Les Paul Special Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 02/14/2013 category: Electric Guitars
Epiphone: Les Paul Special
It has a mahogany and rosewood neck, basswood body, 22 frets with Dot inlays. It's equipped with stock Epiphone passive pickups that are quite weak and have no cover and a tune-o-matic bridge.
 Sound: 7
 Overall Impression: 7
 Reliability & Durability: 6.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 5.7
 Overall rating:
 6.8 
 Reviewer rating:
 6.9 
 Users rating:
 6.6 
 Votes:
 27 
reviews (3) 19 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 6.2
Les Paul Special Reviewed by: Reesy666, on august 31, 2010
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: It has a mahogany and rosewood neck, basswood body, 22 frets with Dot inlays. Mine has a black finish that bursts inwards into a greyish colour (I've never seen this colour elsewhere so I do not know the name of it sorry, probably ash burst or something). The tuners are stock Epiphone ones I believe (not the grover ones you get on slightly more expensive epis). It's equipped with stock Epiphone passive pickups that are quite weak and have no cover and a tune-o-matic bridge. It has one tone and one volume knob so you can't flick between pickups with different volumes (to do the killswitch effect) // 5

Sound: For Standard rock the guitar is quite good- not great but what do you expect for a 120 pound guitar? The pickups don't have enough kick to play heavy/thrash metal very well although due this weakness they are good for blues and less overdriven/distorted music. There isn't a lot of variety the guitar can do, it either sounds quite good with the volume fully up and tone high, but not too great (in my opinion) as soon as they drop- you lose a lot of sustain with loss of volume and the sound becomes very unclear with the tone dropped. If you want versatility with this guitar you'll need to put some good money into a decent amp or buy a load of stompboxes- you wont get a lot from the guitar. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: On this category it's almost faultless- the action is quite low, frets are perfectly aligned, pickups at a decent height. The finish I have is pretty sweet, but the others available are just Standard colours. But I say ALMOST faultless because I heightened the pickups to get a little more out kick from it although that's just to make it more to my liking and the main problem is the tuning pegs- due to them being cheap they don't hold the guitar in tune for too long- I've swapped them out for grovers which work a lot better and aren't too pricey. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The reason why I left this review so long is to give a good review on how durable it is. After a couple of years (of being treated well) there is still visible rust appearing on the pickups which has happened to none of my other guitar. Everything else is as good as when it was new aside from a little buckle rash from live playing. Once you swap the tuning pegs I'd say it is reliable to be an only guitar for playing live as it will stay in tune then although it's not my first choice-it's my backup's backup- like I've said, I don't get enough power out of it. But that's the sound I have a problem with, not reliability- so that wont affect this score // 7

Overall Impression: I'll keep this bit short as my review was a little long-winded but then if you're reading it, chances are you're considering buying one and would like to know as much as you can about the guitar. If you have any more questions about it drop me a message on UG and I'll get back to it ASAP. Basically, I'd advise you to save up and get a Standard Les Paul or SG for between about 50-100 pound more- this guitar should only really be a first guitar, trust me, you wont want to be using it when you get live shows going unless you've modded it considerably which will cost more than saving for a better guitar. // 6

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overall: 6.6
Les Paul Special Reviewed by: FlyingPirahna, on december 22, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Features: The Epiphone Special Model features 22 frets, a mahogany neck, two humbucker pickups, and a tune-o-matic bridge. It has one volume and one tone knob, as well as a three-way selector switch. The neck itself is a bolt-on, and is fairly thin. This is not a guitar high on features, scraping by with only the bare minimum of options. For a beginner this will not be a problem, but anyone else will have a difficult time with it's lack of features. // 6

Sound: When played with high distortion and high volume, this guitar has a nice humbucker crunch. It is well suited to playing hard rock like Stone Temple Pilots or Pearl Jam, as well as more classic rock such as Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin. However, the sound suffers once you back off on the distortion, with the thinness of the pickups showing through more clearly than when played with distortion. On higher frets and a cleaner tone, the sound warbles slightly, and sounds cheap as a result. The sound CAN be improved though; I swapped the nut out for a GraphTech TUSQ nut, and surprised at how much the tone improved, as it removed some of the excess noise which had plagued my tone. Upgrading the nut is cheap and highly recommended on this guitar, as the stock nut is made of cheap plastic and cracked on me twice before I finally swapped it out. Also, this guitar is a good base for upgrades. I am planning to exchange the pickups, after seeing such good results with a simple nut change, and the low price of the guitar encourages experimentation with upgrades. The guitar shines when it rocks, but it doesn't clean up well. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: I received this guitar as a birthday present, and was informed that it was previously owned. I do not know if the previous owner had the guitar set up in anyway, but when I got my hands on it, I found it to be a very easy guitar to play. The action is low, which makes this a great guitar for beginners to fret. The neck is also fairly thin, which allows the player to move about the fretboard with ease and speed. I give this section an 8 because as the beginner advances, the low action will need to be adjusted, as it is not conducive to building finger strength. On another note, the guitar's finish holds up well, because despite it being on it's second owner, it does not show much wear, and it still shines. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I am a fairly novice guitar player, and I have yet to try this guitar out in a live environment. However, having this guitar for four years, I am starting to notice some rust around and on the screws of the pickups, as well as around the pickup selector. As well as a rusting problem, on my guitar, the input jack is starting to become loose, and has a tendency to cut out if the cord moves around too much. Despite these flaws, I have never had a serious problem with this guitar, and with proper care, it may be possible to keep it in better shape than mine is in. // 5

