Les Paul Special Bass review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 3
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 5.2 Decent
  • Users' score: 5.4 (18 votes)
Epiphone: Les Paul Special Bass

Price paid: £ 199

Purchased from: DV247

Sound — 6
When I first tried this bass I was impressed with its bottom end harmonic richness in particular and blending the pickups can deliver a wide range of tone. The tone control has wide range and at extreme deliveres a muffled sound, I reduced the capacior value in mine from .047u to .01u and this brightened the whole thing up and gave more sensible range. It does seem to deliver some uneveness and inconsistencies in level and tone across the fretboard but its OK and has its place.

Overall Impression — 5
I play blues and jazzy style and this bass can certainly do that well. If I had taken a closer look at this bass before buying I may not have bought it but... With some adjustments and love its really good, but why should I have to do that? As it wasn't that expensive perhaps that's what I should expect, but that's not the point. In all I really enjoyed sorting this bass out, it makes regular appearances and plays like a dream, doesn't sound half bad either.

Reliability & Durability — 5
This bass seems strong and I can't see any reason why it shouldn't last well. Mine stays in tune and its paint seems of good quality. One of the strap buttons did come loose but since tightening it hasn't come loose again. The jack socket came loose but that's fixed. I had to do some work on mine to get it in good shape and playability but the effort was worth it and if it were my only bass I'm sure I could depend upon it. If I hadn't taken some trouble who knows.

Action, Fit & Finish — 3
It's pretty heavy (and could make quite a good weapon) but none the less pretty well balanced. The transparent black paintwork is pretty good. The neck is set in and slim and fretboard and fret finish very good. My example was poorly set up on arrival, nut action was WAY TOO HIGH by miles (had to get the nut files out), neck not correctly set and intonation was way out. I was unable to get the action low enough until the nut action was adjusted correctly, very poor. The bridge is fiddly and if you adjust it too often I think the small allen screws will wear out. The jack socket nut came loose pretty quickly and I had to remove the "cheep plastic" mounting plate to properly adjust this, its OK now (I replaced the plate with a metal one). The pickups are bolted down hard and no adjustment is available, I removed mine and added some springs to make this possible. Raising the pickups increased the low output quite a bit. Once setup it plays as it should, great! Epiphone should pay more attention to their quality control. It doesn't matter how much the instrument costs, it should be playable when it leaves the factory and those on a budget are penalised with very poor setup, not fair.

Features — 7
I picked up this 4 string bass about six months ago on impulse, it was pretty cheep and it sounds great. Made in China. I think the body is made of Mahogany. Two volume, one tone and two humbuckers, gotoh type tuners, long scale and all hardware is black, neck is set in. As the name implies this bass design is based on a Les Paul guitar and looks pretty good.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    that's a pretty god review but you missed on important stuff like number of frets, how easy/hard is to reach upper frets and the sound you didn't really go into it.
    Nice review, but I've got to say, that's a shitty looking bass =/
    I will say its a pretty cool looking bass, but its just not "bass" enough, if you get what im saying. . I just don't think an LP body is fit for basses.
    wow i could have sworn this bass was reviewed a million times here before. that's wierd, these things have been around for a while now.
    Seems like you know how what to look for in a bass so I'm glad I came across this review. Excellent.