Time to Buy?

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by Trygve, May 20, 2018.

  1. Trygve

    Trygve New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2018
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey, I'm new here but I've wanted an SG ever since I started playing 12 years ago. I love everything from Tony to Derek, but I've never been able to afford a Gibson. With Gibson in chapter 11 right now and their build quality at a low, maybe not all-time low, but indisputably a low, I have been looking to Epiphone. The new models from Sweetwater have binding now, and that was a turn-off before, I know it shouldn't be a deal-breaker but the cosmetics matter when I'm paying that much. The new bound SG Pros have a body shape truer to the original Gibson (I believe, I could be wrong) and still have that confounded veneer on the front and back, where older 1990s G400s don't, as well as having similar grain and species to the Gibson, but all I've heard about Epiphone of late is good. What say you, how comparable to better-day Gibsons are the new and pre-2000s Epis, and do you think now is a good time to buy?
     
  2. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,289
    Likes Received:
    1,517
    Welcome to the forum... But where do you get that idea from? From my own experience in recent years I might agree their QC is not as consistent as it should be, but the build quality low? Sorry, I'm not seeing that at all - one of my 2016 SGs in particular is outstandingly well made and seemingly from very high quality materials.

    I'm not going to comment on the Epi v. Gibson question; I've no experience of Epi so it would be unfair to say much. But I'm pretty sure the price differential is only partly down to USA manufacturing costs. Gibson would be crazy to have a rival range of equal quality but substantially lower cost. But just what, and how much 'extra' you get for your money when buying a Gibson - well, I'll leave that for others to argue over. :)

    But expect a different story with some other brands, where you may equal or even surpass what Gibson produce at a lower cost. (But it won't look like an SG!)
     
  3. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    Anytime is a good time to buy a guitar.

    Never owned a Gibson so I can't compare the two, but I've found the G400 to be a great guitar for the money and an excellent platform to customize and get something that fits your style.

    Buying used guitars is a great way to get even more for your money, as long as you're a bit savvy and know what to look for.
     
    dub-setter, Layne Matz and Roca like this.
  4. Duane_the_tub

    Duane_the_tub Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2018
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    82
    I must disagree with this statement as well. My 2018 has the best build quality of any Gibson I own or have owned, out of many (including vintage). It's your money, but writing off Gibson with such a blanket generalization - and expecting better quality from its value line - would seem to me to be an error in judgement.
     
  5. Clifdawg

    Clifdawg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    446
    The "Low QC" hype is way, way overblown, IMO. If you buy a Gibson, you will likely need it properly set up, intonated, adjusted, etc., but that should take care of 95% of the issues you may encounter pulling a guitar straight out of the box. My 2016 Gibson SG Special is a wonderful and finely-crafted instrument. I spent just 750 dollars on it. Out of the box, it needed some serious setup work, but once done, it's the best-playing instrument I've ever owned (after having owned numerous Epis and other Asian Gibson clones).

    I just recently sold my G400 Pro to recoup the cost of a Marshall DSL40C amp I bought (Gibson + Marshall = :dude:), and it was a great guitar for the money. Actually stayed in tune better than my Gibson (although I think the Gibson just needs a better-cut nut). I got it for around 300 dollars a few years back. Do I think the Gibson is worth 450 dollars more than the Epi? Yes, I do. But your mileage may vary. If you don't have the expendable income to swing a Gibson, then you shouldn't feel like your settling with an Epiphone - they're great guitars in their own right.

    If you've never owned an SG before, I might actually suggest going for the Epi first. After buying, selling, and trading numerous guitars (probably over 25 at this point), I learned that the SG was my favorite guitar, which is why I was willing to drop more dough on the Gibson later. The opposite is true with others, though - I'm currently babysitting a Squier Affinity Strat for a friend while he moves. I couldn't tell you whether it played or sounded better or worse than an American Professional Strat because frankly, I hate strats. To me, the investment in a good Strat would be a total waste of money. The SG has some quirks that some people just can't get past, so if you haven't taken the time to play one at length in a variety of scenarios, you might want an inexpensive one to see if it is or is not for you. If you have wads of expendable cash, go for the Gibson, absolutely, but I'm guessing that if you're asking about Epis, you don't. Which is fine! The Epis are great guitars. :thumb:
     
    dub-setter, NomeX and Worblehat like this.
  6. Notabot

    Notabot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    57
    I have 4 newer-ish Gibsons, a 2015, 2016 and 2 2017s. Put my strings on 'em, set the action how I like, intonate and adjust PUP height. I played a PRS S2 at the store and it was not better in any way I could see. I like the PRS SE line too but for the small price differential, I would rather play a Gibson. I believe the PRS core and artist series are very fine instruments but I'm not dropping that kind of coin for a much loved hobby.

