Les Paul '56 Goldtop Reissue review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 8.2 (137 votes)
Epiphone: Les Paul '56 Goldtop Reissue

Sound — 8
I play lots of styles but love hard rock and blues and this axe delivers in both those genres. It is NOT a metal players guitar! (Get a Jackson!). I play through a Fender Princeton 112 Plus practice amp and a Peavey Special 130 circa 1984. Also use a Zoom 505 and a DigiTech RP50. Yeah I know its basic but it works for me. The P-90 pups are one of the high points on this axe. They Shine on clean setting and with a bit of dirt on the amps Drive channel they scream the blues. Yeah the single coils hum a bit but no more than your Standard Strat.

Overall Impression — 8
Like I say I play mostly blues and hard rock and this axe is great for both. I've been playing as a hobby for over 30 years and don't even consider myself a pro player. I also have a Gibson SG a Flying V and an Ibanez RG series axe. I bought this axe knowing it was going to need work but has potential. Everything I wish it had I will be installing in the future. I know it will never compare to a true Gibson Gold Top but if you want that Les Paul feel and vibe it is a good value at the price.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I wouldn't play this guitar Live until it was setup properly. After that sure. It looks great under the lights and the P-90's have great sound. Hardware is solid and strap buttons very secure. I believe I could depend on it but always have a backup. The finish is bulletproof.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitars setup out of the box was average. The action was a bit high but I like that in a blues/rock guitar. Maybe I got lucky but all the hardware on my guitar was in great shape. No loose Switch or jack and the bridge and stop tail look like solid pieces. The Grover tuners are work fine. Like any new axe, especially one in this price range, you see the flaws if you look close. Plastic nut, frets show file marks, cheesy knobs, but overall the quality is good for a Chinese made guitar.

Features — 8
According to the serial number this guitar was made 12/15/08 in China. I wanted a Les Paul style guitar with the P-90 pickups and this was the one that had the vibe that I was looking for. The Epiphone web site says it has a mahogany body, solid top and neck. The body and Neck do look like mahogany but since the top is painted Who knows? I have heard the top could be Alder. The finish is obviously high gloss polyurethane. Gives up some in the tone department but is highly durable and shines up great! Typical Les Paul hardware and control layout. Decent Grover tuners.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ghwerg Straagon
    I bought mine from Musos Corner here in Australia...great servie and team....ended up spending around 1400 for mine....liked the gold but bought the Black with Ivory edging. Hooked up with GDEC 30 and sounds great. GDEC not as great as Marshall but does the job for me atm even when trying to drive AC/DC songs....my 1st guitar...love it!!!!
    I have a similar problem with the P-90's (bridge)being a little noisy (exagerated with overdrive or distortion)compared to my fender 2 strats(HSS, & noiseless) and 2 tele's( 52 Hot Rod Deluxe, 80's squire with a Lil 59 in the bridge and noiseless neck pick up). I play through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, nive tube amp. But the overall value playability and set up make it a great guitar. Great sustain and very fast neck. I have been researching changing out the P-90's but I'm not real convinced yet. If I do I think I will go with DiMarzio DP154, and DP162. Anyone else experience these? Thanks
    I picked one up just after X-Mas with a $100 off coupon, so it only cost me $399. It is totally awesome sounding and plays like a dream. I would recommend this guitar to everyone.