Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: Craigslist
Sound — 9
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.
Overall Impression — 9
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.
Reliability & Durability — 8
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.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
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.
Features — 10
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.