Les Paul Black Beauty Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 01/08/2016 category: Electric Guitars

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Epiphone: Les Paul Black Beauty
This guitar can play basically any style (metal, rock, jazz, blues). It is an extremely versatile baby due to its middle hummer.
 Sound: 9.1
 Overall Impression: 9.2
 Reliability & Durability: 9.1
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.1
 Features: 9.4
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (20) pictures (2) 69 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.2
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: ZososoZ, on december 16, 2003
16 of 20 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1464

Features: This guitar is gorgeous. It's a Japanese made Epiphone Black Beauty, gold hardware, mother of pearl inlays, GORGEOUS! 3 way selector, solid body, rosewood, 22 1/2 frets + gig bag. // 10

Sound: This guitar has a great meaty and clean sound. The rhythm pickup has a great full clean tone where as the treble gives a more raw sound but can sound great when used properly. For the rhythm pickup I put the tone at 10 for soloing because it gives a great sound. I put it on 7 for Zeppelin style riffs. For the treble I usually keep the tone set on 5 for Cream riffs or a Kinks sound. I put it on 10 for more power. The guitar has a pretty good variety of sound with good sustain. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I was very pleased with the condition I got the guitar, everything seemed in good shape. Except the treble pickup was a bit loose, it was easily fixed though. The action on this guitar is wonderful, lovely to play. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The guitar seems very durable and the finssh is lasting well. I can depend on this guitar very much. The guitar is good for gigs. The thing I would recommend though is as soon as you get it, change the strings. When I got it I kept the factory strings and they seem to break quite easily when played heavily. On the whole a reliable guitar. // 8

Overall Impression: The music I play is mainly classic rock like Led Zeppelin. I bought a Les Paul because of Jimmy Page. This guitar is very well suited for playing my kind of music. I have been playing the guitar for about 6 years and this is the first electric I got and I'm very proud of it. I love the look of the guitar and the sound is just amazing. I would highly recommend this electric for a first electric guitar as it sets you up nicely for the real deal. // 10

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overall: 9.2
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: rhcp_guitarist, on november 26, 2003
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Features: 2003, Made in korea. 22 frets, Solid top, 2-volume, 2-tone pots, 3 way pickup selector, 3 Gibson DESIGNED(not Gibson ones) humbuckers, wired bridge, bridge/middle, neck. Passive humbuckers with covers. Mahogany body, Ebony Black with Creme Binding on neck, headstock, body front and body back. Les Paul body, Tune-O-matic with stop tailpiece. Non locking tuners. I think a slim 60's neck. // 10

Sound: it can play basically any style, and I play many (metal, rock, jazz, blues). It is an extremely versatile baby due to its middle hummer. I use it through a Zoom GFX-707 and a dimebag crybaby from hell into an Ashton 10 watt amp. It can be either searing metal tones to nice roundy blues. Has a very round and full sound, not like a Strat type. You cannot get a twangy sound, like in the intro to "Smells like teen spirit"...but the tone is really phat sounding due to the thick 9 and heavy mahogany body. I like the look and feel. Like most lp's it's heavy, but you get used to it. The pickups are pei ones, and I will upgrade them definitely. the middle pup especially sounds really nasaly. It has SO much potential though! I will whack in an emg 81 int he bridge for metal, have an 85 wired with the 81 for the mid position and have a 60 in the neck for a warm sound. I could achieve practcally an type of sound (metal, hard rock, soft rock, rock, jazz, blues) with this after that! It plays really great and although I will change them the pups are good for the money. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar had been set up the day before by alp specialist so the action, etc. was beautiful. Guitar was and still is in perfect shape, I have had it for 2 months. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This thing is built like a tank, and feels like a log at times...it's such a beast! I would gig with it...but always have a backup of course! Gold Finish on pickups, bridge is meant to fade but hasnt on mine...yet. Finish is awesome and ultra sexy. Strap buttons were solid but I put strap locks on just in case...it's so heavy that it could do serious damage if it fell. // 10

Overall Impression: This can handle practically every style , and fits my mainly metal/rock range. I have been playing for 2 and a half years and also own an Ibanez rg 320, martinez acoustic/eectric, Ashton cheap Strat copy, dunlop dimebag crybaby from hell, Zoom GFX-707, and an Ashton 10 watt amp. If stolen or lost I would either get this or a custom (this guitar without the mid pickup which is really starting to bother me) but it's got much potential. The standard mid selector has a very different sound (much more bass from the neck pup and less treble). Thats about it...it's a good buy (IMO better than a Gibson) if you upgrade the pups, otherwise go for the custom. // 8

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overall: 9.2
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 09, 2006
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 640.5

Purchased from: Regent Guitars

Features: This model is a Stardard Custom Les Paul design, with one obvious exception, the additional third pickup. Made in 2003, this model has a 22 pearl block inlayed fret neck on a stardard curved Les paul body made from Mahogany and Alder. It's black finish along with cream bindings and gold hardware are what provide this model its well deserved title of 'the tuxedo'. The model is infact a replica of a 59 Gibson model of the same name, aimed at guitars who desired a more deep and rythmic sound. The design of the Epiphone model is practically identical to the Gibson original featuring the dame Tune-O-Matic bridge system and Grover machine heads, which are also found on almost all Les Paul models. However, the less than usual feature of this model is its hardware configuration. Featuring two Epiphone Alcino Classics pickups at the neck and middle positions and an Epiphone Alcino Hot at the bridge position of which are connected to a 3 way pickup selector. The rythm setting channels just the neck pickup, the middle setting channels both the neck and middle, and treble setting channels the bridge pickup. Both of these pickup models are based on the orinigal Les Paul designed Humbuckers found on the majority of the Gibson line, the only difference the Epiphone Models are produced in Asis, where as the Gibson's in Nashville TN USA. However if you were to listen to both, you wouldn't be able to notice much difference at all, do don't feel you're getting less for paying less. // 10

