Poll: Which Les Paul should I get
Poll Options
View poll results: Which Les Paul should I get
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
10 12%
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
41 49%
Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty (HHH)
21 25%
Epiphone Les Paul Ultra
11 13%
Voters: 83.
#1
Ok, so if i do decide to get an Epiphone Les Paul and i've narrowed it down to 4 guitars. I play all types of rock, mostly Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blues, and the occasional heavy rock. FTR, I am also buying an amp, so dont tell me to get an amp. Please refrain from the whole Epiphone sucks ordeal, i dont really care about your hate towards Epiphone or Les Pauls. Thanks
Hello
#2
Quote by MXBoy11
Ok, so if i do decide to get an Epiphone Les Paul and i've narrowed it down to 4 guitars. I play all types of rock, mostly Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blues, and the occasional heavy rock. FTR, I am also buying an amp, so dont tell me to get an amp. Please refrain from the whole Epiphone sucks ordeal, i dont really care about your hate towards Epiphone or Les Pauls. Thanks


Do you plan on telling us what those four guitars are?
#3
Huh?
Now it's 1984
Knock knock at your front door
It's the suede denim secret police
They have come for your un-cool niece
#5
It wasn't before.

Now it is.
Now it's 1984
Knock knock at your front door
It's the suede denim secret police
They have come for your un-cool niece
#7
Epi LP custom

but you could do better for the price on something else
I don't even shred
#8
Custom in the Red Wine finish. Or the Black Beauty if you want black.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#9
Quote by Nebjy
Epi LP custom

but you could do better for the price on something else

Any Suggestions?

EDIT: I like the fact that the Black Beauty (HHH) and the Ultra are very Light, cause my back muscles dont like heavy guitars for long periods of time
Hello
Last edited by MXBoy11 at Feb 12, 2008,
#10
Quote by MXBoy11
Any Suggestions?

Jackson DK2T, Fender Baja Tele, Schecter of some kind, used Gibson SG Classic, etc.
#11
the ultra is my favorite les paul i've played, including gibsons, it's so much more comfortable, and with a satin finished neck, so easy to play, the sound is a little bit different, but i like it better, if you can wait, in two weeks the Ultra II is coming out, which is supposed to be an improvement. The Ultra is a great guitar, i very highly recommend it
#12
Quote by Chad11491
the ultra is my favorite les paul i've played, including gibsons, it's so much more comfortable, and with a satin finished neck, so easy to play, the sound is a little bit different, but i like it better, if you can wait, in two weeks the Ultra II is coming out, which is supposed to be an improvement. The Ultra is a great guitar, i very highly recommend it

Yeah, it seems like a good guitar, but I dont think i would shell out extra $ for the Ultra II just cause it seems like the Nanomag isnt really necessary.
Hello
#13
yeah, that's the only difference i see in it, i think the difference is only 50 bucks though? not sure, i wouldn't pay alot more for it, good luck on whatever guitar you decide on
#14
The issue I ran into with the Ultra IIs is they don't balance well at all and are hard to play. Won't deny they are one of the nicer playing and sounding Epi's otherwise though. I wouldn't get the piezo if you're not going to use it though; something else to go wrong imo.
#15
Quote by CJRocker
The issue I ran into with the Ultra IIs is they don't balance well at all and are hard to play. Won't deny they are one of the nicer playing and sounding Epi's otherwise though. I wouldn't get the piezo if you're not going to use it though; something else to go wrong imo.


I thought the same exact thing!

Chad11491: The Ultra is $549 at GC and the Ultra II is $699 on Musicians Friend, unless i get the ebony, but i think i would rather have the Sunburst with that awesome quilted top. IMO, that is one of the coolest finishes i have ever seen on a guitar!
Hello
#16
Ha, thanks for re-posting that, was just going to go and find it to copy&paste myself...

