So Many Epiphone's....Guitar Buying Advice for a Newbie...

rmo_3000

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Greetings everyone,

First of all, thank you for reading this new thread (I know it is quite long and hope you will read to the end )! I'm new to this forum and new to playing guitar (although I played briefly when I was in 9th grade, so I know a few basic chords; now I'm much older and seriously looking to get back into it).

My question relates to buying a guitar. A good friend of mine who plays told me that I should invest in a mid-range guitar rather than buying a cheapo at $200 or so, which I’ll probably trash after a year or sooner. I’ve got a few extra nickels to rub together for a nicer guitar anyway.

However, I am torn between many brands and models. I’ve tried to understand the nuances between each, including pickups, fretboard material, slim versus wide guitar necks, etc, but I’m still scratching my head since there's so much to learn, especially when a company such as Gibson Epiphone has a plethora of different models. upload_2021-12-11_23-53-26.gif

I have an eclectic taste in rock and roll music, including classic rock, prog rock, classic metal, progressive metal, punk, postpunk, new wave, some 90s grunge, and alt rock. I eventually hope to learn to play songs by bands like Led Zeppelin, Cream, Rush, Yes, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Misfits, The Clash, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Cure, Interpol, Radiohead, Mogwei, Mastodon, System of a Down, Tool, and even Pink Floyd!

I guess what I'm saying is I'm looking for a quality guitar that is also versatile; something that sounds good with High Gain, but can also produce very fine, clean sounds.

Below are 10 guitars under consideration (feel free to add any additional guitars that I may have overlooked):
-Epiphone Les Paul Standard
-Epiphone Les Paul Plus Top Pro
-Epiphone Les Paul Custom LE
-Epiphone Les Paul Modern
- (or any other Epiphone you would suggest...)
But also...
-Fender player Stratocaster HSS Plus
-Yamaha V611/612
-PRS SE Standard 24
-PRS SE 245
-ESP LTD 256

I know that I probably just named half the guitars within the $500 to 900 range , but I am hoping that you guys can share your experiences with these guitars and/or your advice about which one I should purchase.

I also understand that it would be ideal to play each guitar in order to decide whether it 'feels right'. I have done this with a couple guitars already, but for the most part it's probably unrealistic to expect to play all of these guitars on the list at a Guitar Center or Sam Ash, etc. So I'm hoping you guys can give me some advice.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Best,
Rob
 

CanuckLP

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Hi Rob. Good question. Not sure why I don’t see Ibanez on that list. Regardless, from my perspective (heavily influenced by 80/90’s metal) I’d narrow your list down to LP Standard and the ESP.

I’m not a strat fan. Sure you can rock on one, and make it sound beefy with a humbucker in it but it’s still a strat to me. I’d still love to own one and play some Maiden on it. PRS are amazing too but there’s just something about them that doesn’t resonate the musical themes you’ve mentioned in your post.

For me I’d want that one guitar that spans pretty much all you’ve mentioned. The LP Standard. But the ESP sure would be an excellent option too!
 

soulman969

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Welcome Rob.

Personally I believe you should buy one of each keeping only those you truly like, paint the others black, then sell them to Paruwi. He's sucker for black guitars. :D

Since this is EpiLand I would suggest that whichever Epiphone Les Paul models sounds and feels best to you is the one you should buy. As Peter has posted guitar ownership can be intensely personal so it's all about what you favor not one of us.

Happy shopping.
 

The Convert

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Personally I don’t think there’s a guitar that does all the styles and bands that you listed well.

I would ask myself a couple of questions to help making a choice.

The first question is if I want a guitar that’s a Jack of all trades (master of none). If no, then I’d prioritize your influences and pick the guitar type that is most suited.

To me the Jack of all trades guitar is going to be some kind of HSS S-type guitar (or less so an HH that has good split tone, maybe like the PRS SE 24). But they aren’t going to be a perfect fit for much (except maybe Bon Jovi).

Or if you lean towards classic rock as a priority, then a Les Paul is hard to beat. Conversely, if you prioritize Radiohead, Pink Floyd, etc. you may want something in the Fender family, maybe no HBs at all.

Two final things to consider, it will take you a long time (months and years) to develop your skills and in that time you may decide to switch or add guitars, so this doesn’t have to be approached like the last decision, it’s really the first. Also the better and more versatile the amp you get, the more range in style you will enjoy.

I hope this helped. Congrats on the decision and welcome to the community!
 

Noodling Guitars

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Welcome!There's still lots of other guitars that you could consider, but even with your list, that's a lot to consider. First and foremost, I think the main thing to consider is what you want people to see you playing (even if it's just in your head). This likely dictates like 50% of the purchasing decisions out there. Doesn't even matter if a guitar can do everything you want it to do if you think it looks too ugly for you to even want to pick it up to play.

