Epiphone has been making acoustic guitars since 1908, known for quality guitars at an affordable price. They come in a variety of sizes and materials and are perfect for the new guitar player or someone looking for an inexpensive guitar to take on the road they also have some reissues of some classic designs in the past.
After 140 plus years of making instruments Epiphone has seen many changes, but they've managed to keep classic designs while introducing new models with a fresh take on the old designs. The broad line of instruments has something to offer for guitar plays at all stages in their development. Many great songs have been written and performed on Epiphone guitars, Peter Frampton's "Baby I love your way" and Paul McCartney's 'Yesterday' are just two examples.
One other feature of the Epiphone acoustic line that appeals to many guitarists is that Epiphone manufactures some guitars that are replicas of the famous Gibson line guitars (think J-45, J-200, Hummingbird) at a lower price. Some will argue that the tone isn't that much different even at the lower price point.
An affordable line of guitars that not only look good they are fun to play
Best Epiphone Acoustic Guitars
1 Epiphone J45 Acoustic
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Epiphone (Gibson Inspired) J-45 acoustic guitar offers professional features and sound at a very affordable price. Its classic dreadnought shape provides the boom and volume that many bluegrass players are looking for.
The select solid mahogany back and sides paired with the solid spruce top provides a warm sound that can only be produced by this combination of materials. The tuners 14:1 gear ratio provides for quick and accurate tuning and the updated head-stock gives the Epiphone J-45 a the classic j-45 look and closer resembles the Gibson J-45.
This is a great all-around guitar, and the solid wood back and sides make it difficult to hear the difference between Gibson J-45 and Epiphones J-45. Where the differences come in are how the guitar plays. As would be expected the Gibson version seems to have cleaner fretwork and better strings making it "feel" better as you play it. Some of these setup issues can be inexpensively fixed and do not take away from the over all value of the guitar.
The Epiphone J-45 was the closest matched to the Gibson model that it is inspired by. For that reason we placed this at the top of our Epiphone list.
2 Epiphone Masterbilt Hummingbird
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The Epiphone Masterbuilt Hummingbird is a replica of the Gibson Hummingbird model. Guitar players looking for volume will love the extra sound projection you get from the traditional dreadnought shape as well as the classic styling which includes cherry burst finish, the signature 'hummingbird' pick-guard and the parallelogram inlays associated with the pro versions on the fret-board.
In addition to its stylish appointments, the Epiphone Masterbuilt Hummingbird is an acoustic-electric guitar, making it a great choice for guitarists requiring amplification. It comes standard with the Sonicore undersaddle pickup and the Fishman Sonitone controls which are easy to use providing the ability to control the tone from just inside the sound hole of the guitar.
For tuning the guitar comes with Epiphone Deluxe tuners and a compensated bridge for accuracy and ease of tuning.
In addition to the Cherry Burst finish there is a natural finish as well.
3 Epiphone DR-100
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The Epiphone DR-100 is an excellent choice as a beginners guitar, it has is designed as a convenient as well as a contemporary guitar. Its simple design allows the guitarist to focus the music and not gadgetry. The top is solid spruce and allows for a crisp clear tone that develops over time.
The Dreadnought body style provides the volume and tone required for playing with others in acoustic settings. Popular music styles for the dreadnought shape are bluegrass, blues, and country western.
For the guitarist that likes options, this guitar comes in 3 colors: Natural, Black, and Sunburst. If you are looking for a basic guitar that doesn't have electronics. The Epiphone acoustic DR-100 is an excellent choice. We also have reviews on additional guitars for under $500 that are also excellent choices for beginners.
4 Epiphone PR4E
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The Epiphone Acoustic-Electric guitar player pack comes with everything you need to get started as a guitarist. Not only do you get a great guitar in the PR4E product, you get a strap, pickups, a small amplifier, gig bag, and cable.
The guitar has a spruce top which will provide a tone that improves with time, traditional X-bracing, mahogany back and sides and the vintage 60's style logo on the downward sloping dove wings head-stock.
For the electronics, the guitar comes with a passive piezo pickup under the saddle and controls on the upper bout to allow the guitars to adjust bass, mid-range, treble, and volume from the top of the guitar.
In addition to all these features, the guitar has a more modern looking profile for those looking to break away from the more traditional guitar body shape.
5 Epiphone EJ 200SCE
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Many will recognize this acoustic-electric guitar as being inspired by the famous Gibson EJ200 jumbo guitar. The Epiphone EJ200SCE is a jumbo body style with a stylish cutaway improving access to the upper frets. This is a beautiful guitar that comes with crown inlays on the fret-board, flower patterned pick-guard and distinguishing 'mustache' bridge.
The EJ200SCE is big, bold and won't be denied. It is easy to understand how this guitar got its nickname of "King of the Flattops".
The maple wood body provides a clear and complex tone that doesn't get lost in the mix when playing with other instruments in a band. Maple wood has long been known for its properties that produce a more focused tone.
For amplification, the Epiphone EJ200SCE acoustic-electric guitar is equipped with eSonic 2 pre-amp system and the nano-flex low-impedance pickup by Shadow. This proprietary pick-up senses both string vibration and the top of the guitar allowing the player to use the E-Sonic 2 Pre-amp to blend and create their own signature sound.
We had this at the top of our list the last couple of years but with the release of the "Gibson Inspired" models this model has dropped down a little in our rankings.
Summary of Epiphone Features
- Replica's of many of the classic Gibson models, EJ200, Hummingbird, Texan
- Excellent price points for guitars
- Jumbo, Dreadnought, round shouldered Dreadnought
- Variety of colors and finishes
- Quality Craftsmanship
Is Epiphone a good guitar?
- Epiphone makes great guitars for beginners and can be a good guitar for experienced players for travel, road, or practice guitar. Some of the parts are a little less than the flagship Gibson models but they still are good instruments to play and many artists prefer them to the more expensive Gibson models.
- With the introduction of the "Gibson Inspired" models and the Masterbuilt models Epiphone has introduced some very compelling all wood guitars.
- It should be noted that some Epiphone models (the Texan for example) are now being manufactured in Gibson's Bozeman facility.
How much is an Epiphone acoustic guitar?
- Prices on Epiphone vary, you would need to check on each model to get the current price. In general, you can get a really good guitar for under $800-$900 and a starter guitar for under $500. Price point is very good for Epiphone acoustic instruments.
Who makes Epiphone acoustic guitars?
- Epiphone is a name that has been associated with guitars since 1873 that was purchased by Gibson guitars in 1957.
How can I tell what model my Epiphone guitar is?
- Obtain the serial number from the back of the head-stock and go to this site to look up your model:
After playing all these models we found it hard to pin down just one as our favorite. But if pushed to pick just one, we all liked the J-45 Gibson Inspired model as an all around acoustic-electric guitar.
While it didn't have accessories like the PR4E, the slope-shouldered body shape projected a nice tone, the instrument looked beautiful, and the neck felt good.
We played several different ones and the J-45's were consistently good. The electronics also make this a versatile acoustic for all to play regardless of performing or just strumming around the house.
A side note: While the EJ200SCE was our top choice, if your looking for a low priced starter guitar its hard to go wrong with the DR-100 model. The neck is easy to play and the acoustic guitar fretted well at a fraction of its high end Gibson brother.
Still not sure which guitar brand you would like to purchase? Check out our favorite models from other manufacturers on our Travel and Acoustic Guitars page.