Overall Impression: Overall, this is a very good beginner guitar, for a good price. It has a low action and a thin neck that is perfect for a player just learning how to fret and finger, and is well suited to rock music. Also, the guitar lends itself well to upgrading, and can be made into a solid axe. However, the stock pickups do suffer from a bit of warble, and the hardware is prone to rusting after a few years of ownership. All in all, this axe is not suitable for most experienced players, but for someone looking to learn, it is a cheap choice that plays well. // 7

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overall: 7.8
Les Paul Special Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 14, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 109

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: New model, Made in China. Les Paul Special I model, similar to a Special II but different in the following ways: wraparound bridge, 2 P90 single coils. Single tone and volume control, 3 way switch, mahogany body and neck, mine is finished in an "vintage" cherry stain, like the "faded" models. Guitar actually looks nice, and you can see the woodgrain through the stain. Standard covered tuners, same as Special II, but they are doing the job. Came with 2 allen wrenches for adjustment of neck and for the bridge. // 6

Sound: The biggest surprise is how good this guitar sounds. It is very light and comfortable to play, and I like the neck, it feels good, and the fret job is decent. In the bridge, together and necks positions you get 3 distinct sounds. Clean, it gets that classic "honk" that soapbars are known for in the bridge position, and with both pickups together, it cancels the hum while maintaining enough treble bite. In the neck position, it can go from blues to jazz with just simple adjustments with the tone control, which surprisingly works very well, more of a gradual rolloff of the treble which is nice. Add some distortion and this guitars sings. I use a Line 6 Spider III HD 150 half stack and have been having a lot of fun with this guitar. The P90's do have a hum, but when you hear the tone from these pickups you learn to live with the hum. Overall, I'm very happy with this guitar. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Set up from the factory was excellent, but to be fair, I tried a black one and another cherry one that was hanging on the rack at the Guitar Center, but the salesman told me he had one in a box in back, brought it out, and this one felt the best, the frets were clean, no fret buzz etc. You do have to try them all. The neck, which is bolt on fits snug in the pocket with no gaps, and while the tuners are the very basic ones, they are holding the guitar in tune very well. The overall condition of the guitar was excellent, clean pain (stain) job, nice smooth fretwork and overall very good setup. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The guitar would definitely withstand live playing, it is solid. The hardware appears solid and the strap buttons are screwed in snug. I think you could definitely gig without a backup as the guitar appears solid. I have seen people gigging with Special II's so this guitar would probably follow in the same vein. While I like the finish, it is a stain without any lacquer or gloss on it. It probably will wear, but that will probably wear in a way that will make the guitar look faded. I have had several Epiphones and have found them to be solid, well made instruments. // 8

Overall Impression: I have 2 other guitars an Epiphone Dot, which I really like and a "Frankenstrat" style guitar which is a lot of fun to play. I like classic rock, blues, power pop and some country and this guitar plays most of it fine. If it were lost or stolen, I would definitely buy another one, and maybe will someday for a backup. I have had Fenders, other Epiphones, LTD's, and Ibanez guitars, so while I knew the price was cheap on this one, I went in not expecting the moon, but I feel I have gotten close. I find myself playing this guitar more and more and it is becoming my favorite. It just feels comfortable to me, like the neck was made special for me. I had a Squier Telecaster Custom II with the P90's, and this one is built much better, as I had electrical and hardware problems with the Tele, which costs more. The Tele had Duncan Designed soapbars and the Epiphone P90's, which according to Epiphone is the same as the other P90 equipped guitars they sell are on par if not a little sweeter sounding. While the hardware on this guitar may not be "top notch", I can always replace them if needed. So far, they are working perfectly. Like I have said, it is the cheapest new guitar I have bought, and the guy at Guitar Center said this is a special run, I don't know it it is just them, or any other stores are selling them, but I noticed it is not offered at Sam Ash. It may be an inexpensive guitar, but it is becoming my favorite. // 8

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