jueves, 26 de septiembre de 2013

1979 Epiphone Genesis vs 1980 Epiphone Genesis (Custom)

                                                                          1979 Japan Catalog

The first prototypes of the Epiphone Genesis were bulit handmade by Jim Walker  with the help of his old friend and mentor John Montgomery , in the same workshop where together they had built years before the famous Hamer guitars, they were pioneers in the world of "boutique" instruments  better known today as " Custom Shop "

These prototypes was rendered at the Gibson-Kalamazoo plant and he sent plans to Japan. 
( in those days the Epiphone production had  base on the Matsumoku plant)

 In 1979  the first Genesis built outside America  was produced in Japan under the supervision of 
Shiro Arai  who was nothing more and nothing less than the founder of Aria.
He was commissioned to build some units of the new guitar with Gibson /Epiphone people  planned to boost the Epiphone brand into the world of solid electric guitars. 

(At that time in Japan, late 70's and early 80s,  american style electrics guitars were built with excellent workmanship with noble materials and amazing finishing quality,    the high quality of Japanese labor on electric guitars at that point of hystory is something that today attracts great admiration among connoisseurs,   in many cases the guitars produced  were of better quality than the original models produced in america.)

 After having produced a few units of the Genesis in Japan, by cost issues is decided that the mass production would take place in the recently opened Pearl Drums factory  in Taiwan , this was a modern plant and had the latest technology and machinery brought from Japan, on this plant  Pearl produces later  was where there the most successful drumkit  of  the brand, the  Pearl  "Export Series" 

 1979 Japan edition Genesis Custom  -      1980 Genesis Custom Taiwan production unit  
Differences  and   Similarities

The first Genesis prototypes built in Japan are quite different from the  mass-produced units built in the Pearl factory as we can see on the 1979 Japanese catalogs  pictures 

1979 Japan Catalog

 the catalog pictures above shows  the japanese edition of the Genesis,  they looks almost identical to the prototype built  by Jim Walker (picture below)  
The pickups are covered humbuckers, and the knobs are "Top Hat "style, with words "Tone" and "Volume" on the top, like  olds   Epiphone and Gibson guitars from 60s. 
 (the only noticeable difference is that the original prototype has american pickups with 2 height-adjustment screws and the Japan Genesis has Japan pickups with 3 height-adjustment screws)


The  production units sold worldwide was different to the first prototypes
A first sight we can see that diference, they came with exposed humbucker pickups and  "Speed" knobs as we can see in the USA AD below.

Epiphone Genesis AD

                                                    ( production units manufactured by Pearl)

                                                   Standard - Deluxe - Custom

                                                      "exposed"  humbuckers and  "Speed"  knobs


            is very important to know that  the 99% of the  Genesis that we can find outhere are one of                               those kind,   the production units manufactured by Pearl,  and those are the guitars that gave fame to the model, but are not the same like the early japan Genesis.         
 But the difference between each other, (japan and taiwan)  are not the aesthetic aspects   the main difference are the instrument dimensions 

As mentioned before the first thing you notice in the 1979 Japan Custom has covered humbuckers and  top-hut knobs


               But these differences could be a result of having been "customized" or personalized 
                                     the bisgget  difference  can not be altered aftermarket  

1979 Epiphone Genesis japan edition

                          As you can see on  the photos below the neck profile is very different,
              On the 1979 Custom Genesis   the neck  are much thicker and the voluta looks different too.
                         even the rear curve of the neck  at the join with the body also differs.


                                The superposed green indicators are exactly the same size on both guitars necks.
                                                  help us to see that the difference is significant

the neck profile  is completely different,
the " feel" of the Custom 79 is ,more in the  Les Paul  style neck from the 50s.very chunky.

in the production units  the neck  is thinner,  and  feels more like a Les Paul neck of the late 60s or 70s but  not as thin as a "slim 60s"

                                 Watching from above also notice the difference in the body
                     1979 Japanese version the body is thicker the Taiwanese production is quite thinner .

Another fundamental difference you can not see with the eyes  is that on the Japanese edition

 the neck  have only  1 piece. 

On  the production version  the neck and headstock are two separate pieces. 

I hope this data helps them to not be fooled , because most of the time that appears an Epiphone Genesis for sale often said to be " Made in Japan " when it is really not true  .

All the Genesis  mass production , built  by Pearl in Taiwan,  had  the same specifications for the 3 years of production ( 1979-1980-1981 ) 
they have the same measures on body and necks,  
and that is perhaps the most inmportant difference with the first few units built in Japan  that are significantly thicker.
I hope this article perusing all learn to differentiate between these guitars so they can not be deceived by dishonest sellers.