Price paid: £ 475
Purchased from: TC Ellis customs
Features: Thought I'd write this review as when I was contemplating getting an Ellis custom I couldn't find any reviews anywhere - this is also my first so here goes... This guitar was made for me about a month ago in sunny Wales, UK. It's based on a Les Paul, so 22 frets, mahogany body & neck, flamed maple top finished in a beautiful tobacco sunburst, ebony fretboard, Chrome hardware, bone nut & roller saddled T.O.M. bridge. All of that is what you get on Ellis' 'Standard' Series 2 for 300, I believe.
I added some custom stuff to mine as follows; A bareknuckle 'Warpig' in the Bridge and a 'Cold Sweat' in the neck - both with coil taps, upgraded CTS pots, wiring and Orange drop caps and full cavity shielding taking the price up to 475 - still a bargain! All of his guitars come as Standard with a full pro set up and a custom hardcase, which is actually very nice! // 10
Sound: My band Wayward Child(check us out!) play a mix of hard/classic rock with a dash of metal and grunge. By myself I play the same with perhaps more of a leaning to clean stuff and classic rock. This is why I went for the pickups I did - the Warpig I knew was a great all round Rock pickup which would work well for a thick, chunky rhythm tone and the Cold sweat is perfect for a screaming lead tone that cuts through the rest of the band nicely. The Cold sweat is also good as a rhythm pickup for that kind of dirty, sleazy Slash rhythm tone. These pick ups work brilliantly for me and with the guitar, they sound thick and powerful but retain clarity no matter what gain I throw at them! The addition of the coil tap only gives further options and sonic possibilities - particularly when playing clean...The Warpig coil tapped with a bit of chorus is perhaps the most beautiful clean sound I have ever heard...no joke.
I play through an Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah into a Boss ME-50 for chorus/delay/volume, this all goes straight into my Engl Screamer 50. I loved the bite of my Engl before but it seems to take on new dimensions with the Ellis. I'm still tweaking trying to get 'that' sound, but it's definitely getting there!
I think the possibilities for sounds with my set up (and just out of the guitar) is vast - clean, jazz, blues, rock, metal - all possible and more impressively - done very well! // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: I can't state enough how well this guitar was set up and finished when it arrived! Action was amazing and even, intonation is spot on, the top and finish is excellent with no flaws at all. Side by side with a Les Paul 3 times the price I think the Ellis would be hard to beat... // 10
Reliability & Durability: My first gig with this guitar is tomorrow night - from the practices I have used it for so far I am not in the slightest worried about this guitar withstanding a live gig. All of the hardware seems sturdy and built/fit to last the test of time. The finish is the same - the 1 inch maple top is going nowhere! I'd never gig without having a back up - you never know when a string is going to decide to end it all - but I am confident enough to leave the back up in the case... // 9
Overall Impression: As I said earlier, this guitar fits my musical style perfectly. I can get any tone I might need out of the many pick up configurations available on this guitar - a beautiful clean tone and an epic rhythm tone coupled with a wailing lead tone is all I'm interested in - and this baby delivers!
I've been playing for about 8 years and have owned numerous guitars over that period. I have just sold a Gibson SG which was replaced as my main guitar by this Ellis. I also have my Epi Les Paul which I use as a back up. As stated I play through 2 pedals straight into my Engl Screamer.
If it were lost or stolen then I would be straight back on the blower to Tim in Wales and have him make me another one - exactly the same! I love the feel of it as I play. It has all (if not more of) the sexyness of a Les Paul but without the back breaking weight. The neck is also slightly thinner aiding playability. Coupled with the awesome tone coming out of those Bareknuckles and it's a no brainer.
So basically, if you've stumbled across TC Ellis guitars by mistake (like I did) and think it must be too good to be true (like I did), then don't. Have Faith (like I did) and give one a go. The Series 2's give any Gibson Les Paul I've played a run for their money and probably come out on top in most cases. It's also worth me mentioning how good they are when dealing with your order and sorting out custom options etc. Definitely Recommended! // 10