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  #1  
Old 12-13-2008, 08:44 AM
JSDenvir JSDenvir is offline
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Default Epiphone vs Gibson

How do the Epiphone versions of the Dove and Hummingbird measure up against their big brothers? Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2008, 08:50 AM
rforman15 rforman15 is offline
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Epiphone is wholly owned by Gibson. However, prior to Gibson buying out the Epiphone guitar company, in the early to mid 50's, Epiphone had a long and storied history of its own, and they made some spectacular guitars - archtops in particular, that rank among the best ever made. Some of those old Epis can still be purchased and for a great price. I have had several.

Next, the current Epiphone Dove or Hummingbirds don't come close to the Gibson version, however, I would caution that the Gibsons are not themselves all that. The Hummingbird is not one of the better or more successful Gibson designs, imo. I have yet to play one I would buy, though I admit they look cool.
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Old 12-13-2008, 09:00 AM
UT Strummer UT Strummer is offline
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IMHO the Epi acoustics don't even come close to the Gibsons in sound or playability. They look pretty nice and play well but not the the ease of a Gibson.
Electrically I would argue that the differences between an Epi and Gibson are much narrower of a margin. I would take a LP Custom Epi over a Gibson Studio LP. The differences between the two at the same price point favors the Epi since they do make a quality guitar and they have the same style with comparable quality. Id say acoustically I haven't been really blown away by the Dove or Hummingbird. They look very nice and seem well put-together but they just didn't quite grab me when I played them, so to speak. This has happened with certain Gibsons too, but I would say not much, aside from private luthiers, can match up with a Gibson Acoustic.
The Epi Masterbilts however really surprised me with the playability and tone, with more of a traditional look. Would not hesitate to pull the trigger on those.
Hope that helps.
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Old 12-13-2008, 09:06 AM
rforman15 rforman15 is offline
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yeah, the Epi Masterbilts are really good, but they don't make a Masterbilt Dove or Hummingbird. Every H-bird I have ever played including a vintage '67 H-bird has pooped out past the third or fourth fret. If you do nothing but strum open chords, you might enjoy one, but I haven't been convinced that they are good for anything else.
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:29 AM
Sugar Bear Sugar Bear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSDenvir View Post
How do the Epiphone versions of the Dove and Hummingbird measure up against their big brothers? Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance
Like a Volkswagen Beetle measures up to an AC Cobra 427SC.

Like a Chihuahua measures up to a Bull Mastiff.

Like a Piper J3 Cub measures up to a P-51D Mustang.

Like Zimbabwean dollars measure up to British pounds.

Like a Quarter Pounder measures up to a king cut of prime rib.

Like the common cold measures up to Ebola virus.

Sugar Bear
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Old 12-13-2008, 01:38 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Well, I can't match the pure pulpit eloquence of Sugar Bear's list of comparisons, (Preach it, Brother Bear! Can I get a witness?!?) but what he and everyone else have said so far in this thread can be boiled down to this:

The Epiphone versions of those model guitars are entry level instruments designed to appeal to a beginner's sense of flash and visuals, rather than professional quality guitars. In no category are they the equals of the American-made versions: not in materials, tone, volume, musical utility or fit and finish.

If you're looking for a guitar more or less in that price range that can give you a whole lot more value for your money, you'd do well to consider the Seagull line.

Here's a dreadnought...



Here's their Mini Jumbo, which I think offers the most versatility in their product line...



And another jumbo, this one without the pickguard. (If you happen to get this model, it's a good idea to add a pickguard, especially if you're a beginner. Even if you yourself play flawlessly, one enthusiastic hamhanded friend playing the guitar can scar up the top within seconds - it can still happen with a pickguard, but its much easier to do without one.)



And here's another dread...




These all feature solid wood tops, which will give you better tone. They're simply a lot more guitar for the money. I deliberately picked out photos of Seagull models with darker finishes, to give you a bit of that Gibson aesthetic. They also come in transparent natural finishes.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 12-13-2008, 02:07 PM
JSDenvir JSDenvir is offline
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Thanks for all the feedback. I actually went out and played a couple today, and it simply confirmed all of your responses. I was thinking of getting a 2nd guitar to keep in DADGAD, but I'm afraid it won't be either of these.

And Sugar Bear? You've really got to work on that whole shy/unwilling to express an opinion thing :-)
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Old 12-13-2008, 03:27 PM
D. Dubya D. Dubya is offline
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Didn't Keith play a Hummingbird on the Rolling Stones' "Stripped" set?
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:07 AM
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Didn't Keith play a Hummingbird on the Rolling Stones' "Stripped" set?
And John, Paul, and George played Epis.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar Bear View Post

Like a Chihuahua measures up to a Bull Mastiff.


Sugar Bear
Oh yeh. Let's see a Bull Mastiff become a spokesdog for a fastfood restaurant chain.....
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:41 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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The original early 60's Hummingbirds make great rhythm guitars, and the Epiphones that the Beatles played were made in Kalamazoo and were basically just budget Gibsons.

I've never been a fan of the cosmetic appointments of Gibson Hummingbirds and Doves, but Gibson is making them properly again, and - allowing for the variations you'll find with any solid wood factory-made guitars - some of them are excellent guitars these days. You just have to pick and choose, like any other guitars out there.


whm
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:26 AM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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The Hummingbird was essentially Gibson's second attempt to make a non-Gibson like sounding guitar (the first was the Epi Frontier). Ted McCarty who was a big Martin fan plopped a Martin dread down on Larry Aller's desk and told him to make a copy of it with a Gibson logo.

The result was probably the first Gibson that even a bluegrass player might consider buying. The difference between an HB and a Gibson slope shouldered jumbo is like night and day.

I think the Epi versions of the square shoulder guitars are actually closer in sound to the original Gibson versions than are their versions of say a J-45.

And I would jump all over one of those little Epi Blues Masters if I could find one. These suckers were great little guitars and could actually give a LG-2 a good run for its money.
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:38 AM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSDenvir View Post
How do the Epiphone versions of the Dove and Hummingbird measure up against their big brothers? Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance
No comparison. They look similar, and that's about it. The Epi's are laminated wannabes, and sound like ... well ... they don't sound like Gibsons. Get an Epiphone Masterbilt, and you'll be getting close to the sonic quality (if not the appearance) of a true Gibson.
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:56 AM
Buck62 Buck62 is offline
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WOAH!!

Haven't any of you guys ever heard of Epiphone "Elitist" guitars???

These guitars are first-rate copies of Gibson guitars that are made in Japan. Many of them are hand-crafted and blow away their American-made counterparts in quality. Lots of people swear by them. As a matter of fact, most consider the Elitist Les Pauls to be superior to an American made Gibson Les Paul.

How about the Epiphone Elitist Paul McCartney "Texan" acoustic?

That's a sweet plank of wood and it costs nearly $3K

You boys need to get a Googlin'
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:30 AM
realale realale is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSDenvir View Post
I was thinking of getting a 2nd guitar to keep in DADGAD
My Seagull S6 Spruce (now the Coastline Spruce, I think) loves DADGAD - it sounds much better in that tuning than in standard IMO (not that it sounds bad in standard), but that may very well be down to who's driving it.
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