Price paid: € 380
Purchased from: thomann.de
Sound — 8
I'm playing this axe through a Marshall MG100 DFX. The clean tone of the neck pickup is classic Epiphone/Gibson. It's really pure, round, and well-defined. This pickup has the right sound when I want to do some blues, reggae, or soul. I used to cover Neil Young's "Heart Of Gold" with my former band, and I would play it as the second guitar with my steel bottleneck, and it was lovely! The combination of the neck and bridge pickups is the one I prefer. It's the most versatile combination of the guitar, since you can deeply change the tone by adjusting the two volume knobs, having access to a lot of mid-ranges (that seem to come also from the korina wood). The bridge pickup is really "piercing" and expressive. Since I'm a sucker for rockabilly, this pickup fits perfectly the kind of clean tone from this musical genre, and it's also nice for funk. Whatever the pickup I use, I tend to let the Master Tone knob on 10, in order to have a more defined guitar tone. But from time to time, the nice thing is to reduce it a lot, and obtain a nearly acoustic-like sound, that could fit really well pop-folk progressions. Now, let's have a bite on distortions! I have two distinct distortions on my Marshall amp, but I mostly use my Boss DS-1. When you use a high-gain distortion, the neck pickup has that dirty punk/garage sound, and the bridge pickup makes you sound just like a raging Gary Moore or Eddie Van Halen. A lighter distortion is perfect for hard rock or Chicago blues.
Overall Impression — 9
My favorite genres are traditional heavy metal, rockabilly, and blues. My two main influences are Ritchie Blackmore and Jimmy Page. I like this guitar a lot, I never lost the pleasure to pick it up. The weight and balance it has never prevented me from having stage presence, though I'd recommend anyone planning to buy a Flying V to first try instruments that are shaped that way (you have to know if you can feel comfortable with it). I heard this reissue is now out of production, but it was ever lost or stolen, I'd do anything to find another (and also kick the hell out of the thief, hey!). It really suits my personality and the kind of sounds that inspire me. I'd recommend this to rock players that enjoy to do some other styles and who want a classy-looking guitar (and remember that classy doesn't mean show off). If anyone wants to ask something about it, please let me know, I'll be glad to answer you. Hope you enjoyed the review!
Reliability & Durability — 9
The guitar is a real sturdy Epiphone. I accidentally knocked it a bit several times, and it has no scratch. I had it for almost two years, and the Ebony finish is intact. The golden hardware tends to fade away and lose its shine, but it can be fixed and cleaned with the right material when you're changing the strings (honestly do it, if not, it will get dirty with fingerprints). I used my Flying V for like three gigs now, and I'm glad I did, since it's a reliable instrument that really delivers all of its full power on stage. When you have it in your hands in front of an audience, you understand why this guitar shape became such a symbol in rock'n'roll!
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The neck is a bit thick (well, nothing unusual for Gibson-type guitars). The Flying V shape itself makes the instrument not really well-balanced. The headstock tends to fall a little bit and you have to compensate with your arm. Still, even with that balance flaw, the shape of the body makes a full and easy access to the 22 frets, and makes it a great and comfortable instrument for soloing (even if hardcore shredders may feel limitated by the lack of more frets). The lower side of the "V" (which rests on your leg when you're sitting to play) has a 21 centimeter gum bar, that gives great grip between your leg and the instrument. That way, you can use the guitar when sitting as well than when you stand.
Features — 7
- Korina body, rosewood fretboard, mahogany neck - Two Alnico Classic humbuckers (neck and bridge), that you can alternate with a 3-way toggle switch - One volume knob for each pickup, and one Master Tone knob for the whole sound of the guitar - LockTone Tune-O-Matic StopBar bridge - The fretboard has 22 frets, and the neck has a Slim Taper "D" profile - Two finishes : Ebony or Natural (I've got an Ebony one) - Manufactured in Japan (well I think so, since the serial number has no letter) The instrument is an Epiphone reissue of the original Flying V models that came out in 1958, and were distinctive for their unusual shape and their korina wood. I chose it because I love the look of it, and I wanted a Gibson-type second guitar with a humbucker combination. The lack of a vibrato or of another knob allowing to alter the tone from the guitar itself may disturb some players, that could feel limitated. But it's fine for me.