I have a 2004 Epiphone G400 Gothic. I bought it used in 2011. The person I bought it from sold it to me with fretbuzz. I haven't minded it so I chose not to repair it. But now that I've been playing for several years, I would like to play without worrying about the buzz. The neck's action definitely needs to be reset, and I don't know how to properly do it. I also think some of the wiring inside needs to be addressed (I don't think it's grounded properly) since sometimes I get horrible feedback for what seems like no reason.

So the guitar is old and has seen better days no doubt. My question is is it worth it to get all these repairs done or just save for a new guitar? I love my G400, it's my first guitar. But I think it's time I got something new, or at least fixed what's wrong with my current instrument. I'm no music prodigy, just a hobbyist.

If I did buy a new guitar I'd probably get an ESP, either their Eclipse line or the LTC EC line.

  • 2
    You are considering scrapping it. Why not get another for your main guitar, and gently work on the old one. Chances are you won't wreck it, and you'll learn how to adjust on the job. Worst case scenario, you may wreck it, but that's what could happen anyway. Or - find another one in a state, and work on that, for the experience. Which, believe me, is invaluable.
    – Tim
    May 26, 2018 at 7:52
  • There are so many videos online about how to do a proper set up. It doesn't take much tools. I would draw the line at doing fret work unless you don't care about damaging beyond repair. It sounds like you want a new guitar anyway, though. That's what I would do
    – rfportilla
    Oct 9, 2021 at 0:36

2 Answers 2


Do a cost/benefit analysis starting with the actual costs. So the cost of a new G400 (or the ESP from a quick search) is about $400, right?

So now you need to find out how much it will cost to fix your current guitar. See if you can take it in for a quote. It might be a simple as doing a setup, but it could also be something like the frets or the nut. If you need a fret job on it that will definitely increase the cost a bit. If there are wiring issues, those are usually a relatively inexpensive repair, but that will add to the total cost. So try to get a quote.

Once you know what it will actually cost to fix it, it will be a lot easier to make the decision. For instance if it was more than $400 (it won't be though) that would make it pretty clear that it's not worth fixing. But you might find that they say it only needs a setup and the price might be worth it to you.

But that's pretty hard to determine until you know precisely what needs fixed.


I've owned Epiphones and played ESP (My wife has an inexpensive LTD). I have been quite impressed by the ESP models I've played and I cannot say the same for Epiphone. All guitars will need work, they are all an investment regardless of the initial cost. They should be checked at least every year and adjusted. After a few years of playing they will need fret dressing and eventually new frets. this starts to get expensive but it is the reality of the situation. My point(s) is (are) this, (1) don't think that if a guitar is not working it's time for a new one, (2) don't think a new one will be problem free. A buzz can be fixed with an easy tweak! And the fact is that many brand spanking new guitars buzz because they are not set up properly or have slipped at the store. To me it seems like a 50/50 crap shoot. Take you ax in to a store willing to do an evaluation and a free estimate. If they say 75$ set up will correct the buzz do it. They may say you need new frets (250$). That may not be worth it but you NEW ESP WILL EVENTUALLY NEED IT, all guitars need it. My question would be, how do these two models compare in reviews.

  • Fret dressing after a few years? My main guitar has done thousands of gigs in the last forty years, and hardly gets 'work' to re-set, apart from new strings. And none of my guitars - several from the '60s, need anything like you portray here.
    – Tim
    May 26, 2018 at 7:49
  • Depends on how much you play, how hard you play (techniques wise), and how well you keep them in the winter. All of my guitars have needed minor fret work over time, every 15 years or so. And I have a light touch. Price varies greatly from city to city.
    – user50691
    May 26, 2018 at 10:43

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