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OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: September 18, 2023 13:45

I recently ordered an Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’ Hummingbird, which I’m patiently awaiting. I’ve bought it to replace my cheap, though serviceable Yamaha model. This guitar – along with the J-45 and Super Jumbo equivalents – are utterly fantastic. It does seem to me that Epiphone have looked to the Squire ‘Classic Vibe’ range for influence and inspiration. Okay, so I haven’t visited a guitar store to try one, but the reviews on YouTube are positively glowing. Does anyone here own this guitar, or another from this range? Has anyone picked one up and had a go?

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: sotob ()
Date: September 18, 2023 14:13

I got a Epi-339 from earlier this year new. Reason for it is mainly Chuck Berry played a 335. A 339's body is a little smaller. Overall the guitar just rocks and was $2,000 cheaper!! I love playing Chuck and Stones "Chucks" songs on it!!

Enjoy your new guitar!

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: September 18, 2023 14:22

Quote
sotob
I got a Epi-339 from earlier this year new. Reason for it is mainly Chuck Berry played a 335. A 339's body is a little smaller. Overall the guitar just rocks and was $2,000 cheaper!! I love playing Chuck and Stones "Chucks" songs on it!!

Enjoy your new guitar!

I'm guessing this is an 'Inspired by Gibson' model, too? I haven't looked into the electrics, too much. For the briefest of moments, I was considering purchasing the new, Noel Gallagher Signature Epiphone Riviera, but sensibly decided against it. I had to weigh-up how often I'd really play it. I'm very much a kind of, pick-it-up, strum a few chords, put it down, kind of guy. I have limited time for plugging-in guitars, twiddling with amp settings, etc! I do own a Classic Vibe 60's Custom Esquire, though. It's a beautiful guitar, and a steal at £315.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: September 18, 2023 15:13

Epi variants of traditional Gibson models are generally very good value for money these days...and some of the recent reissues of original Epi designs are especially impressive.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: September 18, 2023 15:46

Quote
Spud
Epi variants of traditional Gibson models are generally very good value for money these days...and some of the recent reissues of original Epi designs are especially impressive.

Indeed. I had been looking at the Epiphone 'Studio' Hummingbird, which retails at a very reasonable £300+. They seem to very popular. I opted for the 'Inspired By' instead, as, well, I thought I would treat myself. The Hummingbird does look that little bit more 'authentic', compared to the cheaper Studio model, too.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: September 18, 2023 15:59

Quote
Spud
Epi variants of traditional Gibson models are generally very good value for money these days...and some of the recent reissues of original Epi designs are especially impressive.

And good value, too. I find it hard to believe just how relatively inexpensive, say, Casino's are. I know these aren't made in the U.S.A., but to own the guitar played by The Beatles - Keith, too! - for such s reasonable price, is quite something.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: schillid ()
Date: September 18, 2023 19:18

Didn't Gibson own Epiphone at some point?

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: September 18, 2023 19:19

Quote
schillid
Didn't Gibson own Epiphone at some point?

They still do.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: schillid ()
Date: September 18, 2023 19:42

thumbs up

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: schillid ()
Date: September 18, 2023 19:50

Apparently Epiphone Hummingbird and Epiphone Masterbuilt Hummingbird are two different things!
I read a comment on Amazon that the Masterbuilt (USD $849) is all solid wood, and the Epiphone Hummingbird (USD $449) is laminate.
Cannot verify this myself



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2023-09-18 20:02 by schillid.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: September 18, 2023 20:36

Quote
schillid
Apparently Epiphone Hummingbird and Epiphone Masterbuilt Hummingbird are two different things!
I read a comment on Amazon that the Masterbuilt (USD $849) is all solid wood, and the Epiphone Hummingbird (USD $449) is laminate.
Cannot verify this myself

From what I understand, the ‘Masterbuilt’ is very similar to the ‘Inspired by Gibson’ Hummingbird. The regular, ‘studio’ Hummingbird is laminate, yes. The ‘Inspired by Gibson’ is solid wood, like the Masterbuilt.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Date: September 18, 2023 20:44

Epiphone in general make good guitars, but if you want the jackpot, you have to pay.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: September 18, 2023 21:19

Quote
TheflyingDutchman
Epiphone in general make good guitars, but if you want the jackpot, you have to pay.

