One of the most popular Epiphone models, the Special II gives you all the essential elements of a Les Paul such as powerful twin humbuckers combined with a stop-bar tailpiece and Tune-O-Matic bridge for killer tone and great sustain. All at a price that anyone can afford.
Dannomite, on august 08, 2011 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: C$ 80
Features: I'm not sure what year it was made. Same features as every other Special II on the planet. // 8
Sound: The guy I bought it off of was running it through a tube amp of some sort and it sounded good. Even running it though my solid state practice amp was good. It sounded as good as you'd expect a budget guitar to sound. No better, no worse. I guess you could play pretty much anything with it. How well is another story. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: This is where the Special II fails. The poly finish on it is tough as nails, but that's it. I recently stripped the whole guitar down to use for a project and this is what I found.
-Advertised as Mahogany, but they fail to mention it's ply wood.
-Pickup cavities are poorly cut and slightly off center.
-The neck was too sticky for my liking (thick poly).
-The hardware feels cheap. // 2
Reliability & Durability: Despite the poor parts and craftsmanship, it's solid and will put up with a beating. Like I said, the poly finish is great and will put up with a beating, but who cares. It's not worth babying this guitar (the rest is just filler now) You could gig with it if you had to, but why would you want to. So many superior guitars for the price. // 8
Impression: I haven't forgotten that this is a budget guitar, BUT, I'd expect this level of garbage by a Made in China, no name Company. Not Epiphone. This has a brand new $185 cad price tag and it's worth half that. My advice is that if you want one, by used and don't pay more than $90-100. If you want new, Squier (Affinity Series) builds superior guitars for that price range. If you absolutely want a Les Paul style guitar, get the Xaviere XV-440. It's styled like the old Gibson Specials with P90s for $209. You can get them even cheaper if you get a blemish model. I have a blem XV-550 and it's beautiful. The blemish was the rear strap button was half an inch off. // 3
lshaddock, on april 07, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 80
Purchased from: Gumtree
Features: Epiphone, the greatest copy of Gibson there is. Although this model looks quite basic it packs a lot of punch when plugged into a decent amplifier. The basi look was done on purpose by the designers of this guitar to make punk rockers like tom delonge look a bit younger and childish.
It has 22 frets with a very low action (probably the best I've seen). Although it comes in many colours I have a Gloss black finish which looks stunning.
Neck is painted which some people says is a pain in the ass but I have had it for 3 years and played hours on end on stage and have had no problem with stickiness from sweat. // 9
Sound: If I were to suggest a type of genre for this guitar I would choose mainly Bluesy rock - Pop punk. Myself I use a Marshall valvestate 100w and it sounds incredible and with very little if anything of feedback. The humbuckers are perfectly placed to get the correct sound for lead and rythm. With 22 frets it can go a pitch higher than an ordinary fender. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: The factory made this guitar very well with the best actioned guiar I've ever played on. Pickups needed a bit of work but who doesn't like fiddling with their guitar a bit to make it perfect. :) Everything about the finish is brilliant. When bought it had no flaws in it at all that needed repairing and it was in perfect condition, and still is. // 10
Reliability & Durability: This guitar is super reliable and is a real joy to play. Although not the lightest of guitars its weight is very well distrubuted so it gives you a comfortable feel when playing standing up. As I've said already I've had this guitar for a few years now and nothing seems to be wearing away, no rust, no fretware damage. When going to a gig I always take one of my other guitars as a backup but out of my 11 amazing guitars I always take this one as my first choice and I've never had to use my spare. // 10
Impression: I play pop punk/punk/rock and this guitar fits perfect for the sound it produces and the way it looks for a punk rocker. I've always said Ibanez for heavy metal, Fender for blues - light rock, and epiphone/gibson in between. If it was stolen I would go straight out to buy another one, lol.
Love everythng about it, and hate nothing. Favourite feature go to be the head with 3 tuning heads either side, looks funky. I was going to buy an SG instead but I discovered they are like twice the weight as these.