Sound: This model is not reknown for its versatility like its oppisition the Fender Stratocastic, however many users will find that the Black Beauty is as versatile as it needs to be. I personally use a multi effects pedal therefore the sound can be modified is required, but even with the most basic compression or gain this model does back some firepower especially with both 3 way pickup selector set to middle, as the Alcino Classics produce very clear and warm sound. Generally you'll find that this Model will suit any musical genre. I've used it for mainly rock style of play, but I have found that it can produce equally good results playing jazz, blues and country. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: In my experience Epiphone models do not deserve the cheap label that they're given because they are constructed in Asia and not in the US like their Gibson conterparts. Its factory set up was next to none, not a single fault was appearent on upon its arrival. The finish, bindings, fret placements, quality of material and hardware was all implemented to the highest level of quality, in-fact if you were to replace the end with a Gibson one, I would imagine few would notice. However, despite the quality of the end product there is one minor complaint to be made, but is aimed at Les Pauls in general, and thats the body shape can be a little bulky. A few of the high-end Gibson and Epiphone models have a curved bottom now which expells this design flaw, but I were to remove marks for this I would appear patantic. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The Black Beauty is pretty durable by comparison. It does however suffer from some slight poor craftmanship on the screw front as the threads on the body of which the screw sat that held the pic-guard unfortunately became blunt and therefore had to be replaced with a larger screw. That aside, the general reliability and craftmanship is pretty sound. // 8

Overall Impression: Generally, this is a quality purchase, especially considering the price. The basic bonus associated with all Epiphone models is that you're getting a Gibson without paying the price (well almost) and this is a pure example of thay rule. // 9

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overall: 10
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 02, 2005
2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 699

Purchased from: Daddy's Music

Features: I would say the best features of this axe is three humbucker that are really sick it's really kick ass. You can really fell the variety of tonal range if you toggle the pick-up selector between rythm and treble. It's creates variety of styles from blues, rock, reggae to metal. Nice finish Les Paul ebony beauty. // 10

Sound: The most important thing about a guitar is the set-up and the sound. For the sound of this axe. I would say perfect ESP. In clean channel through my Marshall cabinet the sound is so thick and clean. It handles also distortion so well with a lot of gain and treble the humbuckers hums like a bird nice music to your ears. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I would say the finish is great. The setup is not that bad. I believe it is setup in the US. Some of us always to make some adjustments for our own comfortabilty ESP. Those palyers who really knows how to handle a guitar, like what I did in the stop bar and tail piece for better strings measurements to the freetboard including also the pick guard I made it custom for my own comforatability of playing. The pearloid inlays also in the freet board it's really nice. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I would say this axe will last I can tell by it's finish and setup it's build to kick ass everywhere you go. Proper guitar maintenance and conditioning you must know how. It is very important to handle a guitar especially the temperature and weather conditions it can affect the strings to get loose easily and the nick setup if you don't care properly. Who needs a back-up if this guitar really fits your style of music for me anykind of music this axe really kick ass it's very versatile. // 10

Overall Impression: I play any kind variety of music styles from blues to metal and rock n' roll. I've been playing since early years in my high school we form our own garage band in that time Ibanez was so popular Strat body type of guitars all that shit. I always wanted to have a Les Paul before but I cannot afford it. I really like classical shape and the crunch sounds of the humbuckers. In the age of 20 thanks God finally I bought a Gibson Standard SG and then I bought my Black Beauty two years ago because I was amaze buy it's three humbucker and nice finish. I've been playing for 15 years. I'm 24 rigth now and I would say Les Pauls is the best guitar I've ever played no matter what style you are, Les Pauls and the SG's are very versatile guitars to have. // 10

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overall: 9.2
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: JimiMan1535, on october 18, 2004
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 430

Purchased from: eBay (Brand New)

Features: I have on my hands a nice little Black Beauty Les Paul. It's a 2004 that I got new off eBay. It's Korean made, like my other Les Paul Standard Goldtop, got 22 frets, with block MOP inlays. Nice neck, a little fatter than most, but still comfortable. I'm pretty sure its mahogony, and the finish is a beautiful ebony laquer with gold hardware. I would think it would have a 5-way swith or push-pull pots or something, but just comes with the 3-way so pickup configuration is limited. It's got 3 gold hb's, which are kind of sub-par of what Epiphone usually puts in. There not as bright and clear as the Gibson's, and are alot worse than I expected. I went ahead and bought Gibson 57 classic plussus for the neck and middle, and a SD SH-11 for the bridge. Aside from the electronics, this baby is truly a Black Beauty. // 8

Sound: As I said before, the pickups are quite lacking of what Epiphone usually puts in. I compared it with my '95 goldtop that has Burstbucker Pro's, and this just doesn't have the warmth and brightness. I play rock and some light metal (Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, GN'R, Velvet Revolver, Frampton etc.) and its just not as overall bright and powerfull for playing this stuff, but new pickups are on there way! // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was pretty screwed when I got it, but it's not its fault (climate changes and rough shipping) I set it up and its pretty straight and low, a little buzzy on the low end, but nothing to be concerned with. It's very easy to play and is greatly comfortable all around. I also had to adjust the pickups, they were litteraly all the way down, below the rings. The finish is nice, no flaws whatsoever, and is quite stunning with the gold hardware. After you adjust it, it'll be one of the best players you'll ever try! // 10

Reliability & Durability: I think this guitar will be there for a long time. Its nice and thick, and the black doesn't show dings very well, which is nice. Its solid and firm, although a little heavy, but thats ok. No blemishes on the finish yet, even after torturing it. The gold might fade a little, but just adds to that Vintage 50's look that I was looking for all along. // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is awesome for anything pretty much. The 3 pickups are awesome, and really expand that LP tone to even farther reaches. This is now officially my nicest guitar, after 7 years of playing, she's a nice additon, and one I shoulda had all along. From the stunning looks to the easy playability, its a black beauty that will sustain its beauty and impression for as long as they make it. // 10

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overall: 10
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 22, 2004
1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1027

Purchased from: Lakeshore music

Features: It was made in late 2003 with a fat 22 fret rosewoond necktop and a solid mahogany body with an ebony finish. It gives you the standard volume and tone controls for rythum and treble pickups. It's the standared closed coil Epiphone pickups and all gold hardware. It has a mahogany and alder body and grover tuners. It has the regular Les Paul body style and a solid top. // 10