Oh, of course! A Gibson Hummingbird i will own one day; I just can’t afford to empty my savings just yet!

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Date: September 18, 2023 23:25

I got a Masterbilt, 'Loretta Lynn' a while back. Had to wait over a year. Fantastic guitar.
I have to say that there are times Epiphones can match the big names for much less $.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: keefgotsoul ()
Date: September 19, 2023 05:28


Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: September 19, 2023 12:36

Quote
Big Al
Quote
schillid
Didn't Gibson own Epiphone at some point?

They still do.

Gibson first acquired Epi around 1957 and some iconic designs sprung from the following cross pollination.

Since most Epi production moved "offshore" from the 1980s . Epi has become in some respects a Gibson "budget " line...a bit like Squire has been to fender.

This is quite ironic in a way because when Gibson took over Epi in the late 50's, the Epi versions of many essentially similar designs were pitched as the higher priced premium models.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: September 19, 2023 12:59

Quote
Spud
Quote
Big Al
Quote
schillid
Didn't Gibson own Epiphone at some point?

They still do.

Gibson first acquired Epi around 1957 and some iconic designs sprung from the following cross pollination.

Since most Epi production moved "offshore" from the 1980s . Epi has become in some respects a Gibson "budget " line...a bit like Squire has been to fender.

This is quite ironic in a way because when Gibson took over Epi in the late 50's, the Epi versions of many essentially similar designs were pitched as the higher priced premium models.

Yes, it's certainly interesting stuff.

What I find, is that Epiphone's own, 'unique' models, have that 'cool factor' Casino's especially. I hadn't really taken into account the fact that the company moving production 'offshore' has lent a hand to the perception that they're Gibson's 'budget brand', but it makes sense. Whilst I think it's amazing that you can purchase an Casino, Riviera; or Sheritan for a relatively small price, one does have to take into account that they're not made in the States anymore. Those used by the Beatles; Keith, etc, would've been U.S.A. models. A question: has the quality declined as a result? Modern-day Casino's, for instance, still get rave reviews.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: September 19, 2023 13:09

yep...

...and it's nice that Gibson have in recent times decided that it's good to once again have some genuinely high quality products on the market baring the Epi name on the headstock.

It's all driven by marketing and brand politics really.

It's probably fair to say that Epiphone bread and butter sales probably remain dominated by low end Epi Les Pauls , SGs etc....the equivalents if you like of Squier Strats & Teles.

...but it is refreshing to see Gibson increasingly making available some high quality Epi originals as well.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2023-09-19 14:06 by Spud.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Sighunt ()
Date: September 19, 2023 16:37

As a long time on and off guitar player (I would rate myself as a solid intermediate player), my experience with Epiphone guitars has been very positive. I have talked to enough knowledgeable guitar players and techs who have told me that the quality and reputation of many of the Epiphones has improved significantly. I myself (at least currently being semi-retired) could not afford a $3000.00 plus Gibson guitar (eg Gibson 335 or 355). Several years ago I purchased a black Epiphone Sheraton for something like $800.00. I swapped out the original pick-ups for Gibson '57 classics and this thing basically sounds great and plays itself. Plus it looks pretty damned good! Several friends of mine who play out regularly all seem to have Epiphones and what they typically do is swap out some of the hardware for more high end upgraded parts and then they have an Epiphone that really plays like a Gibson! I think Epiphones are certainly a good buy if you don't want to fork over 3 bills for a really high end guitar.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2023-09-19 16:54 by Sighunt.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: September 19, 2023 16:55

