#1
Hey guys,

deciding to upgrade from my cheap ebay stratocaster and was looking at these two epiphones.

what would be the main differences between the two guitars is it worth spending extra on the special II ?

EPIPHONE LES PAUL SPECIAL VE ELECTRIC GUITAR - WALNUT $257 AUD (Normally $329 AUD) / $197 USD (Normally $252 USD)
http://www.bigmusicshop.com.au/epiphone-les-paul-special-ve-electric-guitar-walnut.html

or

EPIPHONE LES PAUL SPECIAL II ELECTRIC GUITAR - EBONY $297 AUD (Normally $429)/ $227 USD (Normally $329 USD)
http://www.bigmusicshop.com.au/epiphone-les-paul-special-ii-electric-guitar-ebony.html

Thanks
#6
I would save up a little bit more and get an Epiphone Les Paul Standard.

Those Specials aren't really anything amazing and won't feel like much of an upgrade over anything to be honest.
My Gear:
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Peavey Vypyr 30.

Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
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#7
Buy neither. Save your money and buy a epiphone standard or similar quality guitar.

You'll barely see an improving over what you have now with those, you'll only want to upgrade again in a short period of time
#8
Between those you probably won't see a meaningful difference. I agree with those saying save more, if you can. Cheapest stuff I'd be looking at would be the "Studio" or "Faded" models, "Pro" if you could stretch to them (last I checked the G-400 Pro was a lot cheaper than the equivalent Les Paul models). The "Pro" models are effectively the same as "Standard", they just changed the name when they added coil taps across the Epiphone range.
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#9
You realize these arent les paul guitars? They are flat les pauls. The black one goes for about 89 bucks. I have a first act guitar with a poplar body. It sounds ok and is probably lighter than or equal to basswood.
Last edited by geo-rage at Mar 1, 2017,
#10
Quote by geo-rage
You realize these arent les paul guitars? They are flat les pauls.


I love the internet, makes me laugh all the time..
'16 Gibson LP Standard T, '95 Fender MIM Strat
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#11
Both guitars are kinda crappy tbh.

I'd wait until you've saved enough money to get a used Epi Standard.
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#12
I can't recommend either of those guitars. I love Epiphone Les Paul guitars and own 5 of them I have two Tribute's, Ultra II, Standard and a Custom, these are very nice guitars and I can recommend them. You already have a beginners guitar don't buy another one. Save a few more dollars and buy an Epi Les Paul Standard or better. You will not be disappointed in anything from the LP Standard modal on up but you will outgrow a Special within months.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Mar 1, 2017,
#13
Erm...these are usually available at Christmas time for around $89. Seems a shame to pay full price for them the rest of the year. These are "plank" guitars (flat front, flat back) that represent about the cheapest that you can produce a guitar that looks sorta like a Les Paul (remember, the store you buy them from AND Epiphone AND the factory that built them are all making profit off that $89 price tag, so you can guess what the original cost of making that guitar might have been).

In short, if your aim is to "upgrade from my cheap ebay stratocaster," you're really not doing that.
#14
If you get a epi sg special, you get the exact same guitar only with a double cutaway and rounded edges. Its by far worth it to get the sg model imo. Ive owned two epispecial2's first thing is to move the strap button before the guitar slips off and falls. It plays different than a strat though since the strings sit way away from the body in comparison.
Last edited by geo-rage at Mar 1, 2017,
#15
dspellman
Rickholly74
T00DEEPBLUE
While I agree that it is more sideways than upwards from a "cheap eBay strat", I would be interested to know what you folks think is wrong with it. For the sake of disclosure, I'll note I don't see an electric guitar as anything more than lump of wood that holds pickups, and I prefer plain to fancy, so the look is a big plus for me compared to an LP Standard.
Last edited by Tony Done at Mar 1, 2017,
#16
Quote by Tony Done
dspellman
Rickholly74
T00DEEPBLUE
While I agree that it is more sideways than upwards from a "cheap eBay strat", I would be interested to know what you folks think is wrong with it. For the sake of disclosure, I'll note I don't see an electric guitar as anything more than  lump of wood that holds pickups, and I prefer plain to fancy, so the look is a big plus for me compared to an LP Standard.