The only thing which I would add if I could would be a second tone knob and a whammy bar. // 10
Zach101, on february 11, 2011 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: C$ 150
Purchased from: Local Music Store
Features: Bought this guitar from a local music store about a year ago.
Specs: 22 medium frets, 24.75 scale neck, Mahogany neck, Laminated alder/maple body, 1 volume knob, 2 tone knobs, Pickup Configuration: 700T, 650R, 3 way selector, 2 humbucker pickups, open coil. No accessories came with this guitar. // 7
Sound: I play mainly alternative rock/metal, a mixture of clean and distorted guitar. I use a variety of different amps, but I mainly judge a guitar based on what kind of sound it can produce in accordance with my pedal setup. This guitar has an okay sound. It doesn't sound too bad with heavier distortions, the clean is a little bit buzzy though. This guitar would be okay as a rythym guitar in a quieter group. However, it is not well suited for louder venues. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar's action is a little bit under average. The actualy body is a lot heavier than most guitars, which gives it an awkward feel. the neck is also a little bit too thick, making it more difficult to play faster solos. I would recommend this guitar for simpler playing as it is not well suited for advanced playing. This guitar has 2 humbucker pickups and therefore gives a fairly well rounded sound. The guitar itself contained no noticeable flaws, though it has no pickguard so the lower part of the body does scratch after some time. Also, some of the tuning pegs loosen after a while. The tone knobs are pretty good quality though; they don't loosen or malfunction. The finish/wood is of relatively decent quality as well. Overall a fairly well built guitar, but not overly versatile. // 6
Reliability & Durability: This guitar will withstand live playing. However, it will perform better if used properly. For example, it will probably perform best if it is used for rythym purposes (power chords, basic chord patterns, no shredding or anything like that) The hardware will last, provided the guitar is well taken care of. I would not use it a gig without a backup however. I would not use it at all without a noise gate to prevent the buzzing. Not that the buzzing is overly loud, it just gets annoying after a while. The strap buttons are NOT solid at all. On the first day I owned this guitar one of the strap buttons came right off. I put bigger buttons on and those ripped right out as well. I had to bring it back and get it "professionaly" repaired, so I was very disappointed with that. The model I bought was black so even after my constant use it's hard to see the scratches of the pick on the lower half of the guitar. Other than the strap buttons, it's a fairly // 6
Impression: This guitar was ok for a rythym guitar player playing simple rythmic patterns, but little more. (For live stuff) For at home practice, it's fine. I've been playing for 4+ years and was not overly impressed by this guitar. If this guitar was lost or stolen, I would probably look at buying something else (probably an Ibanez). I love that this guitar has the Les Paul style to it; it looks like a great guitar. Other than that it's not a very high quality product. I hate the fact that the knobs came right off and that the neck was too thick. This two factors limited the guitar to simple practice at home as opposed to the possibility of playing this guitar at live shows. I would recommend this guitar to beginners or to rythym guitar players who are on a budget. Other than that, it is unsuitable for lead playing and larger venues. // 6
arlojbaker, on april 16, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 130.00
Purchased from: Pawn Shop
Features: Basically just the guitar with a Standard set-up. Neck and Bridge humbucker pick-ups with volume and tone controls and a Switch to go to either one or both. Like everything with the guitar, not bad for the price. // 8
Sound: Once again, for the price this guitar sounds great. I have a smaller Randall amp and can (to my surprise) do a lot of different styles with it, which is good for someone like me who tries to play whatever whenever. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar is very open to change and being so cheap, I'm not afraid of breaking it so it has a lot of variety. I do have some problems with the action but lowering the strings would probably help with that. My special did have some almost serious problems with the tuning nuts and I'll probably have to get new ones soon but then again, I bought it at a pawn shop and the tuning nuts were original so I can't fault Epiphone too much on that one. // 7
