Price paid: £ 160
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 10
I'm a heavy metal player predominantly. I do also play hard rock songs when I'm bored, by artists such as Nickelback especially. However, as said, I use this guitar for metal, which means I use drop-tuning, hence thicker gauge strings. I use Ernie Balls Not Even Slinky gauge, which is.12 -.56. This guitar will always stay in Drop B or Drop C. I am currently starting a band that is heavily influenced by Rammstein and Slipknot, so I need a guitar that has a nice, heavy sound, which the G-400 provides easily. I leave it on the Treble setting for a nice, crunchy, tone that I find great for heavy riffs, palm-muting and general rhythm work, and then Switch to the Rhythm for a full, deep tone for solos. I am running my G-400 through a Line 6 Spider III 150watt head and Hughes And Kettner cab speaker, no pedals involved. I have a clean setting with reverb and a dash of chorus, a distorted setting with higher reverb and medium delay for solos, a less distorted setting for softer riffs that still need that little growl, and then my solo setting, minus the reverb and distortion, for my main distorted tone. This guitar sounds beautiful when played clean. If you play it clean without any effects whatsoever, it's very reminiscent of Nickelback's How You Remind Me clean tone. However, using the effects I am using, it's a very ethereal sound, still bright and easy to hear every single note, whilst keeping just the right amount of bottom end. The distorted sound is so suited to heavy metal, palm-muting sounds fantastic, it doesn't buzz in that god-awful way that it shouldn't, and the sound itself packs one hell of a punch when played medium to loud volume range. I honestly can't think of any reason not to rate the sound of the G-400 any less than a ten. However, if you are looking for a guitar that can cover a wide range of genres, then admittedly this guitar probably isn't for you, as I've said, being suited more towards heavy music.
Overall Impression — 9
As said above, I play heavy metal and hard rock, and the G-400 is perfect for this. I've been playing for five years, four of those with this guitar, two of which it has shared equal duties with my Warlock. But I've always come back to my G-400. I didn't compare this to any other products before purchasing, it was simply a case of That guitar will be mine... Oh yes, it WILL be mine. If it were stolen, I'd pound the person who stole it, and hopefully beat its location out of them... If it were lost for good, I'd be heartbroken, but I would save up and buy another one... Obviously it wouldn't have the sentimental value, but my Faith in Epiphone has been so reinforced because of this guitar. As stated above, the only thing I wish this guitar has is a satin finish, so that I wouldn't have to keep wiping it down to get rid of fingerprints! Thanks for reading, if you buy one of these, you won't look back!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar has withstood live playing for me before. Nothing too vigorous, only a couple of performances at college during my Music Technology course. The hardware seems infallible, and seeing as I've had this guitar four years next February, and I've not felt or seen any differences to the hardware since I purchased it, I'd happily say I'm certain the hardware will last. The same goes for the finish -- It shows no signs of fading or wearing away. The strap buttons are solidly attached and show no signs of coming loose. Whilst playing in my room, my strap has come off once or twice, but this is due to wear and tear on the strap holes themselves as opposed to any issue with the strap buttons. I can honestly say I depend on this guitar, it's served me faithfully for almost four years. The only thing I had to fix was the connecter on the input, which simply needed bending back into place, and this was through usage, and nothing more. I would continue to use it to gig with happily. I would bring a back up guitar with me (my BC Rich Warlock), but only because to rely solely on one guitar for a show is simply asking for trouble! Hence the 10 I give this section.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Seeing as I purchased this guitar second-hand, the setup was really good. The strings weren't too low or too high, nor were the pickups, and if I recall correctly, there was only one chip in the paint, which wasn't noticeable until I went looking for it (There are now several more courtesy of myself!). The only thing similar to this I found were the belt-buckle scratches on the back... But that really made no difference to me... Who's going to see scratches like that whilst you're playing? However, I took it upon myself to open the guitar up and examine the electrics... This resulted in me taking out the pickups and putting them back in, just a tiny bit higher, just to get an almost unnoticeable increase in volume. The only thing I found that disappointed me was that the first time I changed the strings to. 12's, the gaps in the nut and bridge weren't wide enough. However, some very simple, quick and easy filing took care of this. Therefore, I rate this a 9.
Features — 9
This is a 2003 Epiphone G-400 Goth, made in the USA. Its features consist of 22 frets, a solid body, bevelled and cut in the shape of the famous SG, two tone controls and two volume controls (one volume and one tone for each pickup), a three-way position switch, and Grover tuners. It has two open coil Alnico Classic humbucker pickups, mahogany body and set neck of the same material, with a fretboard made from Rosewood. The twelfth fret inlay is XII ( the roman numeral for 12 for those of you not in the know), which of course adds to the gothic/metal feel to the guitar. The bridge is tune-o-matic, which I am a huge fan of in almost any guitar, adding to the beautiful simplicity. The body is painted in a gloss black, with all hardware in black. This guitar is very light, given what it is. Of course, as with all SG's, the head is heavier than the body, so when you're wearing it on a strap and not playing, it might be an idea to just keep hold of the neck, so that it doesn't swing down and hit something, this being something that I have done a couple of times. When I first saw this guitar, several band images went through my mind, some of which being Black Sabbath/Toni Iommi, which is a fairly obvious one; other bands that I feel this guitar would suit in terms of image are Evanescence, Anberlin, Celldweller, Demon Hunter, and Lacuna Coil as well as some hard rock bands such as Nickelback, Foo Fighters and HIM. I'd say this guitar is very suited to heavy metal and hard rock. As I brought this guitar from eBay, second-hand, there were no accessories with it. I have rated it a 9 for how well it fits in with the whole metal/hard rock image. If you're looking to play or do already play these genres, then this guitar is definitely for you, lookswise. However, I am more a fan of satin finishes as opposed to gloss finishes - it's harder to leave fingerprints on a satin finish! I believe this is all it would take to bring my rating up to a 10.