Best Epiphone Guitar With Desirable Designs

The Epiphone Company is owned by one of the giants of the music industry- the Gibson. Gibson guitar is undoubtedly great and has been used by a lot of famous musicians. But Gibson also comes with a high price tag. And when you are a beginner or a musician on a budget constraint, buying a Gibson is not a reasonable thing to do. But do not throw away your dreams of playing a good quality intermediate guitar! 

best Epiphone guitar

Epiphone offers an affordable range of guitars based on the Gibson designs. And just because it is cheap, does not mean it is bad. You will be surprised to know that some of the biggest names in the music industry owned an Epiphone guitar. Paul McCartney from The Beatles himself played an Epiphone Texan acoustic!

However, an instrument is not just a piece of gear. Selecting a good guitar is important if you are passionate about music. Hence, I am going to list down some of the best Epiphone guitar in the market.

10 BEST EPIPHONE GUITAR REVIEW

1. EPIPHONE LES PAUL SPECIAL II - BEST EPIPHONE GUITAR FOR JAZZ

Epiphone Les Paul - best Epiphone guitar

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Okoume body.
  • 1960’s SlimTaper D profile.
  • Rosewood fretboard with dot inlays.
  • Two Epiphone-designed humbuckers.
  • Tune-o-Matic style fixed bridge.
  • Stopbar tailpiece.
  • Retro sunburst colour.

The Epiphone Les Paul Single II is a solid guitar made from mahogany. It is lighter than a Gibson guitar but is still not exactly lightweight. The sunburst color is beautiful and the design makes it look more expensive than it is.

The guitar is made from almost the same materials as the original Les Paul design. However, the Epiphone version does try to fit into the budget by replacing certain materials with cheaper alternatives. One of the drawbacks of such a cheaper replacement is the plastic nut.

It has a scale length of 24.74 inches which is quite decent. The hardware of the Les Paul Special II is standard but useful and functional, delivering a comfortable and reliable playing experience. You will find a master volume and a master tone knob along with a three-way toggle. The sealed machine heads have a good 14:1 gear ratio along with nickel buttons.

You get a decent amp and the sound is clear and warm, while the sustain is slightly lengthy. The sound is such that it would be suitable for most classic rock and blues. All-in-all it might not be impressive to a professional guitar player but it is definitely one of the best Epiphone guitar for beginners.

Pros

  • Decent sound quality.
  • Value for money.
  • Decent hardware.
  • Good sustain.

Cons

  • Plastic nut.


2. EPIPHONE AJ 220SCE - BEST EPIPHONE ACOUSTIC GUITAR

Epiphone AJ-220SCE - best Epiphone guitar

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Advanced jumbo design.
  • Sitka solid spruce top.
  • High gloss finish.
  • Pau Ferro fingerboard.
  • 20 medium-jumbo frets.
  • Fishman Presys II pre-amp.
  • Die-cast nickel tuning machines.

The Epiphone AJ220SCE is an electric-acoustic guitar that offers a full 25.5 inches scale length. It has a wider bottom than the typical dreadnought style. This means that it is capable of producing a sound that has a lot of depth and volume. Such guitars are suitable for rhythm guitarists and song-writers looking for a good mid-range to suit their vocals.

The back and sides are laminated but the top is made of pure solid wood. How many brands offer solid wood construction at this price? The use of solid wood offers better resonance and results in a tone that is bright and responsive. However, the nut is made of plastic to meet the budget.

The single-cutaway design makes it easy for you to reach the higher frets. Moreover, the tuning gear is good enough to hold the tune well. It is one of the best Epiphone guitar as an electric-acoustic style instrument.

Pros

  • Solid wood top at an affordable price.
  • Beautiful neck with a satin finish.
  • Good resonance.
  • Comes with a phase button to eliminate feedback.

Cons

  • The Control panel looks cheaply made.



3. EPIPHONE SG SPECIAL - BEST EPIPHONE GUITAR FOR METAL

Epiphone SG - best Epiphone guitar

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Angled headstock.
  • Bolt-on neck.
  • KillPot Control.
  • Double-waxed Pickups.
  • Potentiometers for better throw and longer life.
  • Quick-connectors.
  • Comes with ceramic magnets.

The SG Special series is one of the best Epiphone guitar in the market. The design of the Epiphone SG Special definitely screams 'Rock' and it does live up to the name! It has been used by many famous rock bands like The Doors and ACDC which increases its credibility more than ever!

The body is made of laminated Alder and Maple, a mahogany veneer with two open-coil humbuckers. The wood offers good tonal quality and a rich sound. It has a thinner body than Les Paul which means it is easier to handle and carry.

You can mute the guitar temporarily and then switch back, making it very fun to play and experiment with. It has a decent sustain and a slightly brighter sound. The controls are basic including a master tone, master volume and a three-way pickup toggle switch.

