Epiphones - thoughts and experiences

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Ant_McEwan, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. Ant_McEwan

    Ant_McEwan Squier Talker

    Jan 1, 2021
    The Black Isle

    I recently acquired my VM Surf Strat and am loving it. I'm just getting back into electric guitars, and have owned many Epiphones in the past, including a Korean Les Paul Standard which was really nice looking and playing, but a bit lacking in natural tone. That said, I also owned various SGs and semi-hollows by Epiphone and generally liked them all.

    I'm thinking of looking for another twin humbucker guitar and as I know and love the LP shape and style I'll be looking at Epiphone again. I saw that the new Epiphone ranges are quite a bit improved over older ones - or at least that's what a lot of videos are saying, and what the on-paper specs are showing.

    So...anyone have experience with the latest 1959 Standard outfit, or the 2020 50s or 60s Epi Les Paul Standards from the "Inspired by" range?

  2. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    A few guys on here have bought some of the new “inspired by Gibson” Epiphones. Everyone seems to be very impressed. Hopefully one of them will chime in and give you some info.
  3. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier ‎‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    I have an LP Tribute + (60s) and a Casino Coupe that are keepers. If you like the Epis you've owned, you'll like the newer ones. They generally get strong reviews. There's an occasional complaint on fret ends or something else, but it's usually not a reflection of the entire model line. But the most mixed reviews were on the Les Paul SL.
    mb doug, Tele56, Angry Possum and 3 others like this.
  4. Oldguitarguy

    Oldguitarguy Squier-holic

    Mar 2, 2019
    Check out the Agile LP’s. I have some Epiphones including Korean made LP and prefer my Agiles. If you consider that route, try to get at least the 2500 series or higher. Or, consider picking up some Gibson PAF’s on the used market and throwing them in a nice Koreen made Epiphone. It’ll get you 9/10 to a Gibson. Epiphone Standards are great guitars overall. You can’t go wrong either way.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
    mb doug, Angry Possum and Eddie like this.
  5. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert Gold Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Epis have been good guitars for as long as I remember.

    I've owned some higher end ones -- a classic SG based on the original Gibson when it was still called a "Les Paul" and a Sheraton II. Both were fine although, interestingly, both have been sold. But I today own a Special and one of the older Junior models bought used. Both are keepers despite their low price tags.

    No, Gibson quality they are not. You can see evidence of the price savings. But they are more than "playable." They are enjoyable, good sounding, guitars.

    Epi Junior.jpg Epiphone Special 2 copy_zpsqbkmcqdt.JPG

    Guys here who have bought the current 'better' ones seem universally pleased.

  6. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer John Silver Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2018
    RC addiction....
    I don't have any of the newer versions but I love my Standard LP and absolutely adore my Riviera P93.
    I also have a LP Special that I plan on using as a kayak oar. :mad:
  7. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    I have an Inspired by Gibson Epi LP Special. At 400 new (I bought used) I think it's at least every bit as good as a Squier CV, if not better.

    I am partial to older MIK epi stuff, but mostly because of nostalgia and rarity. I don't think there is any magic until you start looking at specific guitars or specific models.

    Epiphone is actually my preferred brand and I have several from varying origins. But the source doesn't matter, a good guitar is good guitar.
  8. plangentmusic

    plangentmusic Squier-holic

    Jul 4, 2012
    Epiphones are to comparable Gibson models what Squires are to comparable Fender models.
  9. Stratlover84

    Stratlover84 Squier-holic

    Jun 16, 2016
    NY - EC
    Outspoken Epiphone fan here, and I can vouch for those low end models like the Les Paul VE or Les Paul SL. With a good setup and new strings, they are great players - with mods, they are nothing short of awesome!

    I would totally splurge on a 2020 Epiphone, they just keep getting better and better!
  10. Birddog144

    Birddog144 Squier-holic Double Platinum Member

    Apr 24, 2015
    South Oceanside, CA
    There are Epis, and then there are Epis. Just like there are Squiers and then there are Squiers. A JV or SQ Squier Strat is quite a different beast than an old Bullet and easily comparable to a MIA Strat. I'd put my Peerless made Epi Sorrento up against a Gibson ES125TCD any day of the week, but I wouldn't do so with an older Epi LPJ against the equivalent Gibson.

