Epiphone G-400 Review - Great Guitar, Great Price!

By R. S. Rasnick

Although perhaps not as popular as its iconic Les Paul body shape, the Gibson SG is nevertheless a symbol of rock and roll power. If you don't believe me, go call Angus Young.

Ever since its initial launch, musicians from a great variety of genres and styles have utilized the Gibson SG as their primary instrument. While it's as popular as ever, the price tag is pretty high for a lot of individuals (around $1,200 at the time of this article). A more inexpensive alternative is the Epiphone G-400.

The question then becomes, how good does the Epiphone SG stand up to the Gibson SG?

The cherry finish is really well done and snazzy looking. It highlights the mahogany finish extremely well. Similarly, the SG body shape of the G-400 is indistinguishable from a "real" SG.

The mother-of-pearl inlays are well done, though we did discover some minute traces of glue residue near the edges. Likewise, we noticed some small traces of glue keeping the neck joint in place, but these squabbles aside, we determined the construction quality to be very well done.

The guitar's intonation was effortless to set and was quite good, though we wish the bridge saddles weren't as cutting as they are. The instrument held its tuning extremely well, even after some pretty radical bending.

The Epiphone G-400 has extremely nice action with hardly any discernible buzzing whatsoever.

I'm of the belief that a great electric guitar has to sound hot unplugged, and the G-400 doesn't let down in this area either. It's rich, resonant, and offers hefty sustain, amazing given the instrument's low weight.

The preferential characteristics are only enhanced by plugging the instrument into our test amplifier, a Dr. Z MAZ-18 NR. The G-400 pickups provided a well balanced but not terribly aggressive sound.

All three pickup positions were useful in both clean and distorted settings. At outrageous gain settings, we thought the guitar sounded a bit muddy, but that's in part due to the beautifully warm nature of the instrument.

If you want to play the G-400 in a metal or shred environment, a change of pickups might be needed.

So, the bottom line is that the Epiphone G-400 is simply a fantastic instrument acceptable for a mixture of styles of music from rock to blues to jazz. If you're looking for a substantial instrument at an inexpensive price, you can't beat the G-400. - 31840

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