Where are Epiphone Guitars Made?

Epiphone is well-known for its low-cost guitars all around the world. Epiphone, founded in 1873, has been producing high-quality guitars for many years.

But where are Epiphone guitars made? Some claim they are made in America, while others claim they are created in China. What is the truth?

Table of content

  1. Where are Epiphone guitars made?
  2. Who makes Epiphone guitars?
  3. Models of Epiphone guitars
  4. Why are the majority of Epiphone guitars manufactured in China?
  5. FAQs

1. Where are Epiphone guitars made?

Epiphone guitars are created in factories worldwide, which is fitting for a firm that was started in the Ottoman Empire. Although Epiphone is perhaps best known today as the low-cost foreign-made Gibson, the brand has a rich and colorful history.

Source: Unsplash

The Epiphone corporation was founded in the late 19th century. Anastasios Stathopoulos, a musical instrument manufacturer, established a shop in Smyrna, deep within the Ottoman Empire, in 1873. He went to New York with his firm in 1903, and when his son Epaminondas took over the company a few years later, he renamed it “Epiphone,” combining his own nickname “Epi” with the Greek word for “voice,” “phone.” While this is all very intriguing, many people are curious about “where are Epiphone guitars made?”.

  • Epiphones made in the United States are typically the most expensive.
  • Epiphones made in Japan may be on par with US-made Epiphones in terms of quality and price.
  • Epiphones produced in Korea are often less expensive than those made in the US or Japan.
  • Epiphones made in China are often the least expensive versions available.

Almost all Epiphone Les Paul guitars are manufactured in Qingdao, China, a significant city in the Shandong province. This covers both the Inspired By Gibson range and authentic Epiphone instruments.

2. Who makes Epiphone guitars?

Epiphone guitars are presently owned and manufactured by Gibson. Epiphone guitars are often less expensive alternatives to comparable Gibson instruments. Following the Gibson takeover in 1957, Epiphone’s factories were relocated many times in an attempt to create guitars at a lower cost.

The iconic Les Paul, Explorer, Flying V, and SG guitars created by Epiphone are copies of designs made by Gibson today. These alternatives have improved to the point that specific high-end Epiphone models can now surpass lower-end Gibson guitars in terms of overall quality.

Epiphone is the only firm worldwide that can manufacture and sell Gibson guitars. As a result, they have a monopoly in the market for high-quality, officially-licensed Gibson guitar clones.

Epiphone Les Paul is an excellent alternative for anyone seeking quality guitars without spending much money.

3. Models of Epiphone guitars

Let’s look at some of Epiphones’ most popular models influenced by Gibson’s Guitars and talk about what makes them unique.

  • Flying V Epiphone

The Epiphone Flying V is made in China using low-cost labor to keep the overall price low. However, this does not imply that the product is of inferior quality. This guitar has a broad spectrum of tones, making it suitable for any music.

Epiphone skillfully reproduced this legendary guitar with a focus on historical realism. The ProBuckerTM Humbuckers produce an incredibly accurate tone, making this instrument ideal for fans of the original Flying V.

Source: Pinterest

Its rolled neck is comfy and familiar, precisely like the original Gibson model on which it is based. Furthermore, the Epiphone Flying V has era-appropriate wiring to keep your tone sounding fantastic for years to come.

The well-balanced tone of an Epiphone Flying V allows you to perform solos and chords with ease.

  • Figured SG Modern

The Mahogany and Maple cap of the SG Modern Figured guitar is topped with AAA Figured Maple Veneer. The SG Modern Figured’s electronics provide a wide range of tones owing to the pair of Epiphone ProBucker pickups, coil-splitting, and phase switching.

For a pleasant playing experience, the SG Modern Figured boasts an Ebony fingerboard and a slender taper neck with curved heels. It also includes a world-class Graph Tech NuBoneTM nut that keeps your strings in tune regardless of what you’re performing or where the song takes a detour.

 Source: Pinterest

  • Les Paul SG Standard, 1961

This Epiphone electric guitar is a modified reproduction of the 1961 Les Paul SG Standard, one of the most popular designs ever. Its Les Paul form offers you the sensation of being a rock star while playing any song.

The Les Paul SG Standard pays homage to the original with its traditional look and craft. The Les Paul model was retired in 1961 and replaced by an entirely new design, now known as the SG or solid guitar.

Inspirational Epiphone tuner design with historical realism, including a double-ring that makes it simple to get in tune and keep in tune. Those seeking to add a personal touch might select from Cherry, or Classic White finishes.


Source: Pinterest

4. Why are the majority of Epiphone guitars manufactured in China?

As previously said, Epiphone Les Paul is a more economical alternative to the more well-known Gibson business. To keep its prices low, it outsources the manufacturing of several of its guitars to Qingdao, China.

This is because labor expenses in China are much lower than in other nations. Epiphone can maintain its pricing low for its clients by manufacturing its guitars in China.

Epiphone Les Paul has a lengthy history with Chinese guitar manufacturing. For years, the firm has collaborated with Chinese producers, allowing them to make high-quality guitars at very reasonable costs. This long history and excellent partnership enable Epiphone to continue addressing the demands of guitarists worldwide.

Since 1873, musicians have preferred inexpensive yet high-quality Epiphone guitars. They also have a selection of affordable acoustic and bass guitars with top-notch construction and tone.

5. FAQs

How excellent are Chinese Epiphones?
Chinese epis are as good as earlier Korean epis. Gibson established its own Epi plant in China, which they currently oversee. Epis are now, in my opinion, the finest they have ever been.

Are any Epiphones manufactured in Japan?
The Emperor, Zephyr, Riviera, and Sheraton are unique Epiphone models made to better standards than the company’s “Gibson clone” range. Epiphone also manufactures a line of higher-quality instruments in Japan under the “Elitist Series” label.

What prompted Epiphone to relocate to China?
Due to increased demand for Epiphones, the firm decided to construct its first facility in China in 1957. This move enabled Epiphone to meet the increasing demand for their guitars.

So, where are Epiphone guitars made? Epiphone Les Paul guitars have been manufactured worldwide, including in the United States, Korea, Indonesia, and Japan, but most models are currently produced in China. Despite some quality control concerns in the past, Chinese-made Epiphones are typically decent reproductions of renowned Gibson guitars at a fraction of the price. The large selection of guitars for every price and style reflects Epiphone’s trust in its craft. An Epiphone is a great option if you’re looking for a low-cost guitar with a great tone.

Author: Rosario Beltran Jr

I am Rosario Beltran Jr. After more than five years of playing classical piano, I now aggregate musical instruments for Axreview.com. Most people have dreams of owning a musical instrument, but it is not easy to achieve this dream. That is why I am here to help you, and I believe my reviews will be helpful for you.

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