The Epi Special II guitars are just cheap guitars with the cheapest hardware, cheapest electronics, cheapest construction methods and in my experience, are just poorly crafted. Epiphone skim off every last cent they can get away with on every single component and production process to build these guitars and it shows in the final product. The guitar has a bolt-on neck which for a Les Paul is disappointing. Bolt-on necks are a perfectly legitimate way to build a guitar, but for a guitar like a Les Paul, there's really only 1 reason its done; it's cheaper to build the guitar that way. The only unique selling points these guitars have is that the body shape is correct for a Les Paul Special and it has 'Les Paul' on the headstock. Nothing more.

I just think buying something so cheap is a false economy. You don't have to spend much more than what a Special II costs to get a substantially nicer guitar from other brands like Vintage, Agile and Yamaha.

The only Epiphone that I think is a worse guitar is the Les Paul 100 because it's notably more expensive (in proportion to the price of the Special II) but is essentially just a slightly dolled up Special II with a 4 knob control layout. Nothing else is different.
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#17
Hate to say but I agree with what so many have already said, save up just a little more money and get either an LP Standard or (Better Yet) an LP Plus Top. The plus top's are gorgeous. You get better everything on the plus top for not too much more money.
#18
If these are the guitars that you like, then the walnut is the same as the black, it's just that it costs more $$ to finish the black, so they charge more. This was the case in the recent Gibsons that were on sale from Amazon. Someone who finishes guitars might be able to shine light on why, but the black finishes seem to have a premium price in these less expensive ranges.

There are a lot of good suggestions here, and the truth is that these two guitars are probably not the best in their price range. I know that in Australia, you don't have all the brand options we do and pricing is much different. There's a podcast from AU that I listen to called Guitar Speak Podcast that has 38 podcasts referring to Australian guitar builders. I know you're not in the market for an expensive guitar, but you might get some information about the guitar market in your area.

That said, you should get the instrument that strikes your fancy and gets you playing.
Last edited by GoldJim at Mar 2, 2017,
#19
T00DEEPBLUE

Have you ever personally had performance problems related to price? I'm wondering how much of what we read about performance and price are hearsay/wikiwisdom rather than first-hand experience - and I'm not referring specifically to you. - This ambiguity can be found in many statements we read in these groups and is one of the things about which I feel strongly. I come from a science research background, and I'm used to making it very plain whether I'm providing firsthand or secondhand information. FWIW, the only problems I have had specifically with cheap electric gear, that I can recall, are weak jack sockets. - But my stuff doesn't get heavy use.

I personally don't have a problem with bolt-on necks in a non-traditional context, in fact they would be a small plus. If it works, it works.
#20
Quote by Tony Done
I personally don't have a problem with bolt-on necks in a non-traditional context, in fact they would be a small plus. If it works, it works.
Yeah, with regard to that point I agree. Up to a point, at least, I don't care how much of a "Les Paul" a Les Paul is. The reason I'd discourage these models is because I absolutely don't think they'd represent the upgrade OP seems to be looking for. As far as your general question on performance issues is concerned, I understand what you're saying and I do think most of the issues with cheaper instruments tend to be finish things (not just as in paint but as in the overall neatness with which things are put together), but - pickups and that notwithstanding - there are a few areas where I do find performance issues with cheap instruments on the majority of occasions I play them. That's poorly cut nuts leading to tuning trouble, sharp bits either on frets or bridges, and poor sustain on cheap bridges and dead frets (of course, that can be the case on more expensive components depending on the design but that's something of a different issue, I would say). Also, in the long term, the electronics that are subject to mechanical stress; that is, the pots, switches and jacks, tend to be unreliable. Note that that is in reference to really cheap stuff, like what's in the £100-200 range over here (that's a bit of a guess because prices have jumped a lot in the past year), because those issues diminish dramatically with relatively small increases to that budget. Likewise, a lot of that is fairly easily solved, but not necessarily without ultimately going over the price of an instrument that wouldn't have those issues in the first place, and may well be better-appointed overall, too.
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Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Mar 2, 2017,
#21
Quote by Tony Done
T00DEEPBLUEHave you ever personally had performance problems related to price?

