Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 7
I play todays rock for the most part and this guitar does it's job by tenfold. I'm running it into a 74 Fender Bassman 70 (all-tube head) and Marshall 1960A cab. I'm not really into much effects. I do use a crybaby and DigiTech Grunge pedal. When I got the guitar I noticed some hum when I would remove my hands from the strings. I figured nothing a ground job can't fix. As for the stock pickups they were decent. I really enjoyed the neck pickup. It woulds really warm and smooth. The bridge pickup was ok, but not the crunch I knew a les paul to have. I replaced the Pickups with matching Gibson 57's and what a difference! I would give the sound a 9 with new pickups but I'm just going to review this as stock.
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar works for me amazingly! I've been playing for about 6 years. The neck on this thing would prolly be my favorite feature. I think this guitar is as good if not better than any Gibson Les Paul Classic/Standard on the market today (after modifications). The guitar plays great and sounds great! You can prolly get this same quality from Gibson for thousands more. I spend about a total of 900 bucks and I could never be happier. If it were to be lost or stolen I'd most deff get another. I rate this a 9.5 overall after modifications but I'm rating it as stock! Watch out Gibson, Epi is comin back in a big way.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I've played many shows with this as my only guitar.It has taken the abuse of the road. As for the finish it's very nice. This is the only difference I see that seperates a Gibson from an Epi. The finish is a little thin. I would advise a hardshell case, but that's a no brainer with any kind of finished guitar you buy. The strap buttons are great but I prefer strap locks. The stock bridge and tail piece are cheap, I would break strings on a every day basis. I replaced them with Graphtec replacement parts. It helped the sustain even more and I never break a string now. After the strap locks and bridge/tail piece replacement I give it a solid 9 but I'm rating as stock.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action when I first got it was really not bad at all. I like a low profile setting and low action. I lent the guitar to my friend to be set up he's a guitar tech for a local band out here in Pa. Got the thing back and it play as good as a Gibson. On to the tuners prolly the worst part about this guitar! It would not hold tune for it's life. I would play one song and it would be flat by the end of it. I replaced them with Gibson modern tuners. It has yet to go out of tune. I only have to tune like every 3 days now. After the setup and new tuners I would give this a 10 but once again I'm rating it as stock.