Sound: The guitar definitley suits my style and it would be perfect for any other style. I use it with a Marshall MG 30 watt and a Jimi Hendrix Wah-Wah and it's a match made in heaven. There is only a tiny bit of excess noise when youre not touching the strings but it only happens when the treble is cranked up. On this guitar in 1 second with footswitch at my feet and a quick pick up selection change I can go from Satirway To Heaven to Enter Sandman. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I bought it it din't contain any flaws but about 2 weeks after I bought it the place where you plug your jack enters loosened but thats a quick fix. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It would definitley withstand live playing and sound great, the hardware is perfect and doesen't scratch easily. The strap holder at the bottom isn't that reliable but other than that the guitar is reliable. I would definitley go to a gig without a backup guitar becauseIve trashed thrashed it and bashed it and it still sounds perfect. I haven't had any problems with the finish and boy does the bottom slam on the ground alot! // 10

Overall Impression: I play every kind of rock'n'roll and it fits it perfectley. I've only been playing for 2 years but I sound pretty good. I play it through a Marshall MG 30 watt and oten use a Jimi Hendrix Crybaby Wah-Wah. If it was stolen I would definitley buy it again because I've played so many guitars and for my style of playing it's perfect. I love the tone of it the most because it's pure rock. The only thing I wish it had is a five way selector Switch. // 10

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overall: 8
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 13, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: 22 medium frets, 24.75" scale neck! Ebony finish, mahogany and alder wood for the body, and Mahogany for the neck, Les Paul (of course) body with Tune-O-Matic bridge, active electronics, 2 volume, 2 tone knobs, 2 Gibson PAF designed pickups, very niice pickups may I add! Grover tuners and comes with a nice little cable! // 8

Sound: Sounds very very smooth played one full volume on clean, and with distortion, keeps its tone with full on crunch to add to it! Excellent for most styles of playing. Myself, I go for full on thrash metal, and it handles it very well, but also brilliant for ballady styles, punk styles, emo etc, as it is a very versatile guitar! It has a very warm and deep tone to it, but with a little bit of onboard tweaking, it can pull out a nice punchy bright tone. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action wasn't excellently setup, I had to do that myself, and the actual factory setup wasn't brilliant either, however with a little bit of tweaking, it was made perfect. The pickups were fine from the factory. Only major problem, is a problem all Epiphones have, is a loose input jack, which needs tightening every 20 minutes. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This is a brilliant guitar for live playing, if you can be bothered to quickly retighten up the input jack every 20 mins. The whole thing is sturdy as a rock, and keeps together very well. However, I wouldn't use it for a gig without any backup guitars. // 8

Overall Impression: For my own metal style, I'd choose this over most guitars, the only company I find that can beat a 'Paul for metal is Ibanez, but thats just me. I've been playing now for 2 years, this is my 4th guitar and my personal favourite! I use a Gould Les Paul Studio copy, a Fender Les Paul and (before it got trashed) an electro-acoustic. The thing I love about this guitar, is its ability to dial up almost any sound, and the ease of playing it! It's nothing to a Gibson of course, but for 349, you get every penny of it. The only thing I dont like about this guitar, and all 'Pauls for that matter, is the 22 frets, I'd prefer 24, but it still rocks, as anyone who can't bend up to a 24th fret from 22 doesn't deserve to play lead guitar. // 8

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overall: 9.6
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: Opeth*rocks, on august 13, 2005
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Features: The guitar I've got was made I'm figureing 2004 of March. It was made in Korea ('cause that's where most Epiphones are made). It has 22 playable frets and 23 frets in total. The size of the frets are about regular Epiphone size (can't discribe). I think the neck and body is maple, the neck is built into the guitar providing better sound quality over the regular bolt on neck most guitars have. The finish is hard to discribe its a shiny black with shiny gold pickups, and it looks cool in light but the only down fall is it scratches very easy, so it is very noticable. Thats why you should only clean it with polish (I use No .69 polish) and a cotten cloth. The body is shaped like a Les Paul (acoustic top but smaller and hook at the bottom). The bridge is through a gold holder (can't give exact name). The pick-ups are vacuum sucked so they won't make a rattily nose. The pickups are most likly passive put they do act like active pickups. The controles are tone, master volume, pickup volume. I think the pickups are Duncun. The tuners are not locking so it's easy to change strings and I have no clue about the tuners. // 10

Sound: The guitar is good for classic rock and light metal. You can use any kind of effect on it cause they all sound great! It can be noisy when distored and fairly quiet on clean. It has full and bright sounds. The guitar can make pinch harmonics, natural harmonics and almost anything with the right setting. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Everything was great it was all in place all tuned no scratches or any thing. The only thing is the front pickup is alittle loose but that can change with alittle tighting. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It can do a great preformance live, and the hardware will last for awhile the only thing that fads is the color if not cleaned enough. Seeing how the guitar is heavey you WILL need strap locks or the guitar will fall. I depend on it I use it in gigs and it works fine and you wouldn't need backup guitars unless a string breaks. The finish dosen't wear off unless not cleaned/properly taken care of. // 8

Overall Impression: I play metal and classic rock, and it does ok for metal and great for classic rock. If you want a metal guitar look for jacksons. I've played for 5 years and I have a Jackson RR3, Line 6 Spider3 amp. if it was lost id get it again cause it is that good. I love the color and the pickups, but I also hate the pick-ups cause theres 3 and its harder to finger pick. The best thing about it is the way people look at it. I compeared it to my old Fender and that Fender was a peice of junk, the sound was bad the look of it was bad the wood was bad everything was bad compared to this. And I am happy with it the way it is. // 10

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overall: 10
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 05, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 823.5

Purchased from: Music 47, Worcester

Features: Made in Korea. It has a fitted Neck, 22 frets, 2 volune and tone controls. It has a 3-way switch- There's a really distinct change in between treble and rhythm which sounds really cool! It has 3 of the classic gold humbucker pickups. It's all ebony/black with a 'Cream' binding. It came with a gig bag. // 10

