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It also became apparent to me that many people don’t really know the difference between Gibson and Epiphone, or how the two fit together.
Is Gibson always considered a treasure and is an imported Epiphone always considered trash? Gibson has been building guitars since 1894 and the name is generally synonymous with a quality, valuable, and great-playing guitar.
Because Gibson generally produces expensive guitars, the company has wisely offered budget lines of instruments through the years, including the Kalamazoo, Recording King, and Cromwell brands.
With the rise of imported guitars during the ’70s and ’80s, the new management team at Gibson decided to use the oft-neglected Epiphone brand for their Gibson-style budget models.
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Since Epiphone became Gibson’s budget brand in 1986, you may ask what the main difference is between the two.
Epiphone,” one question asks, “What are the differences between an Epiphone Les Paul and a Gibson Les Paul?
This arrangement was set up by Gibson primarily to offer comparable Epiphone guitars to the music stores that were not allowed to carry the exclusive Gibson line.
Though Epiphone was set up as an autonomous company in a separate part of the Gibson complex, parallel product lines were soon established, and Gibson was essentially competing with itself.
However, an Epiphone Les Paul is different from a Gibson Les Paul in the following main areas: In general our [Epiphone] instruments are about 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of Gibson guitars.
Therefore, we have to make some adjustments to the specifications in order to be able to offer our customers this kind of value.” Dr.
In 1970, Gibson decided to move all Epiphone production from the US to Japan, and since then, nearly all Epiphones have been produced in various Asian countries.