#2
I have one and its pretty sweet. If you can pick up a used one on ebay or something cuz its a good guitar but not worth the $700 (i got mine for round $450-500 ) Only get it if your gonna use the middle pickup (which i do) cuz otherwise its pretty pointless
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#3
I think the Black Beauty is an awesome Epi LP. I had one for a short time and it played and sounded great. I kind of wish I hung on to it now. I have seen them as low as $300.00 used and well worth twice that. The one I got was priced at 3 bills and I managed to talk the guy down another $50.00 down to $250.00. I don't think I ever used the middle pup on mine that's why I traded it up for a little better Epi with Gibson USA pups. If you can score one at a good price grab it.
#4
Skip it, buy a regular Custom. The Black Beauty looks nice, sure, but you're paying extra for a worse instrument. If it had a 5-way switch then the middle pickup might have some use, but as it is it's only a 3-way; you can only have one of the pickups active at a time, so you can't do normal tones like neck+bridge pickups together. The increased magnetic pull caused by a third pickup also harms sustain, as does the simple fact that more wood has had to be routed out to make room for it.

If you want to pay extra money for worse tone, less sustain, less options but more pretty gold (which will rub off in the first two months), then the Epi Black Beauty is the guitar for you. Otherwise, stick to the normal Custom.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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#5
Stay away from Epi Customs altogether. Why pay for wrong color bindings and cheap hardware?

If you want a good looking Epiphone stick with the Standards.
#6
Stick with the standards, i have one.
And i tried the custom in the store, not much difference except for the bindings
kthxbai.