Price paid: € 150
Sound — 9
For being an entry level guitar, I have just one word: great. Of course it can't compete with brands guitar like Ibanez or ESP, but surely this guitar fits perfectly my music style. Since I'm mainly in hard playing, from hardcore punk to industrial metal to metalcore, I need a solid, simple guitar that can keep up with an extreme sound. Maybe the G-310 could seem to be too light and little to someone used to strato-like models, but even though it's a bit more little than a common Fender or an Ibanez, it doesn't affect the sound at all. The shorter scale helps with high speed playing, and the fixed bridge allows me to use heavier strings, without worrying about bending the bridge or going out of tune. The only thing I don't like is the fact that having a shorter scale, the strings are a little too loose and tend to whip on the fretboard when I'm detuning low enough (I'm constantly in drop B and the sixth string tends to hit the fretboard when I pick hard during common riffs). But maybe that's a problem with many entry level, and however it's a very little problem. I'm using it with a Boss ML-2 pedal effect and a little Yamaha G-15 amp, and even if surely I can't gig with them, it sounds great at home, for being a starting rack. I played both the neck and the bridge pick up for long enough: the neck has an enough full, crunchy tone (it seemed to be a little bright to me) and a very good clean, the bridge pick up is cutting and has good trebles, perfect with the ML-2. At high gain the sound tends to be a little confused, but after all it's an entry level played trough one of the most powerful effects and a 15 W amp, so I guess it's natural. I've tried a lots of different sounds, and the G-310 can perform properly any type of rock, from old vintage, to heavy metal to new industrial and metalcore sound. Also, she has a good clean sound, even though I've not given too much attention to it. Lately I've tried some tapping, and I can say I started loving the digital-like sound it produces trough the ML-2, resonating on the freatboard.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing this guitar for six months, and I can say it's perfect for starting, if you are planning to join an heavy metal or any other extreme band. It's very simple, with balanced skills, maybe not exceeding in any of them but this make this guitar the fittest choice for someone who has just started playing, and wants to discover his real sound. If it were stolen clearly I won't buy another, but not for the guitar, it's just because it's an entry level, and growing up I will surely need a more specific model, like a neck-trough ESP or a Schecter. But among the entry level models, in my opinion it's one of the best rhythm-made guitar you will find at a low price, and I really recommend to anyone who wants to start playing Metallica, or Rammstein, or Slipknot.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have a really brutal style of rhythm playing, lots of downstrokes at high speed, and barely I manage to control the strenght with which I hit the strings. I can say this guitar can bear all the hits you could give like a tank. All, from the knobs to the bridge give me a feeling of solidity, and it's like it's just a one piece, from the bridge to the mechanics. Even if it was used before I bought it and, and even if I play it with the same grace of an herd of rhinos running in the savannah, this guitar doesn't have one scratch, neither the body's wood nor the plastic pickguard.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
It was used so I can't say how was the factory set up, but since it has a Tune-o-Matic bridge, with just a screwdriver you can easily change the action, as well as the pickups height. Even changing the strings is very easy and fast with this kind of bridge, and being fixed it gives you the chance to try lots of different gauges without worrying too much about the tuning. The finishes are in general well done, giving the feeling of a serious and professional instrument, with a killer and sober look.
Features — 8
The Epiphone I bought was used, so I don't know where nor when it was made, nor I got any other accesory, but I gotta say that I was pretty lucky. Other than the fact that it looks amazing in its ebony shining color, this solid body guitar has 22 rosewood frets, with body and a D shaped neck built in mahogany. It's a bolt-on, it has a 24, 75' Gibson-like scale, Tune-o-Matic fixed bridge and two passive 650R and 700T humbuckers. It has 4 knobs (one for volume and one for tone for each humbucker) and a 3 way toggle to choose between bridge pick up, neck pick up or both of them.