Reliability & Durability: The guitar is pretty durable and would serve as a good back-up but not necessarily your main guitar (due to the average sound). The hardwood will last me a while. I bought it about 6 months ago and I haven't exactly treated it like a princess yet it still plays good. The finish hasn't worn off through my playing and the previous owner's time with it. The flaw I find in it is the tuning nuts are not very durable, at one point while playing my high e string became loose and I saw the screw holding it in on the floor. // 6
Impression: My overall impression of this guitar is summed up in 4 words "great for the price." I do wish I had a better guitar; but I lost this one? I would probably buy it again because I'm not in any shape financially to afford anything better. // 8
Neonknight2112, on january 06, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Purchased from: Craigslist
Features: 22 Jumbo scale frets. The tuners on mine were no name crappy tuners. I got a set of Grover tuners and it stays in tune all the time now. Tune-o-matic bridge, no problems with that so far and I've had it for around 8 months. Passive humbuckers, good but might replace when I get some cash for EMGs or some such thing. 1 Volume, 1 Tone, 3 way selector. I got a 15 watt amp and gig bag because the guy basically sold me the Starter Kit. // 7
Sound: Mostly I play metal and rock and so far this guitar has performed very well. I have it tuned for E flat with.11s. I use a DigiTech RP90 and a Marshall MG30DFX. Not noisy as I remember. Great distortion with this and putting it directly through to the amp gives a great dark clean sound. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: I haven't had need to adjust pickups or action or anything like that, but as I have already stated the tuners were crap. Finish is ok but not the best looking in the world. Frets I have had no problems with. Honestly I'm no expert on guitars but the bridge and everything else seems ok. The action was good when I got it but that might be because it was pre-owned. // 8
Reliability & Durability: 8 months and I haven't had a problem with it. Hardware is good but I had trouble keeping the strap on. Get a set of strap locks and it's all good. The input jack does need tightening once in awhile but it's not much of a problem if you do. If you don't it gets loose and there's a lot of noise I would definitely use without a backup. It's lasted wonderfully. // 7
Impression: I've played for almost a year now and it's good. If the guitar were stolen, I might upgrade to another Epiphone but I would have no problems buying this again. the only thing I would complain about is the finish, it's sunburst but it doesn't really look good. Good enough for a beginner but tuners need replacing and strap locks are a good idea because of the guitars weight. // 8
bobbyj84, on january 23, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 99.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features: This is your Standard staerter guitar. Not too much going on, a normal Tune-O-Matic bridge with the stop bar and tail piece. I got the Vintage sunburst with chrome hardware, it was a sexy looking guitar if you ask me. The only controls are one pickup selector Switch, one volume, and one tone knob. They have an rosewodd fretboard with 22 frets. Other than that, not too much going on. // 7
Sound: I play mostly blues and classic rock on this guitar. I was fairly happy with the sound and all, keeping in mind with the price. The sound quality wasn't too great either because I was playing through a Marshall MG10. If you put it through I good amp, it sounded pretty good for the price range. The harmonics weren't that great, but that's mostly in the pickups. This would sound a lot better going through a better amp and a pickup switch. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: The action was decent, but it did have a bit high action, which I'm not too fond of. Keep in mind this wasn't properly set up as it was a starter guitar. The electronics aren't great on this. Like I said before, the guitar would sound a lot better with a pickup Switch. The tuners were actually great on this, I was suprised. The nut on the other hand was awful. It looked like cheap plastic, not good at all. The finishes this guitar comes in are great, the Vintage sunburst looks insane, I strongly encourage it. // 7
Reliability & Durability: This is where I have a problem. The nut wouldn't stand up to a show playing. I couldn't play for a decent amount of time without a strign snapping because of the nut. It was cheap plastic. THE NUT IS AWFUL! Bottom line. The strap buttons were pretty bad too, my strap would continuously fall off. This finish was great, it wouldn't chip. So when it comes to reliability and durability, this guitar is very low quality. // 4