Another thing to consider is which one feels best for you? if you're looking at the $500-900 range, you actually don't need to worry too much about the materials. You can get into all the lore/snake-oil/myths as you develop, but as long as it's one of the mainstream brands, it's going to be a decent guitar. Body shape and weight, however, are physical attributes that you do need to try out to know. For example, contours mean nothing to me because all guitars fall into me anyway. I don't like contours because it means the guitar falls even further back for me. But for some people, the lack of contours can mean the guitar just doesn't sit right against their body. Best is to go to your local store and pick up a few different styles of guitars (even if it's not the brands you mentioned) and really play on them for 15-20 mins each just to get a feel of what it's like.
 

BGood

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Hey, welcome to the Epiphone bunch. Here's my take on your adventure.

First thing to do, is to go wear some guitars. Hang them from your shoulder, sit with them, feel their balance, their weight their bulk. Feel their neck, their controls.

Then, find out what style appeal to you, single cut, double cut, Les Paul shape, or SG. Color ...

Once your mind is kind of made up on all that, only then you can start thinking about the tone you're looking for. Because a two humbucker pickup guitar will do almost everything another two humbucker equipped guitar will. Don't worry about the fretboard material or the kind of tuners, it is irrelevant to your quest.

Out of the ones you have in front of you at the store, which is the most resonant unplugged. That has an impact once you plug it to an amp. Even if you don't like what a SG looks like, try one or two, they can wake up something in you and are right where your tonal expectations lie.

This is an exciting time for you, make the most of it. If you can't make up your mind, see if you can rent. Better to spend a few bills on rental than to lose big on selling a brand new guitar you can't bond with.

Then there'll be the amp question ... that is another full life or searching. Have fun.
 

Keefoman

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Welcome! Your friend is right to advice you buying a mid-range guitar, rather than a really cheap one. If you have the opportunity, I will advice you to buy from a shop that can give you a proper setup and fretdress if needed. For your musical tastes, I think an Epi Les Paul or SG (in the mid-price segment) will give you much of what you want. The rest you can hunt for later. Good luck on your great guitar hunt! :dude:
 

Raiyn

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Yup, I'm gonna harmonize with the rest and tell you to go try on some guitars. I *thought* I wanted an Explorer for my return to guitars - until I tried one on. It felt like trying to maneuver a folded card table -especially seated. A great stage axe for sure, but not what I needed for home noodling.

I tried on a used G400 (Gibby lets Epi call 'em SG's now but it's the same deal) at a shop that smelled like a sandalwood incense factory burned to the ground and I was smitten. We went and looked at dozens of other guitars that day, but that was the one.

Since then, I was gifted my Strat, and have fallen in love with Fender-y offsets. Having said that, I'll probably have that G400 until I move into my Folgers can and it gets gifted to one of my nieces.

TL;DR: Go try on some guitars. Mid-level will allow you to grow and still have some financial value to recoup if this isn't your bag.
 

Davis Sharp

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Welcome to Epi-Talk.

I'll agree with everyone else. At this point, fit is more important than pickups, fretboard material, etc. It has to feel comfortable in your hands and against your body. You can use pedals and amp settings to make things sound noisier, but (as The Convert wrote), this is your first guitar. Get one that makes you want to pick it up and play. When you've done that, we'll be more than happy to advise you on your 2nd, 3rd... 25th guitar.

Enjoy the journey
 

Supersonic

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OP: "I also understand that it would be ideal to play each guitar in order to decide whether it 'feels right'. I have done this with a couple guitars already, but for the most part it's probably unrealistic to expect to play all of these guitars on the list at a Guitar Center or Sam Ash, etc. So I'm hoping you guys can give me some advice."

Everyone: Go play all the guitars :rofl:

Unfortunately it really is the only way to know.
 

Keefoman

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No problem buying online, but it is wise to buy from a known dealer and specify that you want the guitar properly set up before they ship it to you. :)
 

Equalphone

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I think the key thing is neck/body fit for you. Since you're (re)new to playing, I think that's going to be a little harder to judge, but it's still the main factor.

Head to GC and try a few different guitars and styles of guitars. They all fit a little different. Find one that fits comfortably on your lap.

The good news is that no matter what you buy, you can resell it later if you decide you want to change. Any "loss" can be considered a rental fee. If you buy at GC, you get 45 days last I checked to change your mind at no cost (check that).

If you can go on a weekday, that's best. Fewer people, more help. Don't even plug them in. Just try a bunch of guitars. Since you're under $1000, they'll mostly be hanging in the lower racks and easy to grab and sit with for a few minutes.

Once you find the shape you like, try a few of that style. Mostly the differences are in how well the guitar is set up. But some (same model) are just better than others. So once you hone in, play a couple of that style. If you like one that feels a little harder to play, ask GC to do a free setup on it.

My general advice would be an EPI LP around $600. The LP is a comfortable , classical shape on most laps, which is probably where you'll be playing most of the times. They also have humbucker pickups, which are probably easier to deal with when you're starting out... very forgiving, very flexible. A twist of the volume controls and you can be dirty or clean (with the right amp or a boost pedal). But, they tend to weigh more, so try at Strat too. SG's are super light, but sit differently - not for everyone. See what fits.
 


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