Yup, Customs now use the same wood, for all intents and purposes, as actual Gibsons. Standards now use what Customs used to use, to put it very simply. Studios still use hacked-up lower graded offcuts (it should be pointed out; actual Gibson Studios and Faded series also use offcuts from lower grade wood than the Standards and Classics), and the Juniors and Special-IIs use lord only knows, it seems to vary from instrument to instrument. LP-100's use the same wood as Studios, I think (hacked up offcuts and low-grade).
Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisshad
no. epiphone les pauls use a veneer top mostly...but are made of several peices of wood where gibsons are usually one or two pieces.

This was true for the Standards and below until about a year and a half ago. Epi had a big change over in their production since then though.
And the Customs, signature LPs, Ultra and so on, have always been made 'properly'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWannabe
When I got my Gibson USA Les Paul Studio Faded, it was between that for $800 and a totally trick-looking Epiphone Les Paul for $500. The difference? With the Les Paul Faded, I got a bare wood finish, the same hardware as a Les Paul Standard, burstbucker pickups and block fret inlays. With the Epiphone, I would have had a really nice finish with inferior hardware all the way around and it was much heavier.
This part should have been the tip-off for you to get the Epi. That Faded you have, as I mentioned above, has a body made like the Studio - lower grade wood, hacked up from offcuts. On top of that, if you bought it within the last two and a half years or so, it will also have the chambering that Gibson puts in their Standards now, which while good for helping the weight, also reduces sustain, arguably weakens the tone (depends on your personal taste), and reduces the durability of the instrument.

On the other hand, if it was a few years back, the Custom would have completely solid two-slab construction, and the wood would be the same grade as the Gibson. If it was newer (since Epi had their overhaul of production), the Custom will still have the same entirely solid, two-slab construction, and the wood will be roughly one grade (possibly two, there's some variation) than the Faded (for reference, the Epi Customs now mostly use D Select, though sometimes C Select, while Gibsons like the Faded and Studio use D Select at most, but as is the nature with their construction from off-cuts, they normally contain more #1 common and #2 common, rather than any D Select).


But granted, the Gibson comes with nicer stock hardware. My argument is and will always be though, so long as you don't mind the Epi neck profile, you are always better off getting one of the rare good Epis and spending the money you saved upgrade it, rather than just getting a Gibson. And certainly if you do have the money to buy a Gibson, then you should still skip those, and just go to the Epiphone Elitist series, which have the most consistent quality control I've ever come across, and frankly, beat any production Gibson (again, so long as you're okay with the Epi neck profile). As a general rule of thumb, the Gibson Custom Shop is the best, then the Epi Elitists, then production Gibson mid-range, Epiphone production higher-range and modded mid-range, Gibson lower range and stock Epi mid-range, then finally the lower range Epis which are at best, average beginner instruments, and that's only if you're lucky.


I should probably point out, this is coming from someone who owns two Gibsons, has owned a third in the past, and currently owns two Epis, again, having owned a third in the past. So, I'm not biased to one brand just because it's the one I play the most or anything, I own and play both equally. And you'll just have to take my word for it - I've done my research.


... And to answer the OP's question in typically boring fashion, the answer, as many people have said, is to just play the damn thing. If you notice any fretbuzz, unusually loose hardware, unusually stiff hardware, a lack of sustain - anything - then you put that Epi down right now. You don't even have to plug them in to tell if they're bad or not; 99 times out of 100, if an Epi has one flaw, even if it's just something 'minor' like some rough flack on the nut from where it was cut or the pickup selector switch is a little stiff, the rest of it will turn out to be a waste of money too.

When trying out Epis, you need to keep this in mind; you are search for a mid-range Gibson quality build, with the exception of the pickups. For this reason, I heartily recommend you try the Epi unplugged. You'll be able to spot it's flaws much easier, and really it's the core build you're testing out, as it's a given the electronics will be unimpressive. Most of the time you'll be changing the pickups anyway (and at the same time, change the pots and all the existing wiring - but again, I would think that's pretty much a given anyway).