    Yeah, it would seem the ol' thought-processor moved a decimal point or three somewhere coming up with that logic.

    Indeed it is!
     
  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    1,323
    Likes Received:
    1,359
    Myth: SG are too expensive.
    Truth: Find a used one.

    Myth: Gibson build quality is at a low.
    Truth: My seven SG are just fine.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  8. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    185
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Ummm the gibson sg standard 2017 is an ultimate guitar. Then 2018 sg standard hp is a whole dimension better of awesomeness. So I am not seeing personally these allegations of poor QC as being ( at least for me with a sample size of 2 ) accurate.

    The epiphone sg 400s are pretty darn sweet also.
     
    Roca likes this.
  9. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    6,831
    Likes Received:
    6,305
    Location:
    Michigan
    you might be asking the wrong forum to reinforce myths about
    Gibson's faults. *grins ...lots of us are fans.

    but welcome anyway... lots of us own Gibson AND Epi guitars
    and like both. I believe there's a place in the world for both.

    Gibson's corporate woes may not affect the guitar making part of Henry's house of cards. Or it may destroy it. I've read that the guitar business is okay, and some of Henry's expansion-minded acquisitions are what's pulling him down.

    As soon as I heard that Gibson was in trouble, my response was to buy one. I'd heard about their J-45 AG acoustic, and drooled a bit
    on my keyboard, but when the news said they were headed for
    chapter 11, I decided to get one before that happened. So i did.
    I'll sell some other stuff to fund it. i also wanted to help them in the only way i could. it matters where you spend your money.

    So now I own three recent Gibsons. Mine are excellent. No QC
    issues. Plenty of Gibson elegance and mojo (which is what you pay for when you buy one).

    i think it would be very interesting if Gibson went bust and Epiphone did not. Or if Epi bought Gibson from the corporate vultures. weird... i don't know anything about financial shenanigans by men in silk shirts.. but i have a rich imagination.

    So is it a good time to buy a Gibson? I dunno now. if you don't mind being a vulture, you could wait and see if someone marks 'em down. I say +1 on buying a used one. Those will likely become more valuable.

    is it a good time to buy an epi? yes IMHO.
     
    Layne Matz likes this.
  10. Daniel.S

    Daniel.S Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    219
    I played my Epi SG for about 6 years off and on, until I decided that I finally wanted to spend the cash and buy a Gibson version.
    Absolutely worth the money.
     
  11. Roca

    Roca Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    82
    I bought my first guitar in January. A used 2016 epi g400 1966 reissue sg. I paid 250 for it and I love it. I don't go for the name on a guitar. I go for what I can afford that is worth my hard work. I have never played a real Gibson but I feel like mine would hold its own against one. The only problem I have had is a bad setup and trying to find the perfect little amp.
     
    Layne Matz likes this.
  12. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2018
    Messages:
    428
    Likes Received:
    163
    im not privvy to the gibson situation, am i to understand that they will cease to make Gibson's???

    Regardless of financial troubles, wouldnt the name methods and factories be purchased and continued in good old capitalist fashion?

    10 years from now, do you think you'll still be able to buy a Gibson for a comperable price?
     
  13. Bonzo21

    Bonzo21 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2016
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    201
    Location:
    Canada
    No...

    Yes...lol

    They are still in business, and capitalism will keep that brand alive for sure! Heck People would buy a milk jug with rubber bands made in a kindergarten "custom shop" if it had Gibson on the headstock!
     
    Layne Matz likes this.
  14. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    6,831
    Likes Received:
    6,305
    Location:
    Michigan
    Some of us old timers remember when both Gibson and Fender were bought or taken over by
    other Corporations. In Fender's case, Old Leo sold his company because he was in ill health and
    he got an offer he couldn't refuse. In Gibson's case, it was just a power takeover IMHO.

    What that meant was that the new bosses made changes in the guitar designs that were
    not well regarded by guitarists, creating a cult of "pre-CBS Fender" worshippers, and also
    creating a cult of "pre-Norlin" Gibson worshippers, and adding hefty premiums to the prices
    asked for the older instruments.

    If that happened to Gibson again, I invite you to imagine the angst and the outcry,
    and imagine people extolling the virtues of the 2015 models, compared to the 2019 range.
    *laughs

    When we say that the guitar making part of the Gibson corporation is in good shape, that means
    that it's profitable and was likely supporting Henry's other financial adventures, because he supposedly bought other businesses trying to establish "The Gibson family of brands" which
    would be his own corporate empire. *shrugs

    Some of his deals were disadvantageous, and he's got debts coming due that he can't pay,
    even though the Gibson factories are running at a profit. That's the way I understand it, which
    is why I answered the OP's question: "Is this a good time to buy an Epiphone?"
    with a YES.

