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Epiphone Gibson Strat – POSSIBLE! (Know How to Get One For Yourself)

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Epiphone, Gibson and Fender are amongst the most recognizable and most highly regarded brand names when it comes to electric guitars. Each has its own unique traits and features and it’s hard to say which is better than the other. 

The reality is that each guitar from these top-tier brands has something special about it. Each brand resonates with certain players (and listeners) more than others do. 

Guitarists (and even the original manufacturers of these guitars) have been coming up with modified versions that bring together some of the key features of each guitar. 

In some models, you will find the single coil setup that is typical of a Strat used on a Gibson layout, while in other cases you will find the dual-pickup from Gibson planted into an ergonomic Strat body. 

Some people also choose to create a hybrid between an Epiphone and a Gibson or a Strat and an Epiphone. If you get into the word of guitar modifications the possibilities are always endless. 

However, it all boils down to what you prefer and how you personally want to build your guitar. That being said, there is no shortage of modified and customized guitars available on the market which you can pick up and start playing today. 

In this article, we will go into more detail about the Epiphone Gibson Fender Strat hybrid. 

Difference between Epiphone, Gibson, and Fender Strat

The Fender Strat is a very different instrument while the Gibson and Epiphone do share some commonalities.

Epiphone and Gibson

Considering that Gibson owns Epiphone and they both share the same parent company, (KKR & Co Inc.) it makes sense to compare these two, side by side. 

Moreover, both brands offer a lot of the same products, just at vastly different price ranges. The difference in price exists for a few different reasons. 

Gibson acquired Epiphone in the 1950s, although they both started off at around the same time in the early 1930s. After the acquisition, Epiphone was optimized to be a more affordable/beginner oriented line while Gibson was a pro-level offering. 

The most popular model from these brands, the Les Paul, will cost around $700 from Epiphone while the same model from Gibson will be close to $3000. 

Another major difference is in the selection. While popular models such as the Les Paul are available through both companies, each has also developed its own line of signature products.

A number of Epiphone models, especially in the acoustic range, simply don’t have a counterpart in the Gibson arsenal, and vice versa. In terms of materials used, the difference can be harder to tell.

Both companies use maple wood, mahogany, poplar and other woods but there is a difference in the exact species, grain, thickness and overall quality of the wood. Typically, Gibson uses some higher-end materials.

The electronics are a bit more confusing. In some lower-priced Gibsons, it is not uncommon to find Epiphone pickups while in some high-end Epiphones, it is common to find Gibson USA pickups. 

Similarly, Gibson also uses EMG pickups on some models that are designed for the metal audience. Likewise Epiphone also uses third-party electronics on certain model lines. 

In terms of fit and finish, Gibson is still far ahead of Epiphone. Gibson technicians take their time with each piece whereas Epiphones are mass-produced and small differences are inevitable. 

Here is a good video to consider.


Price-wise, a Fender is in the same category as a Gibson. Tonally, some guitar players are of the opinion that Fender has a thinner, brighter sound whereas Gibsons have a deeper, warmer sound with more sustain. 

There are multiple reasons for this. However, the two most prominent factors are the electronics and the materials used. 

In terms of materials, Fender uses ashwood or Alderwood whereas Gibson uses Mahogany and Maplewood. This also plays a role in weight. Gibsons tend to be much heavier than Fender counterparts. 

Electronics are another major difference. Fender exclusively uses single coil pickups (usually three of them) whereas Gibson uses ‘humbuckers.’ A single humbucker is essentially a pair of single coils put together. 

This produces more power and also stops the guitars from picking up resonance from other electronics nearby (something Fenders are infamous for). 

Styling and designing are also very different. Gibsons tend to have harder, sharper edges, they are slightly larger, they have the jack on the side and they come in finishes very different from the Strat. 

One of the most iconic differences is the neck patterns found on classic Gibson models such as the Les Paul. Fender is known to have a much more ergonomic design and a softer and smoother finish.

The jack is on the front part of the guitar, and a major difference is the whammy bar that Fenders have. Another noticeable difference is the scale length. Gibsons have a scale length of 24.75 inches whereas Fenders are 25.5. 

This has an impact on the kind of sound you get from the guitar. Here is a good video about Fender Strats. 

Epiphone Gibson Strat, Why Do That?

For seasoned players and professionals even the minor differences in sound from one model of Gibson to another model of Gibson are a serious concern, let alone the differences between one brand of guitar and another. 

