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Tools of the Trade => Guitars, Other Instruments, Accessories etc => Electric Guitars => Topic started by: flyingdutchman on November 08, 2019, 10:43:35 am

Title: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: flyingdutchman on November 08, 2019, 10:43:35 am
Hello,

I read the first post of "Tips for" thread and also went to last pages to see short Epiphone discussion however they were written 9 years ago, I also searched Epiphone in the forum and found old topics, so if I miss anything while searching or if there is an ongoing discussion somewhere, I am sorry for this and moderators can move my post there.

I am going to buy my second guitar. I finished Justin's beginner course and still practising songs and licks. I want to buy a single cut guitar. I have a budget of 500-600 EUR and I do not want to pay more than that and I know it is not going to give me a top quality guitar and should not complain why it does not sound like Gibson LP.

I read the reviews of ESP, Hagström which produce similar guitars and they diverse. I tried Epiphone LP Pro Plus in the shop and I kind of "liked" it. I will try ESP and Hagström, however I want to hear experienced players' opinion as I still have long way to go and may not realize some details that are important.

I ama a rock/heavy metal guy and first guitar met my expectations for heavy stuff...

By the way, my first guitar is Ibanez S521-Mahogany Oil

Thank you for suggestions and have a good day.

Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: close2u on November 08, 2019, 10:53:16 am
You should be able to find something that makes you happy for 500-600 Euros.
Any of those named will be similar in many ways.
If you like it then go for it.

Check this out too:

https://www.thomann.de/gb/prs_se_245_standard_ts.htm



Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: Lord_Gigabyte on November 08, 2019, 11:34:16 am
Most important imho, is how it feels, plays and maybe, looks
For instance:.
When i went for my 2nd guitar, i thought to myself, i'm going to buy a Gibson SG or a Telecaster. Done. Nothing else. Untill i got to play them. They didn't do it for me. Didn't feel good. It just felt wrong.
Untill the store assistent got me an Ibanez AS-153 and boom, instant chemistry. I knew that was a guitar for me.
What i want to say is, don't get too locked into a brand. Visit some stores, try several guitars, and see, hear and feel what you like. See which one connects, if that makes any sense.

If it's important, you might want to consider bridge type, if there's single coils or humbuckers present (maybe even which ones) or both, neckshape and width, radius etc... But that boils down, for me that is, again to how it feels and plays in your hands.

Making a sound like an LP is all down to pedals, amps, etc.... Clean, they all sound somewhat the same.

I hope i made any sense and it's helpfull to you. Good luck in your search! Let us know what you came up with.
Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: flyingdutchman on November 08, 2019, 03:50:20 pm
@close2you and Lord_Gigabyte thanks a lot for the recommendations.

Nice coincidence today I went to a shop and tried Gibson LP just to feel it and I was recommended a AR-420-VLS...I know it is a double cut guitar but I will try it next week. I tried an İbanez hollow body but it was too big for me.

I will keep this thread updated and still open for suggestions.
Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: close2u on November 08, 2019, 04:50:53 pm
You may also be able to find a 2nd hand Gibson Les Paul Studio for your budget.
It is a Les Paul but 'stripped back and more basic' - with some of the aesthetic embellishments not included such as binding etc.
https://www.gibson.com/Guitar/USAYNB363/Les-Paul-Studio
Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: flyingdutchman on November 09, 2019, 09:56:37 am
Today I will try to see and play Tokai ALS58QZ.
I heard very nice things about Made in Japan versions, however I think it is almost impossible to find a new Japanese production. They all come from China nowadays....
Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: Drubbing on November 09, 2019, 11:52:03 am
Japanese Tokai will probably be a nicer guitar than a Gibson. As always, depends how if feels then you play it.
Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: flyingdutchman on November 10, 2019, 10:32:27 am
Yesterday I tried Tokai ALS58QZ Love Rock Lemon Drop and it was the heaviest guitar I have ever played. In the end I did not try, hold or play more than 10-15 guitars in my life, but still :)

So I am down to those 4 options.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Pro - 499 EUR

LP is the benchmark while searching other alternatives. Not my first option though.

