Elitist Les Paul Custom Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 05/22/2008 category: Electric Guitars
Epiphone: Elitist Les Paul Custom
This model represents the Paul legacy with distinction. It features a bookmatched flamed maple top on a bookmatched mahogany back and is fully American equipped.
 Sound: 9.8
 Overall Impression: 9.4
 Reliability & Durability: 9.4
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.6
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
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reviews (5) 46 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Elitist Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: Ippon, on february 11, 2008
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Hamamatsu Japan

Features: This Made in Japan LP Custom Elite was a limited production run similar to the specials run by bigbox guitar stores in the USA like MusiciansFriend/Guitar Center. Mine is a 2007 model with the typical MIJ quality, high. 22 frets, 24-3/4" scale, Mahogany set neck, Mahogany body with a Maple cap, Alpine White with Gold hardware. They offered 2 PU configs: Burstbucker Pros or Burstbuckers 1 and 2. Mine came with the BB 1/2. // 10

Sound: It's made for Classic Rock and won't disappoint if you dabble in GN'R or Mettalica. Think Gibson LP R9. It works very well with my Fender HotRod and my friends' Hughes & Kettner TriAmp MK II and MB RoadKing. The electronics are superior (pots and switch) and the humbuckers are Gibson-quality. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action wasn't extremely low, the pus didn't need height adjustment, and the finish was flawless. I've had this for a little over 6 months, way past the honeymoon stage, the Gold hardware looks new, since I make sure to wipe it down after each session, and I still am amazed by what I paid for it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar reminds me of my dad's Gibsons, built like tanks. I expect this to remain awesomely playable when I have grandkids. The straps are pretty solid but like most of my LPs, it'll get the proper straplocks. This thing probably weighs 11 pounds or so. This is my current "go to" LP. // 10

Overall Impression: I play classic rock, blues, learning jazz, and dabbling in some metal. This one does most of it. I go to my 7-string MIJ Ibanez for the extra chug and trem wankery or to my Strats for SRV and Blackmore. This comes close to the Gibson R9, my MIJ Burny Super Grade comes closest to the R9, stock. I was fortunate to get this and its twin SG, also in Alpine White, when a local shop had a huge anniversary sale in Hamamatsu. I've seeen this same model sell for $900-1100 on Evil Bay. I'd rate this slightly higher than the MIJ Tokai LS (Love Rock) and MIJ Edwards LP, but slightly below the MIJ Burny Super Grade. // 10

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overall: 10
Elitist Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: ^Slash^, on february 27, 2007
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Local Music shop

Features: My LP was made in 06 in Japan. It's a Standard 22 fret, 24-3/4" scale. It's obviously solid top. Alpine white finish that looks absolutly wonderful. It has the Tune-O-Matic bridge, with passive electronics. It has the 2 volume, and 2 tone knobs with the 3-way selector. Grover tuners which do the job of staying in tune quite nice. It also includes a 50SR USA for the neck pick up, and a 60ST USA for a bridge pick up. But I took both of those out and put in Alnico Pro II's. // 10

Sound: The Custom Elitist suits my music style perfect. I play blues from the '50s, metal from the '80s, Zeppelin, Sabbath, GN'R, Buddy Guy etc. I'm using a Crate GT212 120 watt amp, that works okay I suppose. You get like no feedback at all with gain on 10. But then again I have my amp on like 2 most of the time. But I think the guitar controls feedback nicely. Distorted sounds are nice the bridge hiumbucker is wonderful, and the neck pick up is nice and bassy the way I like it. And I'm not talking about the Alnico pups. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was alittle to high for my likings but that was easy to fix with the Tune-O-Matic bridge. The pickups were just fine when I got the guitar. I didn't find any flaws in the guitar, but I had noticed some wax on the pickup, so I just got a cloth a rubbed it off. Other than that it came to me pretty much perfect. No scratches or anything like that. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will 100% withstand live playing, unless you wanna kill it on stage, which is absolutly up to you. I have played 2 gigs with it, and it was a gem on stage. The hardware will definetly last a long time. The strap buttons are solid and haven't come loose. The only thing I recomend is to have strap locks since the Elitist guitars are a tad heavier than just normal LPs. And you wanna keep them safe. I would gig with this with out a backup any day. The finish is awesome I absolutly love the alpine white finish, and there hasn't been any cracks or chippings come off yet. And I don't think there will be anytime soon. // 10

