Price paid: $ 165
Purchased from: EBAY
Sound — 9
This plays my music style well. I enjoy metal/grunge type music so I like the bite and distortion, I don't play anything clean at all so if this cannot play clear tones I would have no idea, I always turn up the Drive and the distortion to get the fuzzy angry sounds. I play this with a Line 6 Spider III amp which has tons of adjustments that make the sound of the guitar very enjoyable. I abso use a Line 6 Pocket POD which has over 300 tones built into it so I can always seem to get the tone that i want out of it with only minor adjustments. I honestly didn't notice a huge different when going from the middle click on the 3-way switch to the rhythm setting, it didn't have much of a difference in that department, but the treble switch setting it bright and angry. The sustain on the guitar is nice as well. Some say a bolt on neck will not sustain well but I have no issues with that. I don't get the many ranges of a 5-way selector and 3 single coil pickups that you may get out of a Strat, but the wuality of the sound and the bite and anger I get it great from this as I play anything distorted and nothing clean at all. For the price the pickups rock for stockers.
Overall Impression — 8
I use this to play metal, grunge, and anything with some distortion to it and it plays that perfectly fine. I've only been playing on this thing since January of 2009 so about 6-7 months but it has been nothing but a pleasure to play minus the cutting in and out of the sound from the amp imput which I don't know if is part of the guitar itself or if it's the cable that I am using that is causing this issue. But I work around it by moving the cable or pulling it out slightly and it stays fine after that. If you are someone looking for an inexpensive guitar, many often go with the Squier Strat so they get that Fender style look, however my wife has one of those and the thing does not seem to play nearly as smooth or as well as this Epiphone does by any means. This is an all around great choice for a cheaper guitar and seems to play great and is holding up well. When I bought this it was before I knew too much about guitars so I hadn't checked out the G400 which is only slightly more than this. BUT having played both the G310 and the G400, the G310 plays better and sounds better while the G400 looks better with the chrome pickup covers and the better color selections. I love the sound this thing makes, I the sound that I need and the looks of an SG without the real SG expensive price, I just wish I could get this in a better color like I mentioned before the Alpine White or the worn brown color as I love both of those colors a lot but they just don't make them in this G310 model, only in the G400 model.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I don't play Live so I cannot tell how this would be live. But the hardware seems to be pretty clean and smooth on this thing, the wood doesn't appear to be cheap at least that I can tell, and all the chrome parts on the guitar are glossy and look smooth to me. I think the paint seems like it will hold up well and shouldn't fade or wear thin with lots of playing. I am paranoid about keeping things clean so when I look that the paint I check for dullness and its always been glossy at the points where I rest my hands. The pickguard shows scratches, but then again they all do that, and the paint is glossy black which can show minor scratches very easily, all the more reason I wish they made this in Alpine white or in Worn brown colors.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The initial setup from the factory was a tad bit too high for me, so I had a friend at work who has been playing for over 25 years and has a degree from Musicians Institute and had worked in guitar stores for years setup the guitar for me and change the strings to make it perfect for me. For those too cheap to spend the time or money to get a setup you are totally missing out. When a guitar is setup right for you the playability is amazing! The only issue that I have had thus far with it is that the imput cable portion where the guitar cord goes into was loose. I had to tighten it with a wrench and it never came loose after that, but then I noticed it was cutting out all the time. So I opened it up and I cannot seem to find the issue at all, everything it tight and connected, maybe it's my monster cables, but the thing will short/cut out and sometimes I need to turn the cable around or pull it out slightly for it to register the sound. I'm not sure what the issue is but I work around it by moving the cable and pulling out out a little bit, and this could be a cable issue and not a guitar issue tho I'm not sure. As for Finish, I have seen some guitars in the cheap category that have crappy finish qualities or blurred/ripply paint, but I must have scored well because mine is glossy and smooth and no blur or foggy/hazzy clear coat by mine. I personally wish it had better color options like the G400 does, especially the worn brown and alpine white colors. Mine is gloss black which looks killer but its a pain to keep clear and I find myself dustiny it off and wiping down marks all the time.
Features — 8
The guitar seems to be very well built. For a cheap price it feels well made a well put together. The dual humbucker pickups and the selector work well, the tune-o matic bridge is a great bridge that allows you to lower the action very easily and get it set to where you feel best suited. The bodystyle is great! I used to hate the look of the SG but this thing really grew on me and looks evil which is essential when playing hard rock music.