Hagstrom Ultra Max Elektrische Gitaar Fall Sky Satin - 639 EUR

I played it yesterday, it has a beautiful finish design, however somehow it felt like I play my Ibanez s521, or closest to it, so I did not feel I am playing something different, maybe because I am not that experienced.

Tokai ALS55 F Love Rock Lemon Drop - 529 EUR

As I said, the heaviest guitar I've held until now, I liked the sound and neck.

Ibanez AR420VLS Artist Series Violin Sunburst - 599 EUR

I will still play this one next week, this is an advice from the shop and the only double cut option.

Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: close2u on November 10, 2019, 10:38:45 am
You're doing exactly the right thing.
Don't jump in on a whim and make a quick decision if you can afford the time and shop around.
:)
Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: flyingdutchman on November 10, 2019, 11:50:48 am
What I learned from this journey is, sometimes decision making process turns into a black hole. You make your list, you try the guitars and on the day of decision, you see another thing and to be honest it is not very easy for me to trust youtubers. For instance today I saw a video from a person who had more than 60k subscribers who claims Harley Benton SC 550 is the best budget LP. The video is watched 180k times and comments full of people who think that 250 EUR guitar sounds more Gibson than a Gibson LP. I also know just putting a Gibson logo on top of a guitar does not make it automatically legendary, however I also know there is a quality difference between a guitar which costs 2500 EUR and 250 EUR

Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: close2u on November 10, 2019, 12:41:43 pm
Wise words and a valuable lesson you have learned.

Youtube reviews are / can be incredibly unreliable.

Harley Benton have been 'flavour of the month' for more than a few months.

They are budget guitars so are made to a fixed, quite low, budget point. And that budget constraint puts limits on the quality of either hardware, wood, electrics or build.
However, they are not always directly comparable to budget models at the same price point because Harley Benton are sold direct, so cutting out some middlemen and therefore keeping the retail costs down by a proportion.

But to say that a HB SC550 is on a par with a treu Gibson Les Paul Standard is a claim that I simply do not believe.

To claim that a £2000 guitar is not twice as good as a £1000 guitar may have merit.
It may be true.
If 'good' can be measured / quantified in guitar quality.
But as in all such comparisons, there is a limit to how far anyone can claim there is little to no difference.
Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: Drubbing on November 10, 2019, 01:35:28 pm
Why would anyone trust YT comments? Most of these are young teens posting for something to do or wanting to validate their own purchase, with a small budget. Most YT reviews focus on sound alone, any good player can make a poor guitar sound pretty good. They know how to use and tweak an amp, and they usually play things that make it sound as good as it can.

When I first started looking for an electric guitar the choice was easier, being left hand, there were only so many I could find. But put them in your hands, and the you can see and feel the difference between budget guitars and better models.

Budget guitars are light, controls feel cheap and fret ends can be badly finished. Fender Affinity guitars spring to mind with this description. Mid range guitars fix all that, and the US made ones don't improve on build that much, they have better pickups and cost more.

Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: Cummings on November 10, 2019, 03:45:44 pm
I got one of these. Went to a shop, played a few and this was the one... has a few Gibson

 https://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/product/epiphone-les-paul-tribute-plus-electric-guitar-black-cherry/ (https://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/product/epiphone-les-paul-tribute-plus-electric-guitar-black-cherry/)
Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: flyingdutchman on November 10, 2019, 06:44:04 pm
Thanks a lot for the comments.

I generally watch videos recorded by few youtubers who are, at least, a bit trustworthy. Darrell Braun is one of them for instance. However I never take a decision based on their review.

I can easily say, I think all mid-range price guitars have their own gem and of course lack few features of a top quality guitars. I do not think one is "worse" than the other, but companies who offer those guitars always save costs from several points which may vary based on the brand. Moreover, you probably realize the value as the years pass. In the end even 62 pounds guitar that Justin played in that famous video had some standard :)) 
Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: 8livesleft on November 12, 2019, 12:20:20 am
I just got an LTD EC-2015, which is a limited version of the EC-1000, which you can get at your budget. Cheaper if you go 2nd hand.

