made in china or indonesia...

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by S.F.V. Wolf, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. S.F.V. Wolf

    S.F.V. Wolf New Member

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    I bought my first Epiphone Les Paul custom pro a few days back, and would like too know out of the two, china or Indonesia what one makes the better Les Paul.
     
  2. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    I have no direct experience with Indonesian Epiphones, I've heard they can be hit or miss. I'd take a Chinese (Quigdao) made in the last dozen or so years any day though.
     
  3. GraphX12

    GraphX12 New Member

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    My only Indonesian was a 1994 Trad Pro (1).

    The good: 1st rate solid build, flawless finish, fantastic pickups/electronics, good setup out of the box.

    The bad: Sharp fret ends, neck too thin for me.

    *Sold it because of the neck.

    I had a 2004 China Les Paul Standard that was 1st rate also. If not for the great Trad Pro pickups and the too thin Trad Pro neck, it would be a toss-up between the two.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  4. Paruwi

    Paruwi Kraut-Rocker Staff Member

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    Hi,

    Welcome here @ €piTalk
    :wave:
    Congrats on your first €pi LP-Custom
    :thumb:

    The Question (IMO) is :
    Can you see/feel/hear any difference if they would not write the country of manufacture on the guitar ?

    Countries don't make Epis - the employees make them :naughty:
     
  5. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    The employees at the Quigdao Epi plant make some darn fine axes.
     
  6. Paruwi

    Paruwi Kraut-Rocker Staff Member

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    just like those employees at the Indonesian Samick factory and those at the Korean Unsung factory....
     
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  7. MerrChan

    MerrChan Active Member

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    Both factories from what I've bought and have had the pleasure of owning. Indonesian built Artisan models and the Thunderbird are just Fantastic. Close as possible to the big daddy without stepping on toes. The '55 Inspired by Custom and Jotun, as well as the ES-335 are Quindao (China) masterpieces. You just couldn't expect too much more.
    Unbelievable, so just be careful where you purchase. That's my only hang up.
    ( I can't explain how the GC here just has had bad quality stuff. Always a problem. zZounds and AMS have been better than I expected)
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
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  8. Norton

    Norton Active Member

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    It's all about material selection, specs and quality control.
     
  9. Al from Durham

    Al from Durham New Member

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    I have experience in this, and I have a take, but I'm going to keep it to myself because I only buy very cheap used ones and I don't want to rock the boat.
     
  10. Paruwi

    Paruwi Kraut-Rocker Staff Member

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    If we all did this - you would have nothing to read (and learn) here......
     
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  11. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    And why do you feel inclined to share this bit of wisdom with us then ?
     
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  12. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Pointless post is pointless.
     
