Have you dreamed of a Dove, but found the Gibson prices far too steep? Then the Epiphone Dove Pro could be what you’ve been waiting for.
Since its first appearance in 1962, the Gibson Dove has appeared in the hands of famous country and rock guitarists across the world. With its iconic look, it’s among the most recognizable acoustics of all time. The Epiphone Dove Pro makes this legend more approachable to regular guitarists, and it adds modern electronics to the mix. Whether you play solo acoustic gigs or need to get heard over a lively band, the Epiphone Dove Pro aims to please with its sound as much as with aesthetics. Keep reading this Epiphone Dove Pro review to find out how it delivers.
The Epiphone Dove Pro is like a classic Gibson Dove with electronics and slightly different materials. It brings the old rock and roll icon into the modern age, and into the hands of less wealthy guitarists.
A solid spruce top on a laminated maple body gives it a warm tone that grows with age. The maple SlimTaper D-profile neck connects with a dovetail joint. This neck has a 12-inch fretboard radius and a 1.68-inch nut width. The rosewood fretboard has the classic pearloid parallelogram inlays, making it easy to tell the 20 frets apart. Imitation bone makes the nut and compensated saddle durable and provide a harmonic-rich tone. A set of Grover 14:1 tuners ease your tuning and keep the Epiphone Dove Pro in tune for a long time.
Further, the Epiphone Dove Pro has integrated Fishman Sonicore electronics. This modern pickup system produces a more “acoustic” sound than your average acoustic guitar pickup system. You can adjust the bass, treble, and master volume. A single battery can power it for around 100 hours.
The Epiphone Dove Pro has the iconic yellowish violin burst finish of classic Gibson doves. It has a poly finish, which makes it shiny and durable and has a slight dampening effect on the guitar’s resonance. It’s smooth and doesn’t have the imperfections often found on cheaper guitars. All pearloid inlays are plastic, but they’re fine and don’t have excess material around the edges. The Epiphone Dove Pro has an imitation tortoiseshell pickguard where the classic dove painting resides.
How the Epiphone Dove Pro Plays
A narrow neck makes the guitar approachable for a wider audience. Epiphone has made sure that frets don’t jut out, and the neck and fretboard finish isn’t too sticky or uneven. So, it’s a pretty fast neck that invites every type of guitarist and playing style. Bar chords and arpeggios won’t be very challenging, even if your hands are on the smaller side.
The string action is balanced and even. And if you’re not perfectly happy, it’s easy to fine-tune the setup with the truss rod. An Epiphone Dove Pro is lighter than its Gibson counterpart, and light in general, so it won’t be uncomfortable during long sessions.
It has a fat and full tone like a dreadnought should. The combination of spruce and maple produces a warm, vibrant sound. On the higher frets, the lighter strings can get somewhat jangly, but not in an unpleasant way. It has that classic country guitar sound. However, I’d say this is a suitable guitar for just about any genre.
The Epiphone Dove Pro has a nice amount of resonance, and notes ring out slowly. You don’t get the full, bright sustain of a high-end guitar, but it’s good for the price point. As for the plugged-in sound, it has a natural quality to it, and the tone control is enough to perfect it for your preferences.
What People Say
Guitarists give the Epiphone Dove Pro 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. They like its loud and rich tone, the build quality, and how easy it is to play. Concerning the negatives, some users report dead frets or electronic issues.
Believe it or not, you can get an Epiphone Dove Pro for less than $400. Considering that a proper Gibson Dove costs thousands, that’s not half bad.
Epiphone Dove Pro VS Gretsch G5024E Rancher
Like Gibson, Gretsch mostly makes pricey deluxe guitars. However, the G5025E Rancher is an affordable option. It has the same Sonicore but an Isys+ preamp. It’s a solid spruce top with scalloped X-bracing. Other than the triangular soundhole and an extra fret, it’s very similar to the Epiphone Dove Pro.
Regarding sound and playability, the two are similar as well. And Gretsch’s build quality is dependable. Learn More about the Rancher.
Pros & Cons
After all that information, I’d say a recap is in order. Here are the key takeaways in fewer words.
- Full tone
- Great value for the price
- Easy playability
- Natural-sounding electronics
These qualities make the Epiphone Dove Pro one of the best acoustic guitars under $500. While it’s an intermediate guitar, it’s approachable enough for beginners. And it has the style and uniqueness to attract seasoned, highly skilled guitarists who’ve always dreamed of a Dove.
- Laminated body
- Build quality may vary
While some would list the lack of cutaway as a downside, a Dove shouldn’t have a cutaway. This also applies to other features that don’t belong on a Dove. Overall, there’s nothing significant to complain about.
Is Epiphone Dove Pro the Right Choice for You?
If you dream of a Dove but can’t afford Gibson prices, the Epiphone Dove Pro is an ideal choice. It has all the features a good steel-string acoustic guitar should have, and it’s suitable for all skill levels. It carries the legacy well, and it gets great user ratings, so I recommend the Epiphone Dove Pro. If you’re interested in its Hummingbird twin, read my review here.
Epiphone Dove Pro John Holloway Rating: 5 out of 5