What differentiates them from Epi/Gibson/Tokai, is that they're faster playing, tighter/clearer sounding, thinner (sportier?).

Still basically the same DNA so if you want a more traditional sound, you basically just need to dial tone back a tiny bit.

But I actually prefer the Esp/LTD sound nowadays. Easier to dial back treble if you have it. Lots of traditional Les Paul's are too wooly sounding for my taste.

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Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: close2u on November 12, 2019, 07:05:05 am
... that they're faster playing, tighter/clearer sounding, thinner (sportier?) ...
It's great that you come in with a personal recommendation.
Though I have to advise caustion on using descriptions such as 'faster playing'.
No guitar is faster than another - that is a snake-oil phrase used in iffy 2nd hand adverts on auction sites.
As are 'tighter / clearer'.
Thinner - I don't know the dimensions of the neck - the LTD you refer to may have a slim neck - but that is not an absolute good quality as some people do not like slim necks. It is not a reason to say one is better than another.
Still - it is another recommend for the OP to consider.
Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: 8livesleft on November 12, 2019, 07:36:14 am
It's great that you come in with a personal recommendation.
Though I have to advise caustion on using descriptions such as 'faster playing'.
No guitar is faster than another - that is a snake-oil phrase used in iffy 2nd hand adverts on auction sites.
As are 'tighter / clearer'.
Thinner - I don't know the dimensions of the neck - the LTD you refer to may have a slim neck - but that is not an absolute good quality as some people do not like slim necks. It is not a reason to say one is better than another.
Still - it is another recommend for the OP to consider.

Oh sorry for my phrasing.

I generally refer to guitars with thinner necks, flatter profile and jumbo frets as "faster playing" than say, something like a 52 tele reissue with "vintage" frets, rounder profile and fat neck (which I also have and love, btw).

But of course many can play just fine on those settings but I'm personally less comfortable playing "faster" phrases on them.

With regards to "tighter/clearer," well, that's got to do more with sound. My LTD has EMGs, and compared to my Gibson LP standard, it definitely sounds clearer (or brighter, maybe?).

As for "tight," this refers to the sound I get with heavy distortion. I don't know how else to describe it, other than "tight."

Just stating an opinion, of course.








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Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: flyingdutchman on November 12, 2019, 09:37:04 pm
I just got an LTD EC-2015, which is a limited version of the EC-1000, which you can get at your budget. Cheaper if you go 2nd hand.

What differentiates them from Epi/Gibson/Tokai, is that they're faster playing, tighter/clearer sounding, thinner (sportier?).

Still basically the same DNA so if you want a more traditional sound, you basically just need to dial tone back a tiny bit.

But I actually prefer the Esp/LTD sound nowadays. Easier to dial back treble if you have it. Lots of traditional Les Paul's are too wooly sounding for my taste.

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I think it is a bit more than my budget and you can call me sceptic but when it comes to electronics and devices that are used everyday, I have doubts over second hand...But still thank you for the recommendations.
Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: 8livesleft on November 12, 2019, 11:02:58 pm
I think it is a bit more than my budget and you can call me sceptic but when it comes to electronics and devices that are used everyday, I have doubts over second hand...But still thank you for the recommendations.
I agree with you when it comes to phones, computers, speakers, amps. I generally prefer new.

But for guitars, it's the opposite for me. But I need to test them first. I never buy unseen, new or used.

At first, I always bought new but then, I noticed that I'd needed to fix them still. Granted, I was a beginner and didn't know what to look for.

I also noticed that there are some 2nd hand sellers who know guitars and can set them up perfectly - better than a store or factory. And it's these guys who I buy from nowadays.

It also helps to know how to fix and setup your own gear.