Impression: I played mostly classic rock and blues on this guitar. It was a great match. For a starter guitar, the quality is fairly good, however, you could find better. If you go for a low end Ibanez, Schecter, or maybe even Squier could be comparable to this. It was also hard to get quality tone because there was only one tone knob. If I did have to pick a starter guitar for someone to start with, this would be one of my first choices. Do beware of the nut though. // 7
kevcop9617, on november 13, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: local pawn shop
Features: I picked up this Epi Special, about 3 months ago.The head is the standard Epi head, and the switches etc, are Gibson. Whether this is true accross the board, I am unsure. it's probably Japan made, although it doesn't state that fact. The neck is Standard 22 fret, with frets thinner than my Strat. The body is alder, the neck is probably maple. I doubt it's mahogany. It's a solid black color with a very high gloss finish. The body is Les Paul style, although it's flat, rather than arched. It has the Tune-O-Matic bridge, and stop bar, identical to most Les Pauls. It comes with two nice humbuckers, stamped Epiphone on the reverse side. Its controls are one volume, 1 tone, with a 3-way switch. Probably not switchcraft though. The pots are indeed 500k Gibson pots. Whether that's the norm, once again, I don't know. It had the regular enclosed cheapo deluxe non locking tuners, but I have since replaced them with a set of chrome grovers. As far as accesories. // 6
Sound: I play a lot of Slash-esque riffs, and the special pulls it off rather well. The tonal quality is great, with the wax potted pickups and 500k pots. I get very little hum, and run it thru either a DOD or Zoom pedal hooked to my Crate amp. Harmonics are great, sustain is pretty decent, although my Les Paul kills it on sustain. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The action was very smooth, and the strings very close to the fret board. Pickups needed some finessing. The only issues I noticed was noise from loose strap buttons, and the wires needed trimmed. The wood quality was good, and luckily you can't see any wood, so the finish is impeccable. // 7
Reliability & Durability: It would withstand a live gig, however I believe the attendees wouldn't be that thrilled with it. The hardware is pretty fine, although it never hurts to upgrade. The strap buttons are mounted good, albeit a little small. I would definitely consider strap locks. The finish is deep, and glossy. I would bring it to a gig as the backup. If my Les petered out I maybe able to fake it to the end. // 8
Impression: All in all, it suits my musical taste. I have 6 other guitars, and this one gets used second to my Les. If stolen I would definitely buy another one. I am considering getting a second one, so I can hot rod this one. I like the color, the shape, the sound, I just wish they had doubled up the vol and tones, but then again, that's a Les. A bigsby would be fun, but as it is, it's a great value. // 8
chocolame, on july 19, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 250
Purchased from: Music City
Features: This is a pretty good guitar overall as far as features go. This guitar features a really nice Rosewood fretboard with dot inlays. I like the look of the fretboard because it really works with the finishes that Epiphone gives you to choose from. The neck is made of Mahogany which gives me the sound I like. It has 22 Jumbo Frets and is a good guitar to learn on. All chrome hardware really looks great with the all black guitar. The neck is a bolt on. The body is made of Basswood which I give a 5 out of 10 as far as sound. This guitar features two humbucker pickups which are: 650R at the neck and a 700T at the bridge. Both pickups are passive. I own the all black version of this guitar but there is another finish called Vintage Sunburst. I had a hard time fixing the action on this guitar which is a strike for this guitar. The controls that Epiphone gives you with this guitar are: Volume Control (1-10), Tone Control (1-10), and a 3-way selector switch to switch between using the treble pickup, the rhythm pickup, and using both. The treble pickup in this guitar gives a great harsh sound and the Rhythm pickup definitely gives a very nice smooth sound. When using the rhythm pickup you have to be careful about not turning the tune knob down too much or this guitar will give a very bass-like muffled sound. I play a lot of metal and I usually just use my Treble pickup because of the harshness it gives off. This guitar could very well be used to play anything from metal to blues. I bought this guitar with the starter pack. The starter pack includes a gig bag, three picks, a strap, a tuner, an amp cord, and a 10w Epiphone amp. The amp has an 8' Electar Labs speaker in it. The amp also features master volume, boost switch, gain control, 3-band EQ (bass, middle, treble), and a headphone jack. The headphone jack is nice for when other members of your household are asleep and you want to play. Overall the features of this guitar are good for the price. // 7
