Les Paul Custom Blackback review by Epiphone

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  • Features: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9 (3 votes)
Epiphone: Les Paul Custom Blackback

Price paid: $ 280

Purchased from: Used

Features — 10
- Body Material: Mahogany 
- Neck Material: Mahogany 
- Neck Shape: SlimTaper D-profile 
- Neck Joint: Glued-in, set neck 
- Truss Rod: Adjustable 
- Scale Length: 24.75 
- Fingerboard Material: Rosewood 
- Fingerboard Radius: 12" 
- Frets: 22 Medium jumbo 
- Bridge Pickup: Alnico Classic Humbucker 
- Neck Pickup: Alnico Classic Humbucker 
- Pickup Selector: Epiphone all-metal 3-way toggle switch 
- Controls: 1-neck volume, 1-neck tone, 1 bridge volume, 1-bridge tone 
- Bridge Locktone: Tune-o-matic/Stopbar 
- Nut Width: 1 11/16" 
- Hardware: Gold 
- Binding: 7-layer body front and back, 5-layer headstock, 1-layer fingerboard 
- Machine Heads: Grover 16:1 ratio 
- Colors: Alpine White 
- Warranty Epiphone Limited Lifetime

Sound — 10
I play everything from blues, country and rock. This guitar just eats it all! I have used both a Vox AC15 Special Edition and Hughes & Kettner Trilogy 4x12 Stack. The pickups are very silent - makes no noise (as you would expect from humbuckers). I have a Gibson Les Paul Studio from 2003 and this is the only "back to back" comparison I have made and this Epiphone is a lot better in build quality and when it comes to sound quality it actually is a whole lot better then the Studio as well... which is so crazy but I guess I just payed for the name Gibson on that guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The Setup was great! I bought from a good musician how just was a "Strat man" and decided to not keep it so he probably made a great setup. Intonation was perfect and so was the action. Since i bought it used I would not know how it was set up new... but mine was perfect! The looks and finish is flawless, no imperfections at all - I couldn't tell that it was "just an Epiphone." The pickups are in my opinion great! They actually sound a lot better than my Gibson Les Paul Studio. I honestly thought it was impossible to get a guitar for under 300 dollars that felt like 2000 dollars... If you can live with the "Epiphone" logo then you are in for a great lifetime of playing without having to spend a fortune!

Reliability & Durability — 10
It seems like it´s built like a tank (just like the few Gibson Les Paul Custom I have played). The guitar feels really dependable, it stays in tune and like I wrote before - it's built like a tank and seems to manage a world war... The only thing I have read is that the Gold will probably fade away. But for a guitar that is about 1/10 of the price of the "Original" I think I can live with that. I would definitely play this in live situations and I trust it fully for a lifetime! I can't be more clear about this - this is a guitar that has no flaws, the setup was perfect and it seems like it will last forever.

Overall Impression — 10
Bottom line is that this must be on of the best guitars out there if you like the Les Paul model and specially the Custom which I do. Maybe I was lucky and got a GREAT example but to be honest I couldn't really sell this now for even 1000 dollars since I would probably have to buy a Gibson for about 2000 to get the same quality, feel and sound. Now there will probably be some Gibson fans that will think I am an idiot (hey I am a Gibson fan too, I own a Hummingbird and a Les Paul Studio) but to be honest, besides the possibility of buying a collectible Gibson Les Paul Custom, why would you pay that kind of money when a guitar like this is available?

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I've been considering one of these, I've been getting into more classical styled guitar (Bach,Beethoven,Brahms,Schubert). I prefer an electric, I've got super strats; all 25.5" scale. My paws aren't the biggest so some of the stretcheier arpeggieated chords are difficult; I figure shaving 3/4" off scale length ought to be about right. How are the pickups on this thing in terms of tonality? More traditional PAF sounding or hotter still?