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Epiphone: Budget vs Real Deal

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Din Of Win, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Hey TB!

    I was just curious as to weather or not there has ever been a list compiled that really rates Epi. copies of higher end Gibson models in regards to their over-all sound accross all makes.

    Say, is the tonal difference between an Epi. T-bird to a Gibson T-bird simmilar to an Epi. EB-0 vs a Gibson EB-0? Ripper? Les Paul? Are there some Epi. models that simply do not or can not copy the sound of their Gibson big brothers?

    I want to say i've heard people say that some Epi. models are pretty good copies, but others are pretty worthless. However, i can't recall who said this or when it was said, or even what it was said in regards to!

    I did a little light searching, but everything seemed pretty biased one way or another or just talked about one make. Nothing really spoke about the brands as wholes.

    I'm just very curious! :D
  2. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Epiphone is the Squier version of Gibson. They contain some of the same parts as their bigger brothers.

    Many people love their Epi bird. The one I played felt great for the price, sincerely. But the Gibson I played blew it out of the water. But of course, this is IMO. Im sure theyre are guys here who swear buy their Epibirds, and that is fine. Opinions make the world go around.

    These debates will always be around, Gibson vs. Epiphone, Fender vs. Squier, Sterling by Musicman vs. Musicman. The price difference in the real thing makes for the debate, but the vast differences keep the debates alive.
  3. I totally understand what you said here. I was wondering, more specifically, is there different variances between the different makes? Take your example... You liked the Epi. Bird, which is well and good. But, the Gibson blew it out of the water.

    So, i'm wondering, if i can word this correctly :p , if the gibson Bird was "X" better than the epi Bird, is "X" going to be relatively the same throughout the different makes? Where "X" is the tonal difference.

    Like, if the Gibson Bird is "X" better than the Epi Bird, will the "X" difference between a, for example, Gibson Ripper be equal to the "X" difference in an Epi Ripper?

    Haha... this is what happens close to finals time and i think in "college" mode... even reading that back to my self it only makes a little sence.

    I suppose another way of asking would be: Only talking about Epiphone:

    Based on tonal differences, would an Epi TBird be a better value than, say, an Epi EB-3 when compared to their Gibson counterparts?

    I understand a lot of this would come down to personal preference, but i was just curious if this had been asked before :meh:
  4. Grizzly700


    Mar 18, 2008
    Maryville, TN
    I have heard everything is as close as it could be for the money, BUT I heard that the Epi Ripper doesn't even resemble the Gibby soundwise.
  5. The Epiphone T-Bird and the Gibson T-Bird are totally different tonally. As is the Ripper.

    In my experience most Epiphone stuff gets you mainly just the looks. Not that any of it is bad sounding just different.
  6. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    If I understand the OP's question, the answer is no. I don't think there is a consistent difference between the Epi and Gibby models, nor between the current and original models of any of these basses. Differences in woods, construction, and pickup design do, as someone pointed out, make the only consistent similarity the body shape/appearance. Even the necks are not consistently related to the originals. For instance, there's really not much that the original Gibson EBO/EB3 'bucker have in common with the "TBPlus" in the Gibson "SG" "reissues." On the other hand, the cheap Epi EBO is remarkably similar to the old EBO in some respects. Go figure.
  7. Cool! That helps a lot, and i think you got pretty much exactly what i was asking!

    Thats cool/weird/interesting to hear that the Epi EB0 is similar to the Gibbi EB0...

    I have, personally, played quite a few of the Epi. models (Tbird, EB3, and Ripper) and none of them really sounded bad... but i haven't had the oppertunity to mess arround with any Gibson stuff to make my own comparisons... yet :ninja: ... so this is a pure curiosity bassed question!
  8. Pablo Fanque

    Pablo Fanque

    Apr 1, 2009
    This is a little off topic 'cuz I'm dragging Fender into the mix, but I noticed something the other day. I played a $1200 Fender Precision and I didn't hear or feel the price difference between that and the $300-$400 Fenders, Squiers and Epis I've played. Sure, it sounded and played better, but I didn't notice nearly a grand worth of difference, if you know what I mean.

    I haven't messed around with many Gibson basses, but I've played a few Epis. I own an Epi Accu-Bass (1997). Some Epis are much better than others, but I couldn't tell you how the stack up against Gibson.

    The biggest gap between any basses that I have played was between the $300-$400 Epis and Fenders and the 1974 Rickenbacker 4001 that I played a few weeks back. I know some of this is a matter of preference/taste, but that Ric was light years better than any bass I've ever played, ever MIA Fender Precisions. It was incredible! That Ric sold for $1400 I later learned.
  9. I think that those basses that REALLY have a unique sound are the ones that i would really pay the money for.

    Case in point:

    The Gibson RD Artist is #1 on my gas list. Not only in aesthetic value, but the sound is just so unique, it's something i doubt Epi could even hope to recreate.

    On the Ric topic... again, i haven't had the oppertunity to play a Ric... i have heard that the closest "cheaper" sound you can hope to get is from a Peavey T40.

    I don't want to derail TOO much here. I know the cheap vs expensive argument has been done... to... death...
  10. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    If you get into the '60s models, you'll find that Gibson and Epiphone were the exact same basses with different shapes and nameplates. They were all made in Kalamazoo by the same crew.
  11. crayzee


    Feb 12, 2009
    Mississauga, ON
    From what I've read, some consider the Epi Explorer basses to be better players than the Gibson version. Partly because of the pickup placement (Epi's have the neck pickup right against the end of the fingerboard - Gibbys have it about 2" or so back), partly because of the scale (original Gibby Explorer basses were Explorer bodies and heads mated to EB necks, the later versions were a bit longer at 32" but the Epi is a 34" scale neck).

    All that said, even though my Epi Explorer is a '99 model made in Korea, it's still made of Korina, still the same neck build (set? glued?) and still uses good quality parts. Gibby Explorers go for much more because they're much more rare than Epi's. I've had friends who've used much more expensive equipment compliment me on its' sound.

    I love my Epi. Since I educated myself on the difference between it and a Gibson, I don't think I'd bother with a Gibby.

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