I recently bought an Epiphone Les Paul Special II and all I can say is the one I got sounds horrible. I have never heard anything so muddy sounding in my life. I tried it through my Vox amplifier and my Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister. I just bought the Tubemeister recently. I am not experienced or anything. I just want a good guitar with solid electronics and that doesn't sound horrible. I guess I was stupid and should blame myself for thinking a 120$ guitar would sound good. Can you guys point me in a good direction for a good electric? I don't mind spending 500-700$. I am not set on the Les Paul type. I am open to suggestions. Thanks guys.

Hey, I understand your frustration, I've been there and done that. I can recommend some nice Epiphone guitars to you as well as Fender for the money you're wanting to spend. Here's a link to one and I'll mention the others.

Also Fender Stratocaster Standard, Made in Mexico. Fender Telecaster Made in Mexico. Epiphone SG 400, Epiphone Es339 Pro. I have all of these guitars, and for the money it's a no brainer. I guess it just depends on the tones you're looking for. If you were to spend a little more like 800, you can get a Gibson Les Paul Tribute with 50'a or 60'a neck. Depending upon what radius you'd want on the neck.
I hope maybe I've given you some ideas to look into.
Last edited by Guitarpups at Dec 19, 2015,
Wow... I almost bought a Special II P90 on sale for $89, but at the last minute I decided to just put my money towards something a bit better (knowing I was going to buy it eventually). I ended up w/ a Epi '56 Standard Pro (w/ P90s) that I'm very happy with in limited edition Midnight Blue. Paid about $450 for it. But I'm also eying an Epi Tribute Plus for a bit of variety, which is a bit more at $750, but comes with lots of upgrades, like actual Gibson 57 coil-tapped Humbuckers, Grover Locking Tuners, Strap Locks, Switchcraft 3-way switch, and also includes the hard case (~$90-10 if you were to buy it separate). It also has the D neck vs. the C neck of the '56 I have. Hoping to find one in the Cherry Burst on sale after Christmas....
Hey guys. Thanks for the recommendations. I kind of stepped outside the box a little and picked up a ESP/LTD EC-401 VF with DiMarzio pickups. Wow what a night and day difference. However, I did salvage the cheap guitar I so quickly wrote off by adjusting the pickups on it. It actually doesn't sound half bad now and I will let my kids have it so they can play around on it. I am playing through a Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister 5 and using a Multi Stomp pedal for Reverb, Delay, and Chorus. I am quite happy now. I just need to learn to play better! I do have one other question. I have been going through a old Journey song book. How in the world does Neal Schon get that screaming sustaining lead tone? I bet that's a million dollar question. Would a sustaining/compression pedal work for something like that? I of course know I can't match tone exactly but wow it sounds great. Thanks again for your help!
Neal uses custom built inboard electronics to get that wonderful feedback type sustain.

The Neal Schon Les Paul has two extra switches for it one for high pitch and one for low.

Regarding budget guitars ... (I know you said you've solved your immediate need)but IMHO, PRS is head and shoulders ahead of everyone with the SE series. Their quality and sound are 2nd to none. I own an SE Tremonti w a flame maple top. I absolutely fell in love w this guitar. I'm 50 and been playing 37 years. I've owned Gibson Les Pauls,fender American Strat,and PRS CE22, and this SE definitely can hold it's own in comparison.

Happy holidays man

I wanted to share a pretty good Journey tone with all of you. I managed to get a pretty good screaming lead tone that has evaded me for a while. Now I am nowhere near a great guitar player. I am a married father of two kids that likes to play around on the guitar. I just enjoy it a lot. I am using a Tubemeister 5 combo amplifier with effects pedals in this order. Amplifier out to Multistomp pedal and using HD Hall reverb, stereo delay, and stereo chorus then on to Boss DS-1X pedal on to my guitar which is a ESP LTD EC-401VF with DiMarzio PAFs. That may not be the optimum chain of effects but I got a very nice tone this evening messing around. Just wanted to throw that out for anyone that might be curious. I have had Boss distortions pedals before that I never could get a good tone out of but this DSX-1X is a different ballgame. Merry Christmas to all.

I have recently bought an Epiphone Dot, and the electronic parts were total s**t. I have immediately changed the pickups with Seymour Duncans (JB for bridge and '59 for neck) and the result was incredible. Now the way it sounds is way beyond what it was before, since Epiphones have acceptable wood quality.