So I bought this guitar recently because I wanted a new guitar. I also wanted to get into the tone of a Les Paul. It's definetly a difference from my strat and the guitar sounds pretty good. I know it's a cheap electric and for beginners, but I'm not really rich enough to buy better guitars so I guess upgrading this guitar is my best option.
The guitar is made of good wood (I think it's mahogany, classic Les paul) and it has a nice rosewood fretboard. The tuners are really bad, so which tuners should I buy that aren't too expensive, can hold tune and they match the holes for these stock tuners?
Next is the nut, I know nuts don't cost much so can somebody recommend a good nut? since I don't know much about them and what difference their material makes.
I think I won't need to change pickups anytime soon, but still which pickups would you recommend for classic rock/hard rock/ blues like Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Rolling stones, Doors etc.? Another option I had in mind was to rewire the pickups since I found a lot of wiring diagrams from the 50s for Les pauls, but I don't know if it can be applied to this guitar since it only has 1 volume and 1 tone control. Everything else on the guitar works for me.
All help and recommendations are welcome
With the modifications you're going to be making to the guitar, you may as well sell your current guitar and buy a better one. It might be fun, and it might give you a lot of customization possibilities, but on a cheap guitar, it's a false economy. And there are at least 3 reasons why.

1. The mods (on a guitar this cheap) are going to cost more than what the guitar is worth.

2. Doing these mods is not going to add any value to the guitar at all.

3. You'll still be left with an Epiphone Les Paul Special II. Which tbh is a very poor guitar imo.

As inconvenient as it might be for you. you really are better off saving your money, selling your guitar and buying something new. Anything you buy that costs even slightly more than what you already have is going to be significantly better fundamentally than a Special II ever will be. I mean 'better' by more refined construction, more refined finishes, additional features, better pickups and more reliable hardware. You get more bang for your buck that way.
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And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Mar 18, 2014,
Pickups, tuner, nut are probably ~$200-250 to upgrade everything. So you have to ask yourself, is having $400 tied up in a bolt on neck Les Paul Special II really going to be a better use of your money instead of just buying an Epi Les Paul Standard?

If you really just want a project, just do a full on Setup on the Special II, get it tweaked the way you like it for nothing more than the cost of strings, maybe even work on your soldering skills if you want to rewire the pups/pots/switches. Then sell it and buy your Standard and use THAT as your starting point.
Yeah I definetly am going to sell this. I've been playing for 4 years now and I do need a better guitar than this one. Is the Epiphone Les paul Standard worth buying?
1. Grab some new tuners from Guitarfetish.com for next to nothing,
2. Leave the nut alone. It's likely that you'd need to fine-tune the slots when you install it, which is a lot of hassle for a beginner, and means buying expensive tools,
3. Upgrade your bridge pickup and leave the neck alone. Either buy an economy pickup from GFS or IronGear, or buy something used.

So, ~$25 for tuners and ~$30 for a pickup. That's easy money to give a guitar more life, if it already plays well enough.
I had a friend that did this with his Maestro Les Paul he had just sitting in his basement. I told him that if he could put some money in it, it would sound so much better. He replaced the pickup, bridge, tuners, almost everything. Put about 200$ into it. And I must say. It sounds sexy and killer badass. Even though it's a "Maestro Single Cutaway Guitar (Les Paul Junior)," it's just a name. Sounds straight up like a more "realistic" Les Paul.

I have a Gibby Les Paul Junior myself and his sounds really close for something that cheap of a guitar. But personally, it's all up to who you are. I personally, along with my friend, love taking unknown (or underrated, "cheap") brand guitars, and making them shread. I've done it with a few of my buddies but I personally haven't done any.

In my opinion, buying a guitar for about 100$ and putting double that into it, pays off! sometimes..
1996 Fender Tex Mex Stratocaster
1994 Ibanez Iceman ICB300 Bass
2011 Custom Gibson Les Paul
1984 Morley Power Wah
Squier P Bass
1983 Peavey Session 500
Line 6 POD 2.0.
Various BOSS Pedals
Pearl Forum Series Drums
Last edited by Dcat1000 at Mar 18, 2014,
Dude I'm not a beginner lol. I just asked is it worth investing in this guitar, but clearly I can get a better one so I'll either try getting the Epiphone standard or a Fender MIM Tele. Thanks for the replies anyway, I'm gonna sell the Epi special.