rich menga books gear search about contact
***Secret FSR Fender guitars? Yes, they exist, and they're right here

Amazon links are affiliated. Learn more.

When is an Epiphone better than a Gibson?

Epiphone Black Beauty Les Paul

That can be summed up in one word: Availability.

One (of several) complaints I have about Gibson is that they have several really good models but don't make them in a Gibson USA version. Or if they do, it's a cut rate version of it that doesn't have all the features you want...

...which is where Epiphone comes in. They make the stuff Gibson should be making now.

The above guitar is a classic example of this, the 3-pickup Epiphone Black Beauty Les Paul Custom. Yeah, it's a bit expensive for an Epiphone, but it ticks all the right boxes. It has the diamond inlay on the headstock, all the binding, all the proper electronics and so on. Everything is there and it's missing nothing. You really do get a true Black Beauty 'Paul from Epiphone. Nobody else is making this right now. Not even Gibson.

Two examples of genuinely good Epiphone models that you can't get from Gibson (or would have a really hard time finding from Gibson)

Epiphone "1956" Les Paul
Epiphone "1956" Les Paul

What a guitar, and what a steal this is. If you liked the cheap-and-good Epiphone Les Paul Special I P90, wow are you going to love this. Seriously. This guitar has that raspy and "gritty" single-coil P90 sound and is a total tone monster.

I consider this a "sleeper" Les Paul and am genuinely surprised more people don't buy it. And it comes in gold. GOLD. And it has binding and trapezoid inlays! What more do you want?

You know the old saying "they don't build 'em like they used to"? The '56 is built like they used to make them. If you don't believe me, try one for yourself. You won't be disappointed.

Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro in Silverburst

If you want a guitar that turns heads that is not a Black Beauty, it's a Les Paul Custom in Silverburst.

This is sometimes known as the "ghost" finish, and wow does it work well. Ever since it was introduced in the 1970s, the 'Paul has always taken well to a Silverburst finish.

If you were ever trying to decide which Epiphone Les Paul gets everything right where the look, price, features, resale value and so on are all correct, this is that guitar. It is literally a can't-go-wrong Les Paul as far as Epiphone is concerned.

There is good stuff from Epiphone when you look

Sometimes your "dream Gibson" might not be a Gibson at all simply because Gibson doesn't make it...

...but Epiphone probably does. Be on the lookout and you'll find some truly great offerings from the brand.

image
A classy guitar t-shirt for classy people

image
Best ZOOM R8 tutorial book
highly rated, get recording quick!

160620

More articles to check out

  1. Where can a middle aged guy get plain sneakers these days?
  2. An HSS guitar I can actually recommend
  3. The 1,000 year disc, M-DISC
  4. The watch you buy when your smartwatch breaks
  5. This is the cheapest way to get guitar picks
  6. This is the Squier I'd buy had I not just bought one
  7. Plywood might be one of the best electric guitar tonewoods
  8. Why isn't The Whoopee Boys a cult classic?
  9. And then there were the right two
  10. Squier Sub-Sonic, the 24 fret baritone guitar from 20 years ago