In terms of cheap guitars? Yup. Many.
I personally don't have a problem with bolt-on necks in a non-traditional context, in fact they would be a small plus. If it works, it works.

Sure, it works fine. But part of the whole appeal of buying a les paul over any other singlecut is in the interest of it being a traditional design.
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#23
Quote by Tony Done
dspellman
Rickholly74
T00DEEPBLUE
While I agree that it is more sideways than upwards from a "cheap eBay strat", I would be interested to know what you folks think is wrong with it. For the sake of disclosure, I'll note I don't see an electric guitar as anything more than lump of wood that holds pickups, and I prefer plain to fancy, so the look is a big plus for me compared to an LP Standard.


"Wrong" isn't the point. As you note, it fits the definition of "guitar." What it doesn't do is fit the definition of upgrade in comparison to his current guitar.
#24
I've had an Epi Les Paul Special II for over 2 years now and yeah, its a cheap beginner guitar but its never let me down, nothing gone wrong and it still sounds good with a decent amp
#25
I wonder how many of the 'Haters' ever played an Epi Special or Junior for more than 5 minutes......


This cheap Epi has better fretwork than many 1000 EURO Gibsons I had in my hands,
the Gotoh Bridge doubled the value - and it is worth every single Euro I've paid
#26
Quote by paruwi
I wonder how many of the 'Haters' ever played an Epi Special or Junior for more than 5 minutes......



That case alone is probably worth more than the guitar .

As Maria Muldaur sings, "It ain't the meat, it's the motion..." It's possible to make almost anything sound decent. There are huge bucks flying around for a '50's era Junior (Gibson brand), and it really makes no sense; they were intended to be bottom of the line beginners' guitars. Most that I've played (the Gibson versions) don't play very well, have scratchy frets and crappy fretwork, etc. But most have four-figure pricetags.

As Tony Done notes, some folks are good with a chunk of wood with strings. My mom used to preach that she just wanted a car that could make it from Point A to Point B. "My Volkswagen Squareback is just FINE, thank you!" That is, until she got a ride in a Jag XKE from Point A to Point B. After that, she was on a quest for a bright red one and a pair of Ray Bans to go with it.

I'm really tickled with some of my "diamond in the rough" cheap guitars, but I haven't lost my appreciation for five-figure customs along the way. YMMV.
#27
Quote by paruwi
I wonder how many of the 'Haters' ever played an Epi Special or Junior for more than 5 minutes......
Uhh, I have. If you consider me a 'Hater'?

Quote by paruwi
This cheap Epi has better fretwork than many 1000 EURO Gibsons I had in my hands,
the Gotoh Bridge doubled the value - and it is worth every single Euro I've paid
That's not what I experienced with the Specials I've played, but sure it's believable. There are always the good ones and the bad ones (and certainly Gibby haven't lately had a great reputation in the ~1000€ price range, either). Besides, between the Special and the LPJ, they're about the same price and the Special has more hardware; easy to see how that leads to reducing production costs elsewhere, but maybe that's me being cynical. Regardless:

Your point is not entirely unfair - there is decent enough stuff to be had for cheap, especially if you're willing to spend extra on the guitar after you've got it to work out the kinks - but a "" and a "Don't listen to those mean, silly men! They don't know what they're talking about!" doesn't make this proposition a good use of OP's money. If OP is looking to upgrade from an entry-level guitar, these Epiphones are unlikely to offer lasting joy.
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#28
Just to answer the question. The wood grain one looks really nice. I would vote for that one. Those guitars sound and play well. I had one that was good and one that was bad. The bad one got a broken nut because i put 10's on it and the nut slots where not wide enough, i guess. Or it was just weak plastic. The neck was warped as well. It really didnt get played much at all. The good one just worked. I had to relocate the strap button but it was fine. Nothing amazing but had a nice playable tone. I strongly suggest trying to get a used one for 50 bucks if you can.
#29
dspellman

I feel the same way as your mom about cars too, but driving fancy ones for work hasn't changed my mind enough to want to go out out buy one.

My attitude to acoustic guitars is a good deal more complicated than it is to electrics. I still don't like bling, but I have one boutique, a Bourgeois, that is better suited to its purpose than any factory guitar I have played. I also have a thing about resettable necks, which is partly a division on price.