, right down the middle had a separation, making it a 2 piece. It had a Satin Cherry Transparent finish that wasn't terribly durable, it was guite susceptible to cieling fans, careless friends, and an incident involving a drunk stepping on the cord (can you say crunch) As far as the bridge goes, basic Tune-O-Matic, but as a birthday surprise along with the guitar itself my dad had a Maestro vibrato installed! The electronics are so-so, like most Korean Epis, but the pickups are lovely, Epi's rendition of the PAF, the '57HB. For controls, you get 2 volume, 2 tone, and a 3 way selector Switch. The tuners are Grover's, but I highly suspect knockoffs, they didn't hold tune all that well, but I guess that was the Maestro's fault. The goodies with it included a USA Gibson gig bag, some pics and a cord.