Looking for a new electric guitar? Take a look at Epiphone. You really should. There is an awful lot of guitar history wrapped up in there, and at a price that won’t make your eyes water…
We’ve written a lot about Epiphone in the past, so, to avoid saying the same old things over and over again, let’s just take a wander through the shop, look at what’s due to arrive soon and pick a few favourites; I’m quite biased (and not a great acoustic player) so we’ll keep it to electrics this time ’round.
So, just what is the best Epiphone electric guitar? That all depends on you, but maybe we can help narrow down the list…
The best Epiphone electrics?
This is where it’s at, really, isn’t it? The Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus is a really nice Les Paul, it’s got a set of fine Gibson USA ’57 Classic pickups in it for some, well, classic ’50s Les Paul tone, you get a gorgeous flamed-top, a cracking range of colours, and some handy little details like straplocks. What’s not to like?
The Epiphone Casino doesn’t need much in the way of comment really. All you need to do is look at the image and think about how that particular band – fans of the Epiphone Casino – made absolutely no impact in the world of popular music or global culture as a whole. Oh, wait.
Okay, so the Epiphone Emperor Swingster looks like the perfect guitar for rockabilly. Mostly because it’s a great guitar for rockabilly, but it doesn’t have to stop there. If you want a guitar that turns heads and stands out from the crowd, pick up an Epiphone Emperor Swingster.
And here comes the bias: I love goldtops; I love Les Pauls; I love P90s; I love semi-colons and, for that reason, I enjoy the writings of Virginia Woolf, but that’s not hugely relevant to this post, unless you’re planning on taking your P90-loaded Les Paul goldtop to visit a lighthouse and have to cancel the trip because the weather was bad.
Fundamentally though, I think P90s in a Les Paul sound absolutely fantastic, and I think goldtops look the part as well. If you think the same, give the Epiphone Les Paul 56 Goldtop a shout.
‘Cause I can play this here guitar and I won’t quit ’till I’m a star on Broadway. On Broadway. But enough lyric quoting, the Epiphone Broadway looks like a jazz guitar should: classy, elegant, refined yet understated, but not so understated that it doesn’t look classy. It’s a tricky balance, but one that the Epiphone Broadway manages with refinement. And Class. Keep your distance, but don’t look like you’re trying to keep your distance.
I don’t know; fly casual.
The Gibson Blueshawk was, in my opinion, an all too short-lived guitar. Actually, as I have one, maybe I should be glad as it makes mine a lot rarer. The Epiphone Blueshawk on the other hand, has a few tricks up its sleeve when you compare it to its Nashville-born big brother.
The first is the colour. I think the ‘midnight sapphire’ of the Epiphone Blueshawk Deluxe is a nicer shade than the Chicago Blue on mine, and you can see some nice subtle flame through the finish. The second is the bound fingerboard, another +1 for the Epiphone over the Gibbie. Point the 3rd – the Epiphone Blueshawk doesn’t say ‘Blueshawk’ in gold lettering on the body above the fingerboard. And fourthly, the Epiphone comes in at just £419 (as of 18th May 2016).
What a guitar, it really is. And at this price, it’s hard to go wrong. The Epiphone Dot just feels great when it’s hanging from your shoulder. You can feel the back vibrate and it becomes an extension of your body. I appreciate that that sounds like absolutely terrible copy. And I’ll admit it’s not quality writing, but it comes from the heart. Not literally of course. Enough of these pointless musings though, y’all already know I love the Epiphone Dot.
The Flying V is a guitar I always want to think about owning, its own stylings are the perfect counterpoint to my less-than-flamboyant on-stage presence. I’ve just never quite felt able to pull the trigger. That may change with the Epiphone Brent Hinds Flying V Custom. Silverburst finish, custom signature pickups, block inlays. The Epiphone Brent Hinds V definitely has a less-than-retiring style, but manages to do it without looking ostentatious. I’m looking forward to giving this one a go…
For one reason or another, I can’t really say I’ve ever really gotten on with the SG. I have no idea why that may be. Possibly I’ve just been holding it wring, or perhaps been standing on an inappropriate surface. Whatever the reason, it’s never really agreed with me. Now, with all that said, I’ve always wanted to get on with the SG. Robbie Krieger remains one of my topper-most guitar heroes, and I’ve always thought it had that particularly iconic look about it, possibly even more so than it’s more famous dad – the Les Paul.
The Epiphone G400 SG in worn cherry though – at the very nicely affordable price that it is – has been catching my eye a lot recently. Nothing too flash, lightweight and more comfortable for those long sets, and with a patina on the finish that suggests it’s caught the sun on a few festival stages, the Epiphone G400 might tempt me back to the world of pointy bits.
I shall call it the ‘horny devil’.
Yes, okay, I know we’ve already mentioned the Casino and the Dot, so you’re probably sick of the big body hollow and semi-hollow thing. But come on: just look at the Epiphone Sheraton!
If you like the Dot, but want a few more appointments to add to the experience, you should check out the Epiphone Sheraton. You’ve got your gold hardware and that gorgeous headstock, but for me it’s all about those fingerboard inlays. The combination of abalone and mother-of-pearl in that ‘block and triangle’ motif just makes me go all goose-pimply at the knees. Lovely.
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