You should also try looking at the guitar's serial number to see how old it is. Just because Epiphone have officially passed on all of the old stock (made before their production change), that doesn't mean those guitars aren't still sitting on shelves in stores or sitting on eBay or in warehouses for other online shops. Look at the serial number on the back of the guitar - look at the third and fourth characters in the sequence (it normally goes two letters, then the numbers start - you want to be looking at the first two numbers). It's pretty simple to tell the year; if the first two numbers are 05 for example, then the guitar was made in 2005. If it says 06, it's a 2006 guitar, etc. Now, Epiphone made their production shift a little over a year and a half ago now, so any guitar made in 07 is fine, any made in 06 should be fine, though earlier than that and you're looking at lower grade wood, if it's a Standard or lower then it'll be using the old mahogany/alder mix rather than just mahogany, and the stock hardware on the Standard and below is worse too (though you really should be changing most of the hardware anyway).


The exceptions are the Signature range of Epis, the Ultra, any limited editions, and the Elitist series.

The Elitists are quite frankly, better than production Gibsons - period. You don't need to worry about possibly finding a bad Elitist; no such thing exists, at least not in my experience.

The Ultra is a hard one to gauge since it's meant to be heavily chambered, the tone, especially unplugged, isn't really like any other LP. The build quality on them tends to be higher too. That's not to say there aren't bad Ultras out there - there are - just that it's much harder to tell what the hell is going on with any Ultra you pick up, so shopping for those should be left to those who have already owned a couple of good Epis and really know what they're looking for.

The Limited Editions that Epi sometimes do, are nearly always good too. They seem to put much more care over them even if it's just a limited run Studio model. Again, like the Ultra, there are still bad ones out there - they're just that bit less common, and it varies so much from each limited run model that they're not the kind of thing inexperienced buyers should be risking looking into.

For the Signatures, I assume it's since the artists insist better quality control on their guitars, but I've never come across a bad Signature Epi. Most of the Signatures started life in the Elitists series and then got 'demoted' to standard production, but never got any actual spec changes, so that could be why. In particular, the Joe Perry LP and Tony Iommi SG are incredibly well built (again, at least in my experience), though from what I understand, the Joe Perry LP is no longer being produced. A shame since it came with actual USA-made Gibsons Burstbuckers (#2 and #3 - my personal favourite pickup configuration) as standard, which combined with the higher quality body it had, meant it was, for all intents and purposes, a Gibson with a different headstock. I'm lucky enough to have a 2004 one (which is okay since Signatures were always made properly, even before the production shift), and I can safely say it's better than one of my Gibsons, and since owning it I've put the same pickup configuration (reverse #2 and a #3) in all of my guitars - it is just that damn good.


Wow, tl;dr....


EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whole Lotta Led
But until I see some sort of proof from a Gibson official, I highly doubt Epiphone is using the same grade of wood as Gibson in their mid-range models. Just wouldn't make sense business wise in my opinion.
Actually, it makes great business sense. It's not like Gibson have downgraded their Standards; all that's happened is now more people will buy Epi as they hear the wood they use is now better, and Gibson conveniently keep quiet about the difference between the Epi and Gibson woods.

To be fair to Gibson though, it's not like every single £70 Epi LP Junior is using the same wood as a £3000 Gibson Custom Shop LP or anything. It's just the mid/higher Epis now use the same wood as the mid-range Gibsons (which have never been that special anyway), with the Standard Epis being not too far behind.


Think of it this way: Selling twenty Epis at £500 a pop makes more money than selling three Gibsons at £1400, which is roughly the actual buy rate of the two right now, since the wood change over. From a business sense, they are now raking in far more money than ever before.
Quote by envoykrawkwar7


edge11
that was an epic win
best thing ive read all day

[feel free to sig this statement]

Gear:
Esp Ltd Ninja 600
Esp Ltd F-50
les paul elite
5watt jcm800 clone
Roland jc-55
Crate V33
Jca20H
Ibanez tubescreamer ts9
Keeley ds-1
#17
i think theres a gibson lp at guitar center sub 1000 and ppl say its pretty decent play them all cause a bunch of the epis i played the g string went out of tune check prs se's i was once almost gonna get an epi but played a paul reed (se) and i ended up with that one
#18
the ultra wont hurt ure back
and it sounds good
and it play good, depsite its an epiphone (couldnt help it)
#19
Quote by Kazmo
i think theres a gibson lp at guitar center sub 1000 and ppl say its pretty decent play them all cause a bunch of the epis i played the g string went out of tune check prs se's i was once almost gonna get an epi but played a paul reed (se) and i ended up with that one



I had the same problem with the g string on an Ultra today.
#20
My Jay Turser LP clone has a problem with the G string going out of tune... Welcome to Paul's world?
#21
Quote by init24
the ultra wont hurt ure back
and it sounds good
and it play good, depsite its an epiphone (couldnt help it)


If a standard hurts your back then you have some SERIOUS issues.

