Re: origin of manufacture question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tama, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. Tama


    Nov 19, 2008
    Hope I have the correct part of the forum.....

    I understand that Epiphone basses can be made in: USA, Japan, Indonesia, Korea or China.

    I have been told that the USA & Japanese made ones are generally the best. Korean & China being not so good at all.

    I know there are probably exceptions to this rule, but is it correct to assume USA & Japan Epiphones are best?
    Thanks, Dave
  2. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Epiphones to my knowlege have not been made in the US since about 1969. A 1970 Japanese one isn't as good a recent Korean one. So, it really depends on a lot of factors.

    BTW, Epiphone's history is long and confusing. Started by Epi Staphalo they made some of what were considered among the standards of arch-top guitars until the late '50s. When he died and his family decided to close the company, they sold their bass (string basses, not bass guitars) making business to Chicago Musical Instruments, the company that owned Gibson Guitars. When they opened up the crates they received from Epiphone they also found they had guitar jigs, parts, and WIP. After consulting the family and their own lawyers, Ted McCarty decided to make Epiphone guitars on the Gibson assembly line in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Guitars were getting popular, and Gibson's dealer agreements prevented CMI from having too many dealers too close together. So Epiphone became a line that a non-Gibson dealer who was a big customer of CMI could sell. Almost all Epiphones are as good as their Gibson counterpart. And most of them had very close counterparts- The Epiphone Rivoli with the Gibson EB-2, the Epiphone Casino (John Lennon's natural finished one is a rock icon) with the Gibson ES-330, the Epi Sheraton with the ES-335, etc.

    When Norlin bought out CMI, the decided to stop making Epiphones in the US, and contracted with a Japanese firm to make guitars with the Epiphone name. There was a Sheraton from Japan at the time, but it had only a very superficial physical resemblance to a real Sheraton, etc. Typical mid-level Japanese products like Ventura, etc.

    In the late '80s Epiphones started being copies of real Gibson. But by then I was out of retail and have pretty much ignored both Gibson and Epiphone so I can't help you with specifics about current production.

  3. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    It's all very subjective. I've had, and still have, basses, including Epiphone, made in all of the places you've listed. The pecking order that you've shown is based a good bit upon quality of components and build quality. However, I have some China ones that I like BETTER than USA. It's just one of those things that is somewhat based upon you. I wouldn't turn my nose up at one based solely upon country of origin. :cool:
  4. Tama


    Nov 19, 2008
    Thanks guys. Cleared up a lot for me.

    Last night I contacted a bass playing friend who knows a lot about bass guitars in general. We agreed that I would come and get him if I consider a purchase.

    I sure do like the one on Ebay and plan to find one like it or work a deal with the seller if possible.

    Anyways, thanks again.

    Cheers, Dave
  5. Tama? What are you doing aroundhere with a handle like that. Shoulda used Gretsch, it covers both worlds.
  6. Kevmove


    Jul 21, 2007
  7. Tama


    Nov 19, 2008

    I was going to change it to "orangemod", but the site wont let you change your handle.
    Besides Gretsch did me dirty on Ebay once....
    Long boring story, but I didn't like their heavy-handed style.

    I gotta wonder what a drummer with a missing 1st digit on my left middle finger :eek:(who needs to practice drums more) is doing trying to learn bass LOL

    Regards, Dave
  8. Tama


    Nov 19, 2008
    KOOL truck on your avatar Lousybp !!!!
    Here is a link to my vehicles. Our family are cars crazy. My X-Runner isnt real fast, but it can pull almost 1g in the corners. I love it !!

    Regards, Dave
  9. Meatrus


    Apr 5, 2009
    Guns and cars....nice! Lucky B*****d, cant have any handguns here in the UK :crying:.
  10. Tama


    Nov 19, 2008

    Ha, well...dont feel bad. You cant have Constitutional rights here either these days. At least it seems that way. We have a 2-party system. Each worse than the next.

    You can vote for Constitutional wrecker #1 or #2...take your "choice"
    Sorry for the rant.
  11. Sharko


    Jun 18, 2009
    Washington, DC
    They still do make the occasional instrument in the USA, the one that comes to mind was the Wilshire Reissue guitar. Also the Elitist series is partially made in the USA in a Highway 1 sort of way.

    I have a Japanese Epi Les Paul circa the late 90's and it's a pretty rad instrument, enormous bang for the buck.

  12. Tama,
    Cool pics. That truck is a version of my own personal whip a Joe Gibbs PErformance Silverado. That one in the avatar is an 04 with the full body kit conversion and some other doo dads. Mine is an 05 with just the motor upgrade, built up 4lL-80E and some interior coolness. I have never raced mine, but the article that pic came from had the stick version pulling mid 13s on MT slicks totally stock and 14.1 on the street tires. Not bad for a 2wd half ton pickup. Soory for the derail, I love to brag about my truck (one of about 800 ever made, one of just over 400 that year. COnsidering mien doesn't have the body kit it is exceptionally rare.)

    Glad to see a drummer converting too. For isnpiration, Mike Ness can't feel two of his fingers in his right hand and he plays guitar ok.