Sound: It can be used to play a range of music from classic to metal. It's good for all rock moods. You can use a range of effects on it like phasers and stuff. I'm using a Marshall amp with it and it sounds really cool on that. It's got a really nice sound to it. It just feels amazing to pick up and play! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: There are flaws in this guitar, not for me anyway. The fretwire is well installed as are the controls and the Switch. The fretboard is properly fitted to the body and the tuning pegs are good quality. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It would easily withstand a live playing, no doubt about it. The hardware would last years and years especially if its well looked after. The strap buttons are very solid. This guitar is very reliable, but you never what could happen when playing a gig so I'd take a spare anyway. The finish is very tough. // 10

Overall Impression: It's a great match for any style of music. The guitar itself is great. It's not the lightest of things but it's well made with great features and a great sound. I've been playing for 3 yrs and I have a Tanglewood Nevada also. The Black Beauty is a great improvement to my bedroom and on my old Tanglewood. I love all of this guitar and there's not a bit I hate. I compared to a couple of Ibanez and a Tokai Firebird but this came out on top for me. I'm not the porkiest of people so when I'm sat down with this guitar it digs into my chest slightly but it depends on sitting position and that still doesn't stop it from being an awesome guitar! // 10

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overall: 9.6
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 10, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 789.992

Purchased from: Prueggers Music

Features: This Epiphone guitar was made in Korea, like most Epiphone's, Although I don't know an exact year I'm a pretty frequent customer at my local guitar shop and remember that they put it out late '05 probably making it a 2005 or possibly a 2004. relatively standard LP read a review for or go to the Epiphone website for more info on the basic design. There are however a few important differences. First of all the full name of this instrument is the Black Beauty 3. This means that it has three humbucking pick ups (neck, middle, bridge) they are I believe Gibson designed, Epiphone made. Second, the Ebony finish and nicely matched cream binding that give this guitar it's name. Finally, it has for better or for worse a standard three way selector. All hardware is in gold I might add. // 9

Sound: This guitar is amazing. I play mainly classic rock but, I also play blues, jazz, and some punk. The beauty of the Les Paul is it has the ability to play almost anything very well and a few genre amazingly well. I use this guitar mainly through my Fender DeVille 410. For most of the styles I play I can get away with no effects as I believe they degrade the amp sound. I will occasionally use pedals but, not often enough to really note. I've yet to have problems with unwanted feedback except through the middle humbucker which has always sounded a little too throaty but, I've actually come to like that for certain things believe it or not. I think that with a little effort you could get any sound out of this guitar. It is more suited however to mellow clean and low to med distortion. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I happen to know that the store I bought it at adjust the guitar before it hangs it in the shop so I can't say how it was from the factory but, when I got it the action was just a little high but, playably so and the pickups have yet to be a problem with the exception of a slightly distorted sound from the middle one that no one can seem to fix. Whether it was the factory or the store set up on my end took less than 20 minutes the first time and nothing groundbreaking since then. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I haven't had a chance to play live yet my last gig and the first with this guitar was cancelled because of scheduling and an injury on my part. but, I've jammed with this guitar and done every stupid thing imaginable including dropping it twice in one day. The hardware may not be top of the line but, I'll say this nothing will cause me to replace it unexpectedly. It works fine and when I get the money I'll probably change pickups but, only because I can't help fiddling with my guitars. A lot of people say that the strap buttons are bad on Epi's but, I've yet to have a problem and I routinely do Townshend impressions when practicing and jamming so I guess I got lucky or as I suspect the world has too many complainers. This guitar is rock solid. My financial situation has me using this without a back up for around a year and I'm not the least bit worried. The finish is good. I don't know if I'll ever buy a black guitar again though. an afternoon worth of dust looks like it's been in a Mexican gutter for a week and fingerprints are a given. Scratches happen and this guitar shows them off because of the finish but, for what I've done to it it should be covered in scratches and it has one really bad one as of today and it is not visible from more than three feet away. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said I play the classics and a little of the newer stuff and it is definitely the guitar for me. If someone stole this guitar. As beautiful as it may be I'd probably take it as a sign bit the Bullet and buy a Gibson LP. it would only be a few dollars more and worth it for the better hardware. I love this guitar I can't say anything is absolutely fantastic that couldn't possibly be replicated on another LP which is probably why I won't buy it again if I lost it. I cannot stand the finish I have to clean it pretty much every time I play it. I will never buy a black guitar again. The three pickups are wonderful. That's probably all that I'd miss if I bought a Gibson. the rest would be there which is a tribute to Epiphone quality. I compared this guitar to a Gibson LP, SG and the Epiphone makes of the same. This one you just got more for your money. I was expecting an Epiphone but this is a couple of pickups and a name on the headstock away from being a Gibson. This guitar is everything I need. If you want a LP and are short a little cash buy an Epiphone I promise you will not be disappointed you just may want to think about a colour other than black. // 9

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overall: 9.6
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: Damagecase Dan, on april 14, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 699

Purchased from: American Music Supply

Features: 2005 model, standard les paul style but with the 3rd Humbucker. It came with 2 "neck" pickups. Two volume controls and two tone controls. In the middle position, the middle and bridge pickup were active, but there was no way to get the middle pickup to play alone. The stock tuners were okay, but I replaced them for gold Gibson "tulip keys" for personal preference. I also swapped out the black pick up rings for Cream ones. I wanted more of a Peter Frampton look to it. // 10

Sound: I play classic and southern rock. I use a Marshall MG series amp. The stock pickups were okay, but with 2 neck pickups, I just didn't get the versitility I was hoping for. I recently put 3 seymour duncans in. JB for the bridge, Jazz in the middle, and 59B in the neck. I personally think the key is to have 2 neck pups. Also had it rewired for 3 individual volume pots. Wow! This guitar is my prized possesion now. I kinda wish I'd put push pull pots in to coil tap and then there'd be no limit to what it could do. Stock pickups, not that impressed that's why it gets an 8 here. Invest in some new pickups, and this thing rocks! // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Well, how many people saw the cover of "Frampton comes alive" and thought, now that's the guitar I want. Well, now you can have it, and not pay 4 grand for it either. I was nervous, as I bought it online. Unseen and unplayed, it came out of the box perfect. Action was a little high for my taste but has played beautifully after a minor adjustment for my taste. No problems with anything else. I've upgraded some of the hardware but only for personal taste. What came stock was in great condition. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I traded in a Gibson Les Paul Studio to get this. I'm glad I did. With the 200 I put in to it for the re-wire and new pups, it can do 10 times more than the Gibby I had. It actually plays better, sounds better, and looks better than a low end Gibson. Hey, if you have 3 grand, get a real Les Paul Custom. But if you're on a budget, this is a great guitar. I have two other Epiphones (Les Paul 56 Goldtop Reissue and Classic quilt top). I love them all, each has it's own unique sound and feel. But this one is my favorite. // 10

