Les Paul Black Beauty review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (428 votes)
Epiphone: Les Paul Black Beauty

Price paid: $ 720

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
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.

Overall Impression — 10
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.

Reliability & Durability — 10
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.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
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.

Features — 10
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.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    yo, can someone help me out? i'm thinkin about buying this baby but heard the pickups are kinda dull. would it be worth it or wise to put and emg 81 in the bridge, 60 in the middle, and 85 in the neck?
    Jonno wrote: MAT_ALLICADIME who reviewed this guitar is an idiot!!! I own one of these guitars , I work in a music store and have been playing for ten years. The humbuckers sound good with the low end you would expect from a les paul, if he knew how to tweak his amp properly he probably wouldn't have any problem. he obviously bought this guitar because it "looked metal" and not because he wanted a LP sound. This guitar dosn't come form china. there is a BIG difference in which asian country guitars are made. china handles most of the cheapest guitars, look at a Epiphone LP special and you'll see it was made there. The black beauty was made in Korea. this means it was made using better material (nicer pieces of wood etc..) and to higher specs and standards. this is actually one of Epiphones best asian guitars, there are a couple that beat it but its up there (In fact it would probably sound as good or better than a Gibson studio or one of there other bad guitars.) Get your facts straight before reviewing a guitar you idiot!
    Most Epiphones after 2007 are made in China.. I have this Black Beauty and it is made in China. Do you always call people and idiot?
    I found an Epiphone LP Black Beauty on ebay. It's equivalent with just 2 pickups is 50 UK pounds cheaper. Is the 50 worth the one extra pickup?
    ive seen one of these online for 250 ($400). i was wondering if this would be a very cheap Epi or a very expensive rip-off??
    My Black Beauty was an '08 model and it too is made in China, had it a year and even after a weeks the gold of the humbuckers started to come off, Humbuckers are pretty decent, may be worth investing in a 5-way switch like a Strat instead of the standard 3-way, I'm gonna do it to get some better combinations than the 3-ways defaults (Rhythm setting is Neck pickup, Middle of switch is Middle and Bridge pickup and Treble is just Bridge pickup) Apart from the gold finish the guitar is a great buy! Don't just believe me on justinguitar.com it's recommended by Justin Sandercoe!