Sound: This guitar is a great guitar for metal, rock, and any variation of the two. I love the sound this guitar gives me. I have played all of the following bands with my guitar and sounded great: Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Rammstein, Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Rush, Scary Kids Scaring Kids, Ozzy Osbourne, Kalmah, Iron Maiden, Korn, Atreyu, Megadeth, ZZ Top, Cacophony, Pantera, Alice Cooper, Slayer, Rush, Kiss, Boston, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Judas Priest, Agalloch, Children Of Bodom, and Anthrax. To acquire those sounds I used the B-52 AT-112 amp and sometimes I used my Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal. Once again you have to be careful with the tone knob when your pickup selector is flipped to Rhythm. This LP can give some great sounds. When the pickup selector is flipped to the Rhythm pickup the guitar gives you a very smooth, luscious, and sweet sound. When the pickup selector is flipped to the Treble pickup the guitar gives you a Harsh, and cold sound. Overall you can get just about whatever sound you want out of this guitar. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: When I pulled this guitar out of it's package, I looked it over to check that everything looked good. The action was good, there were no scratches, no dings, and the bridge was setup great too. The pickups needed a little work however it wasn't too bad. The pickup selector is still loud and it is hard to keep disguised while playing for an audience. Whenever your playing on your amp and you need to switch between pickups you hear a very loud clicking sound. Over all the Action, Fit, and Finish is pretty good. // 7
Reliability & Durability: I have owned this guitar for about three years however never played it much until this past year. This year I have played this guitar ever day for about 3-4 hours a day and it is still working like the day I bought it! The strings that come on this guitar don't last very long at all so I would advise anyone buying this guitar to buy and new pack of strings at the same time. The hardware seems like it will last however I have had some problems. My output jack has come unscrewed multiple times and keeps shorting out. My volume knob also had some problems with unscrewing. I would not use this guitar at a gig without a backup simply because if I broke the strings on it then I would have nothing to play. That is the only reason I would not use it by itself though. The finish seems very good and does not seem like it would wear off easily. Overall the reliability of this guitar is mediocre. // 6
Impression: I play Metal, Rock, and any variation of the two and this LP suits my style very well. This guitar gives me the exact sounds I want out of it which makes me glad that I bought this guitar. I have owned this guitar for almost 4 years and every day has been a good day with this guitar. Something I wish I had asked before I bought this guitar was "Should I wait and save up to buy something better, or go ahead and buy this guitar now?" However if this guitar was stolen or lost I would not buy this guitar again. Just because I would not buy this guitar again does not mean that it is not a good guitar for beginners; I just would not buy it because my playing level has increased and I want a different guitar to suit my playing level. I would advise every beginner to buy this guitar because it is great to start off with. // 7
nialljames, on february 12, 2007 1 of 5 people found this review helpful
Purchased from: Rolands Music Exchange
Features: Upon first site, this guitar was the shit. I got the one with the flames on it. It has 21 frets and the les paul style cut away for soloing, The fret board really pisses me off, The back off it is painted so if your playing a gig and you start sweating. That bitch is gonna stick. I'm not entirley sure what wood it's made out of but it dents very easily. I don't belive it has a bolt through the neck, to stop warping, I recently put 'Zakk Wylde Boomer Customs' on it and had to take them back off. It went out of tune incredibly easily. // 4
Sound: All I have to say, is that this guitar is best seen and not heard, the pickups are noisy when turned up load, you can get feedback from about 10 meters away from the amp. Best off in a music video, with the guitar parts dubbed over by a real Les Paul. I was plugged into a Marshall 50 watt amp, which gave me hell of a lot of feedback. // 3
Action, Fit & Finish: Not sure how well it was set up. I think the only repair I've had on it was when a washer fell out of the jack plug. I screwed it back on though. I can't realy falt anything else, all the other faults are in the other sections. The pick ups themselves are good for what I needthem for, jamming. They have never risen and I have never needed to ajust them. // 6