Quote
Sighunt
As a long time on and off guitar player (I would rate myself as a solid intermediate, sometimes bordering on advanced player lol), my experience with Epiphone guitars has been very positive. I have talked to enough knowledgeable guitar players and techs who have told me that the quality and reputation of many of the Epiphones has improved significantly. I myself (at least currently being semi-retired) could not afford a $3000.00 plus Gibson guitar (eg Gibson 335 or 355). Several years ago I purchased a black Epiphone Sheraton for something like $800.00. I swapped out the original pick-ups for Gibson '57 classics and this thing basically sounds great and plays itself. Plus it looks pretty damned good! Several friends of mine who play our regularly all seem to have Epiphones and what they typically do is swap out some of the hardware for more upgraded parts and then they have an Epiphone that really plays like a Gibson! I think Epiphones are certainly a good buy if you don't want to fork over 3 bills for a really high end guitar.

Great post, Sighunt.

It's pleasing to read there are other Epiphone fans amongst us. Whilst - very briefly! - considering a new electric, I did watch a few video demonstrations of the Sheritan II Pro.

Anyway, I understand my 'Inspired by Gibson' Hummingbird has arrived. Now, if only the next two hours at work would fly by!

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: roryfaninva ()
Date: September 19, 2023 17:20

Bought the Epiphone Limited Edition Custom Shop ES-175 (made in Indonesia if memory serves) when it came out several years ago- a very substantial, well made and attractive guitar for that price point (under a thousand)- my only complaint is the Alnico Classic pickups are under-powered (the rhythm pickup noticeably muddy). Purchased a pair of Gibson '57 Classics to upgrade- and they're still sitting in their boxes to this day.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: coffeepotman ()
Date: September 19, 2023 17:42

I bought the Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’ pseudo J-200. It was good, not as good as my J200 but good to play out and it felt/sounded good. The damn thing was a lemon.
It shriveled up like a prune, the wood is terrible, I don't even know where it was made but it's garbage to me.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Sighunt ()
Date: September 19, 2023 19:51

Quote
Big Al
Quote
Sighunt
As a long time on and off guitar player (I would rate myself as a solid intermediate, sometimes bordering on advanced player lol), my experience with Epiphone guitars has been very positive. I have talked to enough knowledgeable guitar players and techs who have told me that the quality and reputation of many of the Epiphones has improved significantly. I myself (at least currently being semi-retired) could not afford a $3000.00 plus Gibson guitar (eg Gibson 335 or 355). Several years ago I purchased a black Epiphone Sheraton for something like $800.00. I swapped out the original pick-ups for Gibson '57 classics and this thing basically sounds great and plays itself. Plus it looks pretty damned good! Several friends of mine who play our regularly all seem to have Epiphones and what they typically do is swap out some of the hardware for more upgraded parts and then they have an Epiphone that really plays like a Gibson! I think Epiphones are certainly a good buy if you don't want to fork over 3 bills for a really high end guitar.

Great post, Sighunt.

It's pleasing to read there are other Epiphone fans amongst us. Whilst - very briefly! - considering a new electric, I did watch a few video demonstrations of the Sheritan II Pro.

Anyway, I understand my 'Inspired by Gibson' Hummingbird has arrived. Now, if only the next two hours at work would fly by!

I have a follow-up comment to add to my original post. I got a retired buddy of mine who is learning to play guitar. He invested in a new Epiphone Les Paul Studio (I think he paid around $300 from a dealer) which has some nice features for what I consider to be a "beginner" guitar, but my buddy starts to bitch and moan when a friend of his with significantly more playing experience comes over to his house with a Gibson Les Paul studio and starts playing. My buddy starts noticing its rich tone and sustain along with its nice looking quality features and gets pissed off. Bottom line, from what I have been able to observe (and depending on the specific guitar of course), even if you want to own a decent quality Epiphone, you have to pony up anywhere between $500.00-$1000.00+ (which in the long run is still going to be a bargain compared to a high end Gibson guitar). Unless you're a beginner, for a serious minded guitar player, your gonna get what you pay for with $300.00 (aka junk) for a new electric guitar. This may sound like common sense to some on this board, but I have run into many different local musicians over the years who surprisingly think otherwise.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2023-09-19 20:14 by Sighunt.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: roryfaninva ()
Date: September 19, 2023 20:02