Overall Impression: I traded in a Gibson Les Paul Studio to get this. I'm glad I did. With the 200 I put in to it for the re-wire and new pups, it can do 10 times more than the Gibby I had. It actually plays better, sounds better, and looks better than a low end Gibson. Hey, if you have 3 grand, get a real Les Paul Custom. But if you're on a budget, this is a great guitar. I have two other Epiphones. I love them all, each has it's own unique sound and feel. But this one is my favorite. // 10

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overall: 9.8
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: Crazytrain_8201, on september 23, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 529.3

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound: When I looked for guitars, I wanted one that sounded good for rock, metal, heavy metal, and death metal (AC/DC, Metallica, Megadeth, Children Of Bodom etc). This guitar suited my style perfectly. I play it with a Line 6 Spider II 15 amp. Overall, this guitar sounds excellent for the price. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I don't know what the factory set-ups were but when I got it, it was perfect. Only thing I don't like is that the gold hardware tends to fade-away pretty fast. Other than the gold hardware, everything else on this guitar is great for it's price, only thing missing to it would be a good Bigsby Vibrato. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This thing is a tank. If you end up breaking it, either you smashed it against a brick wall or your just dumb. The only reason I wouldn't use it at a gig without a backup is if a string would break. The paint on it is very strong, still haven't gotten one dent on it yet. // 10

Overall Impression: I play mainly classic rock, heavy metal and I'm a backup player for this band that plays death metal. This guitar is good for all three of those categories but you have to have the right amp and setup for your guitar depending on the music you play. I compared this to an Epi SG Custom with 3 pickups and I ended up loving this one because of the feel abd playability. If it were stolen, I'd called the police, get f--kin pissed and call my insurance company and I'd buy a new one. One thing I'm planning on doing is changing the wiring setup so you can control the middle pickups volume and possibly put a bigsby. // 10

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overall: 6
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: Matt_allicaDime, on july 04, 2008
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 500

Purchased from: eBay

Features: This guitar has many features like 22 frets, 3 way selector, 3 humbucks, alder body, rosewood fretbord and Tune-O-Matic bridge. This guitar came straight from a factory from china even no I bought it of eBay. This guitar only came with one accessory which was a lead. The humbucks on this guitar were the worst I've ever seen and I wasn't really impressed with the distortion channel. I recommend swapping all 3 humbucks for Gibson burst bucker pros ever since I got them fitted in I've loved this guitar and I would NEVER sell it. // 6

Sound: The distortion on this guitar is pretty ordinary but on clean this guitar sounds amazing. Right now the amps I'm using are a Crate G80 XL and an Ashton viper 50 valve amp. I don't recommend the Crate for this guitar the Ashton kicks ass. There is a lot of variety in this guitar which was what I was looking for but unfortunately that didn't include heavy metal. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar wasn't set up that well the action on this guitar was way too high and the strings it came with looked like they were 10 years old. After about 3 months the gold paint on this guitar started now come off especially on the machine heads and the humbuck which made the guitar look cheap, But every thing else looked ok. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would definatly withstand a gig, this guitar was built to last. One thing you should do if you're ever thinking about using this guitar in a gig you should defiantly change the strap locks. When I stood up with this guitar and started playing within 5 minuets the top strap lock came undone. I took my guitar to Billy Hyde to get the strap lock fitted in but the same thing happened again. You should also change all the hard wear like the Tune-O-Matic bridge and the machine heads to nickel. // 6

Overall Impression: I play rock and heavy metal and this guitar didn't exactly suit me but the look did. I've been playing for 3 years now and this guitar doesn't even compete with my bros guitars which I also play which is a Gibson Explorer pro and an EXP LTD Explorer EX-500BD. I compared this guitar with an Epiphone Goth Flying V but the Flying V just looked like a cock rocker guitar. If this guitar were to be stolen I wouldn't really mind, I've got insurance on it. What I love about this guitar is that it looks awesome but one thing I hate is the humbucks. // 6

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overall: 9.2
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: pinksalmon, on january 13, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: Craigslist

Features: Made in 2001 at the Un Sung factory in Korea, a few years before Epiphone production was moved to China. It has your Standard 22 frets, 3 way Switch, 2 tone 2 vol knobs and 3 pick ups. This Black Beauty is a gem though, it's one of the few I hear of with an all mahogany body(compared to the now mahogany/alder of now) and the first Epiphone I've ever seen with a neck volute. // 10

Sound: I enjoy playing a lot of Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, and Nirvana and it suits the first 2 well. I play through a Crate Vintage Club 30 with a Celestion Vintage 30 speaker and it's really great. I have a Crybaby, Small Clone Chorus, Sonic Stomp and a Noise Decimator in front of the amp. It's got a big warm full sound, it can be a little dark at times but if I just cock the wah completely forward it fixes it nicely and gets me close to the Nirvana-esq distortion. At the moment it's wired to get the neck, the bridge, or the bridge and the middle. I'm planning on changing all the electronics to get some more variety, It's got a great clean and o.k. distortion but I'm gonna need a bridge humbucker that is a little more treble-ly and can be coil split. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I don't know if this was the set up from the factory or not but it has a great nut and the action is so low with almost no fret buzz. The pick ups are properly set and the finish is perfect. It's the best Epiphone I've ever seen or played, it plays much better than my Gibson Standard does. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I'm sure it will, I've bumped it around a little already and so far so good. The hard ware is being replaced as it has a reputation for the gold rubbing off easily, plus I wanted to try out the new GraphTech Res-o-Max bridges and Klusons producing waffle tuners again so I had to go for those. I probably wouldn't gig without a back up until I go through and redo all the electronics myself and replace the pots with CTS and Switch and jacks with Switchcraft parts. Maybe even get some bumble bee caps for her though the Orange drops are really good and a lot cheaper. // 8

