Price paid: $ 459
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 8
I play in a dark rock band (listen to Serenity by Godsmack and you'll get the idea) and a worship band. So for the dark rock I need a mellow deep rich and full sound which the Les provides extremely well. The humbuckers are Alnico V's which seem to be tuned to provide such a sound. There is practically no noise or feedback unless I use a really cheap cable. (Important tip: Buy Expensive Cables! No matter what guitar you have...a cheap cable will mess up your sound.) Then for worshp I play lead so I need a crisper more acoustic sound. I'm able to tune that in pretty well, but it's always got that dark background to it. If I patch in any EQ though I can tailor the sound to exactly what I need. The guitar does really well lightening fast fingerings and slow and easy stuff. So it's all good.
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar is perfect for my style of music. I own another electric, two acoustics, and an Ibanez bass as well. All in all I think this is a severally good guitar. Not great (I'm comparing it to the original Les), but good. The original Les Paul Standard is a wonderful guitar. But this Goth has a much darker deeper sound. I was really glad to get a solid body in this Les because I need some serious sustain. If you need to play dark, mellow, or hard rock...buy this guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 6
This guitar is a great live player. It's just that it's heavy so I need to Switch it around a lot. The guitar seems durible enough to last me enough to give it to my grandchildren. There is a limited lifetime warrentee on the guitar which makes me feel better about having it. It's a completely solid guitar...I just wish the button straps were positioned in a different spot. I need to contantly keep holding the thing up so the neck doesn't slip and start sliding to point at the ground. At first I thought it was just that my strap needed to break in. No...the guitars natural tendency is to hang at your side. :-\ I wouldn't do a whole gig without a backup because of the annoyance of this and the guitar is heavy so I need to build up "special" muscles so this thing doesn't make me feel like a weakling. But non of my guitars can match this sound.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action of the guitar came really low with no buzzing. The strings are extremely close to the frets but remarkably it never buzzes. To tell the truth the factory setup was so perfect I never felt the need to adjust it. Though with my Strat I had to adjust it a lot. The finish is perfect but the 12th fret roman numerals are a little thin. Fingerprints pick up on the pickguard like mad so you need to clean it constantly and the black satin picks up white flakes, dust, particles from skin, etc. really easily as well. Besides that it's all perfect.
Features — 10
This is a Goth Les Paul Studio. This is the only Les that Epiphone makes that Gibson doesn't to my knowledge. Which was a good plus for it. Of course it was made overseas (it's an Epiphone) but the quality of the guitar is really good. It has 22 frets with a roman numeral 12 (XII) laid into the twelveth fret and a white cross on the head which add to it's appeal. The neck is very smooth with fast action but the neck isn't too skinny. It's just right. The entire guitar is black satin finish which really add to the smoothness of this guitar. My Les came with a Floyd Rose tremolo with locking bolts that I took off. It still stays in tune trough everything without the bolts though. :-D And finally of couse as with all Les Pauls the pickups are two humbuckers with a 3-way selector above the neck and dual volume and tone controls.