I had a Gibson J-45 that I bought while in college in Montana about 1968. It was old then, as near as I can determine it was made in the early to mid 1940's. I gave it to my youngest daughter when she graduated college, as it was my most prized possession.
Recently, I got the guitar bug again and bought an Epiphone DR1 then gave an Epiphone DR100 to my oldest daughter's daughter. Both are from Musician's Friend (online), both are Chinese and both around $100.00USD.
Recently I compared my Epi sound with the J-45 when my grandaughter was playing mine and my daughter was playing the j-45.
You know, the epi sounded ever bit as nice as the Gibson (to my untrained ears) and it is as easy to play as the Gibson.
Maybe price and name and country of origin don't necessarily equate to quality? Other people remark on the epi sound.it really dawned on me when I heard it from a distance, rather than holding it.
Oh, I also have a Chinese Epiphone Les Paul, and compared it to a Gibson LP at their trailer at the Chicago Blues Fair, and think they compare favorably, especially when considering price.
Oh, my Timex watch keeps as good time as my coworker's Rolex!
I agree with you, for the most part.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
THe thing is, guitars (and watches, for all I know, I've never had a good one) are very individual.
I'm a Woody Guthrie fan- but that old box he played sure doesn't look like much! Sounds great though.
I've played some pretty high-end guitars- some you play and think WOW. This is what all the fuss is about!
Others, you think- Umm. I'm sure glad I didn't sell my cheapie to buy one of these, cause I like the cheapy better.
But you can't compare an old old guitar to a new one, though- how they hold up depends on too many things...
My belief is always that you should play as many guitars as you can, and make your choiced according to what your ears and your hands tell you.
Names and exotic woods just don't tell a consistent story. Play it, then you'll know.
PS- I don't buy online. ;-)
Why are we amazed that Chineese technology today is on a par with US technology from 1945? :lol: That Gibson probably didn't cost much more than $100 back then either. Yes, I agree. I (as everyone here knows and has heard way too much) own 2 Gibson Les Pauls and 2 Epiphones. They compare favorably.
"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --
The Epiphone factory in China was built by Gibson to produce only Epi guitars. I would assume that some care and attention went into the factory. On the whole, it has to be said that Asian workers are conscientious and industrious. Couple that with a state of the art factory and you're almost guaranteed quality.