Sound — 7
I play mostly straight up rock music (Aerosmith, AC/DC, later Bon Jovi, etc), with a little blues and a little metal too at times. It suits this mix very well, of course as any SG should. It's at home with rock music, but it can be mellow enough for blues and it can be just fierce enough for some metal playing. I'm sure with a pickup change it could fit either perfectly. I'm playing this through a small Fender tube amp, with a variety of Boss and DigiTech pedals. I can get pretty much any tone I want, though I am finding the pure cleans (no effects or overdrive of any kind) to be a little bit lacking. In my experience though that's just down to the stock Epiphone pickups, which I would always advise you change anyway. Right now with very heavy distortion applied this guitar does get a little bit muddy, but again that's partly because of the bad stock pickups (which should be changed), and also since I'm using a Fender amp which is hardly known for their great distortion. There's no noise, even with the amp cranked and a distortion or overdrive pedal in use. I normally have a noise reduction pedal on, but with this guitar I've been able to take that out and I still don't have a noise problem. Overall I would say the sound is pretty good, and you can get a good variety of tones, but like all Epiphones, you'll need to change the stock pickups if you really want to make good use of this guitar.
Overall Impression — 8
I've been playing for a little over two years now. I own many other guitars, though none of them are that great. This is probably now my second best guitar (my best being an Epiphone Joe Perry Boneyard Les Paul - which should damn well be better than this SG considering the Joe Perry cost over twice as much and has Gibson pickups). I feel like with a few Standard upgrades (new pickups, maybe a new nut), this guitar could last me solidly for a long time to come. If it was stolen, I'd hunt down the, no, wait, no I wouldn't. I'd call the police, let them do their job, claim the insurance, and buy a new one. I can't say I really compared this to other similar guitars on the market. Simply put, I've always liked the look of white SGs, and I was goign to buy the Alpine White twin neck SG that Epiphone also make, but I realised I actually had no use for the 12-string (aside from it look suitably badass), so I just bought the regular Alpine White G-400 instead. Truth be told, the finish and look was the main reason I bought this. It far surpassed my expectations (though that's not saying much since I only really bought it to put it on the wall and drool over it), and is already my favourite (if not technically best) guitar. The only things I wish were different are the few small flaws in the finish, and the stock pickups. Neither is much of a problem though and both are easy enough to overcome.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I think this guitar would withstand Live playing, though I've not tried it yet myself. Everything on this guitar seems pretty solid and as good quality as you could hope for (without paying thousands for a Gibson or Vintage Fender, etc). I'll say again though, the pickups could do with changing, and if you were going to use this in a gig then you'd have to get rid of the stock pickups for sure. I think this guitar will last if taken care of, though it suffers from the same problem all SGs have, and that is that it's very neck-heavy. If you let go of it for a second, it swings down almost vertically straight down, and I think perhaps in the heat of a gig, it might be easy to accidentally knock this guitar. And in that case, Epiphone and Gibson guitars aren't well known for their headstocks taking punishment. So I'd definitely want a backup around. Take care of this guitar and it'll be no problem, but accidents do happen.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar was set-up by the store, so I can't say anything about what the factory set-up might have been like. For what it's worth though, this guitar had a lot of fret buzz when I got it, though raising the bridge by a tiny amount fixed that, was easy enough to do, and I like higher action anyway. The guitar was made pretty much as perfectly as you could hope, no dodgy frets, everything snugly in place. The finish though had a few flaws; a couple of small bubbles on the back, some excess paint and glue in a few small areas where the fretboard meets the body, and along one of the horns there's a slight ridge where they obviously put a slightly thicker layer of finish on the top of the guitar than on the inside of the horn. None of this is really noticeable though unless you specifically look for it. Still, not entirely perfect.
Features — 7
This is the Epiphone G-400, this particular version is the Limited Edition Custom Shop Alpine White finish. Made in China in 2006. Mahogany body and set neck, rosewood fretboard. All the usual SG controls and stuff. Comes with the Standard passive Epiphone humbucker pickups that they put on all of their mid-range models (in America this guitar came with active EMG pickups installed, us Europeans only got passives). Tuners are stamped Grover, and seem to be pretty good quality. Didn't come with anything extra, though that was probably just this store - most other places seem to always throw in a case. Overall nothing amazing, just exactly what you'd expect from an SG.