Sound — 8
The guitar tends to suit any style I wish to play. If I want to play rock stuff, metal etc it gives out a clear sound, even through a cheap amp. If I want to play acoustic, the sound is very good. The pickups give out a great distorted sound. It suits most volumes, I have yet to blast it at full volume. May not be a sound issue, but I find it harder to harmonic on this guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
Nothing says rock than an SG and this is no exception. I love standing up and just jamming to any piece of music with this guitar. It looks great and it feels great to do it. I've been playing about a year and 7 months, but from what I hear, I'm very advanced for my playing time. I have a cheap amp with distortion and a clean Peavey RAGE-158 that I don't use that often. Before I bought the product, I wish I had asked for a manual on the guitar, so I didn't have to research all this myself. If this guitar was stolen or lost, and I had the money to buy a new one, I wouldn't replace it exactly, but get another SG in red. Cream and gold is a brilliant colour to look at, but red guitars are where it's at. I love the body of the guitar. I've always liked the SG style guitar even before I was interested in guitars and noticed a difference. I would have preferred a Gibson SG as people are slightly let-down when they see it's an Epiphone, but I still think it performs as well. Two things I dislike about the guitar are the strings distance from the fretboard, it's an average distance but I prefer the strings closer. Also, I dislike the strap placement, but it's what you get when you buy an SG. When picking out a new guitar a few months ago, I had the choice of an X-plorer or this one. Maybe I would have picked the X-plorer because I think they're amazing guitars but there wasn't the colour in that I wanted, so I went ahead and got the SG. I don't so much regret it, but I'd like to have had a play around with the X-plorer beforehand. I wish it had 24 frets.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've never played Live with it, but I do often take it out of the house, take it to school, play for people. There have been many cases where I'm stuck in a confined room with 15 people and a bassist whilst playing, and apart from it falling over once or twice and banging the head numerous times, it has maintained reliability. Still works fine from the day I got it around 4 months ago. Seems like I could use this guitar for many years to come. Strap buttons are on it well, but they don't suit my playing style. Having a Fender previously, I've been used to just letting the guitar rest nicely facing up, but since the SG is a very top-heavy guitar, it will tilt often and have been some cases where the guitar will fall out of the strap. I've caught it every time but I fear I'll break it one day if action isn't taken. I'd would be able to depend upon the guitar in a gig and be happy for it to be my only instrument. The finish itself looks spotless apart from the occasional bit of dust that comes off with a bit of cleaning. There's still not a scratch on it and to be fair, I'm not a careful player, I do drag my pick across the body often.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Guitar was set-up exceedingly well, which made a change from my last guitar which was extremely poorly constructed. Neck is aligned well with the body, made out of a two-piece. I would like a bit more leeway with the middle pickup, as it can get in the way of playing. Also, the knobs turn at a wonky angle. It's not a problem that effects playing, but it is something that I dislike about it.
Features — 9
My Epiphone G-400 was "hand-crafted" in China. It has 22 frets with a solid-top. In the picture above it's shown as white, although mine is a lot more creamy. 3 Golden Humbuckers. 3-Way controls, 3 volume knobs and a tone knob. Non-locking tuners, which is my only real issue with this guitar. It tends to lose tuning by a few tones every bend or so. Neck is mahogany with squared-frets. Overall, my only issue is the non-locking tuners, which can be a nuisance.