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Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: flyingdutchman on November 14, 2019, 04:23:37 pm
Ok, today I played Ibanez AR420 and I decided which way I will go. If nothing happens in between I am eager to buy Tokai ALS58QZ Love Rock Lemon Drop Electric Guitar....The shop is the closest among the shops I visited, they are in calmer neighbourhood in industry terrein and I found Tokai totally different from Ibanez S521, thus a little attraction and new challenge for me.

Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: 8livesleft on November 15, 2019, 12:27:34 am


Ok, today I played Ibanez AR420 and I decided which way I will go. If nothing happens in between I am eager to buy Tokai ALS58QZ Love Rock Lemon Drop Electric Guitar....The shop is the closest among the shops I visited, they are in calmer neighbourhood in industry terrein and I found Tokai totally different from Ibanez S521, thus a little attraction and new challenge for me.

Tokai is great and I prefer their headstock to Epi's.

I hear tho that Epiphone might change the headstock design and go higher end - kinda like what ESP does with LTD.

I hope they do. I never got why they'd nerf the epiphone like this. I mean they even call the headstock design as "clipped ear."

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Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: nfotis on November 17, 2019, 06:41:00 pm
I started my dabbling in electric guitars with a used Epiphone LP Plus Top (cherry burst), at 200 EUR.
Nice guitar, then it developed a fret scratch/dip and I didn't want to pay someone for repair it, as the repair costs could be quite high compared to the guitar price, so I sold it.

Then I got a PRS SE 245 - nice guitar, but felt rather heavy (the body is deeper than an LP), and with its own sound when played clean. Later, I found a Gibson LP Tribute worn brown, which was offered at a cheaper price than the PRS (both were bought brand new).
I prefer the Gibson, because the Ultra Modern Weight relief had made her lighter and easier to handle than the PRS, and it's nearer to the typical LP sound, with modern Gibson humbuckers.
The neck of the PRS is quite nice ("wide fat" ), but the LP Tribute is fine, too (not too slim, like an Epiphone LP Ultra III I tried).

Hope this helps,
N.F.

Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: flyingdutchman on November 27, 2019, 04:14:02 pm
On Friday, I am getting Tokai ALS58QZ :))
Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: 8livesleft on December 06, 2019, 12:55:53 am
On Friday, I am getting Tokai ALS58QZ :))
Great choice! Have only heard good things about Tokai.

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Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: Ahamm001 on December 06, 2019, 05:56:57 pm
I own an ESP LTD EC 1000 MGO with Duncan pickups....it's my first electric, bought it several years ago with the intent on learning and never did.......now I am.  I'm 39 and getting up there for a beginner but love it.  My husband plays a Gibson LP and has since he was younger but he likes my EC 1000 even and it's not as heavy as the Gibson.
Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: 8livesleft on December 07, 2019, 01:04:11 am
I own an ESP LTD EC 1000 MGO with Duncan pickups....it's my first electric, bought it several years ago with the intent on learning and never did.......now I am.  I'm 39 and getting up there for a beginner but love it.  My husband plays a Gibson LP and has since he was younger but he likes my EC 1000 even and it's not as heavy as the Gibson.
Never too late to learn anything, they say.

My LTD is based off the EC-1000 but has emg metalworks pickups.

I'm curious, how does your guitar sound with those duncans (I'm assuming JB, Jazz or 59 combo?) compared to your husband's Gibson?

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Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: Blue Merseysider. on January 01, 2020, 11:08:37 am
You say you're a "Rock/Metal Guy." With a budget like that, you could get yourself a stunning PRS that will not only cover your sound but will be really well made and great looking into the bargain.

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Title: Re: Alternatives to Epiphone LP's
Post by: 8livesleft on January 05, 2020, 03:31:46 am
You say you're a "Rock/Metal Guy." With a budget like that, you could get yourself a stunning PRS that will not only cover your sound but will be really well made and great looking into the bargain.

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+1

PRS SE singlecuts are fantastic value for money and should give you more a broader tone range than a regular LP. They're also lighter.

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