Gibson vs Epiphone: Difference and Comparison

Gibson and Epiphone are two of the oldest trademarks in the historical past of guitar manufacturing, particularly when it comes to electrics.

The two businesses competed in the archtop market in the 1930s and during the construction of the first electric vehicles.

Both companies’ quality has changed over the last decade or so, as have the exact specifications and layouts brought to the table. Despite their similarities, they differ in critical ways.

Key Takeaways

  1. Gibson guitars are high-end, premium instruments made in the USA, whereas Epiphone guitars are more affordable and manufactured in various countries, including China and Indonesia.
  2. Gibson guitars use premium components and materials, offering superior build quality, tone, and playability, while Epiphone guitars have good quality but are more budget-friendly.
  3. Gibson Brands Inc. owns both brands and Epiphone models feature designs inspired by Gibson models, making them a more accessible option for musicians on a budget.

Gibson vs Epiphone

The difference between Gibson and Epiphone is that Gibson offers relatively high timbers and solid maple tops, whereas the Epiphone has a thinner top and sometimes contains a veneer.

Gibson vs Epiphone

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Gibson, established in 1894, has been one of the world’s oldest guitar makers and, together with Fender, is possibly the most well-known.

Gibson’s electric guitars and inventions have significantly shaped the rock and roll aesthetic we’re all acquainted with today.

Gibson’s formulae influenced hundreds of following guitar manufacturers to produce their models in a similar manner.

Epiphone began as a violin producer in Turkey in 1873 and then relocated to the United States around the beginning of the century, making mandolins similar to Gibson.

Despite fierce competition in the archtop guitar industry throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Epiphone is the only firm in the world that can create formally recognized Gibson designs.

They are made in Gibson’s Qingdao facility in China.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGibsonEpiphone
Founder Gibson was founded by Orville GibsonEpiphone was founded by Anastasios Stathopoulos
ConstructionIt is produced in the USIt is produced in China
Neck Quality rosewood fretboardIndian Laurel fretboard 
Sound produced Gibson features throaty, aggressive melodiesEpiphone features pleasing melodies
Affordability It is comparatively priceyIt is relatively less expensive

What is Gibson?

Gibson guitars are all manufactured in the United States. Gibson’s sturdy and porous guitars are made at its Nashville centre, while its acoustic guitars are made at a separate Montana plant. 

Gibson maintains the strongest tonewoods it can acquire for its Nashville and Montana plants. This is to ensure that their US-made guitars are crafted of the highest-quality resources available for both aesthetic and sonic grounds.

Mahogany is Gibson’s characteristic tonewood of choice. It nearly solely employs this for the bodies and necks of its solid-body electric guitar models.

Mahogany produces the concentrated low points and lush mids that Gibson guitars are known for and the long sustain they can attain.

Maple is also commonly utilized in the production of Gibson guitars. Nitrocellulose lacquer is used to finish all Gibson USA guitars.

Aside from the woods used for the body and neck, Gibson has a preferred option for its fingerboards.

Rosewood, used in the greater part of Gibson guitars, both electric and acoustic, is a popular material still used in the construction of Gibson guitars.

The firm has utilized Rosewood for decades, and players enjoy it for its warm tone and soft feel.

Gibson’s formulas influenced hundreds of following guitar manufacturers to produce their devices in a similar manner.

They are innovators in every meaning of the term, and their instruments continue to be the finest among merchants all over the world.


What is Epiphone?

Epiphone guitars are prepared in Gibson’s Qingdao facility in China. Since 2004, the entirety of Epiphone’s guitars, including sturdy, porous, and acoustic guitars, have been manufactured solely in this facility.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Epiphones were manufactured in Korea and Japan by Gibson-licensed manufacturers.

Although Epiphone’s guitars are less costly, the craftsmanship of its high-end versions has frequently been compared to Gibson’s more cheap instruments.

Some players prefer the specs of Epiphone’s top-of-the-line models, which have premium components and are built with the same tonewood species as Gibson.

To save money and continue its entry-level models inexpensive, Epiphone does use less expensive tonewood substitutes that are simpler to find.

Epiphone instruments have more traditional polyester and polyurethane coatings.

These sorts of guitar finishes are significantly more popular and are regarded as the current standard, with practically all significant instrument makers employing them.

Poly finishes are popular because they provide maximum protection, with a stronger surface that is more durable and stronger and has a glossier look.

Following in the footsteps of the ProBucker, Epiphone’s ‘P-90 Pro’ is another significant model.

The P-90 Pro is appreciated for its sensitivity, which can flex to a player’s distinctive touch and is wound to emulate the sound of the original P-90s produced by Gibson’s famed pickup designer Seth Lover.


Main Differences Between Gibson And Epiphone

  1. In terms of the founder, Gibson was founded by Orville Gibson, meanwhile Epiphone was founded by Anastasios Stathopoulos.
  2. Gibson guitars are produced in the United States, meanwhile Epiphone guitars are built in China.
  3. The Gibson model has a more quality rosewood fretboard, however the Epiphone model features an Indian Laurel fretboard. 
  4. The Gibson Dogear P-90 produces throaty, aggressive melodies, however the Epiphone employs an Epiphone P-90 Pro, which is pleasing.
  5. Gibson is rather pricey, whilst Epiphone is less priced.
Difference Between Gibson And Epiphone

Last Updated : July 13th, 2023

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