It’s an age-old battle – I’ve heard it many times: “Why would I pay that much for a Gibson when I can get an Epiphone for 1/4 of the price? All you’re paying for is the name.” While I know objectively that this is not true, you’re certainly paying a lot more for the name than you should be (although they seemed to heave eased up a bit after their 30% price hike of 2015) and the question remains – even with superior parts and craftsmanship, can you actually hear the difference? And if not, what is it that you’re actually paying for?
I think stuff like this is critical for challenging our presuppositions about gear. You have ears – therefore no one can tell you what sounds best except for you. If you take the price tags and country of origin away – would you feel the same way about the guitars?
Chappers, Rabea and the Captain have a fun time shooting out some guitars in this video – I suggest you get a blindfold of your own for maximum enjoyment.
Don’t get me wrong – in my experience, Epiphones are basically toys. But objectivity is all.