  13. Mo Cee

    Mo Cee New Member

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    Found this conversation as I searched Epi MIK vs MIC. I've owned many Epiphones (and other guitars). Five years I started buying, keeping and playing, then selling guitars, many Epis, and mostly hollow or semi-hollow bodies. I now own as my keepers the following MIKs: Sorrento, Alleykat, Regent; and an MIC Broadway (2018). I purchased all of these used (Reverb, Guitar Center, Craigslist). I've been playing guitar for decades, and between 18-28 I played out regularly. I still play nearly every day. I consider my self a very good player. Now, what I have noticed about these Epiphones has been quite interesting. I find that the build quality is about the same for MIKs and MICs. Feel, playability, etc, seem to be equal. I have had a MIK Broadway and my current MIC Broadway. What I've discovered is the difference lies in the pickups. Yep, I've narrowed it down to the pickups. I took my 1999 Sorrento with P90s to Guitar Center and compared to the a Wildkat and the Casino. The Sorrento was a much better tone all the way around. I've also compared the '96 Regent pickup to the new D'Angelico EXL-1 (both are 17" single pickup hollow - Epi doesn't make the Regent anymore) and the Regent pickup was astoundingly superior. In fact, everyone who plays my Regent is blown away at the clarity of that pickup. (I hold three music events at my studio in Pasadena every month so dozens of musicians come around each month.) I recently purchased a 2002 MIK Alleykat, and this is when I decided that I must get more info on these MIKs because the pickups on this inexpensive Alleykat were astounding. I have two Gibson ES-275s, one semi-hollow Thinline, the other a full hollowbody. I compared the Alleykat to both of them. Results were as follows, the 275s both have Gibson's MHS pickups - some of the best and most articulate pickups I've every heard. I first compared the Alleykat to the full hollow and deeper 275. As expected, the 275 was a warmer sound, the pups were a bit louder, the highs were a bit more chime-y, but the Alleykat's pickups held their own very well. They just sounded like a different style guitar, because it was (semi-hollow vs hollow), but the pickups did not compare as duller or muddier, they are very well voiced. I then compared them to the semi-hollow 275. The Alleykat pickups were not as loud, but very close in clarity and tone. I was really surprised. I never expected such a similar tone - not equal, but very similar. I must add that all the guitars have D'Addario 11 half-round strings, with the exception of the Broadway, on which I have installed 11 flats. So there's my story. I find the build quality pretty much equal, but I discovered that the older MIK pickups sound much better than the newer MICs. Why? I've no idea, but my ears can certainly hear the difference. Maybe Korea was making the Epi pickups in the same way Gibson was making their pickups, and maybe this all stopped once production moved full-time to China? Just guessing here. At any rate, keep playing whatever ya got!
     
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  14. soulman969

    soulman969 Active Member

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    Interesting observations. Could be why Epi has brought pickup mfg. back to the US to build the Pro line models.

    Pickups aren't complicated but there's still a lot of science that goes into designing good ones and an art to winding them well to avoid issues that can impact performance. On top of that you can take two identical sets and put them in different guitars and they may sound different to the ear.

    Then you can toss personal preference into the mix where one players wants absolute clarity and transparency and another prefers some woollier tonality for jazz or even for high gain distortion so everyone who winds them produces different "flavors" like jelly beans to meet demands.

    Anyway, always good to hear opinions from other players.
     
  15. Antigua

    Antigua Member

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    A lot of the voodoo about pickups would disappear if LCR meters were more affordable. The bare minimum, a DE-5000, costs as low as $80 at the moment, still way beyond a $10 multimeter. If you like a pickup, with no other information available it might be tempting to look at factors such as where it was made, how made it, or how much it cost, but with an LCR meter you might find that all the pickups you like just happen to be the ones with lower inductance, or higher inductance. DC resistance only correlates with the inductance to a degree, resistance rises linearly, but inductance rises to the square of the number of turns on the coil(s). If there was some secret to how pickups in the U.S. were wound, that secret would have leaked out ages ago. If there is a secret it's this: stick to vintage specs, a lot of the import pickups tend to be either a lot hotter or very under wound, but sets like the ProBucker line show that they're taking vintage specs seriously now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020 at 1:13 PM
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  16. Paruwi

    Paruwi Kraut-Rocker Staff Member

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    Where is/was it stated that the Epi Pro-buckers are made in the US ?

    They are using some identical parts - that's all
     
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  17. soulman969

    soulman969 Active Member

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    Well you would know better than I but I thought I had read that they were being produced in Nashville and if not I stand corrected.

    Anyway, how they're being made is a lot more important than where they're being made. I'm not one who cares much about point of origin.
     
  18. MacNasty

    MacNasty New Member

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    I have no experience with Indonesian Epiphones but I can attest to Indonesian Squiers. They are just as fine as their Chinese counterparts where the Classic Vibe guitars are concerned.
     
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  19. Al from Durham

    Al from Durham New Member

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    Conversation is conversation. If I'm breaking some kind of rule that you have, I don't mind.
     
  20. Paruwi

    Paruwi Kraut-Rocker Staff Member

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    Not telling your opinion/wisdom/expierience at all is absolute NO conversation

    we will tell you if you violate a rule
     
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