💰 Gibson vs. Epiphone: The Differences That Matter | Reverb News

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But mahogany, for example, is an entirely different story. Polyurethane, on the other hand, is extremely durable and impervious to most damage, but some players do find that it limits the vibration of the instrument. Many Epiphone models, such as the Sheraton or Riviera, use a five-ply design. These models have no relation whatsoever to the Gibson company. Here is a comparison of new models from that share essential design templates. But this is not always the case. When it comes to fit, I find that Gibson has Epiphone beat in most cases. Epiphone Sheraton-II Pro. Epiphone has a similar process, but generally uses lower-end pieces — though does offer its own locking feature on many new bridges. On the acoustic front, for instance, Epiphone recently launched its archtop Masterbilt line that brought back many of the company's original acoustic jazz models. With all that in mind, we thought we'd spend some time today trying to answer what makes Epiphone and Gibson different today. Gibson or Epiphone buyers often swap pickups, nuts, bridge studs and bridges, potentiometers, switches, and jacks. While it would be easy to say that Gibson uses better parts overall, the low-end M2 and S-Series were much maligned for using very low-quality bridges that were nearly impossible to set with the neck angle of the guitar. What this means is subjective. Epiphone usually simply clips and bevels its fret-ends, which can make for a less playable instrument. According to most players, quality for both brands has fluctuated over the past decade or two, as have the exact specs and designs being brought to the table. Both brands use various tuners, from self-branded to Grovers. Bottom Line: For players looking to upgrade the baseline instrument, the cost will be mostly the same. Gibson M2 Melody Maker. For Gibson's part, their range of models has ebbed and flowed significantly in recent years, and the company has adopted the automobile industry strategy of totally revamping their lineup every fall. Gibson has been increasingly adding baked maple, granadillo, poplar, and basswood into its guitar and bass lines, especially following the controversial raid of its wood stock by the federal government in For any given type of wood — maple, for instance — there are very different species that grow in different locations. I have personally found that, in general, the higher quality materials allow Gibsons to age more gracefully. In the case of maple and rosewood, the species used by the two companies are very similar. These aren't all exact analogs, but are close enough to offer a meaningful comparison. Bottom Line: While there is certainly a range of hardware in use by both brands, Gibson guitars tend to employ higher-quality components. Our best bet for getting at some consistent comparison, then, is to aim for the middle of the road and look at comparable models that a potential buyer might consider side-by-side. For any buyer, though, it is always best to follow your ear, hands, and gut, and seek an instrument that speaks to you regardless of what it says on the headstock. One of the most important parts of the fit discussion is the neck. Many top-end new Gibsons feature titanium saddles, and there is a wide range of hardware made in-house for Custom Shop and Historic models. It's a long and entwined history, but for most modern players, Epiphone is seen first and foremost as the current low-end of the wider Gibson catalog. Epiphone generally uses a number of woods for its cap that are not always the same as the body wood. I recently ordered a new Gibson ES studio, for example, that had some issues leftover from the factory. In , Gibson purchased Epiphone and used the brand as a way to broaden their distribution network and, eventually, to expand production beyond just the US. Gibson Lightning Bar Bridge, Nickel. Gibson has also recently been creating new pickups for its affordable models, such as the Firebird Zero and the S-Series. Epiphone Masterbilt Century Collection Olympic. Gibson models use a carved maple cap for most Les Paul models, which is an important part of the tone and aesthetic. Gibson typically limits this to two to three pieces, while Epiphones can be several more. Wood selection as has always been a topic of discussion for in-the-know guitar people, and is becoming even more so following a series of updated CITES regulations this year. My personal experience is that middle to low-end Gibsons can sometimes have more quality control issues than high-end Epiphones. This is commonplace for many makers when employing flamed and figured maple, but Epiphone also uses this for plain maple tops. I have personally owned a handful of Gibsons and Epiphones and can attest that this is true with these models as well. The price difference is striking. Like many brands, the quality of the fit and finish of a model is very dependent on price. But generally speaking, the cheaper a guitar, the lower quality its hardware will be. Occasionally, Epiphone uses unbranded tuners, with sometimes dubious performance. Epiphone ES Premium. Most Gibson ES models have a three-ply laminate of either maple-poplar-maple or maple-basswood-maple. Bottom Line: Gibson tends to use higher quality, traditional tonewoods, though has branched out significantly in recent years. In , for instance, Gibson introduced the much maligned range of robot-tuner affixed guitars, while the models announced just last month saw a significant paring back to focus on just core models. Some players dislike the new PC mounting system or have preferences for better-sounding pickups. But there's still a huge range of prices for instruments from both brands. Bottom Line: Epiphones are, of course, cheaper. Bottom Line: There will never be a shortage of Les Pauls and other core models, but these days, Epiphone offers a ton of options you won't find with a Gibson logo. Epiphone uses a variety of woods, often utilizing a higher number of thinner plys, but this is not always the case. Many think the less plys used will encourage the instrument to vibrate more freely. It's worth noting that both Epiphone and Gibson guitars are readily available on the used market. Here, we're looking at brand new, advertised prices. Gibson and Epiphone both use a number of pieces of wood glued together to form the body of the instrument. Gibson puts more detail into finishing their fret-ends and leveling and polishing frets. Reverb Articles. So even though Epiphone uses the same types of wood that Gibson does, the species are different, with Epiphone sourcing its wood from locations in proximity to its factories. When it comes to finish, Gibson uses nitrocellulose while Epiphone uses polyurethane. At the same time, these mild difference do help keep the price of Epiphone models more affordable. Gibson has also experimented with different metals.

