Price paid: $ 789.992
Purchased from: Prueggers Music
Sound — 10
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.
Overall Impression — 9
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.
Reliability & Durability — 10
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.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
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.
Features — 9
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.