The sound and pickup are a bit one-dimensional which is perfect if you play hard rock and metal but it won't be appropriate for the more subtle genres like blues and jazz. The only drawback is that the output jack is on the face of the body which is an odd position for it to be. Otherwise, it is a value for money and is suitable for both professionals and beginners.

Pros

  • Very cool design.
  • Produces a classic rock sound.
  • Good neck for fast-paced playing.
  • Easy to down tune.

Cons

  • Odd output-jack position.



4. EPIPHONE RIVIERA P93 - BEST EPIPHONE SEMI HOLLOW GUITAR

Epiphone Riviera - best Epiphone guitar

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Beautiful ES-Style Design.
  • Bigsby B70 vibrato tailpiece.
  • Wilkinson Tuners.
  • Three P-90 pickups.
  • Perfect for rockabilly and blues.
  • Wine red finish.
  • Parallelogram inlays.

If you like the old classy feel of an 80's vintage guitar, then this is definitely the guitar for you. The Epiphone Riviera P93 is a limited edition among the Riviera custom series which was introduced in 2008. This means that there are very few of them in the market, making it difficult for you to find one that is available. Besides, it is not exactly in the budget-friendly range either.

The guitar possesses a double-cutaway semihollow maple body. It also incorporates a block of mahogany underneath the pickups, tailpiece and bridge. The hardware is gold plated and a high-quality vibrato tailpiece, 14:1 tuners and gold-plated buttons. It has the classic Slim-Taper neck with a D-shaped profile.

The P-93 a wide range of tonal versatility, thanks to the brilliant single-coil pickups. The semihollow design of the guitar results in tones and textures that is similar to a solid-body guitar along with a good amount of resonance and sustain. The pickup has a bold and crisp character which sounds beautiful.

The sound is perfect for rockabilly and blues. On the downside, you will not receive a toggle switch which makes the functions a bit complicated. Other than that, it is the best Epiphone guitar if you are looking for a thin line electric guitar with great versatility.

Pros

  • Amazing pickup.
  • Very sturdy.
  • Has tonal versatility.
  • Good resonance.

Cons

  • Not easily available.



5. EPIPHONE TOBY - BEST EPIPHONE BASS GUITAR

Epiphone Toby

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Ergonomic body shape.
  • Tobias SCR neck pickup.
  • Tobias SCT bridge pickup.
  • Useful controls like pickup blend, bass cut and treble cut.
  • 17:1 tuning ratio.

The Epiphone Toby Standard IV is lightweight and compact, with sleek contours designed for not only style but also comfort. The neck is asymmetrical and made of hard maple. The neck profile is thinner than your average neck so that you can have more control and speed on the fretboard.

The sound is well-balanced, with a good range on the low end and a crispy definition in the high end. But the strings are cheaply made and the output has a lot of ringing. But overall, it is a good entry-level bass guitar that balances functionality, style and good tone.

Pros

  • Very comfortable to play.
  • Affordable.
  • Allows fast-paced playing.
  • Versatile tone.

Cons

  • Neck has a slight bow to it.



6. STEINBERGER GT-PRO - BEST EPIPHONE ELECTRIC GUITAR

Steinberger GTPROBK1 -best Epiphone guitar

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • 25.5 inches scale length.
  • 5-way pickup selector switch.
  • Single coil.
  • R-Trem Locking Tremolo.
  • Patented Double Bridge.
  • 40:1 ratio direct-pull tuners.
  • Headless thru-neck design.

Steinberger usually constructed their instruments with Stuart Spector, in Brooklyn around 1979. Later, the company was sold off to Gibson in 1987 after a financial loss. The Steinberger GT-PRO has an extravagant and unique body.

It is probably the best example of experimental design and construction. It has a rectangular body that comes in two colors- black and white. The first thing that will catch your attention is that the guitar does not have a headstock and the body is shortened till the bridge. The axe is lightweight and feels similar to a 3/4 sized guitar. 

Hence, this will be a good option for children who want to learn to play electric guitar. You will get 24 frets which you can easily access. This means that you can play a lot of difficult chord progressions without any issues.

The Steinberger Spirit GT-PRO stays in tune so you won't have to worry about tuning issues. Soundwise, it is not the best Epiphone guitar but it is satisfactory enough, thanks to the smooth pickups.

It produces a warm and gusty tone that you can experiment with. The downside is that you will get low action and the pickups are too close to each other. Otherwise, this charming and cool looking guitar is a perfect fit for those who want to add style and flair to their guitar collection.

Pros

  • A punchy and distinct sound.
  • Easy to set up and tune.
  • Excellent finish.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry.

Cons

  • Pickups are too close to each other.


7. EPIPHONE LES PAUL SPECIAL VE

LES PAUL SPECIAL VE

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Poplar wood top, body and back.
  • Okoume Neck.
  • Rosewood fretboard.
  • Grungy distressed vintage finish.
  • Classic speed control knobs.
  • Open coil humbuckers.
  • Weighs 6.75 pounds.