Reliability & Durability: Not the most reliable thing to keep in tune, if your playing a gig then use a really light guage string to put less pressure on the tunning pegs. Your best off with a hardcase as the softcases can wreck the tuning. The tuning pegs could have been beter set up. I would say that this hardware would probably last while. Put best not gigged, you will need to look afer it and it should then last forever. // 6
Impression: Overall Impression- not good, thick seriously before buying, take a good hour in the shop playing it to make sure it fits your needs, It's the kind of guitar that you open your case and everyone goes, "oh-ah" and then cringe as you begin to play it, it's not the best guitar on the market, but it is nice to sit there in college and just strum along as people walk past, seeing then nice guitar but being too noisy to hear it. // 5
Kiran Warren, on november 25, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Features: I'm not sure where or when it was made but it has 22 frets and has a plain black finish. It has a Tune-O-Matic bridge with stop piece and two passive humbuckers. It's got a volume and a tone and a 3-way pickup selector. I didn't get any other gear with the guitar. // 7
Sound: It kinda suits my style of music I guess, I usually play metal like In Flames, Through The Eyes Of The Dead, etc. I just use a crappy Maniac amp with no pedals or anything. It's quite fuzzy and creates a bit of noise when full distortion. But apart from that the guitar has a suprisingly good sound for it's price. Especially the clean tone which sounds alright. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up fine and the I never changed the pick ups or anything. But the tuners are bad quality and some of the screws come loose every now and again. The little bolt kinda thing around the jack and the pick up selector come loose often. The fittings in to keep the tuners in snug come out very often and are pretty much impossible to keep in there after playing frequently. // 5
Reliability & Durability: I wouldn't use this guitar for live playing but it's good for beginners or for just jamming. The hardware seems like it will last except for the tuners, they get more and more loose and time goes by. I wouldn't gig without backup but don't get me wrong this is a sturdy little guitar. The guitar has a black finish and it seems to be holding up fine and I have no dents on it. // 6
Impression: I play metal and this guitar was fine with low end sounds, but the high end was a bit screechy. If it were stolen I wouldn't get a new one because I'm about to get a guitar in a couple of days and it didn't cost a lot so it wouldn't be a big loss. This guitar isnt as good as others but for the price it's a very good deal. It's cheap, durable and you can play anything with it. // 7
logan97, on august 15, 2011 0 of 2 people found this review helpful
Purchased from: Craigslist
Features: -It was made in China.
-it has twenty frets
-it has a laminated top.
-I don't know what neck woods.
-I think its a Les Paul body style.
-I belive its a string-thru body?
-there are two pickups.
-I belive they are non locking.
-it came with a gig bag and a cable and the amplifier. // 10
Sound: It suits my style of music perfectly! I like to play with alot of distortion and sometimes clean, and it works excellent with both. I use an Epiphone Studio 15R amplifier with it. It has a pretty decent volume with out an amplifier, it has a bright sound. I think you could make just about any sounds with this guitar. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: I got it from the previous owner, but it has not a single scratch or dent or flaw in the finish on it, I don't believe that he played it very much so it must of have been that way when he got it, so it must have been ste up well. It is set up very well! The string were on correct an everything, no lose screws, poor quality wood or anything, just perfect. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I believe that this guitar would withstand live playing, it sturdy. The hardware seems very high quality, the knobs are very fancy see through. The strap buttons are not going anywhere anytime soon. Yes I would use it at a gig without a backup. The finish is perfect, its glossy and works well with the white. // 10
Impression: I play all differeant types of music, from punk to alternative, and it works well in each song. I've been playing for a year and this is my first electric guitar, and this guitar has made Epiphone my favorite brand. I have felt MANY differeant guitars when trying to find one and I like this one better then them all. I would definetly buy this again. I dotn hate anything about it, but I do wish it came with a place to stick a whammy. // 10