Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Jason C. (Owner B.Bizz Rec Studio)
Sound — 8
Let me start by saying that I am not an electric guitar aficionado. I have been all my "playing" life a straight acoustic guy. So take this review for what it's worth. I am only two days into playing my new toy and have spent about 6 hours doing so. Playing this amazing instrument is captivating. Maybe because its my first "official" electric (I had a Fender Strat years ago but it went neglected and then sold) but I have played others and they did not hold my interest like this one. I play mostly 60-70's classic rock although I do dabble in other genre's. This beast suites this style perfectly; however, getting it to play metal is a matter of tweaking the knobs a bit and setting my amp and away I go. I am using a Line 6 IV 15 which suites me just fine since I don't play gigs anyway. I have access to a Marshall stack but haven't plugged this puppy into it yet. It can be a bit noisy (hissing) when trying to play in "metal mode" but my Line 6 has a noise gate that when turned on I get silence other than my playing. "Betty" (the previous owner named her so I'm sticking with it) still has her stock pickups which I attribute to the noise at this point. In the future I may spring for some newer ones but not until I work these out good. I'm rating this section an 8 only because of the noise and no guitar is perfect. I don't play metal much so it isn't a factor.
Overall Impression — 9
Like I said, I play mostly classic rock (60's - 70's) and "Betty" seems to have been born for it. I've been playing since I was 15 and I'm 42 now. I wish I played as good as the years would dictate but life had other plans and I have been told I play well so I'm happy they are happy. I also own an Epiphone PR-200D acoustic which I have babied and absolutely love. I asked all the questions I needed about this Epi and all I needed to do was hear her played to know I wanted her. I love everything about this model so far. At this point, if someone stole "Betty" I would seriously want to put a $$$ wuppin' on them if I caught them. I would certainly buy another - if I could find one in as good condition.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I can't comment on "Betty's" reliability as I haven't been playing her long enough yet. I did ask the previous owner about it though and he said she was the most reliable guitar he's ever owned. Stayed in tune for months is what he said so I take him at his word. Let's put it this way, she still has all her stock parts and they work great so that's worth something. Durability wise, as much as she's been played, her age, and amazingly pristine condition, I would say "Betty" gets a 9 in this section as well.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
As I mentioned, this guitar was owned by a musician and a good one so he had dialed it in sweetly. The action is like sliding your fingers across greased glass it so smooth! Hitting even the toughest chords is a breeze and requires almost no finger pressure at all. 3 hours of solid playing and my wrist and fingers didn't hurt at all which is saying something since I have a little carpal going on in my fret hand. I heard complaints about the weight of this model. Right now I have a very cheap strap so I did feel it's weight more so but a good strap should counter the effects of prolonged standing and playing. Other than that it fits well and is comfortable even sitting and playing which I am in the habit of doing as an acoustic player. The finish... Aahhh the finish. I have a pic of it in my profile area but it simply does not do it justice. It is really and truly a great finish. The previous owner did not put the pick guard on which I was happy about. It would only take a way from the beauty of the craftsmanship that went into this finish. I have a group of guys I play with every other weekend and can't wait to show it off. The only flaw, and I wouldn't even point it out it's so minimal, is a very small "dent" if you will on the bottom edge of the guitar. One would never see it but as I inspected her closely when I bought her I noticed it. It was so insignificant that I didn't make a big deal and don't care. Controls are tight, nothing lose and even the selector switch has withstood the test of time. I'm giving this section a 9 because "Betty" was very well taken care of and put together very very nicely. The quality that went into it speaks volumes about it's durability and longevity. Mine was pieced together in Korea and QA'd in the USA. The stickers are still on the back of the head which I thought was cool given it's age.
Features — 10
From what I have discovered, this model was made only 1 year - 2006. It's not even listed on Epiphone website in the "discontinued" area which is strange so depending on how many were mfg'd, I'd say it's rather rare. I'm not saying that makes it a collectors item but it's limited "production" as it were forces it into the rare category nonetheless. There are similar models but not this one exactly. I pieced together the specs from other sources but I'm sure they are accurate. - Translucent Black Quilt Top finish (amazing!) - Mahogany body and neck - Chrome hardware - 24-3/4" scale length - 22 Frets - Carved quilted maple top - Ships with pickguard unattached for pristine finish option - Rosewood fretboard - Trapezoid inlays - Body and neck binding - Open coil Alnico Classic & Alnico HOT Humbucker pickups - Bridge Pickup - Black Open Coil HOTHB8B, 13.5K - Neck Pickup - Black Open Coil HB6N, 8.3K - 1.68" nut I gave this section a 10 for the finish alone. It is quite something to see. I have seen many other Epi's at GC and online and they are beaut's to be sure but this one is in a class of it's own. Appearance is opinionated so everyone has their preference - this happens to be mine.