Overall Impression: I love the Les Paul, I enjoy the Darkness off the all mahogany body with this Black Beauty and I love the bite of a Gibson Standard with a maple cap. I don't think there's one thing I can complain about with this Epiphone. The only guitars I can see my self buying are Les Pauls so if they did get stolen or lost then I would be back for more. I play a lot of Grunge, Alt., and Hard rock and these guitars are great for them. // 9

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overall: 9.8
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: danbach0495, on may 01, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 800

Purchased from: Zzounds.com

Features: This Guitar is very unique in the sence that it has a third humbucker. It is a replica of the original one made in 1957 which was made popular by Jimmy Page. It has a Mahogany Neck with a Really nice black finish. Also there is a lot of detail on the guitar which is also carried out on the headstock. All the hardware is gold and looks amazing with the black body. There is a three way selector which I am not too crazy about considering the extra pickup. In my opinion they should of did something similar to a Strat and maybe given it a five way switch. Also it is made in China like all Epiphone's, which is probobly one of the few drawbacks to this guitar. It is a custom however so it is one of the better les pauls they make. // 9

Sound: This guitar sounds amazing for playing Zeppelin and any other kind of rock with a similar genre.I play with a Marshal mg 250fx most of the time and heavy metal sounds decent when playing with distortion. I notice it doesn't get as good of a sounds wen playing stuff like Nirvana or Chili Pepper but I guess that's because the strats do have a unique sound as well. There r lots of variety and the guitar is really something you can make ur own. It looks and sounds good playing just about anything. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got this guitar the fist thing I noticed was the high E string was broken. Really not that big of a deal but I really wanted to play it as soon as I got it and there was a bit of trouble. The action however is really amazing but occasionally gets buzzing from hiting the fretboard. Other then that I wouldn't say there was any flaws. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar like most Les Paul's are built very sturdy and heavy duty. It weighs a lot more then I planed but I don't mind it that much. I can imagine it will withstand a lot of Live playing and gigs but I'm not too sure considering I don't play any. I would definitely depend on it though and everything seems solid to me. // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is one that leaves a great impression, it is unique and different, but at the same time has that classic Les Paul feel. When I saw this guitar, I knew right away that it was perfect for me. I was also thinking of a buying a Bigsby tail piece and make it look like Jimmy Page's one but for right now I am really happy about it. I guess because it's an Epiphone not too many big-time musicians would choose to use it but I have played Gibsons before and the sound on this holds up pretty well. Definatly something a would recommend to anyone and is well worth the money. // 10

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overall: 9.4
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 23, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 720

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: It's a 2006 Les Paul Black Beauty 3 made in Japan, I believe. The slim-tapered neck (22 frets) feels great. The rosewood fretboard felt great and looked amazing with the block inlays. Standard 3-aside tuners stay in tune well. The gold hardware looks great against the body, and they have yet to even scratch after 7 months of hard labor. The three Alnico Classic humbuckers look and sound awesome. // 10

Sound: I play a variety of music, from classic rock to jazz to straight blues. This guitar can do anything. it's amazing how versatile the three pickups are. I've been milking every tone I could want. They can sometimes get a little muddy when run with heavy distortion on a miced amp. I've played it with quite a few amps including a Marshall JVM Tube Combo, a Trace Elliot Super Tramp, and a Marshall DFX Half Stac, and every time it's sounded just as amazing. The only effect I use outside of reverb is an Ibanez Weeping Demon wah-pedal, and it handles the outputs very well. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came from the factory and was set-up pretty poorly. The neck pickup was wired incorrectly and lost all sound. It was easily remedied, however, and I was able to rewire the pickup and get everything sounding great. The action was fantastic. The pickups sat at a great height. The only part I didn't care for was the pickgaurd. I quickly removed it from the guitar completely. This is merely a personal preference (I played an Epiphone Les Paul Studio before this, and it had no pickgaurd. I was used to not having one) and doesn't affect the overall tone at all. The finish is built like a tank, as is the mahogany body. No chipping anywhere, and the gold is still great, which is very surprising. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar survived the death of my first band and the formation of my current kit. Its survived school-shows, small gigs, and parties and shows no signs of fatigue. I've given it a beating, and it doesn't show that at all. As I mentioned earlier, it's built like a tank. It's my main guitar and I've never needed a back-up. The only problem is that my Reunion Blues strap can sometimes slide off the top knob, but that happens infrequently. // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is the best Epi you can buy. I've been playing for four-years, and this is my third guitar. It rocks my other Les Paul (Studio Chameleon) and my (now gone) Ibanez RG120. Its as close to aGibson as you can get and, in my humble opinion, even sounds better than the Gibson Worn and Standard Studios. If this guitar was lost or stolen, even broken, I'd run to the bank, take out 800.00 bucks and run to the nearest store that had it. I absolutely love the diversity of sounds lying in the pickups. It's a step above every other mid-range price guitar. I chose this guitar over an Epi Firebird Studio, an Epi Slash Les Paul Goldto and a Gibson Worn Studio Les Paul. I don't have the slightest regret. // 10

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overall: 9.6
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 05, 2010
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 250

Purchased from: eBay

Features: My Les Paul was made in Korea, it has the classic 22 frets. 2 volume & tone. 3 EMG 85's Gold plated pickups, black glossy top. Mahogany Body & Rosewood Fretboard. Active pickups as I have EMG's. 3 way selector, when I bought it it cane ==me with a really decent case and a 'glam rock' style strap with was on its last legs... // 9

