[quote author=Tenafly Viper link=topic=19738.msg239316#msg239316 date=1252874279] I don't know jack about the EPI's, but for around 500 you can get a used faded, with an ebony board, real large size CTS pots and a switchcraft switch, gibson american made pickups that are good pickups, especially for louder stuff, they also come on more expensive models, as opposed to what it likely dime sized pots, thin wire, and epi pickups. Some people might play a EPI, love the neck profile and such and it is totally worth it to them, others might prefer the playability and feel of the faded. You also have the looks factor. The Epi has an ugly headstock but a nice finish and it is a 61 style guard. You probably end up with a great guitar no matter what you decide. [/quote] No, the Elitist Epiphones have Gibson PUPs and higher quality just-about-everything than a Chinese Epi. And they have more Gibson-like HSs. [quote author=SurfGuitar141 link=topic=19738.msg239321#msg239321 date=1252877599] More good points brought up here...... I do tend to favor spending my money on things made here in the U.S.A. over products manufactured in other countries. Fender has a fantastic line of guitars made in their Mexican factory, but when I purchased my Strat it had to be an American Standard. This brings us to the second good point made. I do tend to turn over guitars. Now when I bought the Strat I have, I figured it just might be the last guitar I would buy, but here we are 7 years later, and I'm looking to trade it in on something different. Had I settled on a Mexican made Strat it would only be worth $100.00 to a maximum of $150.00 on trade-in, I've already gotten an appraisal from one shop for $400.00, and may fair a little better with Guitar Center since I purchased the Strat from them. I don't doubt the quality of the Epiphone Elitist, it is a finely made instrument that is absolutely beautiful, but it was still made in Japan, and some of the electronic components are of questionable source and quality. The Gibson Faded Special may be on the bottom of the food chain as far as SG's go, but it's 100% American Made, and the points about the thin Nitro faded finish are true, it does allow the guitar to resonate better than one with a polyester coating...(like my Strat).... the finish also allows the wood to breath, and it will wear smooth out in time with play.[/quote] First of all the Epi's electronics are probably the same as the Gibson's. Here's a quote from Epiphone: "This instrument is made with premium woods, fitted with American pickups and circuitry -- even American-made toggle switches and Grover tuners." I have heard that the Fadeds use cheaper pots than the SG Standard but I could be wrong on that. As far as resale, I'll say it again... there are Fadeds EVERYWHERE. Especially in this market, selling one would mean asking less than every other Faded out there. Elitist SGs however show up very rarely. Come to think of it, the Elitist you're buying is used already and still costs more than the new Faded. As for the finish, it's hand-rubbed Polyurethane, not Polyester like Chinese Epis. There is a big difference.