Gibson or Epiphone

Gibson or Epiphone, In a recent post I gave my opinion on the merits of both guitars. Weighing cost, quality, finish, and playability. As you can see, this is a highly contentious and debated issue. See my original post, Gibson or Epiphone

Colin wrote:

I'm sorry, but I disagree with most of the points you made regarding the differences. The finish on a Gibson is obviously nicer. I own a Gibson SG. My brother owns an Epi Les Paul. The neck on his Epi has no binding, has a worse nut, sh*tty tuners, and far worse fret work. As far as the humbuckers, they sound significantly worse, or maybe that is because they can't get a clean note because the neck is so bad. It isn't just this Epi that is bad, all Epis are like this compared to Gibson. Epiphone is by no means an Equal to Gibson other than finish. Epis are machine made. They are programmed to do the same thing over and over again. A person can think and process what is going on, and what would improve the guitar. Gibson has some minor quality control issues, but since when did going to the local guitar center and playing them until you found "your guitar", the one that calls to you. My Gibby cost me $1200.00, and my brothers cost him $500, and it shows.

BTW, LP's in general are far, far over priced. There is no reason to ever pay 3 grand for an LP. A LP Traditional is 3 grand, and the only difference is the pickups, and you can just by a Gibby LP Standard for two grand, and replace the pups for 100 or 200 bucks.

Thanks, and sorry to sound mean, but that is the truth,


My response:


Please don't apologize, whether you choose Gibson or Epiphone, I respect your opinion. The only time I get offended is if someone is attacking me personally. I'm a Stratocaster guy for the most part, and as anyone that's honest knows the Stratocaster is not in the same league as a Gibson, or Epiphone as far as finish quality.

The finish on the Les Paul custom flame top I own is incredible compared to the Epiphones. I own two Epiphone standard Les Pauls, and a "Slash" Signature LP, that I bought with a cosmetic neck flaw for cheap money.

The tuners on the slash model seem to be stock Gibson, but I could be wrong. After your email, I checked the necks, fretwork, especially fret ends, neck straightness and fret dress, and could not find any discernible difference. I'm in no way saying you're wrong, and if you feel a difference that's good enough for me. Music is so subjective, and equipment that people use to make music can be identical, but feel completely different to two different players. For example, I play with high action, heavy strings, and have a heavy pick hand. Maybe to me I'm not feeling the difference because of the way I play.

As for machine built necks, I'm pretty sure both Epiphone and Gibson both have necks built by CNC machine. It's simply more accurate. However the folks putting together a Gibson in Tennessee are certainly better craftsmen then the folks in China. I'm also pretty sure the starting stock is of much higher quality. And the selection process for what gets put in a Gibson is much more rigorous.

Again, I respect your opinion, and if you can tell a difference then that's really all that matters. Thanks for the comment.

Joe Brennan

Gibson or Epiphone, it's always going to be a hard choice whether to spend the money for the real thing, or try and save on a quality imitation.

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If you have any questions regarding electric guitar modifications, building, setup, amplifiers, etc. send me an email All questions are appreciated, and often lead to new ideas for additional content. I do my best to get back as soon as possible, Thanks, J.B.