Gibson and Epiphone are two of the oldest brands in the whole history of guitar production, source when focusing on electrics.

But over epiphone casino quality past decade, the offerings have expanded into signature guitars, new designs not currently offered by Gibson, and a few totally epiphone casino quality originals.

In the past, Epiphone has also used alder and basswood for many models in place of Mahogany.

There are, of epiphone casino quality, many Gibson-made pickups that have excellent reputations. The two companies were competitors in the archtop market in the s and during the development of the earliest electric models. Epiphone also uses EMG pickups in a few models, as well as for guitars targeted to its metal audience.

To disguise this, Epiphone almost always puts a epiphone casino quality veneer of the body wood on the back of the instrument, which is not typical of Gibson construction. Also, Epiphone f-holes are generally a bit more rough that their Gibson equivalent. On the other hand, since Epiphone uses a scarf joint for its headstocks, they suffer epiphone casino quality fewer breaks than Epiphone casino quality — the possibility of which every new Gibson buyer should consider.

Long-term cost is an important factor of guitar buying that often goes overlooked. The truth of the divide, though, is much more complex than a simple split between high- and low-end. Wood and construction differences also apply to electric archtops. This gives longer life and better adjustability to parts like truss rods.

Epiphone G Pro SG. The '57 Classics, BurstBuckers, Dirty Fingers, and other standard Gibson designs have epiphone casino quality found their audience and are solid options for players considering upgrades to any guitar. Gibson tends to use higher-grade woods and has recently been calling out the grade in model descriptions.

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Many bridges are being made of aluminium now, but in recent years, most were made of an alloy called zamak. In most cases, though, Epiphone uses a very thin maple veneer. Meanwhile, my new-old-stock Epiphone ES Premium arrived in flawless condition. For other hardware, Gibson typically has used Corian-like composites for nuts, along with its metal zero-fret nuts. This is just one personal example, though, and not necessarily representative of the brands as a whole. Maple, too, has many varieties, but most important to this discussion are the grades and thicknesses of the wood. And while this might seem like a lot of work to put into a new guitar, it really depends on what you, as a player, are looking for in an instrument. The split is considered to be cheap vs expensive, imported vs American-made, and at its core, budget-friendliness vs historic quality. Gibsons tend to retain their prices better, but there are also plenty of souped up, special edition Epiphone models that achieve prices closer to the Gibson range. Epiphone Riviera Custom P Oops, looks like you forgot something. Like everything else we've mentioned so far, hardware is widely variable within the product spreads of both brands. It's important to note that pickups are easy to swap, and buying an Epiphone with the intention of upgrading to Gibson pickups is a common practice among savvy buyers. Bottom Line: Gibsons will come stock with better pickups in most cases, but then again, pickups are easy to swap in and out. Gibson also uses other hardware reportedly made by Ping, Gotoh, or TonePros.