Sound: My music style is stuff like metallica, G'n'R, Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch etc. I'm using it with my Zoom GFX-8 and a Peavey 30 watt bass amp [trust me it sounds brilliant] The Les Paul sounds a lot more crisp and heavy with the new pickups installed. Thats one thing I'll never regret doing. In my eyes the guitar cn make great sounds which could be compared to jimi hendrix to kirk hammett to even eddie van halen. That brings me to my next point, Tapping and solos on this guitar are tricky to get hold of, but if you don't give up easy then this is perfect for soloing! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: By the looks of the guitar, it was made incredibly well! No blemishes evenly spread glue around the neck. My pickups have been adjusted obviously, but it still didn't really make a difference too much. There isnt anytthing wrong with it to be honsest with you guys. The pickup selector is quiet, the tuning pegs are fine not too loose nor too tight, the volume & tone swellers have a nice weight behind them. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have used this on stage quite a few times as have my friends too. They came back saying how nice it sounded on stage and how nice it looked too. The hardware of the guitar was built to last, the reason I changed the pickups was because I have always wanted EMG pickups so therefore got them. I'm pretty sure if you played a 12 song set list you wouldn't need a backup, really reliable and light! // 10

Overall Impression: To the style in which I playm this guitar fits like a glove! I have been playing for 10 years now, in the past I've owned [in order] Yamaha Pacifica + practise amp, Sold P.Amp and baught a 'KUSTOM' PA System, Epiphone SG-400 Cherry [Faded] Yum! And then I was given this as a present on my 16th. If this guitar was lost or god forbid, stolen, I would buy it again yes. I love that this guitar is so versitile and light, it keeps its tuning really nicely no matter how low you go... I don't hate it at all, best buy ever! My favourite feature has got to be the hardware and paint job. I wouldn't comapre this to any other guitar as I've customised this one to how I want it. The only thing I wish this guitar had would be a tremolo bar, but even that doesn't bother me that much... // 9

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overall: 7.6
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: M3AK, on june 17, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 200

Purchased from: Gumtree

Features: Model Name: Les Paul Black Beauty 3 Electric Guitar Body: Solid mahogany body Neck: Set mahogany neck Fretboard: Rosewood fretboard with block inlays Headstock: Bound Humbuckers: 3 Alnico Classic humbuckers Hardware: Gold hardware Headstock inlay: Cream headstock inlay FB-Inlay: Rosewood Block Finger board: Rosewood fingerboard Scale length: 24.75 Nut width: 1.68 Binding: B / N / H Tailpiece: Stopbar Machine Heads: Grover Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty All in all your Standard Les Paul except for the joys of the third pick up. Pretty much what I was looking for. I wanted a Les Paul and got one. No harm in giving it a 10 there then. // 10

Sound: I'm your typical guy for these kind of guitars. Rock and Metal are my bag and it does them a treat. I'm playing this guitar through a Marshall Mode 4 head with the matching cabinet. I have a Boss ME-70 in the effects loop (adding some compression and chorus for my clean tone) and a Jim Dunlop Cry Baby GCB95 in the front of the amp. The neck pick up gives you a nice creamy tone for leads and the Bridge pick up bites your head off. The middle position on the selector Switch activates all 3 pick ups and in all honesty it was a disappointing result. Things get way too muddy with them all blaring out at you. Another problem is that since there is so much magnetic pull at once your sustain dies on its arse I'm afraid. The guitar gives a great metal tone (ala Zakk Wylde) and a fantastic Classic rock tone (like a certain top hatted rocker who is associated with this site). Obviously the tone is not as great as theirs as the guitar isn't as high end as theirs but it is in the same vein. On the Bridge position the clean tones Shine and have a lot of spank. The middle position handles a lot better then it does distorted and while long ringing chords are not an option it is not nearly as muddy and is great for fast moving clean passages similar to Devin Townsends. The neck position is very rich and is great for simply booming out huge open chords. The guitar isn't as noisy as some other Epiphone guitars I have played in the past and was far less noisy then I expected to be on a high gain setting which is a winner. It does very well in the sound department however does take a nit of a blow due to the fact that the middle position causes a lot of sustain loss. I think a 7 is fair here based on that problem and that alone. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: Buying this guitar second hand the previous owner had already had the guitar set up to his standards. I can't vouch for the factory set up however his was terrible. Once I'd lowered the Bridge pick up back down and raised the action slightly (so I didn't get fret buzz all the time and could actually sustain notes past the 12th fret) it played like a dream. The hardware isn't very worn which is surprising in all honesty as apparently the hardware fades quite quickly on these guitars. The rosewood on the neck is not a very high quality wood and the fretwire could of done with a little more filing. Apart from this the guitar passes all other tests however due to the low quality neck wood and some odd frets that I needed to spend a little time taking care of it does mark a low 6 on this section of my review. // 6

Reliability & Durability: The guitar feels solid, it has survived a few band practices now and a near by gig will let me know how well it can handle being played live. The strap buttons do feel solid but seem a little on the small side. I think that might just be a thing for me but the strap does fall off the buttons a lot but a set of strap locks should sort that out easily enough. The hard ware does seem good enough to last and the finish is definitely a high quality one that wont wear away any time soon. Quite good hear so I'll offer a respectable 8. // 8

Overall Impression: All in all, I like it. I wanted a simple Les Paul and I got one. Though there were a few let downs it hasn't broken the guitar for me. I wanted a Les Paul tone for my band and got one. I wish I had found out about the sustain issues with the middle position before buying the guitar but that is my only real regret. I've been playing for 6 years now and have owned various guitars (Jackson KVX10, Ibanez SA32EX being 2 other favourites). I love the huge neck, I always hated huge necks when I was 13/14 but now I love it. If it were lost or stolen I'd probably replace it with a Epiphone Les Paul Standard or Custom. Not that this is a bad guitar like I said I love it. I just wouldn't want to have to face that sustain issues again. In the end a 7.5 would be ideal but since there is none it'll have to be a 7 (probably better undermarking then over). // 7

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overall: 9.6
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: jamesmickanen, on january 08, 2016
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: Reverb.com

Features: Reviewing my Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty 3 which was made November 2006 in Korea. The body consist of solid mahogany, painted black with a single cutaway. The set mahogany neck is 24-3/4 scale length with a rosewood fingerboard, 22 "fret-less wonder" low profile frets, and 1.68" wide nut. This Les Paul model features 3 passive Alnico Classic humbucker pickups that are controlled by 2 volume and 2 tone knobs as well as a 6-position all metal pickup selector toggle that allows full use of all 3 pickups in a number of configurations that really unlocks the guitars tonal range. Highlighted with gold hardware: Grover locking tuners, Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, and topped off with sweet eye-candy such as block pearloid inlays, and cream binding on the body, fingerboard, and headstock. An Epiphone hard shell case was an included accessory. // 10

Sound: I primarily play rock, but I find this guitar suitable for any style of music: jazz, country, R&B, and of coarse rock. Let's face it, you are bound to find a Les Paul being utilized in just about every music genre out there. Considering this model's vast tonal range provided by its 3 pickups and 6-position toggle, I would say its musical applications are endless.