Overall Impression: I play a very wide variety of music, and this guitar is a perfect match. I have been playing for about a year and a bit. I own a Crate GT212 and Music Research Works ETG34, a Dunlop Crybaby Classic Wah, and Crate GT212 120 watt amp. There is nothing I wish I had asked before buying the guitar. If it were stolen I would beat the crap out of the person Who stole it, or if I had lost it I would probably go and buy another. I love the finsh, the ease of playing, the quality, and the sweet sound. I compared this to a Epiphone Standard LP, a Black Beauty SG, and some Ibanez guitar. And this Ep blew all 3 out of the water. If anyone here on UG is going to a buy an LP Standard or any LP, I do recomend them spending a bit more for the Elitist line they are wonderful guitars. Maybe not as good Gibson Custom shop, but they do compare to Gibson USA Standard guitars. And for 1200 you can't go wrong. The price and quality for the guitar is just awesome. // 10

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overall: 10
Elitist Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 04, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1050

Purchased from: Outlaw Music, Missoula MT

Sound: This guitar sounds great. I'll probably be changing out the bridge pickup in the near future, possibly to a Duncan Distortion like I have in my Epi LP, but the neck pickup is fantastic, both clean and distorted. I play through a Laney GH50 tube head and 4X12 Laney cab, through a Metal Muff stomp box. This guitar sounds very clear, warm and full, a noticeable step up from my Epi LP Custom, and hands down a better guitar than the Gibson LP Studio, which was the other guitar I was considering picking up. I play harder rock/punk music (www.myspace.com/comeupswinging, not the greatest recordings, but we aren't trying to 'get famous', just having fun) and of course, the Les Paul, which bridges many style gaps, works well for me. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Flawless. Alpine White looks fantastic, and will age very nicely. My shop did a pro setup, so I don't know how well it was setup from the factory. As beautiful as the Gibson Custom Shop counterpart, if you can stand not having "Gibson" across the head stock. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Solid. The hardware is a big step up from the regular Epiphone line. I had Schaller strap locks installed, but the stock buttons looked good. This guitar is as reliable as any Gibson. I'm also really looking forward to the Alpine White finish turning yellow. // 10

Overall Impression: I had full intentions of getting a "Gibson." I owned a mid 90's Gibson LP Studio when I was younger, but they sure don't make the studio like they used to. I did a little side-by-side comparison w/the Elitist and the Studio, I found the studio to be considerably lighter (which I don't like), less comfortable in the neck, not nearly as well finished, and "cheap" feeling in comparison to the Elitist. I'm not saying that the Studio is a bad guitar, but it is without question "inferior" to the Elitist in all areas other than the Nitrocellulose finish. As compared to the Gibson Custom Shop LP, it is maybe a hair lighter, has a rosewood fretboard as opposed to the Gibson ebony fretboard (the only thing I wish the Elitist had done differently), but otherwise is of very similar feel, sound, and playability. The Elitist case is nice, kind of an alligator finish, nice hasps, arched top, an ugly purple lining, and a nice leather wrapped handle. Had I been able to spend $3, 500 on the Gibson, I would have, but in my opinion, the Elitist is the "same" quality guitar for 1/3 the price. Did I mention that it was beautiful? Flawless binding on the top and back, neck and headstock. The headstock is also apears to be at the "correct" Gibson angle, as opposed to the Standard Epiphones. // 10

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overall: 7.8
Elitist Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: Moe., on april 21, 2008
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 532

Purchased from: -

Features: This Epiphone was made in 2007 in China. It has 22 frets and the scale is 24.75". The neck is quite large and bulky, making it hard to solo for some people. It's a set mahogany neck, with a rosewood fret board. The headstock features Grover tuners, which hold tune well, but could do better in my case. The body style is the obvious Les Paul shape with the single cut away. It's a solid mahogany body with alder top, and a Tune-O-Matic bridge. The guitar features gold hardware, which fades after a while. On top of that, the gold pickup covers are very hard to keep clean. It features 2 Alnico pickups, 2 individual volume and tone pots, and a 3-way pickup switch. // 8

