How Do You Feel….

3bolt79

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How do you all feel about the “Inspired by Gibson” models vs older Epiphones, or even those from just before the “Inspred by” line was rolled out? I have got to say that the older ones, at least the few that I had, don’t hold a candle to the new stuff, as far as I’m concerned.

I had an Epi 335 dot back in 2008. It was nothing spectacular. I wound up selling it after a couple of months. I’ve had older LP’s and a G400. Sold them too. There just wasn’t anything super about them.

Now in the last year I’ve had an “Inspired By” LP Custom, and SG Special. I sold them because I needed the money at the time. And, I currently have an Epi SG Custom, an SG Modern, and an ES 335. These three are Keepers.

I spend most of my days playing the SG Modern. It is just so jam packed full of features. It has coil splitting HB’s, phase reversal, 24 frets, ebony fret board, and Grover locking tuners. It is totally shred-able.

The EPI was $599.00 whereas the GIBSON VERSION IS AROUND 2200 dollars. The Epi version has a maple top, with a flame veneer on a mahogany back. It is incredible how much guitar one can buy these days with very little dinero.

The SG Custom was a little over 600 dollars, whereas the Gibson model is around 4 K. Neither of the two SGs needed any parts replaced or upgraded. Epiphone used to miss the mark a lot on their guitars, but they are on target with their instruments these days.

And they look fantastic as well. 25748B1F-88BA-4DD9-972E-67C12783D757.jpeg 8A788E99-0A1D-4A15-B62C-4697AA6DB06F.jpeg
 

kendalltristan

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The prior Epiphones I've had were nice, but nothing to write home about. I had a Black Beauty years ago that I almost felt bad about selling, but it never felt/played/sounded as good as other guitars I had.

The two IBG ones I have now are absolutely fantastic, the caveat being that both of them required some fret work (one had sharp ends and a couple of high frets, the other just had sharp ends). Outside of fret issues, they play great, sound amazing, and generally have the feel of more premium instruments. I daresay I'm a happy customer. I doubt I'll ever get rid of my Lazarus Les Paul.
 

Noodling Guitars

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i like my old ones still. in fact, my favorite les paul is a pre-'inspired' one that i bought maybe 11-12 years ago. it just feels sooo nice for me. the pickups aren't the best sounding (and I still haven't gotten around to swapping out the pickups on that particular guitar), but they're not that bad either. Feel and sound-wise, I think the old ones can be modified to be on par with the current models. However, what impressed me with the new line though is really the improvement in electronics, QC and finish and PRICE! They're not perfect, but the binding is scraped a bit cleaner, less color bleeding, the final sanding/buffing is a slightly better (they used to miss quite a few spots especially on the fretboard binding area on older ones, sometimes there's orange peel still etc..) Taking into account inflation, $649 in 2021 money is around $508 in 2010 money. I paid pretty much the same for a guitar with lesser quality QC and electronics in 2010.
 

Paruwi

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Haven't bough a new €piphone for a few years,
the last one was a (NOS) ES-175-Premium
2.11 Epi ES175 Premium.JPG
and the E-Accoustic was used
2.12 Epi DaveN Jane.JPG
both are nice and well built guitars
I never bought a guitar for the headstock-shape,
the 'Inspired by Gibson' is somehow strange to me,
just marketing blabla to me
nearly all €piphones from the last few decades basicly were inspired by Gibson.....
 
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Cozmik Cowboy

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I have never had any attraction to the Epis that are cheaper versions of Gibson models.

My love of the Epi-specific models, on the other hand, encompasses every era from when Epi was running the joint to now. I have never come across an Epi-specific dud (and I include my former early-'70s EA-250 in that).
 

Raiyn

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As a serial modder, the biggest compliment I can give to the the IBG (or really most of the Epi line) axes is that I'm not seeing anywhere near as many things that I couldn't stand not to change if it was in my hands.

Most of the "basic" upgrades that people do out of the box like a Graphtech nut, CTS pots, improved pickups, quality caps etc. now come stock from the factory.

From my perspective, when the only things I'd want to change are personal preference items that don't have a real effect on tone - I'd say the new Epi's are pretty darn good axes.
 

SauceBoss

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I have the same Custom as you, it's a different cost level to any other Epi's I've had, so I couldn't give an honest thought on it. That said, I love pretty much everything about the Custom, and it looks like Epiphone's other inspired by offerings look great.
 

SauceBoss

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Haven't bough a new €piphone for a few years,
the last one was a (NOS) ES-175-Premium
View attachment 16651
and the E-Accoustic was used
View attachment 16652
both are nice and well built guitars
I never bought a guitar for the headstock-shape,
the 'Inspired by Gibson' is somehow strange to me,
just marketing blabla to me
nearly all €piphones from the last few decades were inspired by Gibson.....

Right! Easy to forget Epiphone was their own brand. I never knew Epiphone were who designed mini-humbuckers, at least youtube said that. Not that I've ever tried any.
 

Noodling Guitars

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Never thought I’d hear this from Phil (just because he’s usually fairly forgiving on gear)… but apparently he bought what I’m guessing to be either a R[X] from the custom shop that he had a lot of issues with. This was in the context of someone asking about the Epiphone ‘59 vs Sire L7. In summary, “We’re talking about an over $6000 Gibson Les Paul… I would highly highly recommend the Epiphone [‘59], cause I would never experience an Epiphone with these issues…”

 
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Norton

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Gibson has stepped up the QC game with the epiphone line without a doubt.
 

BGood

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It depends on what older models we're talking about. Some were really nice, at par or better than the new ones I dare say, like the 2003-2005 G400 Vintage (no veneer, one piece neck with binding). They were as close to a Gibson as the new Inspired by SGs. Many other I'm sure are up there too.

5-.jpg
 
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Cozmik Cowboy

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Right! Easy to forget Epiphone was their own brand. I never knew Epiphone were who designed mini-humbuckers, at least youtube said that. Not that I've ever tried any.
Actually, when Chicago Musical Instruments (Gibson's parent company at the time) bought Epiphone, they got a stock of what are referred to as "New York" single-coils; they used these on Kalamazoo-built Epi models - most particularly the Sheraton - until the stock was exhausted. Then Gibson designed the mini-'bucker to fit where the NYs had been.
 

SauceBoss

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Actually, when Chicago Musical Instruments (Gibson's parent company at the time) bought Epiphone, they got a stock of what are referred to as "New York" single-coils; they used these on Kalamazoo-built Epi models - most particularly the Sheraton - until the stock was exhausted. Then Gibson designed the mini-'bucker to fit where the NYs had been.

Thanks for the clarification. Thats interesting it happened like that.
 

Darkness

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I haven't owned any older Epiphones to compare to. I'll say that when I let the neighbor borrow my 59 for a week, which turned into 5 weeks, I grew a new appreciation for how well it was built. I'm sure I'll be keeping that one for the rest of my days.
 

Zero

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I have a 2016 Inspired by Gibson Les Paul 1955 Custom with P90’s (god damn that’s a mouthful!) and a Joey B Lazarus Standard Les Paul.
Both are hands down amazing.
I only “upgraded” my Custom with CTS matched pots, braided wire and Bumblebee caps and a Switchcraft switch and jack. Didn’t effect the sound really, but made me feel better about my soldering skills.

My Lazarus showed up ready to go. The frets were a little gritty so I played the crap out of it for a few weeks and now it’s smooth as butter.

I plan on doing the same with the wiring on my Lazarus but really these chunky neck beasts are awesome! Yes, my Customs neck and finish are the same as the Laz.
 


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