#1
Hi everyone, I currently have an ESP LTD MH1000 as my main guitar, and picked up a cheap Dean Les paul style guitar from a pawn shop some time ago.

I do like the dean, but it is a very cheap model, and the bolt on neck makes it hard to access the upper frets, and the build quality is not the best, so I am looking for something reasonably priced to replace it with.

I like the LP style shape, which is why I want to add a nicer one to my small collection.

I am in the UK, so Agiles seem to be more or less out of the question, which leaves me with a few other choices, such as a Vintage V100, or a Epiphone Les paul standard.

I really want the best quality for the money- I understand it isn't much in terms of what some people spend, but to me £300 is a lot of money so would really like something I will want to play, and that I can keep. I probably will never sell it, so in terms of the guitar losing value that is not a big deal.

So, what do you think is best to go for? I am thinking the Epiphone may be the best, but reading online I am unsure on the quality of the instruments, although I understand that now you can get a lot of guitar for a reasonable price.

Thank you all for your help, Conan.
#2
I have an Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro, the guitar itself is very solid, plays well, good action and fret work (they just needed a polish).

However something in the electronics has crapped out, every now and then one of the pickups will either lose output or completely cut out, it happens to both and to get it to work again I have to punch one of the volume knobs (it's a push pull so I am guessing the mechanism is wearing out).

Asides from punching my guitar ever now and then to get it to work I treat it like it is made of glass, so it is obviously a bad pot they put in.
The pickups them selves sound pretty decent, especially for rock and blues, however I want something with higher output in there, so I am going to replace the pickups and all the wiring, pots and switch, probably the output jack to since I might aswell.

Something to consider, since wonky electronics is something I hear about a lot with Epiphones and I have first hand experience of them shitting out on me.
Also you mentioned the upper fret access due to the bolt on joint, a Les Paul heel is notoriously bulky and cumbersome for upper frets, this is why you don't see any shredders playing Les Pauls (except Buckethead).

Ibanez ARZ are LP shapes but with a carved away neck heel, there is also the Matt Heafy Signature Les Paul which has an Axecess heel, so these would be something to consider if you can find one used in your budget.

There is also Harley Benton from Thomann, they have a couple of LP shapes with better neck heels. These are cheap guitars made in China but all the QC and set ups are done in Germany, they are also a lot cheaper due to cutting out a lot of middle man price bumps since they go straight to Thomann. I have one of their acoustics, a CLD 41S, it is phenomenally good for the price I paid. So I would recommend checking those out, just go for their most expensive models (around 200 quid)
A decent Harley Benton will be every bit as good as an Epiphone at around half or 2 thirds of the price, depending on model.
My Gear:
Ibanez Jet King 2
Ibanez RGDIX7 MPB
Ibanez GRG 7221
OLP John Petrucci
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
Squier Stratocaster (modified)
Harley Benton CLD-41S (Acoustic)

Peavey Vypyr 30.

Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
Boss FRV-1 '63 Fender Reverb
Last edited by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma at Feb 18, 2017,
#3
N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
Thank you for your detailed input, it definitely is of a lot of help to me.

The Epiphone sounds like a great buy in respect to its construction, being a solid guitar, with good action and good fretwork. How high/low do you go action wise?

Apart from the electronic issue with the pot, it sounds like just what I would like. I use a Blackstar HT5M with the 4x8 cab at the moment, and my ESP with the Seymour duncans, or the Dean with its cheap pickups both sound good, and I can achieve the type of tone I am after with each guitar.

I do understand that Les paul style guitars have bulky upper fret access- I just find the LP shape, and scale length something I think I prefer- I find I am using the cheaper guitar more at home than the ESP!

I will check out the Ibanez guitars you mention, I am also familiar with the Harley benton line, I never considered this though as I imagined they was low quality- hearing your feedback seems otherwise though .


Do you think I could pick up a Harley Benton guitar, that would have a nice build quality, and after a set up action and playability? I really do like the Epiphones, but unfortunately have no friends that play guitar so have not tried one out myself.
If I know the Harley benton will offer me the same quality as an epi for much less, I will order one ASAP.
#4
conanwarrior

I like my action as low as I can get it without fret buzz, to put it into perspective my Epiphone has pretty much the exact same action as my Ibanez 7 strings (VERY low!)

The thing with Harley Benton is you just have to be realistic with your expectations, it is by no means as good as say a 1000 Series LTD, Ibanez Premium or PRS SE, but I would say they are as good as an Epiphone, LTD 300-400 series or Ibanez Standard.

If you out them into the price bracket of other companies offerings at that price point, Ibanez GIO, LTD 100 series, Jackson JS11/12, super low end Epiphones and Squiers, they knock them out the park.

Thomann also have a great returns policy with them, if you aren't happy, just send it back.



There is the neck heel of the SC550 from them which is one of the ones I would consider.
They also do clones of the LTD EC 1000's which I am pretty sure I am going to get one to try out soon, just not yet as I am getting a Petrucci signature from a friend of a friend in like a week that should satiate the GAS for a while.


While we are on this subject, I am expecting a delivery of a Harley Benton bass at some point today that a friend ordered to my address so I can give it a look over for him, when it arrives (it should today from the tracking info I have) I'll let you know how it is.
My Gear:
Ibanez Jet King 2
Ibanez RGDIX7 MPB
Ibanez GRG 7221
OLP John Petrucci
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
Squier Stratocaster (modified)
Harley Benton CLD-41S (Acoustic)

Peavey Vypyr 30.

Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
Boss FRV-1 '63 Fender Reverb