    Overall, I have noticed that Asian guitars, across the spectrum, are improving in quality and value.
  11. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Nov 29, 2010
    I have three lower cost Epis, two Special 1’s (one with HB’s and one wit P90’s) and an Epi LP Jr. Fun and good playing guitars.

    I also have an Epi ES-339 with HB’s and an Epi Traditional Pro LP. Now those two are just great guitars period.
    mb doug, Angry Possum and drewcp like this.
  12. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Squier-Meister

    Apr 6, 2014
    Wokingham England
    I've had my MIK Epiphone Les Paul Standard since 1995 though the serial number indicates it was made in 1990. For 10 years it was only my second guitar (to my JV Squier) so it's seen a lot of playing. I've only replaced things as they wore out, but even so it's had nearly everything bar the neck and body replaced now, currently away having it refreted. I guess it's maybe not a MIK Epiphone now. :D

    I took it for a refret almost a year ago and the shop really made a mess of it. I had to then take it to another place (same guy who did my Strat, don't know why I didn't take it straight to him in hindsight). I'll end up paying twice, so I could have bought a brand new Epiphone with the fatter neck for what the two refrets will end up costing me...should have just left the MIK as it was and bought a new one, but my MIK has sentimental value as it was a 30th birthday present.

    This was just before I took it for the first poor refret...the frets weren't really that bad and now I have more guitars it would have been fine for occasional use...hindsight and all that. :oops: Not bad for a 'budget' guitar that's seen a lot of use over the years and still looks good:

    Epi 3.jpg

    Mods & repairs: New bridge because it developed a 'sag', rewired due to crackles, new pickups more on a whim, but they had become quite microphonic, some repro 60s style knobs to go on the CTS pots, locking tuners (straight swap), Tusq nut and amber switch tip for the new switchcraft 3 way. Plus 2 refrets of course. :rolleyes:

    EDIT: In answer to the OP I play(ed) this Epi, my 60s Tribute Gibson LP Gold Top (the striped down version, with P90s) and a Gibson LP Junior. The Epi doesn't feel like a poor option in that company, though these days I'd prefer a fatter neck like my LP Junior has.
  13. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    I’ve only had one “bad” Epi, and that was a early 2000’s plywood LP Jr (used from MGR), I bought it because it had a Duncan Pearly Gates in it, and was only $50. I swapped the Duncan for a no-name bucker, put a shim in the neck, put a bada$$ style bridge on it, some old sealed tuners I had laying around, and spent a few minutes adjusting the nut. It was then a pretty good guitar. Everything else I’ve had had been very good except a 2005 LP +top that had a poorly stained fretboard, took over a year of playing/cleaning until it stopped staining my fingers.

    Epi quality is way up with the new models this year, so no worries on almost anything you buy.
    Angry Possum and drewcp like this.
  14. Angry Possum

    Angry Possum A Psychotic 6 String Collector Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2019
    Squier Town NY
  15. Angry Possum

    Angry Possum A Psychotic 6 String Collector Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2019
    Squier Town NY
    I own an Epi V, Epi SG, and a DOT also. Amazing guitars.
    20201023_140250.jpg 20190926_112937.jpg

    Being a huge fan of Black Sabbath and the Heaven and Hell Album , I may put this skin on my Epi SG
    driver8, duzie, grizzlewulf and 2 others like this.
  16. Stratlover84

    Stratlover84 Squier-holic

    Jun 16, 2016
    NY - EC
    Drool... what a beauty :eek: Been on the hunt for a flying V or an explorer - those are rare beasts in the wild though.
  17. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    No experience with above mentionned LPs, but I too have a 2020 Special and it is vrey close to it's Gibson sibbling.

    You might have a hard time getting your hands on the 1959, everybody wants one :)
    Ant_McEwan likes this.
  18. Oldguitarguy

    Oldguitarguy Squier-holic

    Mar 2, 2019

  19. Ant_McEwan

    Ant_McEwan Squier Talker

    Jan 1, 2021
    The Black Isle
  20. beagle

    beagle Squier-holic

    Nov 19, 2017
    I have the 2020 Epiphone Les Paul Standard 50s. Got it two months ago, £50 cheaper from Thomann in Germany than I could get it here. :D It's a little cracker.

    Poppy 533.jpg Poppy 720.jpg
    driver8, cka73, Uncle Joe and 3 others like this.