I have been using this guitar with my Roland Cube 20X, Fender Mustang I, and occasionally through a Peavey 5150 cabinet via Crate Excalibur head. Across the board this guitar exhibits glistening highs and warm lows. Bright highs are achieved when using the bridge pickup and the tone control dialed to 10. The guitar's previous owner described the tone to be horn like at this setting as well as Strat like. Warm lows are revealed when using the middle or neck pickups and starts getting darker when dialed to 5 and below. As far as being noisy, I have yet to find this guitar unintentionally noisy at any setting with the exception of using a bad cable; which would make any guitar used with it hum. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action on this guitar has been set nice and low. I don't know if it's the Dunlop strings, the low frets, or a combination of the two but note bending is a breeze as the strings are nice and flexible. I have not made any adjustments to the bridge or the pickups, everything appears and feels to be set right. This was a used model I purchased so understandably there are some blemishes. Additionally, this was the previous owners primary guitar for a few years while recording and playing shows. Therefore, numerous scratches, dings, and light oxidation is to be found. But hey, the distressed relic look is "in" nowadays. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar withstood a few years of live performance duties and has the battle scars to prove it. After giving it some TLC the battle wounds and oxidation are not easily noticeable. The hardware is all sound from stopbar to tuners to strap buttons. However, I regularly use strap lock type devices with my guitars ever since the tragic loss of my MIJ Fender Stratocaster a number of years ago. On another note, if I were to perform this guitar would be my number one choice. There is a lifetime of use still left in this thing. It may be used but it is not used up. None of the previous wear from gigs has penetrated the finish. When it comes to live performance I never play without a backup. I don't foresee any performance problems other than replacing a broken string, but face it, nobody wants to watch you stop the show and change a string. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, of the three guitars I own (Epiphone Les Paul Standard, Gretsch G5120 Electromatic) this has become my favorite despite all the scratches, dings, and oxidation. I love the tonal range provided by the 3 pickups and 6-way toggle, the flexible string bends, and I absolutely love the weight and general feel of a Les Paul, it feels like home if that makes sense. I'm in my mid 30's now and have been playing guitar for 20 years now with rock, mostly punk, being my primary genre. This guitar would easily fit into that genre. As a matter of fact one of my guitar heroes, Lars Frederiksen of Rancid, plays a stock Epiphone Les Paul Custom. Now, if some turkey neck were to steal this guitar from me I'd put him in the crusher for sure. However, I can't say I would buy another one just like it. Only because there are so many guitars out there I have yet to play and experience. I primarily played Stratocasters prior to exploring Les Pauls a few years ago. // 10

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overall: 8
Les Paul Black Beauty Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 21, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 912

Sound: It has a warm rich tone that sounds really nice through a decent amp. thus far I've played it through a Fender Deluxe 112 plus and a Mesa Boogie F-100 and it sounds great through both. The additional pickup does actually add some depth and warmth to the sound as I tested several other les pauls while I was shopping around. It has a rich full sound that I feel could give a great deal of diversity if setup right. The main reason I liked the additional pickup is that it adds a whole world of options when you start to consider modifications. The sound quality was better then all the other Epiphones I tried and even as good (if not better) then the low end Gibsons. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Okay here is where it gets a bit murky. It was not setup right with some fret buzz etc. There appears to be something loose inside the guitar that rattles around, which I think has to do with one of the tone knobs. There is a tiny gap in between the pickup surround and the neck because it is slightly off centre. Only other negative thing I found was some of the screw fixtures still had a bit of extra plastic floating around. With this being said once I setup it up properly it will be perfect. The finish is really high quality and is even better then most of the other Epis I've seen. This quality is better then the Squires and Japan made Fenders I've played and I tip my hat off to the how far Epiphones have come in terms of quality. That being said I bought the guitar with the specific intention of it being a prototype for modifications and I considered that when purchasing. I feel once this guitar has been upgraded it will be worth so much more then the cost I've paid (for both the guitar and mods). // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar feels really solid and the action if very smooth for a new guitar. I feel that the switches and knobs may give out because they seem a little cheap. I'm going to replace them and get strap locks to ensure it is sturdy. I think that this guitar would last a great deal of time if it is taken care of properly. I would and will gig with it but until I get it upgraded I'm going to have a backup. Finish looks like it will last a great deal of time. I've seen the gold fading on some older Epis/Gibsons but I think it looks really awesome when it ages a little. // 7

Overall Impression: This suits my style in combination with the amps I play (Mesa Boogie, etc). I love the looks and feel of the guitar and the action is sweet. Some of the components looks and feel a little cheap but nothing that a few upgrades won't solve. To be fair I was a little lazy when buying the guitar and should have thoroughly checked the setup of the guitar. I would have then noticed the rattle and the poor setup and could have got the store to fix it for me. I'm sure if I take it back they'll sought it out free of charge but I'd rather do it myself. I think this is a great guitar for players Who don't have the money for the real deal because with a few mods it can rapidly change from being a really good guitar to an awesome guitar. It is a sweet deal for the price. I was a bit annoyed that it wasn't setup right and there is something loose but they are easily solved. I love the additional pickup which I plan to use to full effect when I upgrade the guitar. I think that some high end Epiphones are actually as good as low end Gibsons, particularly because it's so cheap and easy to upgrade the components. I would only buy another one if I was happy with the upgrades and I couldn't afford the genuine Gibson version. I think this Epiphone is a brilliant example of how good high end Epis can be. // 8

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