Btw, my 2 cents, a Gibson SG special faded will set you back about the same as an Epiphone les paul, and it will beat it in everyway.

Don't buy Epiphone, please.
#22
Get the custom, awesome guitar with awesome sound

I got one not long ago and I've never regretted it
Quote by Bartleby
i tune to drop-Z and string my guitar with barbed wire.

Quote by UncleCthulhu
we r all rlaeted bcuz teh bibel sez so we r al innbreads lolo


Prime Minister of Puppets of The Australia FTW Club

One of The 9 Winners of the Official 5th MOD Contest
#23
Quote by Run.to.the.hill
If a standard hurts your back then you have some SERIOUS issues.

Btw, my 2 cents, a Gibson SG special faded will set you back about the same as an Epiphone les paul, and it will beat it in everyway.

Don't buy Epiphone, please.

While the SG special faded is probably one of my favourite gibsons (don't ask), they can be very shoddy quality guitars.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#24
Black Beauty.

If you can afford a Custom or Black Beauty, there's no point even considering a Standard. All you'd be getting is lower grade wood in the body and cheaper cast hardware; if you can get the Custom/Black Beauty, the Standard is pointless.

The Ultra should also be avoided. The Ultra sounds very different to any other Les Paul - due to both the usual Epi finish (that makes all their guitars have a darker tone), and also the fact that it's basically a semi-hollowbody guitar (like any archtop, minus the f-holes). Yes, it is higher quality than any other production Epi ( though of course their signature models and Elitist models are better still), but it's also very different. Do not make the mistake of thinking it's just a 'better' Les Paul - it's not. If you have to ask if you should get it, then you should not get it - the Ultra is for people who know exactly what tone they want, know the Ultra's tone, and can make use of it. Considering the Ultra as just any old LP alongside other LPs is stupid, it's like asking which out of five Stratocasters or one Telecaster you should get.


So, you've got two main options: Custom and Black Beauty.

Of those, Black Beauty makes the most sense to get. You may use the third pickup, you may not, but it can't hurt to have it there. Otherwise, the quality is the exact same as the Custom, so you're not missing out on anything.
The advantage of the Custom is that it comes in more finish options. That's it. So unless you really hate the black and gold of the Black Beauty, the Custom isn't going to be worth bothering with either.


Quote by Run.to.the.hill
Btw, my 2 cents, a Gibson SG special faded will set you back about the same as an Epiphone les paul, and it will beat it in everyway.
.. except that 1) The Faded series of Gibsons are some of the crappest guitars I've ever come across, and 2) a Gibson SG sounds completely and utterly different to an Epiphone Les Paul, even moreso than it is different to a Gibson LP.

I like Gibson SGs (proper ones - not that Faded/Special ****e), but there's just no way a Gibson SG could stand in for an Epiphone LP. They're as different as can be.
Last edited by bokuho at Feb 13, 2008,
#26
Quote by SquierLolz
epi lp Ultra 2
Yes that's a good idea, go for the thing that is even more unlike any other Les Paul...

Seriously, once you start looking at the Ultra-II, you might as well just go get an archtop or an electro-acoustic.
#27
Quote by Run.to.the.hill
If a standard hurts your back then you have some SERIOUS issues.

Btw, my 2 cents, a Gibson SG special faded will set you back about the same as an Epiphone les paul, and it will beat it in everyway.

Don't buy Epiphone, please.

I dont have issues, my back muscles are usually sore from ice hockey, or lugging around a heavy backpack.