The Gibson Les Paul is a well-known guitar in the music industry. Many famous musicians have been patrons of this brilliant brand. Most notably is Jimmy Page, who used the Gibson for a long time. If you are an admirer of the Les Paul design, you will love Gibson's humble alternative, the Epiphone.

The Epiphone Les Paul Special VE is a budget-friendly solution that has an amazing appearance and sound. It has a single-cutaway shape, similar to the original Les Paul. You also get a scale that has been shortened to 24.75-inches. The guitar comes in multiple colors including Cherry, Sunburst, Ebony, Heritage Cherry, Walnut and my favorite, the Vintage Sunburst.

The SlimTaper D profile neck is excellent because it is fast and you can play it smoothly. The sleek and slim neck makes it suitable for guitar players with smaller hands. The Epiphone guitar has two humbuckers, a three-way pickup switch, a master volume and a master tone knob. The sound might feel a bit muddy, but that is fine since it will suit music genres like jazz and soft rock.

Although, I must admit that it is not the best Epiphone guitar as there are some tuning issues because the tuning knobs do not stay tight. But all in all, the Epiphone Les Paul design exceeds all expectations that you would have from a budget guitar.

Pros

  • Good sound.
  • Durable.
  • Suitable for fast-paced playing.
  • Good quality hardware.

Cons

  • Tuning knobs are flimsy.


8. EPIPHONE LES PAUL STANDARD PLUSTOP PRO

Plustop PRO

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • ProBucker Humbuckers.
  • Push/Pull Coil Tapping.
  • Grover 18:1 tuners.
  • Triple AAA Flame Veneer.
  • Alnico II magnets.
  • 10 different colour options.

The Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro is a great Les Paul alternative, offering almost all the features of the evergreen Les Paul Standard of the late-fifties. It has a maple top and a mahogany body, along with a 24 3/4-inches scale length.

The hardware is made of high-quality materials and features a simple control setup consisting of two-tone knobs, two-volume knows and a toggle switch. The neck profile is comfortable and easy to access so you can practice difficult chords and impressive solos without much of hand fatigue.

The pickguard is set at an angle where you will be able to rest your hand comfortably be able to gain good control of the pick. It delivers a sound that has a good balance between warmth and clarity along with a smooth sustain and a fat midrange. It is one of the best Epiphone guitar for both beginners and professionals.

Pros

  • Amazing sound.
  • Professional finish.
  • Easy to play.
  • High-quality hardware.

Cons

  • Poor quality nut.




9. EPIPHONE LES PAUL SPECIAL I P90

LES PAUL SPECIAL I P90

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Tremolo guitar bridge system.
  • Epiphone P90R and P90T Soap Bar pickups.
  • Fat single-coil tones.
  • Gloss finish.
  • 24.75 inches scale length.

P90 pickups are surely one of the best pickups in the world. Tone-wise, it stands in the middle ground between a humbucker and a traditional single-coil. The Epiphone Les Paul Special I has a single-cutaway design made from solid wood. It has a metallic gloss lacquer finish and has a very appealing appearance.

The Les Paul Special I features an adjustable wrap-around bridge so that you can get maximum sustain and edge. This feature makes it perfect for jazz and soft-rock. However, the drawback is that it cannot hold the tuning for long. It is a pretty decent guitar if not the best Epiphone guitar for beginners.

Pros

  • Good for classic rock and blues.
  • Affordable alternative to a Gibson.
  • Sounds great.
  • Comfortable to play for long sessions.

Cons

  • Cannot hold the tune for long.


10. EPIPHONE FT-100 ACOUSTIC GUITAR

FT-100 ACOUSTIC GUITAR

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Standard 25.5 inches scale.
  • Available in four colour options.
  • Dovetail joint.
  • Black pickguards.
  • Triple rosettes.

The Epiphone FT-100 offers excellent playability and professional features at a reasonable price. It has a classic dreadnought shape which provides a dynamic boom and an impressive volume. So if you are a bluegrass player, this guitar is perfect for you. The mahogany back is paired with a solid spruce top to provide a rich and warm sound.

The Epiphone FT-100 has a classic vintage look that will appeal to the aesthetics of a country singer. Although, the case that you will receive is a bit flimsy and does not provide adequate protection. But we can't ask too much from such a reasonably priced instrument.

Pros

  • Rich and warm sound.
  • Perfect for bluegrass players.
  • Durable.
  • Easy to tune.

Cons

  • Not good for professional use.



CONCLUSION

Owning a Gibson guitar is an American dream. But buying one is difficult when you are a struggling musician juggling between paying rent and making a major breakthrough in your music career. Epiphone is the way to go and is a perfect option for both beginner and professional musicians.

While the Epiphone lineup is cheap, you should keep in mind certain things when you buy one. Keep in mind that the guitar should be comfortable to play, lightweight, should not a good pickup and should be durable. That is all. Have a good music career ahead!

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