Ive owned loads of guitars- in the long run, generally regretted wasting money on the cheap ones and rarely if ever regretted spending more for quality.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: DaveyJMusician ()
Date: September 20, 2023 10:17

I see it has already arrived, but I have the Hummingbird myself (I needed a new acoustic and I chose the natural finish with pictures of Keith at Nellcote stuck in my mind) - it's a great guitar. Has quite a deep and woody tone that I love, and projects very well. I played a festival back in July and our band has an acoustic number in the set - I used it for that and it sounded great through the PA. I haven't had it set up and used it straight out of the box; I'll probably get around to having it set up eventually but I see no burning need to. Enjoy it!

In general I'm not much of a gear hound. I bought a Custom Shop 1963 ES-335 reissue last year and it was a great guitar, but I sold it and bought a Guild Starfire V for a third of the price. Feels and sounds just as a good a guitar at a much more justifiable price! I've had a number of Epis through the years (a Riviera so I could get my Otis Rush on, and a Goldtop Les Paul for Hubert Sumlin) and they have all been serviceable guitars that I have gigged with no issues.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Date: September 20, 2023 12:33

I'm very happy with my Epiphone Les Paul Standard. Round the same price as yours, Al.





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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2023-09-21 15:30 by DandelionPowderman.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Big Al ()
Date: September 21, 2023 11:05

Well, as I mentioned in my previous post, the guitar has arrived. First impressions: wow. Honestly, I do not feel I have held, or strummed a guitar of quite such quality. I used to own a Mexican, 50’s-reisue Fender Stratocaster, but this instrument feels nicer. It resonates with quality and craftmanship. I do wonder how many ‘experts’ could be hoodwinked into thinking it is a genuine Gibson U.S.A. model. It almost seems as if it is only the Epiphone etching that makes the difference. Okay, so I am exaggerating, of course! After all, this ‘Inspired by Gibson’ retails at around £750, whilst the ‘cheapest’ Gibson model is priced somewhere in the region of £2000+; and yet, that’s what’s so flipping marvellous about this current, ‘deluxe’ Epiphone line: they’ve done such an incredible job in creating a range of instruments that get even remotely close to the Gibson originals; and let’s be real, here: £750 isn’t the price of a ‘beginners guitar’ This is a momentous upgrade from my old Yamaha.

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: Sighunt ()
Date: September 21, 2023 13:57

Quote
Big Al
Well, as I mentioned in my previous post, the guitar has arrived. First impressions: wow. Honestly, I do not feel I have held, or strummed a guitar of quite such quality. I used to own a Mexican, 50’s-reisue Fender Stratocaster, but this instrument feels nicer. It resonates with quality and craftmanship. I do wonder how many ‘experts’ could be hoodwinked into thinking it is a genuine Gibson U.S.A. model. It almost seems as if it is only the Epiphone etching that makes the difference. Okay, so I am exaggerating, of course! After all, this ‘Inspired by Gibson’ retails at around £750, whilst the ‘cheapest’ Gibson model is priced somewhere in the region of £2000+; and yet, that’s what’s so flipping marvellous about this current, ‘deluxe’ Epiphone line: they’ve done such an incredible job in creating a range of instruments that get even remotely close to the Gibson originals; and let’s be real, here: £750 isn’t the price of a ‘beginners guitar’ This is a momentous upgrade from my old Yamaha.

Good for you Big Al. Enjoy your new guitar!

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: sotob ()
Date: September 21, 2023 14:14

Great job!

Re: OT: Epiphone ‘Inspired by Gibson’
Posted by: westonkeef ()
Date: September 21, 2023 18:31

The Epiphone Hummingbird is great value for the price.

I also recommend the Epiphone 1959 Les Paul reissue. Epiphone worked with Gibson on this guitar. It has Gibson pickups and the electronics are upgraded. Great sounding guitar.



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