I dont want an SG, i already have one.
Hello
#29
Quote by edge11
Ha, thanks for re-posting that, was just going to go and find it to copy&paste myself...

Yup, Customs now use the same wood, for all intents and purposes, as actual Gibsons. Standards now use what Customs used to use, to put it very simply. Studios still use hacked-up lower graded offcuts (it should be pointed out; actual Gibson Studios and Faded series also use offcuts from lower grade wood than the Standards and Classics), and the Juniors and Special-IIs use lord only knows, it seems to vary from instrument to instrument. LP-100's use the same wood as Studios, I think (hacked up offcuts and low-grade).
Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisshad
no. epiphone les pauls use a veneer top mostly...but are made of several peices of wood where gibsons are usually one or two pieces.

This was true for the Standards and below until about a year and a half ago. Epi had a big change over in their production since then though.
And the Customs, signature LPs, Ultra and so on, have always been made 'properly'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWannabe
When I got my Gibson USA Les Paul Studio Faded, it was between that for $800 and a totally trick-looking Epiphone Les Paul for $500. The difference? With the Les Paul Faded, I got a bare wood finish, the same hardware as a Les Paul Standard, burstbucker pickups and block fret inlays. With the Epiphone, I would have had a really nice finish with inferior hardware all the way around and it was much heavier.
This part should have been the tip-off for you to get the Epi. That Faded you have, as I mentioned above, has a body made like the Studio - lower grade wood, hacked up from offcuts. On top of that, if you bought it within the last two and a half years or so, it will also have the chambering that Gibson puts in their Standards now, which while good for helping the weight, also reduces sustain, arguably weakens the tone (depends on your personal taste), and reduces the durability of the instrument.

On the other hand, if it was a few years back, the Custom would have completely solid two-slab construction, and the wood would be the same grade as the Gibson. If it was newer (since Epi had their overhaul of production), the Custom will still have the same entirely solid, two-slab construction, and the wood will be roughly one grade (possibly two, there's some variation) than the Faded (for reference, the Epi Customs now mostly use D Select, though sometimes C Select, while Gibsons like the Faded and Studio use D Select at most, but as is the nature with their construction from off-cuts, they normally contain more #1 common and #2 common, rather than any D Select).


But granted, the Gibson comes with nicer stock hardware. My argument is and will always be though, so long as you don't mind the Epi neck profile, you are always better off getting one of the rare good Epis and spending the money you saved upgrade it, rather than just getting a Gibson. And certainly if you do have the money to buy a Gibson, then you should still skip those, and just go to the Epiphone Elitist series, which have the most consistent quality control I've ever come across, and frankly, beat any production Gibson (again, so long as you're okay with the Epi neck profile). As a general rule of thumb, the Gibson Custom Shop is the best, then the Epi Elitists, then production Gibson mid-range, Epiphone production higher-range and modded mid-range, Gibson lower range and stock Epi mid-range, then finally the lower range Epis which are at best, average beginner instruments, and that's only if you're lucky.


I should probably point out, this is coming from someone who owns two Gibsons, has owned a third in the past, and currently owns two Epis, again, having owned a third in the past. So, I'm not biased to one brand just because it's the one I play the most or anything, I own and play both equally. And you'll just have to take my word for it - I've done my research.


... And to answer the OP's question in typically boring fashion, the answer, as many people have said, is to just play the damn thing. If you notice any fretbuzz, unusually loose hardware, unusually stiff hardware, a lack of sustain - anything - then you put that Epi down right now. You don't even have to plug them in to tell if they're bad or not; 99 times out of 100, if an Epi has one flaw, even if it's just something 'minor' like some rough flack on the nut from where it was cut or the pickup selector switch is a little stiff, the rest of it will turn out to be a waste of money too.

When trying out Epis, you need to keep this in mind; you are search for a mid-range Gibson quality build, with the exception of the pickups. For this reason, I heartily recommend you try the Epi unplugged. You'll be able to spot it's flaws much easier, and really it's the core build you're testing out, as it's a given the electronics will be unimpressive. Most of the time you'll be changing the pickups anyway (and at the same time, change the pots and all the existing wiring - but again, I would think that's pretty much a given anyway).