Sound: The sound of this guitar is quite good. The stock pick ups are muddy to my ears, but a quick change will fix that. It suits a lot of styles, from punk, rock, pop, jazz, and blues. Although I'd recommend something else for metal players, as the neck isn't much to vouch on for soloing. It can be slightly noisy at times but I usually roll back the volume knob during guitar-less parts of songs. It's a very full sound, which suits a lot of styles well, although I wouldn't mind have something brighter. The guitar is slightly versatile, but will always give off that classic Les Paul tone. I can manage to get a nice jazz tone on the neck pick up though, and a metal tone on the bridge pickup. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar, when purchased, wasn't set up at all. It had a heap of back bow on the neck, A lot of fret buzz, and wouldn't hold tune at all. I got it setup by my guitar tech (thanks Mark) and it plays fairly well now. The pick ups were adjusted well, and the action was adjusted perfectly for minimal action and minimal fret buzz. The first few frets needed to be re-glued, but are fine now. The bad setup from the factory was the only problem I had on my guitar so far. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The guitar can withstand gigs and live playing well, but like most guitars I wouldn't throw it from one side of the stage to the other. The hardware may need replacing after a bit of a long period, along with the electronics, but this is a basic thing for me. The strap buttons were solidly put in place, but I didn't want to take any chances and replaced them with Dunlop straploks. The alpine white finish looks fairly good to me, and after many months of continues playing hasn't faded at all. // 7

Overall Impression: When I purchased this guitar, I was heavily into punk music. It's a great match for punk music, but over time I've gotten into more of the heavier nu-metal music. I've found the neck to be a little too slow in my hands for that, so I may end up selling this soon. My overall impressions stay still on the basis that this is a nice guitar for the price. I may be tempted to by another if this one gets either lost or stolen, but I may go for the Jackson or PRS se route. I love the feel of this guitar up to the 17th fret; from there it's a struggle to reach things. I wish it had better fret access, but my hands are smaller than others so it may just be me. // 7

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overall: 10
Elitist Les Paul Custom Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 22, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: eBay/one owner

Features: 2004 Wine Red Elitist Custom. Not too much to add to a Custom description except, it is better quality than about 6-7 Gibsons I looked at in the Guitar Center last week for $2, -2, 500.00 more dollars! If you don't know what a Les Paul Custom, I mean a real one, is made of/from/like etc. then stick to playing with yourself! // 10

Sound: It has classic rock sound with that oh sooooo long sustain. This is achieved by the long neck tenon and aged solid mahogany body. The pups are clear and dark at the same time. I have Strats, Schecters and the Paul is much more low end defined. However. I play thru a Traynor 40YCR all tube amp with an adorning Wine Red cover and oatmeal grill. Check it out at Traynor.com For the money, this amp rocks and is self-biasing too! Boss ME-50 effects and the slight of hand magic we all develop as we progress! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The best action, fit and finish of any guitar I have ever purchased. My G & L Legacy is an ever so close match. No wonder Gibson keeps these Elitist underwraps. Why PAY 3-4, 000.00 for a name, unless you are bound and determinded. To each his/her own! Mine has a beautiful waavy(sp? ) grain and is book-matched expertly! As I said I purchased it from eBay, the seller bought it for his son and the son decided to go in another musical direction. Good for HIM and damn good for me! // 10

Reliability & Durability: 9lbs 8 oz's of pure mahogany and maple, throw in a little metal and plastic and if you break into my home I will break your skull with the pickup input end and then continue to play "Hells Bells" for you as you descend into the infernal gates of whatever you want to call it! I do not play Live, I usually just annoy our cats and the close neighbors. // 10

Overall Impression: I do not play in a band. Vocalist from the first grade till now. Decided to learn on my own in 1978, college course and then on my own till now. Yes I am almost a half-century old, but I survived the late '70's and the snow laden '80's, so there you go! This is my second "Custom". An original 1980 Black Beauty. God, why did I sell it in 1996. Oh yea!, to buy my wife an anniversary ring. Sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do! They say the Strat is the rock-n-roll guitar. Try to play AC/DC on a Strat. I have tried, no damn meat or sustain. Strats have their place as do all other hybrids out there. Everyone's Strat, Tom Anderson, Suhr, ESP et. al. look like a Strat! Copy a Gibson and you get your ass sued of! Enough said!!! // 10

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