Epiphone vs Gibson

Can someone please tell me what the difference is? :(

A good friend of mine is sending me a Les Paul that happens be a Epiphone. Now I have owned and have giged with both but can't realy here what the real difference is. Now when I say Epiphone I don't mean the $400.00 ones I am talking more in the range of the Les Paul Classic custom Epiphones. I have also played a 1964 Les Paul studio and to me they resonate just the same, and the Tones are both as rich and full. PLEASE HELP!

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Was there a 64 LP Studio?? dont know that there was, anyway, there is a big difference between Gibson USA LP's and Korean/Chinese (not elitist) guitars, visualy the headstocks are different, the usa pick ups are superior to the korean/chinese ones, on the earlier pre 2001 model epiphones didnt wax potted pickups and this lead to them feeding back easily at volume, but they are better now, the woods used on the USA's are single peice (other than some 70's models) mahogany body with a 2 or 3 peice carved maple top, with the necks as one peice mahogany (except for 2 slithers of mahogany on the flared headsock, the epis use 2 and sometimes 3 peice mahogany for the body, sometimes maple necks too, the hardware on the USA's are superior quality, and the instrnment is put together with more attention to detail.
All this adds up to an instrument that is probably 10% better in sound and a bit better in playabilty than the epi, but is 120% more on the price tag, but if you want that extra 10% tone and most of us do, then you have to be willing to part with a hell of a lot more cash, but i look at it like an investment, if i pay £1000 for a good used gibson, and then sell it in 10 years time, i know i will get my money back plus a bit more, i dont think you will get the same return on an epi.

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