    I own two Epiphone guitars, and am very fond of both of them, and regard them as good
    value for the money I spent. My observations tell me that Epiphones keep getting better and
    better, so that any time is a good time to buy an Epi. A used Epi G-400 is one of the best
    bargains there is IMHO. Affordable and serviceable right away, and a guy can make improvements
    a little at a time, as he can afford them, and end up with a lot more guitar than anyone might
    think. I like that concept.
     
    Roca and Layne Matz like this.
  15. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    185
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Well the most significant difference is how well ( or not so much ) one can play.

    The epiphone sg 400s are dang nice and the 310s also.

    For you right now dont get your hands on a gibson 2017 sg standard because well ... your feelings might change.
     
    Layne Matz likes this.
  16. Layne Matz

    Layne Matz Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2018
    Messages:
    428
    Likes Received:
    163
    Great way of putting it Col. Thank you for painting me a picture I can understand.

    I have to agree, with an overwhwelming number of people living on ridiculously low income budget instruments are a neccesity. High quality instruments are outright ethical, everyone shoulld have access to an instrument they want to play at a reasonable price.

    Ill also mention that i think the use of multi peice and plywood bodies is a very ethical practice because I'm sure there is plenty of good wood that gets thrown out because it just wont fit well into a two piece body build. A lot of old tree's have to go down for these instruments.

    For the OP, a bit of advice im coming to accept is that the most important thing besides one comfortable and functional insteument is a good amp. I say this because a lame amp has very lame tone limitations. Its like a half assed tone. No one likes boring or poor tones. A cheap guitar can still sing well through a good amp. Cheaper doesnt always necessarily mean worse.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
    Worblehat likes this.
  17. Roca

    Roca Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    82
    Trust me I don't have enough money. Lol
     
  18. NomeX

    NomeX Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2017
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    48
    I started off with a Gibson SG Future Tribute only because they were being blown out last year and I got mine for $499 shipped. I quickly realized what a tone scalpel this SG was, and it felt so good, with the thin, almost no finish. I also got 24 frets with no penalty -- SG's just have that extra space, unlike LPs, so you don't have to move the PUP for those two frets. I soon had my Dad pick up an SGJ 120th for $399. Hell that's Epiphone money!

    I felt like getting an Epi because I heard so much about them, and I also needed an SG that I had no fear of bringing out to gigs. Well, I found for $149 and my 1966 G-400 had a thicker neck like my Dad's SGJ, and I found I kinda liked that.

    I discovered I love P-90s and I was fortunate to find a Epi 1961 RI with P-90s. I was considering really hard about buying some SD P-Rails, putting them in my SG Future and then moving those PUPs to the G-400.

    Well, I got sidetracked and found a great deal on a Gibson SG Fusion. I love taking that thing out of the case and smelling it. Is that what their nitro finishes smell like? My SG Future had no smell, but it also wasn't painted a color. What do I love about this guitar? First of all, Maple neck! I don't have to worry about the headstock snapping. The pups work well enough. What don't I like? The neck joint is kinda sharp. I mean, I'm tempted to file down the body. Also, the neck is on the thin side like my other SGs except for that 1966. But hey, I could find myself buying a few of these for some knockaround guitars.

    Fortune smiled on me again, and I found an EPI 1956 LP with P-90s. Too bad my order was canceled due to some computer glitch that showed that it was in stock, when it was already sold. Oh well.

    Fortune and the universe was on my side when I just found a Gibson 1950s Tribute for sale. P90's, 24 frets, thin burst finish, and a thicker neck? This may be the one, kids! I will meet it this weekend when I go to pick it up.

    TL/DR; It's a great time to buy Epi's. It's a good time to buy Gibsons if you can. If it sounds good, it is good. I think my next Epi G-400 will either be a satin finish or a Worn.
     
  19. dub-setter

    dub-setter Active Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    432
    Likes Received:
    195
    Location:
    berlin
    you may want to look out for a used "vintage " g400 models
    from around the 2000ers.
    these are great epis and have binding as well.


    or if your more on the "thinner neck side"
    the 1961er special would be my fave for my next buy.


    the 2 or 3 pick ups epi customs are also very well build instruments.
     
  20. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    689
    Likes Received:
    321
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    The best time to buy is when you can Afford one!

    Buy without creating debt, even if it’s not the deal of a lifetime. I would prefer to buy a guitar at fair market value with money in my pocket, than a good deal when I am flat broke and go in the hole.

    Save up, find a beauty, play lots in the stores, end up a happy man.
     

Share This Page


Recommended Links: PAF Pickups, Luthier Forum