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A question I often receive goes something like this: “I have a Gibson Epiphone guitar and I’ve heard they’re worth a lot of money!
It looks like a Les Paul and has a serial number of S9312XXXX. ” I’m sure I’ve broken many hearts by informing the owner that it’s worth just a few hundred bucks, because it really isn’t a Gibson.
When the guitar boom of the ’60s slowed toward the end of that decade, every guitar manufacturer felt the pinch.
Gibson was no different, and they were struggling to keep Epiphone alive.
Fjestad has been evaluating and appraising guitars for over 20 years.
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They have also used the brand for some higher-end guitars including their Elitist and Masterbilt Series.
A few Epiphones are still made in the US at Gibson’s factory.
With the average price-point of an electric guitar dropping to 7 in 2010, it is simply a way for guitar manufacturers to remain competitive in the 21st-century business landscape.
However, Gibson rarely admits that, and according to a 1998 piece of Epiphone literature called “Ask Dr.
Epiphone,” one question asks, “What are the differences between an Epiphone Les Paul and a Gibson Les Paul?
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.