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  1. #1

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    Listed on Reverb for $1999: Epiphone Emperor F 1983 Sunburst ~ Matsumoku Era ~ Early | Reverb. No association with the guitar but I recall someone looking for one of these a while ago.
    Last edited by Bill Eisele; 09-25-2021 at 12:38 PM.

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  3. #2

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    Unfortunately, the seller isn't taking offers. I just looked up the guitar in the 2021 Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide and it indicates a value of $700 to $900 for an example in excellent condition. But I can't speak to the accuracy of the listed value range in the guide.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Eisele
    Unfortunately, the seller isn't taking offers. I just looked up the guitar in the 2021 Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide and it indicates a value of $700 to $900 for an example in excellent condition. But I can't speak to the accuracy of the listed value range in the guide.
    That's not accurate at all. I would say $1800 seems fair but I'm not in the US. If it was me I would pay $1600.

    Condition seems good and they are somewhat collectable.

    I could easily see some trying to sell it for $2000 and up so the price doesn't seem too aggressive but it's not a pvt sale.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    That's not accurate at all. I would say $1800 seems fair but I'm not in the US. If it was me I would pay $1600.

    Condition seems good and they are somewhat collectable.

    I could easily see some trying to sell it for $2000 and up so the price doesn't seem too aggressive but it's not a pvt sale.
    Would you think that the price on something like a Matsumoku Aria Pro II PE180 would be comparable? A nice one of those goes for about 1600-1800 USD. That Epi Emperor F could be a very nice guitar. I do think they are laminated, but still a very well done, 7 layer laminate.

  6. #5

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    I have seen other guitars listed in VG Price Guide with wildly inaccurate pricing information, so no surprise that this guitar’s value is under estimated.

  7. #6

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    I owned one of these sometime ago. Great guitars. Although the top is laminated, they have a pretty good acoustic tone. The build quality is excellent. Of course, it is not comparable to a real L5, but great value for money.
    The pickguard of the one that is offered for sale, is an aftermarket one. The original one is much nicer, but what I recall also prone to curling up...1983 Epiphone Emperor Model F -  Matsumoku Era-epi-emperor-f-jpg

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Would you think that the price on something like a Matsumoku Aria Pro II PE180 would be comparable? A nice one of those goes for about 1600-1800 USD. That Epi Emperor F could be a very nice guitar. I do think they are laminated, but still a very well done, 7 layer laminate.
    I haven't had the pleasure of playing an older Jp Epiphone but judging by all the other types I have played, from the same origin (country) and era, I would think the Epiphone would be a bit nicer than the Aria.
    The Aria is a good guitar but it's a bit of a tank and I think you'll get genuine ebony with the Epiphone (without closer inspection).
    I believe the board on the Aria is ebonised rosewood, although I can't truly remember.

    I would imagine the Epiphone has a nicer tone but more prone to feedback. Something closer to an elitist perhaps?

    The Aria should imo be a little bit less by a few hundred £ or $ but it truly depends on what's currently in fashion.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    I haven't had the pleasure of playing an older Jp Epiphone but judging by all the other types I have played, from the same origin (country) and era, I would think the Epiphone would be a bit nicer than the Aria.
    The Aria is a good guitar but it's a bit of a tank and I think you'll get genuine ebony with the Epiphone (without closer inspection).
    I believe the board on the Aria is ebonised rosewood, although I can't truly remember.

    I would imagine the Epiphone has a nicer tone but more prone to feedback. Something closer to an elitist perhaps?

    The Aria should imo be a little bit less by a few hundred £ or $ but it truly depends on what's currently in fashion.
    That actually sounds very accurate. I had an elitist Broadway and it had a bit more L5 sweetness than the Aria.


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  10. #9

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    I own both the Epiphone Emperor "F"
    and a Japanese made Navigator L-5/Super 400 which, as im told by many, is the same as the Aria, Memphis, etc versions of this guitar although im also told the Navigator version is very rare.

    Anyway, as a beginner, i will only give you facts and leave most of my inexperienced opinion on tone aside.

    The Navigator IS a tank. Very heavy and solid. Pete Townshend would struggle going Pete Townshend on it. Build quality seems very good and doesnt feel cheap. The Epiphone seems to be a slight step up in build quality and workmanship. The ebony fretboard, neck, binding all looks and feels wonderful. Definitely a lighter guitar, but by no means lightweight. Its also my favorite looking guitar.

    As for my neophyte opinion on sound, they are quite different to my ears. I believe (someone can correct me on this) they both have Maxon pickups. As far as details on the differences, i will have to get back to you after i really "A/B" them.

  11. #10

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    The pricing for 2021 is correct. I sold a PE180 for $2400 6 years ago. That guide is probably 20 years old.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    The pricing for 2021 is correct. I sold a PE180 for $2400 6 years ago. That guide is probably 20 years old.
    You sold a PE for $2400 some years ago!!!!

    They still go for around £1400 in the UK.

  13. #12
    After recently shopping around for both of these guitars in Europe I'd say this is about my experience as well. The MIJ Emperors seem to be going for around 1500-2100 euro depending on condition and dreams. The Arias a little bit less - 1100-1800 euro. The Emperors have a nicer finish and overall cleaner look, but it feels like the exact same guitar playing them side-by-side. They were both heavy as tanks but sounded great. Didn't work out for me, maybe next time!

    1983 Epiphone Emperor Model F -  Matsumoku Era-20210914_114801-jpg

  14. #13

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    Here's an Epi Emperor Model F, from Terada circa '91, for about $1165 US (before shipping)

    View in Chrome, and you can automagically change the Kanji to English, or you can copy and paste the kanji into DeepL for a 'better than Chrome' translation.

    Epiphone Emperor-J "made in japan" / 1991???/????????????????



    "Originally an archtop acoustic guitar without pickups, the Emperor evolved into a jazz guitar with a full acoustic structure in line with the flow of the times.

    The top is spruce, the sides and back are maple, and two original humbuckers are mounted, making it a complete jazz guitar. It is almost a Gibson L-5 in size and looks.
    Just as the Casino was the Epiphone version of Gibson's ES-330, this Emperor is the Epiphone version of the L-5. Needless to say, the Epiphone models produced in Japan from the end of the 80's to the beginning of the 90's were generally of high quality, and are still popularly called "Japan Vintage". Epiphone made in Japan is still very popular as "Japan Vintage". They are sold very quickly when they come out used. If you are looking for a jazz box one, but can't afford to buy a very expensive one, but don't want to compromise on the quality, this is the one for you!"


    Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)