#1
Hey everyone. I have an Epiphone Les Paul Special II. Here are the specs (copy/pasted from Musician's Friend):

Mahogany body
Bolt-on neck mahogany neck
1960's SlimTaper D neck profile
22-fret rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays
24-3/4" scale
1-5/8" nut width
Epiphone 700T/650R open-coil humbuckers
Nickel hardware
LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece add more sustain and easier string changing
Tone, volume, and 3-way pickup switch
Covered 14:1 ratio tuners

I'm saving up for a new guitar, but I'm not actually going to buy one for about another year. When I get it I'll be using my Epi as a backup and I was thinking about upgrading but since it's a beginner's guitar I wasn't so sure about it. I was planning to put locking tuners on it, upgrade the bridge if I can and swap the pickups out for SD's ('59s). Is it worth all of this, or should I just get a new backup later on down the road?
#2
Buy a new guitar and use this as backup. For the price you spend upgrading this guitar, you can get yourself a new, sexy axe that's ten times as good as this.
#3
I had one as my first electric, just get a new one, even another epiphone if you want to do it on the cheap. I bought an SG400 and then as I upgrade it with new pickups, tuners, bridge etc, I put the old parts from it into the Special II. Do something along those lines and you end up with a pretty sweet pair of guitars.
#4
I had this same question recently but I decided better to buy a used Ax of higher quality, cheaper than upgrading this one and it will be higher quality.
#6
Do you guys have any recommendations for a good backup ax then? The guitar I'm saving up for is an EBMM JP6.
#7
Nice choice on the EBMM JP6, they're a sweet guitar. For now, cheap but decent guitar wise you could look at Greg Bennet guitars, particularly the Ultramatic (I have one, and it's absolutely awesome, gets as much use as my Gibson Exporer Pro) or an Epiphone G400 SG. They're both cheap, but still good quality. Drop a set of Dimarzios in them and you're done.
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#11
Quote by Levi79
Hold up. Your going from a $200 Epi Special to a $2000 JP?

I recommend you get something in the middle there then save up for the JP. If you like JP's then I'd recommend you a Japanese Ibanez guitar.

The reason why I'm going up to aJP6 from my Epi Special is because I'd rather not buy a lot and own a lot of "okay" guitars and buy something really good that will last me a few years at most.

I'm also looking at the S420, which is about $450 - $500 depending on the finish. It has a ZR bridge which I heard is very reliable but other than that the only trem that I've ever used was an OFR, which was amazing. That, and since I have no experience with HSH setups/single coils most of their models are turn offs to me since I can't tell which pickups are good and not crappy stock ones. The thing about the S420 is that it wasn't routed for actives like EMGs and the guitar is thin so I'd have to mod it and stuff which I'm not interested, although EMGs aren't the only pickups I like.
#12
The Epiphone Les Paul Special II is not worth upgrading.
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#13
My philosophy is that there's no guitar that's so bad it's not worth upgrading. If you like that guitar, by all means keep using it and upgrading it.
#14
Quote by blaaargh
My philosophy is that there's no guitar that's so bad it's not worth upgrading. If you like that guitar, by all means keep using it and upgrading it.


Your philosophy must not have played an Epiphone Special II.
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#16
Quote by Hail
Your philosophy must not have played an Epiphone Special II.

This actually made me laugh.

Whether I get the JP6 or something else I really don't know when I'll get a better guitar as a backup. I see myself buying a new amp before I get the backup.
#17
Upgrading no but,if you are wanting to learn how to work on guitars it is the perfect platform for learning. Either way do not sell or destroy it.
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#18
Quote by Bhaok
Upgrading no but,if you are wanting to learn how to work on guitars it is the perfect platform for learning. Either way do not sell or destroy it.

Yeah man. It means to much to me to get rid off. I want to learn use it to learn how pickups work and all that but I'd have to wait until I get a new guitar because I don't want to mess anything up on the Epi and be screwed with just my acoustic, which coincidently is also a bit messed up.
#19
My advice, I've got one too, they're not a TERRIBLE guitar, it's not like a bullet strat or one of those plywood things you see in the lower brands, it is objectively a decent guitar, decent woods, design etc If you like the guitar enough to accept that it may not be the most cost efficient thing in the world to do to upgrade it, but you still want to, then go for it, a new nut, bridge pickups and pots will bring it up to par with some higher end stuff and you get to keep your guitar and keep using it rather than just get rid of it or pack it away. Yeah, Epiphone's quality control ain't great, yeah, the guitars usually need a setup, yeah, at the end of the day if you had spent $100 more on the guitar you'd have something more "workable" but the special II is the guitar you've got and there's no reason why it shouldn't be upgraded to something better if it's something you want to do.
#20
Quote by Levi79
Hold up. Your going from a $200 Epi Special to a $2000 JP?

I recommend you get something in the middle there then save up for the JP. If you like JP's then I'd recommend you a Japanese Ibanez guitar.


Why exactly?
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#21
If you want to lean on it sure mod it, but if you want to resale it it will not be worth it.
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#22
Quote by Robbgnarly
If you want to lean on it sure mod it, but if you want to resale it it will not be worth it.

I won't be selling it, but why does the value go down? I mean, if you put new, better parts and pickups on it, shouldn't the value go up?
#23
Quote by xShade
I won't be selling it, but why does the value go down? I mean, if you put new, better parts and pickups on it, shouldn't the value go up?


The new hardware goes down in value, too, and a lot of people have different opinions on what they want in their guitars. If someone wants to put a 59/JB in their guitar, it doesn't matter if the guitar they're buying has stock pups or high-end EMGs - they'll still have to change it.
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