Vintage G-400 review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (125 votes)
Epiphone: Vintage G-400
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Price paid: $ 300

Sound — 10
I like playing everything from John Mayer to (poor attempts at) Herman Li. This guitar does most things surprisingly well. I really can't get John Mayer's glassy tone with these pickups, but I'm pretty sure that an upgrade could get me mighty close. Other than their slightly nasal sound that slightly lacks upper treble definition, the pickups are great, mainly because they're completely silent in terms of noise. No microphonics thanks to the nice wax-potting job they did. The guitar is definitely more of a "full" or "rich" sounding model, rather than a Fender-y bright sound. I love the downright raunchy distortion this guitar can wrench out of my cheap amps, but the clean tone is wonderful as well. This is a wonderful guitar for someone Who has an idea of what they're looking for in a guitar and knows what SGs sound like.

Overall Impression — 10
In short, I love this guitar. If it was lost or stolen, I would probably be brought to tears because I am really attached to it, plus I wouldn't be able to buy it again for a while. The only guitars I've really played extensively enough to compare with are two Squier strats, one better and one worse. The better one was one of the famed Japanese Squiers of years ago that have been known to be on par with American Strats, whereas the worse one was a modern (Indonesian) one, which frankly felt something like a poorly made imitation of a guitar after playing this for a couple minutes. My only problem is that I learned soon after buying this guitar that I love the sound of a Fender with single-coils, although I don't like the way they look. I still managed to find quite a lot to love with this guitar, and I think that it's more versatile anyway. I'm not sure I could be much happier.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I think this guitar will last me long into the future. I've already dropped it a couple times, including one really horrendous one when my strap popped off and I didn't react fast enough, letting it drop 3 or so feet and landing headstock-first onto another guitar. The other guitar sadly got a rather nasty scratch, but this one didn't even go out of tune. I love it! The hardware is great, the strap buttons would be better if they were a bit larger/held better, but they're OK as long as you're careful. I could, do, and will depend on this guitar for a while because I don't have enough money for another one, and I would absolutely gig with it without backup, not entirely because I don't have another electric. This finish is satin, so it's obviously thin, but since it's basically just a stain it will last forever as long as you take care of it, and if you're unhappy, you can sand it down and re-stain it however you want.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I've heard some complaints about the knobs coming off and the nut being low-quality, but I feel like my guitar is about as close to perfection as $300 can get me. The only things I can think of that I have issues with are that for a while the bridge had a burr that kept cutting the 3rd (G) string on mine, but an emery board and #2 pencil cleared that up. Other than that, this guitar is awesome. I can't stress enough how much this guitar's finish rocks. See it in person, because I have yet to see a picture that looks as good as the actual guitar, and I've tried myself with a high-end Nikon. Find it in a store.

Features — 9
I don't know exactly when this was made, but I got it new so it can't be that old. It has this funny "handcrafted in China" sticker I love to laugh at. Other than that, I love everything about this guitar. This color (mine is cherry) is downright beautiful. The whole thing is made of mahogany, making it light, but it sounds like heaven with the right pickups. You've probably read all the stats a couple times if you're reading this, so I'll stop now, aside from clearing up a couple things: this guitar definitely has good Grover tuners, a Tune-O-Matic bridge, and an angled headstock.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    suicidehummer
    These are the stupidest comments I've ever heard. I could never possibly point out every piece of incorrect information because there's too much. Wow.
    the_bastard
    hey guys small q here i mostly play blues & classic rock , would this be a good guitar fr me?
    barrybynum
    you guys calm down -its not a dang spitting contest! This config is pretty good for blues to a point, but if you want to go more the SRV-Hendrix-y tones you'll have to tweak your other equipment a bit more. But as far as the 60s Brit Blues based stuff or even BBKing Freddie King etc, yeah SG guitars can do that pretty decently, I did it for years. (i had the Gibson 1971 which really was a '61 reissue) I have playe one of the G400s recently in Guitar Center and I was not too crazy about how it was set up, and it felt a little stiff, but that was that 3 pickup white one. Its almost like you cuold fel like you were trying to play the paint and not the guitar. But alot of folks seem to be saying you can 'glide' differently on this satin finish and that the overall feel is smooth, fast and nice. On MusFriend the average rating out of 640+ reviews is 4.5 out of 5. I have a Sheraton II that's pretty good but I only use it for certain things. The Casinos are lovely. My point being that Epp makes good guitars. But like Gib or Fender or anyone there are some years and some models that are better than others. I dont look at names. i picked a used '82 Squire off a wall of new Fenders and it was the sweetest Strat in the store regardless of money. i bought it and probably the Fender rep got mad. So play more than one of them of the same model guitar, go to several places too and dont be scared to ask the dealer if you can sit there for a minute and play with the action adjustments or put good strings on it.
    gerardk
    Can someone tell me if there is much of a difference between this and the standard G400??
    Ziggle
    Since you're asking, I'll assume that the difference is minimal enough that you won't notice, save for glossy polyeurethane. It's virtually the same. For that matter, side by side playing with the Gibson Faded SG Special, aside from the pick-guard and obvious name-brand difference, it's the same guitar. I played both, and an Epi G-400. Worth the money savings if you want an SG.
    Ziggle
    Just as an afterthought correction, it's not THE same guitar. It is different, but for a beginner or intermediate, the difference isn't worth the $$$...all I was trying to say.
    acdcrocks31194
    angusyoung_sg wrote: oh ya and my truss rod cover says SG on it instead of GIBSON. witch i have researched and it seem that only the gibson SG's say that on the truss rod cover. and also i opend up the back the other day and after looking closely i noticed that the tone/volume/input jack all say Gibson on them. anlso my price was in Canadian Dollars being as i am from Canada
    i don't care what you say, if it doesn't say GIBSON in script on the headstock it isn't a gibson. my epiphone les paul has gibson written on the pots, that doesn't make it a gibson.
    jeffo46
    dinosaur sr : I just want to know why the vintage version is 100 bucks cheaper than the standard POSTED: 08/29/2007 - 03:51 pm / quote | Because there is no binding on the neck and the finish is faded, not Gloss.