Good MiJ SG copies?

AD04

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Been looking at a few MiJ SG copies but really don't know or cant tell which ones are the good ones and which ones are the bad ones. Any advice on buying old MiJ Sg's in the UK?
 

Go Nigel Go

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Only one piece of advice: Play before you buy, it is the only way to really evaluate a used guitar, especially when dealing with those made by companies that may not even exist any longer and have little to no information to go on. I have a MiJ Les Paul that is really good, but it was purchased from a Luthier who gave it some love before I even got to try it out. I have no idea what it was like before he got it, and I have no idea who made it originally other than "made in Japan". It is pretty well built though, so they do exist.
 

papagayo

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Epiphone MIJ are really great guitars, here '61 RI.

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Go Nigel Go

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Since Epiphone is a Gibson owned and operated company, I would argue that they are not "copies" as such, but they are usually really nice, and are a good option on a budget. My understanding of the OP was in reference to actual "copies" Made in Japan under a different brand unaffiliated with Gibson. Some were completely unbranded (or had fragile decals that flaked off immediately) and there was a whole host of lawsuits in the 1970's against such companies who Gibson accused of violating trademarked aspects of their products.

Some of these guitars were actually very close copies (and objectively quite good), some not so much. There are still some of these floating around out there, and it is sometimes possible to get a really nice player for less than even a used Epiphone. If you are lucky and find a good one for a player's axe they are totally worth grabbing on to, just don't expect to get rich "flipping" them. They just don't command those big collector dollars no matter how good they are. There are some people who collect them (at "fire sale" prices it is pretty easy to get a nice collection for the "working stiff" with a yen to get into collecting), but most are used by novice players, or semi-pro's who need a cheap but playable axe.
 

AD04

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The Tokai MIJ guitars are really nice. Their Vintage series is on par with regular Gibsons, and their Premium series is custom shop quality.
Are any of the newer made in china Tokai's any good, as most of the reviews online are in Taiwanese are don't have any proper reviews and only demos.
 

plankton

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Are any of the newer made in china Tokai's any good, as most of the reviews online are in Taiwanese are don't have any proper reviews and only demos.

Yes, the Traditional series are MIC and are great guitars, better quality than Epiphone. I have two Tokais from that series. The newer Legacy series are the cheaper MIC guitars, but still quite good for the money.

Traditional LP Special

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Traditional Firebird

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Kirk Dahnke

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I have a 90s Burny MIJ that I love. It's in my avatar. Seems like you can get a better deal than on the 80s ones.
 

Bbr6704

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Tokai are for sure nice guitars (the japanes ones are really great, tried a chinese once, it was a good guitar too!), but prices are quite high too, and "vintage" used one can be expensive nowadays.

Known brand can have good to very good ones, but meh too, depending on the grade of the guitar.

If you're looking for an old one, Tokai, Burny, Ibanez, Hondo, and some Yamaha (there were some Lp lawsuit, I guess SGs too, plus the Yamaha Sg) can be good guitars too, but as with every brand, you have entry level ones, high end ones, and nearly everything in between.

As said before, it's preferable to try before you buy if you can.
 

Hanover Fist

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A bit of threadcromancy here but there are some terrific SG clones not mentioned.

Greco SS series. 700 and 800 are nicer but the 600 is good.
History
Crews Maniac Sound

These are all made at either Fujigen or Terada factories and outstanding guitars.
 

PermissionToLand

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Since Epiphone is a Gibson owned and operated company, I would argue that they are not "copies" as such, but they are usually really nice, and are a good option on a budget. My understanding of the OP was in reference to actual "copies" Made in Japan under a different brand unaffiliated with Gibson. Some were completely unbranded (or had fragile decals that flaked off immediately) and there was a whole host of lawsuits in the 1970's against such companies who Gibson accused of violating trademarked aspects of their products.

Japanese Epiphones were made by Fujigen, who also made their own copies for various brands, which were basically identical.

If you're looking for an old one, Tokai, Burny, Ibanez, Hondo, and some Yamaha (there were some Lp lawsuit, I guess SGs too, plus the Yamaha Sg) can be good guitars too, but as with every brand, you have entry level ones, high end ones, and nearly everything in between.

Almost all Hondos were made in Korea by Samick. Only the Professional Series were made in Japan, and that only lasted a few years.
 

papagayo

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Nice, cool Tokai MiJ, not a poor chinese Epiclone ... Beurkk


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Roger Phillips

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Not seen any reference to Gibson's Orville brand in this thread.
A friend in the Lake District (UK) had an Orville Standard which was a cracking guitar. However, I've noticed any escaping from Japan aren't cheap. I had toyed with the idea of securing a reverse body Thunderbird in lieu of four T'bird76s which I have for sale and just keep the Pelham blue EB-3 and a Jazz for jamming when I can.
Roger
 

DJGranite

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Go Nigel Go

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This is wrong.
The only guitar Gibson threatened to sue over were the Ibanez LP copies and they changed their headstock before the case made it to court.
here, I searched it for you
The True Story Behind Japanese 'Lawsuit' Guitars – Soundfly
Well thanks for that, it is a much much clearer and more concise history than I have seen before. Learned something new today which is why I am here to begin with. My own "lawsuit era" Les Paul looks an awful lot like the unbranded 1975 Ibanez instrument pictured in the article, but in light of some of the additional facts contained there I will need to look at it more closely to see if it is indeed one of those models. It is mostly just out of curiosity, since it is a great guitar even if it is not what as was presented to me by the seller. One thing that is just confirmed by the article for me however is that you need to play it before you buy it to make sure it is something you want and worth the money. Mine was worth the purchase price no matter what it's history. :D
 

DJGranite

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I found out when I went to buy this project...
74-75 Ibanez 2350
1974 Ibanez 2350 front.jpg 1974 Ibanez 2350 headstock.jpg

and so it goes :cheers:

It's further along now but still needs work
 

Go Nigel Go

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Definitely looks like a project worth taking on. If it is anything like mine, it will be a rock and roll machine. They were definitely made for the music of the era. So easy to get those epic album rock sounds out of, and rather easy on the wrists for playing those 20 minute long jam songs. :thumb:
 

jlee

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A bit of threadcromancy here but there are some terrific SG clones not mentioned.

Greco SS series. 700 and 800 are nicer but the 600 is good.
History
Crews Maniac Sound

These are all made at either Fujigen or Terada factories and outstanding guitars.
The 80s Greco SS guitars are fantastic. So are the later Mint Collection.

Early 80s SS600 has a stop bar/tuneomatic vs
SS700/Maestro Vibrola vs SS800, which is a SG Custom copy. Later SS600s have dot inlays, but the early 80s models are ‘63(?) style with fret end binding and nitro. I quite like the pickups on my 1980 SS700 and have Throbaks in my other guitars.

The Bacchus Vintage Series are also phenomenal.
 

Wildeman

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I have a Electra SG thats pretty awesome, I'll have to dig it out for some pic's.
These are what i got in my phone, it came to me with one of its Maxon pickups missing so i either gotta make a new surround for a regular bucker or find a Maxon. 20210924_064122.jpg 20211008_192743.jpg
 
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