When it comes to the Gibson and Fender debate, you have to keep in mind that these are fundamentally different instruments. Their sound is very different based on the electronics, materials, structure and technical aspects of these instruments. 

Moreover, when you combine the electronics of a Fender with the body and the technical aspects of a Gibson you get a completely different sound that is neither a Gibson nor a Fender, but a unique hybrid.

The same is true if you combine the core components of a Gibson with a Fender. Just as there are die-hard fans of Gibsons and Fenders, there are die-hard fans of these hybrids. 

Another major concern is the styling, the aesthetics and the overall visual aspect of the instrument. Fenders and Gibsons are quite different in their design and some people may prefer the sound of one but want the styling of the other. 

Naturally, creating a hybrid guitar from the two that combines the best features of both instruments is a solution to this challenge. For some enthusiasts, modifying and building guitars is a hobby.

Just like people who can afford to buy a sports car but prefer to buy a regular car and modify it to their standards (which often ends up costing more than the sports car). 

Especially after Covid, a lot of people have started getting into the DIY hobby and tweaking beloved belongings like a guitar is a pleasurable pastime. 

Epiphone Gibson Strat, How are they Made?

For DIY hobbyists, the easiest way is to simply buy two (usually damaged or second-hand) guitars, tear them apart, and put them together again in a configuration that suits their tastes as needed. 

Usually, people with a damaged Gibson/Fender will buy the components of the opposite brand and rebuild their damaged guitar that way. In most cases, buying just the electronics of even a top-shelf Fender or Gibson is only a fraction of the price of the entire guitar. 

Therefore it is a good way for people to give their old guitars a significant upgrade in terms of hardware and it is also a way for them to build their own customized instrument. 

There are very few companies or guitar stores that manufacture this hybrid guitar as new since it is an infringement of their copyright and patented designs. However, there are some niche enthusiasts who do build nearly OEM, or even better, hybrids. 

For a short period of time (during the 1970s) Gibson manufactured the ‘S1’ model (here is a video of one) which was their reply to the Strat. However, this wasn’t much of a hit and production quickly stopped a few years after launch. 

How much does the Epiphone Gibson Strat Cost?

This depends on a few different factors. Firstly, the condition of the guitar. If it is new, and from a reputable builder, it can easily cost as much, or even more, than what an original Fender or Gibson will cost new.

This will easily be in the $3000-$5000 range. Such guitars rarely come to the second-hand market. However, you may be able to find an S1 on the second-hand market. If it is in good condition it can be around $1000-$1500. 

The last option is to get a Strat Paul hybrid that is made by an enthusiast. Again, it depends on whether it was made from new guitars, what the condition of the guitar is, and how well it actually plays. This could range from a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand. 

Pros and Cons of using this Kind of Guitar

The biggest advantage, and possibly the only reason to buy such a guitar, is that you get a very unique instrument. In regards to the aesthetics, the sound, and the overall playing experience, it is something that you cannot get from either brand on its own. 

Moreover, you also get the pleasure of knowing that you own something that was really ‘built’ to suit your needs rather than buying something off the shelf. 

The major con of such an instrument is that it doesn’t always resonate with the audience. You may enjoy it more than any other guitar, but the same can’t be said for listeners. If you plan on playing in a band or playing professionally, this can be a bit of a challenge. 

In terms of durability and longevity, these guitars will do just as well as any other, if not better. They use the same components and are made of the same materials so they will easily be able to handle wear and tear.

Where to Get the Epiphone Gibson Strat?

In the past, there was a manufacturer by the name of Tony Zemaitis based in the UK who was a luthier by profession and also made some custom instruments.

Some of the best Strat Paul hybrids to date are the ones he and his son made. Today if you are looking for a brand new Strat Paul hybrid you will have to find one at the ESP Store which is owned and operated in Japan by the famous Japanese guitarist Sugizo.

Specifically, you should look into the ESP line by Sugizo to see their Strat Paul hybrids. Other than these two formal businesses you can visit eBay, Etsy and other online marketplaces where customized instruments are available.

These are not very common but sometimes a gem or two do come up. Lastly, you could have a look at physical stores in your locality. One store which is known to come up with odd and interesting items is Normans Rare Guitar Store in California USA.


If you have enjoyed a Gibson or a Fender and you are on the hunt for something truly unique and inspiring, a Strat Paul might be just the right thing for you. 

In fact, if you want a good activity, building one on your own will also be an interesting option. There are plenty of resources online to help you through the process and many have already done it with amazing results. 

Overall it is certainly something that will keep you entertained for many years to come whether you build one or buy one.