An affordable SG with coil tapping? Yes please. We take a look in our Epiphone G-400 Pro review
The Epiphone G-400 Pro was already a very well specified guitar at a temptingly low price. Based on the classic Gibson SG, it provided the characteristic sound and look, but without needing a rockstar sized bank balance to own one. Epiphone constantly updates models, and their guitars represent greater value with every passing year. The new G-400 pro is a great example of this. Now, the updated guitar provides coil-tapped humbuckers, which promise even more versatility at a price that’s still affordable.
Is it any good? We take a look in our Epiphone G-400 Pro review.
The young upstart…
The Gibson SG has still somehow held on to a reputation as the ‘young troublemaker’ in the Gibson range. Started, perhaps, when Les Paul took a dislike to the guitar earmarked as the replacement for the Les Paul model, and asked for his name to be removed, this reputation grew as the guitarists who chose to play the SG tended to a little bit, well, rebellious themselves.
The Epiphone G-400 Pro has healthy doses of that rock ‘n’ roll spirit, but with a few neat twists on the old classic. The body is a familiar solid mahogany design, with a glued-in mahogany neck. The neck itself features a slim-taper ‘D’ profile, with the playability for which the SG is famed. The fingerboard is a rosewood affair, with trapezoid inlays. So far, so good.
The electronics of the new Epiphone G-400 Pro are where things venture a little ‘off piste’. It is equipped with two Epiphone Alnico Classic PRO 4-wire humbuckers, which are capable of evoking the full gamut of tones, from Angus Young, to Ray Manzarek via Tony Iommi and Eric Clapton.
Unusually, however, these are coil tapped, and able to be split into single coils via push-pull volume controls. This vastly increases the range of tones the guitar is capable of. The hardware equipped to the Epiphone G-400 Pro includes a Locktune bridge and stopbar tailpiece, and Wilkinson Vintage Classic tuners.
The original G-400 has long been one of the most popular models in Epi’s range, providing, as it does, some of the SG magic at prices beginners can afford. All of the key ingredients are here in this new Pro version. The classic mahogany body is finished very nicely indeed for a guitar at this price. Those who lust for classic SG looks will find much to like here.
The SG was originally billed as ‘the fastest neck in the world’. The G-400 Pro is no slouch in this department either. The SlimTaper D profile is plenty thin and speedy, with a rosewood fingerboard to boot.
The true stars of this particular show are the pickups. On affordable guitars, this is commonly the area of design that is subject to a bit of ‘cost-cutting’. The Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers fitted here put paid to that particular trend. Full, rich clean tones, and plenty of characteristic SG roar are available on tap. And, on the subject of ‘taps’, the coil-tapping feature, which splits the humbuckers into single coils, adds an unprecedented range of tones to the G-400.
When split, there’s a brighter ‘twang’ to tone that’s likely to appeal to anyone in the market for more blues or country oriented tones.
The original G-400 was always incredibly good value. The new G-400 Pro raises the bar, in this regard. You get the classic Epiphone SG tones, with the added bonus of single-coil tones via the coil-tapping. This is all packaged into a guitar that plays beautifully, and has all of the hallmarks of a classic SG.
Undoubtedly one of the best buys in the electric guitar world right now.
Order online here or for more information, call our stores or customer service team (01925 582420).
Joe is a contributor for the Dawsons Music blog. Specialising in product reviews and crafting content to help and inspire musicians of all musical backgrounds.