You should also try looking at the guitar's serial number to see how old it is. Just because Epiphone have officially passed on all of the old stock (made before their production change), that doesn't mean those guitars aren't still sitting on shelves in stores or sitting on eBay or in warehouses for other online shops. Look at the serial number on the back of the guitar - look at the third and fourth characters in the sequence (it normally goes two letters, then the numbers start - you want to be looking at the first two numbers). It's pretty simple to tell the year; if the first two numbers are 05 for example, then the guitar was made in 2005. If it says 06, it's a 2006 guitar, etc. Now, Epiphone made their production shift a little over a year and a half ago now, so any guitar made in 07 is fine, any made in 06 should be fine, though earlier than that and you're looking at lower grade wood, if it's a Standard or lower then it'll be using the old mahogany/alder mix rather than just mahogany, and the stock hardware on the Standard and below is worse too (though you really should be changing most of the hardware anyway).


The exceptions are the Signature range of Epis, the Ultra, any limited editions, and the Elitist series.

The Elitists are quite frankly, better than production Gibsons - period. You don't need to worry about possibly finding a bad Elitist; no such thing exists, at least not in my experience.

The Ultra is a hard one to gauge since it's meant to be heavily chambered, the tone, especially unplugged, isn't really like any other LP. The build quality on them tends to be higher too. That's not to say there aren't bad Ultras out there - there are - just that it's much harder to tell what the hell is going on with any Ultra you pick up, so shopping for those should be left to those who have already owned a couple of good Epis and really know what they're looking for.

The Limited Editions that Epi sometimes do, are nearly always good too. They seem to put much more care over them even if it's just a limited run Studio model. Again, like the Ultra, there are still bad ones out there - they're just that bit less common, and it varies so much from each limited run model that they're not the kind of thing inexperienced buyers should be risking looking into.

For the Signatures, I assume it's since the artists insist better quality control on their guitars, but I've never come across a bad Signature Epi. Most of the Signatures started life in the Elitists series and then got 'demoted' to standard production, but never got any actual spec changes, so that could be why. In particular, the Joe Perry LP and Tony Iommi SG are incredibly well built (again, at least in my experience), though from what I understand, the Joe Perry LP is no longer being produced. A shame since it came with actual USA-made Gibsons Burstbuckers (#2 and #3 - my personal favourite pickup configuration) as standard, which combined with the higher quality body it had, meant it was, for all intents and purposes, a Gibson with a different headstock. I'm lucky enough to have a 2004 one (which is okay since Signatures were always made properly, even before the production shift), and I can safely say it's better than one of my Gibsons, and since owning it I've put the same pickup configuration (reverse #2 and a #3) in all of my guitars - it is just that damn good.


Wow, tl;dr....


EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whole Lotta Led
But until I see some sort of proof from a Gibson official, I highly doubt Epiphone is using the same grade of wood as Gibson in their mid-range models. Just wouldn't make sense business wise in my opinion.
Actually, it makes great business sense. It's not like Gibson have downgraded their Standards; all that's happened is now more people will buy Epi as they hear the wood they use is now better, and Gibson conveniently keep quiet about the difference between the Epi and Gibson woods.

To be fair to Gibson though, it's not like every single £70 Epi LP Junior is using the same wood as a £3000 Gibson Custom Shop LP or anything. It's just the mid/higher Epis now use the same wood as the mid-range Gibsons (which have never been that special anyway), with the Standard Epis being not too far behind.


Think of it this way: Selling twenty Epis at £500 a pop makes more money than selling three Gibsons at £1400, which is roughly the actual buy rate of the two right now, since the wood change over. From a business sense, they are now raking in far more money than ever before.

does that include the LP standard faded or do they have 'proper' wood ?
#30
I voted custom, though I'll stipulate Alpine white

Only Les Paul I'd ever consider owning
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"
#32
The red is richer in my opinion, white is awesome, but you don't see the wood grain underneath.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#33
True, but there is just something oh-so sexy about the white with the gold and the black...

...ugh...

...I hate LPs..........stop me...
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"