Features: Ok, I'd like to start this review off with a bit of a tangent, if I may, I have, over the last few months, be trying to upgrade my Tanglewood TSB C 58 Les Paul, for a Gibson Les Paul Studio or Standard of some sort, however having tried loads of stuff in the shop, I simply couldn't find anything I liked more than my Tanglewood, then I spotted this guitar, tested it, fell in love with it and started scouring the web for one with a hard case.
I purchased this guitar second hand, and travelled a fair bit to collect it as well. The journey however, was worth it. The guitar was made in the Epiphone Custom shop in Korea, in 1996, and despite being 15 years old, the seller claimed to have only played it a few times, and it does look and play like new! And both necks are perfect, many idiotic people say when it comes to Gibson/Epiphone "Get a Gibson if you want a guitar to last over 3 years" (I still don't like Epiphone Les Pauls mind!) This guitar is 15 years old, may not have been played much, but if those necks are not warped now, chances are they never will
The guitar came with a hard case, and strong leather/velvet strap with strap locks, Hard case was important for me, for storing, and when I begin gigging it. And now, the "what they say" bit.
"Jimmy Page made it famous. Epiphone makes it available to you in fabulous detail. It combines a 6-string SG and a 12 string SG featuring Alnico Classic and Alnico Classic Plus pickups open-coil on the six side and covered on the twelve side mounted on a Mahogany body with a gorgeous Flame Maple top."
My only complaints, are there are only 20 frets, that doesn't bother me, but access to the 18th-20th frets on the 6-string for lead solos, such as the final fast bit on stairway to heaven, is extremely limited, and takes a bit of patience to work out how to play there, still Jimmy Page did it, somehow... The finish on mine is a lot more darker compared to the current G-1275's being sold, mine is closer to win red, with faint black stripes, as apposed to cherry red. // 8
Sound: I'm going to treat this section as if it were two guitars, and rate each neck individually.
Predictably, it has a lovely full sound, but it sure is one bitch to restring and tune correctly, this is my first ever time experimenting with a 12 string guitar, and it's a bit of a grind. I'm playing through a Vox 100w amp and all the sound selectors are extremely responsive, all giving a nice tone at a few twists. I generally play classic rock and nothing beats playing rhythm on a 12 string, the noise is out of this world! And of course, Stairway to Heaven has never sounded better! There is no dreaded fret buzz!
As mentioned before, access to the final few frets is awkward at first, but do able after some practice. The noise is very nice from this as well, can handle most style of music, in my opinion, also no fret buzz at all on this neck, either! // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar is 15 years old, and the seller never mentioned if he'd changed the factory set up, when I played it, the set up was perfect for me on the 12 string neck, but I lowered the 6 string action a bit, as I prefer playing a nice fast low as action as possible when playing some lead.
Also one of the pickups, for me, was raised way too high, thus lowered that as well, but nothing hard. There was no flaws with the guitar at all, there are no signs of wear, or anything! // 9
Reliability & Durability: This is one solid guitar (that's why there called SG's!), and I'm quite confident it will withstand gigging, and I will use it for just that, however, I would highly recommend getting a strong, decent, strap with locks. I certaintly wouldn't want no strap snapping on this thing, as it would go down, and with a lot of force!
All hardware has lasted 15 pretty idle years so far, reckon it'll continue to last providing it's treated with care! When gigging I may use my Tanglewood Les Paul as back up, in case I generally do get too tired holding the thing, it is a heavy old boy! The finish, I believe, will last for a very long time, it certainly doesn't seem cheap nor thin! // 8
Overall Impression: I only wish this guitar came with a third hand! Oh, and don't ever drop it on your foot! One of my all time favorite songs is "Stairway To Heaven", so of course, this guitar does suit my playing needs, as I am truly a vivid classic rock fan. And it is a joy to hear most songs being played on the 12 string neck, before switching to the 6-string at the flick of a Switch to play the solo!
The thing I like most about the guitar, is the amount of different tones and styles of play you can get out of the 2 necks, you can go from folk, to rock, simply by switching neck. The thing I dis like most, is the lack of the free 3rd arm, and the hard part of reaching last few frets, but I can't spot any other flaws! Some people complain that they hit the neck selector Switch when playing rhythm, I've never had this happen to me, and fail to see how someone could do that! // 9