Friday, January 2nd, 2009 at 10:11 am
In recent years Epiphone Guitars have been seen as entry level guitars generally based on their more expensive Gibson relations however that is a misconception and there is more to the Epiphone family than initially meets the eye.
The Epiphone guitar company has, in fact, a rich heritage going back almost a hundred years many of which manufacturing guitars independently of Gibson. The Epiphone company was bought by Gibson’s parent company Chicago Musical Instuments in 1957.
The Epiphone brand has produced many fine guitars during it’s time. These have ranged from solid body Guitars such those reminiscent of the Les Paul to Archtops such as the Casino. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that Epiphone started producing stripped down versions of Gibson classics such as the Les Paul or the Explorer.
So now we’ve explained where Epiphone comes from what makes them great? And what’s the difference between Gibson and Epiphone?
One of the reasons that makes Epiphone’s so great is that they have such a rich heritage – they have been making quality guitars for years. This means that you can expect a certain level of build quality from their Korean manufacturers. Fit and finish tend to be excellent meaning that the guitars also look the business.
Epiphone guitars are built to a high standard but do differ from their Gibson counterparts. They tend to be made in the far-east rather than the USA, use lower grade woods or laminates and have differing electronics and hardware.
For the beginner these differences are inconsequential but for the professional it may mean that some elements such as the pickups require replacing however this is dependant on the players own tastes and bear in mind that Guitars electronics are still quality components and the original pickups will still produce a lovely tone.
Another reason to choose an Epiphone is that many well know guitar players have used Epiphones. Most famously the Beatles used Epiphones in the late 1960’s specifically the Epiphone Casino. Other famous users of Epiphone’s include The Edge (u2) ,BB King, Noel Gallagher, The Beatles, Paul Weller and Slash. So if you want to sound like your guitar hero an Epiphone is a wise choice.
These days the Epiphone brand produces a variety of high grade guitars from Archtops such as the Epiphone Wildkat, a range of Les Paul guitars through to re-issues of it’s Beatles classics the Casino and the Texan. Each of these has rich character great sounds and a unique heritage. And the guitars produced cover most music styles from Jazz to heavy metal
Playing an Epiphone surely isn’t a compromise, despite the differences with Gibson they are still classic instruments with solid tone. You will however notice the price difference – Epiphone guitars are clearly aimed at those with less bucks to spend than their Gibson cousins. They are however seriously good guitars. So if your about to buy an Electric Guitar be sure to check out an Epiphone first.
For more information on Epiphone Electric Guitars check out Epiphone.com