Epiphone is known for its affordable prices of guitars all over the world. Founded in 1873, Epiphone has been making high-quality guitars for many years.
But, where are Epiphone guitars made? Some people say they are made in America, while others insist that they are manufactured in China. So, what’s the truth?
Over the years, Epiphone has been based in a number of different countries. This includes the United States, Korea, Indonesia, and Japan. Today, Epiphone’s primary factory is located in Qingdao, China. But in the province of Shandong. Epiphone has been manufacturing most of its guitars in China since 2004.
In this article, we are going to explore the company behind Epiphone guitars. Where they have been making them, and the quality you can expect.
Where are Epiphone Guitars Made?
There have been a few guitars made in the USA. But the price is much higher. And so most people will just buy the real thing. So Epiphone uses Korea and China primarily. They opened their own factory in China in 2006 and use it as the primary plant. But here is a table of factories that have made Epiphone guitars.
|Japan||Fuji-gen and Terada Gakki|
|China||DaeWon, QingDao, Muse, SaeJung and Zaozhuang|
|Korea||Samick, Peerless, Unsung, Saein, and Fine Guitars|
|Czech Republic||Bohemia Musico-Delicia|
|Indonesia||Samick and Bogor|
Who Makes Epiphone Guitars?
Gibson currently owns and manufactures Epiphone guitars. Epiphone guitars are typically lower-priced alternatives to Gibson models of the same style. After the Gibson acquisition in 1957, Epiphone’s factories have been moved around. And multiple times! This was in an attempt to produce guitars for less money.
Epiphone’s famous Les Paul, Explorer, Flying V, and SG guitars are replicas. They are copies of designs that are still also made by Gibson today. These alternatives have become so good! Some can outperform lower-end Gibson guitars in terms of quality.
Epiphone is the only company in the world that can manufacture and sell guitars under the Gibson name. This gives them a monopoly in the market for high quality. Officially-licensed Gibson guitar replicas.
Looking for great guitars without spending too much money? Epiphone is a great option for you.
Brief History Of Epiphone
The company was originally founded in 1873. The gentleman was a musical instrument builder named Anastasios Stathopoulos from Smyrna. After moving to New York in 1903, Anastasios’s son Epaminondas took over the company a few years later.
In 1928, he changed the name of the company to Epiphone. This is partly his nickname and the Greek word phone, which means voice. The company began making guitars during this time, which were of great quality.
The company was small, compared to competitors like Gibson or Fender. Until the Beatles began using their guitars. This put Epiphone on televisions, stages, and in pictures, propelling the brand skyward.
In 1957, Gibson purchased Epiphone. They were one of their biggest rivals for arch top guitars. Since then, Epiphone guitars have been made in many places. Today, the majority of them are made in China. Here is a video tour of the factory where your favorite Epiphone guitars are made.
Chinese Epiphone Guitars: Inexpensive Gibson Replicas
Let’s take a look at some of Epiphones most popular models! These are inspired by Gibson’s Guitars. We’ll discuss what makes them stand out from the competition.
Want to learn how to read Epiphone factory codes?
Epiphone Flying V
Epiphone Flying V is built in China with low-cost labor in order to lower the overall price. But that does not mean it’s a poor-quality product. This guitar comes with a wide range of sounds, which makes it perfect for any style of music.
This iconic guitar has been expertly recreated by Epiphone. But with a focus on vintage accuracy. The ProBucker™ Humbuckers create an amazingly authentic tone. Making this guitar perfect for any fan of the original Flying V.
Its rolled neck provides a comfortable and familiar feel. Just like the original Gibson model that it’s based on. Additionally, the Epiphone Flying V features era-appropriate wiring. This is sure to keep your tone sounding great for years to come.
You can play solos and chords with ease on an Epiphone Flying V, thanks to its well-balanced tone.
Ever wonder where Fender guitars are made? Click here!
SG Modern Figured
The SG Modern Figured guitar has a Mahogany and maple cap with AAA Figured Maple Veneer. The electronics on the SG Modern Figured give you a huge range of tones to choose from! Thanks to the pair of Epiphone ProBucker pickups and coil-splitting and phase switching.
The SG Modern Figured has an Ebony fingerboard and a slim taper neck. It has contoured heels for a comfortable playing experience. It also has a world-class Graph Tech NuBone™ nut. This will keep your strings in tune no matter what you’re doing or where the song takes a detour.
1961 Les Paul SG Standard
This electric guitar is a remodeled replica of the 1961 version of Les Paul SG Standard. One of the most favorite designs ever. Its Les Paul shape gives a feel of a rock star while playing any song.
Les Paul SG Standard pays tribute to the original. With its classic design and construction. In 1961, the Les Paul model was discontinued and replaced with an all-new design. This is now more commonly known as the SG or solid guitar.
Inspirational Epiphone tuner design with historical accuracy. Double-ring included, which makes it easy to get in tune and stay there. Those looking to add a touch of flair can choose between Cherry or Classic White finishes.
Find out where Gretsch guitars are made here!
Why Most Epiphone Guitars are Made in Qingdao, China?
Epiphone is an affordable alternative to the more famous Gibson company. In order to keep its prices down, it outsources the production of many of its guitars to Qingdao, China.
This is because labor costs are significantly lower in China than in other countries. By producing its guitars in China, Epiphone is able to keep its prices affordable for their customers.
Epiphone has had a long connection to guitar production in China. The company has been working with Chinese manufacturers for years. Allowing them to produce high-quality guitars at very competitive prices. This extensive history and positive relationship are what allow Epiphone to do so. And continue meeting the needs of guitarists around the world.
The affordable yet high-quality Epiphone guitars have been a favorite of musicians. And since 1873! They also offer a range of affordable acoustic and bass guitars. Also with best-in-class craftsmanship and sound.
Epiphone guitars have been made all over the world! This includes the United States, Korea, Indonesia, and Japan. But most models today come from the factory in China. There have been some quality control issues in the past. But Chinese-made Epiphones are generally good replicas of iconic Gibson guitars. And at a fraction of the price.
Epiphone’s confidence in its craft is reflected in the wide range of guitars they offer. Some for every budget and style. Are you exploring a budget-friendly guitar with an amazing tone? Then an Epiphone is a solid choice!
What years were Epiphones made in Japan?
The Matsumoku company started to manufacture the Epiphone guitars in Japan. This was in the 1970s. The production and distribution were handled by Aria with collaboration from Gibson. Later, Epiphone started to produce less expensive models. But they did not have any traditional designs.
Are any Epiphone guitars made in the USA?
Yes, there are three iconic Epiphone original instruments that are made in the USA today. These are the Epiphone Casino, Texas, and Frontier models. Unlike the lower-cost guitars, these are original Epiphone shapes and models.
They are not Gibson designs because, at this price, a player will just buy the real thing.
Why did Epiphone move to China?
Due to the high demand for Epiphones, the company decided to open a new factory in China. This is their first since 1957. This move allowed Epiphone to keep up with the growing demand for their guitars.